Minnesota Twins pitcher Josh Roenicke, along with a host of former Nevada Union athletes, will take the court tonight at Albert Ali Gymnasium for the NU basketball alumni game.
The former NU greats will take on this year’s edition of the Miner basketball team in hopes of avenging last year’s defeat at the buzzer.
“I don’t know what it is, but every year the alumni team thinks we’re just going to go out and win, but the young bucks always give us a run for our money,” said 2003 NU graduate Geoff Trapani. “Last year a kid hit a basket at the buzzer to win it and it was like ‘Wow, OK these kids can play.’”
Trapani, who is playing in his fifth alumni game, also helps out with the NU basketball team and has been charged with putting the 2012 alumni team together, which will include Roenicke, minor league pitcher Gary Daley, NU coach Guy Greever, Chad Smith, Joey Bratton, former Chico State basketball player Kelib Thompson, former Utah State football player Brennan McFadden, former Sonoma State basketball player Tyler Smith, Mark Kendall, NU girls basketball coach John McDaniel and NU boys freshman coach Justin Anthney.
Roenicke said he is confident in the alumni team’s chances at winning back bragging rights.
“Our squad looks pretty good this year,” said Roenicke who will be playing in his third alumni game. “We will probably win.”
Fellow alumni team member Smith said he predicts a 40-point victory over the current Miners team.
Despite having plenty of experience and talent on the alumni team, Trapani said the two teams match up well.
The big men should provide entertainment as Thompson will likely guard NU’s 6-foot, 8-inch Lucas Vojak.
“He (Vojak) is just so intelligent and so fun to watch,” Trapani said.
Vojak is just a junior this season and is coming off a sophomore campaign where he averaged 4.5 points and 6.2 rebounds.
The other matchup that will be interesting is Smith locking up with NU senior Ian Davis.
“Ian’s game is a lot like Tyler Smith’s,” Trapani said. “They are both so creative and smooth. It’s almost effortless for them.”
Davis is back for his senior year after a stellar junior season where he put up 14.1 points per game, along with 2.1 assists and 2.9 rebounds.
The matchup of the old versus the new Miners tips off at 7 p.m. today at Albert Ali Gymnasium. The cost is $2 per ticket and the funds raised will go to supporting the NU basketball program.
To contact Sports Writer Walter Ford call (530) 477-4232 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org