Lawrence High School graduate Tyler Dumas, who is preparing his high school girls basketball team for the Arizona state tournament, has been run out of his own Dobson High School gym in Mesa, Ariz., for three days of practice. But he’s not complaining.
Dumas and his team are happy to make way for President Barack Obama, scheduled to speak about his stimulus package to Mesa residents Wednesday in the Dobson High gym.
“We had to get out today because the Secret Service and everyone else is here on campus,” Dumas said Monday by telephone from Mesa. “They pretty much have locked down our gym for three days, but that’s OK. It’s great for our community to have the president here to speak.”
The team, which has a 23-7 record, will practice in a nearby junior high gymnasium.
Dumas said he graduated from LHS in 1986, but did not play basketball. He was a member of the club soccer team.
“If people who haven’t talked to me in 20 years found out I taught chemistry and coached basketball,” he said, “they would say, ‘How did that happen?’ Some opportunities just popped up through the years, and I said, ‘Sure, I’ll try that.’’’
As of Monday afternoon, Dumas still did not know whether he would be one of the faculty members given a ticket to attend Obama’s appearance. “There is seating for 2,000,” he said. “They gave away 300 tickets this morning and 800 people were lined up for them. We haven’t found out yet where the other 1,700 tickets will go.”