PARADISE, Calif. --- Paradise High’s basketball team hosted it’s first game since February 2018 against Durham High School Tuesday night. But right before tip off they honored last season’s team who never had a chance to play or practice on their home court.
All thirteen players from last season’s team were in attendance including former Head Coach Jerry Clink.
“That ceremony was amazing," said former Paradise basketball player Nicholaus Baker. "We honestly don’t deserve that. We didn’t do anything special, we just played ball and so the fact that we touched so many people, that’s just humbling.”
That 2018-19 varsity squad was the first team to play for Paradise High after the Camp Fire. They then went on to finish the season 21-9 with a Westside League title.
The 2019-20 squad fell to Durham High Tuesday night 71-61. Despite the loss, they say they're just glad to be back.
"I think there was a lot of nerves," said Head Coach Nathan Johnson. "I think from everybody it’s the first game, especially from our guys you can see it early on, kind of reckless play a little, but once the nerves kind of settled down we got to playing basketball again and then some of our bad habits came back."
"It feels good," said senior Drew Levin. "Some of us didn’t think we were going to be playing here again, at least I didn’t. So it's good that we got to play here eventhough it would’ve been nice to win the game for the crowd.”