Donnie Kirksey Wiki – Donnie Kirksey Biography
For many Chicagoans who knew him, Donnie Kirksey was literally a Hall of Fame. Donnie Kirksey died on Monday after a two-week battle with the virus. He was the head high school basketball coach of the Chicago Vocational School and has marked the lives of many young athletes over the past few decades.
Donnie Kirksey Age
He was 57 years old.
Donnie Kirksey Career
Kirksey mentored hundreds of basketball students in the Chicago area, including former NBA players Juwan Howard and Eddy Curry. During his decades in the area, he coached various local high schools and universities, including Hyde Park Academy High School, Percy Julian High School, Chicago State University, University of Illinois in Chicago, and DePaul University.
“Donnie’s fingerprints are all over Chicagoland basketball,” Kleinschmidt said. It is a true legend in the state and city. And he was in the game, and even though he didn’t need to coach, he still has his hands all over Chicago basketball. ”
Throughout Monday, large numbers of people took to social media to write tribute to Kirksey. Career director Douglas Maclin wrote to the school community, describing him as “badly missed” as a Chicago Public Schools giant.
“DK was a father figure to many Cavaliers,” wrote Maclin. “The Cavalier was unlike any other, he had pride and was honored to return to his graduate school to share his talents.”
Kleinschmidt said that he last spoke to Kirksey on Saturday and seemed afraid of Kirksey’s situation, but their morale was good. His death took many coaches and friends by surprise, as he did not talk much about his COVID-19 diagnosis.
“It’s not often that people do something for you and don’t want something in return,” Kleinschmidt said. Donnie didn’t want anything in return. He really wanted to see you succeed. ”
According to Al Biancalana, head basketball coach of Glenbard East High, who worked with Kirksey for nearly five years at UIC, Kirksey worked hard on their relationship and had an incredible ability to follow the people he met.
“It would remember people’s names 10 years ago and see someone for the first time in ten years, and it would suddenly make that person feel like they talked yesterday,” said Biancalana.
Biancalana said she spoke to Kirksey about 10 days before she died. He remembered Kırksey’s ability to steer young people with ruthless honesty when necessary, especially for those who “perhaps have many ways to go in the wrong direction.”
“He was really there to not leave them in order to receive, support and continue on the right path,” said Biancalana. I think this is one of his real talents.
Vince Carter, former basketball coach of Von Steuben High, said Kirksey’s heart and soul was coaching and mentoring high school kids, but he also helped many coaches and was the “conscience” of the Chicago People’s League, he said.
“Whether it’s a coach who needs something for kids or their kids, or the coach needs something for personal reasons, you can count on him to be involved and try to help you wherever he can,” said Carter and the loss of Kirksey from the local coaching associations. “Like tearing a piece of your armor”.
Beyond basketball, Kirksey was passionate about his family and got involved in church. Carter said he was seen as someone who was not afraid to tell people when they thought something wrong they did, and that he remained consistent with hundreds of people in who he was and his mentoring.
Donnie Kirksey Death
Kirksey, 57, died Monday from complications related to COVID-19, which he had been battling for several weeks. He was student dean and chief basketball coach at the Chicago Professional Career Academy, where he graduated, but his friends say his legacy goes far beyond his most recent assignment.
He was officially recognized with praise in the Chicago Public League, Illinois Basketball Coach / es Association, and many basketball circles in the state. But the title also reached a personal level for many coaches, students and friends who knew him.
“He’s a legendary, but Hall of Fame man and person,” said Tom Kleinschmidt, 47, head basketball coach at DePaul College Prep, who has been friends with Kirksey for over 30 years.