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Dwyane Wade To Coach Historic Chicago Game

Submitted by on August 24, 2010 – 4:39 pm2 Comments

Last night it was announced Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade will be honorary coach for a huge game on Friday, September 10 between two South Side Chicago high school basketball teams reuniting after a decade to settle the score of a state playoff game shrouded in controversy.

Back in 2000, a state playoff game between the Bloom Township Trojans and Brother Rice that decided who would go “downstate” to the Elite 8 and who would go home had everyone on the edge of their seats. With just seconds left and the game tied at 40-40, a desperation tip-in from Bloom standout Joe Chapman was counted. With one problem—the shot clock buzzer was drowned out by the roar of the crowd, so a firing pistol was also used to signal the end of the game. The ball left Chapman’s hands BEFORE the firing pistol but AFTER the buzzer, making that final shot controversial for more than a decade. Over 10 years later, the teams will settle the score and determine an undisputed victor once and for all.

The event is being covered for Season 3 of Gatorade REPLAY, documented through the Emmy-nominated REPLAY the Series on FS. Dwyane Wade spoke exclusively to us regarding the game, the importance of Chicago basketball to high school students and the excitement surrounding the new Miami Heat lineup.

How did you get involved with the REPLAY event?
“This is something Gatorade presented to me, to be honorary coach for the Bloom Trojans, and I just loved the whole idea. There’s a reason behind it as well, because I’m from the area and the team [Brother Rice] that’s playing against Bloom knocked my own team out when I was in high school, in my senior year. This is a way for me to kinda get even a little bit! (laughs) I’m coaching Bloom and I’ll be trying to get this win.”

What’s one game you wish you had the chance to “replay” with your teammates?
“I was thinking about that and I was trying to come up with a controversial game that I’ve had. For me personally, I’d like to do over any game I’ve lost, of course (laughs). If I had to pick one in high school, it would probably be that game against Brother Rice, before they knocked us out, because I really wanted the opportunity to go down state in high school and I thought that was my best chance. The team that I think shouldn’t have beat us did, and it was very unfortunate. So if I had to pick one example, it would be that one.”

In the video teaser for the upcoming game, the voiceover says “Chicago basketball is the best basketball in the country.” What are your thoughts on that?
“Of course a lot of states have great basketball, like New York, California, etc. I’m biased of course and I believe Chicago basketball is very rich. I think we play the best style of basketball in the country, with the toughest game. There are poor communities everywhere, but Chicago has a little bit rougher streets; a little bit rougher neighborhoods. It means a lot for kids to go to basketball as an outlet, so they play hard that way—they fight for everything.”

Would you say high school basketball has saved young people’s lives in Chicago?
“No question about it. High school basketball in Chicago gives kids the opportunity to focus on something else, be able to think about what they want to do in the future, and gives them a platform to do it. It gives kids something they can do in that tender age between 14-18 where they’re selling drugs or joining gangs. High school basketball gives them somewhere else to spend their time and put their focus on.”

You’re part of the “ultimate trifecta” this upcoming NBA season. Everyone’s talking about the chemistry between you, LeBron James and Chris Bosh. In what ways have you been working on strengthening that chemistry?
“We already have a great relationship. We’re friends and we all respect each other. Chemistry on court will come in time, when we’re around each other more and develop more of a kinship. That’s something we’re working on now and will continue to build as the year goes on. When the season gets going and we get into more of a routine, we’ll have a clearer direction to where we’re headed.”

Check out the exclusive video of Dwyane “coaching” his team below:

For more information on the REPLAY event, visit the official site.

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