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Posts Tagged ‘West Side High School’

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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The Milk Depot. The Lure. Screamin Wheels. Rays Shrimp House. Tri-Tri City. Westbrook Apartments. Chase School. The Dairy Queen on 15th Ave. Jackson Rib House. Archie B’s. Martin Gas Station. Jewel Food Store. The Village. Vienna Red Hot stand. Custom Tops. Montgomery Wards. Gilmore Stadium. Methodist Hospital. Mercy Hospital. Arts Bakery. Horseman. WEST SIDE COUGARS. Roosevelt Panthers. El Dubb. Wirt. Lake St. Beach. Marquette Park. Broadway. The Genesis Center. Disco Enterprise!. Victor Vincent house parties. House Music. Farley. JM Silk. Julius Jumpin Perez. Mickey Mixin Oliver. The Fly Jock Tom Joyner. WGCI 107.5 FM. WBMX is gonna make you rich!. The hot lunch mix. Leaded Gasoline. My Camaro rollin on Chrome Cragar 20’s in the 80’s! Jensen 6×9’s(four of em) in the back dash. The flea market behind The Village. Kressgees. JC Pennys, White Castles. Piggly Wiggly on Grant St (way back). Walgreens in Tri City. Mays department store across from Tri City. The Bud Plant. The Store in Tri City. Ivanhoe (Poe Jets!). The Spectrum. West Side vs. Roosevelt. The Holiday Tournament. The Thanksgiving Day Tournament. The Gary Drill Team Competition. The Gary Dump. Tim McCalister. Kenny McLaurin. Winston Garland. Johnny Fort. Tellis Franks. Donald Carter. Jerome Harmon. Eric Longino. Craig Dixon (Mr. Westbrook) schoolin D-1 prospects on the court in Westbrook.

The wavy part of Chase St going to the Village. 5h Ave. The Westbrook community center. Summer programs at Chase School and West Brook Community Center before Ronald Reagan. Ridge Road. Ventures in Griffith. South Lake Mall. Century Mall. Carson Pieri Scott. L.S. Ayers. Burger King on the first floor. Lockers in the mall for your coat in the cold ass winter. Chess King, The Lark, Bachrachs. Spencers. Jordach Jeans. The designer jeans craze. Run-DMC. Crush Groove. Whodini. LL Cool J. Afrika Bambata. Planet Rock. Midnight Star, SOS Band. Rick James. Seeing Rick James/Parliament/Bar-Kays concert at West Side’s Gym with my brother. Remembering how so many people was in the gym smokin weed that the cops couldn’t do anything about it. Rick James telling the crowd to ‘light it up”. Trippin out on the cat in Parliament that wears a diaper (old ass still does in current concerts). Devo, Thomas Dolby. Duran Duran. Other European white groups that we actually listened to. When we first got cable and watching an HBO movie for the first time. Those HUGE VCR’s that you used to have to program by moving these small white wheels.

“Sock Hops” on lunch hour at West Side. Darren “Magic” Sumbry. Herman Hurston. Bo-Pete. A.G.. Bo, Sophia Smith, Derenda Braden, Lisa Hill, Mabel Peters, Eric Crosby, Patrick Smith, Marilyn. Old neighborhood friends Tommy Houston. Derrick Owens. Michael Owens. Donnell Draper. Ben Jones. Tim Boudreaux. Ivan Colbert.

Driving like a damn fool down 4th Ave at night coming back from hanging out at the beach. Not noticing how dangerous Gary was until after I left. Now Laters. Chico Sticks. Grape Soda. Riding a bicycle EVERYWHERE until I got a car. Ballin all day and sometimes under the light during the summer months. Ballin in the winter months after clearing the snow from the court and grabbing the outside trash can and putting rags and other crap in it to make a fire to warm your hands while waiting for “next” on the court. Playing tag football in the street. Playing “piggy” in the street. Playing hide and go seek. Talkin about each others momma under the street light. Not challenging Diciples when they roll up on you talkin bout “who you rollin with?”, I ain’t rollin with nobody. Tolleston. Gettin jumped over a girl at West Side. Inland Steel. Sophomore Star Night at West Side. The Gary Football O’Rama. Over sized Boom box carried on my shoulder while walking around the Football O’Rama.

More…

Calling James Piggee “Manute” when he dunked. Lincoln way Deli on 4th. The Blue Room. Dena’s Pub. IUN. Seeing someone get shot. Shoveling snow. In May. Standing in line at the Drill Team Competition or high school basketball games. In the snow. With the wind chill 20 below. Frontin driving thru the front of the Village lookin at my ride in the glass. Skipping school and hanging out at Roosevelt on their lunch period. Tarry Town. The Cobbs. biker shorts at miller beach with biker hats. Broaches and long shirts (house style) Mothafuc_in gangstas wherein black hats with the crossed guns on them. seeing dudes walking down 15th ave ‘stackin” and throwin up pitchforks. The indoor car wash on 11th ave in the winter. the Zanzibar. the library next door. Popeyes chicken on broadway. The bad service at Popeyes on Broadway. City Castles across from the old “Gary” Post Tribune site. All the stores on broadway boarded up. The old theater on broadway with the “Jackson Five” sign still up. Big ass pot holes in the streets. Drag Racing down 5th Ave going towards Miller Beach. West Side Lounge. tip tops. Racist ass Hessville. Going to McDonalds for lunch at West Side. the surge. Getting my car broke into bout 6 times. My Best Friend from elementary school Don Clay. Tommy “King Weird” Houston. throwing rocks at the new car windows on the train. Shooting birds with my pellet gun on the “high line”.

Shine Dog. Kerm. Ug. Flea Bag. Bay Bay. Bootsy. Pink Floyd. Juno. Magic. Richard Hatcher. Ron Helflin. Ike Brown. The Cougar Den Gym. The Panther Den. EC Roosevelt ‘Rough Riders”. Thanksgiving day tournament at EC Roosevelt. Snap dying too young. Cheap Ass Churchs Chicken on 5th ave. Rib Tips. Foot Long Fried Polishes. Trying to rap to girls older than me. The Sheraton when it was open. The old train on 5th AVe across from City Hall. The MEPS Station across the street from the Genesis Center. Not snitchin on dudes from “the Bronx” but having to pay restitution for all the Twinkies, Ho-Ho’s and Ding dongs they stole from the delivery truck outside the surge when the dumb ass driver left the back of the truck unlocked and went inside of the school for about 15 minutes. Fast Willie walking down 5th ave selling peanuts walkin REAL fast during the day time. Seeing Fast Willie walking REAL fast that same night selling peanuts at Miller Beach while hanging out and underage drinking. Being stopped so many times by the Gary police in my ride. They never took us to jail. they just took our “stuff” and let us go. Giving a Gary police officer a beer as he cruised thru the parking lot at the Marquette Park Beach parking area, though I was under aged myself.

Straight leg plaid pants. Get n’ them from the thrift store. V-neck Izod sweaters. Swoop fade haircuts (see you tube video of Kwame), Polo’s. Polo cologne. Lagerfield. K-SWISS. The Swiss Boys. The Rude Boys. Black Scotty from Tolleston (The best GQ dressing mofo in middle school). Trench coats. piano ties. Michael Jackson’s Thriller Jacket. The Jerry Curl Factory off Grant St (and I believe 15th). Wet, drippy jerry curls. Afro picks. Afro sheen. Watching Walter Payton play for the Bears on Sunday at 11am. Missing the first half of the games because my momma dragged me to church. Once going to church definitely still hung over from going out the night before (ofcourse moms didn’t know). Walter Jacobson on the Channel Two News. Bill Curtis. Chet Lemon-center fielder for the White Sox. Hating the Cubs (still do). Hating the Packers (still do). Hating Roosevelt High School (as competition- I grew up, don’t hate no more). Reflecting on the HATERS and noticing how I didn’t have time to notice them back then because “I was doin my thang”. Realizing that G.I. was full of haters back then as it is today. Playing the numbers in the raggedy house next to the Milk Depot on Chase St.

Walking to school to Tolleston. Being concerned when that faggot was molesting kids (I guess this was in like 1980 or 81) abducting them while they walked to school-the name for him in the hood was the “booty bandit”. We all walked to school in groups because of this. Mr. Williams at West Side (how he’d cuss at you) Remembering being spanked with a paddle in the 8th grade at Tolleston by Mr. Whiteside (that shit hurt and was humiliating because he did it in front of the class). Me and Magic carrying Ant Green to his front steps while he was passed out drunk, ringing the door bell, running down two houses down where my car was parked and taking off.

Remembering the day my mom called me and told me my boy Magic had been shot to death (she was working in the emergency room the day he was brought in)…

Kerry “Trent Bennett…R.I.P. (You and your moms was/are good people)

Marilyn Bouler… R.I.P. (My prayers go out to her family and her close friends)

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