On August 11th, 2019, The Support Group’s 30th annual Chicago All-Star Basketball Game took place at Wintrust Arena. The event, in partnership with Project sWISH Chicago, was hosted by Chicago basketball legends Antoine Walker and Tim Hardaway Sr. The Support Group, a non-profit founded by Bennie Henry and Hardaway Sr., was created in 1989 to inspire and educate underserved youth in Chicago with after-school programs. The annual basketball game provides affordable, local entertainment to those who can’t afford bigger events such as an NBA game. The games were split into three different themes: High School Game (Chicago high school stars), Chicago celebrities, and an NBA/College player game. All games consisted of a Black Team vs. White Team style, which was basically pick-up. It was a truly exciting afternoon for all those who attended, as the basketball games were all very entertaining.
The High School game was essentially a game of hero ball from every player. But it is understanding, as everyone is trying to prove themselves. This still made for an entertaining 20-minute game, just was ugly to watch so many poor quality shots. In the end, the Black Team came out on top, winning 24-23 over the White Team.
G Herbo (also known as “Lil Herb”) highlighted the Chicago celebrities who attended. While he is certainly a much better rapper than basketball player, he helped make a show out of the 30-minute game. Full of crossovers, crucial shots, and a cast of players who put in a lot of effort, the celebrity game was a lot of fun for anyone to watch. The White Team was down 10 (42-32) with 10 minutes left to play, but had a quick comeback and tied up the score with 3:30 (46-46) left in the game. The White Team, led by G Herbo, couldn’t succeed in the comeback, however, as The Black Team won 56-50.
The NBA/College game was a watered down All-Star game. NBA players Jahlil Okafor (Black), Jabari Parker (White), and Tim Hardaway Jr. (Black) highlighted the game. And while almost no defense was being played, it was a game that had everyone watching at the edge of their seats, as every possession had the chance to end in a stunning fashion. After a first half, which was full of 3-point bombs and other crazy shots, the Black Team, lead by Jahlil Okafor, was up 59-54. However, after an explosive eight minutes, the White Team came back to have a one point lead at 82-81 with 12 minutes left to pay. At the end of the game, the White Team, lead by Parker, won 111-108.
By Hugo Vazquez, Senior, Brooks College Prep
Instagram: @sadbullsfan14 / Snapchat: hugovbrooks