This week’s column describes two former metro area prep stars with a chance to play in the NBA.
Jericho Sims, a 6’10 forward who starred at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Minneapolis, was recently drafted No. 58 by the New York Knicks in the second round of the 2021 NBA draft.
This follows an outstanding career with the University of Texas. He averaged 25 points and 10 rebounds per game his senior year in high school, and though he averaged 9.2 points and 7.2 rebounds as a senior as part of a very balanced scoring attack, his 69.6 shooting percentage, unlimited athleticism and quickness were too much for the Knicks to pass up.
Not bad for someone who was the No. 51 overall prep prospect by Scout, No. 6 by Rivals, and No. 65 by ESPN.
Sims completed his prep career as Cristo Rey’s all-time leading scorer with 2,005 career points.
Some may not realize it, but Jericho Sims is continuing quite a family legacy in terms of athletics.
His father, Charles Sims, played basketball at the University of Minnesota (1972-75), and brothers Jason Sims and Ty Sims played at the University of Northern Iowa (1992-96) and Kansas State (1997-99). The Sims brothers played high school basketball for Minneapolis South.
Another brother, Dominique Sims, was the state’s top football recruit during the 1999 season playing for DeLaSalle and went on to play for the University of Minnesota.
McKinley Wright IV, a 6’0” guard from Champlain Park, recently signed a two-way contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves after going undrafted in the 2021 NBA draft last month following an outstanding career at the University of Colorado.
Before embarking on one of the greatest careers in the history of Colorado basketball, Wright had a high school career that culminated with Metro Player of the Year and Mr. Basketball honors, just to name a few.
He broke into the prep scene as a sophomore, leading the Rebels a 31-1 record and Class 4A boys’ basketball runner-up finish to Apple Valley—led by former Duke, Minnesota Timberwolves, and current Memphis Grizzlies guard Tyus Jones—in 2015.
Two years later he led them to an identical record, finishing runner-up in the 2017 Class 4A tournament, to Apple Valley—ironically with Tyus Jones’ younger brother, former Duke star and current San Antonio Spurs player Tre’ Jones leading the way.
Wright ended his career as one of the top players in the nation, averaging 14.2 points, 5.2 assists, and 4.9 rebounds.
He was named first-team All-PAC 12 three times and will go down as one of the best to ever lace them up in the state of Minnesota and at CU.
Dr. Mitchell Palmer McDonald is a contributing columnist at the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.