When Troy Jackson stepped down as Thornton’s boys basketball coach at the end of last season he hoped one of the coaches on his staff would get the job.
Friday morning that wish was fulfilled. Former NFL wide receiver and Thornton basketball star Tai Streets is the new coach at Thornton.
“It feels great, I’m still kind of in awe,” said Streets. “It hasn’t really hit me like that yet. I’m still lost for words.”
Streets, 38, has coached the freshman team at Thornton for the past several years. He doesn’t have any varsity coaching experience but founded and has coached one of the most successful club basketball programs in the country, Meanstreets.
“I’m always confident,” said Streets. “It’s a new thing for me but I think I’m prepared for it. Just being around basketball for so long. I’m not really nervous, I’m just excited to get it going and get us where we are supposed to be.”
Streets pulls no punches about where Thornton should be.
“Our goal at Thornton is always state titles,” said Streets. That will never change. I know it can be done, I’m very confident about.”
Morgan Park coach Nick Irvin and Young coach Tyrone Slaughter also went straight from the AAU scene into high school coaching. Both have won multiple state titles.
Streets biggest task will be stopping the flow of south suburban talent into city schools. He hasn’t made any decisions about his staff yet but is looking forward to getting his team together for the June period.
“The timing on this was huge,” said Streets. “Now we will be together for June and all the different summer leagues. I think it had to be done now.”