Proviso East Girls’ Basketball Team Accomplishments Celebrated
May 19, 2016 03:37 PM
The Proviso East High School girls’ basketball team’s 2015-2016 season was celebrated at a special banquet in the team’s honor on May 17 at Alpine Banquets in Westchester.
At the dinner attended by Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent of District 209; Mrs. Teresa McKelvy, president of the District 209 Board of Education; and Mrs. Theresa L. Kelly, member of the District 209 Board of Education, the team’s accomplishments during the recent season were recognized and awarded. The Lady Pirates finished the season with a 27-4 overall record and a regional championship. This include a perfect 12-0 record in West Suburban Conference Gold Division play, landing them the conference championship as well.
"They were truly jewels," said Coach Ezra PridGeon of the team. "They epitomize what it takes to be a model student-athlete."
Dr. Collins-Hart said that the celebration was the result of watching the Lady Pirates in what turned out to be their final game of the season in the sectionals against Whitney Young. While watching the game with Mrs. McKelvy and Mrs. Kelly, they witnessed a team that did not quit when the going got tough and that continued playing hard even when top players fouled out of the game.
"They showed each other a high level of support," Dr. Collins-Hart said. "Tonight is our opportunity to celebrate the hard work and sportsmanship of some of our lady athletes. This recognizes that this team has been successful for many years."
Many of the players will be continuing their playing careers in college. This includes top scorer Cinia McCray, who will attend North Carolina A&T State University; Savannah Clark, who will attend Miami Dade College; and Damaris Green, who will attend Lane College in Jackson, Tennessee. Others will attend college but not play basketball.
Ms. Kalea Parks, a 2012 Proviso East graduate and former star player who now attends Saint Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Indiana, was the keynote speaker for the evening. She reminded the student-athletes that it is important to remember academics above all else when in college.
"You have to remember you’re a student before an athlete," she said. "(College basketball) is tough and it will challenge you physically and mentally. Always have the attitude of putting the team first."
Coach PridGeon also was recognized for his recent winning of the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association’s Coach of the Year Award for District 7. Dr. Brian Colbert, assistant principal for activities and athletics at Proviso East, said that the coach is a role model, leader, and motivator who is compassionate and wants what is best for the players. This includes life outside of basketball.
"A real coach builds a program," Dr. Colbert said. "A real coach not only prepares you for the game, but also for life."
Mrs. McKelvy played basketball competitively in high school and college as well. She recounted a recent story about her high school coach leaving a message for her with her unable to reach him. She said that while the message ultimately was about an alumni game, the episode helped to continue to forge the bond between her and her former teammates.
"The love you have for one another will never die," Mrs. McKelvy said. "You will always be sisters. No matter how many years go by, you will always be connected."
Congratulations on a great season, Lady Pirates!