Feb 18, 2012, Seattle, WA, USA; Washington Huskies forward Brendan Sherrer (42) embraces forward Darnell Gant (44) after being subbed out of the game in the final minute of a 79-70 victory against the Arizona Wildcats at Alaska Airlines Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
The event of the summer is coming to Alaska Airlines Arena on June 23: the Washington Huskies Alumni Game. The details of the game were released just over a week ago and it is sure to be a star-studded event featuring almost every notable former Husky still in condition to play ball. There will be a 3-point competition and dunk contest as well as two separate games; one for current pro players and one for further removed ones.
The event put on by Seattle-based 3 Point Productions already has 20 former Huskies confirmed in attendance (it was 21, but Justin Holiday tweeted on Thursday that he wouldn’t be able to make it). The list ranges from more obscure Dawgs such as Hans Gasser and Brandon Burmeister to NBA stars like Isaiah Thomas and Nate Robinson. Huskies from as far back as Eldridge Recasner and as recent as Abdul Gaddy and Aziz N’Diaye have confirmed that they will be there as well.
The amount of players already confirmed for the event is impressive, but one name was disappointingly absent: Brendan Sherrer. The Human Victory Cigar walked on as a sophomore and earned himself the best nickname on the team while never playing more than five minutes in a game.
Those minimal minutes never gave Husky fans bad memories, though. The Huskies had an impeccable record of 31-0 when Sherrer got into the game, thus earning himself the nickname. The Human Victory Cigar was everyone’s sign that things were going swimmingly; when he took off his warmups and went to check in, the win was wrapped up, something that didn’t happen so often last season.
Bringing Sherrer back would put a cherry on top of the impressive list of alumni already attending. The star-studded list includes both NBA stars and loyal, four-year Huskies, but Sherrer got some of the biggest cheers each season whenever he put up a shot. God forbid, he scored and the arena exploded like IT had just thrown a lob to MBA.
As if Sherrer’s storyline wasn’t good enough — going from Dawg Pack member to teammate — imagine being an avid fan as a freshman, to participating in the program’s alumni game alongside former teammates and other famous Huskies.
He may not have won a scoring title, but he won the fans’ hearts. As a walk-on who joined the team when almost half of them were too sick to practice, nobody expected him to stick. I remember reading Percy Allen’s blog post about Lorenzo Romar holding tryouts and not thinking much of it. Surely, I never expected to be hoping to see one of the walk-ons in purple and gold one last time.
Having The Human Victory Cigar back for one last victory isn’t just to honor one of the most profoundly interesting players in Husky history, but to give the fans a final puff from the Cigar as well.
Imagine Sherrer coming into the game for the winning team and the arena going bonkers one more time. In an exhibition game, he could take over, too, instead of only getting the occasional shot attempt or rebound. I, for one, would love to see Sherrer match up with Jon Brockman down low — a player he once cheered on from the Dawg Pack.
For a walk-on to gain such support over the course of three seasons, it is only appropriate to have him join his fellow alumni for this event. For the alumni game to truly capture the history of Husky basketball, it should include The Human Victory Cigar. That is, in fact, the only way to ensure a win.