DeMatha's 1965 Champions Reunited
Posted January 25, 2010
PICTURE GALLERY of the 45th Anniversary Reunion and 1965 game photos
VIDEO Highlights of the 1965 game
Tim Brant (Channel 7) VIDEO about the reunion
Josh Barr, The Washington Post, Saturday January 23, 2010
They gathered around the screen like a bunch of teenagers, heckling each other while enjoying the memories from the game of their lives, nearly half a century ago.
With the 45th anniversary of DeMatha's legendary 46-43 victory over Power Memorial of New York approaching on Jan. 30, school officials on short notice organized a gathering for most of the team's players and coaches on Thursday night.
A few of the alumni spoke to this year's team. The group then met for cocktails and dinner, a tour of the Hyattsville school's new convocation center and finally watched footage from their memorable victory as well as a 65-62 loss the previous year. DeMatha's win in 1965 was the only loss in Lew Alcindor's high school career.
"That game helped elevate DeMatha to national attention, no doubt about that," said Morgan Wootten, who coached the Stags then and was shown sporting a buzz cut in game footage. "It certainly propelled DeMatha basketball and DeMatha High School onto the map."
While the former players are now in their early 60s, they howled as they watched about 25 minutes of game film from the 1964 game and about 10 minutes from the 1965 victory.
"How many points does Lew have? Thirty-five ? Good job, Bobby," one player teased former teammate Bob Whitmore after Alcindor scored a basket in the fourth quarter of the 1964 game.
Retorted Whitmore, "We were up by three, to my recollection, when I fouled out."
"It's been 40 years since I've seen that film. It certainly brings back memories of being that young age and you realize some people are no longer with us," Whitmore said afterward. "All those people were involved in my formative years."
Said Ernie Austin: "I came to a couple [class] reunions but this is far and away the best one, seeing these faces. Some of these guys I haven't seen in 45 years."