The bleachers bounced and bucked like a bronco as hundreds of screaming fans dressed in blue and white jumped up and down frantically. Suddenly, a hush fell over the crowd as the net effortless swished not once but twice. A buzzer was sounded, the bleachers that were buckling just moments before were empty as the entire La Lumiere student body poured into the court to surround their team. La Lumiere boy’s basketball team had officially won Dick’s Nationals. They were rightfully crowned the best basketball team in the nation.
Whether it was the twelve hour drive or the two hour flight, none of that mattered when it came to victory. Over half of the 260 kids that attend La Lumiere were in New York to cheer on their beloved team as they went head on with the best high school teams in the country. Over the span of three days, the nation watched on ESPN as Wasatch Academy (21), Findlay Prep (16), and finally Mountverde Academy (9), were defeated. After a soul crushing defeat last year against Oak Hill Academy in the championship round, clinching the title this year was especially sweet for all involved.
Kobe Bryant took the time to pen an encouraging message to the Lakers before they stepped foot on the court in New York City.
He reminded them of the sting of the defeat from last year and that, “Sometimes life only gives you one shot at redemption. Time to take it.” Redemption is exactly what they got.
After the dust had settled and everyone was safely home, a rally was held in the Fine Arts Building where the players, coaching staff, and fans were honored by Mayor of LaPorte, Blair Milo. Milo congratulated the immense win the boys pulled off and commented on the pride their community had in them. As a congratulations, Mayor Milo declared April 4th Laker Day in LaPorte County.
La Lumiere entered New York City, determined and prepared, and left New York City as champions.
The energy brought forth by the fans could have powered cities for decades. The love and pride that engulfed the entire student body, in the stands and watching at home, was felt by the nation.
April 1st, 2017 was the day the entire nation became a La Lumiere Laker. In the words of Tyger Campbell, point guard for the Champion Boy’s Basketball team, “Ring me!”