High school basketball: Simeon coach Robert Smith wins his 500th game

Former Simeon players come out of the stands to congratulate Robert Smith on his 500th win.

Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times

When Robert Smith made Leonard Thomas his first hire as head coach at Simeon, they talked about goals.

“What we wanted to do was to be able to win the most city championships, the most state championships and win 500 games,” Smith said Tuesday after reaching that milestone.

In his 19th and final season leading the Wolverines, Smith has seven Public League championships, six state titles and 500 wins after an 82-36 romp past visiting Brooks.

“I mean, we were just talking about this in conversation,” Smith said of those high goals. “We didn’t know if it’d come to fruition and be real.”

But the first win came in his first game — which also was Derrick Rose’s varsity debut — against Thornwood at Curie back in 2004. Since then, the victories have come in bunches while the losses (94 now) have been few and far between.

Smith succeeded coaching legend Bob Hambric, who went 546-136 with one state title in 24 seasons. Hambric was on Smith’s mind lately.

“He gave me a chance to even be able to do this,” Smith said. “A lot of the stuff that I did over my career has been just to make him proud. I’m pretty sure he’s proud of this moment right now for me.”

Smith, whose team is 20-1 and ranked No. 1, is chasing one more city title and one more state championship. So while there were photo opportunities and commemorative T-shirts to hand out after Tuesday’s win, there also was more looking ahead than looking back.

“I …read more

Source:: Chicago Sun Times

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