Last night I had the privilege of being inducted into the California Community College Women's Basketball Hall of Fame and the induction was both an honor and a surprise since I haven't coached in California in fourteen years. At the banquet I was able to see some familiar faces and to talk with old friends and rivals alike. The food was very good and they gave me an award that will look great in the trophy case. I was even able to bring Taylor up to the podium and the entire banquet hall sang "Happy Birthday" to her. (Taylor turned 9 yesterday and even though it wasn't Chuck E. Cheese, she thought the extra attention was really cool!)
But by far the best part of the evening was getting the chance to hang out with former players Dawn Haag and Elizabeth "Bits" Sirchia. I'll have to check but those two might be the winningest athletes in California basketball history. They were on the same team for two years (18 years ago) and during that time our won/loss record was 72-2. Bits was the California Player of the Year as a sophomore and received a scholarship to the University of Hawaii before finishing her career at Cal Poly Pomona. Dawn received a scholarship to Cal State Los Angeles and is now an Orange County Sherriff patrolling Mission Viejo, CA. It's been years since I've seen either one of them yet they both made time to fly to Oakland, rent a car and come to the banquet. The trophy I received was great. Having them there was even greater! After the banquet we all went to the Applebees across from the hotel and relived stories from the past. Each story that was told reminded one of us of at least two more. I wish I had a tape recorder with me!!
After sitting together and watching a few games today we all went to dinner at the Garlic Brothers Restaurant which sits on the water overlooking the San Joaquin Delta. We talked, reminisced, laughed, and shared our food. The night ended way too soon! I invited both Bits and Dawn to come visit us in Oregon whenever they could get away and asked if they wanted to play in the UCC alumni game next season. Even though they aren’t technically UCC alumnae, they have so many things in common with our team this year. I am totally convinced that if they were to sit down and talk to our current players that they would all feel like family in a matter of minutes!!
You know you’ve had a great couple days when you’re inducted into a Hall of Fame and that’s not even close to being the highlight of the trip!!