Moline's Deonte Billups and Geneseo's Isaiah Rivera both received some big-time recognition Thursday from the Illinois Associated Press.
The local boys' basketball stars joined a bevy of major-college recruits in earning first- or second-team honors in the AP's elite Class 3A-4A all-state announcement.
The first and second teams in each class include only five players.
Another 43 players, including Rock Island's Bradley-bound JaMir Price (4A) and a host of other college recruits including Kewanee junior Kavon Russell (3A), also were named honorable mention in the state's largest enrollment classes.
A minimum of two votes were needed to at least earn honorable mention. In voting by sportswriters, broadcasters and website-operators statewide, a total of 22 ballots were cast in either class.
All media members in the state were eligible to nominate and vote for players. The Dispatch-Argus-QCOnline again participated in that annual process.
Billups was named first team in 4A while Rivera earned second-team honors in 3A.
Billups, twice before an honorable mention AP All-Stater, was the fourth-leading vote-getter in 4A, behind only reigning Illinois "Mr. Basketball" award-winner E.J. Liddell of Belleville West (Ohio State); Chicago Curie's DaJuan Gordon (Kansas State); and another big-time recruit, Chicago Whitney Young junior D.J. Steward.
Max Christie of Rolling Meadows, among the top sophomores nationally, rounded out the 4A first team.
Rivera, an honorable mention pick last year by the media panel, was sixth in the 3A voting.
The Geneseo junior, who owns more than a dozen Division I scholarship offers, trailed only the first-teamers in 3A. That team includes five fellow major-college recruits, four of them seniors — East St. Louis' Terrance Hargove (St. Louis), Chicago Morgan Park's Adam Miller (top 20 junior nationally); Chicago Bogan's Rashaun Agee (uncommitted); Chicago DePaul Prep's Perry Cowan (Brown); and Springfield Southeast's Terrion Murdix (unsigned).
Checking in behind Rivera on the second team are Jeremiah Hernandez of Arlington Heights St. Viator (Kent State); Burlington Central's Patrick Mayfield (unsigned); Johnsburg's Zach Toussaint (West Texas A&M); and Effingham's high-scoring Landon Wolfe (unsigned).
The 4A second team includes Oswego East's RayJ Dennis (Boise State), Evanston's Lance Jones (Southern Illinois-Carbondale) and a trio of unsigned major-college recruits -- Chicago Brother Rice's Marquise Kennedy, Chicago Simeon's Antonio Reeves and Rockford East's Sincere Parker.
Nobody earned unanimous selection in either class.
Also among the honorable mentions of local interest were Cade Nailor (Rock Falls), Beau Bailey (Dixon), Johnny Beck (Rochelle) and Augustana commit Jack McDonald (Geneva).
Billups, a 6-foot-4 senior, is weighing college offers from D-1 Northern Illinois among others. He led a 23-7 squad in scoring (24.4 ppg), rebounding (9.2 rpg), assists (3.2) and steals (2.4).
Billups also set Moline's single-season scoring mark to help break the school's 22-year-old career scoring record of former Arizona player Traves Wilson with 1,676 points.
Rivera, a 6-5 junior, was the Northern Illinois Big 12 West's Conference Player of the Year after averaging 27.5 points, 8.6 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.0 steals. He carries career totals of 1,630 points (school record) and 543 rebounds into next season.
Price, a 6-2 senior, averaged 14.8 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.4 steals for the Western Big 6 Conference co-champs.
Russell, a 6-2 junior, was a Class 2A AP All-State honorable mention last season. He averaged 18 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals and 3 assists this year.