Culture

Bay Area high school basketball season opens with showcases at Bishop O’Dowd, Dublin


OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA NOVEMBER 22: Bishop O'Dowd coach Lou Richie paces the sidelines in a basketball game between De La Salle and Bishop O'Dowd in the renovated basketball court in Oakland, Calif., on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. (Joseph Dycus/Bay Area News Group)

Bishop O’Dowd boys basketball coach Lou Richie couldn’t help but beam as he proudly and graciously gave a tour of his school’s new $45 million athletic and school community center.

From the performance lab (ie weight room) to the outdoor balcony that overlooks the football field and, of course, the state-of-the-art gym that features an NBA-sized court, video boards and space for 1,300 spectators, Richie showed it all Tuesday night.

“It’s not just a gym,” he said. “It’s called The Center. It’s a space for all of our community.”

The venue — officially named the Bishop John S. Cummins Center — opened in August. It’s a place for mass, celebrations, athletics, performing arts, academics and more.

As a new basketball season begins this weekend, the center’s doors will swing open for a two-day boys Thanksgiving showcase that will include 12 teams and eight games.

It’s one of two marquee boys basketball events in the Bay Area on opening weekend.

At Dublin High on Saturday, Gerry Freitas will hold his 15th NorCal Tip-Off Classic. His lineup is so deep that two very good teams — Granada and Vanden-Fairfield — will play in the 9:30 a.m. slot.

The 8:30 p.m. finale on Freitas’ eight-game card will be a matchup between Northern California’s top-ranked team, Modesto Christian, and Southern California heavyweight Notre Dame-Sherman Oaks.

What should fans expect?

“I think they can expect a great group of games simply because it’s a very good group of teams,” Freitas said. “I invite teams that I have personally seen play and like what I see.”

The lineup at O’Dowd is very good, too.

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 22: Bishop O’Dowd coach Lou Richie paces the sidelines in a basketball game between De La Salle and Bishop O’Dowd in the renovated basketball court in Oakland, Calif., on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. (Joseph Dycus/Bay Area News Group) 
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 22: A high shot view of the action in a basketball game between De La Salle and Bishop O’Dowd in the renovated basketball court in Oakland, Calif., on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. (Joseph Dycus/Bay Area News Group) 

Four teams that will play at O’Dowd on Friday — Modesto Christian, Oakland Tech, Vanden and Grant-Sacramento — will play at Dublin on Saturday.

Bishop Gorman-Las Vegas, which will play O’Dowd on Saturday, is coming off a 30-1 season that ended with a one-point overtime loss to Liberty of Henderson, Nev., in a state final.

Saturday’s game is Gorman’s season opener.

O’Dowd, which plays its opener on Friday against Vanden, is a young team that has only two seniors on its roster.

Richie said he has already seen improvement in his players from having a summer program for the first time since before the pandemic.

And, he added, “because of how we emphasize film, this team has the ability to improve more than last year’s team, and we had a pretty good run at the end of the year. We’re very hopeful. We’re very optimistic. We’re also realistic of where we’re at right now, knowing that we have to put in that work to get better.”

This weekend’s …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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