CHICAGO — Duke men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, a Chicago native, will serve as grand marshal for May 2's Polish Constitution Day Parade.
"It's an honor. It's very exciting, and it's humbling that he remembers and treasures where he comes from," said Anna Zolkowski Sobor, a vice chairman of the parade committee and the 1982 parade queen.
In an email Wednesday, Krzyzewski told DNAinfo Chicago he was "incredibly honored."
“I am incredibly honored to be named grand marshal of the 2015 Polish Constitution Day Parade," Krzyzewski said. "My memories of growing up in Chicago are extremely special to me. I love my hometown, and all of the terrific things that it has provided to our family, both immediate and extended, throughout my life. On May 2, it will be a tremendous celebration of Polish heritage, especially in an area where it is still so vibrant today.”
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Krzyzewski grew up in Ukrainian Village and graduated from the former Weber High School. Earlier this season, the legendary coach won his 1,000th career game, and his top-seeded Blue Devils (31-4), led by Whitney Young graduate Jahlil Okafor, face 5-seed Utah (26-8) on Friday in an NCAA tournament regional semifinal in Houston.
"We’ve been trying for several years to coordinate with his very, very busy schedule," said Sobor, a Humboldt Park native and Old Irving Park resident.
Sobor, who has served as a parade television host on ABC7 in the past, said Krzyzewski will ride in the front of the parade in a convertible and be honored at a pre-parade breakfast.
Sobor said the parade likely will start around 11:30 a.m. at Wacker Drive and Dearborn Street, then head south for about a half-mile on Dearborn.
She said the parade, in its 124th year, usually attracts tens of thousands of spectators. Sobor said the parade will feature at least 100 marching units.
Chicago has the largest population of Poles of any city other than Warsaw.
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