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updated: 3/11/2013 3:34 PM

Mount Prospect youth basketball team brings home championship

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  • Mount Prospect Bulls celebrate championship victory. Front row (left to right): Wally Ratzki, Joey Lombardo, Al Kazuk, Nick Gavin, Will Savard. Second row (left to right): Phil DeBlasio, Chase Bradford, Luke Sagone. Back row (left to right): Assistant Coach John Kazuk and Head Coach Paul Ratzki. Not pictured: Zach Peshek and Ivan Mitkov.

      Mount Prospect Bulls celebrate championship victory. Front row (left to right): Wally Ratzki, Joey Lombardo, Al Kazuk, Nick Gavin, Will Savard. Second row (left to right): Phil DeBlasio, Chase Bradford, Luke Sagone. Back row (left to right): Assistant Coach John Kazuk and Head Coach Paul Ratzki. Not pictured: Zach Peshek and Ivan Mitkov.

 
Brandon Noel

Al Kazuk (age 9) throws the game winning shot with zero seconds left on the clock to bring home the win for the 3rd grade Mount Prospect Boys' Basketball League Championship played Saturday, March 9th. Kazuk's winning shot ended the game with the Bulls' victory over the then, undefeated 76ers with a final score of 22-21.

In a scene worthy of a hollywood climax, the Bulls were down 20-21 with three seconds left in the game. Kazuk, a student at Lions Park Elementary in Mount Prospect, had just gotten the ball off his fingertips when the busser sounded and landed a 15-foot jump shot with zero seconds left on the clock.

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"I couldn't believe it" said Kazuk. "It was like I was dreaming but in real life."

"Everyone in the neighborhood knows our house because of the kid that's always playing basketball in the driveway" stated John Kusak, Al's Kazuk's father. It can be the middle of a snow storm and he'll bundle up, grab the shovel to clear a spot around the hoop, and just practice for hours." Continuing, "As a father, I'm proud of him for just being him, but when that shot went in, I couldn't express the amount of pride I had in my son at that moment, all the practice paid off in that one second." John Kazuk concluded.

When asked how he felt about helping the team win the championship, the young Kazuk commented, "I didn't make all 22 points, we did that as a team. It was just that the last shot happened to come from me; I'm glad it did." he stated with the biggest smile a kid could have, "but it was really all of us."

The Mount Prospect Bulls team roster consists of: Chase Bradford, Nick Gavin, Philip DeBlasio, Al Kazuk, Joey Lombardo, Ivan Mitkov, Zach Peshek, Wally Ratzki, Luke Sagone, and Will Savard. John Kazuk as assistant Coach, and Paul Ratzki leading the team as Head Coach.

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