Ten days after a 17-year-old was shot and killed outside of the Chicago State gymnasium following Simeon's game against Morgan Park, the Wolverines will return to the college for a nationally televised contest against Young.
Simeon seniors Kendall Pollard and Russell Woods said they feel safe revisiting the gym for Saturday's 8 p.m. game with the top-ranked Dolphins despite the recent incident.
"I don't think it will be violent because there will be much more security there this time," Pollard said.
Pollard said the Wolverines were shocked when they found out about the shooting in the team locker room. Woods said he immediately wondered if he knew the victim.
"My biggest concern (going back to Chicago State) is if family or friends or one of my teammates is at the game, to make sure they're safe," Woods said. "I feel safe going back there. … That shooting didn't have anything to do with either school. That was just something that happened."
An altercation between Simeon and Morgan Park in the postgame handshake line also marred the Simeon victory.
Pollard and Woods said Simeon has a good relationship with Young. The teams attended the same out-of-state showcases the last three weekends and traveled home from West Virginia together. Players greeted one another when they were at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., on Sunday.
Woods said he plays AAU with some of the Dolphins and Morgan Park players.
"On the court we're enemies, but off the court I hang with some of those guys," Woods said. "I love some of them."
Aching head: Simeon point guard Jaylon Tate said a small lump sticks out on the back of his head, which still aches from hitting it in on the floor at Bogan while being fouled on a layup attempt Wednesday.
He visited the doctor Thursday morning and said he'll be able to play on senior night Friday against Harlan, though he may rest more than usual. He expects to be ready for Young.
"I'll make myself ready," Tate said.
Another injury: Chicago State-bound Quron Davis, a 6-foot-8 reserve forward, missed Wednesday's game and Thursday's practice after suffering a cut in his mouth that needed stitches. Coaches said he was elbowed in the mouth during Tuesday's practice and hope he will return soon.
He said it: "It's tough, but we have to play for him. We've been playing pretty good. I don't think him being suspended will hurt us. We'll feel it, but we have to stay strong and play for him." — Woods on playing four games without coach Robert Smith, who was suspended by CPS for his role in the postgame altercation with Morgan Park
Harlan at Simeon
When: 5 p.m. Friday.
Records: Simeon 16-2, 8-0 Public League Red-South; Harlan 8-11, 3-2.
Colleen Kane's quick take: Led by Jabari Parker and Kendrick Nunn, Simeon's victory over Bogan on Wednesday was its seventh straight during a 15-day stretch. Victory No. 8 on senior night would give the Wolverines the Red-South title outright.