Founding President of the HSB Basketball Alumni, Frank Lapointe on the history of basketball at HSB:
“Larry Tomlinson shared some of his experiences from his school days in the Nebraska on how alumni associations were a driving force in complimenting high school programs. A few of us, namely Erik Hyland, Charlie Ghorayeb, Jamie Ireland, Larry Tomlinson, Ron Graham and myself met to discuss the possibility of beginning an alumni association to accomplish a few things:
o Support for the existing basketball programs at Billings that had been hit with financial cuts to their respective programs.
o Create a liaison between past players and existing players
o Give former players an opportunity to play and get together with classmates once again.
We then created an Executive Committee which initially consisted of myself as President, Erik Hyland as Treasurer, Jamie Ireland as Secretary and I can`t remember the rest. The Phys. Ed. staff of Larry Tomlinson, Ron Graham, Jim Ross and History teacher Charlie Falcon acted as advisors and liaisons with the school and school administrators. They were extremely supportive and helpful along the way.
This was all before the time of emails & computers and contacting past players was an enormous task and proved very difficult. Charlie Ghorayeb did an outstanding job of bringing in some of the older players who had won Billings first city championship. Don Reid had contacted players from his era from the Old Chateauguay High School and so it began.
I believe the first Alumni Tournament consisted of 4 men`s teams. It was a success for all of us who participated in it. Our follow up meeting after the event kept us motivated to continue our work to making this something bigger and hopefully better for the future.
During the next few years I urged that we try and get the girls involved and by the third year we had 3 teams, and that grew to 4 teams at some point. Personally, I considered this critical in creating a true Alumni reflection of the Basketball community at Billings. I was very proud to see the girls get involved.
We had post tournament dances at the Masonic Hall off of Parkview, dances at St. Paul`s school and a few social gatherings at the Billings staff room and Cage aux Sport along the way. All were fundraisers and helped us support the teams at Billings.
In closing, I look back and feel very blessed and proud that I went to school at Billings and I still keep in touch with a few classmates and teachers on a regular basis. The HSB Basketball Alumni was a way of giving something back to a wonderful place that took me under my wing with wonderful teachers and coaches who gave me guidance and support when I needed it most.
I can’t tell you how happy I am that you and others have taken it yet again to “another level” and continue to keep the “fire burning”.