Steve Nash ’92 and Alumni Teams Play Students

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Photos by Mrs. Grant, Chris Bateman, Anastasia Efremova, Liam MacLure and Frank Chang

by Dawit Workie, Grade 11

An unforgettable event took place Saturday evening in the double gym. This extraordinary night had the double gym packed to the brim, featuring some of the best athletes in St. Michaels University School history. When Mr. Hyde-Lay announced that a “certain alumnus” may be returning to SMUS for the alumni basketball game, everyone couldn’t help but hope for the one and only Steve Nash. The attendance of Steve Nash was incredible; not only did he make an appearance, but he was once again playing where it all started.

The Senior boys, coached by Mr. Daly, had a great start to the game, ending the half ahead of the alumni. However the alumni’s size and experience proved to be a weakness for the boys, as they took advantage of many second chance opportunities. The final score was 64-55 for the alumni. Even though the results didn’t go in the Senior boys favour, it was still a humbling experience to have the honour of playing against some of the greatest athletes in school history, let alone the two-time NBA MVP winner, Steve Nash. Definitely an amazing way to kick off the 2011-2012 basketball season!

Game Recap
by Ian Hyde-Lay

Saturday, November 19, was a very special date on the SMUS sporting calendar, as students, staff, alumni, parents and friends joined together for an evening of basketball and socializing. Appropriately, everything ran smoothly under the 2011-2012 theme of “one team.”

Action got underway at 5:00 pm in the Monkman Athletic Complex with an alumni pick-up game, as numerous SMUS players of yesteryear suited up for an hour of great entertainment.

Next up was the women’s alumni vs the Senior girls team. With former SMUS and UVIC Vikes stars Jo Bateson ’96 and Kim Lobb ’99 leading the way, the alumni prevailed by a single point. The Middle School Grade 7 and 8 teams also took the chance to strut their stuff during halftime, before an ever growing crowd.

Come 7:15 pm, it was time for the main event. Nick Grant ’84, Jeremy Cordle ’91 and Chris Noel ’97 had clearly gone the extra mile in terms of organization, with the alumni squad decked out in smart blue uniforms and warmup shirts.

The men’s squad and a host of other alumni sporting stars, including nine former SMUS Athletes of the Year, then provided a very special touch by personally presenting the SMUS jerseys to the players on the 2011-2012 Senior squad.

In addition, the 1991-1992 SMUS team, considered by most pundits the best ever in BC high school history, was recognized on the 20th anniversary of its provincial AAA championship. Eight of the fourteen members of the squad were present.

To the game itself. A capacity crowd of over 900 was absolutely thrilled by the unexpected arrival of Steve Nash ’92, with the Canadian Olympian and two-time NBA MVP starting in the back court along side brother Martin Nash ’93. Indeed, from Eric Kidd ’83 to Jamie Yorath ’10, the alumni team featured a serious array of talent spreading back over almost three decades. Danny Boticki ’99, who went on to a fine NCAA career at Idaho State and then played professionally in Europe for five years, electrified the fans with a spectacular back door alley oop dunk attempt.

In the end, the Alumni prevailed 64-55, overturning a four point half time deficit. Joe Erlic (14) and Derek Hyde-Lay (13) led the SMUS team in scoring, with Liam MacLure snagging 11 rebounds.

Of course, the game score was inconsequential in the big picture. Much more important was the gathering of the SMUS community on such an exciting and memorable occasion. Thanks again are due all those who worked tirelessly to set up the event, which simply must become an annual affair.

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