‘They just did things the right way’: Palatine honors Pirate basketball squad

  Palatine Mayor Jim Schwantz, left, speaks with Palatine High School head boys basketball coach Eric Millstone, center, and the team's all-time leading scorer, Connor May, at village hall Monday night. Steve Zalusky/

It was a historic year for the Palatine High School boys basketball team, which made it downstate for the first time in school history and returned with a 4th place trophy.

The Palatine village council welcomed the triumphant Pirates to its chambers Monday, where they honored the team for its achievements on and off the court.

“It was an unbelievable run,” Mayor Jim Schwantz said. “When social media is used for good things, like following you guys for those five or six weeks leading up to the state championships, that was pretty cool.”

Schwantz said the team also was being honored for how they represented themselves and the town.

There was some good-natured banter between Schwantz and head coach Eric Millstone. It began when Schwantz addressed Connor May, Palatine’s all-time leading scorer.

“I played with the all-time leading scorer at Fremd High School when I was there. And he thanked me for was missing a bunch of shots, because he got all the rebounds and was able to put them all back in,” he said.

Millstone, who played basketball at Buffalo Grove High School, replied that he competed against Schwantz on the court.

“He was a senior. I was a sophomore,” Millstone said of the former NFL linebacker. “It didn’t end real well for me.”

Millstone called Monday’s recognition a privilege and an honor.

“It’s even better having a Fremd guy having to introduce us,” he added, drawing some laughs.

“These guys represented themselves in the best way possible,” Millstone said of the team. “They represented their school. They represented their families. They represented the town of Palatine. I think that’s one of the reasons why it was such a special group. Not only were they very talented basketball players, but they just did things the right way.”

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