One Local Man Taking Men’s Hoops League Title to Florida

Apr 18, 2018
Photo by: David Biggy Price Rite Taxi gathers after wining the Lacey Men's Over-45 Basketball League championship on April 15. From left are Joe Lazok, Mike Gesicki, Rich Biele, John Cangelosi, Leo Webber, Andy Fitzsimmons and Don Hasson.

In six months, it’s quite possible Don Hasson will be on the lookout for a new basketball league he can join. He’s leaving the Men’s Over-45 League in Lacey Township behind.

“This was it for me. I’m done,” Hasson said following Price Rite Taxi’s 66-55 victory over Superior Termite and Pest Control in the league’s championship game on April 15. “I sold my house and I’m leaving for Florida on Thursday. I just kept saying to the guys, ‘Come on, win one for me.’ This is a huge championship for me.”

Last season, Hasson and crew didn’t win a game.

“We were missing our big guy, Mike Gesicki, who was away with his son the whole season,” Hasson said of the former Southern Regional High School and Penn State tight end’s father. “Last season was hard without Mike.”

Sunday’s final for the spring season wasn’t too difficult, as Hasson, Gesicki, Leo Webber, John Cangelosi and Rich Biele each scored six points to fuel Price Rite to a 32-19 halftime lead. Price Rite didn’t relent in the third quarter, with Webber pumping in nine points and Gesicki adding seven.

But behind a 10-point, last-quarter effort by Roy Nichols, Superior made it a game in the fourth quarter, cutting a 20-point lead to 10 with just under two minutes left. That’s when Webber drove the final nail into the coffin, burying a three-pointer from the left wing to make it 64-51 with 1:31 to go. Webber led the way with four trifectas and 21 points. Biele, who banged down a trio of treys, added 11 points.

“I’m just here to rebound, run the floor and distribute the ball,” said the 57-year-old Gesicki, who finished with 16 points to culminate his ninth season in the league. “But Leo is the guy who made it happen for us. He’s a good shooter, and he lit it up today.”

After the contest, the winning squad – which includes Joe Lazok, who contributed two points, and Andy Fitzsimmons –  gathered for a team photo and received championship T-shirts. But it clearly was Hasson’s big moment, and he couldn’t stop smiling.

“I started playing in this league in 1990, at 35, when it was a 35-and-over league,” said Hasson, who used to work for Viking Yachts. “I was a wrestler at Manchester High School, so I didn’t start playing basketball until I was about 30. I loved it, so I kept playing.

“Playing in a league like this, it’s about camaraderie. Everybody knows each other, and we have a good time. But it’s still competitive.”

Unfortunately, the 56-year-old Hasson lost his mother, Judy, just days before the big game. But as he prepared to transition to his new home in Live Oak, Fla., about 75 miles west of Jacksonville, he was glad to take a title with him.

“It’s nice to go out with a win and a championship,” he said. “This one was for my mom.”

 — David Biggy

biggy@thesandpaper.net

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