Athlete: Al Moscatel, Mercer Island High School, Class of 1982 Sport: Basketball High-school rewind: Moscatel, a 6-foot-2 guard, was a two-time...

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Athlete: Al Moscatel, Mercer Island High School, Class of 1982

Sport: Basketball

High-school rewind: Moscatel, a 6-foot-2 guard, was a two-time all-state player for the powerful Islanders, but endured tough defeats in state-title games his last two years. In 1981, the Islanders lost 66-65 in the most controversial game in state-title history. Shadle Park won on a buzzer-beating shot that Mercer Island faithful insist came too late. The next year, Roosevelt beat the Islanders 58-52.

After high school: Despite a stellar prep career, Moscatel did not get a lot of interest from Division I universities. He starred for a year at Mesa College in San Diego, then transferred to the University of San Diego. He helped lead the Toreros to the NCAA tournament, but Moscatel then walked on at Washington after his coach at San Diego left.

Personal: Moscatel, 43, lives in Mercer Island with Rebecca, his wife of 14 years, and three daughters, ages 10, 8 and 1 ½.

Fast forward: Moscatel said he doesn’t have much time to sleep . He helps run his family’s third-generation furniture business and a real-estate development business with his brother Sam and sister Margaret Moscatel-Castellanos. Last year, he entered the restaurant business as a part-owner of the 13 Coins restaurants in Seattle and Sea-Tac.

“I don’t know if I knew how much of a challenge it would be,” he said about owning restaurants. “But I have a great partner and we have a great team in place .”

Those long-ago state-title losses are still vivid memories, but no longer so painful.

“At the time, it was the worst thing that ever happened to me,” Moscatel said. “But time has put it into perspective. I have a great family and great daughters. Compared to that, it’s not that important.”

His transfer to Washington was a decision he didn’t regret.

“To be honest, I probably would have left [even if the San Diego coach had stayed] because I wanted to come back and play where I wanted to go after high school. I wanted to prove I could play there.”

He proved it, being named Pac-10 sixth man of the year as a junior and helping lead UW to the NCAA tournament.

But Moscatel’s senior year wasn’t as good. “I got overconfident and didn’t come back in as good of shape as I should have,” he said. “I learned from that.”

Scott Hanson