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Mc-Honor for Klawitter

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JOHN N. BARRY
February 8, 2008
— Tom Klawitter’s impressive resume as Janesville Parker High School’s girls basketball coach already includes three gold balls.

He can now add the Golden Arches.


Klawitter was named Thursday as the head coach of the West team for the 2008 McDonald’s All-American Game on Wednesday, March 26, at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee.


The seventh annual McDonald’s girls game will start at 6 p.m. and be televised live on ESPNU.


The 31st McDonald’s boys game will follow at 8:30 and air live on ESPN. Milwaukee Rufus King’s Jim Gosz and Milwaukee Vincent’s Tom Diener are co-head coaches for the boys’ West team.


Both games showcase the nation’s top high school seniors. Previous participants include former NBA legends Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson, current Cleveland Cavalier LeBron James, University of Tennessee senior Candace Parker and former Janesville Parker star and three-time state Player of the Year Mistie (Bass) Williams.


Klawitter, who has led Parker to three WIAA Division 1 state titles and a state-record 12 state appearances, is 444-73 in his career. The top-ranked Vikings are 15-1 this season, including 12-0 in the Big Eight.


Game organizers approached Klawitter earlier in the season and asked if he would be interested in coaching. They also asked Klawitter to send in a resume. He was selected from a number of qualified applicants and has known of the selection for a couple of weeks, but was asked not to comment until Tuesday afternoon’s official announcement.


“I think more than anything, it speaks volumes about our program,” Klawitter said of being named head coach. “It’s exciting for me, and something I’m sure I’ll never forget. Winning three state titles certainly helped during the selection process, and I’m sure the fact that Mistie played in the game didn’t hurt, either.’’


With an opportunity to coach 10 of the best players in the country in front of a nationwide television audience, Klawitter is ecstatic about the selection.


“The game itself is a little different than we’re used to playing, but it’s still 10 of the best girls in the nation.”


Teams are not allowed to press, except for the last five minutes, and only man-to-man defense is allowed.


Gosz and Diener both bring impressive credentials to the boys West team. Diener has won five WIAA Division 1 state championships, and four of Diener’s past teams finished the season ranked in the top 25 in the USA Today poll.


Gosz has a career record of 346-61, including four Division 1 state titles. In 1991, Gosz was selected as the USA Today Coach of the Year. During his career, 21 of his players have gone on to Division I or II college basketball.


Proceeds from the game support the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC). This year’s proceeds will benefit the RMHC of Eastern Wisconsin.



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