Article and Photography by ALICE MARY HERDEN
On October 6, 2018 Pasco Hernando State College at the New Port Richey Campus held a scrimmage game against former basketball graduates.
For Michael Jones, head basketball coach for the Bobcats, this scrimmage game not only lets him see the development of his players but the opportunity to catch up with past teammates.
“It’s so good to see the alumni come back,” Jones said. “It’s just a blessing to see that they could come back, give back and play against these young guys.”
Alumni players included Dylan Bailey (2015), Bryan Jones (2012), Dwayne Williams (1998), and Shawn Wilson (1993).
Coach Bowman, who was also present at the scrimmage game, took the role of head basketball coach and athletic director in 1991 and for 21 years he coached the Conquistadors as well many of these alumni players. In 2011 he retired from PHSC.
“Very, very special,” Coach Bowman said. “The bonding that Coach Jones did by having the alumni game is extremely special. It’s memories that they will not forget.”
“It feels amazing, I can’t wait to come out here every year,” said Travis Fletcher, a 2012 graduate who participated on the court. “Just to be around some of the guys I played with but most importantly the guys who inspired me today after the game of basketball, were Coach Jones and Coach Bowman. I am very appreciative of what they taught me on and off the court.”
Devon Curry (28) attended PHSC in 2006-2007, then transferred to Western Texas. Later in his career he played three years with the Harlem Globetrotters and since 2012 he has been traveling with the Harlem Wizards. It was an assistant coach from 2006 that saw Curry play on his home court in Staten Island New York, that offered him a scholarship to PHSC.
“I wish I could have brought in a championship here… a lot of memories and guys I still talk to are here today,” Curry said. “I remember those 5 o’clock in the morning practices and what is crazy though, is that those were the most intense practices I remember.”
Basketball officially starts for the Bobcats on November 1 as they travel to Hillsborough College. There are three more scrimmages games: October 13, October 20, Nov. 3. The final scrimmage, they will face St. Leo. The scrimmages will give the Bobcats some court time to polish their defense and work towards achieving a 2019 championship.