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Simeon's Tim Flowers waves to the waiting crowd of excited fan as he leaves the bus carrying the championship trophy on his way to a rally inside the school. Keith Hale/Sun-Times
Derrick Rose was the most talented player on the Simeon teams that won back-to-back state titles in 2006 and 2007, but the emotional leader on the floor was always Tim Flowers.
The two best friends and teammates were the perfect complements to one another: Rose was quiet, Flowers was loud. Rose ruled the perimeter, Flowers dominated in the post.
Flowers’ post-Simeon basketball career didn’t amount to much, but Friday the charismatic 24-year old took a step towards establishing a different legacy. He was named head boys basketball coach at DuSable. Flowers was an assistant coach for Simeon’s sophomore team last season.
“This past year being around the young men at Simeon gave me the fire and desire to go out and build a program and make my mark on the city of Chicago,” Flowers said.
Simeon coach Robert Smith is Flowers’ mentor, and first put the idea of coaching into his head.
“I remember freshman year Rob told us that basketball would stop one day for everyone,” Flowers said. “I knew then that when I got done playing coaching would be something I wanted to do.”
Smith has been candid about the effect coaching Rose has had on his career—it’s the ultimate recruiting tool. Some of that should rub off on Flowers.
“It probably will somewhat, but I’m not counting on that necessarily,” Flowers said. “Derrick is great to have in your corner but at the same time he’s focusing on getting healthy and leading the Chicago Bulls to a championship.
Rose came to Chicago State in February to watch Flowers’ sophomore team win the city championship.
“That’s my friend, my brother, my family,” Flowers said. “I support him in everything he does and he does the same for me. But I’m going to let my personality shine through and build this program.”
Flowers is the first player Smith has coached to get a coaching job.
“I feel kind of old, my players are starting to get jobs,” Smith said. “His knowledge of the game is really really high. I’m proud of him. I’m glad somebody gave him the opportunity. He’s always been a leader and that’s going to be huge for him now.”