Althoff High School boys basketball coach Greg Leib will fulfill a longtime ambition Saturday when he leads the Class 3A/4A South team against the Class 3A/4A North squad in the annual Illinois Basketball Coaches Association All-Star game.
The game will be played at 7 p.m. at Shirk Center on the campus of Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington and will follow the Class 1A/2A South vs. the Class 1A/2A North game at 5.
"I remember thinking how fun it would be to coach in one of these things," Leib said. "Now it's upon me and it's still a real neat experience. I can't wait. I don't think I'm worthy of it, but I'm very fortunate to be able to do it.
"For guys like myself who really enjoy the historical piece of Illinois basketball and all that comes with it, it's a great experience."
Leib's assistants will be his brother, Phil, the coach at Flora, and Sean Taylor, the coach at Quincy.
"Those two guys are both smart, so they should be able to counter any dumb ideas I come up with," Greg Leib said.
Two of Leib's players will be from the metro-east: O'Fallon's Roy Bullock III and Collinsville's Daryn Foster.
The 5-foot-11 Bullock, who has signed with Union College in Jackson, Tenn., averaged 20.1 points per game last season. The 6-0 Foster, who has signed with John Wood College in Quincy, averaged 16.4 points and 5.4 rebounds.
"Both of those guys have been thorns in my side," Leib said. "They've both been great kids to compete against. It will be neat to go up there and coach them in an event like this."
Centralia's Bryan Betts also will be on the Class 3A/4A South team.
Brandon Book, who averaged 20.6 points and 8.8 rebounds at Central High, will play on the Class 1A/2A South team led by Carrollton High coach Jeff Krumwiedge.
The 6-6 Book, the News-Democrat's Class 1A-2A Player of the Year, has signed with Southwestern Illinois College in Belleville.
The Class 3A/4A North team will be guided by Todd Sutton, the coach at Neuqua Valley in Naperville, and Chad Cartner, Sutton's assistant at Neuqua Valley.
Teams will practice from 3 to 6 p.m. Friday and then attend a banquet from 7 to 9. Federal judge Joe Billy McDade will be the featured speaker. Team meetings will be held from 9 to 10:30.
Following breakfast, each team will practice again Saturday morning. Then it's a pregame meal and the games.
Leib is looking forward to the practices. He knows plenty about Bullock and Foster from coaching against them, but is curious to see the other players.
"Some of these other guys, I only have a couple of practices to figure out what they do a good job with and what they don't do a good job with," Leib said. "We'll probably rotate them in and out in those two practices to see who can do what.
"We've got some speed, we've got some quickness. We only get two practices, so it's not like we're going to be running the triangle offense. (But) with this, there are so many accomplished players and everybody you have can put the ball in the hole."
Other players on Leib's roster are: Travis Britt, Rantoul; J.J. Cravatta, Streator; Anthony Beane, Normal; Jeff White, Peoria Manual; Benr Yan, Washington; Austin Stewart, Normal West; Reid Farchmin, Mahomet-Seymour; Deangelo Dean, Quincy; Alvin Braddock, Kankakee; Trey Kellum, Peoria; Brad Foster, (New Lenox) Lincoln-Way Central.