St. Joseph (Westchester, IL) is one of the most iconic high school boy’s basketball programs in not just the state, but the country, but it will soon be no more. When this academic year comes to an end, so will the school.
Some of the many legendary names that were once St. Joseph Chargers include: Olympic Dream Teamer Isiah Thomas (considered the greatest Detroit Piston ever), 2010 national college player of the year Evan Turner (NBA veteran of 10 years, now an assistant with the Boston Celtics), William Gates (has seen in Hoop Dreams) and Gene Pingatore (considered one of the greatest high school coaches in history).
The school sent out a letter, and citing three specific causes as the reason for the shutdown: financial strain being placed on families amid the coronavirus pandemic, the severe fiscal issues that the school has had and declining enrollment.
Other well-known St. Joes grads include Demetri McCamey (a finalist for the Cousy award and Naismith award, who is the Illini all-time 7th leading scorer, 2nd assists, 5th in 3-pt field goals), former NFL OT Andy Frederick (who won two Super Bowls) and actor Wood Harris.
It’s really sad to hear that an institution of this reknown is being forced to close its doors.
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGN, Sports Illustrated, Chicago Tribune and SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.