With the high school boys’ season in Illinois starting just next week, we take a look at some juniors across the state that are poised for breakout seasons. While there is a long list of talented players in Illinois 2023 class, here are ones that could be popular names in the next few months. Some of these are popular names that are ready to emerge to an elite level while some are ready to move to the next level of being a large contributor on the varsity level. 

Kevin Anthony – 2023 – Von Steuben HS – F/C 

At 6’8” with his tremendous length and instincts, Anthony is one of the top shot blockers around. He is an absolute force inside that plays with good energy to block anything near him. While he has good size, Anthony plays even bigger with all his tools. More than just a shot blocker, the junior gets up to rebound the ball well and is a strong finisher around the basket. He has unlimited potential and should be on college coaches’ radars. 

Giuliano Di Franco – 2023 – Lane Tech HS – SF

The 6’5” forward has a nice skill set and has only continued to develop while playing with the Illinois Jaguars over the spring and summer. He is a skilled and versatile scorer that has a smooth jumper with range beyond the arc, can put the ball on the floor and score it strong around the paint. He is an efficient forward with a high IQ with plenty of upside. 

Charlie Farrell – 2023 – Naperville North HS – C

Farrell is a true big man at 6’9” with length but still has good abilities. Even with his great size he is still agile enough to defend on the perimeter switching onto guards. He has good touch finishing around the basket but can also spot up for threes. If Farrell can continue to develop his game, he will be a real force this season. 

Zack Hawkinson – 2023 – Sacred Heart Griffin HS – SF

A multi-dimensional player that can contribute in so many ways. He is a very skilled defender that matches up well with nearly anyone of the floor. He stands at 6’6” as well to having good athleticism, quickness, and agility. Hawkinson is a versatile scorer that hit shots off the catch and dribble, finish strong inside, and go hard to the basket. He recently received an offer from Illinois-Springfield after a big year with the IL Predators and expect more scholarship coaches to get involved soon.  

Ethan Kizer – 2023 – Metamora HS – SF

While already an accomplished and skilled player, look for the wing to take the next step in his playing career. Kizer has a few great tools that translate well to the next level. He is a knockdown shooter from the outside, a high-flying athletic wing, and plays with tremendous energy. With all this he has received a few division one offers. After a great spring and summer with Mid Pro Academy, Kizer is poised to be one of the better players in all of Illinois.