It all started with a simple question,
"What can we do to help these kids?"
Rick Telander's five-part profile on the Orr Academy High School basketball team is moving and personal, heartbreaking and encouraging.
Net Gain 2017 was our response - a fundraiser to support the Orr basketball program and a cultural exchange to positively impact young men from both Orr Academy High School (CPS) and Lake Forest High Schools.
On Saturday, June 24 the Orr Academy High School basketball teams visited Lake Forest High School and played two exhibition games - junior varsity tipped off at 2:00 and the varsity teams played the second game. See out Net Gain 2017 in Pictures slideshow on The Event page for some visual highlights.
In an effort for the teams to get to know each other, a luncheon at the Lake Forest beach pavilion took place before the games, as well as an after game barbecue with the players, coaches and sponsors.
By all accounts, Net Gain 2017 "exceeded all expectations" and proved to be an eye opening educational experience for all student athletes involved as well as a successful fundraiser for the Orr Academy's basketball program.
Our original goal in 2017 was to raise $15,000 toward a multi-year commitment supporting Orr Academy High School's basketball program. To date we have raised over $35,000.
You can still help. Visit our Sponsorship page!
July 6, 2019 - Update
Lake Forest High School hosts third annual NetGain event
NICK FRAZIER, Sports Editor
Reprinted from THE LAKE FOREST LEADER | July 5, 2019
PHOTOS BY NICK FRAZIER/22ND CENTURY MEDIA
Lake Forest High School and Orr Academy kept their tradition alive on Thursday, June 27.
For the third straight year, the Scout and Spartan basketball teams squared off at Lake Forest High School in the NetGain charity event. NetGain’s goal is to raise money for young student-athletes in one of Chicago’s most dangerous neighborhoods.
Orr Academy, winner of three-straight IHSA Class AA titles, came out victorious in the varsity game on Thursday, using speed and defensive pressure to defeat Lake Forest 57-43.
“They’re a really good team, I don’t think we handled their quickness very well in the beginning,” Scouts coach Phil LaScala said. “They cause a lot of turnovers, they did a great job defensively causing those turnovers. That was something that they did really well, we did better in the second half against it.”
Jack Malloy and Asa Thomas had strong games for the Scouts, but the scoreboard obviously wasn’t important to either team. The main objective was to raise money for Orr Academy.
NetGain was formed in 2017 in 2017 when Tom Dickelman, Fred Koch and Rick Telander met with Lake Forest (High School) and formed a creative partnership to help a city high school. The first NetGain raised more than $35,000. The final tally of money raised this year was not available at press time.
Last year, Lake Forest invited New Trier and John Marshall Metropolitan High School, and NetGain raised more than $40,000 as a result. This year, Lake Forest got back to the basics.
“We decided to keep it with just Orr and us, just to simplify it a little bit, LaScala said. “We want to get other schools to gravitate to do the same thing, that’s probably going to be our goal in the future with our NetGain, as one of our things is having some of the suburban schools go to a different (CPS) public school and do some fun things like this with them.”
NetGain raised money by raffling off gift cards to local restaurants, preseason tickets to a Chicago Bulls game and a Rajon Rondo-signed basketball, among other things. There was a cookout after the varsity game, where players and parents from both teams could mingle and enjoy the weather.
Needless to say, the NetGain event is an important one at Lake Forest High School.
“It was awesome, awesome to see,” LaScala said. (There were) a lot of parents, a lot of former players here, it was great to see.”
June 23, 2019 - Update
Send your tax-deductible donation check made out to Community Church Charities to:
The Community Church of Lake Forest / Lake Bluff
P.O. Box 26
Lake Bluff, IL 60044
June 14, 2019 - Update
The first year we had a modest goal of raising $15,000 to help the basketball team at Orr Academy High School (CPS). Not only did we exceed our expectations by raising $35,000, we were also able to provide a complete weight room for all their athletes and much more!
Last year we raised a little more money at the annual summer game and we experimented a bit as we welcomed New Trier High School and Marshall Metropolitan High School (CPS) to the event.
This year, it is mostly about continuing to foster the relationship between Orr Academy and Lake Forest High School - two schools that are different in so many ways - using basketball as the common denominator.
Orr Academy has won three consecutive Illinois AA titles, and Lake Forest is on the way up - and excited about repeating last year's victory.
This year, two basketball games will be played at the LFHS campus on McKinley Road in Lake Forest, IL.
11:30 AM - Orr Academy vs. LFHS (Junior Varsity Boys)
1:00 PM - Orr Academy vs. LFHS (Varsity Boys)
For more information, scroll through our website.
July 27, 2018 - Update
July 5, 2018 - Update
July 3, 2018 - Update
The Net Gain team would also extend our sincere thanks to Mr. Joe Dondanville, producer and creative force behind the extraordinary documentary film, GameChangers, for bringing New Trier High School and Marshall Metropolitan High School (CPS) together again to be a part of Net Gain 2018.
Clear here to view the GameChangers trailer.
Net Gain 2018 in Pictures
Visit our Events page to see a short photo slideshow of yesterday's great day of basketball, friendship and fellowship.
June 19, 2018 - Update
June 11, 2018 - Update
May 29, 2018 - Update
After last year’s very successful Net Gain event, it was unclear what would happen. Would we leave it as a memorable, one-time event? Or, would we find a way to build on last year?
Recently, we were contacted by the gentlemen behind the outstanding documentary Gamechangers, which tells the extraordinary story of the New Trier High School / Marshall Metropolitan High School basketball games in 1965 and 1966.
The Gamechangers production team was aware of Net Gain 2017 and were interested in developing a partnership to create a follow up event.
We have had a number of conversations and recently our Net Gain team met with Joe Dondanville, who produced the Gamechangers documentary and is the key person in the New Trier / Marshall effort. (For more background on the games, watch the video below.)
We are very excited to announce this year's Net Gain event to be held at Lake Forest High School featuring four high school basketball teams in two games:
1. Orr Academy High School (CPS) vs. Lake Forest High School
2. Marshall Metropolitan High School (CPS) vs. New Trier High School
If you have seen Gamechangers, you will get a sense of the unique and powerful connection between the two schools. Needless to say, we were excited about the possibilities!
Mark your calendars now for our next Net Gain event on Monday, July 2, 2018 at Lake Forest High School.
• Game one tips off at 12:00
• We will have a suggested donation of $5
• T-shirts will be available for sale
• We will pursue sponsorships and additional revenue opportunities
• Event revenue will be split 50/50 (Net Gain / Gamechangers)
• Custom game jerseys for all players
• Half time and between game fun and fund generators
• A host of basketball and area celebrities
• A post-game BBQ (hosted by the LFHS Boosters) for players, coaches and sponsors to meet and greet
• T-shirts for all teams and sponsors
WCIU-TV Interview: Remembering Momentous Basketball Game Between New Trier and Marshall (5:46)
April 24, 2018 - Update
Read the Chicago Sun-Times announcement here. Read Rick's 5-part series here or click on The Orr Story tab at the top of the page.
November 9, 2017 - Update
August 1, 2017 - Update
July 31, 2017 - Update
As broadcast on NBC's Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly 7/30/17
"Lou Adams is more that just a coach of Orr Academy's boys basketball team. He's become a mentor and savior to the boys on his team - inspiring them to see a life for themselves beyond their violent surroundings."
Click here or visit the Gallery page to view the full episode along with two bonus videos: 'An interview with Orr Principal, Dr. Shanele Andrews,' and 'Parents of Orr Basketball Players Share Their Fears For Their Sons.'
July 28, 2017 - Update
Now here is some GOOD NEWS!
On Sunday, July 30, Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly will feature an episode spotlighting the exceptional work Coach Lou Adams is doing with the Orr Academy High School basketball program! The episode airs at 7:00 PM (EST) / 6:00 PM (CST).
Inspired by Rick Telander’s five-part profile on Coach Adams, his players and the realities of growing up in the violence infested west side of Chicago, this episode promises to be a thoughtful and inspiring story of our time.
For a sneak peek, click here to read the July 28 Chicago Sun-Times story 'Orr Coach Lou Adams Profiled on NBC's 'Sunday Night with Megan Kelly.'
Once the program has been aired, we will provide a link here on Net Gain 2017.
And if you have not read Rick’s articles, click here to read all five outstanding articles, plus his follow up story.
All of us involved with Net Gain 2017 congratulate Coach Adams on his well-deserved recognition and we are proud to support his efforts as he supports and enriches the lives of the Orr Academy students!
July 7, 2017 - Update
See the new New Gain 2017 in Pictures slideshow on The Event page!