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HUMBLE BEGINNINGS: North’s State Aspirations

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A record of 8-0 would make any basketball player proud. But when you consider the humble beginnings for the seniors at North High School, where they are today is especially exciting and inspirational.

Like mastering any skill, the team`s success didn`t happen overnight. Coach Chad Ryan says, “It`s really not a secret. These kids are really hard workers.”

The harder they worked, the better they got. And as the boys’ skills improved so did their attitude, on and off the court. Point guard Teyontae Jenkins says the team went from a losing mentality to a winning one. That mentality made Jenkins a better student.

For shooting guard Terrance Bush, working towards winning helped him cope with losing everything in Hurricane Katrina. Bush says, “It was bad I slept under a bridge for like 4 days until this helicopter picked us up.”

His family came to Des Moines in 2005, but it didn`t start to feel like home until he met coach Chad Ryan. Bush says, “He wants us to be the best we can be.”

Bush says his coach backs up that winning attitude 24/7. “There was one night where he opened the gym for me at like midnight to shoot.”

Ryan rebounded Bush’s shots till 1:30 a.m. He also opened the gym for his players on Christmas and Thanksgiving.

All of this dedication is paying off with an impressive season, but Coach Ryan says their achievements are bigger than basketball. Ryan says, “The young men that they`re turning into, really makes me the proudest.”

The Polar Bears are on course to make state. The last time they were there was in 1991.

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