IHSA 2008 State Track & Field Program & 45th Proviso West Holiday High School Basketball Tournament Program

The fact that I, along with 3 guys that I grew up with and still consider good friends, ended up 6th in the state of Illinois in the 4x400m relay is enough of a reason to keep this program...
Another reason might be that I made the cover.

That’s me - skinny and angry with hella long hair and untied track spikes.

I love that picture for a bunch of reasons, the main one being that I was doing what I always did: bringing it home. I made sure I passed at least one person on the back stretch every race. It was such a thrill that my heart is pounding as I write about it.

These pictures were hiding in the program.

Me, John and Kyle, two distance runners that have a gang of All-State medals themselves and were State champs, which is a fantastic story by itself.

Me, from a different angle, with my shoes clearly untied, gutting it out.

The squad before the race, mean-muggin’ and mad-doggin’ the camera guy, who was probably my dad
…and after.

This program is special for a load of reasons, too.

It’s become a family tradition where my father and I will go to the holiday tournament. You never know what you’re going to see.

We moved to Illinois from Los Angeles in the early 90’s. My dad had heard about the tournament but we decided not to go that year, which was the year a young, lanky kid named Kevin Garnett pulled down a record number of rebounds, cementing his Chicago legacy.

This year was no different in the way of “I was there” highlights. Jon Scheyer, then from Glenbrook North, dropped 52 points in an incredible fashion against a Proviso West team that beat the crap out of him. They really hit him hard. Anytime he got within 18 feet of the hoop, he was hacked sent to the floor. . . so he started chucking it from, no joke, something like 26 feet. Launching it. He’d come off of a pick and there wasn’t one person in the gym that wasn’t thinking Jon was done dribbling. His body would snap into this plank-like posture, he’d rise up and drain it.

Here's a clip from the game. He dropped a galactic 21 points in 75 seconds, was getting hammered by the defense and then had a questionable charging foul called at the end that sent him to the bench.


They actually lost to Proviso, which I still can’t believe.

There might have been one guy in the gym that expected Jon to do what he did: Mike Krzyzewski, lord of the Blue Devils of Duke University. I was actually wearing a Duke hoody that night. Random, and probably the reason he signed my program. There was a throng of people that made their way to his table during halftime and I was one of the last ones to get an autograph.

Still a cool thing to look back on.