Basketball: Lake Forest’s Simpson, Boudreaux help Team NLP to runner-up finish at Division I nationals
Updated: August 6, 2012 12:17PM
ORLANDO — Two Lake Forest players — Ben Simpson and Evan Boudreaux — helped the Team NLP-TL 17U boys basketball team to runner-up honors in the AAU Division I nationals in Orlando.
“We wanted first place,” said Next Level Performance founder Dickie Simpkins. “But we’ll take second in the country.”
Team NLP advanced to Monday afternoon’s title game in impressive fashion by downing Boo Williams (Hampton, Va.) 62-59 in the quarterfinals and Southern Stampede (Atlanta) 64-55 in the semifinals.
“Both of those teams are Nike (sponsored) teams,” Simpkins said. “I think all of the teams in the Elite Eight were shoe-company teams.”
Team NLP’s great run ended in the championship game, when it fell to national power Arizona Wings Elite 54-29. The game was televised on ESPN3.com.
“We didn’t shoot well,” said Simpkins, noting that his team went 11 for 45 from the field.
Still, this squad turned all kinds of heads — especially since three of its starters “were playing up.”
Boudreaux, who will be a sophomore at Lake Forest High School, was the youngest starter. The 6-foot-7, who helped the Team NLP 16U team to a ninth-place finish in the AAU Division I nationals earlier this month in Orlando, played so well that he received a scholarship offer from Boston College at the tourney. He also has an offer from Northwestern, which he picked up earlier this summer.
Juniors Kurt Hall (North Chicago) and Jevon Carter (Provise East) also were starters, while two rising seniors — Waukegan’s Jordan Johnson and DaVonte Taylor — rounded out the first five.
Simpson, meanwhile, was a vital player off the bench.
“He’s improved his game tremendously,” said Simpkins.
The other roster members include Cody Murphy (Lincoln-Way North), Daryl Morgan (Lincoln-Way North) and Trevon Lewis (Lincoln-Way North).