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BROTHERHOOD EXEMPLIFIED AMONG ALUMNI

Exciting games and lots of food. Another year in the books for the traditional Father Duenas Alumni Basketball Tournament.

By Nate San Nicolas (Class of ’13)

The 2014 FD Alumni Tournament came to a close Friday night as the Class of 2004 came out on top above the rest of the competition. Since it was their ten year reunion as well, the Class of 2004 was up to take on the challenge of hosting the annual event, and it was a successful one indeed.

Basketball may be the highlight of the tournament, as it features the best Friar basketball players both young and old. However, it’s more than just baskets and highlight reels; it’s a gathering of family, friends, and brothers.

Brotherhood is the pride and joy of the Duenas men, exemplifying the identity of a true Friar.

Whether you’re the Class of 2014 or the Class of 1965, you’re a Friar if you believe in that tradition of brotherhood. It is exemplified in this annual tournament, and FD should be fortunate to have such an event that has grown bigger every year in the past 29 years. Although winning that championship at the end is a big goal for most classes, the fun of every basketball game comes when you have to see your non-ballers trying to dribble the ball down court and travelling every time they go for a layup. The crowd loves seeing this fun as a grown man goes back to his high school ways just having fun and playing basketball with his classmates.

The FD Class of 2004 not only had to host the annual alumni tourney but they wiped the board clean to win the title, the first host class to win the title since the Class of 1991. (GSPN photo)

The FD Class of 2004 not only had to host the annual alumni tourney but they wiped the board clean to win the title, the first host class to win the title since the Class of 1991. (GSPN photo)

High school is an important part when growing up as kids. The friends and memories made will always be remembered years after.

Luckily for the FD Alumni, each year is an opportunity to get together and reminisce about those memories, and as time passes on, the younger generations have the chance to hear the stories shared by their elder Friars. The alumni tournament is like stepping back in time; it brings back not only ‘the boys’, but also brings together the families of these Friars. Wives, girlfriends, parents, children and childhood friends gather to watch their loved one play on the court, having a little reunion themselves on the bleachers.

What also makes this tournament even sweeter is the mouth-watering barbecue food laid each night of the tournament, and you know the food is delicious when the entire table is wiped out seconds after it is just opened. The fun for the night doesn’t stop when the last game is finished; it continues with shared meals and laughs.

Although reminiscing about the crazy high school days, new memories are made at the tournament every day. Whether it would be on the court when a classmate nails a half-court shot or after the game when the group is together playing pranks and laughing up a storm, stories for the future are created every year with the same group back in high school.

These continually-made memories is something anyone can relate to, no matter what colors you sport from high school. Other schools have banquets, beach barbecues, or house gatherings for reunions, but luckily, the FD Alumni have the tournament to reunite. Memories are made in ‘The Jungle’ those two weeks, and 2014 had some memorable ones like the buzzer-beater three from the rugby star and the old fogies beating the young guns. Those moments happen in split seconds and are over in the blink of an eye, but every year a Friar gets to relive those emotions.

Whether you go to the FD Alumni Tournament for the basketball, the barbecue, or the brotherhood, it is a gathering for all to think about the past, enjoy the present, and create conversations for the future.

Not everyone bleeds maroon and gold, but the feeling you get when you witness the young and old sing that FD Alma Mater is something words aren’t able to describe. So you should know what two weeks in 2015 a Friar is looking forward to.

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COMING SOON …

QUICK HITS

Former JFK basketball standout Alschea Grape gets to ball with retired NBA star Jamal Crawford.
Grape, who works as a basketball trainer at PRO CLUB in Bellevue, WA, says Crawford comes by to hoop it up at his work.

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