CAROL STREAM – If there was a fantasy basketball league for high school players, Chip Flanigan no doubt would be a high pick.
As he did a year ago, the long and lanky Glenbard North senior is once again contributing major stats across the board for the Panthers, who are off to a 9-2 start on the hardwood this winter.
Consider these numbers: 21.3 points, 7.6 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 3.0 steals and 2.7 blocks. That’s all in a day’s work for Flanigan, who is shooting an eye-popping 67 percent from the floor.
“He is a big time player for us,” Glenbard North coach Joe Larson said. “He’s our engine. He can score in a lot of ways, he plays great defense and then he is so unselfish as a player. He makes the right basketball play. He knows how to play basketball and he makes the right play on the floor, you can tell that by his assist totals.”
While the individual numbers are certainly gaudy, Flanigan’s main focus is on the team, and while he is excited about the early stages of the season, he says there is still room for improvement.
“I wish we were 11-0, but we’ve been doing well so far,” he said. “But we can do a lot better. I think we’ve been shooting well, but our defense needs to improve, especially in the two losses we had. We gave up too many points.
“We can score but we have to play defense. We can’t always outscore teams, that is what coach always tells us.”
According to the forward, the seeds for the Panthers’ current success were planted in the summer.
“It was really big,” Flanigan said. “We won most of our tournaments and I think we lost only four or five games. We got our team chemistry up and it gave us a lot of momentum going into this year.”
Many of Flanigan’s teammates are familiar to him. In fact, he has been playing with guys like Jeremiah Fleming, Robert Collier and Pasquale Fiduccia since kindergarten.
“We didn’t have to get used to playing with each other,” he said. “We know the style of play we are used to.”
Now, the collective goal of the group is to bring home a DuPage Valley Conference championship.
“That’s our main goal,” Flanigan said. “Our coach and every player on the team knows we can [do it], but we also know it’s not going to be easy. We have to work hard, especially in practice. If we work hard and do the things we need to do, we have a shot at it.”
As for his individual future, his college choice is still up in the air. Flanigan, who visited schools such as Southern Indiana and Grand Valley State over the summer, expects to make a decision after the season.
“I’m going to let it play out,” he said. “I want to finish this season and then narrow it down to a few colleges.”