Rest in peace my friend

I was saddened to read this morning that Omar Cortez had passed away.

I played basketball with Omar on one of the best teams the Valley has ever seen, and Omar was a starter and key player, on that Cardinals team. Omar was good enough to earn a basketball scholarship to Pan Am, which had quite a team in those days. Omar was a friend as well as teammate.

He was smart and funny, along with our teammate Aviel Hinojosa. Under legendary coach Eldon Long, eight very good players remained friends while competing for playing time.

I’m just glad his parents moved from San Benito to Harlingen or the Greyhounds might have beaten us every game rather than the other way around.

I respected Omar’s service in the paratroopers, and his many years as Commander of the Harlingen American Legion.

I knew Omar wasn’t in great health when I visited with his lovely wife Estefana ‘Fannie’ at a reunion of his HHS class in Austin a few years ago and at a polling place in Harlingen.

Your friends will miss you, Omar. Rest in peace.

John Bourg, Harlingen