CHICAGO – The yearly tradition for the NBA continues in the “Windy City” this week as some of the brightest young stars in basketball show off their skills in hopes of finding a home in professional basketball.
The NBA Combine is back in Chicago this week about a month out from the NBA Draft, with 76 players from college or overseas taking part in the workouts.
A few of those have some connections to Chicago area or Illinois, having grown up or played for a team of area interest.
- Arlington Heights native and former Rolling Meadows High School standout Max Christie is taking part in the workouts this week and is going to remain in the draft after one year at Michigan State. The five-star guard for the Mustangs was named to the Big Ten’s All-Freshman Team in his one season with the Spartans, averaging 9.3 points and 3.5 rebounds per game.
- Chicago native Trevion Williams will be showing off his skills for scouts after a strong final season with Purdue in 2021-2022 when he was named the Big Ten’s Sixth Man of the Year. Starting his high school career at Mount Carmel before finishing at Henry Ford Academy in Detroit, the forward averaged 12 points and 7.4 rebounds per game off the bench for the Boilermakers this past season. He was first team All-Big Ten selection by the coaches and second team All-Big Ten pick by the media in 2021-2022.
- EJ Liddell, a native of downstate Belleville and two-time Illinois Mr. Basketball award winner at Belleville West High School, enters the NBA Draft after three seasons at Ohio State where he was a two-time first team All-Big Ten selection by the coaches and a third-team All-American in 2022. The forward averaged 19.4 points and 7.9 rebounds per contest in his final season with the Buckeyes.
- After three great seasons with Illinois, Kofi Cockburn is in the NBA Draft to stay as he will hire an agent after a season in which he was named a first team All-American. A two-time All-Big Ten first team selection and the conference’s Freshman of the Year in 2020, the center averaged 20.9 points and 10.6 rebounds a game to helping the Illini to a share of the Big Ten regular season conference championship.