Basketball players reunite in Riverhead for alumni game

(Credit: Bill Landon)
Neverson Funn goes up for a shot in Saturday’s alumni basketball game in Riverhead. (Credit: Bill Landon)

It had been 11 years since the last time Chris Harris stepped onto the court at Riverhead High School. A lot has changed since then. But the competitive juices remain.

“Coach got some of us old guys out here,” said Harris, a 2002 Riverhead graduate. 

Harris was one of more than two dozen former players who came together for an alumni basketball game Saturday afternoon. The alumni broke up into two teams, a blue and white, and played an entertaining game in front a nice sized crowd.

Between raffles, Chinese auctions and a 50/50 drawing event, the event raised about $3,000, according to Shanneikqua Tolliver, one of the event’s organizers.

There was fun for everyone, with a DJ spinning vinyl and Riverhead Stepper’s providing halftime entertainment.

Rasheen Moore, a 2009 graduate, said they wanted to make the end of the game interesting.

“We tried to make it a fun game for the crowd getting everyone interested, coach put a little backup plan and some catch up to make it a game in the end,” Moore said. “It brings everybody back in from a long time ago.”

With eight seconds left in the game the blue team took the lead 88-87 but the white team answered right back three seconds later to retake the lead 89-88 with five seconds left. The white team held on to win 89-88.

The white team controlled the game early and at one point enjoyed a 20-point lead, which shrank to a 72-65 advantage before the blue team rallied late to close within three.

“We let them come back,” said Charles Pettaway, a 2006 graduate. “We wanted to make it close for the crowd. We could’ve won by 40 but that’s not what we came here for, we just wanted to have fun.”

Tolliver said that first and foremost the event wanted to support local causes and bring everyone together.

“In our community that means basketball,” she said. “Everyone plays it and everybody loves it. We’re a booster club of basketball. We had a great turnout today, and with our ticket sales the Chinese auction and the concession and the 50/50 we raised a lot of money for our basketball family.”

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