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Jerry Krause To Be Inducted Into Taft High School Hall of Fame Next Month

By Alex Nitkin | September 11, 2017 6:02am
 The Taft Hall of Fame induction ceremony is set for 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 15 at Cafe La Cave in suburban Des Plaines.
The Taft Hall of Fame induction ceremony is set for 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 15 at Cafe La Cave in suburban Des Plaines.
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Chicago Bulls

CHICAGO — Legendary Bulls general manager Jerry Krause will be enshrined into the Taft High School Hall of Fame this fall, according to leaders of the school's alumni foundation.

Krause, who died in March at age 77, will join "Grease" screenwriter Jim Jacobs and Chicago Bears running back Jim Grabowski on a plaque in the high school's halls.

The Taft High School Foundation started building the hall of fame in 2015 as a way to "get alumni involved, bring people together and raise some money for the school," foundation president Richard Winge said.

The list has already netted hundreds of names in the years since, including those of alumni, retired teachers and varsity athletes.

On Saturday, Krause was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame.

Though Krause wasn't particularly athletic during his days at Taft, his high school coach Jim Smilgoff told the Reader in 1990 that Krause "was a gym rat — you couldn't keep him away."

He was the second-string catcher on his high school baseball team and could be found playing pickup basketball in Edison Park.

Krause covered sports for the high school newspaper at Taft, preparing him for a job as a copy boy at the Chicago American.

Michael Jordan once said he thought Krause's childhood, during which he often battled anti-Semitism, provided insight into the man he famously clashed with.

"My whole definition of Krause is that he favors the underdog," Jordan told Sports Illustrated in 1993. "He wants that diamond in the rough.

"I figure that he had a tough childhood, that he was always picked on, and this is his way of compensating, of becoming someone," Jordan said.

The Taft Hall of Fame induction ceremony is set for 3:30 p.m. Oct. 15 at Cafe La Cave in suburban Des Plaines. Tickets for the event are available online.