Proviso West Holiday Tournament History & Trivia
This page is designed for both the season tournament veteran and the novice fan who wants to get there fill of Proviso West Holiday Tournament facts and figures from the past.
FINAL FOURING:: Twenty-two players that prepped at the Proviso West Holiday Tournament later went on to become members of teams that played in the NCAA Final Four. They are: Ron Gwin, Drake, 1969; Marcus Washington, Marquette, 1974; Mark Aguirre, De Paul, 1979; Isiah Thomas, 1981; Veltra Dawson, Villanova, 1985; Tony Freeman, Indiana, 1987; Daryl Thomas, 1987; Marcus Liberty, Illinois, 1989; Ervin Small, Illinois, 1989; Juwan Howard, Michigan, 1992, 1993; Marty Clark, Duke, 1992, 1994; Ryan Hogan, Kentucky, 1998; Corey Maggette, Duke, 1999; Michael Wright, Arizona, 2001; Dee Brown, Illinois, 2005; Luther Head, Illinois, 2005; Shannon Brown, Michigan State, 2005; Jon Scheyer, Duke, 2010; Wayne Blackshear, 2012-2013; Lenzelle Smith, Ohio State, 2012; Sam Thompson, Ohio State, 2012; Fred VanVleet, Wichita State.
A GREAT PLACE TO START: The Proviso West Holiday Tournament originated in 1961 with eight teams: Downers Grove North, East Leyden, Maine East, Morton West, Niles East, Niles West, Proviso West and West Leyden. The field was expanded to a sixteen team format the following year.
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MARCHING TO VICTORY: Fifteen teams played in the Proviso West Holiday Tournament and later went on to win state championships that same year. They are: Evanston (1967-1968); Proviso East (1968-1969); Lyons Township (1969-1970); Proviso East (1973-1974); Morgan Park (1975-1976); Martin Luther King (1985-1986); Proviso East (1990-1991); Proviso East (1991-1992); Saint Joseph (1998-1999); Schaumburg (2000-2001); Glenbrook North (2004-2005); Marshall (2007-08); Whitney Young (2008-2009); Hillcrest (2009-2010) and Morgan Park (2012-2013). Click here to see pictures of the state champions.
IT'S A PROFESSION: Thirty players who prepped
in the Proviso West Holiday Tournament have gone on to play professional
basketball in either the American or National Basketball Association:
Riverside-Brookfield; Bob Lackey, Evanston;
Jim Brewer, Proviso East;
Wilkins, Elgin; Mark Aguirre, Westinghouse;
Isiah Thomas, Saint Joseph;
Rivers, Proviso East; Jeff Hornacek, Lyons Township;
Westinghouse; Juwan Howard, Chicago Vocational;
Marcus Liberty, Martin Luther
King; Randy Brown, Collins;
Walter Bond, Collins; Sherell Ford, Proviso East;
Donnie Boyce, Proviso East;
Michael Finley, Proviso East;
Kevin Garnett, Farragut;
Amal McCaskill, Saint Joseph;
Kiwane Garris, Westinghouse;
Paul McPherson, South Shore;
Storey, Proviso West; Corey Maggette, Fenwick;
Leon Smith, Martin Luther King;
Steve Hunter, Proviso East;
Luther Head, Manley; Dee Brown, Proviso East;
Shannon Brown, Proviso East;
Julian Wright, Homewood-Flossmoor,
Saint Joseph and
Jerel McNeal, Hillcrest.
Click here to see where these
TRIPLE THREATS: Glenn Rivers of Proviso East, Townsend Orr of Thornridge, Kiwane Garris of Westinghouse and Jon Scheyer of Glenbrook North are the only individuals to have been named to the Proviso West All-Tournament Team three consecutive years. Rivers led the Pirates to three straight Final Four appearances from 1977-79. Orr paced the Falcons to a 10-2 record ten years later from 1987-89. Garris helped the Warriors to win nine games from 1990-92, but never made it to the title tilt. Scheyer played all four years from 2002-2005 and saw his team win three trophies, but the Spartans made it to the Final Four only one time -- finishing fourth in 2003.
CURTAIN CALL: Marcus Liberty, Martin Luther King (1985-86); Townsend Orr, Thornridge (1988-89); and Cedrick Banks, Westinghouse (1998-99) are the only players to win back-to-back Holiday Tournament Most Valuable Player awards.
ANOTHER ENCORE: Saint Joseph became the first school to win back-to-back-to-back titles in winning the 2006 championship. Seven other schools won two straight crowns, but could not come away with a third consecutive title. Click here to see those three-peat contenders.
BOTH SIDES OF THE SIDELINES: Although there is a handful of individuals have played and coached in the tournament in the past, most recently Proviso East's Donnie Boyce won a title as a player in 1990 and as a coach in 2011. His mentor, Bill Hitt, who won titles as a player (1968) and a coach (1990-91) for the Pirates. Westinghouse's Quitman Dillard was a 1987 All-Tournament Team selection and coached the Warriors to a first place finish in 1999. Former DePaul basketball coach Jerry Wainwright played in the Proviso West Christmas Classic for Morton West in 1962-63 and coached in the event with Highland Park in 1983. Morton East's Bob Vashinko was an All-Tournament Team selection in 1965 and later came back to coach his alma mater in Holiday Tournament competition.
GO WEST YOUNG MAN: The Chicago Public League Red-West won nine straight Proviso West Holiday Tournament titles from 1994-2002. Westinghouse won titles in 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999; Farragut captured three championships in 1994, 1997, 2000; and Whitney Young finished first in 2001 and 2002.
PACKING THEM IN: The official single game attendance mark for the Holiday Tournament is 4188 for the quarterfinal game between Farragut and New Trier in 1995. Larger crowds probably took place during the championship sessions in 1967 (Evanston vs. Proviso East) and in 1978 (Saint Joseph vs. Proviso East), before exact figures have been released.
THE NON-HOOP CROWDS: Besides basketball, the Proviso West Sports Arena has played host to concerts from the rock group Chicago in their infancy. 1962 Proviso West graduate Walter Parazaider is a founding member of the band and still performs with the group. In 1972, a Republican party rally was also held in the Sports Arena with then vice-president Spiro T. Agnew as its keynote speaker.
MORE FINAL FOUR: Proviso East leads all teams
with 28 Holiday Tournament Final Four appearances. East appeared in six
straight Final Fours from 1963-68 Saint Joseph also made six consecutive
Final Fours from 1980-85, and Westinghouse achieved six successive Final Fours
appearances from 1991-96.
SHUTTING THEM DOWN: Despite being shut out in the second quarter of the 1992 Championship Game, Proviso West rebounded in the second half to upend Proviso East 48-38 to win the title. The Panthers held all four opponents under 50 points in each game they played in tournament, allowing only 165 points in four games.
EVERY STEP OF THE WAY: Farragut's
Wright and Jamal Rome established a record that could
not be topped -- at least until tournament expansion -- as they
played in sixteen Proviso West Holiday Tournament games from 1994-97.
During that stretch the Admirals won two titles (1994 & 1997); finished third
(1995); and placed sixth (1996).
MEDIA MAVENS: Taylor Bell, Ralph Faucher, Steve Foltin and Jerry Shnay were recognized in 2006 with the Proviso West Holiday Tournament Lifetime Media Achievement Award for their efforts in covering and promoting the Proviso West Christmas Classic. Click here for a biography on each one of the award recipients.
ALL IN THE FAMILY: Vincent Humphrey played in the 1979 and 1980 Holiday Tournaments for Proviso West. Vincent's dad, Nate, officiated in the Proviso West Tournament and Vincent's two son's, Vincent Jr. and Xavier both played for Fenwick.
I'M LOVIN' IT: Since the McDonald's All-American Game began in 1977, sixteen players from the Proviso West Holiday Tournament also were selected to play in the McDonald's Game: Mark Aguirre, 1978; Isiah Thomas, 1979; Teddy Grubbs, 1979; Glenn Rivers, 1980; Efrem Winters, 1982; Daryl Thomas, 1983; Marcus Liberty, 1987; Deryl Cunningham, 1989; Juwan Howard, 1991; Kevin Garnett, 1995; Ronnie Fields, 1996; Corey Maggette, 1998; Dee Brown, 2002; Shannon Brown, 2003; Julian Wright, 2005; and Jon Scheyer, 2006.
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