By BRIAN JENNINGS
Nearly 20 alumni spilled into the Southington High School gym to play a fun-filled basketball game and show their love and support for the Lady Knights basketball family. The age span of alumni ranged from the most recent graduates to the class of 1992.
The second annual Southington Lady Knights alumni basketball game was played on Sunday evening, Feb. 22.
Holly Coleman played for the Lady Knights basketball team and graduated from Southington High School in 1998. She went on to play two years of basketball as a shooting guard at West New England University in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Coleman is one of the coordinators of the alumni game and currently teaches at Conard High School.
“I used to coach basketball at Conard,” said Coleman. “We started to do an alumni game there, and I realized Southington has such an amazing tradition. So many of us still live in Southington or at least locally.”
Coleman reached out to Lady Knight coach Mike Forgione and told him the idea she had to help make the much-appreciated event possible.
“I contacted Mike two years ago starting with email and then texting each other,” said Coleman. “We really wanted to start getting this going and get some of us back here to show the current players that we have this amazing history here. You can look around the gym and see the history.”
The moment Forgione first heard about Coleman’s idea, he was all for it.
“I believe they did an alumni game in the past, but they haven’t done it in a few years,” said Forgione. “Holly contacted me about it and really wanted to get some of the alumni back, to have a game, and have the families come, making it a family atmosphere.”
To help spread the word about the alumni game throughout the Southington community, Coleman started a private group on Facebook.
“We just add our friends of friends,” said Coleman. “So maybe this will help get the word out to some the younger alumni and we can make it even bigger each year.”
Forgione said that the alumni game means a lot to his Lady Knights and the Southington girls basketball program.
“The one thing that I preach to my girls is we’re not only playing for ourselves, but we’re playing for the players that came before us, the tradition of Southington basketball,” the coach said. “That means a lot to me as a coach and I know it means a lot to my kids. So it’s really great for the kids to see the alumni come back once a year, play, have some fun, and catch up.”
To comment on this story or to email sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at BJennings@SouthingtonObserver.com.