Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sending my regrets to the Public League semis

Posted By on 02.15.12 at 12:38 PM

Jabari Parker
  • Flickr/Bryan Horowitz/SportsAngle.com
  • Jabari Parker
The Public League boys basketball championship has diminished over the years. It used to mean an automatic berth in the so-called elite eight in the state basketball playoffs and a direct trip downstate to the quarterfinals. Yet city hoops coaches justifiably argued that, most years, (make that every year) more than one Public League team belonged among the state's top eight, so they were rolled into the statewide playoff system of sectionals and supersectionals. The Public League playoffs continued on, but as a preliminary event, now culminating in February rather than March, before the serious statewide business gets started.

That's too bad, because the Public League playoffs, and especially tonight's semifinals at DePaul's McGrath Arena, 2323 N. Sheffield, remain the best opportunity to see the city's top high-school players—Bogan (23-2) faces Curie (23-1) at 5:30 PM. Top-ranked Simeon may or not be playing with a few key players suspended for the quarterfinals. The 23-1 Wolverines face 19-3 Orr in the marquee matchup at 7 PM.

Tickets aren't available in advance, as priority goes to the schools, but they'll be available at the door for $10, and it's an annual pilgrimage for the city's hoops aficionados. Rosters can be found here—it's not just Simeon's Jabari Parker, even if he is the undeniable top talent.

The finals take place Friday night, and while in previous years they've taken place at the United Center or the UIC Pavilion, this year they're exiled to Chicago State's Jones Convocation Center.

Me, I'm out of town, visiting family, so I have to send my regrets, but if I had to worry about buying a ticket to tonight's games I might not be writing about it at all to limit the competition.

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