By Tom Price Jr.

For a tradition that dates back over 30 years, former Lindsay Cardinal boy's and girl's basketball players returned for the annual alumni game on Friday.

"We have always had a family atmosphere here at the Lindsay basketball program," Lindsay coach Don Perales said. "We just keep that tradition going."

Perales began the tradition in his second year as the Cardinal head coach, in 1973. Since then the game has evolved into solid fund-raiser for the program and a chance to see some old faces.

"It's like a reunion," Perales said. "On the 30th anniversary of the first game we had someone from every era. It was wonderful."

As the years go by it appears the alumni team is getting better and better. Perales says his teams are about .500 against alumni teams in recent years.

"A lot of these guys are former MVP's and All-League selections," Perales said. "They are always motivated and want to come back and show they've still got it."

According to Perales Cardinal girl's coach Pete Lindstrand the game is an ideal scrimmage.

"We had a great time, it was great to see some of the girls that played here in the '90s," Lindstrand said. "It is good for us to play a good team like this. Two of [the alumni team's] girls are playing for COS. It really preps us for the season, I would rather take my lumps early and play well in league."

During the game both the boy's and the girl's emptied their benches giving every player a chance to play.

Such opportunities are hard to come by during a season when every game counts.

"We wanted to have a lot of fun," Lindstrand said. "We knew we were going to give everybody a chance to play."

The Cardinal boy's and girl's teams will open the season this week and their next game will be on Friday in Strathmore.

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