FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A lot has changed since a Fort Wayne community school has won a boys basketball state title.
Now, North Side has a chance to change all of that.
“My dad sat me down and talked to me about it,” Keion Brooks Jr. said. “He let me grasp the idea of winning a state championship since the 1970’s, that would be history.”
The 1974 crown for Northrop over Jeffersonville was the last championship for the area. Those short shorts are replaced by these high-flying Legends with five North Side players on the court and a community in their huddle.
“It’s more than just the state title, it’s going to mean everything to our staff, to us, to our coaches because none of us have ever been here before,” Juan Quarles said. “For us to be the first FWCS team to get this far, I mean, it doesn’t get any better than that.”
On Saturday night, North Side will face Ben Davis in the final game of the night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
“A lot of alumni that are coming out have waited a long time for this opportunity and people that have reached out from all over the United States that have contacted me via email or tried to reach me via phone,” head coach Shabaz Khaliq said. “That says a lot about our school and this tradition in the support that we’ve got and our guys are lucky to have that support and hopefully we don’t let them down.”
Just 32 minutes separate North Side from the title and they know the task won’t be easy to become Legends of their own.
“We’ve talked about making memories and making history throughout the course of the year,” Khaliq affirmed. The Legends try to balance the significance of this moment with the reality that it’s a game “We speak about the opportunity to win a state title it correlates with all the stuff that we’ve been preaching from day 1.”