Visits to hundreds of high school gyms will not turn up a better
point guard than Scheyer. Not just a point guard, he could also be a shooting
guard like Kirk Heinrich at Kansas. With his ball-handling and adept passing, Scheyer also elicits comparisons to Luke
Ridnour, the 2002 Pac-10 Player of the Year for Oregon. Scheyer's height and
shooting skills make scouts think "two-guard", but Jon is a point
man all the way. Watch him and you will see how he controls the game.
What has Scheyer accomplished in two high school seasons? He has put himself
on the map in one of the top prep basketball cities in the country. While other
players in the 2006 national class have received more notice than Scheyer,
he still projects as one of the top 10. Jon was First Team All-State as a sophomore
in 2004 after leading Glenbrook North HS to the sectionals with a 25-4 record.
At the time, Scheyer was the only non-senior among those First Team All-State
selections and was the only underclassmen on any of the first three All-State
squads. As a freshman, he led Glenbrook North in scoring and assists while
leading the Spartans to a third place finish in the Illinois state playoffs.
Even though he plays on the perimeter, Scheyer has been double teamed for his
Scheyer was among the finalists for the Illinois "Mr. Basketball" award
last season that went to Peoria's prep legend Shaun Livingston, a 6'7 point
guard who won back-to-back state titles for Peoria. Livingston, who committed
to Duke last fall but later decided to jump to the NBA, was chosen fourth overall
by the Los Angeles Clippers. Livingston's prep fame rivals that of Kevin Garnett
Scheyer was the runner-up in Chicago's Player of the Year award. After just
two seasons, Jon is already in great company. He's considered the best player
in Illinois in the 2006 class and one of the ten best in the sophomore class
His basketball achievements aside, Jon is just a regular guy. He is Jim & Laurie
Scheyer's third child after two daughters. "We always pictured ourselves
with girls since that's how it worked out initially," said Laurie. "And
though we felt blessed with our girls, it was nice to have a boy mixed in."
The Scheyer girls definitely enjoyed having a baby brother around to play
with too. They helped their parents out with everything and anything. They
made sure Jon had plenty of attention, sometimes a little too much. "I
was kind of their living and breathing, real-life doll in a way," said
Jon, speaking between laughs as he remembered growing up with two older sisters. "They
would tease me quite a bit but most of the time they were nice about it. One
time they played this trick on me as they were talking about gophers. And I
was like, 'what's a gopher?'" They said go get this and that and then
we'll tell you. It was always stuff like that."
While his sisters were truly big sisters, Jon's parents encouraged him to
play sports. "My dad would always take me out and play anytime, and my
parents and sisters came to either baseball or basketball games and rooted
for me," Scheyer said. "My sisters are my best friends. I have the
best family." His oldest sister Jenifer just graduated from Michigan while
his other sister Brooke is attending the University of Texas. Both are English
Scheyer's mother remembers seeing one of Jon's personality traits in sports
early on. "Like his father, he played baseball as a youngster and he was
very competitive," said Laurie. "They didn't keep any type of score
in tee ball but he'd keep score in his head. Jon was probably the only one
doing that out of anybody at the park. He's been like that his whole life."
When Jon started high school one sport became more important to him. "I
really enjoyed playing baseball," Scheyer said. "In fact, I always
loved basketball and baseball around the same. But once I started ninth grade,
I started to enjoy being on the court more."
His early basketball skills developed under the guidance of his dad and Coach
Lidskin of the Illinois Express. "My dad has always been the one I've
looked up to the most in sports," said Scheyer. "He has always helped
me on everything." Glenbrook North Head Coach David Weber, an assistant
for 7 seasons at Eastern Illinois and the younger brother of University of
Illinois Head Coach Bruce Weber, pushed him to be even better.
During summers Scheyer is the point man for the Illinois Warriors, one of
the nation's top AAU squads. The Warriors impressive alumni list include Dewayne
Wade, Andre Iguodala, Darius Miles, Sean Lampley, Melvin Ely, Dennis Gates,
Quentin Richardson, Troy Hudson, Brian Cardinal, Sergio McLain, A.J Guyton,
Eric Vierneisel, DeAaron Williams and Shannon Brown - just to name a few. While
Scheyer is one of the Warriors headliners for the class of 2006, teammate Julian
Wright might be one of the top 5 players in the country in 2005.
"Julian's the best player I've ever played with and I think he's the
best player in the country," said Scheyer. Wright is currently deciding
between Arizona, Illinois, and DePaul. Together, Scheyer, Wright, and the rest
of the Warriors just won the 2004 Peach Jam. The 2005 Illinois Mr. Basketball
award might come down to either Scheyer or Wright.
As Jon's prep career now hits the midway point, universities across the country
are recruiting him hard. "I've received offers from Kansas, Illinois,
Cal, Michigan State, Duke, Iowa, and Marquette," said Scheyer. "I've
been to most of the schools on that list already but I plan on visiting Cal
in the fall, and perhaps seeing Arizona and UCLA."
Jon has family on the West Coast and he is certainly not opposed to leaving
Chicago for college. His aunt lives in Northern California and he has an uncle
in San Diego, both on his mother's side of the family. Still, he loves the
"My girlfriend is here and I have a nice group of close friends, and
obviously my parents are here too," said Scheyer. "If I do leave
for college and go somewhere I still plan on living back in Chicago."
There is a lot of Chicago in Jon, it's in his voice. He lists his favorite
player as Michael Jordan and his favorite restaurant as Portillo's. "I'd
say the one thing that most people don't know about me is that I really like
to joke around a lot. My sisters taught me that."
Scheyer is still working on facets of his game. He has a drive to improve
his game one way or another in every practice. "Right now I'm working
on moves off the dribble, and creating space for my jumper," said Scheyer.
When asked about how important is for him to play point guard at the college
level, Scheyer surprised us. "It's not the number one aspect that I'm
looking at but it is important to me. I do like the ball in my hands. I'm comfortable
on the court that way and though I know I'm tall as a point guard, I feel I'm
an effective passer. I like to get everybody involved."
Along with Coach Weber's connections with Illinois, Duke assistant coach and
former Blue Devils shooting guard Chris Collins is Glenbrook North's most famous
basketball player. Jon has a good shot at breaking Collins' all-time Spartans
scoring mark. California Head Coach Ben Braun played baseball with Jon's father
and is a former Chicago area student, teacher, and coach. So the Scheyer's
are well known already in college basketball circles. Even without those connections
Jon's game would stand on its own merits.
"It's really an honor to be well thought of and recruited as I've been
so far," said Scheyer. "I'm definitely learning a lot and enjoying
During the course of his junior season, Jon will keep a journal that will
be published here at The California Insider .He will be writing summaries from
time to time about his games, his best practical jokes, and whatever is on
his mind. Every few months he will keep fans updated about his college visits,
AAU & high school teams, and thoughts on the recruiting process.
He'll also answer questions that readers might have about his journal
entries so feel free to write to him by
clicking here. The same link can be
used to send
emails to our other journal authors such as Anthony Goods, Drew Shiller, and
James Keefe. They'll try to answer questions during their updates.
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