Humber grads playing pickup for memories

Domenic Loschiavo
Sport Reporter 

Different generations of Humber College alumni get together to participate in a pick up game of basketball every Tuesday night at the school’s North campus.

According to organizer Rick Villani, 54, the idea started as high school friends getting together and refurbishing old memories as they played pick-up games.

“Thirty-three years ago I was invited by one of the older guys that used to play every week,” said Villani. “A few years later, guys weren’t able to come to games every week. So once they decided to drop off, I began to bring in my own guys.”

Villani says the idea came from guys wanting to stay in shape and looking forward to coming every Tuesday and seeing old friends they knew from their younger days.

One player recruited by Villani was Humber business administration graduate Mark Bottero. Bottero, 46, began playing pick-up games with his own high school friends before being asked by Villani to join their games every Tuesday night. He began playing with Villani and his crew 16 years ago and came together with some other Humber alumni for his stint with the group.

“I actually met all the Humber guys when I started playing with Rick,” said Bottero.

“Once I got there, you get to talking with some of the other guys and start talking about the old days back at Humber and the shenanigans we were up to on a day-to-day basis. And getting our education of course.”

There are a lot of benefits playing these pick up games every week, he said.

“I’ve enjoyed the last 16 because it’s been good exercise and I’m around a great bunch of guys. It keeps you motivated through life as well,” said Bettero.

Although he never went to Humber College, Frank Bandeira, 36, feels like he did after listening to all the stories being shared.

“Some of the things I hear from these guys is actually pretty comical,” Bandeira said. “I hear many stories from bar nights and stuff like that. They started making me feel old with how they relive their, what they call, their glory days.”