Memories, good cause win at Classic
Stuckey, Calvary join charity event
It’s a safe bet that few of the participants or the 3,182 in attendance will remember the final score of Thursday’s Spokane All-Americans Charity Classic at the McCarthey Athletic Center.
For the record, it was the Blue team with a 142-141 victory over the White. (That’s not actually correct because the White team received about a 20-point boost at the start of the fourth quarter to make it interesting.)
For the memory banks, it was 6-foot-11 ex-Gonzaga center Richard Fox leading the fast break and firing a no-look, left-handed pass to former Eastern Washington standout Rodney Stuckey for an easy hoop. And Fox following that with a 25-foot 3-pointer. And Fox then draining another deep 3.
It was the Floyd brothers, Colin and Ryan, going 1-on-1 a couple of times. It was Stuckey, Boston Celtic Brian Scalabrine and ex-Bulldog Mike Nilson diving for a loose ball, one of the few times defense took priority.
It was five members of GU’s 1999 Elite Eight squad on the floor at the same time.
It was ex-Zag Richie Frahm, who will play in China this winter, still burying jump shots and adding a few impressive dunks. It was Stuckey smoothly rising for a two-handed jam. It was another loud ovation from the crowd with the introduction of David Pendergraft, the most recent Gonzaga graduate to participate in the contest.
It was Scalabrine toweling off the shoes and then the head of one of the refs.
And perhaps the biggest surprise of all, it was Casey Calvary lacing up the high-tops again. It was his first time playing in the fourth annual charity game, which was missing regulars Dan Dickau and Adam Morrison, both absent because of commitments to their pro teams.
“I’m getting on in years (29) and I’ve played a lot of basketball,” said Calvary, who has retired after a lengthy career overseas. “I’ve had lots of two-a-days, so I have to be careful with what I do. To support a good cause in the Spokane community I’m happy to do it.”
He got a win to boot, although it was made more difficult when the Blue team’s 24-point lead at the end of the third was wiped out by a few clicks at the scorer’s table. Calvary tried to rectify the situation by switching the score back, but it didn’t last.
So the Blue had to work for it, especially after Stuckey sparked the White with four 3-pointers in the final quarter.
“It was fun to come out and put on a show for the fans,” Stuckey said.
Stuckey’s two free throws gave the White a 141-140 lead with 1.5 seconds left, but Scalabrine assumed coaching duties and diagrammed a play, borrowing a reporter’s notebook to do so. Santangelo fired an inbounds pass to an open Calvary for a dunk to decide it.
“My first win (in four tries),” said Frahm, who had 18 points in the first half and didn’t slow down in the second. “Casey just lives down the road, but for a lot of different reasons with contracts and playing overseas, he couldn’t play in this game. He’s retired now, but the way he looked tonight I don’t think he should be retired. That was a good way to end it and I think the fans enjoyed it.”
So did the players.
“It was really fun with the way the teams were separated with me, (Ryan) Floyd, Nilson, Richie and Casey,” Santangelo said. “And it’s always great fun to play with Scalabrine because he’s just a winner. It was a lot of fun down on our side. For the guys we had here, all us old guys, it was great the people came out to support us.”