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Basketball has been a part of Ben Stirt’s life for the past 27 years, including a three-year stint on the Oak Hall varsity squad (2002-04) where he was an all-area player and team captain.
For the past 10 years he has parlayed his basketball knowledge and skills into becoming a highly-regarded high school and college basketball official and this summer he completed an amazing journey that has put him on the path to refereeing NBA games in the future.
After being one of 48 officials from around the country invited to attend the NBA grass roots training camp in Dallas in May, Ben was selected to advance to the Level 2 camp two weeks later in Hampton, VA. Again, the NBA officials in attendance were impressed with Ben’s skills and he was selected for a one-week training camp in Charlottesville, VA where he competed with other officials for spots on this year’s D-League referee roster.
The D-League (recently renamed the G-League because of Gatorade’s sponsorship), is the 26-team league that serves as the final training ground for numerous players who eventually end up playing in the NBA, including 135 players on NBA rosters this past season. And since 2000, every referee who has been hired to work in the NBA has moved to the league with D-League officiating experience.
Ben’s performance at the third training camp earned him one of the coveted D-League referee jobs, making him part of a small group of officials from the original 48 who attended the initial grass roots camp to continue on the journey to an NBA career.
On July 8, Ben culminated a whirlwind 10-week tour through four camps and four cities by refereeing his first professional game at the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.
When the G-League schedule gets underway in November, Ben will be refereeing games in cities across the United States from El Segundo, CA to Austin, TX to Portland, ME (hopefully Lakeland) and a host of other cities.
It’s a long way from playing in those heated Oak Hall-Bronson rivalry games to sharing the floor with LeBron James, Steph Curry and Russell Westbrook, but at the pace Ben Stirt is moving in the refereeing profession it just may happen in the next few years.
Oak Hall alumnus, David Hicks '13, is currently traveling the country with the Journey of Hope TransAmerica team to raise funds and awareness for people with disabilities. The 67 day journey began in Seattle, WA.
Read all about his team's adventures at http://starandlamp.com/…/joh-trans…/joh-transam-team-journal
David is pictured on the right.
Schott fell in love with languages in his 7th grade Latin class.
Oak Hall Alumnus Henry Schott ’13 fell in love with languages in his 7th grade Latin class in Gainesville, FL. Now in his fourth year at Rhodes College, the Greek and Roman Studies major has done some amazing things in the pursuit of his passion.
Schott got into the competitive side of Latin studies early, consistently placing high in tests and competitions sponsored by the Junior Classical League. In fact, it was his high school Latin teacher who recommended that he apply to Rhodes. Schott recalls, “Before I found Latin I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but when I walked into that first class my Latin teacher was amazing, my classmates were amazing, and so there was really a team dynamic that carried me on through middle and high school.” By 2014, he would be writing some of the tests that he had scored so well on, starting with the 2015 Florida Junior Classical League Advanced Grammar Test. Since then, Schott has written the 2016 National Junior Classical League Advanced Grammar Test and 2016 National Classical Etymology Exam, and will be writing the 2017 Advanced Reading Comprehension: Poetry test this year.
Schott’s early test writing opportunities also helped serve as a springboard to a 2015 internship at the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, D.C. Rhodes’ own Dr. Kenneth Morrell of the Department of Greek and Roman Studies serves as the center’s director of fellowships and curricular development, and Schott spent the summer of 2015 as the curricular development intern. While there he built upon the experience he gained with the Junior Classical League and helped design curricula for various symposiums and course offerings from the center.
In addition to his studies at Rhodes, Schott has spent a semester in Italy studying Roman Classics through a program with Duke’s Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies, traveled to West Virginia for a conversational spoken-Latin convention, and last semester competed in the Boston Elite Certamen, a national, tournament-style competition in Classics knowledge, where his team placed fourth.
Now approaching graduation, Schott intends to continue pursuing his love of linguistics. His interest in languages goes beyond Latin, however. “This is my third year of Russian, fifth year of Greek, 10th year of Latin, and I guess my 22nd year speaking English,” he says. Schott is currently applying to graduate programs in Classical studies. A lover of theater and the Classics, he hopes to eventually pursue both of his passions in a career as a researcher of ancient comedy.
By Kenneth Piper ’17
To celebrate continuing generations of Oak Hall families, the school partnered with the Oak Hall Alumni Association to host our third annual Legacy Breakfast in the Dr. Mohammad Faisal Family Media Center on Tuesday, Nov. 1. We are proud that there are currently 67 students across all divisions who are children of Oak Hall alumni.
The breakfast gave legacy students and their alumni parents time to catch up and an opportunity to learn more about the school’s growth. Mr. Richard Gehman shared his thoughts about the future of the school and exciting information regarding new the school’s new infrastructure and roadways. After breakfast, families gathered outside in the courtyard for a group photograph. Each family received a special, limited edition Oak Hall Alumni Tervis Tumbler designed by Ashley Gillen ’16.
Brothers Miles and Ryan Harris have developed an illustration app.
From a bedroom converted to an office in their parents' Jonesville house, brothers Miles and Ryan Harris have developed an illustration app that was recently pre-installed in all store demonstration models of Surface Pro tablets in Microsoft Store locations.
The way the opportunity came about is a lesson in having the right product and meeting the right people at the right time.