‘A season under the gun’ and Orr high school basketball update

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Coach Lou Adams talks to his players during a timeout against North Lawndale College Prep High School at Orr Academy High School, Jan. 13, 2017.

Ashlee Rezin / Sun-Times

In February of 2017, the Sun-Times’ Rick Telander wrote the series “A Season Under The Gun,” a powerful look behind the scenes at the Orr High School basketball team and the challenges its players faced in a community struggling with poverty and violence.

The five-part series, which recently won Telander one of the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi Awards for excellence in journalism, helped to shine a light on the experiences of young athletes and men in a west-side neighborhood.

In a bite-sized bonus episode of “The Two Ricks: Unfiltered,” Telander sits with co-host Rick Morrissey to reflect on what it was like writing such an important story and the effect that his work had on the community.


Orr has gone on to win back-to-back Illinois Class 2A state championships in 2017 and 2018. Most of the players have gone on to college or prep schools. And the creation of the Net Gain charity program has raised thousands of dollars for the community. “This really opened to possibilities about what I can become,” Telander says Chase Adams, a guard at Orr, told him during an event.

Get more inside one of the Sun-Times’ most important stories of 2017 with this 18-minute bonus episode of “The Two Ricks: Unfiltered,” brought to you by Sun-Times Media Productions.

Sun-Times sports columnists Rick Morrissey and Rick Telander are co-hosts of a new podcast called “The Two Ricks: Unfiltered.” Don’t miss their candid, amusing takes on everything from professional teams tanking to overzealous sports parents and more. Download and subscribe for free on Apple Podcasts and Google Play or via RSS feed.

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