Michael Flenory dribbles the ball at his AAU team practice.

Basketball brings opportunity to West Side high schooler

By Lauren Baker and Peter Jones

Basketball is everything for Michael Flenory. The West Side native started playing in the sixth grade. Since then, the sport has given him structure, introduced him to new people and allowed him to travel across the country.

Now 16, Michael plays for Uplift Community High School and the Chicago Raptors, an Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) team. Like many young Chicago basketball players, Michael has big dreams for the future. His goal is to attend the University of Iowa on a basketball scholarship. Michael’s mom Cassandra Bernard hopes he can even make it to the NBA.

Photo at top: Michael Flenory dribbles the ball at his AAU team practice. (Lauren Baker/MEDILL)