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For the second consecutive season, the team comprised of students from De La Salle and Southside Occupational Academy in Chicago has won the championship of the IHSA/Special Olympics of Illinois Division II Unified Basketball State Tournament held at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on March 8-9.

The head coach of the team was De La Salle athletic director Tom White. John Brogan of De La Salle and Dustin Deal of Southside Occupational Academy were his assistant coaches.

The De La Salle/Southside Occupational Academy team defeated Bradley-Bourbonnais 40-29 in the state semifinals on March 8 before beating Vaughn Occupational High School/St. Patrick 64-59 in the state final on March 9.

Representing De La Salle were David Coffey; Chris Cole; Kaleb Navarro; Myles Green and Timothy Schergen. Southside Occupational Academy’s team members were Rashawn Allen; Trevon Darden; Keynon Davis; Brandon Dorsey; Matthew Furdge; Marcus Holmes and Christmann Tassy.

“This is a wonderful event and I’m so very proud of the students from De La Salle and from Southside Occupational Academy who did an exemplary job of representing their respective schools,” White said. “Participating in this allows our student-athletes to develop friendships with the students from Southside Occupational Academy as well as giving students from both schools an amazing opportunity to learn from each other about the benefits of working hard and putting forth a substantial effort both individually and as a team to achieve their goals.

“Thank you very much to the IHSA and Special Olympics of Illinois for hosting a first-class event and for treating the student-athletes from De La Salle and Southside Occupational Academy with grace, class and dignity. This is something we’ll always cherish and remember.”

Congratulations to the student-athletes from De La Salle and Southside Occupational Academy! Well done! We’re very proud of you!

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