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Lathrop prepares to dedicate ‘Coach T’ court with ‘silent night’

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Posted: Thursday, December 6, 2012 12:02 am

FAIRBANKS — The Lathrop-North Pole boys varsity game Saturday will start off as a “silent night” contest in honor of the late Joe Tremarello. The gym floor, now known as the “Coach T court,” will be dedicated before the tip-off.

Fans at the game, the first Lathrop home game of the season, will be asked to remain quiet until one team or the other scores 10 points. Then they will be asked to cheer with as much enthusiasm as they can muster.

Matt Wilken, a former Lathrop basketball player, said he saw a video a couple of years ago of a college tradition at Taylor University in which fans are asked to stay silent until their team scores 10 points. He thought it would be a great way to honor Tremarello, who was a community leader in Fairbanks for decades.

At the Indiana college, the silent moment takes place in an annual game just before finals. The Fairbanks observance will combine a moment of silence with the game Tremarello loved.

The committee of Fairbanksans who led the charge to get the basketball floor named for Joe hopes to make this an annual tradition at the first Lathrop home game.

Joe T, 77, died Sept. 12 at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital. He was a standout player for the Fairbanks High School in the early 1950s and later was a star at the University of Alaska.

He became a teacher and a basketball coach, who worked with hundreds of young people at the high school, college and recreational levels.

Admission to the game is $5 for adults and $3 for students.

For the dedication event, Glenn Anderson will be the master of ceremonies, while Gary Wilken, who played on the 1964 Lathrop championship team, will speak about Joe’s life.

Ann Tremarello is expected to be there, along with Richard Tremarello and other family members. Harry Tremarello, Joe’s 13-year-old grandson, will speak.

After the logos are unveiled, Wendy Shiffler will shoot the first “ceremonial basket.” I’m guessing he’s going to take a high percentage shot —passing up the opportunity to dunk and choosing to go for a layup.

The school board voted to name the gym floor in Tremarello’s honor last spring.


CONVENTION: The Alaska Federation of Natives board of directors is expected to decide today in Anchorage on the site for the 2013 convention. Fairbanks is making another pitch to host the gathering. The convention was here in 2005, 2007 and 2010.

Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Luke Hopkins, as well as Deb Hickok and Helen Renfrew of the Fairbanks Convention and Visitors Bureau plan to attend.


EDUCATION ADVANCES: The school district hopes to introduce a plan by next spring to expand the opportunities for kids to get college credits while in high school.


LOCAL HONORS: Tickets are still available for the annual Boy Scout Distinguished Citizen dinner on Dec. 12, with Nancy Cook Hanson as the 2012 recipient.

Call the scout office at 452-1976 for reservations. The banquet starts at

6:30 p.m.

A lifelong Fairbanksan, Nancy has played a key role in the success of the Catholic Schools of Fairbanks for more than 30 years, but she has had a significant impact on the entire community. A daughter of the late Earl and Pat Cook, Nancy is compassionate and caring.

She retired from the Catholic schools in 2003 and later married widower Bob Hanson, one of the happiest times of her life. She became a widow in 2006 and the Catholic Schools invited her back to work the next year part time. She also was a co-pastoral associate at St. Raphael’s Catholic Church. She remains a key figure in the schools today.

I think she is humble and gentle, two of the qualities that make her a great role model. And I agree with her brother Skip, who wrote she is “intuitive in discerning and acting upon the feelings and needs of others.”

Dermot Cole can be reached at or

459-7530. Follow him on Twitter at FDNM@dermot.

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