Whitney Young Captures Boys and Girls Varsity Basketball Championships
SPORTS | February 17, 2022
Whitney Young Captures Boys and Girls Varsity Basketball Championships

By Michael Wojtychiw


With a program like Whitney Young, the goal is to win championships, whether they’re state, city, or both.

The Dolphins’ AJ Casey had been open about the desire to win both the city and state championships as a senior this season. Now, he’s halfway there as the Dolphins won their fourth city title, 55-50 over Curie. 

“This feels amazing right now, it’s my first city championship, it feels great,” Casey said.



“This has been a phenomenal week of basketball, especially after coming back after Covid,” Young coach Tyrone Slaughter said. “For us, we’re happy to have this opportunity. We’ve had three upsets in one week. I’m excited about that.”

Junior guard Dalen Davis was hot out of the gate, scoring 11 of his team-high 15 points in the first quarter, including three 3-pointers. And a big part that he, as well as the other players and coaches, felt that helped propel them was the fan support, mainly their raucous student section.

“It’s amazing when they come out and support, I think it gives us an extra boost of energy and makes us want to win even more,” Casey said. “We already want to win it for ourselves, but we want to win it for them as well.”



Even though the Dolphins controlled much of the game on the scoreboard, a 17-7 run to close the second quarter, including a three-pointer by Phoenix Bullock just before the buzzer, gave Curie a 32-29 lead going into the break. Young took the lead for good in the third quarter through a basket off a steal by Xavier Amos. 

“In the first half, especially Jeremy (Harrington) were having their way in the post, so at halftime, we got together and talked about fronting the post and other adjustments so they wouldn’t be able to score and get the ball,” Amos said.

Young and Curie have an opportunity to meet in the state playoffs, where they are the top two seeds in the Class 4A Lyons Sectional.




Whitney Young girls coach Krissy Harper came into the city championship game with an unbeaten record in city title games. She won two city championships as a player and continued her streak as her team collected Young’s 13th city title with a 57-55 comeback win over Kenwood. 

“It means so much to win with these girls,” Harper said. “If you guys only knew the battles we’ve been through this year, it means so much. They deserve it.”



“Every day at practice we look up at the banners and wish our names were up there,” Young freshman Destiny Jackson said. “Now our names are going to be up there. It feels really good.”

At one point down 17-6 in the second quarter, Young slowly but surely chipped away. This deficit became 19-18 and 25-24 before the Broncos knocked down a three-pointer as the second-quarter buzzer sounded to take a 28-24 lead into the half.

At halftime, legendary Marshall coach Dorothy Gaters was honored.

Chicago Public Schools and the entire city, including the mayor, celebrated Gaters with a plaque and a video with statements from all different people in the girls basketball community, ranging from former players to Mayor Lori Lighfoot to DePaul Women’s Basketball coach, Doug Bruno.



“Dorothy Gaters was coaching when I played and to be able to circle back and see her get this award and for us to win the city championship, especially coming off of a Covid season, it’s absolutely unbelievable,” Harper said.

The back-and-forth tussle continued into the third and fourth quarters, with neither team holding more than a three-or four-point lead until the Dolphins pulled ahead 54-47 with 3:11 remaining and never looked back. 

“We needed to get a win like this,” Harper said. “A lot of the losses that we have are to very, very good state-contending teams, normally under five (points), so to get a win like this, so close to the state playoffs, is a true momentum builder.”