High School: Ronnie Fields
It was former high school teammate Ronnie Fields. The reunion was 10 years in the making as their careers had gone in different paths since they last shared a basketball court, but as they threw their arms around each other it was apparent their friendship remained strong.
The name Ronnie Fields can ignite a basketball conversation in Chicago to this day.
It’s been 16 years since Fields, a 1996 McDonald’s All-American, last soared through the air in a high school basketball game, but people recall his feats as if they occurred yesterday.
And unlike tales of other prep legends, the stories of Fields haven’t grown in exaggeration with time. When you stand 6-foot-3 and jump 50 inches like Fields did, the truth remains satisfactory.
Most Chicagoans begin their Fields’ stories with, “Man, I remember when he…” What often follows is how he jumped over Sergio McClain, how he jumped over (insert a number of names), how he threw down a 360 dunk against Glenbrook North in the City-Suburban Showdown, how he dropped 51 points in a morning game before a packed crowd at Proviso West, how all of his windmill dunks seemed unforgettable and how he and Kevin Garnett were two basketball freaks when they played together at Farragut on Chicago’s West Side.
Those are everyone else’s stories of Fields.
Fields’ own story of himself is different.