Grand Rapids basketball standout picks Badgers over Gophers, Iowa


Not long after DeLaSalle's Jarvis Johnson committed to play basketball at the University of Minnesota, another high school standout will be exiting Minnesota's borders.

Alex Illikainen, a 6-foot-9 forward from Grand Rapids High School, announced Sunday that he will play his college hoops for the Wisconsin Badgers.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Gophers finished third in the recruiting hunt for Illikainen. The Iowa Hawkeyes were his second choice. Minnesota continued to recruit him despite already being at their scholarship maximum for 2015-16.

Illikainen, the Star Tribune says, averaged 26 points and 11 rebounds as a junior.

Rivals lists Illikainen as a three-star recruit and the 130th best recruit in the nation. ESPN's Recruiting Nation calls him a four-star player and the best player in Minnesota's Class of 2015.

Illikainen won't play for his high school in Grand Rapids as a senior. Instead, he's elected to play for Brewster Academy in Wolfebore, New Hampshire. The school has a history of producing high caliber basketball players. Last year's team featured kids who will play at Georgetown, Kansas, Memphis, Louisville, Virginia and San Diego State this season.

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