Author: Kiera Reilly, C’93
On December 10, the Penn Men’s Basketball team made their first trip to Southern California since 2003. The last time the Quakers came to town, they played the USC Trojans at the Forum in Inglewood (and beat them quite soundly). This year, Penn was scheduled to play the UCLA Bruins. As the famous Pauley Pavilion on UCLA’s campus is undergoing renovations, the game was set for the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA (home of the Anaheim Ducks Ice Hockey).
The Honda Center in Anaheim, CA - location for Penn vs UCLA on Dec. 10th
Colleagues in Alumni Relations, Athletics and Development coordinated to plan a pre-game reception before the game and invited all alumni and current parents in the Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego areas to attend. We hoped for an enthusiastic crowd but weren’t entirely sure how many Penn fans would attend. In fact, we had an informal bet, with all of us guessing the number of attendees. Everyone thought I was a bit crazy for making the high guess of 380, but I knew that our Southern California alumni would want to come cheer for our Quakers! I underestimated the turn-out by a bit – over 400 people attended our reception before the game.
Jerome Allen, W’95, the Jordan R. Rockwell Head Coach of Men’s Basketball, stopped by early in the reception to say a few words. PennClubLA President Melissa Wu, C’98, thanked him for coming and presented him with a local treat – an In-n-Out t-shirt and gift certificate.
PennClubLA president Melissa Wu, C'98, and Coach Jerome Allen, W'95
Below are some photos from the reception. We must thank PennClubLA (www.pennclubla.com; Twitter: @PennClubLA) , Penn Club of Orange County (twitter: @PennClubOC), Penn Club of San Diego (twitter: @PennClubSD) and the Wharton Club of Southern California (www.whartonsocal.com) for their help in spreading the word about the reception and game. If you are in Southern California, I encourage you to connect with any of these Penn alumni groups!
A good time was had by all, but unfortunately the Quakers came up short on the court, falling to UCLA 77 – 73. Senior Tyler Bernardini, from nearby Carlsbad, CA, had a career high 29 points in the game, so we congratulate him on a great performance in front of a home crowd.
We hope the team comes back to visit us soon! Go Quakers!
For a re-cap of the game see: http://www.pennathletics.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=1700&ATCLID=205345011
Follow the team as they are set to play Duke on Jan. 1. Updates via twitter @PennBasketball
(As we post this, the Lady Quakers are in San Diego for the Surf N Slam classic – after defeating UNC-Greensboro yesterday, they will play host the SDSU Aztecs in the championship game at 2 pm PST. For more information see: http://www.pennathletics.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=1700&ATCLID=205353175 and follow the team @PennWomensbball)
Ed Balsamo C'96, W'96, brought his son to meet Coach Allen.
Dedicated Quaker fans Allan, C'81, and Dale, MT'81, Bell traveled from NJ for the game and caught up with Don Rosen, C'78
Penn Club of Orange County's Jeannie Quan Hogue, C'88, and her daughter were excited to see so many alumni in Anaheim.
I caught up with classmate, Mitchell Kraus, C'93, and we reminisced about when Jerome Allen and his teammates won the Ivy League Championship our senior year.Ed Balsamo, C'96, W'96, brought his son to meet Coach Allen
Me and Penn Club LA members, Gloria Lee, C'97, GCP'98, WG'07, Melissa Wu, C'98, Terry Baris, C'84, and Andy Firchau--all of us sporting our Red & Blue.
It was a beautiful California day, perfect for socializing outside.
The basketball team strategizing during a time-out.