Rock Island, Ill. — Chicago may rule the roost as the king of basketball in the Prairie State, but don’t sleep on Rock Island. The western Illinois town has produced Naismith Hall of Famer Don Nelson, the winningest coach in…
Rock Island, Ill. — Chicago may rule the roost as the king of basketball in the Prairie State, but don’t sleep on Rock Island. The western Illinois town has produced Naismith Hall of Famer Don Nelson, the winningest coach in NBA history, and Chasson Randle, Stanford’s all-time leading scorer. The talent coming out of Rock Island doesn’t end there and EZ Work Elite is ready to represent the city as a member of the 2021 Prep Hoops Next circuit!
“We’re going into our 4th season and excited for the Prep Hoops Next circuit,” said EZ Work Elite head coach Marcus McQueen.
The team previously operated out of Martin Luther King Center in Rock Island, but has switched to the name EZ Work Elite. The team is comprised of six players from Rock Island, three from the Moline area and one from Iowa. EZ Work Elite’s success has not gone unnoticed as people in the area are taking note of what the team has done so far.
“They’ve all been on the radar for high school,” McQueen said.
EZ Work Elite 2025 Team
Marcus McQueen Jr., 5’9 G Rock Island, IL 2025
Isaiis Duarte, 5’10 G Rock Island, IL 2025
Barack Young, 5’11 G Rock Island, IL 2025
Treyvon Taylor, 6’2 G/F Moline, IL 2025
Avian Thomas, 5’0 G Rock Island, IL 2026
Antonio Rayford, 6’1 G/F Rock Island, IL 2025
Elijah Venegas, 5’3 G Rock Island, IL 2025
Synceare Simons, 5’8 G Rock Island, IL 2025
Cailen Shadrick, 6’3 F Rock Island, IL 2025
Deven Cortez, 5’6 G Moline, IL 2025
The coach’s son McQueen Jr. has a big role in the team’s success on offense as he is the team’s point guard. His ability to control the game is something that has helped EZ Work Elite this season.
“He controls the game on offense,” McQueen said of his son.
EZ Work Elite does not have a ton of size with 6-foot-3 Shadrick being the tallest player on the team. Taylor is a mismatch nightmare for big men as the 6-foot-2 wing can pull his man away form the basket with his shooting and take it to the basket. Duarte and Young may not be the biggest guards, but their toughness and motor allows for them to match up defensively down low. The team’s lack of size on the interior may hurt them on the defensive end, but it has not hurt their offensive game. EZ Work Elite is a three-point shooting team that likes to run early and often with guards Simons and 2026 Thomas launching them from deep.
“We’re a run-and-gun, get up and down the floor team on offense,” McQueen said. “I tell them to shoot three-pointers early and often.”
EZ Work Elite will be taking in the Prep Hoops Next Circuit as it will compete in the Heartland Kick-off on February 19-21 in Fishers, Indiana, along with the Futures Stars Classic on April 2-4 at Appleton, Wisconsin. The circuit will not be the first time EZ Work Elite has faced competition similar to what he will see at the tournament. The team was eliminated in the tournament semifinals, but coach McQueen believes the experience is going to help his team in the long run.
“It’s going to help tremendously,” McQueen said of EZ Work Elite’s previous experience in an event similar to the Prep Hoops Next Circuit. “I talked to the team about playing in a smaller tournament closer to home or playing in the Circuit and they said ‘We all want to go to the Circuit.'”
EZ Work Elite will be bringing its competitiveness, shooting and fast-paced offense to the Prep Hoops Next Circuit.
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