Fulfill A Dream
Fulfill a Dream is now a part of history and an annual celebration in memory of Don Gehler. Through the commitment and dedication of Don Gehler to life, family, and a fondness for basketball, his son, Coach Nick Gehler, instituted the Don Gehler Memorial Tournament. Since 2006, the tournament is the culmination of teams from California committed to tournament competition in celebration and love of the sport. We thank you for contributing to the success of “fulfilling the dream.”
A little history on Don Gehler … Coach Gehler’s dad.
Don was born September 7, 1937 in Hartford, South Dakota. Hartford is a small town and back in Don’s early years, he and his brother, Rob, did what all kids did then … sports. Basketball and baseball were the hottest sports to play. Each small town had a school and they competed against each other … Hartford usually winning!
After graduating from Hartford High School and earning a Bachelor’s Degree at The University of South Dakota where Don played on the basketball team, he entered into the United States Army and continued to play basketball. Don played basketball overseas and in the U.S. with a few teams mentioned below:
- Europe 1961 3rd Infantry Division Championship
- MAAG China 1969-71 Taipei, Taiwan
- Shu Linkou Air Station Devil Dogs
- HSA/MAAG Bandits
- All Star Team
- Philippines Invitational
- Northrop Grumman Basketball Team (a plaque honoring Don is on the basketball court)
- TRW Basketball Team
- 4th Infantry Division 1988 – Fort Carson, CO
- California – Rancho Bernardo Westwood Club (won championship with son Nick)
Don had an illustrious Army career from 1959 to 1980, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel with many honors, awards, and medals. After retiring from the military in 1979, Don had a second professional career spanning another 25 years with Northrop Grumman / TRW. During his years at Northrop Grumman, Don started a basketball league, and still today, basketball is played during lunch by many of his professional friends and “hoopsters.” He officially retired in November of 2009.
Don and his wife, Chris
Don had a tremendous spirit and love for the outdoors, sports, and family. Coach Nick had a basketball the day he could walk and Don coached him in basketball, soccer, baseball and football. Don was so proud of his children and he couldn’t wait to attend the next sporting event. That love and support continued with Don’s grandchildren … Bailey, Charlie, Gracie, Sammy and Mary Margaret (Maggie) is Don's 5th grandchild … who continue the Gehler tradition of being the best at the sport they love. Don would be proud of the accomplishments and buzzer beaters that his grandchildren continue to provide in the enthusiasm of athletics!
Don fought a courageous battle with cancer for almost 18 months, and God took him home on July 4, 2011.
This tribute by Coach Gehler and his staff is an honor Don would be humbled by, and the Gehler family will be forever grateful to have Don’s name associated with this memorial tournament. Thank you for your efforts, good luck in the tournament and God Bless each of you.
The Gehler Family
Don Gehler Memorial Tournament
November 2nd, 3rd, and 4th 2017
SITE: San Diego Miramar College
10440 Black Mountain Road
San Diego, CA 92126
TOURNAMENT Nick Gehler, Kwaku Amoaku, and Steve Jones
DIRECTORS: Office Phone: 619-388-7715 / Office Fax: 619-388-7765
2. $4.00 for students with student body cards
3. $3.00 for elementary and middle school students with parents
4. Only CCCMBCA and PCAC passes will be honored.
SCHEDULE: TOURNAMENT BRACKET CLICK HERE
OFFICIALS: San Diego Basketball Officials Association.
TOWELS: Bring your own towels for showering. We will provide bench towels for use during games.
GAMES: Games will begin promptly at the scheduled time or 20 minutes after the conclusion of the previous game.
PARKING: Available and free in front of the gym.
- Second place
- ConsolationThird place
- Five All-Tournament Awards
- MVP Award
HOSPITALITY ROOM: Behind the curtain, you and your coaching staff are invited to take advantage of a coaches’ hospitality room. A meal will be featured each day, as well as snacks and cold drinks.