By Liz Sullivan
The game kept fans on the edge of their seats until the final second.
On February 19, the Diocese of San Jose held the 10th Annual Revs vs. Sems basketball game at Santa Clara University’s Leavey Center. More than 1,000 fans gathered and saw a thrilling contest that lasted two overtimes before being decided with the Sems winning 46-43. Seminarian Michael Lilledahl gave his team the lead for good when he sank a shot with 1:12 left in the second overtime.
“I actually enjoyed this game,” said Father Michael Gazzingan, Parochial Vicar at Saint Frances Cabrini Parish, who was one of the leading players for the Revs. “It was a great game.”
The Revs led 21-18 at halftime, but got off to a slow start to begin the second half and didn’t score for almost eight minutes in the 20-minute period. By the time Father Mark Reburiano scored with 12:16 left in the half, the Sems led 28-23. Reburiano is the Pastor of Saint Isabella Parish in the Archdiocese of San Francisco.
The Revs would not go quietly and fought back and took the lead, 39-38, with 1:17 remaining, when Father George Schultze, S.J., a member of the faculty at Saint Patrick’s Seminary, grabbed an offensive rebound and scored. However, there was plenty of time on the clock and the Sems forced overtime when Brother Christian Esteban, a Discalced Carmelites Friar, sank a free throw 1:11 left.
While much of the focus of the evening was on the basketball game, there was another theme permeating throughout the building; vocations for men and women to the religious life.
“I think this is an opportunity for people to see vocations in a different light,” said Father Joe Kim, the Director of Vocations and Evangelization for the Diocese. “The whole church was here tonight. It was less about the priests and more about bringing people together.”
Seminarian Alvin Yu was named his team’s Most Valuable Player (MVP), while Father Sergio Ovando, Pastor of Saint Martin of Tours Parish, was named the Revs MVP.
“This is a great tradition in the Diocese,” said Kim, smiling from ear-to-ear as a buzz of excitement resonated throughout the Leavy Center after the game ended.
To learn more about vocations in the Diocese, visit www.dsj.org/vocations.
NOTES: At halftime, the Diocese of San Jose’s Department of Youth and Young Adults organized a spirited Dodge Ball game between adults and teens with the teens winning.