“I wasn’t shy when it came to some outside jump shots,” Ouellette snickered. “Heck, when my shift ended, I rushed home and saw myself on television.”
If anything kept them going, it was pure adrenaline. Ouellette was coming off a cross country season and was in reasonably good shape. Teamwork was the most important ingredient.
Lots of sleep deprivation. No injuries. Some terrific shots made. And no foul shots. An infraction was quickly followed by an out-of-bounds play.
The local AmVets organization gave them the red carpet treatment with a dinner and trophies. A letter of congratulations arrived from President Richard Nixon. Accolades came from everywhere. They were the toast of the town.
As Ouellette so aptly put it, “I have those memories bonding with a bunch of guys. I don’t have all the memorabilia. But I do have the friendships that were established. When we meet in the street, we rekindle those days.”
Photographer and writer Tom Vartabedian is retired from The Haverhill Gazette. He contributes this regular column.