Simeon-Morgan Park: Good kids, bad city

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Simeon-Morgan Park: Good kids, bad city

There are many reasons to be disappointed at the outcome of Wednesday night's Public League showdown between Simeon and Morgan Park that have nothing to do with the game. The biggest disappointment was the loss of yet another young life in a senseless act of gun violence that continues to plague the city and makes Chicago the topic of national conversation.
17-year-old Tyrone Lawson didn't deserve to die over the outcome of a basketball game.
No one can say for certain that the Morgan Park student -- who, like the students at both schools, are really good kids -- wouldnt have still been shot and killed had the post-game skirmish between players on the two teams not broken out on the court.
But there is no question the incident was the catalyst that led to someone pulling a gun and forever changing the lives of all families involved both of the alleged perpetrators and of the victim.
Violence at games between Simeon and Morgan Park is not unusual. In September, one person was stabbed after a fight broke out in the stands during a football game between the two schools. The fact that each is considered a powerhouse in the city only heightens the rivalry and, subsequently, the animosity between students and supporters of each.
But that's still no excuse for what happened. Its also worth noting that not everyone in attendance at Chicago State on Wednesday night was a Wolverine or Mustang supporter. Some were just there to watch a competitive high school basketball game between two respected programs.
Some of the spectators were adults, some were students at other schools, others were small children, like my own 7-year-old son who was so shaken by what he saw and after learning that someone had gotten killed, said that he never wanted to go to another high school basketball game again.
As a parent, it's difficult for me to explain that what happened was the exception, not the rule, but it speaks to how traumatic something like this can be, even to those not directly affected.
17-year-old Tyrone Lawson was his mother's only child. If that's not enough to break your heart then perhaps maybe the news that his mother was planning to get married on Feb. 26, on what would have been her son's 18th birthday. Or maybe the fact that Lawson will never have an opportunity to go to his high school prom, walk across the stage at graduation, or go on to fulfill his life's purpose because someone made a decision that his life was essentially worthless and had no purpose.
Again, there are so many reasons to be disappointed at the events that occurred on Wednesday night, especially when you consider that as a sportswriter charged with the task of covering this event and bringing the details of it to the masses, out of all the words youve read thus far, not one paragraph or sentence has anything to do with what transpired on the court prior to the final buzzer sounding.
Lost in all of this will be the fact that two Chicago Public League titans squared off and put on a great show for those who love prep sports.
The final score no longer matters.
Who played well doesnt matter.
The only thing that matters is that a young man tragically lost his life over something stupid and our reputation as a city has taken yet another hit. That reflects on all of us who live here, but as someone who was born, raised and proud to say that Im from Chicago, it pains me to say that I am truly embarrassed to be a native Chicagoan right now, a city that I consider to be the greatest in all the world.
May you rest in peace, Tyrone, and hopefully your life will not have been lost in vain.

Stevenson senior Justin Smith commits to Indiana

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Stevenson senior Justin Smith commits to Indiana

Stevenson senior and Mr. Basketball candidate Justin Smith ended his recruitment on Monday night by committing to Indiana on Twitter.

The 6-foot-6 Smith averaged 17 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game on 52.2 percent shooting last season as the high-flying wing was a third-team CSN All-Area selection.

Regarded as the No. 105 overall prospect in the Rivals national Class of 2017 rankings, Smith is going to be one of the main players to watch in the area this season as he's already helped the Patriots win a state championship as a sophomore while producing big numbers as a junior.

Smith joins three-star point guard Al Durham in Indiana's recruiting Class of 2017.

Now that Smith has ended his recruitment, Evanston's Nojel Eastern and Thornton's Alonzo Verge are the two best uncommitted prospects in the area as all three players are major candidates to win Player of the Year honors.

Viewers' Choice: Vote for High School Lites Week 6 Coverage

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Viewers' Choice: Vote for High School Lites Week 6 Coverage

Who wants it more?

We are putting High School Lites, Chicagoland’s top prep sports show, in the hands of area football fans in our “Viewers’ Choice Game of the Week.” Fans will get the chance to pick one game that the @CSNPreps crew will cover on Friday night. We will send our cameras to the game that gets the most votes; highlights of that game will appear on that night’s “High School Lites” broadcast at 11:00pm, just after White Sox baseball. The show also live streams at csnchicago.com. High School Lites will also have broadcast replays at 7:30am and 8:30am the following Saturday. This week, we spotlight the Metro Suburban Blue conference:

Riverside-Brookfield at IC Catholic Prep, 7:15 p.m.

St. Edward at Fenton, 7:15 p.m.

Wheaton Academy at Glenbard South, 7:15 p.m.

Polls open Monday at 12:00pm and close Thursday at 4:00pm. Fans are encouraged to vote more than once! Vote now right here!

Be sure to follow @CSNPreps for updates on the “Viewers’ Choice Game of the week,” along with other football news, scores and highlights this season.

Rules: official votes are tabulated exclusively on Twitter and Facebook via the link above. “Re-Tweets” and “Likes” do not count. Also, the original wording of the Twitter/Facebook voting prompt (including hashtags) cannot be manipulated in any fashion. However, feel free to add emojis, numbers, etc. at the end of an official vote’s text, provided there is a space after the final hashtag. Automatically timed-interval (“bot”) votes will also not count.