NORMAL, Ill. - Illinois State head men's basketball Tim Jankovich announced that Terrence Johnson (North Lawndale College Prep - Chicago) and Zeke Upshaw (University High School - Chicago) each signed National Letters of Intent Wednesday, during the NCAA early-signing period, to continue their education and basketball careers at Illinois State University.
"Both Terrence and Zeke are outstanding young men and tremendous students," said Jankovich. "Terrence is the prototype guard that we look for. He is a very good ball-handler and shooter, as well as a playmaker. I think Terrence has the potential to be an outstanding leader. He's a high-character kid, who is very bright."
Both Johnson and Upshaw were teammates on the Mac Irvin Fire AAU program. At six-foot, 170 pounds, Johnson played point guard last season at St. Rita High School. As a senior, he will suit up for North Lawndale College Prep. Johnson is rated as the No. 11 player in the City/Suburban Hoops Report 2009 player rankings.
As a junior, Johnson averaged 21 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals per game at St. Rita. Named to the all-tournament team at the 2007 McGovern Classic, he carries a 4.1 grade-point average on a 4.0 scale and received all-conference and all-area academic honors. His sister, Brittanny, is currently a senior on the Boston College women's basketball team.
Upshaw, a 6-foot-6, 195-pound shooting guard, is the first player from University High School, which is affiliated with the University of Chicago, to receive an NCAA Division I basketball scholarship. As a junior, he averaged 24 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists per game last season.
"Zeke has tremendous potential and his best days are definitely ahead of him," said Jankovich. "At 6-foot-6, he is an exceptional ball-handler for his size, and at the same time, he's a good three-point shooter. I think Zeke will do nothing but get better and better during his career."
Named first-team all-conference as a junior, Upshaw was also named the Independent School League (ISL) Player of the Year. He averaged 18 points, six rebounds and four assists as a sophomore.