Ahamad Bynum: DePaul Signee is Next Potential Simeon Superstar


Simeon Career Academy, located on the SouthSide of Chicago, is legendary for producing star basketball players, who thrive at the next level, and often times, they even go the next level beyond that.

Ahamad Bynum, a consensus top 100 player and four-star prospect, could be up next. He leads the five-player DePaul Blue Demons recruiting class of 2021, which currently ranked No. 9 nationally by 247Sports.com, 11th by Rivals.com and No. 14 by ESPN. Could he be the next Derrick Rose, Jabari Parker or Nick Anderson?

It’s going to be a little while until we see the next step on Bynum’s potential journey, but is Simeon ranked No. 15 in the nation by MaxPreps.com and No. 25 nationally by BallisLife.com As for DePaul, their program is currently on pause until the first week of December. Their first three games are cancelled due to a COVID-19 outbreak.

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While basketball season isn’t fully here yet, it’s still quite close.


In addition to Rose (Detroit Pistons) and Parker (Sacramento Kings), Talen Horton-Tucker (Los Angeles Lakers) and Kendrick Nunn (Miami Heat) round out the quarter of Simeon grads who are currently plying their trade in the National Basketball Association.

Nunn is a very compelling story of a young man who made a mistake, learned from it and turned his life around, and he’ll be one to watch this season. Ditto for Derrick Rose who keeps on grinding it in the league despite all the injuries he’s had to overcome.

Simeon have also produced a lot of standout players who are currently balling at the major college level right now. As for Ahamad Bynum, he’s ranked the 15th-best shooting guard by 247Sports and 17th-ranked shooting guard in the nation by Rivals and ESPN in the next incoming class of college freshmen.

He’s also the No. 3-ranked prospect in the state of Illinois, for the class of 2021, by ESPN and 247Sports.


“It’s been something long talked about, not just in my tenure here but for many, many years here in Chicago because it’s such a hotbed for talent,” said DePaul head coach Dave Leitao said during a Zoom press conference right after National Signing Day.

“So, Ahamad is somebody who’s been with us for awhile, he committed a long time ago, and I think it speaks to the relationships we have built. Specifically, [assistant] coach Tim Anderson and his relationship with Ahamad and his family.”

“Will Bynum, [Ahamad’s] uncle, and Tim have long been very close, and I have known Will for a long time.”

“It allowed [Ahamad] to feel very comfortable staying home, being a product of Chicago, representing the city and having great pride in doing so.”

We asked Leitao about the Simeon Wolverines’ lineage, tradition and history, and the greats that have come through the school located on 8147 S. Vincennes.

“Understanding Rob Smith and the work that he’s done at Simeon.”

“Even before he became the head coach, as an assistant, he’s had a long rich tradition here in Chicago of producing great and great players,” Leitao responded.

“You talk about Derrick Rose, you talk about Jabari Parker, the latest is Talen-Horton Tucker, who went on to do great things both at the college, and now at the professional level.”

“The bar has been set high, because of Simeon, and we’re all excited to see what happens to Ahamad as he continues to further his career, this season, his last in high school basketball, but college as well.”

Last season, as a junior, Bynum averaged 20.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game to help lead Simeon to their 10th Chicago Public League title.

Leitao said that Simeon’s championship tradition motivates Ahamad Bynum: “his inspiration comes from that, if you’ve been in their gym, it speaks to that, in the history.”

As does his uncle, Will Bynum was a Chicago high school star who played at Arizona and Georgia Tech, where he went to the Final Four, before playing over 350 games in the NBA.

“There’s motivation inside his family that has allowed him to do the things that he’s done and see the world a little bit different from a basketball perspective. So I think both his family and Simeon have represented that.”

Ahamad Bynum was the only junior named to the Chicago Sun-Times All-City first team last season.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports IllustratedChicago Tribune and SB NationFollow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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