Tolman High and the Pawtucket Boys & Girls Club conducted their annual Tip-Off hoop tournaments last week. Tolman hosted the James Donaldson Memorial Tournament while the Boys & Girls Club offered up the Dennis M. Lynch, Jr. Memorial event.
I got to spend a little time with the sons of both Pawtucket hoop legends. Fellow sports writer Jim Donaldson watched his alma mater edge Shea in the championship game on Friday night. We talked about regular sports stuff like Cam Newton and the Heisman Trophy, and then about Jim's long association with the Tolman High gymnasium.
"I first started coming here in 1955," he said. "My dad was an assistant coach then."
Jim admitted he still thinks of his father every day. "My dad spent World War II in the Pacific. He had quite a life."
One night later, Dylan Lynch walked over and said hello after watching his alma mater beat Woonsocket for the Lynch tourney title.
"I'm getting my Master's degree in political science at URI," Dylan said when I asked him what he was doing these days. "I guess politics is in my genes."
Dylan also thinks of his father every day. There's no harm in that. Most of us do. Our parents provide a moral compass for the way we live our lives, even as we grow so old that we forget what their voices sounded like. Dennis M. Lynch Jr. and James Donaldson were basketball legends -- and fathers -- whose influence is still felt in the year 2010 through their sons and the tournaments that continue on in their names. -- Terry Nau