As the two schools mark the 50th anniversary of their rivalry, the head coaches of Oshkosh North and Oshkosh West reflected on the history of both schools and the hopes, joys, and even heartaches this simple game of basketball has brought to the city.
Oshkosh West boy's head coach has taken part in big moments in the rivalry both as a coach and as a player during the late 1990s.
“My freshman year…North had taken the lead with four seconds left…we drew up a play to drive down the floor, they called the foul at the end of the game and I was able to make two free throws with no time left on the clock.”
Weisse says the West vs. North rivalry always brings an electric atmosphere, but for him, it's the people he's gotten to know along the way that made his involvement so special.
"Just great people. Great people here and that's the biggest takeaway when you look at this wall right here."
Weisse said his Wildcats went seven and two against Oshkosh North during his playing career, but lately, coach Brad Weber and his Spartans have gotten the better of the rivalry, including a state title victory in 2018.
Weber says his team's clashes with West were some of the toughest tests they faced on their run, and helped them prepare for the challenges they faced in winning that title.
One of the key members of that team was Tyrese Haliburton who now plays point guard for the Indiana Pacers. Weber says Haliburton—who grew up idolizing North basketball—as he now serves as an inspiration for the next generation of Oshkosh basketball greats and stands as a testament to the power of this rivalry.
“The neat thing about Tyrese is, kid outta Oshkosh, lived two blocks away from our school. He’s given everybody hope that that dream that every kid has had, he’s the tangible piece that says, ‘yeah, this is possible.”