SOUTH HOLLAND | Bulls superstar guard Derrick Rose may or may not return to the court this season.
But Rose's alma mater, Beasley Academic Center, a Chicago elementary school, hasn't missed a step when it comes to hoops.
In the championship game of the Seton Academy Fifth-and-Sixth-Grade Boys Basketball Tournament held Feb. 16-17 at the high school, the Bees pulled away from Ariel Elementary Community Academy in the latter stages of what was a back-and-forth game to win, 34-24.
After trailing by seven points midway through the second half, the Storm stormed back to pull within a point at 25-24. But the Bees' defense tightened the screws from that point as a pair of open-court drives by Marcus Wright widened Beasley's lead to 31-24 with less than two minutes remaining.
The Bees managed to effectively freeze the ball while taking time off the clock before the Storm was forced to foul.
The win improved Beasley's overall record to 16-0 -- the Bees are undefeated in league play.
"We share the ball," Bees coach Randy Giles said. "We play as a team. Everyone contributes."
Giles started coaching at Beasley long after Rose left to continue his career in high school (Simeon), college (Memphis) and the NBA (Bulls).
"But he still gives back to the school," Giles said of Rose. "His donations helped us get these uniforms and sweats."
As of Feb. 17, Beasley's fifth-and-sixth-grade girls basketball team was also undefeated.