As a high school basketball coach for the last 14 years, our coaches have helped many young men learn life lessons. For the East High School boys basketball program, one of the lessons we often emphasize is the concept of humility in victory and graciousness in defeat.
Our boys basketball program is having one of the best starts to a season in school history. On Dec. 5 we defeated Boylan Catholic High School for the first time in our own gym in nearly 25 years. Toward the end of the game, one of the officials stated to me that No. 21, Sincere Parker, was one of the nicest and classiest players he has ever officiated.
After the game the officials spoke to assistant coach Alan Hunter and stated that our boys were some of the most respectful kids they have ever dealt with. They continued to say that our players were polite when they spoke to them and respectful toward our opponent.
Craig Bunton, an official at East's Dec. 5 game, nominated Sincere Parker for an IHSA Sport A Winning Attitude award. The nomination reads:
"Prior to the game, Player #21, Sincere Parker, came up to the refs and shook our hands. I was impressed by this young man starting the game out with excellent sportsmanship. During the game, there were some tough calls that went against various players from both teams. However, whenever such a call went again Sincere, he always exhibited excellent sportsmanship, never argued a call and continued to be very respectful toward the referees. I was struck by this young man's leadership and positive attitude. On one occasion he approached me regarding a question and was very polite and courteous. This young man most definitely Sported A Winning Attitude!"
As good as it feels that our team is 8-0 and ranked No. 10 in the state, hearing the officials speak in such a high regard for our kids is what really matters.
On this night it was not the victory on the floor, but rather the victory our young men had in life that makes me proudest to be an E-Rab.
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