All I Want for Christmas . . .

December 25, 2006

The yuletide season is a time for family and friends to come together and spend time with loved ones, to reacquaint and fill in the details of each other's personal lives, and to re-live the memories of an earlier time. This repeated ritual often involves a communal meal, usually a festive dinner. Perhaps the most salient aspect of these gatherings is the telling and re-telling of stories involving those present and those who have since departed this life. It is a ceremony of rebonding that is as old as humankind and, because of its sacred potential, the sharing of stories and the breaking of bread together became the quintessential model for the Christian Mass of the Holy Eucharist some two thousand years ago.

To the larger family of Hoyas worldwide, I convey my most blessed wishes on this special day. And what do I wish for? For that I must digress.




At the Navy game, all three-year old Luke Owen wants for Christmas is his two front teeth. His dad Brendan '88 owns a piece of Hoya Hoop history: as a 14-year old future Hoya, he won the half-time foul-shooting contest at Manley Field House in Syracuse on the day the Hoyas closed the place for good. Luke's grandfather Dennis Owen '51 (not pictured) played roundball for the Hoyas in the late 1940's

For the past six months, I have been working on a celebration of 100 years of basketball at Georgetown with a team of colleagues in the athletic department, led by associate AD Kyle Ragsdale and including Mary Jane Cratty and Kedi Milajecki of the basketball office, Kim Frank and Jordan Jarry of the sports promotions office, Mex Carey and Ben Shove of the sports information office, Dan O'Neill of the corporate sponsorship office and Allison Rubin of Hoyas Unlimited. Our work will culminate with an anniversary home game on February 10, 2007 followed by a gala dinner at the Ritz-Carleton Hotel. With the earnest support of Coach John Thompson III and AD Bernard Muir, the celebration promises to be the most magnificent and largest athletic-related weekend since the last Hoya final four in 1985 in Lexington.

Within the extended family of Georgetown, the men's basketball program has been a singularly unifying thread for the past 100 years. Its centennial celebration is a commemoration not of an abstract idea. Rather, it is about the interweaving relationships, both horizontally and vertically, of thousands of people: players, coaches, managers, students, faculty, staff, parents, fans, administrators, and alumni. Their stories are myriad and only improve with age. Just as with holiday memories, they come alive when we gather and retell them.


Cross-court view of the Hoya bench: Assistants Syd Johnson and Rob Burke are in constant communication with Coach Thompson during the game; two rows behind them, Peter Kentz, nephew of former Hoya basketball captain Rick Kentz '74, confers with his mom, Ellen '83

So, my wish is that every Hoya who enjoys the excitement of Georgetown basketball has the opportunity to be part of this upcoming celebration in some way. You can plan now to be part of these commemorative events by contacting Rachel Froelich at 202-393-7060 or by emailing GUHoyas100@georgetown.edu. Celebrate your association with family and friends of today and yesterday who comprise Georgetown basketball. Help us connect the dots of one hundred years of Hoyas on the hardwood by being there yourself.

May the spirit of the Christmas season extend into the new year as we come together in February to tell our stories and share a special meal as one Hoya family. Happy Hoya days!

Recent grad Ashanti Cook '06 flanked by longtime courtside fans Pat and Joe Lonardo '69 at the Towson game



On December 4, 2006, former Hoya basketball captain and NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue '62 spoke to the captains of all the Hoya teams in Riggs Library; afterwards, he caught up with Coach Thompson and captain Tyler Crawford '08

Familiar faces behind the scorer's table at the Towson game included Betty Ann O'Brien and son Christopher '78. Deceased husband and father Ray O'Brien '49 was a stalwart Hoya road warrior for many years



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