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Forty-two years of Central girls basketball alumni honored at halftime event

Central+alumni+and+WNBA+player+Candice+Parker+%28left%29+steps+forward+to+be+honored+during+a+halftime+ceremony+on+Jan.+27.
Sam Lockhart
Central alumni and WNBA player Candice Parker (left) steps forward to be honored during a halftime ceremony on Jan. 27.

Central’s girls basketball team played against Campbell Hall on Jan. 27 in a game honoring decades of Central girls basketball alumni. 

Campbell Hall is a school located just outside of Los Angeles, California. The team was invited to play Central because of its ties to Candace Parker, a Central alumna and current WNBA (Women’s National Basketball Association) player.

 The alumni in attendance were recognized during a halftime ceremony. Alumni who graduated from 1978 to 2020 were recognized, and special recognition was given to Central’s state champion teams from 2003 and 2004.  

The game held a great deal of importance to many people including Head Coach Andy Nussbaum, who coached all but one of the alumni who were recognized.

“It was very gratifying that so many of them thought enough about coming,” Nussbaum said.

Many of the alumni were able to reconnect with old teammates and retired assistant coaches and athletic trainers, who were also recognized during the halftime ceremony. 

“This shows what [playing at Central] meant to them.” Nussbaum said. “To be a part of something, the school, the team, the relationships. When it’s all said and done, the wins are nice, but the relationships are what last.” 

Ten alumni from the back to back state championship teams in 2003 and 2004 were able to attend and be recognized, including Central Athletic Hall of Fame inductee Erika Carter and Parker. 

“It feels great (to have everyone here), it’s been 20 years since we won our championship, so to be able to come back and reconnect and see their families is amazing,” Parker said. “The most important thing is that this will always be home and we will always come back.”

Members and coaches of Central’s 2003 and 2004 IHSA girls basketball state championship teams pose for a photo during a halftime ceremony honoring Central’s girls basketball alumni on Jan. 27.

Parker’s daughter, Lailaa, who attends Campbell Hall, was unable to play in the game due to injury, but her and other family members of Parker came to view the game and the ceremony.

“To be able to bring your kid back to where you played in high school is crazy,” Parker said. “It was great to be able to see her and her team play and travel from California together.”

The game was fought hard by both teams with Central being up at the half, 36-27, but Campbell Hall pulled through in the end securing a 65-55 win.

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About the Contributor
Evelyn Zwicky
Evelyn Zwicky, Online Managing Editor & Sports Editor
Evelyn Zwicky is a senior at Naperville Central. This is her second year on Central Times and she enjoys reporting on sporting events the most. Outside of Central Times, she is a lacrosse goalie and plays for Central’s team.
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