Boys Basketball

Big-time talent will be on display at O’Fallon Shootout

Belleville East basketball's Javon Pickett on tying scoring record

Belleville East senior Javon Pickett talks about tying a scoring record of 40 points Saturday at the Highland Shootout.
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Belleville East senior Javon Pickett talks about tying a scoring record of 40 points Saturday at the Highland Shootout.

Tickets are on sale now for the third annual Bank of O’Fallon Shootout on Feb. 4 at O’Fallon High School. The talent-laden two-session event features seven games in one day and tickets are priced at $10 per session.

To purchase tickets, visit the Shootout ticket website at Shootout organizer Scott Seipp said more than 100 tickets were sold before noon on Monday, and he expects things to pick up quickly.

Tickets are also available at the Bank of O’Fallon during normal business hours.

“It’s been pretty active on social media today because we’ve been really trying to push it,” Seipp said.

The event features seven Division I players who have signed or made verbal commitments, including Goodwin and Webster Groves (Mo). junior Carte’Are Gordon (St. Louis University), Illinois recruits Javon Pickett from Belleville East and injured Peoria Manual guard Da’Monte Williams; Evanston’s Nojel Eastern (Purdue), Bolingbrook’s Nana Akenten (Nebraska) and Elgin Larkin’s Christian Negron (Loyola).

Among the junior players participating in the shootout listed among the top 100 recruits in the nation are Gordon and Webster Groves teammate Courtney Ramey, Morgan Park’s Ayo Dosnumu, Champaign Central guard Tim Finke and Whitfield (Mo.) standout Torrence Watson.

Ayo Dosunmu scored 51 points in Morgan Park’s season opener.

Gordon, who transferred from Vianney to Webster Groves in January 2016, was ineligible for a full year after his transfer. Considered the No. 41 recruit nationally in the junior class, Gordon said he becomes eligible again Jan. 25, which brings him back quick enough to compete at the Bank of O’Fallon Shootout.

“I’ve been practicing this whole time,” Gordon said. “I’ve just tried to be the best teammate I can so far. I’m excited and I’m itching, it’s been hard coming out here just watching them.”

Gordon committed to SLU in October, not long after Goodwin.

“Goodwin’s one of my good friends and I’m happy he’s going there,” Gordon said. “He’s a great player, great competitor and all that. I’m just a St. Louis guy and when he said he was going there, I also knew they were going to build something special there with Coach (Travis) Ford coming and Coach (Corey) Tate and all those guys coming, so I already knew there was going to be something special there.

“(Goodwin) didn’t make me commit there, but when he was going there I was happy because I already knew I wanted to be there.”

With University of Illinois basketball coach John Groce watching from the stands Tuesday, Fighting Illini recruit Javon Pickett scored 28 points in a 58-57 victory.

At a glance

This is the schedule for the Feb. 4 Bank of O’Fallon Shootout:

  • O’Fallon vs. Vianney, 10:30 a.m.
  • Bloomington vs. Chicago Marian Catholic, noon
  • Whitfield School (St. Louis) vs. Peoria Manual, 1:30 p.m.
  • Champaign Central vs. Elgin Larkin, 4:15 p.m.
  • Belleville East vs. Bolingbrook, 5:45 p.m.
  • Webster Groves (Mo.) vs. Morgan Park, 7:15 p.m.
  • Althoff vs. Evanston, 8:45 p.m.
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