Alumni return to challenge the Nanooks
The annual Christmas alumni basketball tournament gave Nome-Beltz graduates a chance to school the young’uns, the pups, on how it’s done.
Friday and Saturday games in the Nanook gym showcased the talent of alumni players who’ve stayed in shape. A lot of them, particularly those who play city league hoops, looked very sharp. There were two alumni teams for women and two for men.
The Nanook and Lady Nanook varsity made up the third teams in the tourney.
“We like doing this for the alumni,” said Pat Callahan, student activities director and coach of the Nanook basketball varsity team. “It’s always fun to see the alumni come back at Christmas and play. And that’s why we’re here. There have been a lot of good players through here the last fifteen years a lot of really good talent.”
Last year the Nugget wrote about the oldest man in the tournament, Sol Booshu. This year he was back and looked great. He scored ten points in one game and was sharp on defense. This year he is 51-years-old. He graduated from Nome-Beltz in 1986, the last year there was no three-point shot. “These kids are looking for a three-point shot all the time,” said Booshu. “When I was playing we had a lot more plays on the paint.” The Nugget asked how much longer he’ll keep playing. “I can go as long as my body can take it,” he said.
“They’re definitely coming together,” said Lady Nanooks coach Joe Musich. “They’re a good squad for sure.” The team played in Seward recently and returned home with two victories under their belt. The Nugget asked how he liked they way they looked against the alumni players. “They all looked pretty good,” he replied. “Our defense was a little sloppy at times but I’m proud of my team. They did really well today.”
The Nanook boys also looked good against the alums. “We take it as a practice and we play everybody,” said coach Callahan. “It’s a conditioner.”
Next action for the Nanook teams comes this Thursday, January 3, in the Subway Shootout. Petersburg, Grace Christian and Unalakleet will be coming to town to play the Nanooks.