Chicago's Simeon Career Academy boys basketball team won their third straight Class 4A state title on Saturday. They beat Proviso East, 50-48 in an epic battle for Chicago supremacy. The Chi was waiting for this match-up between the two powerhouses for about four months. Simeon features the top-ranked junior in the country in Jabari Parker.
After the victory, Simeon players did what retired wrestlers do: They took off their sneakers and placed them in center court as to say, "This is our house." Their head coach, Robert Smith, was far from amused. He suspended nine underclassmen for the first game of next season (he couldn't suspend the seniors). Though Parker is an underclassmen, he was not suspended because he didn't take part in the celebration. He was busy doing a post-game interview at the time.
Here's coach Smith's reasoning for the suspension (as told to Scott Powers of ESPNChicago):
"They were trying to make a statement saying this was our court. To take off the shoes was out of character. I don't think it was the time and place for that. We had already made our statement by winning three in a row. There's just a way of going about doing things. I don't think that was the appropriate way. We have to make sure we're representing the CPS (Chicago Public Schools) and Simeon as best as we can. As a coach, I have to set the right example for these young men. They're going to be going to college and out into the real world."
Simeon also set an Illinois record of six state chips with their win on Saturday. Smith has coached them to five and Derrick Rose carried the team to two straight titles in '06 and '07.
You must admit, that was a legendary way to go out. These young'ns deserve a spot on this list.