Elite Eight basketball game brings joy

Photos by Alphonso Abbott Jr.

Elite Eight basketball  game brings joy
December 28
04:00 2017

Old rivalries were renewed once again on the hardwood as the Elite Eight Alumni Association held their annual charity basketball game Saturday, Dec. 23, at Piedmont International University.  The game was held to collect toys for the less fortunate to be donated to the Salvation Army.

The alumni from Reynolds were the defending champions and came into the tournament as the Number One seed.  After fighting through the first two rounds of the tournament, the Demons looked to defend their title against the Glenn Bobcats.

The championship game was a nail biter from start to finish.  Each team fought tooth and nail down to the final seconds but Reynolds was able to fight off the younger Bobcats to capture their back-to-back title.

“It feels good to see everybody around Christmas time and then to come out and play ball and be competitive was very fun,” said Rod Dunlap, Reynolds high alum.  “We had to play against a lot of young guys so we had to play smart.”

“We all played together in high school so we know where each other is supposed to be.  We just know where each other’s spots are supposed to be, so that’s how we were able to get the victory.”

Jon Adams, another Reynolds alum, said, “It feels good to be champs because that is what we played hard for.  We have been doing this for a long time and we were not able to get a championship in high school so to come and be the Elite Eight champs again feels good.”

Event organizer Harry Harris says he really enjoys seeing the alumni having fun by playing basketball but the most important part is the donating of the toys because he was once a child in need.

“It really puts a smile on my face and the partnership with The Chronicle just gave us more exposure and was a big help,” Harris said.  “We had over 300 people here today and collected around 200 toys for the children in need.”

“Tomorrow I am going to be crying when we give those toys away because I used to be one of those kids.  Just giving those toys out to those kids means a lot to me and it will touch me.”

Dunlap is also a football and basketball coach at Reynolds high.  He says he sees kids in need every day in school so for him to contribute to those in need really hits home.

“It feels great to give back to families that are less fortunate because it could be anyone of us out here,” Dunlap stated.  “All it takes is for someone to lose their job, so any time we can give back, I am more than willing to.”

Adams said it was an awesome feeling to give back to those families that don’t have the necessary means this time of year.  He says to know some child in need will have a toy for Christmas is just the icing on the cake after winning the game.

Dunlap and Adams stated they will try and collect the guys once again next year to go for a three-peat in the basketball tournament.  They say they know they will have a bullseye on their backs once again, but they are ready for the test.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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