Chicago Sun-Times sports columnist Rick Telander was named a winner Monday of the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi Awards for his five-part series of columns titled “A Season Under the Gun.”

Published in February 2017, the series followed the boys basketball team at Orr High School on the West Side as the players navigated life in what Telander called “Ground Zero in Chicago’s world of violence” on their way to winning a Illinois High School Association state championship.

Telander, who has written for the Sun-Times since 1995, was honored for best sports column writing among the biggest-circulation newspapers.

Winners in other categories in the competition honoring the nation’s best journalism published in 2017 included: The New York Times, The Washington Post, “60 Minutes” and The New Yorker.

The awards will be presented June 8 at the National Press Club in Washington.

Rick Telander also hosts, with fellow Sun-Times sports columnist Rick Morrissey, the podcast "The Two Ricks."

Rick Telander also hosts, with fellow Sun-Times sports columnist Rick Morrissey, the podcast “The Two Ricks.” | Rich Hein / Sun-Times

READ THE SERIES

READ PART 1: At Orr, basketball — and the bleeding of a U.S. city

READ PART 2: Orr sits in the center of the storm

READ PART 3: Orr’s first game: gunfire, then tipoff

READ PART 4: Amid violence, a hope basketball leads to better things

READ PART 5: Where playgrounds have little to do with play