Pilots Lose Island Classic

Pilots Lose Island Classic


The St. Joseph Notre Dame High School (SJND) men’s basketball team went 1-1 in the 27th annual Island Classic last weekend played at the SJND Gym.

The team took part in games on Friday, Dec. 2, and Saturday, Dec. 3. In the first game, the Pilots drubbed Lincoln of San Francisco 73-33. The Pilots were never in any distress on their way to the 40-point win. However, the Pilots faced a much more potent opponent in the final against Modesto Christian. 

The Crusaders managed to beat the Pilots 72-60 in the final game on Saturday. Modesto Christian was boosted by the strong play of senior guard Darrian Grays who knocked down eight three-pointers in the contest. He finished with 28 points in the game. Modesto Christian beat Urban of San Francisco 66-50 in its opening game.

SJND stayed within range due to the strong play of senior guard Jadé Smith. Smith will attend Pepperdine University next fall as a student-athlete. He committed to join the men’s basketball team in September. Pepperdine University is located in Malibu. They play in the West Coast Conference with schools such as University of San Francisco, St. Mary’s of Moraga and Santa Clara University.

The loss brings the Pilots record to 2-1 on the short season. The Pilots will now take part in the Chris Vontoure Spartan Classic today with additional games on Saturday, Dec. 9, and Sunday, Dec. 10.

The Island Classic is one of Alameda’s landmark basketball tournaments. In the past 27 years, NBA stars J.R. Rider, Jason Kidd and Damian Lillard have all participated in the tournament. The Island Classic was started by legendary SJND coach, the late Frank LaPorte.

Coach LaPorte named the tournament after a close friend and SJND supporter, George Chaix. After coach Laporte passed in 1997, his name was added in honor of his dedication to the SJND basketball family. The tournament is now called the Frank LaPorte & George Chaix Island Classic.

SJND won the tournament last year, beating Urban, 66-54.