Drop Steps

Jackie Robinson Little League West, Where Are They Now ?

By Lamar Battle

Few stories captured the imagination of Americans like the ascendancy of Chicago’s 2014 Jackie Robinson West Little League team.
JRW proved to be a source of pride not only for Chicago but the entire country as they made it to the the Little League world championship game before losing to the team from Seoul South Korea.

After tons of appearances (including a White House visit) and coverage it all came crashing down when an investigation by Little League International revealed that JRW used ineligible players during their push to the title game.

When the smoke cleared JRW had to forfeit their Great Lakes and National titles and deal with the requisite doses of shame and disappointment.

The outcome was not the intended one but nothing can erase the confidence, drive and grace shown by the kids who deserve absolutely none of the blame associated with the cheating scandal.

For those of us with inquiring minds, what are those  young men up to these days?

DJ Butler:  Simeon H.S.  Uncommitted

Ed Howard: Mount Carmel H.S. committed to U of Oklahoma

Lawrence Noble: Freshman Coppin State University

Cam Buford: Freshman Grambling State University

Eddie King Jr: Marion Catholic H.S. committed to Louisville

Joshua Houston: Mount Carmel, committed to Southern (LA)

Marquise Jackson: Brother Rice, committed to U of Oklahoma

Darion Radcliff: Freshman at Kirkwood Community College

Brandon Green: Freshman at Southern U, (LA)

Prentiss Luster: Marion Catholic H.S. c/o 2020

Pierce Jones: Drafted by the San Diego Padres 2019.

Tre Hondres: Freshman at U of Michigan

Jaheim Benton: No current information.

That these young men are continuing their education is a tribute to their parents but the importance of organized activities along with the assistance of coaches and mentors cannot be over estimated

At a time when schools are closing, jobs leaving and being replaced with drugs and guns cities can not find enough ways to engage young people in positive activities.

Hats off to Jackie Robinson West and all efforts to provide opportunities for boys and girls.

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