Dekalb and Milwaukee Madison High School Boys Basketball Teams to Be Honored By Kapco, Inc. and the Bucks at This Saturday’s Game vs. Washington

Dekalb and Milwaukee Madison High School Boys Basketball Teams to Be Honored By Kapco, Inc. and the Bucks at This Saturday's Game vs. Washington
Both teams named Kapco Home Court Heroes for displaying extraordinary sportsmanship

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February 26, 2009

The Milwaukee Bucks and Kapco, Inc. will honor the varsity boys basketball teams from Milwaukee Madison High School and DeKalb (IL) High School this Saturday prior to Milwaukee’s game against the Washington Wizards (7:30 p.m. tip).  Kapco, Inc., has named the two teams “Home Court Heroes” for displaying extraordinary sportsmanship and compassion in a touching story that has gained national attention in recent days after first appearing in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

“Once in a while we hear of someone or some team in the sports world doing something so remarkable that we can’t help but be inspired,” said Bucks General Manager John Hammond.  “It is a great privilege for us and for Kapco to be able to recognize the selfless act of sportsmanship exhibited by the DeKalb boys basketball team towards Johntell Franklin and the rest of his team.  We’re extremely proud of the example they set and are happy to help share their story with others.”

The two teams played each other on February 7 in Milwaukee.  Earlier that day, Carlitha Franklin, the mother of Madison senior captain Johntell Franklin, passed away from cervical cancer.  The game came close to being cancelled, but Johntell wanted his teammates to play, even though he was not expected to be there.   However, early in the second quarter of a close game, Johntell arrived at the gym.  His coach immediately called a timeout and his teammates walked over to him to show support for their grieving teammate.  It was at that time that Johntell expressed a desire to play.  The only problem with that was that the rulebook stated that if a player enters a game that is not on the pre-game roster, the opposing team is awarded two technical free throws.  DeKalb’s head coach refused to accept the two technicals, recognizing along with everyone else that playing in the game might help Johntell with the grieving process, but the referees insisted that someone had to shoot the two free throws.  So DeKalb’s senior captain, Darius McNeal, volunteered to take the shots, which he intentionally missed.  The heartfelt act of sportsmanship was not lost on the Madison bench or the crowd as they all stood to applaud both McNeal and his team.  Milwaukee Madison went onto win 62-47 and Johntell Franklin finished the game with 10 points.

Saturday’s presentation will take place prior to the game at approximately 6 p.m. on the court.  The two teams will receive plaques and have a photo opportunity with Bucks players.  Each club also received 30 tickets to the game.  The two teams will also be recognized during the second time out of the first quarter.

This is the second season of the Kapco Home Court Heroes program.  Each month the company recognizes a group or individual that has made an exceptional and lasting contribution to the community.  The example of sportsmanship put forth by the DeKalb boys basketball team has inspired the hearts of people across the country and Kapco is happy to present both teams with this award.