THE COACH at WVRC - May 12th
PP STEVE SCHERER led the Pledge. LENNY FRIEDMAN and JACK HARRIS took us through God Bless America. At this point, PP JIM DOWNIE grabbed the mike and pleaded for ‘someone with arms’ who could be a song leader! While this brief description may not do the position the justice it deserves, this is part of a game being played between our musician/conductor group. It is probably true that some of us could step forward as leader or pianist, and no doubt such piteous pleas will soon surface many candidates. Stay tuned. President Elect DON NELSON provided the Invocation, which was a statement entitled, “Pursuing Victory with Honor”. This material was jointly sponsored by the Josephson Institute of Ethics and the U.S. Olympic committee, and it stressed the need for athletes, coaches, and fans to observe ethical behavior. DON is a member of the Board of the Josephson Institute, and this is another example of the importance of ethics in our daily lives.
There were no Visiting Rotarians, but several guests were present. PP JIM COLLINS brought his Special Guest, Warren Dodson. Warren is known to many of us, and if anyone can bring him aboard, it will be JIM. ELLIOTT TURNER was with Kelvin Davis, an associate who lends to small business in the real estate field.
Once again, DON NELSON asked that those attending the Chicago Convention give him the details of their plans, so he can provide a list for each of us as to who is doing what. So far, he has only six replies, and there are lots more of us going than that so BE IN TOUCH with DON, please. And note this lovely invitation from PP JIM COLLINS we are invited to dinner at Lawry’s in Chicago on Sunday the 19th of June, 6 to 8 p.m. Please RSVP to Lemoyne at (310) 645-6640.
The WVRC Golf Tournament on Monday was almost rained out! But in the true spirit of Rotary Can Do, the brave souls sloshed their way through ten or eleven holes, before conceding that enough was enough. Overseeing the whole shebang was Referee and PP GEORGE DEA, who roamed the course with PP STEVE SCHERER at the helm of their land cruiser. It should be noted here that GEORGE was the only participant who had any rain gear, and he was in a semi-covered vehicle anyway! PP STEVE asked PP GEORGE what his impression of the Tournament was, and the reply was, “Everyone was all wet”. Seeking further elucidation, STEVE asked CLARK McQUAY, who captained the winning team, what advice he had for those who didn’t win. CLARK’S reply, Have KACY hit the ball”.
The longest drive award was first slated for CHRIS BRADFORD, but somehow KACY ROZELLE ended up with it. Reminds YOE of some of the discussions about RUDY’s WORLD…Team putting champs included ED GAULD, KACY, GREG ELLIOTT and AL BELLANCA. The Grand Prize putter was held over for another ‘drier’ day. There was considerable competition regarding clothing. LEE DUNAYER won the JIM SUMNER Award for best costume. DON NELSON received a yellow towel, apparently in recognition of his difficulty in swinging a club with a very sore back. PP STEVE DAY was recognized as the WVRC’s Phil Mickelson, since they are both lefties. GREGG ELLIOTT was closest to the hole -14 feet 10 inches, to be exact. And SHANE WAARBROEK was saluted as the Most Gracious Host. And in a final signal honor, the following clowns (uh, members) were added to the next Tournament under that well-known category of Sponsors Exemptions. STEW GILMAN, HANK HOYER, and PP ERIC LOBERG. At the very last second, Ben Howland was also included!
This of course led us to the Speaker, introduced by PP JIM COLLINS. Ben Howland is starting his third year as Head Basketball Coach. Ben grew up in Santa Barbara, where his dad was a pastor, and he spent a lot of time watching the UCLA replays while in high school. He graduated from Weber State, was an Assistant at Santa Barbara for 12 years, then head coach 5 years at Northern Arizona, and 2 years at Pittsburgh, where his teams were in the top five nationally.
Ben began by saluting the students he gets at UCLA. Their average SAT last year was 1370, and they had 45,000 applications for the freshman class most in the nation. Their GPA is 4.3 (somehow), and the graduate schools of Medicine and Law, plus the Anderson School are nationally ranked. UCLA itself is the 16th best University in the WORLD! He noted that all five of this year’s seniors will graduate this June.
There are five freshmen coming in, and all are expected to play. Darren Collison is a guard, from Etiwanda High school, and he reminds many of Tyus Edney. Mike Roll is a guard/forward, who played for Alison Niguel High they won the CIF Championship. Coming from Toronto Catholic High is Ryan Wright, 6’8, 235 lbs. He was heavily recruited by both Stanford and Michigan State. His other two recruits both grew up in Cameroon (and you know that’s in Africa, right?). One is LucRichard Abahamonto, 6’7, 215 lbs, who speaks several languages, and the other is Alfred Aabaya, who is 6’8, 240 lbs he prepped at Treton School in New Hampshire. Ben had great expectations for next year, and considers the high point of his time at UCLA so far to be the naming of the Nell and John Wooden Court in Pauley the gathering of former players was truly marvelous. All the success at UCLA comes from Coach Wooden, and we are in good hands as far as pursuing his winning record.
A quick pitch, if I may Coach Howland and the entire basketball staff will be conducting a basketball clinic from 0800 to 1 pm on Saturday June 11th. It is open to 5th through 12th graders, both boys and girls, and the cost is $75.00. For further information, call (310) 206-6276.
From the archives - October 30, 2004
Don Nelson chats with Benjamin Howland Head Coach UCLA Men's Basketball
Photo submitted my Rudy Alvarez