Men's Basketball Host First Annual Alumni Weekend

Oct. 4, 2005

By Eric Freeman

Head Coach Trent Johnson and Stanford Basketball ushered in a new era of alumni relations last weekend with its first Alumni Weekend. This event, which will be held biannually, was the perfect opportunity for former players, managers, and coaches to catch up with each other and reminisce about their days in Maples and Burnham in a far more expansive way than in previous years. The 96 alumni in attendance doubled the best turnout ever for a basketball alumni event. The weekend was the first opportunity for Stanford Basketball alums from the class of 1940 to present to come together as a program and family. The event also brought back six of the program's current NBA players: Brevin Knight, Jarron Collins, Jason Collins, Casey Jacobsen, Mark Madsen, and Josh Childress.

The weekend kicked off at Jimmy V's Sports Café on Friday night with a short social. This first event set the tone for the entire weekend, as Cardinal alumni immediately hit it off with their friends and teammates. Aside from the usual stories and anecdotes, everyone got to meet their teammates' wives and children, which provided a great deal of perspective on experiences on The Farm for the 100-plus people in attendance.

The next morning, a larger crowd convened at Maples Pavilion for this year's Alumni Game. With players ranging from the Class of 1965 to 2004, the game featured a mix of old and new alums, and the game was easily one of the more competitive contests of the last few years. Josh Childress decided to join the game on the White team, and while he spent the first few minutes trying to feed his teammates, Josh threw down some emphatic dunks once things got more competitive. On the opposing Red team, Kris Weems showed that his three-point shooting prowess hasn't abated since graduating.

After the game, over a dozen alums participated in a three-point competition. While Ryan Mendez, Peter Dukes, George Selleck, and Jarron Collins put forth some great efforts, Casey Jacobsen was victorious in an unsurprising result. Casey also finished on top of the Alumni game of knockout, a victory which he later joked would be a mainstay on his resume.

After the festivities at Maples, everyone headed over to the Arrillaga Alumni Center for a fabulous lunch in McCaw Hall. With televisions in every corner showing highlight tapes from past years, the alumni and their families were able to relive some memories from their playing days.

Once everyone had went through the buffet for their food, a highlight video featuring footage from the last few years started. After the video ended, emcee Bob Murphy took the stage to introduced Head Coach Trent Johnson, who marveled at the great turnout and commitment of our alums. This also gave Coach Johnson an opportunity to introduce this year's roster and staff, all of whom received strong ovations from the crowd of over 230 people.

The longest and most warmly received speaker of the day was Mike Montgomery, who joked about the differences between the collegiate and professional ranks while praising everyone that he had met during his time at Stanford. Most importantly, he attributed his success to the opportunities that players and staff had given him over the years, all while stressing the character of the Cardinal Basketball family. Seeing his former players and their families also caused Montgomery to get uncharacteristically emotional on stage, underscoring the importance of the weekend.

Next, the Cardinal's four senior leaders went on stage to give the alumni a sneak peek at this season's squad while reliving some of their favorite memories from the past two seasons. Eventually, Murphy also called some select alums, including Brevin Knight, Peter Sauer, Casey Jacobsen, Adam Keefe, and Andrew Vlahov (who traveled from his home in Australia, the farthest of any attendee) up to relive some memories and give updates on their lives. This alumni update provided the perfect end to the weekend, as it featured laughs, memories, and heartfelt comments on the importance of family--in both the basketball program and elsewhere.

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