Former basketball stars team up and beat Blizzards

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Some familiar former St. Thomas men’s basketball players took to the court again at St. Paul Central High School, Nov. 7.

Recent St. Thomas graduates B.J. Viau and Lonnie Robinson among others geared up for the exhibition game against the Minnesota Blizzards of the American Basketball Association. The team of graduated Tommies took down the Blizzards 88-77.

“We don’t get to play that much,” Viau said. “Once you graduate it’s hard to find good basketball, so playing in a game like this, it was fun to do.”

Playing against Minnesota’s own ABA team didn’t seem to worry Robinson.

“Somehow someone from the Blizzards knew we played and they just asked us to come play an exhibition game and we were all for it,” he said.

The ABA has ex-NBA players, former Division I and II players and even some international participants. The league gives fans the opportunity for some fun and affordable entertainment.

For the purple alumni, this game brought back memories of college hoops.

“I love it,” Viau said. “I wish we never graduated and we could play forever but our time’s up so that sucks but it was a lot of fun today.”

And even with no coach present, this St. Thomas All-Star alumni team still played with confidence.

“We’ve played enough basketball in our lives where we know what to do,” Viau said. “Playing at St. Thomas and learning what those coaches had to say to us, we know how to play the game enough where we don’t need anyone to tell us what to do.”

The Minnesota Blizzards were no match for the 2009 basketball MIAC conference champs as the Blizzards lost 88-77.

But to Viau and Robinson, this win was more than rewarding, it was just another day to spend with some old friends.

“We go out there on the court and we feel like we’ve been playing together for years,” Robinson said. “So it was just fun to get out there and run up and down the court with some of them.”

Pauleen Le can be reached at