MORTON, Ill. — Most of us now Bob Becker as the Morton girls basketball coach.
But this weekend, he had to wear an emotional hat as father of basketball-playing daughters.
His youngest daughter Maddy, who had a second major knee surgery this month, was recognized on her Morton High School senior night Friday. She hobbled out to center court in a pregame ceremony, escorted by her parents.
Les than 24 hours later and Bob bad Evelyn Becker were at mid-court as part of a sophomore ceremony honoring their oldest daughter Josi, who is finishing her career at Illinois Central College, a nationally-ranked junior college team.
“I didn’t envision Maddy’s career ending with an injury. She’s handled it far better than I’m handling it,” Bob Becker admitted. “I’m not ready to stop seeing Josi play, either. I’m a proud dad.”
The Morton Lady Potters are 31-0 and ranked No. 1 in the state as they enter the girls basketball postseason Tuesday. Morton is the defending class 3A state champion and is shooting for a fifth state title in the last six years.
Becker has known most of his recent high school players very well because many grew up with his daughters. Josi and Maddy Becker may be playing their final games of competitive basketball this season.
“Basketball has been a big part of our lives in the Becker house. My wife and I have enjoyed it,” Becker said. “The kids have enjoyed it. And I think basketball mirrors life in a lot of ways.”
He’s a father who coaches. He’s coached the last of his children now that Maddy is set to graduate. She has played her final basketball game as she recovers from surgery, Becker said.
Josi is finishing up at ICC and could transfer to another program “if the fit is right.” She has been accepted at Bradley University and the University of Illinois as a non-playing pre-medicine student.
Bob Becker says he’s OK with the fact he might also be witnessing his daughters’ final seasons wearing basketball uniforms.
“Not everything is fair, it’s how you handle it. I think I have two pretty good kids that have grown up with great coaches along the way. And they will be successful because of some of their basketball experiences,” Becker said. “That makes me proud.”