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Recap: Alumni Basketball Reception

In a programmatic first, Gilman basketball alumni joined the current varsity team for dinner on its last practice day of the 2023-2024 season. The event brought together the students and coaches with a dozen alumni representing several eras of Greyhound hoops, building bonds and swapping tales of treasured memories.

The afternoon began with an invitation for alumni to drop in and watch practice in the Redmond C. S. Finney Athletic Center. Head Coach Will Bartz ’99 led a spirited session, preparing the boys for their season finale at McDonogh. Alumni observed the team running through offensive sets and enjoyed a firsthand look at the basketball program’s depth. Coach Bartz and JV Head Coach Matt Baum ’93 ran a full-court drill in which both JV and Varsity practiced offensive and defensive possessions as one. The partnership is a point of pride for Coach Bartz. He loves to find opportunities to develop future leaders by exposing younger, less experienced players to the urgent pace of the Varsity level.

After practice ended, many alumni and players teamed up for a fun and fiery game of three-point “Knockout.” Youthful and seasoned shooters hoisted threes from just beyond the key and chased down rebounds to lay in hurried put-back shots. When the dust settled, a trio of students were left to duke it out for final victory. Nathaniel Badder ‘94 made a valiant effort as the last alum standing. In the face of less-than-peak flexibility, Nathaniel finished in the game’s top five!

From the court, the combined group of 30 players, coaches, and alumni moseyed up to the McCarthy Room for dinner. Students and alumni compared notes on their basketball careers over a tasty BBQ spread. The program concluded with a series of passionate remarks from several alumni speakers who shared humorous anecdotes, hard lessons learned, and inspirational wisdom with the team. Ryan Ripken ’12 urged the boys to treasure every moment together and to take nothing for granted. Russell Wrenn ’96 stressed the importance of good competition, highlighting the intensity of MIAA “A” Conference basketball and the character-building qualities of playing the best of the best. Cheo Hurley ’92 impressed upon the boys the importance of building good habits in even the most minor undertakings, saying, “The way you do anything is the way you do everything.” Coach Bartz closed out the night with a heartfelt acknowledgment of the ever-present love and support of the alumni community. 

The generational brotherhood of Greyhound basketball is indeed resilient. Thank you to our alumni for their steadfast loyalty and support!


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