Wednesday, February 19, 2020

All-Star Anthony Davis & Second Presbyterian Church's Blue Gym

All-Star weekend is gone, but some of the stories coming out of the weekend are still trickling out.  While the Sloop wasn't the main destination for the festivities, there were a number of connections to the neighborhood.

The new Wintrust Arena played host to the celebrity game on Friday night.  The weekend also prominently featured Chance the Rapper - a talented musician who went to Jones College Prep and we've written about a bunch (all the way back in 2013).  Another muscian - Common - introduced all the All-Stars on Sunday and held real estate in the Sloop.

More related to the actual All-Star game is Chicago's role in producing talented basketball players.  Homegrown boy Dwayne Wade certainly got some love and naturally so did Michael Jordan (although he's not from Chicago...he gets linked to the city for OBVIOUS reasons).

Another major star who is actually still playing in the league is Anthony Davis.  Besides hitting the game winning free throw on Sunday night, we noticed a fun little read about where his basketball career sprouted - the Sloop at Perspectives Charter School (via Medill Reports): 
Anthony Davis’ basketball career began in a florescent blue gym, on the third floor of the all-stone, Second Presbyterian Church in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood.
The church, a Gothic age creation that was rebuilt after the fire of 1900, boasts nine Tiffany windows and was named a Chicago Landmark in Sept. 1977 and a National Historic Landmark in March 2013.
A gorgeous church. A subpar basketball facility.
During that time 10 years ago, Davis was an unknown product, playing for an unknown school, staring into an unknown future. Just another teenager, ascending three-dozen winding steps to reach the dusty court that was closer to 64 feet in length than the regulation 94 feet.
Coming from the city which has produced players such as Derrick Rose, Isaiah Thomas and Dwyane Wade — stars who frequently are found in powerhouses like Simeon or Whitney Young.
Never before had Perspectives Charter Schools — a school so small it didn’t even have its own basketball court — had an elite athlete.
Davis attended the school’s Joslin campus, on the corner of Archer and State, and remembers the days of walking two blocks over to the aforementioned church with his teammates for practice.

We knew about Anthony Davis coming out of the Sloop (see story from 2012), but we had no idea that there was a basketball court at the church.  Pretty cool story. 

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