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Acclaimed prep basketball coach Gene Pingatore dies at 83

June 27, 2019
FILE - In this March 30, 2011 file photo, West head coach Gene Pingatore, from St. Joseph High School in Westchester, Ill., talks to his team during the first half of the McDonald's All-American High School boys' basketball game in Chicago. Pingatore, the winningest boys basketball coach in Illinois history who gained national attention when he appeared in the 1994 documentary "Hoop Dreams" has died. Pingatore died Wednesday, June 26, 2019, at his home. He was 83. At the time of his death, Pingatore was preparing for his 51st season coaching at the suburban Chicago school.(AP Photo/Brian Kersey File)

WESTCHESTER, Ill. (AP) — Gene Pingatore, the winningest boys’ basketball coach in Illinois history who gained national attention when he appeared in the 1994 documentary “Hoop Dreams,” has died. He was 83.

Ronald Hoover, principal at St. Joseph High School in Westchester, says Pingatore died Wednesday at home.

At the time of his death, he was preparing for his 51st season coaching at the suburban Chicago school.

Pingatore’s teams won two state championships, advanced to the state finals six times and won 13 sectional titles. According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, in 2017 he became the 15th boys’ basketball coach in the country to reach 1,000 wins.

Pingatore coached three McDonald’s All-Americans: Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas, Daryl Thomas and Deryl Cunningham.

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