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 East's Coach Sackmaster: 'prouder than ever of the young men in our program'

1/28/2020 12:00 PM

​Last year around this time I had one of my proudest moments as a teacher and basketball coach when one of our players was recognized for his character and sportsmanship by a game official and the IHSA. This past week the first semester of the academic year ended, and I feel once again prouder than ever of the young men in our program.

In the past we have had a handful of student athletes who have been honor roll students. This year, however, being an honor roll student has become the norm. For the first semester of this school year, seven of the 10 students who are on our varsity basketball roster are honor roll students with a GPA of 3.0 or above. Two more of our players were one letter grade off from also being on the honor roll. Our overall team GPA is a 3.04!  Four of our players take AP classes and the cumulative GPA of those students is a 3.6!

To Markarious Luster, Pashens Harris, Eli Dixon, Justin Johnson, Trevilon Taber, Jayon Haguabook, Josh Crawford, Jaedyn Brannon-Davis, Daylon Lambert, and Jeremiah Crawford: I could not be more proud of you as young men and your academic achievement this past semester. I don't know how many more basketball games we will win this year, but the one thing I do know is that you are already well on your way to being champions.

The philosophy that we emphasize the most in the East High School boys basketball program is that we want student athletes who are respectable young men not only on the basketball court but also in the hallways and in the classroom. We set a very high standard for our players to meet to be eligible to play in our program for all four of their high school years. Academically we want our student athletes to not only meet the standards for graduation, we want them to excel beyond their potential. Not all of our players may meet that standard, but it pushes our players to strive for more. Over the years we have observed student athletes who possess the characteristics to push themselves in the classroom, use those same characteristics on the basketball court. By no coincidence success then follows.   

A motto we live by in our program is to "Live Your Life Like a Champion!" Former San Francisco 49ers Head Football Coach Bill Walsh said it best: "Champions behave like champions before they’re champions." These young men are doing just that. 

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