Kendrick Nunn Continues Upward Climb

Kendrick Nunn (Scott Burgess)

Chicago Simeon won its second consecutive state championship this past March. The breakout prospect for the Wolverines was sophomore guard Kendrick Nunn. Nunn is a sharpshooter with big-time scoring ability. Illinois is interested in tracking his progress.

Kendrick Nunn is a 6'-2" combo guard from Simeon Career Academy in Chicago. He has seen his recruiting stock soar with exceptional play throughout the high school season, coming off the bench for his team. Although he has not received an offer yet, he is a guy Illinois is keeping tabs on.

The sophomore has already been on campus multiple times and enjoyed his visits.

"Illinois is a good college. I have been there a few times. It was a good time."

He enjoys talking to the Illini coaches recruiting him.

"The coaching staff is real cool. We joke around."

There is a particular aspect of Illinois coaching that stands out to Nunn.

"Their coaches give them freedom. I like that. They go up and down."

Simeon head coach Robert Smith says Illinois is still in the evaluation process with Nunn, but he believes Nunn would be a great fit for them.

"They want to see if he can play the point guard position. Sometimes you have to get the best player available. I think a player like him can help other players on the floor because he can stretch the defense and guard."

There is an ever-growing list of programs getting in on the super sophomore's recruitment. Smith discussed some of them.

"Memphis is real hot on his trail. He has Pittsburgh, Washington, Illinois, Ohio State, Ohio, and Xavier."

Nunn also added St. Louis University, Arizona, Purdue, Louisville, and Kentucky to the list under consideration right now. Nunn presently holds offers from Memphis, St. Louis, Xavier, and Ohio. What will he be looking for in a school?

"Good atmosphere, big campus, good coaches, and where I can fit in the program."

Smith was ecstatic with how his sophomore played for his team this past season.

"Kendrick was great. He came off the bench for us. He would have started for any other team in the state. He led us in scoring about four or five games. He came in and gave us some great minutes.

He shoots the ball tremendously, and his defense was great. He was a big lift for that second unit, and he kept everything afloat with those guys."

The limited minutes for such a talented prospect would bother some players, but not Nunn.

"I play for the team. I do whatever I can to contribute to the win."

They did just that. They won and won big! Simeon captured the state championship and suffered only two losses all season. Winning state was the only way to end the season for Nunn and his teammates.

"The state championship was good. We all came to play."

According to Smith, the Wolverines accomplished their ultimate goal this past season.

"It was a great season. We fulfilled one of the goals we wanted to. As a matter of fact, we got two of them. We won Pontiac and won state. We didn't get the city, but we will definitely take winning the state championship. It is a bigger honor for the kids."

The coach is looking forward to seeing how Nunn will play as a junior in a bigger role.

"Next year he will be much better because he will be on the floor more. A kid playing 13 minutes and averaging 9 points is amazing. He doesn't care about the minutes, he just wants to win."

Nunn is looking forward to the challenge of being a marked man next season.

"I am going to have to step up because six seniors graduated. It is going to be a whole new starting five. I am going to have to step up and play big."

There are two aspects of the sophomore's game he feels are his best assets.

"I shoot the ball very well and can get to the basket."

He has gained a reputation as a sharpshooter who can devastate teams with the three point shot. Smith believes teams don't give him enough credit for the other things he does well.

"People just saw him shoot the three. He is athletic and can get to the rim and finish. He gets off the bounce real good and has a good handle. That surprised a lot of people because they played him for the three."

This spring and summer, Nunn has several basketball related events to be excited about. He will be playing on a talented Meanstreets team for his AAU basketball. And he will be attending the USA Developmental Mini-Camp in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where he will have an opportunity to compete for a spot on the 16 and Under national team. He is looking forward to this experience.

"I am real excited. I can't wait to get down there to play. Hopefully I will make the team."

Nunn's star should continue to rise with more experience, exposure, and playing against great competition this summer. His upside is one of the highest in the state's class of 2013.

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