UPTOWN — Chicago's South, West and Southwest sides are routinely represented at the IHSA boys basketball state finals, but Uplift Community High School this week became the city's first North Side team to head downstate since 2003.
Guess who's going down state to win a title ? Yea we know, don't jump on our band wagon now if you wasn't before! pic.twitter.com/e1MGdzgmG8— #⃣Uplift BasketBall (@UpliftHoops) March 11, 2015
"This team is special because of the makeup of the team," school athletic director Antwione Allen said Wednesday afternoon. "Everyone is invested in this program. We want them to succeed on the basketball court and off the basketball court."
Uplift is led by five senior starters who hail from Rogers Park, Uptown and the West Side, Allen said. Seniors Jeremy Roscoe (14.8 points per game), Spencer Foley (14.4) and Daniel Soetan (12.5) are the Titans' top scorers.
Uplift, which has an enrollment of 325 students, is coached by David Taylor, who was an assistant on the last North Side team to make it to the state finals: the 2003 Class AA state quarterfinalist Von Steuben club. Taylor, Uplift's dean of students, also is an Uptown native, a Senn graduate and one of the school's original teachers.
"This is a milestone for him," Allen said of Taylor, who founded the hoops program in 2007. "He's definitely a trailblazer as far as the basketball program is concerned. It's definitely a professional high for him, and I hope it's the first of many trips" Downstate.
The team leaves for Peoria Thursday morning, Allen said. As of Wednesday, no plans had been arranged for a fan bus from the school to Peoria, Allen said.
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