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Over The Rim - Alumni Honors Up For Grabs Again
It's all in good fun, but when the old school Jordans get a new spit shine and that antique sweatband stretches across the forehead, you know Riverbank High boys basketball alumni mean business.

On July 8 and 9 the third annual Riverbank alumni tournament (dubbed the Riverbank Challenge) will feature around 100 alumni on 12 teams, competing amongst themselves and the current varsity players for a championship title.

That title belonged to the Monstars last year, one more accolade for a group of athletes that claimed a Sac-Joaquin Section title as Bruins in 2001. The core members of that group are back, including one of the best hoopsters in Riverbank history in six foot, seven inch Aaron Gentry.

Gentry and Co. will have their hands full with 2010 runner-ups and 2009 champions, RBK Retro Classic. Wisely seeded to the opposite side of the bracket, the Retro Classics feature current varsity coach Jeff Jennings, former All District player Miguel Alaniz, NAIA star Chris Gonzales and 2011 All Star Basketball Classic MVP, Zack Gonzales.

With such talents confined to one tournament, things can get competitive, but certainly playful.

"The trash talking pretty much starts the day after the tournament ends the previous year," coach Jennings said. "The next day when everyone is icing down, they get on the phone and start it all up again."

Jennings and the Retro Classics won't be the only team gunning for the Monstars' title. The bracket kicks off with 4 p.m. contests on Friday, July 8 between the Monstars and the RBK New School, a collection of 15 current varsity players looking for their own spot in the alumni history books. The team includes the likes of All-Bruin winner Alex Reynaga and sophomore sensation Rolaun Dunham.

And while the youngsters tackle the defending champs in the old gym, team Mo Show will attempt to end the Retro Classics' title bid in the opening round at the Ray Fauria Memorial Gymnasium.

The tournament continues with six more games at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 7 p.m., with 12 more games scheduled for Saturday, July 9. The last is a 4 p.m. championship title game between the undefeated winner of the bracket's bottom and top halves.

The tournament will host a three-point contest before the championship game with a $20 entry fee and $100 reward for the winner. Each contestant will compete to drain as many treys as possible in a one-minute span. The top two scorers get one more title round to decide the winner.

The proceeds of that event, along with a $4 gate fee for adults and $2 fee for children, will act as a fundraiser for the Riverbank boys basketball program. Proceeds from the Alumni Association's snack bar will directly increase scholarship money for all future Bruin athletes. All players and their families are also invited to Pizza Plus after the tournament from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. for all you can eat pizza at $7 per person.

"The coolest thing about this tournament is getting everybody in one place at one time to see old friends, coaches and players." Jennings said. "The community comes out and cheers on their favorite players and teams."