When high school basketball fans think back to the 1980s, programs like Quincy, Providence St. Mel, East St. Louis Lincoln and the arrival of city powers King and Simeon are easy to think back on.
The 1990s brought us memorable basketball giants in Peoria Manual and Thornton, a few steamrolling Proviso East teams and the continued dominance of King.
The first 10 years of the 2000s included Glenbrook North, Peoria High and the beginning of a Simeon juggernaut.
Now, with the calendar inching closer to wrapping up an unforgettable 2020, the end of this month closes out another decade. And it’s another high school basketball time period to look back on.
This list is comprised of the 50 winningest programs over the past 10 years, starting with the 2010-11 season and concluding with the 2019-20 season. Every team in every class throughout the Chicago area will be broken down in a variety of ways. But total wins, with winning percentage used as tie-breaker, determined the rankings.
We present No. 39 Brother Rice today and will add one program a day going forward.
39. BROTHER RICE: 188-104
Decade’s biggest storyline: The biggest story of the decade involved the retirement of highly-successful coach Pat Richardson and the hiring of former Rice legend Bobby Frasor.
Richardson raised Brother Rice basketball to an entirely different level and emerged as one of the elite coaches in the state in his 24 years leading the program. Richardson, who stepped down in 2013, won nine Catholic League titles, 11 regional and four sectional championships, over 400 games and reached the Elite Eight once.
Frasor, an all-time Brother Rice great and former McDonald’s All-American who played at North Carolina, came home to take over the program the following year.
Underrated decade highlight: Brother Rice made a three-pointer in every single game of the decade. Amazingly, the last time the Crusaders failed to make a three-pointer in a game was Feb. 3, 2002.
Player of the Decade: Marquise Kennedy (2019)
All-Decade Team: Alex Majewski (2013), Quinn Niego (2014), Josh Niego (2017), Mike Shepski (2017) and Marquise Kennedy (2019)
Other decade news and highlights:
-Marquise Kennedy broke the single-season scoring record in 2018-19.
-The 2016-17 team won the Chicago Catholic League South.
-The Crusaders won back-to-back regional titles in 2017 and 2018.
-There were four players in the decade who climbed into the top six all-time leading scorers in Brother Rice history over the course of the decade. Shepski finished as the school’s second all-time leading scorer with 1,388 career points. Majewski finished third all-time with 1,333 career points, Kennedy fifth with 1,290 points in just two seasons and Josh Niego was sixth with 1,174 career points.