Little Silver, NJ - It was a feat that has not been duplicated in the shore area since. The 1982-83 Red Bank Regional (RBR) Boys’ Basketball Team (aka the 31&0) rode to a perfect season on the wave of public hope and excitement 30 years ago.
“I was a student at at the time, “RBR’s current athletic director Del Dal Pra recalls, “And every weekend my friends and I would go down the road and root the RBR Buccaneers to another victory. To this day, everyone with sports history recalls that team.”
Mr. Dal Pra working with the dream team’s head coach Nick Pizzulli, the current interim athletic director for the , arranged for the 31&0 team players to take one more bow on the Buccaneer basketball court. On Friday, February 15, at 6 pm, members of the team will return to their alma mater prior to the start of the RBR boys’ basketball game versus Monsignor Donovan. RBR is located at in Little Silver.
Among the players expected to return is Dan Stubbs, the RBR guard who went on to play football at the , was admitted to their Sports Hall of Fame and enjoyed a ten-year pro-football career. He earned two Super Bowl rings with the 49ers and went to the play-offs with the Miami Dolphins.
Other players expected to attend include George Hall, the guard who scored over 1000 points in high school, made All-State and played basketball at . Another All-State player, Barry Phoenix played college basketball at the . Other 31&0 team starters included Russell Perry, Edwin Perez, George Simms and Edgar Boynton. All have been contacted and most hope to make the event.
According to Nick Pizzulli, most of the starting team were from Red Bank and played together from middle school. The team was very athletic and very dedicated. They would practice everyday till the gym doors were locked, many times with custodial staff prodding them to leave so they could do their jobs. By the time they reached their junior year, they had amassed an impressive 24 and 4 record.
Nick Pizzulli explains, “Those kids came to me in their senior year and told me they weren’t going to lose again. They were on a mission. In the beginning we were winning games by 20 or 30 points. Of course, it got tighter as we rose through the championships. But it captivated the entire area. Buses of fans accompanied the team to the state championship in the Meadowlands. They were very determined and confident.”
The team is remembered as one of the greatest in RBR’s rich history, which extends over 100 years. They won three NJSIAA group championships, and were named the number one team in the state of . Their trophy and banner are proudly displayed among the other accolades in the high school’s sport showcase. The 30th anniversary commemoration provides the community the opportunity to see these great players once again, and for the alumni to visit with RBR’s current players whom they inspire.