Illinois Stars on The Rise!

Congrats to our friends from the Illinois Stars for being invited to participate in the UA Rise 15U-17U Boys division. The other program from Illinois participating in the UA Rise 15U-17U boys division is Fundamental U from Chicago.

The unique opportunity about the UA Rise is that the Illinois Stars have the opportunity to play under the same roof as Association teams and have crossover games against them as well.

The only team to represent the Under Armour association from the state of Illinois are the Illinois Wolves.

Congrats again, what a great opportunity.

Coach Jason Warner

Coach Goers, This is for You!

When people think of St. Joe’s basketball, they think of Gene Pingatore, Isiah Thomas of the Detroit Pistons, and the movie Hoop Dreams with William Gates and Arthur Agee.  Hoop Dreams is a basketball classic, and certainly a part of coach Pingatores’ legendary status, but it’s his wins that matter to the Illinois basketball history book.

When it comes to winning high school basketball games, Gene Pingatore (St. Joes) along with Steve Goers (Boylan Catholic) know it the best, and are at the top of the list. Steve Goers finished his high school coaching career with 881 wins. After coaching at Bardolph, Oswego, LaSalle-Peru, Harvard and Rockford Boylan, Coach Goers retired and notched himself as #1 on the list in the state of Illinois.

While there are a lot of games that define the Steve Goers era, there are none that compare to his signature win against Chicago King that boasted two 7-footers named Rashard Griffith and Thomas Hamilton. To be the best, you need to play the best and that has always been a Coach Goers-ism. While coach Goers is certainly enjoying retirement watching his kids and grandkids grow up, it’s safe to say that he is still out there connecting the dots to make things like the upcoming game(s) happen.

Boylan Catholic Head Coach, Brett McCallister was an assistant to Coach Goers prior to his retirement and waited patiently for his turn at the helm. In his 3rd year, Coach McCallister is carrying on the Boylan tradition of searching out the top competition by heading to Westchester St. Joe’s on February 9th, 2019.  With this historic meeting, it’s going to make for some exciting basketball, that’s for sure. I know there is one retired coach who is certainly not going to miss his protege take on the now winningest coach in IHSA history; Gene Pingatore.

In addition to the meeting in Westchester this February, St. Joe’s will head to Rockford in 2020 to take on the Titans. As you could anticipate, these 2 games will be instant classics. Make sure you circle them on your schedule because they are going to be ones you will not want to miss.

Links to check out related to the story

Coach Pingatore – “I am a Teacher, This is my Classroom”

IHSA Boys Basketball All-Time Coaching Records

“King’s Towers” Story – Rashard Griffith and Thomas Hamilton

Coach Goers Retires – NBC Sports Chicago

Future Stories

Pingatore heads to Rockford Boylan, for the second time!?!?                               Did you know?  In 2020, it won’t be the first time Coach Pingatore heads into the Boylan gym!  He actually coached a game leading up to the Boylan – King game.

The “Coach Steve Goers Court”                                                                                           Is it time for the second winningest coach in IHSA history to be recognized for putting Boylan basketball on the state map?  Ie.  The “Coach Steve Goers Court”


Coach Jason Warner


Great Story! Better Man!

What a great story!!! It looks like the article is a couple weeks old but certainly still relevant.

His story is incredible and if you ever get a chance to catch Coach Brian Benning in retirement, introduce yourself, you will be glad you did!!! He is one of the good guys!!!

Take a second and read this article by Joe Dredge from 1440 WROK

Coach Jason Warner

Click the picture for the full story

Great story! Better Man!

Click the picture for the full story

Harlem High Boys Basketball Spotlight!!! 2018-2019

The 2018-2019 Harlem Huskies are going to be right in the mix this year for the best in the NIC-10. With a solid group of college recruits Harlem is surely going to be fun to watch.  With one of the best shooting trios in the area, college coaches are sure to check them out.  Enjoy watching the spotlight video, compliments of Rockford Elite Basketball.


Just Solve the Problem!

I get it!

Playing Division One (D1) basketball is the signature level for defining a player’s success.  According to the NCAA web-site only 1% of high school participants will play D1 basketball (see chart below).  Historically speaking, we have tagged our region as not successfully moving kids to the D1 level however it appears that statistically we are probably in the ball park and not that far off.

While I have previously written about how the Rockford region is a small college hot-bed in my blog ERIC PALM IS A PRO!, I also believe there are a few things we need to do to increase our kids’ chances of playing D1 basketball.  First and foremost, we need to help educate our student-athletes and parents about what it takes in the classroom to achieve their dreams of playing D1 basketball.  The best and easiest way to start the education process is for student athletes and their parents to understand the NCAA web-site inside and out.  This link (click here) provides a pretty simple outline for minimum requirements for eligibility.

While meeting NCAA standards should be a given, unfortunately it’s not and we need to change the culture of preparedness with kids at younger ages.

It’s pretty clear to me that the Rockford region is on the cusp of improving it’s basketball recruiting culture but after jumping back into the competitive high school game for a couple years, I am reminded of the fact that our kids need to take ownership of their grades.

Here is a list of a few simple concepts to understand and improve on…

  1.  Get a 4.0 or higher your freshman year.  OK, fine…maybe a 4.0 isn’t for everybody, but it is certainly easier to move your GPA your Freshman and Sophomore year than it is your Junior or Senior year.  Too many of our kids do not take high school seriously their freshman year and are climbing out of a hole when opportunities present themselves.
  2. Understand what CORE classes are!!  In laymen’s terms, D1 schools do not look at your PE class and your Foods class, they look at Math and English.  See link here to understanding CORE classes per the NCAA.
  3. Understand what your CORE GPA is!!!  A cumulative GPA is NOT the same as your cumulative CORE GPA.
  4. Hop on KHAN ACADEMY and practice the ACT and SAT practice tests!!!   Khan Academy is FREE and available to anyone.  This is funded by people like Bill and Melinda Gates and is a great resource to improve test scores at earlier ages.
  5.  Self-Educate yourself to meet and exceed these eligibility standards!  We need to understand what makes our kids eligible in high school doesn’t necessarily qualify them for college and that each school varies.
  6. Be an active participant in your own rescue!!!  Eligibility ultimately falls on the shoulders of our student-athletes but we as a community need to do a better job and make sure that our kids are meeting and exceeding eligibility standards.  Do not wait on your counselor, coach, teacher or administration to do this for you.  Once again, this ultimately falls on the student-athlete. Our student-athletes need to understand how to ask others for help/resources that are out there…but don’t wait on others, solve your own problems.

To be a hot-bed in basketball, we need to improve our culture and improve our kids’ grades/test-scores.  To be clear, here is what I have first-hand knowledge of when it comes to our region’s recruiting classes.  We have 8 boys basketball players that are currently working to improve their grades and/or test-scores to receive scholarships from varying colleges.  Among the 8 players, we have 17 schools that are either waiting on our kids to improve their test-scores or have completely passed on offering these players full scholarships due to their test scores not meeting eligibility standards.  To be clear, this is not what a hot-bed looks like, but when I say that we are on the cusp of becoming a hot-bed in boys basketball it couldn’t be more accurate.  I look forward to helping improve our recruiting culture.  Unfortunately, this is our region today but together we can change it.

Coach Jason Warner

Rockford Elite Basketball is currently working to build an educational component to our program which will focus on college preparation.




March 23rd, 2019 is set and so is the Senior Showcase Game or should we say Game(s).  These games will highlight Rockford Area high school seniors who have exhausted their IHSA eligibility after the season concludes.  The purpose for the games is to continually improve our region’s collegiate exposure and we look forward to highlighting teams and seniors leading up to it.


While the “Senior Showcase Game” is currently a Boys only event, we are open to working with another organization to run a girls game(s) concurrently.  There is a lot that goes into games like this and certainly a lot of questions to answer to make sure it is the best in the area.

For example,

Should the games be big school vs small school?  Should the games be divided based on talent level?  Should the games be divided by conference?  Should the game be divided by the schools geography?  Should they be divided by signed or unsigned seniors?  Should they be divided by kids committed to colleges and those that are not committed to colleges?  Should the the games be divided by those pursuing basketball in college and those not pursuing basketball in college?

There’s a ton of questions to finalize but what we do know is that there are 40 boys  (2 games) in our region that will be selected to participate on March 23rd, 2019 for our Senior Showcase Game(s) and we will be able to recognize more potential Rockford Area kids.

Promoting our area seniors and recognizing our areas talent in basketball is why we do it and want to thank everyone for their early support.  We look forward to the event but we certainly look forward to the season leading up to it.

To assist us in the video promotion of our areas basketball talent, we are looking for sponsors.  If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities, we would love to hear from you.

Check out the following link for more information.

Coach Warner