Johnny Griffin wasn't sure if he would get any offers to play college basketball.
He was looking at some College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin schools. Then Chicago State came calling and the Bloom Township graduate committed to play for the Cougars. Chicago State assistant coach Sean Pryor took notice of Griffin late in the prep season.
Though it is close to home, Griffin said he and his teammates will spend plenty of time out west.
"They just joined the (Western Athletic Conference), so we will be doing a lot of traveling," Griffin said. "It is going to be a challenge not only with the travel, but playing in a tough conference. I know it will be a challenge."
The Cougars were 11-12 last year and lost to Illinois-Chicago in the first round of the Collegeinsder.com Tournament (CIT).
At Bloom, Griffin was a three-year starter and helped lead the Blazing Trojans to a near-upset of state champ Simeon in the 2012 Class 4A tournament.
This past season, he averaged 12.6 points and 7.5 rebounds per game as the Blazing Trojans lost to Marian Catholic in the Class 4A Thornton Sectional final. He was a Times All-Area first-team selection.
"I am pretty excited and I think it will be a good fit for me," Griffin said. "I am putting in a lot of extra work in the offseason to get myself ready to play.
"I'm coming in as a wing so I am gonna have to knock down shots and defend."