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Milton Academy’s Casey Simmons finds home at Northwestern
Casey Simmons will be heading into his senior season at Milton Academy with his college commitment made. (Photo: Milton Academy)

Milton Academy’s Casey Simmons finds home at Northwestern

MILTON, Mass. (BVM) — Casey Simmons is heading into his senior year at Milton Academy with a big decision now checked off his list. The four-star guard is headed to Northwestern University to play under coach Chris Collins.

Simmons, ESPN’s No. 91 prospect and the only Massachusetts prospect in the top 100, looks forward to playing under Collins and the Wildcats’ coaching staff. Milton’s rising senior also had Boston College, Georgetown, Miami and Penn State on his short list among others.

Milton Academy coach Lamar Reddicks knows the Northwestern staff well and was glad to see Simmons find a program that he connected with.

“I thought the guys at Northwestern did a really good job with their recruitment of him,” Reddicks said. “I got to know coach Collins pretty well going back to when they were recruiting [former Milton Academy guard] Cormac Ryan, so I felt really comfortable with that coaching staff and that group of people. I was just happy that he found a place that he was really happy with.”

The two-time Independent School League All-Star has showcased some elite traits during his high school career, with rare athleticism and a high-level basketball IQ.

“He has really great basketball instincts, he just makes the right plays,” Reddicks said. “He’s really explosive. His athleticism is about as good as any kid I’ve ever coached. I spent eight years coaching Division I basketball at Harvard and Boston University and he may be the best athlete I’ve ever coached.”

The move to Northwestern will bring Simmons back to the Chicagoland area, where he spent the first six years of his life. Milton Academy’s soon-to-be senior is the second-highest rated recruit the Wildcats have ever landed.

The 6-foot-5 guard was on his coach’s radar even before his freshman season at Milton. Playing behind two Division I players in Cormac Ryan and Cameron Shockley-Okeke his freshman season, Simmons used the time to soak up some knowledge from his older teammates.

“I’ve had eyes on him for a long time,” Reddicks said. “Freshman year, Casey had to play behind two guys. Most kids as talented as him would have played a ton. He learned a lot by playing behind two Division I players and by the end of his freshman year, he was doing things that you just don’t ever see a freshman do, like in practices and in games. I knew we had a special kid in him a long time ago.”

Simmons’ growth on the court has come from more than just his skillset. While improving on his defending and outside shooting, the Milton guard/forward had to step up as a leader for the Mustangs his last season.

“Every year he’s really added a new dimension to his game,” Reddicks said. “As a freshman, you know, he’s young, he’s trying to figure things out. I think every new kid that comes and plays for me takes a little while to figure it out because we ask a lot from our kids and he did. He was outstanding towards the end of his freshman year. 

“His sophomore year, he was our best scorer and our best defender. So he really learned how to be a really lock down defender for us and also led us in scoring. Last year, as a junior, it was a very inexperienced team and he had to lead. He had to be the captain and he was put in situations that he had never been in before. I probably saw the most growth from him in any of the years that I had him. 

“He really improved his shooting, he can get to the rim and finish with the best of them but he needed to work on his outside shooting and he shot the ball really well for us. He keeps developing another part of his game every year.”

With the offseason going a little differently for high school athletes, Simmons and his teammates have stayed involved by playing with their AAU teams. Reddicks, and the Milton Academy staff, have run a virtual camp for a couple hours each day to keep the team connected.

Simmons will look to cap off his senior season on a high note if the winter sports season is a go.

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