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Bookstore Basketball: Tournament enters Round of 16

Brendan Bell | Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Now in its 40th year running, Bookstore Basketball has proven the test of time. As co-president of Bookstore Basketball, Garrett Quinn said the tournament has continued to have high participation in recent years due to its ability to attract all types of players.

 “It has been pretty consistent in the last few years, and we have been around the 700-team range,” Quinn said. “I know we have always had a good tournament with steady involvement, whether people are looking to have fun or take it seriously, it appeals to everyone.”

The program’s missions span beyond Notre Dame’s campus as the tournament’s proceeds go directly to the Jumpball organization, which is a program in Jamaica that provides youths a positive atmosphere to learn basketball.

“It is a summer camp for kids there, and gets them involved in sports.” Quinn said “Every year we send two of our commissioners down there. Co-president Bobby Curley went down this past year, and we are happy to contribute to such a good cause.”

The team consists of Quinn and Curley, as well as six other students with managerial positions. Additionally, 44 students have been able to get involved in the program as commissioners. While Quinn has been around the program a great deal during his time at Notre Dame, he said this year’s competition has stood out thanks to its strong competition in the earlier rounds.

“It has been really competitive and this is the first time I have seen this many upsets,” Quinn said. “We actually had five of the top 15 ranked teams upset. The top 32 is this week, and I’m expecting even more upsets to take place then.”

The most notable upsets so far have been the defeats of the No. 1 and No. 3 seeds, which has opened up the field of competition to unranked competitors. One team that is trying to avoid an upset is the current No. 2 seed and defending champion Saturday in America. Third-year law student and returning team member John Rompf said his team is looking to make another push towards the championship with a new group of players.

“I am the only one who was on the team last year, so it is a completely different group of guys,” Rompf said. “Being in school together over the year was an opportunity for us to bond before the tournament.”

The team consists of two first-year, one second-year and two third-year law students. Not only is there a broad range of ages on the team, but the team also consists of players from different basketball backgrounds. Among the other members is former Cornerstone University basketball player Bryan Pasciak.

Rompf said playing outside and in a tournament that requires a team to play multiple games changes the dynamic of the playing style and the tournament as a whole.

“We really have two guys who are extremely skilled indoors who have to adjust a little bit to the outdoor courts,” Rompf said. “Also you can’t take as many risks outdoors, obviously. You have to match [the] other team’s physicality.”

Rompf said one constant in the tournament that proves to be successful is strong defense.

“We just want to make smart plays and try to make our defense our offense. Making opportunities to score offensively helps, but our key to winning is good defense.”

Similar to Quinn, Rompf said the competition this year is at a higher level than usual.

“There are a lot of very good teams and it seems that this year more than any year I can remember it is a great competition,” Rompf said.

After playing as an undergraduate as well, Rompf is now in his seventh appearance and said the event is a unique opportunity for the Notre Dame community to come together.

“I think it is one of Notre Dame’s best traditions,” Rompf said. “It brings together many different segments of the population and the faculty. I think it’s one thing that the whole campus can get involved in.”

The round of 16 will take place Wednesday afternoon.

Contact Brendan Bell at

bbell2@nd.edu