Simeon's Derrick Rose went to the NCAA Championship game with Memphis in 2008, but came up short against the Kansas Jayhawks which featured Crane's Sherron Collins. Last year, Anthony Davis helped Kentucky to the crown, and this year, Morgan Park alum Wayne Blackshear helped the Louisville Cardinals win their first title since 1986.
It's safe to say that the City of Chicago has been well represented in the NCAA title game in recent years and Blackshear is the latest in a long line of hoops talent that the Windy City has produced.
Little used as a freshman, Blackshear was an integral part of Rick Pitino’s club as a sophomore this year, moving into the starting lineup and averaging 7.6 points and 3.1 rebounds this season. Those numbers are pedestrian compared to his gaudy high school averages, but the college game is a totally different animal and Blackshear seems to be making the adjustment very well.
“I feel like I've improved over the season,” Blackshear told the Chicago Tribune during the Cardinals stop through Indianapolis for the Sweet 16. “I feel comfortable playing a lot more defense and traps in our zone. Everyone is waiting for (me to score more), but it's not about one person scoring. It's about surviving and advancing to the next round right now."
Blackshear also won the Elite 89 Award, presented to the player with the highest cumulative GPA of the participants in the championship game. He carries a 3.55 GPA and is a communications major at Louisville.
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