Sports

Decatur basketball to celebrate the life of Garet Rasmussen Jan. 20

Decatur High School graduate Garet Rasmussen collapsed and died inside his Wenatchee home after responding to an emergency call about a car crash in June. Rasmussen played on the 1992 Decatur basketball team that became the first in school history to qualify for the state tournament.  - Courtesy photo
Decatur High School graduate Garet Rasmussen collapsed and died inside his Wenatchee home after responding to an emergency call about a car crash in June. Rasmussen played on the 1992 Decatur basketball team that became the first in school history to qualify for the state tournament.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

During his high school days, Garet Rasmussen was known as a basketball player.

The 1992 Decatur High School graduate ranks as the 20th all-time scorer for the basketball-rich Gators after averaging 10 points as a junior and 11.2 during his senior season. Rasmussen played a huge role in earning Decatur the school’s first-ever berth into the state basketball tournament in 1992.

But basketball had little to do with Rasmussen’s post-Decatur days. Like most of us, the high school glory days were just that — glory days. They are fun to reminisce about over a beer during the rare occasions when old friends get together.

But those glory days really have no bearing on life after high school. A “pretty good” high school basketball career isn’t going to change your newborn’s diaper, pay the mortgage or deal with all the other stuff that arises in the real world.

Rasmussen’s post-graduation centered around being a firefighter and taking care of his young family. But that all came to an end during the summer. The 38-year-old collapsed inside his Wenatchee home after responding to an emergency call about a car crash. The Chelan County coroner concluded that Rasmussen died from hypertension and arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease.

Rasmussen was the command duty officer for Chelan County Fire District One and Douglas County Fire District Two in Central Washington.

Several of Rasmussen’s classmates from Decatur, including current Gator assistant basketball coach, Collin Sawyer, have organized a Garet Rasmussen Night celebration.

“Garet was a loving father, husband, son and friend to many,” it says on the event’s Facebook page. “He was also an outstanding basketball player who loved Decatur High School and the Gator basketball program.”

Garet Rasmussen Night will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. Jan. 20 inside the Decatur High School cafeteria. Refreshments will be provided, as well as the opportunity to share stories about Garet and the Decatur community. The celebration will continue inside the school’s gym when the current Gators take on Peninsula High School in a key South Puget Sound League 3A game.

Rasmussen was born Jan. 5, 1973, and raised in Federal Way, where he went to elementary school and junior high before graduating from Decatur in 1992.

Following his Decatur days, Rasmussen attended Skagit Valley Community College on a basketball scholarship before getting the firefighter itch.

His firefighting career began as a resident with the Chelan County Fire District #1 and started on May 1, 1996. Rasmussen was hired full time six months later and worked his way up to captain for Chelan County and was the acting Battalion Chief at the time of his death.

Rasmussen married Allyson Annette Oden on Jan. 30, 2005, and the couple lived in the Wenatchee area.

Rasmussen is also survived by two children, Jostin and Jalyn Rasmussen at home; his mother and step-father, Cindy and Tim Rivera, Grants Pass, OR; his father and step-mother, Doug and Barb Rasmussen, Rogers, AR; three half-brothers, Cameron Brett, Derby, CT, Elias Brett, Los Angeles, CA, and Damon Brett, Derby, CT; one half-sister, Colette Brett, Derby CT; one step-sister, Brandi Rasmussen and one step-brother, Jacob Rasmussen, both of Red Oak, TX.

Rasmussen also enjoyed the outdoors, camping, taking the kids hiking to have picnics, hunting and fishing, according to his obituary. He loved playing basketball and watching Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fights on television.

According to a story in the Wenatchee World newspaper, an estimated 2,000 people came to honor Rasmussen during his funeral at the Town Toyota Center in June.

“More than 300 firefighters in uniforms and shined black shoes stood at attention and saluted Rasmussen as the engine slowly rolled by,” it said. “Their jackets displayed the colorful insignias of more than a dozen (departments), some from as far away as Alaska and Montana.”

 

 

 

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