The winningest high school basketball programs of the decade: No. 45 Uplift

Uplift’s Markese Jacobs (0) dribbles around an Orr’s player during a regional semi-final game in 2018. | Sun Times file photo

The Sun-Times is counting down the 50 high school basketball programs with the most wins during the decade. When high school basketball fans think back to the 1980s, programs like Quincy, Providence St. Mel, East St. Louis Lincoln and the arrival of city powers King and Simeon are easy to think back on.
The 1990s brought us memorable basketball giants in Peoria Manual and Thornton, a few steamrolling Proviso East teams and the continued dominance of King.
The first 10 years of the 2000s included Glenbrook North, Peoria High and the beginning of a Simeon juggernaut.
Now, with the calendar inching closer to wrapping up an unforgettable 2020, the end of this month closes out another decade. And it’s another high school basketball time period to look back on.
Earlier this year we broke down the decade’s best teams and best players. Now, with every season of the past decade complete, it’s time to look at the Chicago area programs who won the most.
This list is comprised of the 50 winningest programs over the past 10 years, starting with the 2010-11 season and concluding with the 2019-20 season. Every team in every class throughout the Chicago area will be broken down in a variety of ways. But total wins, with winning percentage used as tie-breaker, determined the rankings.
We present No. 45 Uplift today and will add one program a day going forward.
45. UPLIFT: 184-98
Decade’s biggest storyline: It’s impossible to top a state championship, especially from a program that before this decade had won very little. Behind Jeremy Roscoe, Daniel Soetan and Spencer Foley, Uplift beat Decatur St. Teresa to win the 2015 Class 2A state championship.
Underrated decade highlight: The arrival of Uplift as a basketball program in the city and the mere fact the Titans would be on a list of programs with the most wins in a decade is a huge storyline in and of itself.
Coach David Taylor was the starting point of the ascension. But the underrated part of that rise was the incoming, yet unheralded group that entered as freshmen in 2010: Quintin Olagbegi, Augustine Tronou and Corey Gongora. Coach David Taylor has always credited that group for completely changing the trajectory of the program. Other players soon followed, setting the tone and elevating the program.

Sun-Times file photo
Uplift’s Jeremy Roscoe (13) tries to shake Simeon’s Armon Benford (21).

Player of the Decade: Jeremy Roscoe (2015)
All-Decade Team: Jeremy Roscoe (2015), Daniel Soetan (2015), Spencer Foley (2015), Demarius Jacobs (2017) and Markese Jacobs (2019)
Other decade news and highlights:
-With coach David Taylor leading the way, Uplift won eight regional championships in 10 years.
-Star guards Markese Jacobs and Demarius Jacobs became household names and garnered a whole lot of attention for the program as Markese Jacobs became the all-time leading scorer.
-Uplift made an unprecedented run in the 2015 city playoffs, beating Orr in the quarterfinals and reaching the Final Four where it fell to Simeon.
-In November of 2016, Uplift opened eyes on a big stage with a title at the Tournament of Champions in Peoria.

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