Those familiar with Chicago sports know the powerful basketball programs that have given the location its identity as a “basketball prospect haven.” Schools like Simeon, Whitney Young, and Morgan Park have over the past years stood on the forefront of top teams in the immediate Chicagoland area. Head 90 miles southwest to Peoria and you have the favorite cousin to the Chicago basketball family. There too is a history and continuing platform of basketball talent boasting legendary names such as the Mcclains, Frank Williams, and Shaun Livingston. Between those two cities the family grows and now you have the awakening of a sleeping giant that is the Thorton Wildcat basketball program of Harvey, IL.
The program is under the direction of one of the most competitive teachers of sports, Tai Streets.
Hearing the name Tai Streets immediately brings thoughts of the moxie that any of his players bring to the court. Streets, while getting his athletic fame from being a standout at Michigan and later with the San Francisco 49’ers as a receiver, has gained his coaching notoriety with his dominant Mean Streets AAU program. Now one of the most respected and competitive basketball programs in the country. There have been countless five star prospects to emerge from the Mean Streets program.
Coach Streets has taken his experience and tenacious style to Harvey, Illinois, and expects to reanimate a program that not too long ago had a national identity. Let’s not mistake the job at hand for Streets and his Wildcat team. He is not being asked to build a team from scratch. Instead Coach Streets is being asked to take the program from an in-state powerhouse and transform it into a feared machine on the national level.
Competitors locally and abroad will be watching the Wildcat basketball program with a renewed respect.
What are they watching and looking for? That breakout moment when Coach Streets will surely take his players and program to perennial top ten opponent wins. The moment when a team goes from respected to feared. Plainly speaking, the awakening of a hibernating champion.
The immediate horizon shows the Wildcat program familiarizing itself with the high expectations of a coach with a championship mindset. The further and larger goal is to make the consistent deep playoff runs and national schedule play. Several tasks that Coach Streets would rather not talk about but instead make materialize. Stay tuned.