The Raptors Basketball Program, now in its 11th year, Let’s visit the story behind the Raptors Program.
The year was 2007, Briant Mills was the head coach for a 6th grade boys traveling basketball team. Coach Mills was prepared for a challenging year since he was coaching the 6th grade "B" team. Coach Mills never allowed the kids to think of themselves as a "B" team and always demanded their best. To the surprise of most, his team finished the season with a 25 -17 record which was a major accomplishment.
After 7 years with that program, he decided to take his 6th grade boys team and become the Illinois Raptors. Coach Mills wasn’t sure how much support he would gain from the community. With Bolingbrook being saturated with basketball programs, the coach decided to concentrate on the Plainfield area since Mills’ five children all attended schools in the area. The word got around town that Mills was starting his own program, and the requests started pouring in to add more age groups.
The Illinois Raptors went from a 6th grade boys team to an organization offering 4th – 12th grade programs. The coach now needed help, so he started reaching out to other top-notch coaches who shared the same philosophies. He was able to recruit 9 volunteers to become head and assistant coaches. Once the coaches were in place, the tryout date was set for Sunday, March 16th, 2008, Everyone was hopeful that they would have a great turnout for tryouts, but no one was sure what to expect.
We were very proud to announce that the Raptors had 150 athletes attend tryouts. The first season consisted of the following teams: (2) 4th grade boys, 5th grade boys, 6th grade boys, 7th grade boys, 8th grade boys, 7th and 8th grade girls, high school JV boys, Varsity boys and Varsity girls .The season landed the Raptors five 1st place finishes, seven 2nd place finishes, and many 3rd place finishes.
The Raptors, now governed by MAC Athletics-NFP is working hard to continue to assist student athletes.