Boys’ b-ball leaves with a win


Emily Pavlik, co-sports editor

Chicago Bulls Championship Flags hung across the arena, and a wave of blue and gold rippled over rows of red seats. Hustling out of an open archway, the boys’ basketball team waved to the crowd as they took their first steps onto the United Center’s court.

Junior small forward Gaven Marr’s first look at the court spiked memories of past NBA players dribbling across the court. As a high school student, Marr said it was a surreal experience to play on the same court as legends.

“Scoring on the Bull’s court was a huge accolade,” Marr said. “I’ve seen some of my favorite players play at the United Center, and to be able to say I’ve scored on the same court as some of my idols is a dream accomplished.” 

Boys’ basketball Coach Phil Ralston said this opportunity sprouted from his connection with the Chicago Bulls and their generous offer of dates for an open court. Ralston was overjoyed to watch his players succeed and experience playing in a professional team’s arena against Prospect Heights, a team in their conference.  

“[I am] very proud that all of the kids got a chance to get on the floor, [and] had a chance to score,” Ralston said. “[The team] ran good sets of offense and we played great defense, especially in the first half to hold [Prospect Heights] to nine points.” 

Sophomore Nate Kasher, point guard and shooting guard, said a wave of excitement washed over him while he approached the court, and after the team’s 51-35 win against Prospect Heights, Kasher said the team thrives on the enthusiasm from their past wins. 

“Winning games is always the goal,” Kasher said. “When we [win] it brings us closer together and gives us momentum going into our next games.” 

Marr acknowledged the opportunity to play at a larger court in comparison to the Titan Dome. With close connections to his teammates, Marr said the excitement for this new experience has bonded the team together.

“Being able to play in a full sized arena was something completely new to our team,” Marr said. “We were all looking forward to it, especially because we were all in it together.” 

Ralston praised his team for taking smart shots throughout the game.  

“Sometimes you get onto a big stage with a big arena, and the first thing you want to do as soon as you touch the ball, [is] shoot the ball,” Ralston said. “Our kids ran our offense really well, we took really good shots.”