Former Proviso East basketball players from the iconic 1969 game returned to Proviso High Schools District 209 on Dec. 26, for the annual Proviso West Holiday Tournament. That year is enshrined because of East first-ever state basketball championship, defeating Academy of Our Lady/Spalding Institute 58 to 51 that March at the University of Illinois Assembly Hall. Players Billy Allen, Ira Carswell, Jim “Papa” Brewer, Pete Bouzeos and Walt Williams were just a few who returned. 

“They won it all during some turbulent times within our township,” Randall McFarland wrote in a Facebook comment on Dec. 26. “Despite that tension-filled environment, they united our community by displaying sheer grit.” 

McFarland is the founder of the Best of Proviso Township Community Organization. 

Nona Tepper