Riverside High School boys basketball team stars on court, in classroom

MILWAUKEE -- There is something special going on at Milwaukee Riverside University High school. The Tigers football team advanced to the semi-finals of the Division I playoffs, and last year, the boys basketball team won the city conference for the first time in 63 years! This year, they're 4-0, and ranked second in the area, and third in the state, but the Tigers' numbers off the court and in the classroom are even more impressive.

Tyrone Lewis' young men on the Riverside High School basketball team have an average grade point average of 2.97, and players have GPAs ranging from 2.5 to 4.0! "I use the classroom as kind of a motivation, because without my grades, I can't play basketball, so I try to keep my grades up," Riverside Point Guard Shomari Triggs said. Triggs, the quarterback on the football team, has his priorities in order. The Tigers push each other to excel academically as well as athletically. "We just try to keep everybody fighting to stay on their work, keep going to class, and doing their work," Triggs said.

Like his twin brother, Bakari Triggs is a two sport star at Riverside, who understands the long-term value as a student-athlete, and the value of total teamwork. "We are together all day in school, so we help each other in class, and we have to do the same on the court," Triggs said. Bakari has a dream of continuing his education and athletic endeavors in college and says he's aware that dreams don't become reality by sitting around! "I am pretty sure any kid's dream that plays sports is you want to go to college and play Division I, so yeah, that's my dream. I want to play Division I basketball. I've just got to keep working at it," Triggs said.

Jalen Curry is carrying a 4.0 GPA. The senior forward has stepped to the top of the class for himself, and for the people who make up his strong support system. "My coaches, and my parents, and my teammates. I want to be the main role model," Curry said. Curry says he knows what it means to be a good team, and a bit of an enforcer. "When we are in school, in the hallways, we make sure everybody goes to class in the hallways. When we have class with everybody, we make sure everybody stays on top of their grades, and everybody stays focused," Curry said.

Senior guard forward Patrick Chapman carries a 3.5 GPA. The only "D" in his vocabulary stands for discipline and determination. "I make sure I study every night. When I have tests, I study all week, and I study on the weekends," Chapman said.

You might say that the Riverside seniors run the fast break for the underclassmen, such as sophomore forward center Robert Harris. His 3.0 GPA isn't just for him. "What motivates me is really, my parents, because it means a lot to them, and if I see them happy, it makes me happy.

The Riverside boys basketball team is all about trying hard, and keeping priorities in order, and that makes the head coach proud. "They are dragging some days, but they push themselves to get to class, and sometimes I push them too, during lunch. I'm really proud of them because it will help take us in the right direction, to where we are trying to get to," Lewis said.

The Riverside Tigers may or may not make it to Madison this year, but either way, they're true champions.