Fathers Stun Students In ‘Take Your Father To School Day’ Game


In-game action between the fathers (in yellow) and the kids.

In a stunning, come from behind performance, the fathers rallied all the way back and won against the kids in the ‘Take Your Father To School Day’ basketball game held Friday in the Allderdice gym. 

“It’s a great day, you know,” Pittsburgh mayor Ed Gainey said. “To have something like this here at Allderdice, they just won the championship for three years in a row, you know it’s a great day to see the fathers out here with their kids.”

The game was held as the district celebrated the 25th anniversary of ‘Take Your Father To School Day’. 

 “And look how packed the gym is,” Gainey added. “It’s just a great day. Another victory for Allderdice.”

The game brought together fathers and kids from schools across Pittsburgh Public Schools to Allderdice, and many students from the school had the opportunity to watch part or all of the game that took place during the last few periods of the schedule. 

The kids raced out to an early lead, at one point up 9-3 on the fathers. The fathers team struggled to find momentum early as they missed several shots and suffered from a few defensive lapses. 

Gainey was impressed by the kids’ early showing, and understandably thought the game might be a blowout. 

“I think the old heads are gonna be sore, their knees are gonna hurt, they gonna need a whole lot of relaxation after this,” he added. 

As the kids continued an impressive first half showing, Pittsburgh Public Schools superintendent Dr. Wayne Walters said, “I think the students are doing what they were supposed to do, they’re taking care of the fathers. 

“I don’t think they’re [playing] aggressive enough, and I think they’re getting winded pretty quickly. “

Dr. Walters said he was hopeful of a comeback even as the fathers were stumped in the first half. 

“Today is take a father to school day, not take a father to slaughter them day.”

Xavier Rogers, a member of Obama’s basketball team, said his team was feeling pretty good in the first half when they were up by ten.

“That’s what we expected,” he said. “We’re gonna have a lot of fun, we’re just getting warmed up.”

The kids took a double digit lead going into halftime, and it looked as though they would comfortably make it through the second half and secure the win. 

The fathers, however, had other plans. 

Rushan Robertson, who works here at Allderdice, knew his team had work to do. 

“We’re just letting them get transitions. We shoot the ball, they [get a] fast break, and they score easy,” he said. “We just gotta slow it down and control the pace.”

Robertson was quite confident that a comeback was imminent, and he would play a stellar role in helping author it. 

“I’m the baddest boy in the gym right now, we about to make a comeback,” he added. 

Teammate Harry Watts agreed: “Most definitely, we got the best players out here.”

Watts also rejected the concern that the fathers might not be able to keep pace with the kids, a reputation they would shed in the second half.

The fathers came out with a much more aggressive playing style in the second. They looked for better shots and also massively improved in recovering rebounds, especially in the paint. 

They played the third quarter still trailing, but really brought the pressure in the fourth quarter. 

A few shots made for the fathers and a few shots missed for the kids had all of the sudden cut the deficit to eight points. The nerves had started to ramp up for the kids as they saw their lead dwindle further and further, till they were clinging to a mere four point lead with 58 seconds left on the clock. 

The fathers cut the lead further, down to two, when a crucial foul was called against the kids giving the fathers possession and a chance to complete a comeback for the ages. 

With under 30 seconds to play, the fathers took multiple tries at close shots to tie the game. Despite missing both, they were able to secure the rebounds, and with 9.8 seconds remaining, Robertson nailed a shot from downtown, to put the fathers up 39-38. 

The body language of the kids’ said it all. 

With one last gasp effort, they marched down the court, looking for the game-winner, but a buzzer beater attempt didn’t go, and the fathers had won. 

“I told you we had that,” a joyous Robertson said as he was surrounded by his celebrating teammates. 

“They could get up 30, they could get up 40, we’re coming back. All I need is space and opportunity, baby.”

Many in attendance were stunned at the comeback result.

“I must humbly apologize,” Dr. Walters said with a smile in a separate postgame interview. 

He added that he really started to believe the comeback could happen late in the game. 

“When it came down to four, and then two, and then the magical trifecta that happened, I was like ‘okay, this might be it.’”

While a competitive environment on the court, in the end, the game was all in fun. Smiles appeared during the handshake line after the game, but expectedly, the fathers were smiling a little more.  

“What a way to celebrate the 25th anniversary of ‘Take Your Father To School Day’ with the fathers taking control at Allderdice.”