Remembering Maddox


Out of the 14 players on the Varsity Basketball team, the game at home against Grayslake North has an undeniably significant meaning to one of them. Senior Guard Cooper LoPriore will represent Lakes while our school supports him and his family by honoring his little brother’s life. Maddox J. LoPriore passed away on October 17, 2018, but his memory lives on through his family and friends, as well as the foundation in his memory, The Butterfly Effect of Maddox J. LoPriore Foundation. They continue to spread the joy that Maddox brought to so many people.

Even at 8 years old, Maddox had an unbelievable capacity for kindness and a knack for helping others. He had many outstanding qualities. Too many to list. “They all roll into each other, Katie, I couldn’t pick just one thing out that was great about him,” said Ralph LoPriore, Maddox’s father. “I guess the top thing was how he helped kids his age”. Ralph expressed great pride in his son when talking about how he looked out for and helped a hearing impaired teammate during a soccer game. “Wherever I go, you go, I will take care of you” Maddox said before this game. Ralph even said“I didn’t say Hey, I just said keep an eye out for him. I didn’t tell you to say go wherever I go. I got you, whatever. So it was stuff like that. That really let me know, after the fact that he was special.” Along with being an inspiring teammate and friend. Maddox always made sure to check in on his family, by asking them all about their days, and even pointed out the most minor changes about them, as simple as a haircut, to make their days. Maddox seemed to have a knack for noticing the little things in life, and expressing the utmost gratitude for them. A prominent memory that Maddox’s family brought up is “The Maddox Table”, which was a small table Maddox won at his Church’s raffle one night. While most would think of a random table as insignificant, to Maddox it was his most prized possession. He boasted to his family when he came home with this table, and made sure it remained unmoved from the front room of the LoPriore house. That table continues to stay in the LoPriore household, serving as a reminder of Maddox’s love for life, all these years later.

Even outside the house, Maddox always made a positive difference in somebody’s day. One day, Maddox came home after school and told his parents about a classmate diagnosed with cancer. Maddox asked his dad if he could donate all of the money he received on his birthday that year to a collection that’s going toward the classmate and her family. Hearing his son say, “I’m gonna give her all my money” brought Mr. LoPriore to tears, as it would for most parents. After all, it’s rare that someone as young as Maddox has as much compassion and maturity as he did. When he wasn’t in school, it wasn’t uncommon to see Maddox playing some sort of sport. Following in his older brother’s footsteps, Maddox played basketball and was a stud from the beginning. The day before his passing, Maddox found out that he made the 5th grade Jr. Eagles Basketball team as a 3rd grader. With an older brother on the 8th grade Jr. Eagles Basketball team, he was very popular amongst the older kids, and he would talk to the older boys before and after every practice, game, and tryout. These boys also didn’t talk with Maddox because they felt obligated to, but they genuinely wanted to talk to this boy that was mature and wise beyond his years.

Fast forward, those 8th graders are now seniors and most are preparing to play their last season of basketball. Amongst them is Cooper, who has made it a tradition to make his brother a part of every pre-game ritual since his passing. Before every game, Cooper relaxes and listens to ‘Daylight’ by Maroon 5, Maddox’s favorite song. This small but sentimental gesture just goes to show why a loved one may not be there with you physically, you can still honor their life and they will be there in spirit.
A popular tradition amongst the Lakes community is attending sporting events. Since the football field has frozen up and sports have moved indoors, the attention is directed toward boys’ basketball. Every time the boys play at home, a fan section crowd builds up, with the leaders of it at the front. The Royal Rush is Lakes’ student fan section and is run by a group of seniors who are passionate about showing support for all kinds of Lakes extracurricular activities. The Royal Rush has made the ‘Maddox Game’ to show support for the LoPriore family and the Foundation that they started. “The Butterfly Effect of Maddox J. LoPriore Foundation acts in his memory to provide programs that serve the local community through the inspiration of Maddox’s life” per their website. The Foundation has proven this through numerous donations to local charities, creating scholarships for students in the community, and have hosted numerous sporting events to promote this great Foundation while also bringing our wonderful community together. So while we come together to support our classmates as they face off against North, let’s show our support for this incredible family, this incredible Foundation, all while honoring the incredible life of Maddox J. LoPriore.