NOTE: The portfolio photos are not all square and can be viewed full size through a gallery feature by clicking the thumbnails. If you prefer a static web version, the images are directly below the thumbnails in order.
The navigation bar directly below is for my 2023 portfolio. Any navigation links above this page are to my other portfolios or older work and will not return you to this page. Covering high schools sports I’ve always thought someone should photograph all the really interesting high school basketball gyms out there. Since 2012 I had been passively photographing different gyms while on assignment, but in 2021 decided I would try to put together a book on the best high school gyms in Illinois.
It is a quirky little passion project that will include over 120 gyms. This set of images is a collection of some of those gyms, all but one from Illinois. I hope you enjoy.
The bottom of the four-sided scoreboard in the Berry Bowl at Logansport High School, Feb. 19, 2022.
Water bottles sit at the ready during a basketball game at Brother Rice High School in Chicago, Jan. 18, 2022.
Basketball history lines the walls of Marshall’s gyms and creates a backdrop for the tip off against Leo in the playoffs, in Chicago, on Feb. 26, 2019.
Spectators’ feet hang over the balcony ledge at Mount Carmel High School’s Alumni gym during a wrestling match, on Jan. 21, 2022. Built in 1924 the balcony served as an indoor track above the basketball court.
Underneath a giant American flag, a person enters the visiting-team’s locker room at Sterling High School’s Musgrove Field House, on Jan. 15, 2022.
Quincy High senior Grayson Cook dressed as the school’s mascot, the Blue Devil, during a routine that happens before the team is introduced at the beginning of every home game, on Feb 5, 2022.
An art deco building from the 1930s, the gym at Austin High School in Chicago features a full bank of windows along its southern baseline, April 8, 2022.
The warm glow of the Dyett High School Recreation Center in Chicago, reflects off an icy snow outside, Jan. 9, 2022. The recreation center was built in 1972 as a stand alone structure who’s pool and gymnasium would be open to the public when school was not in session.
Built in 1951, the Davenport Gym at Harrisburg H.S. features a wooden press box anchored into the wall above the visiting side’s bleachers that may be as old as the gym, Feb. 25, 2022.
The ball rack at Brussels High’s gym sits ready to be used, but has no team to support. The small rural school with an enrollment of 56 students hasn’t had enough players tryout to field a team, so a handful of students play for another school in the district 18 miles away, April 14, 2022.
Hebron was the only small school to win a title during Illinois’ one class playoff years. Signed by the 1952 state championship team, the old gym’s center court is framed in the hallway outside the new gym, as the girls team of Alden-Hebron heads back to the court after spending halftime in a classroom, Jan. 5, 2022.
Left to rot, the gym at Joliet Catholic’s original building doesn’t resemble its heyday. A green paint job replaced a lot of the school’s brown and gold, as it was became the home for Plainfield High after they lost their school to a tornado in Aug. of 1990. The same year Joliet Catholic had moved into a new building, March 18, 2022.
Built in 1950 Frankfort High School’s Max Morris Gym is nicknamed “The Supreme Court” because of its stunning looks; thanks in part to wood finishings that include stadium-style seats, bleachers, walkways, and stairs, Feb. 25, 2022.
Built in 1910, there’s no record of varsity basketball being played in Schurz’s secondary gym, on Feb. 7, 2022. The court does resembles the typical dimensions of gyms around the time James Naismith invented the game of basketball just 19-years earlier.
What might be Illinois’ most famous second-place finish, the 1962 runner-up trophy sits in Cobden High’s gym, just a few weeks before it was demolished after exterior walls were found to be structurally unsound, April 15, 2022.
The view from one-of-two concession stands at Wharton Field House in Moline, Jan. 15, 2022. Built for the Moline High Maroons, it holds 7,250 spectators and is the 9th largest high school gym in the America. It also was the original home for the NBA’s now Atlanta Hawks.
Looking very much like it did after they won a state championship in 1978, the gym at Lockport High’s older central campus hosts a varsity game maybe once a year due to scheduling conflicts, like they did on Jan. 8, 2022, after a dance competition occupied the gym at the newer campus.
The trophy case outside of Benton High’s Herrin gym runs deep with basketball hardware dating back to the beginning of high school basketball in Illinois. The school might be most well known for being the home of NBA player & coach Doug Collins, on Dec. 28, 2021.
The exterior of the mid-century modern building known as the Robert Frank Arena at Bloomington High in Illinois, has the interior functionality for use in multiple sports, but still manages to have a look that inspires civic pride, Dec. 27, 2021.
As if the ghosts of teams past took to the court, players from New Trier faced off against Lake Zurich in the last game at New Trier’s Gates Gymnasium in Winnetka, Dec. 16, 2021. Its demolition began in Jan. of 2022.