On a night of heartfelt but lengthy speeches, a man who did not utter a word drew an outpouring of affection and applause at the second annual dinner of the Santa Barbara Court of Champions. “I really think this night is about Frank Carbajal,” said Gerry Karczewski, the last speaker at the Sunday-night event that featured the induction of 17 new members into the city’s basketball-specific hall of fame.

Carbajal, a proud man of Mexican heritage who coached Santa Barbara City College to four conference championships in the 1980s, made a lasting impact on his players and other coaches who worked with him. “You didn’t walk into the gym without learning a lesson,” said Karczewski, a standout guard at San Marcos High and a junior college All-American at SBCC. “He taught us to take the emotion out of the game, be patient, and be poised.”

Jim Eyen began a 35-year coaching career — he’s currently on Byron Scott’s staff with the L.A. Lakers — as Carbajal’s assistant. “Thirty-six years ago, I walked into your office,” Eyen said, addressing Carbajal across the room at Fess Parker’s resort. “At that point is where my education began. You involved me, and to learn coaching and teaching at such a high level was invaluable.”

DeRon Carbajal wheeled his father onto a platform and revealed that he has progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), a rare disease that degrades eyesight and other bodily functions. But the old man, who retired 10 years ago at Hartnell College with 662 victories at all levels under his belt, could hear the plaudits, and he was able to engage in one-on-one conversations before and after the dinner.

The power of coaching was a theme of the evening. Barb Beainy and Cori Close, acclaimed for their playing careers at UCSB, paid tribute to former head coach Mark French. Beainy recalled how a pregame drill known as “the Gaucho shuffle,” which would draw smirks from opponents, became an inspiring force for the Gaucho women, teaching them to “face the bullies.” Close, the fourth-year coach of UCLA’s women’s team, said Santa Barbara is where “I got my deepest lessons” in basketball and life.

Karczewski and Jon Korfas were another pair of teammates — from the San Marcos Runnin’ Royals — to enter the area’s highest basketball court. Also linked together were a deceased coach and player, Willie Wilton and Lowell Steward, who put together one of UCSB’s greatest seasons in 1940-41. Mike Wilton told how his father made it work despite a meager budget. Each player had one pair of Converse shoes, and the coach brought them home when they were worn down and scored the soles with a razor blade to add more traction.

Steward, an African-American, was barred from playing in the National Association of Intercollegiate Basketball (later the NAIA) Championships in Kansas City because of segregation. He piloted more than 100 missions as a Tuskegee Airman in World War II. On behalf of the NAIA, Westmont College coach John Moore presented Steward’s son, Lowell Jr., the organization’s Champions of Character Award, though as Moore said, “Nothing can repair the injustice of 1941.”

NBA FINALS: Golden State or Cleveland? Not surprisingly, über-guard Stephen Curry and the Warriors garnered considerable support from Santa Barbara hoop-heads asked to predict the outcome of the NBA Finals.

Holly Ford Emerson, a 2014 Court of Champions inductee, likes Golden State’s youth and depth. “Their shooting is streaky,” she said, but she thinks the streaks will be more hot than cold. Barb Beainy said, “The Warriors are my team and always have been. NorCal, you know.” Beainy played her last game for Burlingame High in the Warriors’ home, Oracle Arena, leading her team to the state championship. Close agreed with her former UCSB teammate. “I enjoyed watching [Golden State] play the team game,” she said. “It was a departure from one-on-one, isolation basketball.”

Vic Bartolome is a Warrior alum, having played for the team in 1971-72. “I still have two of my old practice jerseys,” the seven-footer from Santa Barbara High and Oregon State said. “We didn’t have a shot at the championship then, not with Wilt Chamberlain playing for the Lakers.” The Warriors did win the title in 1975 with the help of NBA rookie of the year Jamaal Wilkes, another former Don and Court of Champions charter member.

Jerry Pimm is pulling for Golden State’s first-year head coach Steve Kerr. “Kerr played for our 1986 world championship team with [UCSB star] Brian Shaw,” recalled Pimm, the former Gaucho coach. Pimm was on the coaching staff of that U.S. team, which won one of the last epic sports battles between America and the former Soviet Union.

Chet Kammerer, the Miami Heat’s vice president of player personnel, cast his vote for the Cleveland Cavaliers. “The reason is the best player in basketball, LeBron James,” said Kammerer, who was Westmont’s coach for 17 years. James had the same birthplace — Akron, Ohio, on the outskirts of Cleveland — as Santa Barbara’s NBA maestro Bill Bertka, still a scouting operative for the Lakers after collecting a fistful of championship rings as their assistant coach. “Akron was my home,” Bertka said. “I know how LeBron feels about Akron. That area’s gone through some tough times. I’d like to see them have something to be proud of.”


Jay Carty is a gifted storyteller, and the former UCLA Bruin and L.A. Laker shared his gift with about 170 people on Sunday night at the 2nd annual Santa Barbara Basketball Court of Champions induction banquet.

The event, held at Fess Parker’s Doubletree, saw the induction of 17 new members, with speeches ranging from highly emotional to side-splittingly funny. Carty’s was the latter, as the John Wooden disciple told the tale of a fateful game at Boston Garden during his rookie campaign in 1968.

Carty had ridden the pine all season, and spent much of the games drinking Gatorade on the bench. He was put in the game unexpectedly to start the second quarter, and hit his first four shots against the likes of John Havlicek and Bill Russell … Then the Gatorade made a comeback.

“I tossed my cookies on national TV. I appreciate you inducting me into this, but I just wanted you to know what you’re getting,” said the Santa Barbara resident.

The Court of Champions, the brainchild of Curt Pickering, was established to recognize and honor individuals with Santa Barbara ties who have made significant contributions to the sport of basketball.

The night’s first inductee, Frank Carbajal, didn’t have to say a word to move the audience. Relegated to a wheelchair and unable to speak due to a medical condition, the legendary SBCC hoops coach received multiple standing ovations while on stage. His oldest son spoke on his behalf, recognizing numerous former players, assistant coaches and family members in attendance.

One of those former assistants was inductee Jim Eyen, who started out with Carbajal’s Vaqueros as an assistant in 1979 before moving on to success at Dos Pueblos. After that was a stint at UCSB before moving into the big leagues, serving as an assistant for the Lakers, Clippers, and now once again the Lakers.

One of the most accomplished players in the newest class is Barb Beainy, who led the charge on the court as the UCSB women’s program rose from the bottom of the Big West to become a powerhouse in the mid-1990s. Her teammate from those days, UCLA head coach Cori Close, sat to her left and was also inducted. Their former coach, Mark French, was there to see his former stars.

The most poignant moment of all came late into the evening, during the induction of former UCSB player Lowell Steward. Steward was a leader for the Gauchos in the early 40s, but was barred from participating in the 1941 NAIA Tournament in Kansas City because he was black. UCSB ended up losing to to a San Diego State team it had beaten earlier in the year. Steward’s basketball career was out-shined by his military one, as he became an ace pilot and a member of the famed Tuskegee Airmen in World War II. He then became a pioneer in the Los Angeles real estate scene. He passed away in December, but many family members were at the Doubletree in his stead. His eldest son, Lowell Jr., spoke on his father’s behalf before receiving a special award from Westmont head coach John Moore. On behalf of the NAIA, Moore presented Steward with a posthumous honor for his perseverance as a student-athlete and human being.

With 17 inductees, the program went well into the night and included endless tales from the hardwood, with almost everything relating back to the community of Santa Barbara. Jon Korfas, a key member of the San Marcos “Runnin’ Royals” from the early 1980s, noted that his career’s early years here in town were his most cherished.

“Of all the teammates I’ve had over the years, I still consider the best ones to be my teammates from San Marcos High School, and I’m glad to call them my lifelong friends,” he said.

Sam Battistone
Barb Beainy
Tugce Canitez
Frank Carbajal
Jay Carty
Cori Close
Bruce Coldren
Jim Eyen
Chet Kammerer
Gerry Karczewski
Jon Korfas
Doug Little
Randy Pfund
Ron Shelton
Lowell Steward
Gene Snyder
Willie Wilton


The Santa Barbara Breakers Professional Basketball team won two games on saturday, May 28, to take back the WCBL crown that denied them in 2010, with a resounding 130-108 semi-final win over the Venice Beach Ninja’s (3rd seeded of 8 teams) and 4 hours later, defeated the West LA Advantage 110-107 in the Championship Game at Santa Barbara High School Gymnasium.

In the earlier semi-final contest, the Advantage came back from a 26 point deficit to defeat the previous undefeated Nationwide Allstars (11-1) 120-115.

The hero’s for the Breakers were MVP Keith Closs who set WCBL and Breaker Alltime Records with 25 rebounds and 13 blocked shots in the semi-final game. He followed this up with 11 rebounds and 6 blocked shots in the Title game and was supported fully by Tim Taylor’s 31 points, Deon Marcus’s 26 points and the saavy defense of James Powell and Tony Dandridge.

In the Title Game, the Breakers trailed early 23-16 but got the transitional game ignited with the inserted bench additions of Stan Fletcher and Donald Lee. At the end of the break, it was tied up at 28 apiece.

In the second quarter, the fastbreak tempo continued for the Breakers behind Powell’s 9 and Marcus’s 11 points, respectively. With the aid of Closs’s patrolling of the paint, the Breakers gained a 61-46 until the

Advantage finished the quarter off with a 7-0 run, resulting in a Breakers 61-53 lead at halftime.

The third quarter witnessed the Breakers unleashing another “tsunami attack” with the transitional game behind the smaller lineup of Taylor, Powell, Fletcher, Dandridge and Closs. This produced a 80-63 lead.

But, like their previous game character, the Advantage staged a monolith defense, hit transitional 3′s and when the dust cleared, the Breakers were holding on to a precious lead of 86-80 at the end of 3 quarters.

The Breakers re-built their lead to 11 points in the 4th and final frame but gutsy play by the Advantage notted the game up at 105-105 with 40 seconds to play. An off balance 13 footer on the right wing produced a 2 point lead and off a missed jumper, Tim Taylor secured the defensive rebound and was fouled excessively by Jushay Rockett of the West LA. James Powell sank the technical free throw and Taylor hit both of his charity shots for a 110-105 lead. David Vik, 6’11 center for West LA, hit a quick bucket with 2.0 seconds to play. And just to keep the suspense and drama alive, the inbounds pass was deflected off a Breakers fingertips and the Advantage had the ball back for a possible 3 point shot attempt and tie. Fortunately for the Breakers, Vik’s deep 3 pointer over the outstretched hands of James Powell was short and the Breakers recorded their 3rd WCBL title in 4 years.

All WCBL Tournament selections, besides Closs’s MVP award, went to Tim Taylor and Deon Marcus. Additional WCBL All-League Awards will be announced on June 3.

Scheduled next for the Breakers is a Tour to Germany in September and their annual Fall excursion to China.

For more details on the Breakers and their Summer Camps, logon to or call 969-7542.


Santa Barbara Breakers 130 Venice Beach Ninja’s 108 Semi-final Game

Moses Marbury 23 points 10 assists 3 steals

Keith Closs 23 points 25 rebounds 13 block shots

Donald Lee 23 points 14 rebounds

Tim Taylor 19 points 7 rebounds 5 assists

Deon Marcus 17 points 6 rebounds

James Powell 11 points 6 assists 2 steals

Tony Dandridge 10 points 4 rebounds


Santa Barbara Breakers 110 West LA Advantage 107 WCBL Championship Game

Tim Taylor 31 points 9 rebounds 4 assists 2 steals 2 blocks

Deon Marcus 26 points 4 rebounds

James Powell 12 points 4 assists

Stan Fletcher 10 points 5 rebounds 4 assists 3 steals

Donald Lee 9 points 7 rebounds 2 steals

Keith Closs 8 points 12 rebounds 6 block shots

Moses Marbury 6 points 7 assists 2 steals

Santa Barbara Breakers Basketball

A monumental opportunity has arisen as the Santa Barbara Breakers announce an agreement to play 3 games versus the Korean National Team in Las Vegas.

The games will be played July 8-9th and July 17th while the NBA is conducting their Las Vegas Summer League, with 21 NBA teams competing during the 2 week event.

Breakers President Curt Pickering stated, “I was elated to receive a call from the NBA asking us to assist in providing games for the Korean National Team. We may not offer quite the level of talent that the NBA teams will be provide versus Korea but we will be competitive and our additional goal is to establish a great relationship with the Korean Government, Basketball Federation, Coaches and Players. Hopefully, one day in the near future, we can bring the Korean National Team to our great city of Santa Barbara and al low them to experience the beautiful people and scenery of our “Jewel on the Pacific Coast.”

Workouts are being held in Los Angeles to finalize the Breakers team roster for the 3 games. The team will travel to Las Vegas on July 7th in preparation for the games.

Breakers Win Black History Tournament!

The Santa Barbara Breakers repeated as the WCBL Black History Classic champions by defeating the West Los Angeles Advantage 101-98 in dramatic fashion.

This roller coaster of a game started with the Breakers trailing by 13 points in the first period. Breakers fought back with the help of Tim Taylor, the tournament’s leading scorer, who scored a game high 30 points.

The Breakers completed the thriller in the final seconds of the final period. With the score tied 95-95, guard James Powelll received a pass in the corner and swished the three pointer for the lead with seconds remaining. The Advantage made things interesting as they were fouled on a three point attempt with five seconds left in the game.

Advantage player Jamar Cramer stepped up to the line and knocked down the first two free throws but fortunately for the Breakers, missed the game tying free throw. Tournament MVP Jerry Dupree snatched the game winning rebound for the Breakers as time expired. The Breakers were crowned champions of the classic for the second year in a row.

The Breakers also were victorious in their first game of the tournament with a 105-77 win over the Los Angeles Loop.

The Breakers are 8-1 in non-WCBL play and will begin their regular season on March 31 in Torrance, California. Their home opener is scheduled for Saturday, April2.


2011 Breaker Home Schedule
Date Opponent Venue Time
Contact us for single or season ticket packages
Web –
Email –
Phone – 806-945-7777
Saturday, April 4 West LA Advantage Capinteria High School 4 pm
Saturday, April 7 Ventura Country Jets Girsh Park, Goleta 2 pm
Saturday, April 16 Ventura Country Jets Los Angeles Loop 4 pm
Saturday, April 23 West LA Advantage Santa Barbara City College 4 pm
Saturday, April 30 San Diego Sol Santa Barbara City College 4 pm
Saturday, May 7 Calabasas Knights Santa Barbara City College 4 pm
Saturday, May 14 Nationwide All-Stars Santa Barbara City College 4 pm
Saturday, May 21 Newport Beach Surf Santa Barbara City College 4 pm
Friday, May 27 Playoff Game Santa Barbara City College TBD
Saturday, May 28 Playoff Game Santa Barbara City College TBD

Breakers Crush Slam!

The Santa Barbara Breakers continued their winning ways with a convincing 159-104 victory over the Pasadena Slam at Blair Sports Arena in Pasadena, California. The Breakers were red hot from three point land in the first quarter, jumping out to a 33-20 lead after 12 minutes of play. Tim Taylor and Allan Purnell each flushed 3 treys each with 6’11 center Jeremy Vague dishing out 5 assists from the perimeter.

In the second quarter, Zack Fray (36 points, 10 rebounds) demonstrated his “bull in a china store” drives to the hole, scoring inside and hitting 7-8 free throws. The Breakers led 77-54 at halftime. Coming off the bench with great defense and floor general leadership was Leonard Mosely (10 points) and local Santa Barbara resident Tito Mays(12 points 4 assists). Santiago Aguirre continued his quiet, consistent play with 13 points (3-5 trifecta’s), 13 rebounds and 5 assists.

Jeremy Vague recorded his first triple double with 17 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists. The Breakers were led by Tim Taylors 37 points (9-13 3′s) while Allan Purnell added 34points. The Slam (1-2) were led by Jason Sanford’s 25 points The Breakers are now 3-0 and return home to take on the Orange County Gladiators (1-1) Saturday, May 2 at 705pm at SBCC Sports Pavilion.

Hoops Coach Records Overlooked 300th Career Win

In the aftermath of a perfect 18-0 win-loss season, the Santa Barbara Breakers Head Coach Curt Pickering notched his 300th career coaching victory on May 31, 2008 when the Breakers beat the Ventura Jets 113-108 at Santa Barbara City Sports Pavilion. The win raised the Breakers record to 13-0 with the closely matched game, which saw the Jets lead in the game 101-99 with 4:31 time remaining in the 4th quarter. Thanks to 7 Breakers players hitting double figures in the scoring column, the red, white, blue and gold outscored the Jets 14-7 during crunch time for the final tally.

Pickering began his coaching career at the collegiate level, recording an 89-108 record during 10 years of service. He then moved on to the professional ranks, helping BK Kbosterneuburg win the Austrian Basketball Association Championship in 1986 with 41-9 record. His team competed in the European Cup, equivalent to the NBA Finals, against such notables as Vlade Divac, former LA Lakers Star and Drazen Petrovic of the Portland Trailblazers. Petrovic and Pickering reunited 2 years later when Pickering accepted a scouting position with the New Jersey Nets and Petrovic was traded from the Blazers to the Nets. Pickering continued his Vagabond tour with several coaching stints in the minor leagues, honing his skills in Biloxi, Mississippi (CBA); Winnipeg, Canada (IBA); and Clearwater, Florida (USBL) until settling in Santa Barbara, California, thanks to long time Los Angeles Lakers icon and Santa Barbara resident, Bill Bertka.

Pickering architectured the Santa Barbara Islanders, a CBA franchise, serving as General Manager and Director of the Player Personnel. The Islanders still hold the CBA all-time record for the most wins by an expansion team (37-19) and highest scoring average per game, 123.6. The club also sent 10 Islanders back to the NBA for playing opportunities during the 1989-91 seasons.

Following championships as Head Coach with the Cleveland Cavaliers (1991) in the NBA summer pro league and Kazma Club of Kuwait (1993), Pickering made final international stops in Dubai, VAE; Bahrain; Philippines; and Venezuela before re-settling down in Santa Barbara in 1997 to create the Montecito Basketball Academy, a weekly program for youths, ages 4-15. The academy has serviced over 8,000 individuals focusing on self-esteem and the fundamental skills of the games.

For the past two years, Pickering has re-directed his attention at the professional level owning and coaching the Santa Barbara Breakers, an upstart minor league franchise. The team has amassed 17-6 and 18-0 records (35-6) and won the West Coast Pro Basketball league (WCBL) championship this past June. The Breaker will continue their trek in September when the travel to China for a 10 game tour.

All in all 30 years of coaching has resulted in a 306-190 overall win loss record; 4 championships; coaching 5 NBA head coaches when they were players: Rick Carbisle, Nate Mcmillan, Byron Scott, Isiah Thomas, Reggie Theus; as well as over 100 other NBA players Reggie Miller and Dominique Wilkins, to name a few.

Collegiate Record 89-108

USA Minor leagues 90-38

International Clubs 127-44