JOLIET – Jeremiah Fears, a sophomore-to-be at Joliet West High School, announced on Twitter on Tuesday that he has received an offer to play basketball at Michigan State University.
Fears’ older brother, Jeremy, committed to play for coach Tom Izzo and the Spartans on Jan. 6.
As a freshman during the 2021-22 season, Jeremiah Fears earned Herald-News second-team All-Area recognition after averaging 13 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals per game. He helped the Tigers to an 18-12 record, including 12-3 in the Southwest Prairie Conference, and a berth in the Class 4A Neuqua Valley Regional title game, where they lost, 65-58, to Neuqua Valley.
“Jeremiah has been working out with his brother over the summer,” Joliet West coach Jeremy Kreiger said. “He was known when he came in as a freshman last year as a prolific scorer and a shooter with deep range. We were missing a point guard, so he was thrust into that role and performed well.
“He has grown a couple or three inches since then, and he can dunk now. Also, he has fallen in love with the weight room, so he has gotten a lot stronger, too.”
Kreiger said that Jeremiah Fears now stands about 6-0 or 6-1 and weighs between 150 and 160 pounds. That’s quite a difference from the 5-8, 140-pound freshman he was last year.
“A lot of people have said he doesn’t look the same as he did last year,” Kreiger said. “He is 15 and is playing in the 17U age group over the summer. With his skill set, if he keeps growing and getting stronger, he can be really special.”
Jeremiah Fears was surprised to get such an offer so soon in his high school career, and he knows he can count on a great workout partner in order to improve his game.
“I was expecting to get an offer from them [Michigan State] at some point, but not this early,” he said. “Going to play with my brother in college is going to be awfully tempting, but I am not making a decision yet. It’s exciting to get the offer, though.
“I really like being in the weight room. I know I have to get stronger. The strongest part of my game is my outside shooting, but I need to be strong enough to take people to the basket and finish if they are guarding me too tight. That way, if they lag off me a bit, I can shoot from outside, and if they get up on me, I can go around them.
“I get to play with my brother over the summer, and he’s a good partner. He doesn’t take it easy on me. He wants me to get better.”