The Santa Barbara Basketball Court of Champions recently recognized 11 Outstanding Contributors at their Annual Banquet hosted at the Cabrillo Arts Pavilion.
Guest Speaker and recently retired Police Officer Mike McGrew shared several stories of his life in Santa Barbara and coping with the loss of his son to cancer as well as his battle with the disease.
Master of Ceremonies John Moore, (Head Basketball Coach at Westmont College) eloquently interviewed each of the Inductee’s on stage, allowing family, friends and hoops attendee’s to learn about their past and present life experiences.
Kristin Knapp Cole, a graduate of Santa Barbara High School, traveled from Arlington, Texas, where she is Associate Head Basketball Coach at U-T Arlington University. Kristin talked about her love for the game and her players and how important it is to demonstrate that care to each individual that she teaches.
George Terzian, a graduate of Westmont College shared how his wife was very instrumental in his coaching career at Pasadena CC, opening their home to players of diverse backgrounds and her kindness she displayed.
Phil Sherman, current longtime Head Girl’s Coach and History Teacher at Dos Pueblo’s High School, entertained with humorous stories about former players he coached; Shantay Legans being one, who is now Head Coach at Eastern Washington University.
Bill Odell, a graduate of Westmont College and a former assistant coach at Santa Barbara High School, discussed his present life of retirement. He volunteers teaching Adult Ed, after an illustrious career coaching at Los Angeles area high schools but better known for an outstanding run as Head Coach and Athletic Director at Azusa Pacific University.
Kayte Christensen, former player at UCSB and the WNBA and now the Sacramento Kings courtside reporter, talked about her days as a Gaucho and learning the game from her legendary coach, Mark French.
Josh Merrill, former UCSB and SB Breaker professional player, enlightened the crowd about his former coach, Jerry Pimm, who told Merrill not to take a 3 point shot, as he released and buried the attempt; Pimm saying, “No, no, no” but quickly changing his response to “Ok, ok” once the ball went thru the net.
Ron Mulder, longtime Athletic Director and Head Coach at Westmont College, talked about the great influence his parents had on his life and his love for the game.
Alan Williams, a UCSB graduate and now a member of the Phoenix Suns of the NBA, echoed Mulder’s sentiments, giving great praise for his parents and the encouragement they always bestowed on him as a youngster and presently.
Lisa Willett-Fry, a graduate of Santa Barbara HS and UCSB, talked about her invaluable time as a Don and a Gaucho basketball player and now applies these experiences as a high school teacher in Northern California.
Lucius Davis, former player for the Gaucho’s (UCSB), not only shared some basketball stories; he entertained and coo’ed the audience, singing several love ballads after John Moore mentioned Davis singing the National Anthem at a Gaucho game several years ago. Davis’s basketball skills may have diminished over time but his singing prowess was like wine.
The Court of Champions have now inducted 63 Outstanding Individuals who have blessed this community as well as there present residency.