Curie basketball star Cliff Alexander chooses Kansas over Illi. - FOX 10 News |

Curie basketball star Cliff Alexander chooses Kansas over Illinois

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The University of Illinois fans were stunned as they watched Curie High School basketball superstar Cliff Alexander pull a switcheroo in seconds. YouTube video shows Alexander reaching for the Illinois cap before ultimately picking Kansas.

"I'll be attending the University of Kansas next year," said Alexander.

One day shy of his 18th birthday Alexander picked the Jayhawks over Illinois, Memphis and DePaul - in that order.

SEE: Duke picks up commitments from Okafor, Jones

"Coach Self has a lot of pros under his belt... That's where I wanted to be, I could see myself fitting in so that's what I did," said Alexander.

When Fox 32's Tisha Lewis asked Alexander where he sees himself in two years he said, "Hopefully the NBA."

The 6'8 power forward from Curie High School said he made the decision Thursday night after getting off the grid so he could hear himself think.

"Staying away from Twitter kinda because that's leaving everybody on the outside and just talking to my family," said Alexander.

The top recruit in the country says leaving the area was also a deciding factor and his mother agrees.

"A lot of people grabbing on him, Cliff is close, you know he's just three hours away or two hours away, we can go get him, that was my big concern as well," said Latillia Alexander.

"Yeah he asked for input. I told him Illinois but he chose Kansas," said Cliff's brother Brandon Alexander.

The big night for Chicago's powerhouse basketball programs continued where Bulls star Derrick Rose and Duke stand-out Jabari Parker once balled - Simeon High School. Parker's father was honored at Nike's Wolverine Madness night.

"The guys that signed today were some of his teammates on the USA team and you know Jahlil going to Duke is good for him but you know a lot of the kids, they are making their own decisions for themselves," said Parker.

Even if for a moment it appeared it was a split second decision.

Alexander says he'll sign his letter of intent in January.

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