City Hall Pays Tribute to Blue Demons' Success
March 28, 2018

CHICAGO - The Blue Demons' first visit to City Hall was an experience they will never forget.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago's aldermen paid tribute to the women's basketball program Wednesday for competing in its 16th consecutive NCAA tournament---the only collegiate basketball team of either gender in Illinois who can make that claim.

Longtime 14th Ward Alderman Ed Burke, a proud DePaul alumnus, introduced the resolution in City Council chambers. Citing an impressive list of accomplishments including the fifth-straight BIG EAST regular-season title and third BIG EAST tournament title in five years, Burke praised DePaul and hailed coach Doug Bruno as a Chicago sports institution and the dean of Chicago basketball.

A number of Burke's colleagues rose up to join in the tribute including 3rd Ward Ald. Pat Dowell whose ward encompasses Wintrust Arena. At the end of her speech, Dowell said: "When I'm finished here, I want to come and be a part of your team."

Ald. Michelle Smith of DePaul's 43rd Ward sporting her DePaul blue for the occasion hailed the BIG EAST titles and Amarah Coleman being honored as the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.

"This is the Year of the Woman in America, and your spirit, hard work and talent is being recognized here," she said.

The Blue Demons' three city players watched in amazement as each of their aldermen took turns praising their efforts and thanking them for bringing recognition to their community.

Deja Cage's 34th Ward Ald. Carrie M. Austin spoke proudly of the connection followed by 37th Ward Ald. Emma Mitts (Tanita Allen) and 38th Ward Ald. Nicholas Sposato (Lauren Prochaska).


 

 

Prochaska, Allen and Cage were called up to the front of City Council chambers individually to receive a copy of the resolution from Emanuel.

"It was very cool and not what I expected," Prochaska said. "I've never seen City Hall, and it was really interesting to see the process of government. Mayor Emanuel and the aldermen made us feel so welcome, and it was nice that the people who run the city took the time to recognize DePaul and women's sports.

"It was awesome to feel this buzz around City Hall, and you came away feeling like they care about you as a person. My alderman told me he has followed my career since I played at Trinity and that he used to come to Trinity games."

This was Allen's second time being honored at City Hall. She was part of the Whitney Young girls' basketball team that was feted after winning the 2012 state championship.

"This was a memorable experience, and it's great to know people around the city support us and want to celebrate our success," Allen said. "It was amazing being in such a focused place and seeing the mayor and aldermen giving us some of their valuable time to show they care about women's sports.

"My alderman came up to me afterwards for a photo and told me how proud she was. She said it was great to see me in a championship program and showing others what you can become by working real hard. She said she knows my parents are very proud of me. Mayor Emanuel said he remembered me from Whitney Young when we won the state title."

The City Hall proceedings also made quite an impact on Cage.

"The mayor was really cool," she said. "He gave me a great handshake and said he knew where I played in high school. It seemed like he relates so well with people.

"I wasn't expecting anything like the tribute they gave us, especially when each of our aldermen spoke out about us separately to thank us. It's nice to know we have that kind of support for women's basketball."

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