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Richard D.
Democrat IL

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  • Central Illinois Xpress Basketball Team

    by Senator Richard J. Durbin

    Posted on 2015-01-26

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    DURBIN. Mr. President, I wish to recognize the remarkable strength and spirit of the Central Illinois Xpress basketball team and its coach Tariq Toran.

    As the only team of girls in an all-boys fifth grade basketball league in Springfield, IL, the Central Illinois Xpress has defied the odds and emerged as a powerhouse in the Illinois AAU boys' league. With an impressive record of 8 wins and 2 losses in the first half of the season, Coach Toran and the Central Illinois Xpress girls have made a name for themselves not just back at home, but across the Nation.

    Strong, confident, and determined, the team comprised of nine girls ages 10 and 11 years old do not shy away from hard work and tough competition on the basketball court. With a series of two-on-one drills coupled with push-ups and sprints, these girls know how to practice hard and play hard. The Xpress girls use their summers to compete in a higher division comprised of older girls, which helps prepare them to play against tough teams during the season.

    This tireless preparation and fearless attitude brought Coach Toran to sign the girls up for the all-boys' league this year. So far, the team's success has been undeniable. With their dribble drives, crisp passes, and methodical game play, the Central Illinois Xpress players have racked up more than enough wins to show the boys, and the community, that they are a force to be reckoned with this season.

    These girls know what it means to push themselves for excellence, to fight for something against the odds, and to prove themselves to those, including some of the boys they are playing, who don't expect a girls team to be strong and play smart, aggressive ball.

    It is my pleasure to wish these fifth-grade girls in Springfield the best of luck in the second half of this season.


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