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story courtesy of Chicago Sun-Times

CHICAGO - Perhaps a more immediate issue for high school sports is the prep schools, which have dominated media coverage.

In a wonderful story by Phil Taylor in Sports Illustrated about the ESPN Rise National High School Invitational tournament, Findlay Prep center Carlos Lopez, a 6-11 center from Puerto Rico said, ‘‘It can get confusing for people. I tell them Findlay Prep is a team, not a school.”

OK, so what happened to high school sports? What happened to the guys in my neighborhood against the guys in your neighborhood?

‘‘High school sports like we knew are gone,’’ Vaccaro said. ‘‘I have a problem calling these prep schools high school teams. High schools are not like high schools that we knew. The prep schools are a private entity of TV.

‘‘You can look at Catholic schools in New York and not one guy goes to that church. The day of neighborhood schools like Simeon contending for a national championship are over.’’

Prep schools have been looked on as a remedy for players who struggle academically. But does anyone really believe that playing for Findlay, in suburban Las Vegas, enables these kids to see the academic light?

‘‘No one really answers when these kids go to school [the Findlay players take classes at Henderson International School],’’ Vaccaro said. ‘‘These kids play an obscene number of games, like 46. There are eight players and they travel 30,000 miles in a season. When do they go to school?’’

It could touch close to home. Rumors are flying that Crane’s Crandall Head and Waukegan’s Jereme Richmond, the Sun-Times Player of the Year, who are both committed to Illinois, could follow Peoria’s D.J. Richardson to a prep school such as Findlay.

by Steve Tucker - Chicago Suntimes

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