'An emotional and spectacular gesture'
The Bishop O'Dowd men's basketball team returned to the court to receive their medals after defeating El Cerrito High School, 89-69, to win the North Coast Section Division III title game on March 8. What happened next, described by Coach Lou Richie as a "spontaneous" gesture, surprised spectators, including the school's president and principal. The O'Dowd women's basketball team, disqualified from postseason play — which meant that its state title would go undefended — for playing one too many games this season, was sitting behind the bench. When the men took the court, the women joined them. As each player received his medal, he, in turn, placed it around the neck of one of the young women. "I didn't know that the boys were going to do that," said Principal Pam Shay. "I was so touched by their choice to share their victory with the girls. It was an emotional and spectacular gesture."
GEROME WRIGHT/ COURTESY OF BISHOP O'DOWD HIGH SCHOOL