With Versteeg and Rose, Youth Is Served in Chicago

Two Chicago youngsters are honored for their exceptional debut seasons.

To be young, gifted and a professional athlete in Chicago -- it must be nice. Looking at the young talent that is serving our city, Chicago seems to have the market cornered on the best and the brightest young athletes. Derrick Rose won the NBA's Rookie of the Year, and the Blackhawks' Kris Versteeg is a finalist for the Calder Trophy, which is awarded to the best rookie in the NHL.

Rose's play was a consistent strong point for the Bulls this season. He averaged more than 16 points and 6 assists over the season, and missed only one game during the regular season. This was before he had a record coming out party to start the playoffs and stun the Celtics in the first game of the postseason, scoring 36 and dishing out 11 assists.

Rose's counterpart at the United Center is also a bright spot on his team. Versteeg is the young man on a young team, yet still has stood out. He ended the regular season with a plus 15 on the plus/minus, and led rookies with 31 assists. He was surprised to even see his name on the list:

"There are so many good rookies you didn't really know what was going to happen," Versteeg said. "I didn't really expect it at all. To tell you the truth, I'm still kind of shocked. It's a huge honor, not only for myself but for my family."

The good news for Chicago sports fans is that though these teams are doing well now, as they are both in the playoffs, the strength of these two means that we have much more success to look forward to.

 Maggie Hendricks is a lifelong Chicagoan who has loved sports since she fell in love with Jody Davis at age three. She also writes for Cage Writer, Yahoo! Sports' MMA blog, and Fourth-Place Medal, Yahoo! Sports' Olympic blog.

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