Joliet West Boys Basketball Named Team of the Year

Lawson Sizemore, Sports Editor

After coming off a 5-24 season, West looked to exceed expectations this year. They did even more than that as they finished this season with a tremendous record of 29-4.

The biggest turnaround in Illinois history was cut short by the Coronavirus, but that shouldn’t take away from the great season that was had by the Tigers. 

Achievements for the year include 1st place Thanksgiving Tournament, 3rd place Pontiac Holiday Tournament, Regional Championship, and Sectional Semifinal Championship.  

There was no doubt that this team was bound for a trip to Peoria. The Tigers were led by Illinois All-State senior guard Jamere Hill, who finished the year averaging 17.7 points a game. Ashawn Burbridge and Jaiden Lee were named to the All-Area Second Team, as both played big roles as the season progressed. 

When asked about how it felt to be named team of the year, Hill responded, “It feels great to get this much respect from others, no one could’ve thought we could have the season we had this year.” Hill spent the last three years on varsity and always has shown the ability to be a leader.

Though the season didn’t get the chance to play out, a lot can argue that this was if not the best, one of the best teams, to go through West. This only the beginning of a dynasty to come for West and the boy’s basketball program. 

Freshman point guard Jeremy Fears Jr. stated, “It was big for the school, players, and the people who followed us know we had a good year. We just have to build on this, so we can accomplish the goal we had set at the beginning of the season.”

The future is bright for the Tigers and everyone in Joliet knows it, especially with the great leadership from Coach Kreiger and his staff. Coach Kreiger had this to say about this season, “The focus should be on the foundation that was set and all that we did accomplish together. This is a group that should be proud of showing exactly what we want the program to look like.”

There is more to come from this great program. Everyone who was able to attend a game should consider themselves fortunate to have witnessed the start of greatness from the Tigers basketball program. All of this proves why the Tigers earned their title of “Team of the Year”.