By Cherri Gregg

By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A North Philadelphia Catholic school shut down Lehigh Avenue near 23rd Street today for a parade. They have a lot to celebrate.

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The 76ers Drumline marched up Lehigh Avenue Thursday morning to celebrate the St. Martin de Porres boys basketball team for taking home the state CYO championship for the first time in the school’s history.

(credit: Cherri Gregg)

(credit: Cherri Gregg)

“It was just incredible because they have so many odds stacked against them,” says Sister Nancy Fitzgerald, principal.

She says the team’s 16 7th and 8th graders practiced with no gym, raised money to go to Erie to play, and overcame so many other obstacles and still worked as a team to become championships.

She says the school decided to go all out to celebrate, holding a parade, pep rally with the entire school, presenting the team with trophies, t-shirts, medals, city citations, and–a day off for the entire school.

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“We always hear about zip code 19132 being a problem area– but here we are in the middle of it all with something to celebrate,” says Fitzgerald. “And we feel our students deserve the best.”

“I didn’t know that we could go this far,” says Jasheer Cooke, an 8th grader on the team. He says they played 70 games since October, so the win and the celebration was like nothing they could have imagined.

“It’s exhilarating, it’s crazy,” he says. “They have the whole school here, it’s amazing.”

(credit: Cherri Gregg)

(credit: Cherri Gregg)

The celebration ended with a visit from Temple University basketball coach Fran Dunphy, who didn’t talk basketball, but gave words of inspiration.

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“Do the very best that you can,” he told the students.