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From left, A.J. Casey, A’Meer Casey and Robbie Avlia pose in a photo when A.J. Casey and Avila were in grade school. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CASEY FAMILY
Phil Arvia, Freelance Reporter
4:14 am CST January 26, 2020

A.J. Casey, 6-foot-8 Tinley Park sophomore, remembers the first time he met Robbie Avila, 6-foot-8 Oak Forest sophomore.

“It’s kind of a funny story,” he said. “It was probably third or fourth grade …”

“It was fourth grade,” Avila said in a separate interview.

OK, it was a SAK league basketball game at Hille Middle School in Oak Forest.

“He pump-faked me, I fouled him really hard — I knocked his glasses off his face,” Casey said.

“We won that game,” Avila said. “That’s in the record books.