2009 Alumni Game
Second Annual Alumni Basketball Game
Wednesday March 11, 2009
Our second annual Alumni Basketball Game was another huge success. This year 33 former Spartans (four more than year one) came back to show off their basketball skills before a very appreciative and enthusiastic audience.
Game 1 pitted the “Old School” vs. the “Younger Than Them” team. Old School had players from the ’76 team up to ’83. The Younger group went from ’88 to ’95 with one ’02 thrown in to even out the rosters. The veteran group put up a great fight for the first 7 to 10 minutes of each half but the younger legs prevailed and took a decided edge as the game went along winning by a 100 to 53 score. The “Younger” team was led by Mike Chapin (who flew in from
) with 22 points. He was followed closely by Matt Rankie’s 21, Rob Pusateri with 19, Lou Penque, who added 14 and Rob Fraass and Kurt Hollasch who split 22. The winners had a unique situation. Their 1988 starting team was almost the same last night as it was back “in the day”. Hollasch played for the first time after working a number of years in St. Louis . Chapin, as I said, came in from Japan and with locals Pusateri and Fraass, they were only missing Steve Clare (in Missouri ) from their starting lineup. Luckily they were able to talk their sixth man, Jim Blount in to play again this year. Jim filled in as he did back in ‘88 when Steve was out with chicken pox his senior season and Jim was the starter. By the second half, the team work really seemed to return as if they had never missed a beat. The Old School was led by Jon Holden with 15 and Mark Ruppert who added 13. Along with their teammates, they showed they still had a lot left in the tank. Massachusetts
After game one, we held a 3 point shooting contest. All four teams had a shootout to determine the 2 finalists. In a battle between Mike Corbi and
, Ridge won out and took home a beautiful trophy donated by the athletic department. Mike Ridge
Game two was outstanding. The 2000’s (’00 to’04) took on the
made up of players from ’06, ’07 and ’08. It turned out to be a nail biter with neither team able to get more than a few point lead throughout the game. In the end, the 2000 team came out ahead 88 to 85. They were led by Jon Plail who scored 22, followed closely by teammates Nick Boron with 18 and Brad Matters who added 13. New School was led by Amir Billups, who led all scorers with 32, and Shane Canahai’s 15. Billups really put on a shooting display throughout the game. He was 5 for 5 in the first half shooting 3’s and finished with a 9 for 12 night from three point territory. If that wasn’t enough, just after the buzzer sounded to give the 2000’s victory, Amir launched an 81 foot shot (I measured) that went right in. If we had filmed it, it would have made ESPN. New School
Old School: Jerry Baker’81, Jon Holden’77, Brian Graham’77, Mark Ruppert’79, Gary Prohaska’85, Mike Kramer’76, Bob Honadle’77, Dave Karczewski’83.
Younger Than Them: Jim Blount’88, Rob Fraass’89, Shawn Latini’97, Mike Chapin’88,
Kurt Hollasch’88, Matt Rankie’02, Rob Pusateri’88, Lou Penque’95.
Team 2000’s: Jon Plail’01, Mike Lute’00, Jon Castro’04, Dave Wollaber’01, Nick Boron’02, Todd Conklin’00, Matt Dunn’04, Brad Matters’04.
New School: Darren Vukovic’07, Adam Schaffer’07, Mike Scibilia’06, Mike Ridge’06, Mike Corbi’07, Shane Canahai’07, Dave Carter’06, Amir Billups’08, Jeff Szalkowski’06.
As usual, it was great to see so many outstanding athletes return to play again. Hope to see you all back next year.
The next alumni event is the 4th annual Alumni Baseball game slated for June 13.