Simeon, Morgan Park celebrate basketball championships

March 20, 2013 2:58:36 PM PDT
Students at two Chicago high schools are celebrating the success of their basketball teams today.

Both Simeon and Morgan Park High Schools won state championships.

It was fanfare for a four-peat, a pep rally celebrating Simeon High School's fourth consecutive class 4A state basketball championship.

"This was great for us," said Robert Smith Simeon head basketball coach. "This may be the hardest team to let go because we were so connected with each other on and off the court."

"Me being in my senior year, I wanted to go out on top and that's what we did," said Simeon player Jaylon Tate.

Simeon was ranked sixth in the country this season, which was capped off with a 58-40 victory over Stevenson High School to clinch the title.

The effort was led by star player Jabari Parker.

"Going out, having a passion for the game, just going out every day with the love and I think that just keeps me on the straight and narrow," Parker said.

About four miles down Vincennes Avenue is another basketball powerhouse, and Simeon arch rival, Morgan Park High School.

The teams often play each other and there was controversy in January when the teams got in a fight and the coaches were suspended.

But not only did Simeon redeem itself, so did Morgan Park, which is celebrating its own class 3A basketball championship.

"We haven't won a championship in 30-something years, and just to get it and bring it back to Morgan Park where it belongs, it's a great feeling," said Nick Irvin, Morgan Park head basketball coach.

"It means a lot to our student body, it means a lot to our faculty and staff and the smile that we put on their faces, it's amazing," said Billy Garret.

Morgan Park beat Cahokia 63-48.