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Vince Vitrano: Not For Broadcast

I'M NOT JUST BRAGGING

THERE IS A LARGER POINT

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So my high school basketball team won the whole thing this weekend.

Go ahead. Call me a loser because I care that much, but I couldn't be more proud of Wauwatosa East High School, my alma mater.

My Red Raiders won the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Division 1 Boys Basketball State Tournament this weekend. That's a big deal! As detailed in an earlier blog, we went to State twice when I was in school. The fellas won the whole thing in 1989, my freshman year, and then lost in overtime in the Championship in 1991.

Maybe it's because those are such fond memories of my high school days that I feel so much pride in what happened this weekend. Maybe it's because it forced my anchor buddy Susan to talk about Tosa East more than she'd ever care to!

Well, I promised a larger point to those of you who could give two rips about my high school winning a basketball title. Here it is. This Championship and this win is a testament to this fact: great teams still beat great players.

As I reflect on the greats who played for Tosa East in my memory, none of them won a State Championship. Tony Smith's Red Raiders made the Tourney in Madison, but fell short of winning it all. He, of course, went on to star for Marquette University and had a healthy NBA career as well. Wisconsin Badger, and NBA stud Devin Harris graduated from East without a State Championship, as did future NBA player and Louisville sophomore Jerry Smith.

I state this, in no way to diminish the accomplishments of those great players. It's only to point out that super-stars can only carry the team so far. Ask the stud and Associated Press Player of the year, Jeronne Maymon. The guy finished with 33 points for Madison Memorial in the State Final, and his team finished in second place.

Maymon was amazing... a man... who could score at will. East had one player make the entirety of the 20-player All-State team, and they were the one's hoisting the gold ball Saturday night. In an age where the individual is often celebrated above the team. In an era where young people are taught to do whatever it takes to get an edge. In a time when celebrated players talk about "my game" and "my skills" let this be a lesson to all of them.

This Wauwatosa East, State Championship team is truly a case where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Congratulations to Coach Tim Arndorfer... in his first year! My goodness, Timmy. Retire!

Photos from JS Online: Jack Orton, photographer.

emails: vvitrano@todaystmj4.com

 

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