By Lamar Battle
Few stories captured the imagination of Americans like the ascendancy of Chicago’s 2014 Jackie Robinson West Little League team.
JRW proved to be a source of pride not only for Chicago but the entire country as they made it to the the Little League world championship game before losing to the team from Seoul South Korea.
After tons of appearances (including a White House visit) and coverage it all came crashing down when an investigation by Little League International revealed that JRW used ineligible players during their push to the title game.
When the smoke cleared JRW had to forfeit their Great Lakes and National titles and deal with the requisite doses of shame and disappointment.
The outcome was not the intended one but nothing can erase the confidence, drive and grace shown by the kids who deserve absolutely none of the blame associated with the cheating scandal.
For those of us with inquiring minds what are those young men up to these days?
DJ Butler: Simeon H.S. Uncommitted
Ed Howard: Mount Carmel H.S. committed to U of Oklahoma
Lawrence Noble: Freshman Coppin State University
Cam Buford: Freshman Grambling State University
Eddie King Jr: Marion Catholic H.S. committed to Louisville
Joshua Houston: Mount Carmel,committed to Southern (LA)
Marquise Jackson: Brother Rice, committed to U of Oklahoma
Darion Radcliff: Freshman at Kirkwood Community College
Brandon Green: Freshman at Southern U, (LA)
Prentiss Luster: Marion Catholic H.S. c/o 2020
Pierce Jones: Freshman at Northern Ill U. Drafted by the San Diego Padres 2019.
Tre Hondres: Freshman at U of Michigan
Jaheim Benton: No current information.
That these young men are continuing their education is a tribute to their parents but the importance of organized activities along with the assistance of coaches and mentors cannot be over estimated
At a time when schools are closing, jobs leaving and being replaced with drugs and guns cities can not find enough ways to engage young people in positive activities.
Hats off to Jackie Robinson West and all efforts to provide opportunities for boys and girls.
Credits to Brooks GiGi and Wikipedia