In the midst of turmoil, Simeon prepares for Morgan Park

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In the midst of turmoil, Simeon prepares for Morgan Park

Theyre disgusted.

That was Simeon head coach Robert Smiths description of his players' mood after practice on Tuesday evening, just a few hours after finding out three of their teammates had been ruled ineligible by the IHSA.

Donte Ingram, Sean Moore and Jaycee Hillsman, all transfers, were declared ineligible just a day before one of the biggest high school games on the local docket as the Wolverines take on the Morgan Park Mustangs Wednesday night at Chicago State.

They feel like somebody did something to them, said Smith. As a school, we didnt do anything wrong and theyre upset about it. The players dont want to do any interviews, they dont want to talk to anybody, they dont want to do none of that stuff. They just want to focus on basketball.

At the beginning of the season, all three had been ruled eligible by the IHSA, but after a recent review of their cases, they were informed that they couldnt play. Ingram transferred to Simeon from Danville, Hillsman came from St. Thomas More in Champaign and Moore came over from Leo. Making matters worse, the aforementioned Moore is a senior this year.

At the end of the day, they were ruled eligible. Months ago. To come back in the middle of the season and rule them ineligible, thats wrong.

All three players practiced on Tuesday, which they are still allowed to do. They just cant play in the games. And having to sit out one of the biggest games of the year thus far just makes matters worse. But coach Smith thinks the trios absence will light a fire under the rest of his squad.

This probably wont do anything but give us more motivation against Morgan Park explained Smith before reiterating how unfairly he feels his kids are being treated. They just feel like somebody did something to them when they didnt do anything wrong. And these are good kids. Its not fair to them.

Although Moore, Hillsman and Ingram werent starters, they provided depth for coach Smith off the bench. Now itll be up to sophomore D.J. Williams, senior Rickey Norris and junior Bobby Harris to carry more of the load.

But despite the turmoil, Smith knows he has a tough task on his hands with Morgan Park and wanted to make sure his players didnt lose sight of the importance of the game.

We had a pretty good practice. We wanted to go over some of the stuff that they do well and execute on some of the stuff that were going to need to do well in order to beat those guys, explained Smith. They play extremely hard for the whole 32 minutes. Thats the biggest part of it.

"The most important thing is getting ready for tomorrows game. All that other stuff were just going to put aside. The kids will be fine. I just hate to go to a game and they cant dress, knowing this wasnt their faults But theyre still a part of the team.

Local basketball player fulfills dream with father by his side

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Medill News Service

Local basketball player fulfills dream with father by his side

Rosie Langello​
Special Contributor to CSNChicago.com

The boys' basketball team at Carl Schurz High School is now the White North conference champion. High school coach James Shelton was excited to have his varsity team play at the United Center on Jan. 21. However, one member of the team is closer to the coach than the rest.

See the full story at Medill Reports Chicago.

CSN Chicago, in partnership with Northwestern University,  features journalism by students in the graduate program at Medill School of Journalism. The students are reporters for Medill News Service. Medill faculty members edit the student work. Click here for more information about Medill.

Lane Tech-Taft: A rivalry gone digital

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Medill News Service

Lane Tech-Taft: A rivalry gone digital

Rosie Langello​
Special Contributor to CSNChicago.com

In 2003, Mahmoud Abdelfattah was standing at the foul line on Taft's Senior Night with two minutes left to play when a fight broke out in the stands. When he looked up, the entire student section started running towards him.

"Before I knew it, I didn't even have the ball anymore," Adelfattah said. "There was elbows and punches being thrown and security was trying to break up the hundreds of students."

That was a memorable moment in one of the most heated rivalries in the city. Taft and Lane Tech are the two largest high schools in the Chicago Public School district and stand only six miles apart.

But in recent years, the 25-year old rivalry has drifted from fist fighting, to keyboard punching.

"This has been going on for years and it's pathetic," said Lane Tech senior Almina Sabanovic. "Just recently we played Uplift High School, who is very good at basketball, and we got dunked on by one of their players. Taft printed out that image and they also posted it everywhere. It's very disrespectful."

Over the years, social media has exaggerated the rivalry and a lot of the tension has nothing to do with the players at all, said Brett Nishibayashi, in his 15th year as Taft basketball coach and an alumnus of the school.

Read the full story at Medill Reports Chicago.

CSN Chicago, in partnership with Northwestern University,  features journalism by students in the graduate program at Medill School of Journalism. The students are reporters for Medill News Service. Medill faculty members edit the student work. Click here for more information about Medill.