FM?alumni visit for reunion, friendly competition

JOHNSTOWN – Approximately 15 years ago, Tashena Jones was grabbing rebounds for Fulton-Montgomery Community College’s women’s basketball team.

On Saturday, she was back doing it again.

FMCC hosted a Raiders Reunion Day to help celebrate the college’s 50th anniversary. Alumni were invited to return to campus to take part in sporting events such as basketball, softball, soccer and baseball. There was also a free barbecue, a bounce house for children and a DJ.

“It’s a good feeling being back. Old memories keep popping up,” Tashena said.

Kevin Jones, FMCC’s athletic director and coach of the women’s basketball team, said the reunion was put together so alumni would come visit the college and see improvements that have been made.

“We’re trying to do something to build upon,” Jones said. “We want to get people back on campus to see that we have a lot of new things that we’re making happen over here.”

Recent changes include a new dormitory on County Highway 142 known as Raiders Hall, which was finished in August 2012. It houses 144 students, bringing the college’s number of residential beds to 293.

The athletic building has been renovated, and the former pool was transformed into the Raiders Cove – a student lounge with an Internet cafe, stage, pool tables, TVs and a modern design.

The dining area at the College Union also recently underwent a redesign. In the area known as the Mohawk Room, sunlight now streams through windows, allowing campus visitors and students to see the entire dining and lounge area.

“We’re just trying to get alumni back to see that they were a part of helping to build this,” Jones said.

Tashena Jones, a resident of Kingston, was one of Kevin Jones’ first recruits in 1998.

“She was on the first team that really started our women’s program,” he said. “And she’s still making shots and blocking shots.”

Saturday was Tashena’s first time playing on her old home court since she was a student at FM, but she said she visits Jones regularly.

“It’s important to me to support the Raiders,” she said. “Coach has always been a really great coach and a great recruiter, so it’s nice to see what he has coming out this year, and I think he’s got a good squad.”

Saturday’s game consisted of four 15-minute quarters in which the score started from scratch each time. The alumni team lost each period, but they put up a good fight against their younger opponents.

Tashena Jones are her old coach said they still keep in contact with each other and the rest of the original team.

“Everybody’s close on Facebook; we stay in contact,” Jones said.

Approximately 100 alumni showed up for Saturday’s event, Kevin Jones said.