Boys Basketball

East St. Louis’ Tilmon to make college choice known Thursday

East St. Louis senior Jeremiah Tilmon will announce his college intentions Thursday at 1 p.m.
East St. Louis senior Jeremiah Tilmon will announce his college intentions Thursday at 1 p.m.

Jeremiah Tilmon is expected to announce his college intentions Thursday at 1 p.m.

Where exactly he’ll play, though, remains a mystery.

The East St. Louis senior and five-star prospect has summoned friends and media to the high school Thursday at 1 p.m.

Tilmon made a verbal commitment to the University of Illinois and head coach John Groce in July. That announcement stoked expectations that Tilmon's friend and summertime teammate Jordan Goodwin, a senior at Althoff, also would commit to the Illini.

When Goodwin announced he would attend St. Louis University instead, excitement about Tilmon turned to anxiety. And when Tilmon declined to sign his national letter of intent on Nov. 9—the first day of the official signing period—anxiety turned into panic.

The final day of the current signing period was Wednesday, Nov. 16, so when Tilmon makes his choice known at his Thursday press conference, it will already have been signed, sealed and delivered.

Some speculate he'll be joining Goodwin at SLU. Tilmon also has been recruited by Indiana, Kansas, Kansas State, North Carolina, Kentucky and others. If he stands by his verbal commitment, he’ll be in Champaign with friend and Belleville East senior Javon Pickett, who signed his letter last week.

Attempts to contact Tilmon Wednesday night were unsuccessful.

Similar intrigue has followed Tilmon even throughout his high school career. He departed East St. Louis following his freshman year for La Lumiere School in LaPorte, Ind. No sooner did his first season there end before the rumor mill began heralding his return to the metro-east, maybe even at Althoff.

Rumors were confirmed in part on Aug. 15, when the 6-foot-10, 235-pound post player enrolled for the fall semester at East Side. He told the BND at the time he had made contact with Althoff about the possibility of playing for the defending state champion Crusaders, a conversation confirmed by coach Greg Lieb.

Tilmon is rated among the top 25 recruits in the nation by most recruiting websites. ESPN.come had Tilmon rated the top 2017 recruit in Illinois and No. 23 nationally. lists him as the nations 19th best recruit, while has him at No. 24.

East St. Louis opens its season against Champaign Central at the CBC Tournament in St. Louis Tuesday.