Boys’ hoops squad looking to make this season doubly historic


Isaiah Davis, Staff writer

The historic St. Joseph Charger basketball team is looking to continue its dominance. With the core of a team that has qualified for the IHSA Class 3A state tournament in back-to-back years still there, they have also added a few key additions.

On top of that, the Chargers are looking forward to getting coach Gene Pingatore his 1,000th win, which would make him the first Illinois high school basketball coach to achieve that honor.

“With this team, I believe we can get coach his 1,000th win,” said senior guard Jason Towers. “It would be such an amazing honor and privilege to give him his 1,000th win because this team would be part of history.”

The Chargers look forward to keeping this historic school year going. With the soccer team taking second in state, volleyball playing for a regional championship and the football team reaching the playoffs for the first time ever, the most decorated program in the history of the school is looking for its turn.

Two members of the football team will also be key players on the basketball team this year.

“We just want to keep this year going,” said senior guard Rashad Brown, who was a running back on the football team, as well. “I played football and that run was historic and amazing, now it’s time to continue that during the winter time.”

The Charger basketball team opened up the year going 4-1, taking second place in the annual St. Charles East Tournament. The Chargers seemed to progress and are hoping that they only get better and better.

With a lot of returning players, they are looking to reach the state finals, which would be for a historic third year in a row.

“I know that with the talent we have, we can make another run,” said senior guard Armone Elem, also a member of the football team. “The talent and the hard work that we put in is crazy. We work hard every day so that we can make it back to Peoria.”

The Chargers are only nine wins away from Pingatore achieving that historic 1,000th victory. He already is the all-time IHSA leader in victories and is also a member of the IHSA basketball Hall of Fame.

Coach Pingatore is someone who people who have always wanted to play for because of the players he has coached already. The Chargers alumni look like a who’s who of basketball players, including William Gates, Glynn Watson, Demetri and DeAndre McCamey, Daryl Cunningham, Darryl Thomas, current NBA star Evan Turner and NBA Hall of Famer Isaiah Thomas, who was voted as one of the 50 Greatest NBA Players of All Time.

“I came to this school and wanted to play basketball for this man,” said junior guard Ahmad Muhammad. “I was called up to varsity as a sophomore and I love playing for him. He pushes everyone to get better and he expects the best, even from the last man on the bench.”

If things go right this year, the Chargers want to get Pingatore his 1,000th victory and another state championship.