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Proviso East Basketball Legacy Lives On: Team Takes State Runner-up in Class 4A Championship

April 13, 2012 10:15 AM
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Maywood, IL...Some called it the "Return of the Three Amigos." The Proviso East Basketball players, turned NBA stars, made a big impression on the state basketball tournament in 1991. Over two decades later, two of the three, Donnie Boyce and Sherell Ford, would become the coaches of this year’s team, taking the players down state for the first time in 20 years.

But Proviso East’s performance in the state championship was more than a return for Proviso East basketball legends; it also marked the return of a great basketball legacy that rightly belongs in Pirate Country.

"We have always been known in Maywood for Proviso East basketball," said Boyce. "All season I stressed to the kids that one thing I remember about Maywood and the school is that if we play the game, play hard, play unselfishly, and play disciplined—the school and the community would be behind us. It is so great that the school, the town, and all of the old alumni came out to support us. We had a remarkable season. It was my first time coaching on the high school level, and I couldn’t ask for a better group of kids to have the opportunity to mentor and coach. I am not sure that the Pirate Pride legacy can be restored in one season, but we are getting polished, and we are shining again. We’re headed in the right direction."

The team went the entire season undefeated. During the state championship game, Simeon took the title in a fourth quarter 50-48 victory. Proviso East became runner-up. Nonetheless, in the Class 4A boys basketball title game, the Pirates from Maywood reminded a statewide audience of something that perhaps had been forgotten: this community produces basketball legends, top athletes, and scholars.

Following the state championship game, the Proviso East Pirates received a warm community welcome from the marching band, cheerleaders, local police departments, local fire departments, school administration, and community supporters—all cheering and all wearing the pirate colors—blue and white. Proviso East basketball legends were also there, standing proudly in the stands waiting to congratulate the team and the coaches on reviving the Pirate’s legacy.

"I think the team did a fantastic job all year-round," said Jim Brewer, a Proviso East alum, NBA star, and former member of the Proviso East basketball team. "I think the program is back on solid footing. These young people should be proud of themselves. They should all hold their heads high. They have a lot to be proud of."

Congratulations, Pirates! You are Nihil Nisi Optimum "Nothing but the Best!"
 
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