Sunday, February 14, 2010

Cavalier Alumni Game In the Books

Whew! That sure was a lot of fun!

On the day that John Dzik lost his first game as head coach in over five years, 30 of his former players put on a heck of a show in the annual Cabrini Cavalier Alumni Game at the Nerney Fieldhouse in the Dixon Center.

The House That Dzik Built was busy all day as the women's Alumni Gmae kicked things off at 11am, followed by senior point guard Deana DiAmico leading the women's team to a 70-56 win over Marywood. The men kept things rolling as Kevin Misevicius became the 14th member of the 1,000-point and led the Cavs over Marywood 91-77. The win locked up home court advantage though the CSAC playoffs.

And then the old guys had their moment in the sun. John Mack kept us organized, Coaches Kelly and Keeley called the action from the table and the Blue squad topped Eric Tidwell's Gray squad 83-76 in OT. The game featured a ceremonial tip from Cabrini President Angelella George, some nice outside shooting, a few Laval Pickney dunks and a lot of griping about my 'coaching' from the blue squad.

In the end we all had a good time and I'm thankful that so many guys came out. Special appearances were made by former coaches Rob Rowe, Ken Schiller, Steve Harrow, Matt Alzamora, and Bob McTamney. Super fan Paul Engle was in the house as were the best managers ever, Kelly Gallagher and Phyllis Cohen. The thirty players brought a throng of moms and dads, friends, family wives, girlfriends and children. My son John loved the basketball, the humor, and the fellowship.

I've been involved in Cabrini hoops in one way or another since 1988. This year the folks at Cabrini got it right. The president was there an involved. The game was prime time. No more being ignored by the administration or relegated to a 9 am game. Joe Guinta and his staff, currents Cavs coach Marcus Kahn and the folks from the Mansion treated us well and I am here to say we appreciate it.

Coach Dzik had planned to be here this year, but when he had to take over the Piedmont women's program for the rest of the year, we had to do it without him. He's 6-1 as a women's coach this year and is enjoying things, but looking to turn the reins back over at the end of the year. I spoke to Coach last night as he licked his wounds from his first loss. "I still hate losing," he said. "Some things never change I guess."

He's right. Some things don't change. Coach Marcus Kahn has restored the program to respectability and a spot in the Top 25 poll. We all loved seeing each other and telling old stories. Everyone on campus Saturday was a winner and no one go hurt. Now there's a good way to spend a day!

We come back because we enjoyed our time in the gym. We love the guys we played with and it's great to be involved in something that has endured over four decades now. We've got kids and busy lives, too much to do and too little time, but we still find a way to get back each year and keep it going. Because we're part of the chain and we need to honor the guys who play today as well as those who have gone on and can't any more.

Thanks to everyone who made the day great for us. A few photos from the day are up on my Flickr site. See ya next year!

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