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Aberdeen high school planning reunion for last state championship team, including return of NBA player

The 1973 Aberdeen High School basketball team. | Courtesy the Aberdeen Times
ABERDEEN — Steve Hayes is one of the best basketball products to ever come from the Gem State.
The 7-footer spent five seasons in the NBA — including the 1985-86 season with the Utah Jazz — following four seasons at Idaho State University. Before he was a Bengal, Hayes led Aberdeen High School to its most recent 2A state title in 1973.
Now, 50 years later, the school and city are welcoming back many of the surviving members of that state champion team for an anniversary. Making matters even more exciting, the high school team, the Tigers, currently have one of their most competitive teams since Hayes and his squad completed their championship run.
Elaine Blik, an Aberdeen high alumnus, school board member and editor of the Aberdeen Times, is one of the primary planners behind the reunion. She told EastIdahoNews.com that she was looking through newspaper archives when she was reminded of the significant anniversary.
“I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, this is coming, we need to do something because this is really special,’” she said.
Not only will this reunion commemorate the 50-year anniversary of Aberdeen’s last title, but Blik is hopeful that it will serve as added inspiration for the 2023 team.
“In my heart, I’m thinking, ‘They are going to go to state,’” she said. “The next couple weeks are really going to tell where we sit, but it looks really good.”
Seven of the nine surviving players plan to attend the anniversary rally at Aberdeen’s Feb. 3 home game against Malad High School. Before the game, Blik said, the current players will have a chance to mingle with their predecessors.
The Tigers are currently 9-4, good enough for 9th place in the state, while their 2-0 record in the South East Conference ties them with Bear Lake for the top spot in the conference.
Blik expects the combination of what could be an exciting game and the return of Aberdeen’s legendary last basketball champion will lead to a massive crowd.
The post Aberdeen high school planning reunion for last state championship team, including return of NBA player appeared first on East Idaho News.
Source: eastidahonews.com

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