The last time Rick French, Steve Perry and Othell Wilson stood together on the basketball court at the University of Virginia's University Hall they were completing a dream 25-0 season and winning the Virginia AAA State championship.
French was the head coach and all-mets Perry and Wilson were the key performers for Gar-Field last year.
For Wilson, the first guard off the bench for second-ranked Virginia, the dream is ongoing. For French, now an assistant coach at George Washington, and Perry, now a starter for the Colonials, the dream has taken a wrong turn. a
They will meet again tonight when George Washington takes on the undefeated Cavaliers in Charlottesville at 8 p.m.
"We couldn't go on winning forever," said French, who handles much of the recruiting for GW Coach Bob Tallent. "Last year was a big year for all of us but it had to end. I never thought I'd ever be associated with a team that would win a million games and lose none."
French said he will have mixed emotions when his former high school stars take the floor in different jerseys. But he insists he hopes both have outstanding games.
"Of course, I hope we win because I'm a GW fan now," said French, who was head coach at Gar-Field for four years. "I miss coaching but I also enjoy what I'm doing now. I'm pleased because both are playing for major colleges with outstanding academic reputations. Both went where they would play and make contributions."
Elevated to a starting berth at forward three games ago, Perry, a good jumper, is averaging 4.3 points and 4.3 rebounds per games and beginning to play with more confidence.
"No, I'm not happy with our record (4-9) but I've been on a losing team before," Perry said. "Things have been a bit bumpy for both me and the team, but we have the potential to have a very good team. We'll get better. I haven't talked to Othell lately but I know he's doing well for Virginia. We're friends and it'll be nice to see him.At least we won't have to check one another.
"I had good games down here when we won the high school title and I guess I'll want to show some people I've improved since then," he said. "Of course, Othell has had his chance."
Perry's 25-game string ended abruptly when GW was swamped in its season opener by Richmond. Wilson has moved from one undefeated team to another. Virginia (14-0) has the nation's longest winning streak in Division 1 (19), dating back through last season and the NIT championship.
"I've forgotten how to lose and I guess it'll be a new experience when I finally do," said Wilson, whose quickness and poise have been valuable assets to the Cavs. "I haven't seen Steve in a while but I remember what he does well. I'm pleased with my playing time and I just try to contribute as much as I can."
Wilson has made the most of his 20 minutes per game, averaging 6.5 points and four assists.