Local basketball powerhouse Simeon Career Academy is moving to the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) beginning with the 2013-2014 season.
The high school’s principal said the move was made after Simeon, along with Duke, Kansas, Indiana and Florida, finished with a Top 5 recruiting class.
“We’ve got kids transferring in next year from the best teams in Detroit, Baltimore, Memphis and D.C.,” he said.
Perhaps the most intriguing games scheduled next season will be those against new ACC rival Duke where Simeon star Jabari Parker will attend.
“We were hoping to keep JP in the house,” said coach Robert Smith. “But, no can do. The young man is headed to Tobacco Road.”
Roy Williams, coach of Simeon opponent North Carolina, welcomes the school to the ACC.
“What a tremendous coup for this great conference,” said Williams. “This will be so much better than playing crummy teams like Virginia and Wake every year.”
A Simeon spokesman said all other sports teams at the school will remain in the Public League, but they are considering “putting the girl’s track team in the SEC by 2015.”
Coach Smith says the transition will not be an easy one.
“As soon as we win the Illinois state 4A championship in March,” Smith said, “we’ll set up shop for the ACC season.”