Up North: Familiar Faces Return to Esko for First Ever Alumni Charity Basketball Tournament

December 27, 2017 10:53 PM

It's been almost four years since the Esko boys' basketball team captured the Class AA state title.

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Following the celebrations, players began to realize that it would probably be the last time they played together as teammates.

"It didn't hit any of us until about a week after. After we won, because we were just on a high after winning," said former Eskomo Casey Staniger.

However, this year the the Esko basketball organization tried something new by forming their first ever Esko Alumni Charity Basketball Tournament that reunited the 2014 team.

"I never thought we would be doing something like this. Every Christmas break Coach Devney has us come back and play against the high school team, but I never though we would have an actual crowd and be playing other alumni. It's really fun," said former Eskomo Jaxson Turner.

Esko's all-time leading scorer Kory Deadrick took part in the tournament on Saturday. He said he didn't doubt that his team still had the "it factor" that lead to their championship in high school.

"I talked to these guys before and I asked, 'hey, should we have a practice?' They said it was like riding a bike," added Deadrick.

The event raised money for Best Christmas ever, a non-profit organization created by 2003 teammates Don Liimatainen and Jason Kunz.


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