The weekend of Apr. 21 and 22 saw close to 100 former Eagles and Chieftains basketball players show up at the AESS gym to reunite with old teammates in search of the coveted title of Reunion Tournament Champions.
Players ranged in age from 14 to 50 with some teams dressing father/son and mother/daughter combinations. This is the fourth reunion tournament since it was initiated in 2013.
While players laced up their sneakers and did their weekend warrior stretches it quickly became clear that this was not only a reunion of former players but a reunion of basketball families. At times it was a challenge to take those warm-up shots as young wannabe Eagles and Chieftains dominated the floor.
The stands were filled with family members and fans from the community cheering on their favourites. Former players and coaches travelled from near and far to share old memories and stories and to cheer on this year’s players.
All were treated to some excellent basketball with many of the games going down to the wire. Sweat dripped and sneakers squeaked (well at least in the first games) as players reached into their back pockets and pulled out those magic three point shots, lightning like steals and dazzling passes from their youth.
Yes, there was the odd groin pull and ankle twist but aside from one dislocated shoulder and one torn Achilles most of the athletes escaped the weekend with only minor aches and pains. While the tournament is intended to be for the players and fans enjoyment, there was more than one face that reflected that old competitive spirit, particularly in the last moments of each game.
Weekends such as these take a great deal of organization and the players and fans would like to thank Kyle Dickey for organizing this year’s event. Thanks also go to Greg Lawley for initiating the reunion tournament in 2013. The players and fans would also like to thank the many volunteer scorekeepers/timekeepers and referees. The next Eagles/Chieftains Reunion Tournament will take place in the spring of 2019. Join the Eagles/Chieftains Alumni page on FB for ongoing events (https://www.facebook.com/groups/362046953916147/).