iOS app Android app

Gabriel James Bump
GET UPDATES FROM Gabriel James Bump
I write about families, basketball and Chicago. But, mostly Chicago basketball families.

Entries by Gabriel James Bump

7 Days in Late December: Turning Points

(0) Comments | Posted February 10, 2014 | 9:34 AM

New Year's Eve, the final day, sneaks up on you.

Everything is going as planned.

Stevenson and Morgan Park in the 'ship.

Both teams cruised through the quarter- and semi-finals.

Jalen Brunson did much of the heavy lifting for Stevenson. But Morgan Park didn't act...

Read Post

7 Days in Late December: X-Factor

(0) Comments | Posted February 10, 2014 | 8:05 AM

You figure out the tournament eight minutes into game 26, the second game of day four.

You now know the two teams that will play in the championship.

You saw Josh Cunningham and Morgan Park dominate Thornton Fractional South last night.

Stevenson High School is putting on a...

Read Post

7 Days in Late December: Blowouts

(0) Comments | Posted February 3, 2014 | 5:39 AM

After a day filled with blowouts, you feel like you're being tested. Do you love the game as much as you think?

You understand how first rounds work, how the match-ups are lopsided, so that eases your anxiety and fear. Besides, Morgan Park plays next, against Thornton Fractional South from...

Read Post

Seven Days in Late December: Ghosts of Hillside

(0) Comments | Posted January 20, 2014 | 8:31 PM

Shoot westward out of Chicago on I-290 and you'll hit Hillside in under 30 minutes.
After the expressway, it's only a short drive to Mount Carmel Cemetery. Al Capone's buried there, so is Dean O'Banion. Two of Chicago's most-feared criminals now rest next to a gas station, Wendy's and...

Read Post

Christmas in a Gym: The Rivalry

(0) Comments | Posted January 12, 2014 | 5:20 PM

Something's changing on the South Side.

Maybe that's why Nick hasn't screamed at his players yet, hasn't stopped practice and sent them to the baseline for suicides, or sprints. Instead, he's sitting in the bleachers and admiring, starters against subs.

Earlier in the season, he was always on his feet,...

Read Post

Christmas in a Gym Part 4: Attrition

(0) Comments | Posted January 12, 2014 | 2:53 PM

Jarrin Randall has come a long way since Black Friday.

Maybe that's why Nick Irvin can sit in the bleachers and rest his arms on the row behind, looking like he's enjoying Christmas.

There goes Jarrin again, finding Josh Cunningham for another alley-oop.

Attrition has dominated Morgan Park's season. Jarrin...

Read Post

Christmas in a Gym: Welcome to the Red South

(0) Comments | Posted January 7, 2014 | 11:39 AM

Thinly covered in snow and deserted, Morgan Park High School's grounds look like they should on Christmas Day.

I'm early.

I sit in my car and listen to Christmas music, trying to think of something poetic and meaningful to write about a deserted school on the far south side...

Read Post

Christmas in a Gym: The Game

(0) Comments | Posted January 4, 2014 | 6:00 PM

So, there were Nick Irvin and Rob Smith representing their communities, with 10 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

Rob looks big-time, in a good way. He looks... stately; like he could coach at the University of Illinois, which was rumored as possibility after his third-straight 4A Championship in...

Read Post

Late On a School Night

(0) Comments | Posted November 13, 2013 | 11:21 AM

Last night was going to be extra special, possibly unforgettable.

At the United Center, the third annual State Farm Champions Classic, the best non-professional basketball games scheduled before March: Number one Kentucky against number two Michigan State, number four Duke versus number five Kentucky.

There was the setting: watching Duke...

Read Post

The Return: A Love Story

(0) Comments | Posted November 3, 2013 | 5:17 PM


You briefly think about Jarrin Randall and Ben Coupet Jr., as you stand in the aisle and look down at the vibrating sea of red.

You're sure, getting pushed from behind by annoyed fans juggling beer and...

Read Post

A Simple Camp

(0) Comments | Posted October 24, 2013 | 2:14 PM

What first came to mind, walking into the Park District of La Grange gym last Saturday, was a simple two-day basketball camp with almost 180 kids in mesh jerseys.

On three courts and 18 hoops, campers stood in line, waiting their turn to dribble at a foldout chair before...

Read Post

The Chicago People Live For, Not Die For

(0) Comments | Posted September 19, 2013 | 4:15 PM

This series starts on a Sunday, in a high-rise apartment, overlooking Lake Michigan. You can almost spit from the balcony and hit Soldier Field, where the Bears just eked out a one-point win against the Vikings. But, if the game was on earlier, no one in this apartment was paying...

Read Post