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If there's one thing Carl Prose is very clear about, it's how he feels about basketball.
"It's the game I love," he says. "Basketball has been very good to me."
And for the past 32 years, Prose has shared his love of the game with the Streamwood girls basketball program as an assistant coach, scorekeeper, stats man, webmaster and about anything else Sabres' head coach George Rosner has asked him to do.
Prose will be inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame next April as a Friend of Basketball. He becomes the third member of the Streamwood girls' program to be inducted, following former standout player Donna Groh, and Rosner.
"He's a real important part of my staff," said Rosner. "Sometimes I think we depend on him too much but he does a lot. He knows the game and he knows the girls. He's not just out here taking up space. The girls like him and respect him and I'd feel lost of he wasn't here. He's a good sounding board and he's not afraid to speak up with his opinion."
Prose grew up in Morrisonville, a small town 40 miles southeast of Springfield, where he played basketball and graduated in 1957.
"High school basketball was the only game in town," he said. "I started playing then and got bit by the bug and I still have it."
Prose attended Southern Illinois University, and even though he didn't play for the Salukis he did continue to play basketball during college.
"We had a lot of guys who played on independent teams and I played on one," he said. "We collected among ourselves to pay the referee."
After leaving SIU, Prose went to work for International Harvester in Springfield. He was transferred to Peoria in 1962 and then in 1974 to Melrose Park, which eventually led him to reside in Streamwood. He became involved with the girls basketball program when his daughter, Lynda, played for the Sabres in the early 1980s.
"I started helping with Saturday practices and I'd help George with the summer league," said Prose, who has been married to his wife, Mary, for over 53 years. "When I retired from my 'real' job, I talked to George and started coaching full-time. Cycling is my other love so I don't do much with basketball in the summer anymore but I do all the Athletics 2000 (website) stuff and all the stats. I'm usually the first one at practice setting stuff up and I like to help the kids one-on-one. I will never know as much about team basketball as George but I try to do as much as I can with them individually, helping them with their shots or whatever."
Rosner was happy to extend a full-time assistant's opportunity to Prose when Prose retired.
"When he retired I said 'you've got more time on your hands so why don't you come in and help as a coach," Rosner said. "He's become an indispensable part of my coaching staff and he's very well deserving of this honor."
Prose has no thoughts of stepping away from the game anytime soon.
"I still love it," he said. "I love working with the kids. It makes me feel young. I love the kids' fresh perspective on things. It makes you feel younger than you are. Their enthusiasm never wears out."
And neither does Carl Prose's.