“More than just a coach:” Basketball court at Homestead High School dedicated to the late John Chekouras

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John Chekouras

MEQUON -- A basketball coach is measured by wins and losses, but his or her legacy is much more than that. The Homestead High School basketball team is playing on a court named after a man whose impact is still being felt, years after his death.

The numbers always tell the story on a basketball court. John Chekouras won 229 games in 18 seasons as the coach at Homestead High School, and he is in the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, but his story goes well beyond the numbers. There are lot of other measures that can be applied to him.

"Really the first word that comes to mind though is compassion. His compassion for all people and to reach out to people -- not just at the holidays, but year round, and it brought our team together to do those things together, and I think it brings people together," Joe Chekouras, John's son said.

John Chekouras

John Chekouras

When Homestead officially dedicated the John F. Chekouras court in December, the school was recognizing the victories, but also the time his teams spent in the community and with the Slammers Youth Program, the connection he built between the Milwaukee Bucks and Special Olympics athletes -- the lessons he taught.

John Chekouras

"Everybody was part of our team, right? From the team, the players on the court, the managers, to the student section, the parents, the team together was really encompassing. It was really community, and so he brought those words to life," Terry Preston, who played for Chekouras said.

"My dad was very involved in Special Olympics and there are many friends from the Special Olympics that are here. One of my dad's former managers passed away, and his dad flew in here to be with us and I think that just says a lot about who my dad was. He was more than just a coach," Kira Testin, John's daughter said.

On the night of the dedication, the Highlander girls team posted a victory, as did the Highlander boys -- the numbers revealing the story of what took place on the court -- John Chekouras court.

Coach Chekouras passed away in 2006 at the age of 53. He's definitely not forgotten by those who had the chance to know him.

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