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Posts Tagged ‘Lew Wallace’

Having gone to West Side,  I always noticed how our school played second fiddle to Roosevelt in the minds of the elders in my neighborhood as well as the sports writers. I understood history was on their side.

As I understand it, Roosevelt was the place where black kids attended high school during the segregated times of the city…before white flight. Though all Gary High Schools were all black during my time, Roosevelt always seem to get the attention AND ALL THE CALLS whenever they played West Side.

Didn’t matter to me. I was a proud Cougar. Could have gone to Horseman but had to follow in the foot steps of my bro and sis as well as several other close neighbors and attend the best school in G.I., West Side! I went to ALL the games before I got to West Side because my bro and sis went there, and of course I went to all of them when I got to high school. I was and still very passionate about my Cougars.

I remember how Winston Garland used to stick it to the Side when he played at Velt. I remember it all too well. I guess El Dubb alumni can understand when I say OH HELL NO to a Velt Alumni coaching West Side. They’ve had to go through it with Notty.

I think the people on that school board are F’d up. They are botching the coaching hiring of football and now they choose the enemy to coach West Side! That’s like the Bulls signing John Starks… just makes no sense.

I’m sure he’ll be a great coach. But couldn’t they have found someone with Cougar blood! Hell I’ll take ole Ike back before I’ll take this. I now understand what John Boyd was talking about when he left the Side for MC. He mentioned how he could get NO RESPECT, being one of three coaches in Gary history to win the state championship ( the other two- Mallard and Heflin- coached at that scrub school Velt).  I mean, Boyd was an alumni of West Side! HE WON THE STATE CHAMPIONSHIP. WHILE COACHING IN GARY! He went there, taught there, ran his mouth there ( I went to school with him and boy could he do this!). AND he was a hell of a coach there.  now I know why. The people on the Gary school boards are Panther Homers. 🙂

I would take Omar (Wirt’s old Coach) over a Velt alum. Wirt was chumps anyway. The rivalry between West Side and Roosevelt will just not be as good with Garland at coach.

HE’S GOING TO CHEAT FOR VELT. When the games on the line, he’ll pull his best player or something like that!

JUST KIDDING. I’m not that much of a fanatic.

But I do think its a sad day in the history of Gary West Side high school basketball… But it could have been worse. We could have gotten Notty. Oh hell no!

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West Side Alumni Chris Hunter was signed by the Knicks after having a stellar season in the NBA D-League with Fort Wayne.  He is the first player from Northwest Indiana to play in the NBA since Glenn Robinson.

There’s no coincidence that both hail from G.I.. Though that area (or region as they call it) continues to cheat Gary youth by harrassing them and their teams in the Indiana High School Boys Basketball Tournament, Chris Hunter is Gary’s shining example of how to just “jump over” those road blocks.

He did it at West Side, leading them to a State Championship and he did it here, overcoming being relegated to supporting cast status during his playing days at Michigan and playing in Poland as well as the D-League.

Look for West Side’s Xavior Jones to make it there as well as Brandon Dawson and Dejaun Marrero of Lew Wallace and Bowman Academy. Goes to show you that playing in in the Northwest Indiana Conference preps kids for the D-1 as well as the NBA.

No other “region” conference can say this. Keep making excuses to avoid playing Gary schools. And keep hurting your players chances of getting better opportunities.

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I recall reading about John Boyd (Coach of West Side) sounding bitter about the circumstances of a charter school (I think Bowman) affecting where the ever thinning basketball talent pool goes to high school in Gary.

Having been born and raised in Gary in an era where charter schools were not a problem, I can only speak on this subject from the “outside looking in” perspective. I will also attest to having limited knowledge of just what a charter school is.

From what I understand, Gary now has 5 high schools remaining: West Side (always 1st), Roosevelt, Lew Wallace, Wirt and then Emerson.

Horace Mann was closed some years back and I believe I’ve read about whispers of “HISTORIC” ROOSEVELT HIGH SCHOOL closing this year. Whew…

That’s hard to imagine. Especially when I read about Bowman Academy.  With Gary’s dwindling population, I’m sure that Bowman’s siphoning of students from the rolls of schools such as Roosevelt is contributing to the chatter or need for a school such as Velt to close.

Am I missing something here? Keep in mind that I was born and raised in G.I. and I completely understand the challenges the citizens of Gary face in the area of getting their children a quality education. I will say this, for all the negative critique of the Gary School System, I sure do have a lot of former classmates and hear of a lot of former classmates and friends doing some good if not great things with their lives.

When I left West Side, I did so with an ability to read/write/think with the best of any other 18 year old in the country. I don’t care what the Post Trib or NWI Times says. In my adult life, I see it everyday in what I do for a living, people of all walks in life, degrees from the best or 1st tier universities, especially white , who simply don’t impress me with their ACTUAL ABILITIES” to do white collar tasks on a consistent and quality basis.

Sure their degrees are from UNC or NC State or Duke, but I’ve learned to look beyond that and focus on their actually abilities. You’ll be surprised what money or a legacy can buy…

Back to Bowman. Of course the issue comes down to Gary’s past time: HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL! I saw last year how Bowman, I think, beat Roosevelt and played West Side and Lew Wallace tough (they may have beat el dubb).

I guess I’m a traditionalist when it comes to this topic. Seeing the Gary Holiday tournament won by Bowman Academy instead of Side, Velt, El Dubb, Wirt, or Gary Mann is like WTF?

From the sounds of the chatter coming out Gary, this is a possibility this upcoming season.

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