Local Sports

The winningest boys basketball coach in Illinois history who gained national attention when he appeared in the 1994 documentary “Hoop Dreams” has died.


Ronald Hoover, principal at St. Joseph High School in Westchester, says Gene Pingatore died Wednesday at his home. He was 83.


At the time of his death, Pingatore was preparing for his 51st season coaching at the suburban Chicago school.


Pingatore’s teams won two state championships, advanced to the state finals six times and won 13 sectional titles. In 2017 he became the 15th boys basketball coach in the country to reach the 1,000-win mark, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations.


Pingatore coached three McDonald’s All-Americans: Daryl Thomas, Deryl Cunningham and NBA Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas.

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