Boys Basketball

Belleville East’s Pickett commits to Illini

Belleville East's Javon Pickett says he’ll play his college basketball at the University of Illinois.
Belleville East's Javon Pickett says he’ll play his college basketball at the University of Illinois. znizami@bnd.com

Javon Pickett finally made his commitment to the University of Illinois official.

The Belleville East junior follows Malcolm Hill, a former Lancer who currently stars with the Illini. The two played AAU basketball on the same team.

Pickett was an off-the-radar recruit until scoring averaging more than 14 points per game last season as a sophomore. He currently ranks fifth in the St Louis region at 24.3 points per game.

“Malcolm definitely was a huge factor in my decision to go there, but it’s also close enough to home so my friends and family won’t have a problem coming to see me play” said Pickett.

Pickett is rated a three-star prospect by 247sports.com, and ranked as the ninth best player in Illinois. The 6-foot-3 junior already has shown the rare ability to score the basketball with four games of more than 30 points including a 41-point effort in the first game of the season. On December 15, he scored 32 points in a win over Belleville West with Illini coach John Groce in attendance.

“I really think the way I’m rebounding is helping me score at the pace that I am,” Pickett said. “When I’m on defense I can just get the rebound and start the offense myself but I’m also getting into great positioning on the offensive side to get easy layups.“

Pickett is familiar with other Illinois recruits including Althoff’s Jordon Goodwin and Jeremiah Tilmon, the former East St. Louis Flyer who moved onto a private school in Indiana.

“I feel like if I get in early I can help get the ball rolling and bring in guys like Jordan Goodwin and Jeremiah Tilmon who also play in Illinois,” he said.

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