By Ian Jackson
The Roosevelt men’s basketball team started its night by celebrating its senior class, and capped their night celebrating a victory thanks to one of their young building blocks. Sophomore guard Jake Ludwig banked in a driving 17-foot jumper as he faded to his right with five seconds left in regulation to beat Judson 65-60 on senior night.
The night began with at ceremony honoring Kory Ryan, Jason Markus, Zack Harris, and Damian Zalewski and their families prior to their final college game.
The ceremony also celebrated the life of the late Dylan Slager. Slager was the head manager and student director of basketball operations for the Lakers from 2013-2016 before his passing last April. His mother, sister and family were in attendance and presented with a Roosevelt “R” decorated and signed by the team in the honor of Dylan.
“The goal was to play as hard as we could and with as much passion and honor for our seniors, which we felt would result in the win. We wanted to win the game, as we do all games,” said Coach Joe Griffin.
Emotions were running high from the opening jump. Right after the tip found the hands of Jason Markus, the senior guard sent a quick pass to Zalewski for a two-handed dunk that got the crowd on its feet just seconds into the game.
“This win really meant a lot because we played for five guys that have given the last four years of their lives and dedicated every day to Roosevelt Basketball,” said forward Damian Zalewski “This win was for them and for me it was a great way to finish my collegiate career with a win.”
Senior guard Jason Markus said the team wanted to do more this season. “This win was bittersweet,” said Markus. “Winning the last game was not where we wanted to be because we wanted to make the conference tournament and eventually the national tournament.”
Adam Alexander led all scorers with 12 points off the bench while Korey Ryan tallied 10 points and pulled down a career-high-tying nine rebounds in his final collegiate contest.
“Now we rest and recover after about a 6 month season of training, practice, and competition. More importantly, we continue to work hard in class to maintain our stellar team GPA and keep everyone on track for graduation,” said Griffin.