Eagles basketball opened the 2014-15 season at Poelking Marian Lanes.
The Title Teams
Men of CJ Basketball
You read that right. The men of Chaminade Julienne took to bowling Sunday, Nov. 30 as a fun way to build camaraderie this pre-season.
“Bonding happens if you create the opportunity,” said longtime head coach Joe Staley ‘72. The coaching staff and members of all three teams rolled three games and enjoyed a pizza lunch at the bowling alley in Huber Heights as part of a tradition known as Program Day.
“The purpose is to give our guys an appreciation of the great basketball tradition here,” coach Staley said. “ We want them to know that when they take the court, they're representing a lot of great athletes and people who have come before them.”
Before bowling, the freshman, JV and varsity players all took to Mary, Our Lady of Victory gymnasium for warm-ups together — a rare occurrence.
“With our freshman practicing off campus we felt it was important to welcome them to the program and emphasize that all three teams are in this together.”
Student athletes received a history lesson of sorts, learning about the success — both on and off the court — of past players and watching historical highlights from the glory days on the gym's videoboards.
Junior and third-year player Thomas Ellison ‘16, who models his game after Eagle greats Reuban Owens '97 and Al Sicard '89, said he learned a few new things about some of the program’s proudest moments.
“I didn’t know that CJ played in the first ever basketball game at UD Arena,” he said. The No. 1 ranked Eagles defeated No. 2 Roth High School (now Thurgood Marshall) at UD en route to the program’s second state championship in 1970.
“It was interesting how we won our first state title in 1966 by coming back from down 15 points,” Thomas continued. Chaminade defeated Toledo Libbey 55-52 for its first title. Both championships came under legendary coach Jim Turvene.
The Program Day experience, according to the junior, encouraged teammates to continue to push themselves in practice; to build trust and make personal connections; and to always be humble, both in victory and defeat.
“I definitely think the guys enjoyed it and learned a lot about the Eagle basketball tradition,” said coach Staley, who knows a thing or two about CJ hoops. Staley has amassed a 375-296 record in 30 seasons at the helm. As a former player, he still holds the individual record for most rebounds (26) in a single game.
Coach Staley extended a big “thank you” to grad Mike Poelking ‘81 for hosting the team before what should be another exciting season.
The Eagles varsity team opens its season Saturday, Dec. 6 in the Ohio Valley Hoops Classic. CJ plays Lexington Catholic (Ky.) at 5:30 p.m. at Wilmington College.
All three teams play on the road Tuesday, Dec. 9 at Roger Bacon before the program’s home opener Friday, Dec. 12 against Purcell Marian.