Reader sportswriter/blogger Ted Cox’s piece on the Public League championship and Simeon’s brilliant team had one giant-Feigner-arm-esque detail that I loved: “Simeon broke out the preprinted championship T-shirts at center court as the players celebrated. They would actually be a step down in wardrobe for Rose, who arrived wearing a sweatshirt that said ‘lottery pick’ across his chest, a reference to the NBA draft.”
Emphasis mine. I don’t need to explain why that is 500 kinds of awesome. If you are aware of any existing pictures of Rose in said sweatshirt, point us to them in the comments thread below.
In exchange, I
scoured searched YouTube for ‘chicago public league.’ I was surprised that there was only one video, but not surprised that the video was of Derrick Rose making two absolutely ridiculous dunks within moments of each other during the 2006 tourney. That, and how skinny he was. Now that LeBron James has set the standard for what a great high school player looks like (a tight end, specifically), someone who looks his age can sneak up on you.
I wouldn’t recommend clicking through to the actual YouTube page, which continues a recent trend wherein the YouTube comments section is the most horrible thing on the Internet and makes the Craigslist “rants and raves” look like the Algonquin Roundtable and is furthermore proof that that which brings us together tears us apart, but YouTube also allows us to appreciate Derrick Rose dunks in perpetuity.
Keep an eye on him, he’s going to be very good.
Extra bonus Derrick Rose video: When I was in middle school, Virginia powerhouse Oak Hill came to town and beat the best team in southwest Virginia absolutely raw. That team featured three future NBA players–Jerry Stackhouse, at the time the best high school player in the country (I still have a program autographed by him); Jeff McInnis, later a respectable journeyman point guard; and someone else whose name I forget. That was when I realized what good basketball was, while watching a team that I might not have been able to make wander around completely lost for 40 minutes.
I ended up going to a high school that didn’t have a basketball team; bears mentioning. One of the reasons to watch high school basketball is to have this kind of revelation. In the NBA, and to a certain extent in college, everyone plays on such a high level that it’s easy to forget that even the mediocre among them are actually freakishly good at what they do. Watching high school, you can see the real difference between people with a gift and people, like me, who just played enough to know how much better your betters were.
Oak Hill is, this year, perhaps the best high school team in the country. Here’s a condensed version of Derrick Rose picking them apart in an upset victory.