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The first Lancaster High School alumni basketball game was a slam dunk.
The event, held Saturday, April 12 in the Lancaster High School gym, included three games – a women’s game along with two men’s contests.
“We had a great time,” said Darren Cureton, a former Bruins players and volunteer coach under LHS boys coach Ricardo Priester, who along with LHS assistant coach Jerron Cauthen participated in the event.
In the women’s game, LA’s Finest topped the LA Gladiators, 42-38.
In the first men’s game, which featured players age 30 and over, the Red Rose Finest edged Team Laidback, 50-47 as former Bruins’ player Zay Zay Spratt nailed a trey just before the buzzer.
The final game – Team Explicit, players from 2006-2012, downed Team USA, players from 2002-2005, 62-54.
“All the games were competitive and that was pretty impressive since it had been a long time since some of the players, men and women, had played,” Cureton said. “They competed and competed well and made for an interesting time. I think in some of the games, some of the players’ kids were able to see their parents play and they got a big kick out of that.
“The teams haven’t played or practiced together, but they came around and made it a good game and good event.”
Team Explicit included former Bruins’ star player Sindarius Thornwell, who was coming off his freshman season at the University of South Carolina where he earned All-SEC freshman team honors.
“Sindarius scored the most of the points for Team Explicit,” Cureton said.
“We were real pleased with the way the games went and the response we had from the community,” said Cureton, a 2002 LHS graduate who played basketball from 2000-2002.
Cureton is the chairman of the Lancaster High School alumni basketball committee.
“After the event was history, we had people approach us about next year,” Cureton said. “We’re going to have this as an annual event, and the plan is to make it bigger.”
Cureton said the event is held as a fundraiser for the LHS Bruins’ basketball program.
“Just from our gate on the day of the event, we were able to raise $2,500, which we felt was outstanding,” he said. “What we plan to do is to use it to help purchase road uniforms for the boys and girls teams.
“The funds will go for uniforms, equipment and team camps,” he said.
In addition to the games, concessions were sold and members of the A.R. Rucker Step Team performed. Door prizes were also awarded.
During the event, a special tribute was held to honor late LHS boys basketball coach W.C. Bill “Pap” Lewis.
Lewis is a member of the S.C. Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame and the S.C. Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame.
Lewis coached at LHS from 1970-71 to 1995-96. In addition, Lewis also coached football and tennis at LHS.
“That was a special moment and I think it was nice to honor him,” Cureton said. “Our community stepped up to give him a special time he deserved.
“I feel a lot of people were moved during the time to honor coach Lewis. He did a great deal to boost the basketball program and it was common to see him at games after he retired from coaching.”