State Stories

19

Sportswriting Icon Melissa Isaacson's Message to IHSA Student-Athletes

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Author and sportswriting icon Melissa Isaacson retold her stories of the Michael Jordan era Chicago Bulls throughout the lauded documentary The Last Dance.

Isaacson knew about championship basketball well before those Bulls threepeats, as she helped Niles West High School win the IHSA Girls Basketball State Championship in 1979. She later chronicled that experience in the acclaimed book STATE: A Team, a Triumph, a Transformation.

Isaacson also took the time to share her thoughts with IHSA student-athletes who lost their seasons due to the COVID-19 pandemic in her blog with an entry entitled Tourneys canceled, payoff to come, which reads...
 

The announcement Tuesday was just another drop of bad news in a virtual flood this last month or however long it has been now. It’s hard to keep up, both with the days and the news. And when the Illinois High School Association said it was officially cancelling all spring sports state tournaments, it was no surprise, an inevitable response to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s earlier decision to close state schools for the rest of the academic year.

But this one still hurt. And like the decisions to cancel proms and graduations and some of the winter state tournaments, the sting will be felt acutely and linger for a while.

As someone who has experienced the very best high school sports had to offer, and 40 years later is still talking about it, what I am going to say next might sound like the kind of consolation parents have tried to offer heartbroken kids through the ages and received cold stares and tears in
return.

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