What does one do when one attends a full-blown basketball tournament where each of the 12 teams on the courts is the “home” team?
How do you choose? Whom do you root for?
That was the dilemma of those fans and supporters attending the annual Bruins Men’s Alumni Basketball Tournament over the past weekend on the Riverbank High School campus.
Both gyms were pressed into service for the multi-squad tournament play, where those teams thrust into the losers bracket after an opening round loss could hope for finishing in third place at best at the end of play.
First off, though, teams all had ‘Riverbank’ in some form or other on their jerseys, and they varied from tan to white, to black to maroon, some with numbers, some without. So all teams were the “home” team. And no rosters were posted on the scorer’s table, no fouls kept track of, and there were other special rules in effect, as well.
Games consisted of two 20-minute, clock-running halves. And only two 30-second timeouts were allowed per team, per game.
There was special scoring for foul shots, and games that ended in a tie went to a special one-minute period that did have the clock stop as normal. If the game was still tied, it went into sudden death, with the first score winning the contest.
Profanity and abusive language were not tolerated and technical fouls would result in automatic ejection from the tournament, not just the game.
The games started Friday morning and finished up with rounds on Saturday, with the Championship game being played at 4 p.m. in the Ray Fauria Memorial Gymnasium. The championship trophy was awarded at the conclusion of that game, with a team clad all in black battling their way to the coveted alumni trophy.
The traditional summer tournament is sponsored by the RHS Alumni Committee, all volunteers, which also runs the snack bar. Proceeds are used for the club’s activities and scholarships. Players on some of the teams are still competing at the college level, while at least one other has played some semi-professional ball, both in the US and abroad.
The teams are made up of graduates from differing eras of RHS basketball history, from young, recent grads to old(er) competitors.