About Our League

HISTORY

The idea for the RVC Over 40 Basketball League germinated in a conversation during the CYO Coaches Game in November of 1991. John Friedermann had a gym and Bob Bonagura had an idea. If the coaches could play in November, why couldn’t they also play 6 or 8 times after the New Year?

The first game was played on January 29, 1992 in the South Side Middle School gym.48 players were divided into 4 Teams. Players had to be at least 40 years of age. The games were competitive and great fun.

Word spread so fast that it was necessary to field 6 teams the following season. The League was becoming the “Talk of the Town” and the envy of 40 & 50 year olds all over the Metropolitan area. The RVC Over 40 League Waiting List started to grow as well.

In Season 3 “Mr. B”, Tony Brunetta, helped the League to schedule some Prime Time Sunday Night games, which eventually permitted further expansion.

Around the year 2000, the League expanded to 8 Teams and still had a Waiting List! What was originally a $2000 budget had exceeded $12,000. Games were being scheduled 2 Nights a week and the competition was improving. Thirty Somethings were staying in shape with the “OFL” as their main objective. 40 and 50 year olds were in far better shape than when the League started.

In 2001-2002, the League started to take on a bit of a charitable tone after the 911 tragedy. The League also became more “fraternal”. Beers after the game became as important as the games themselves. Organizations like Wounded Warrior Project, EMS and Cystic Fibrosis became darlings of the League and its players.

A group of 14 players and one Coach ventured to the Emerald Isle in 2010 to play in an overseas Tournament to benefit Cystic Fibrosis. $7,500 was raised in 2012 for Wounded Warriors and recently in conjunction with the Riverside P.T.A. and the Community Fund, 3 Fund Raisers were held to benefit a young man stricken with Cancer. The League also played an exhibition game with the WFAN All Stars at St. Agnes in 2002 to benefit WFAN Charities.

All of this was possible because a bunch of guys and one woman loved the game of Basketball. The Love of the game is so deep that some of the “Originals” still play while others coach, keep score or officiate. 

None of this would have been possible without the help of the Community at large, our sponsors, our Referees, the REC and the Schools. People like Tim Brennan, who was the Internet before it was invented, Jim Kelly, Dan Melia, Mr. B and Bill Faraday, the Co-Commissioner, and a “Love of the Game” made the OFL the success it is today.