Six student-athletes from District 209 schools officially signed their letters of intent with the colleges of their choice on February 6. The signings were part of National Signing Day, in which football players across the country officially indicated the colleges for which they will compete and attend next year.
Proviso East had five players commit to colleges, including Antony Greenhow, a defensive end who will attend Southern Illinois University, and Rashad Williams, an offensive tackle who will go to the University of North Dakota. In addition, Adonis Barker, a safety, Darnell Toney, a linebacker, and Langdon Johnson, a running back, will all attend Robert Morris University in Chicago. Also, Jameer Thurman, a senior at Proviso Math and Science Academy who played defensive back at Proviso West, faxed in his letter of intent to Indiana State University earlier in the day.
"This is a great opportunity for these students to be able to continue their education after graduation," said Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent of District 209. "To be able to do so with the support of their schools and their families is an asset that all students need in order to succeed."
At the ceremony at Proviso East, parents, coaches and teachers gathered to recognize the student-athletes.
Mr. Tony Valente, principal at Proviso East, said that the athletes were good students.
"This is a momentous occasion for Proviso East," he said. "They’re students first. They have good grades."
The athletes said that they believed they will be taken care of at their colleges as they pursue their degrees.
"I know I’ll be taken care of," said Williams, who will major in physical therapy with plans to become an athletic trainer. "It’s somewhere where I know I can fulfill my dreams. It feels really good to have a good support group."
Student-athletes were allowed to begin sending their letters of intent at 7:01 a.m. that day. Thurman did just that in the main office at PMSA, faxing in his commitment as Ms. Kim Echols, principal at PMSA, Bill Breisch, assistant principal at PMSA, and his family watched. He said that he received interest from the University of Illinois, University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Northwestern University, and the University of North Dakota. He ultimately decided on Indiana State University, where he plans to major in civil engineering.
"I felt I needed my family support," Thurman said. "I’m glad it worked out this way."
Ms. Echols said that Thurman is a "phenomenal student" who was deserving of his scholarship.
"He is a very well-rounded individual," she said. "Jameer is destined to do great things athletically and academically."