They opened their doors in 1962 as St. Joseph High School and a little more than two decades later the school name was changed to Monsignor Donovan. Now in its 50th year as Ocean County’s catholic high school Mon Don’s year-long golden celebration continues tomorrow with an Alumni Basketball Reunion and Retired Jersey Celebration.

Logo of Monsignor Donovan's 50th anniversary celebration (Monsignor Donovan High School)

The ceremony will take place between games at Gepp Gym matching the current Donovan teams against Toms River North with the girls to play at noon and the boys at 2pm.

Former players, families and friends will be on hand to honor the 7 players whose jerseys have been retired. The first in that group was 1971 graduate Kevin Billerman who might be the greatest all-around athlete in school history. Billerman would not only attend Duke University on a basketball scholarship but was a two-time Blue Devils captain.

He’s had an outstanding career as a basketball coach and spent the last 13 years at Ravenscroft High School in Raleigh, North Carolina where his teams have won 289 games and lost just 79.

The other members of the retired jersey club expected to be on hand tomorrow are 1974 graduate Maria Alonso, Wayne Gantt from the class of 1978, Randall Stallworth, a 2006 Donovan grad and Kyle Milana, who finished his career just five years ago. Not attending are Jim Dolan, who led the Griffins to their only Parochial state title in 1982 and Kris Witfill, who after leaving Donovan in 1989 would go on to become the leading scorer in the history of Georgetown University women’s basketball.

Monsignor Donovan High School

New display boards of the jerseys will be unveiled at Gepp Gym around 1:30 and following the boys game there will be a buffet dinner reception in the cafeteria with the cost just $10.00 For more information on what should be a nostalgic afternoon you can contact Madeline Kinloch at the high school at (732) 349-8801.

Monmouth University gambled and lost. When the Hawks made the recent decision to leave the Northeast Conference and join the MAAC it left the football program hoping the NEC would allow them to remain as an associate member as the MAAC does not sponsor football.

Well the NEC announced yesterday they have denied that request and less than two weeks from when high school players sign national letters of intent Monmouth has no conference and only three games on their 2013 schedule.

The most likely destination for the Hawks is the Big South Conference which is home to football programs like Coastal Carolina and Charleston but that would be a major step up and require additional scholarships and more. The clock is ticking.

Former Monsignor Donovan basketball players celebrating the school's 50 anniversary (Monsignor Donovan)