Jaylon Tate has good reason to bulk up with daily protein shakes. The 6-foot-1 senior point guard is carrying extra responsibility this season at Simeon.
Tate joined the Wolverines from De La Salle after his sophomore season and came off the bench to aid Simeon's state title run last season. He's a full-time starter now, and he totaled nine assists and four steals in the season opener.
Here's more from the Illinois recruit.
First basketball memory?
Playing with my dad when I was younger, 4 or 5 years old. He used to take me to the park and we'd play, at Dyett High School.
Best basketball memory?
Winning a state championship for Simeon.
What do you do best on the court?
Run the team, be a floor leader and get my teammates the ball.
What do you want to get better at?
I want to get stronger and get more aggressive on offense, too.
How are you going to do that?
I've been in the weight room. I've changed my diet. I've been eating more, drinking my protein shakes. I've been working on my jump shot all summer.
It's a great academic school as far as after basketball. I can get my degree. I want to major in sports management, so that will help me be a sports agent. And also for the good basketball program.
What do you think of Illinois coach John Groce?
He's already been doing real big things for them. They've already won the Maui (Invitational). He's a real good person, a real good guy off the court. I really like him and the assistant coaches.
What made you decide to transfer from De La Salle?
It was a benefit for me not just for the basketball but also as a person. Also, it was closer to home. It helped in the long run. It really got me to the next level as far as basketball.
Best thing about Simeon?
It's like a family, like a brotherhood. We get along off the court. Everybody's real good friends. It's fun coming to school every day.
Funniest Simeon player?
By far, Kendall (Pollard). ... He jokes nonstop. When it's time to get serious and play, he does, but he's just silly. He's very outgoing. He's a character.
Movie: "Love and Basketball."
TV show: "Martin."
Music: Lil Wayne.
Team: Los Angeles Clippers. They have one of the best point guards, and they're exciting to watch.
Book: "Coach Carter."
Be a professional basketball player or a sports agent.
I listen to the same music before every game.
If you weren't playing basketball, what would you be doing?
I used to play tennis and baseball when I was younger, so probably playing baseball or tennis.
Were you good at either?
I was OK at baseball. I was pretty good at tennis. I played for five, six years.
What's something most people don't know about you?
I still like to watch cartoons. "SpongeBob" and "Phineas and Ferb."
One thing you can't live without?
Three people you'd like to have dinner with?
If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would it be?
Biggest influence on your basketball career?
My mom, Arisa Johnson. She pushes me every day. She's my motivation. That's what motivates me every day to work hard because I see sometimes she goes through struggles. She's a strong woman. ... Even when I'm down, she finds a way to keep me up.
Best advice you've received?