High school basketball: Promising junior big man Jason Jakstys and Yorkville turning heads


Yorkville’s Jason Jakstys (32) controls the ball at the top of the key as the Foxes play Huntley.

Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times

Yorkville’s Jason Jakstys has emerged as one of the area’s most intriguing players. The 6-10 junior recently visited Illinois and will likely be the first Division I basketball player the school has ever produced.

Jakstys recently recovered from an ankle injury, so he played sparingly in the Foxes’ 45-39 win against Huntley in Geneva on Monday. But even in limited minutes he flashed his tantalizing potential. 

“I’ve always been tall, growing like two or three inches every year,” Jakstys said. “I’ve been hearing from college coaches since the end of the summer. It’s really fun and exciting.”

LeBaron Lee, Yorkville’s other top player, missed the game due to a baseball opportunity. Lee is a talented pitcher and had a chance to workout for the Texas Rangers on Monday morning.

“Basically, most of our rebounds and points were out today,” Foxes coach John Holakovsky said. “So this was a great opportunity for some other guys and a glimpse into our future.”

Junior Bryce Salek came off the bench to lead the Foxes (18-3) with 16 points and nine rebounds. Jory Boley added 12 points and seven rebounds. All nine Yorkville players that got into the game were juniors. 

“I kind of like coming off the bench,” Salek said. “It allows me to give the team some energy when we start to get down.”

Huntley (14-5) jumped out to a 10-0 lead and led by four at halftime. Yorkville tied the game at 30 on a post bucket from Salek late in the third quarter and then took control with a 7-1 burst to open the fourth quarter. 

The Foxes outrebounded Huntley 35-26, despite playing without their two leading rebounders for nearly the entire game.

“It was really huge to see my teammates step up like that,” said Jakstys. “It shows we have 14 guys that can play. We don’t have to rely on one or two.”

It’s been an interesting season for Holakovsky and Yorkville. Six players (including Boley and Salek) transferred over from Yorkville Christian during the summer. The influx of talent was welcome, but it took awhile for everyone to figure things out.

“Some of the new guys I had talked to before but never actually played with,” Jakstys said. “It wasn’t that big of a deal but at the beginning we were sorted of separated into Yorkville Christian guys and Yorkville, but everyone is together now.”

The Foxes have won eight consecutive games and own victories against several good teams including Dundee-Crown, Burlington Central, West Aurora, Naperville North and Romeoville.

Lucas Crosby led Huntley with 11 points and Ian Ravagnie added 10 points and seven rebounds. The Red Raiders shot 6-for-33 from three-point range. 

“We shoot a lot of three pointers, and we usually hit the rim occasionally,” Huntley coach Will Benson joked. “We couldn’t throw it in the ocean. It was just a weird game. They are a good, athletic team and they didn’t have their best players. We lost our poise a little bit, which is what I was most disappointed in. The good thing is we get to play tomorrow.”

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