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Alumni Game Provides Look into SJCS Boys Basketball Culture

Alumni Game Provides Look into SJCS Boys Basketball Culture

Nothing says more about the culture of the SJCS boys basketball program under Coach Paul Assinesi than the alumni game he hosts every year on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

This year, 34 of Coach Paul's former players -- about 80 percent of the graduates who have played since he took over the program in the 2009-2010 season -- came to the gym for a reunion with teammates, as well as those who played before and after them.

The alumni warmed up while reconnecting and then played a little basketball, with Coach Paul officiating. The SJCS Alumni Office had pizza and gift bags for the graduates afterward.

Coach Paul said it's always one of his favorite days of the year. It's a wonderful testament to the culture he has created, but it's also a time for catching up and reminiscing for not only Coach Paul and the former Knights but their families, who spent so many nights watching their boys and miss that time together.

Coach Paul has three sons of his own (two of whom he has coached at St. Joe's), but over the course of his 15 seasons with the Knights (including this one) he has acquired a much bigger family -- from Roger Clinkscales ('10), captain of his first team; to the Class of 2023 (Josh Burns, Hunter Campbell, Alex Gillespie, Davis Satterfield); to the players on this year's team.

Coach Paul was very proud that the current players were on hand to get a good idea of what the program is all about. And with former players having become husbands and fathers, there were reminders that it's about much more than basketball.

It was a good night all the way around, although the day after was probably a little more difficult for some than others.

After all, it was an alumni game, and some of the graduates said they don't play quite as often as they used to play.