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2024 All-Area Boys' Basketball: Meet the first team

Apr. 20—Meet the first-teamers on the 2024 News-Gazette All-Area Boys' Basketball Team

Why he made the first team ...

* The highlight of Asbury's season came in the Vermilion County Tournament, where he scored 116 points over four games (29 points per game), the second-most points scored in a single VCT in the event's history. The All-Vermilion Valley Conference honoree went on to be one of only three area players to average at least 20 points a game for the season, adding 6.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists.

He needs tickets to see ... Game 7

* of the World Series.

Before he competes, he drinks ...

* a blue Gatorade.

His dream career is ...

* an MLB player.

His favorite school subject is ...

* science.

His favorite athlete is ...

* Trevor Bauer.

His favorite movie is ...

* "The Hill."

If he could have dinner with any three people from any time period, he would pick ...

* Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and Tiger Woods.

Three things on his bucket list are ...

* skydiving, seeing the Grand Canyon and visiting every MLB stadium.

Why he made the first team ...

* Curl did it all for the Hawks, averaging 17.5 points, 7.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 2.1 steals per game while making the All-Illini Prairie Conference First Team, IBCA All-State Third Team and AP All-State Honorable Mention. The Olivet Nazarene recruit ends his high school career as Prairie Central's third-all-time leading scorer (1,353 points) and one of the program's best rebounding guards (531).

He needs tickets to see ..

* . the College Football Playoff National Championship.

Before he competes, he drinks ...

* Gatorade.

His dream career is ...

* a professional basketball player.

His favorite school subject is ...

* math.

His favorite athlete is ...

* Kobe Bryant.

His favorite TV show is ...

* "The Flash."

If he could have dinner with any three people from any time period, he would pick ...

* his mother, father and girlfriend.

Three things on his bucket list are ...

* visiting Hawaii, golfing at Pebble Beach and bungee jumping.

Why he made the first team ...

* Jacob was the top scorer for the Spartans, one of only two area teams to make it to a sectional final. He put up 14.7 points per game while shooting 40 percent from behind the three-point line. He made the fifth-most three-pointers in a single season and the ninth-most all time in SJ-O history. Jacob was an All-Illini Prairie Conference First-Team pick and an IBCA All-State Third-Team selection.

He needs tickets to see ...

* the Final Four.

Before he competes, he drinks ...

* water.

His dream career is ...

* a data scientist for a sports team.

His favorite school subject is ...

* math.

His favorite athlete is ...

* Jimmy Butler.

His favorite documentary is ...

* "The Last Dance."

If he could have dinner with any three people from any time period, he would pick ...

* Jimmy Butler, Jesus and Michael Jackson.

Three things on his bucket list are ...

* skydiving, visiting another country and attending a Notre Dame football national championship game.

Why he made the first team ..

* . Alongside senior teammate Ayden Ingram, Peoples put fear into opposing defenders with his athletic ability. He was a wizard on offense, making acrobatic shots (15 points per game) and dishing out crazy passes (3.7 assists per game). He was also a ball hawk on defense, pulling down 4.2 rebounds and coming away with 2.5 steals per game. Peoples is set up for an impressive last two years.

He needs tickets to see ...

* the NBA Finals.

Before he competes, he eats ...

* fruit and drinks water.

His dream career is ...

* a professional basketball player or coach.

His favorite school subject is ...

* Spanish.

His favorite athlete is ...

* Caitlin Clark.

His favorite TV show is ...

* "The Walking Dead."

If he could have dinner with any three people from any time period, he would pick ...

* Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and God.

Three things on his bucket list are ...

* buying his mom a house, buying his dad his dream car and marrying his high school girlfriend.

Why he made the first team ...

* Phillips was a problem in the post for opposing teams, leading the Purple Riders to a Class 1A sectional championship appearance. He averaged 15 points and eight rebounds per game on his way to earning All-Lincoln Prairie Conference First-Team, IBCA All-State Third-Team and AP All-State Honorable-Mention honors. Phillips was Arcola's team MVP and has all the looks of having an even better senior season.

He needs tickets to see ...

* a Morgan Wallen or Bailey Zimmerman concert.

Before he competes, he eats ...

* a piece of gum and drinks a yellow Gatorade.

His dream career is ...

* the Illinois men's basketball coach.

His favorite school subject is ...

* math.

His favorite athlete is ...

* Dain Dainja.

His favorite TV show is ...

* "Reacher."

If he could have dinner with any three people from any time period, he would pick ...

* his grandpa, Jesus and Kobe Bryant.

Three things on his bucket list are ...

* buying a motorhome, meeting Brad Underwood and traveling the world.

Why he made the first team ...

* A repeat All-Area First-Team selection, Quinn was the top player of a well-balanced Warriors team that finished the season 28-6. He averaged 11.1 points and 7.5 rebounds per game while shooting 51 percent from the field. His versatility was evident in attacking defenses, as he could shoot jumpers, take the ball off the dribble and back defenders down in the post. Quinn capped his high school career as an IBCA All-State Second Team honoree.

He needs tickets to see ...

* a Drake concert.

Before he competes, he drinks ...

* Liquid I.V.

His dream career is ...

* a physical therapist.

His favorite school subject is ...

* Spanish.

His favorite athlete is ...

* Jalen Quinn.

His favorite TV show is ...

* "Last Chance U."

If he could have dinner with any three people from any time period, he would pick ...

* Druski, Theo Von and Sketch.

Three things on his bucket list are ...

* traveling the world, skydiving and becoming rich.

Why he made the first team ...

* Robinson led the Vikings in points (16.6 per game), rebounds (6.5), assists (3.3) and steals (3.1) for the second year in a row, earning him yet another spot on the All-Area First Team. He made the All-Big 12 Conference First Team and scored his 1,000th career point as a junior. Robinson leads a charge of talented Danville juniors who could make a splash next season.

He needs tickets to see ...

* a Lil Baby concert.

Before he competes, he eats ..

* . fruit snacks and drinks Bodyarmor.

His dream career is ...

* an NBA player.

His favorite school subject is ...

* science.

His favorite athlete is ...

* Damian Lillard.

His favorite movie is ...

* "Good Boys."

If he could have dinner with any three people from any time period, he would pick ...

* Damian Lillard, Lil Baby and Kobe Bryant.

Three things on his bucket list are ...

* visiting two states, skydiving and becoming rich.

Why he made the first team ...

* Schilb may have been the only sophomore on the varsity roster, but he was the go-to guy for a Chargers team that won 20 games for the first time since 2015. He averaged 15 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.6 steals per game en route to earning All-Big 12 Conference Second-Team honors. He has size and length but plays like a guard, which will make him hard to stop the next two years.

He needs tickets to see ...

* Travis Scott.

Before he competes, he drinks ...

* milk or apple juice.

His dream career is ...

* a professional basketball player before entering the science field.

His favorite school subject is ...

* chemistry.

His favorite athlete is ...

* Blake Schilb.

His favorite TV show is ...

* "Rick and Morty."

If he could have dinner with any three people from any time period, he would pick ...

* Katt Williams, Muhammad Ali and Michael Jackson.

Three things on his bucket list are ...

* skydiving for the adrenaline rush, scuba diving if I can guarantee I'll survive and learning how to fly a plane so I can buy a private jet.

Why he made the first team ...

* Coach of the Year Kiel Duval from St. Joseph-Ogden called Thomas an "absolute matchup nightmare." Thomas led the Rockets' major turnaround from a near-.500 team last year to a 26-5 record this year and their first regional title since 2012. He paced the offense at 11 points per game and had a knack for coming up clutch in the biggest moments. He's playing at Illinois College next winter and is our All-Area Player of the Year.

He needs tickets to see ...

* the college basketball Final Four because "nothing ever beats that."

Before he competes, he drinks ...

* Frog Fuel. My twin brother, Andrew Thomas, and I ran out of it once and then played "like crap" and lost, and it's been the "lucky key" ever since.

His dream career is ...

* a state trooper, FBI agent or basketball coach.

His favorite school subject is ...

* physical education.

His favorite athlete is ...

* Vinny Thomas.

His favorite movie is ...

* "The Dukes of Hazzard."

If he could have dinner with any three people from any time period, he would pick ...

* his family.

Three things on his bucket list are ...

* traveling overseas to Europe, having dinner with Michael Jordan and watching Dan Hurley coach from the bench.

Why he made the first team ...

* Walker was able to shine on a Maroons team that quietly went 28-5 for one of the best seasons in program history. He averaged 19 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 3 steals per game. He had the best three-point shooting season in program history, setting single-game (12), single-season (116) and career (291) records for the shot. Walker was an All-Central Illinois Conference talent and made the IBCA All-State Third Team.

He needs tickets to see ...

* the World Series.

Before he competes, he drinks ...

* Gatorade.

His dream career is ...

* an MLB manager.

His favorite school subject is ...

* German.

His favorite athlete is ...

* Ian Happ.

His favorite TV show is ...

* "S.W.A.T."

If he could have dinner with any three people from any time period, he would pick ...

* Kobe Bryant, Stephen Curry and Trevor Bauer.

Three things on his bucket list are ... bungee jumping, skydiving and visiting Hawaii.