Georgia Tech “NBA” Players Part II

With two or three days notice, on February 28, 2013, guys came from great distances to attend the impromptu lunch/reunion led by John Cerny. Norberto Ezaquerra posed the question about why just the thought of a reunion was such a joyous occasion. He went on to answer his question by saying,

My answer is simply and possibly compelling: we were all HAVING FUN.  Consequently, the thought of seeing the faces of those with whom we shared the fun is a very uplifting thing. To be sure, there are other components: it reminds us of a time of greater youthfulness, or increased mobility, or the release of hormones when exercising, or disconnecting from work for an hour or two…or other things…but the fun factor is a huge part—maybe the biggest. (By contrast, not all our memories from a high-school reunion may have been fun….) And it is important to note that the NBA involved “playing games”—literally. What could be more fun? Besides as others have pointed out, men will always be children:  we want to play, if we can’t play we will watch others play, if we can’t do that, we’ll read about it, or even just listen to others talk about it… Anyway, having fun (coupled with moving around) is definitely a great anti-stressor (if such a word exists).

The smiles and laughter were so bountiful there was no need for lights in the room. One way to identify friendship is that there seems to be no breakage of the relationship. Everyone felt the same connection that was felt from the beginning and continues to this day. The stories about the good old days and current life situations were plentiful.  The accomplishments of the “alumni” who benefited from the noon stress relief are truly outstanding. The Georgia Tech faculty, counselors, Georgia Tech Research engineers and students owe a lot to the early NBA pioneers.  There are plans to have an annual lunch to keep in touch and maintain the flame of the GT – NBA. Tom Collins and a number of other players are looking into future reunions.

A fantastic legacy of starting stress reducing activities was institutionalized—that was a great accomplishment. Today the activities continue and are in the capable hands of Dr. Jayaraman, the “commissioner” and among others, Shawn Draughn, Darryl Dirrickson, Dave Goldsman, Christos Alexopoulous, Van Jenses, Doug Blough, Dwayne Blaylock and John Barry.


Dr. Thomas A. Parker, LPC, CPCS

Special thanks to John Cerny for his insight and consultation

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