JOLIET, Ill. – Jeremy Fears Jr.’s star shines brightly.

The Joliet West senior is the highest ranked high school basketball player in the state and top-20 in the country. He is also the only boy from Illinois selected to play in this year’s McDonald’s All-American Game.

 “I definitely watched a lot of McDonald’s All-American Games, but me, being able to be a part of and play in that game is something I never really thought of or expected it, but as I got older and started to see it was more realistic and a possible goal and that there was a chance that I could play, just made me hungry and want it more,” said Fears.

Fears is committed to play at Michigan State next year and is the first player from Illinois selected to play in the All-American game since former Spartan Max Christie in 2021. Fears is looking forward to the opportunity to take the court in March, but his focus right now remains on the unfinished business he started his freshman year at Joliet West, when the Tigers were 29-4 and just two games away from state only to have sports across the country shut down.

“During Covid, we really didn’t know if there would be basketball in Joliet so I had to make a choice and decision to go play basketball at La Lumiere Prep School so that was really good and a really good opportunity for me to develop as a young man and as a player but being able to come back home is just special,” said Fears. 

“He came back home not for the individual accolades, that was something he wanted to earn, but he said coach I’m coming back because we started something in 2019 that was ended by the pandemic, and I want to leave high school with a state championship,”  said Tigers head coach Jeremy Kreiger.

Chasing a state title is just one part of the Fears’ legacy Jeremy continues to write. He’s playing alongside his brother Jeremiah and following in the footsteps of his father, Jeremy Fears Sr., who also played at Joliet West as a teammate of Jeremy Kreiger.

“To say that I may have the opportunity to coach three of his sons while knowing him and growing up with him and we’ve all become close, it’s overall just a blessing,” noted Kreiger. “The beauty of Jeremy to his core is how vastly different he can be from the rectangle of the basketball floor in comparison to when he steps inside it. The competitive nature, the fire, the fierceness that he plays with is so different when you see him in the locker room or the hallway. 

“I would describe him as humble in nature, but a star in stature.”

“My mom always tells me, just be a great person. Usually, great things happen to those people. Just be helpful, caring, an always genuine person, that’s the most and only thing that I can always control day in and day out,” said Fears. 

The McDonald’s All-American Game will be played March 28th in Houston, Texas.