Finalists 2020 – Biographies

RICH BRANNING

Rich was the 1976 California Mr. Basketball selection and Cal-Hi Basketball Player of the Year while leading Marina HS to CIF honors and averaging 27 points per game as a 6-3 point guard. He earned a basketball scholarship to Notre Dame. He was the lead guard for Notre Dame’s only Final Four team in 1978 and holds the honor of beating UCLA four straight years while playing for the Fighting Irish. He averaged in double figures all four years while leading the team in assists. He was drafted in the fourth round of the NBA draft by Indiana Pacers. He went to graduate school at USC and worked for a year as a grad assistant under Stan Morrison before starting a career in business.

JOE CALDWELL

Joe was one of the greatest high school, college and professional players of the 1960s. He became an LA City star at Fremont High School even though he didn’t star playing on the varsity until his junior year. He then became an All-American player at Arizona State after turning down UCLA. The 6-5 ‘Jumping Joe’ left as the all-time leading scorer and second leading rebounder at ASU after leading the team to three straight NCAA appearances. He was the second overall selection of the 1964 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons. He is rarity in being an all-star in both the NBA (he played six seasons) and in the ABA where he played five seasons. He was also a key member of the 1964 USA Olympic Basketball team that won the Gold Medal in Tokyo. He was a charter member of the ASU Hall of Fame, inducted into the Pac-10 Hall of Fame and is the grandfather of NBA star rookie Marvin Bagley III of Sacramento.

JARRON COLLINS

Jarron was a standout player with his brother Jason at Harvard-Westlake where the 6-10 twins led their team to two California State Titles. He then became a two-time All-American at Stanford as the Cardinal became one of the top teams in the country, including a trip to the Final Four in 1998. He is among the Cardinal all-time leaders in scoring, rebounding, field goal percentage and blocked shots. He played for 10 years in the NBA after being drafted first by the Utah Jazz. He is currently an assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors, including their NBA title teams.

JASON COLLINS

Jason was a HS All-American at Harvard-Westlake where with his 6-10 twin brother Jarron, the team won two California State titles. He broke the California State HS rebounding record in helping H-W to a 123-10 record. As a collegiate All-American he was instrumental in leading the revival of Stanford basketball into a top national program. Jason finished as the all-time field goal percentage leader at Stanford in helping the Cardinal to the NCAA Tournament. He then had a 13-year NBA career after starting as the first-round draft pick of Houston Rockets. Collins had the courage to publicly become the first openly gay athlete in a major USA professional sport. He was inducted as part of the first class into the National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame. He is eight minutes older than Jarron.

CYNTHIA COOPER-DYKE

Cynthia was one of the greatest players in USC history after a tremendous high school career at Los Angeles Locke where she led her team to the California State Title, winning City Player of the Year after averaging 31 points per game. She made four NCAA appearances with USC, winning national titles in 1983 and 1984 and losing in the finals in 1986. The Trojans were 114-15 in her four years and she finished among the all-time leaders in numerous statistics. The 5-10 Cooper led Houston of the WNBA to four straight championships, winning MVP at each of the finals. She was the WNBA scoring leader in her first three seasons. She won a Gold Medal at the 1988 Seoul Olympics and a Bronze at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. She went onto an outstanding college coaching career, leading USC to its first Pac-12 post-season title. She is currently women’s coach at Texas Southern. She was inducted into both the Naismith, and the Women’s Basketball Halls of Fame.

NANCY DUNKLE

Nancy was the dominate West ‘big player’ of the early 1970s, first leading Connelly HS under Darlene May to a 55-1 CIF record and then the 6-2 center sparked Cal State Fullerton to four straight AIAW playoff berths. This included a 1975 AIAW semi-final appearance as the Titans were the best team locally under Billie Moore. She was one of CSF’s all-time leading scorers (1,559 points) and rebounders, averaging 19 points and 9 rebounds per game in her college career, despite being double and triple teamed. She helped the first USA Olympic Basketball Team in 1976 in Montreal to the silver medal, finishing as one of the top scorers and rebounders. She was a three-time Kodak All-American (1975-77). She also spent two years after retiring as the CSF head coach. She was inducted into the second class of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame and is in the Cal State Fullerton Athletic Hall of Fame.

GAIL GOODRICH

The 1961 Los Angeles City Player of the Year at LA Poly HS and California’s Mr. Basketball by scoring the key points in the City championship game, the 6-1 Goodrich went onto be being a two-time All-American at UCLA. He helped lead the Bruins to their first two NCAA titles in 1964 and 65 NCAA. He scored a NCAA record 42 points in the 1965 title game vs. Michigan. He had an outstanding NBA career mostly with the Los Angeles Lakers and was part of the NBA record winning streak of 33 games in 1971-72 when the team won the title with him as the leading scorer at 25.6 ppg in beating New York. He was a five-time all-star in a 14-year NBA career. His HS (#12), college (#25), and Laker NBA jerseys (#25) have all been retired. He was the Basketball Director for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games at the Forum and was a broadcaster for NBA TV. He was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame and part of the first College Basketball Hall of Fame class in 2006, plus is in the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame.

DOUG GOTTLIEB

Doug was the Orange County Player of the Year and prep All-American out of Tustin High School where he led his team to the CIF finals while playing point guard. He started his college career playing career at Notre Dame before transferring to Oklahoma State. The 6-1 Southern California Jewish Sports Hall of Fame inductee (he played on the Gold Medal winning Maccabiah team) started at point guard at Oklahoma State and led the nation in assists as a junior and was NCAA runner-up as a senior. His team made three straight NCAA Tournaments and an Elite 8 appearance. He was also Big 8 Newcomer of the Year as an OSU sophomore and finished as the all-time assist leader and among the top ten of all-time. He played professionally in the United States pro league and also played overseas. After retirement he started a successful radio and television broadcasting career at ESPN and currently works for Fox Sports and CBS.

JIM HARRICK

Jim began his coaching career in 1964 at Morningside HS in Inglewood and was the head coach from 1970-73 for CIF dominating teams. He then went into college coaching where he has been for almost 50 years. He was a UCLA assistant coach from 1977-79 before becoming the head coach at Pepperdine for the next 10 years before returning as the UCLA head coach in 1988. He is best remembered for being head coach for the 1995 Bruin NCAA title team, the only championship outside of the John Wooden era. He continued head coaching at Rhode Island and Georgia through 2003. After coaching professional basketball, Harrick came back to college coaching as a Cal State Northridge assistant in 2018. He is responsible for 10 conference titles, 5 league coach of the year honors and was the national coach of the year in 1995 during the Bruin NCAA title year. He had a 470-235 college career coaching record and has produced numerous All-Americans and professional players.

CASEY JACOBSEN

The 6-6 Jacobsen was a High School and McDonald’s All-American at Glendora High School for Mike LeDuc where he broke numerous CIF and State scoring records. He was the 1999 California Mr. Basketball before moving onto an outstanding college career at Stanford University. In his three-year college career he was All-Pac-10 each season and finished among the all-time Cardinal leaders in scoring and three point shooting. He finished as an All-American and went onto be a first round NBA draft pick of the Phoenix Suns. After a few seasons in the NBA, Jacobsen moved onto a European professional career and won two titles in Germany. Today he is a basketball commentator for the Pac-12 Network, Fox Sports and has worked for the Phoenix Suns in the NBA.

MARQUES JOHNSON

Marques was part of Willie West’s greatest teams at Crenshaw High School where he was the 1973 Los Angeles City Player of the Year and HS All-American. He was also the 1973 California Mr. Basketball. He went onto a UCLA All-American college career where he was a starter on the 1975 NCAA championship team and was the College Basketball Player of the Year the following season. He was a first-round draft pick of Milwaukee (#3 overall) and also played for the Los Angeles Clippers in a 12-year professional career that included 5 NBA all-star games. He was inducted in the Milwaukee Bucks HOF and is part of the UCLA, California Sports and College Basketball HOF’s. After professional retirement, the 6-7 Johnson went into college and professional sports broadcasting. He is part of the first father-son team (Kris in 1995) to win NCAA basketball titles.

GREG LEE

The High School All-American was a rare two-time LA City Player of the Year at Reseda HS (3 in City history) and led them to the City Finals as one of the top players in history. He averaged 29 and 30 points a game his last two seasons. He accepted a UCLA basketball scholarship and was a three-year starting point guard, and was part of two Bruin NCAA title teams. He was also part of the record 88 game winning streak and graduated with academic honors. He set a NCAA record for assists when the Bruins won the 1973 NCAA title as Bill Walton scored 44 points. He played a year of professional basketball in the NBA and a year in the ABA, plus four years in Germany. The 6-4 Lee retired from basketball and went onto a CBVA Hall of Fame (inducted in 1997) professional beach volleyball career, including winning a record 13 tournaments in a row with partner Jim Menges (he won 29 in his career). He coached varsity basketball and taught advanced math at Clairemont HS in San Diego around playing on the beach.

LISA LESLIE

Lisa was a 6-5 dominating high school player at Morningside in Inglewood where she led her team to two California State titles. She once scored 101 points in a half, but the prep game was called at halftime or she would have broken the all-time record of 105. She went to USC and was the College Player of the Year in 1994 setting Pac-10 scoring and rebounding records. She went pro to the Los Angeles Sparks and became the first WNBA player to ever win the regular season MVP, the all-star game MVP and the playoff MVP in the same season. She led the Sparks to back to back WNBA titles in 2001 and 2002. She won a record 4 Gold Medals for the USA at the 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games. She was WNBA MVP in 2004 and 2006 before retiring. She went into broadcasting after retiring and more recently has coached in the Big3 League where her 2019 team won the title and she was Big3 Coach of the Year.. She was the first woman to ever make a slam dunk in an official WNBA game. She was inducted in both the Naismith and Women’s Basketball Halls of Fame in 2015. Her #33 jersey has been retired by USC and hangs in the Galen Center.

RAYMOND LEWIS (Deceased)

Regarded as one of the greatest players in Los Angeles area history as he led Verbum Dei to high school titles in 1969, 70 and 71 from the point guard position. His teams finished with a 84-4 record and he was only the second in history to be selected CIF Player of the Year two straight seasons. He went to Cal State Los Angeles and scored 73 points in a freshman game and averaged 39 points per game (with no 3-point shot). Lewis averaged 33 points per game as a sophomore, including 53 in a double overtime upset of #3 Long Beach State. He was the youngest first round draft pick in NBA history in 1973 by the Philadelphia 76ers. He had a short NBA career, but is still a ‘street legend’ and averaged 54 points a game in the 1981 Summer Pro League featuring NBA players. He passed away in 2001 at age 48.

TOMMY LEWIS

One of the greatest high school players in Southern California history while playing at Mater Dei. He averaged over 27 points per game in his three years (he played at Capo Valley as a frosh), including 35 ppg as a senior and won two CIF titles in a 85-6 record. He is second in all-time scoring, the leader in field goal shooting, and still has the two highest scoring games of 53 and 48 points. He won the 1985 California Mr. Basketball award and was a HS All-American. He played college basketball first at USC as a freshman where he topped all first year players nationally in scoring at 17.5 ppg. He then transferred to Pepperdine to finish college as a two-time All-Conference selection. He played professionally overseas, before returning home. He went into high school and men’s and women’s college coaching, while training NBA players. He was an assistant women’s coach at Cal State Los Angeles before moving to his present position as girls basketball coach at Maranatha HS.

DON MACLEAN

Don was a HS All-American at Simi Valley HS and the first big recruit of the Jim Harrick UCLA era. He averaged 31.5 ppg and 12 rebounds while scoring a record over 1,000 points his senior HS season. He went on to become the all-time leading UCLA and Pac-10 conference scorer while sparking UCLA as far as the Elite 8 in the NCAA Tournament. The 6-10 MacLean was a collegiate All-American, 3-time Pac-10 selection and Pac-10 Freshman of the Year. He was a first round NBA draft pick of the Detroit Pistons (traded to Washington on draft day) and had a 10-year NBA career before retiring. He now works as a leading color commentator for the Pac-12 TV Network and does LA Clippers games for Fox Sports West and is a radio contributor on 570 am. He is also the director of the Conejo Valley Basketball Club. He was inducted into the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Pac-12 Conference Hall of Honor.

GARY MCKNIGHT

Regarded as perhaps the greatest high school coach in Orange County history through his incredible record at Mater Dei and one of the best in the nation, McKnight is the winningest coach in California basketball history. He has a 1136-110 record, 91% winning percentage going into the 2019-20 season with 23 CIF titles, plus 11 state titles and has won 29 straight league crowns. He won his first CIF title in his first year at Mater Dei in 1983 has won titles in 4 decades in his 37 years. He has been the national coach of the year, the state coach of the year and is among the top five all-time in victories. He has produced 10 NBA players, over 75 NCAA Division I players and over 100 players have gone onto college basketball. He attended San Clemente HS as a football and baseball player. He attended Cal State Fullerton before starting HS coaching. He has been nominated for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

ANN MEYERS DRYSDALE

Ann competed in seven sports as a high school athlete at Sonora High School in La Habra and became the first female to ever receive a UCLA full athletic scholarship. The 5-9 HS basketball All-American had an 80-5 prep record. While in high school she was the youngest player as part of the USA National Team leading to her winning a silver medal at the 1976 Montreal Olympics. She put women’s sports on the map in Los Angeles when she led the Bruins to the 1978 AIAW Championship in Pauley Pavilion before a record crowd to finish her college career as the first four-time Kodak All-American. She won the Broderick Award as the nation’s top all-around female athlete. She became the first female to ever try-out for the NBA. She stayed involved in the sport broadcasting the Olympic Games for NBC Sports and announcing local college and professional men’s and women’s games. She has been an executive with Phoenix for both the NBA and WNBA and part of their TV crews. She has been inducted into the Naismith, International, Women’s Sports, UCLA and Orange County Athletic Halls of Fame, plus part of the 1999 original Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.

DAVID MEYERS (Deceased 2015)

Born in San Diego, David led Sonora HS in La Habra to its best basketball seasons in the early 1970s and was named CIF 2A Player of the Year as a senior when he averaged 22.7 ppg. He went to UCLA and finished as a collegiate All-American and led the 1975 Bruin team to the NCAA title in John Wooden’s final game. He scored 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in the win over Kentucky. He also won a NCAA title as a sophomore in 1973. He was the number two overall pick in the 1975 NBA draft by the LA Lakers, but was traded to Milwaukee in the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar deal. After five strong seasons he retired to devote more time to his family and his Jehovah Witness faith. The 6-8 Meyers became in elementary school teacher in Lake Elsinore and also did numerous camps. He was inducted into the UCLA Athletics, Orange County and Pac-12 Halls of Fame for his basketball accomplishments. He passed away in 2015.

CHERYL MILLER

Cheryl had an amazing high school career at Riverside Poly and on January 26, 1982 she set a national record by scoring 105 points. The two-time Street & Smith National HS Player of the Year and the first four-time Parade Magazine All-American (male or female) averaged 33 points and 15 rebounds per game. She was the first to score over 3,000 points in NCAA play in her USC Trojan career and finished with a 112-20 record, plus NCAA titles in 1983 and 84 and a runner-up finish in 1986. The 6-2 Miller won the Honda Award as the nation’s top female athlete and her third Naismith Player of the Year honor. She led the USA to its first Olympic Basketball Gold Medal in Los Angeles in 1984. She was the successful head coach at her alma mater USC (44-14) before jumping to Phoenix of the WNBA where she led the Mercury to the playoffs in her three seasons. She worked for TNT on NBA television broadcasts and then returned to coaching. She was the women’s coach at Cal State Los Angeles. She was in the original 1999 class of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame after being in the Naismith Basketball HOF in 1995. She is also in the California Sports HOF.

REGGIE MILLER

Reggie had to overcome hip deformities as a youth growing up to finish an outstanding All-CIF high school shooting career at Riverside Poly HS. His senior season led to a UCLA basketball scholarship. He became the first Pac-10 Post-Season Tournament MVP and an All-American as a senior after being the NIT MVP as a junior in leading the Bruins back to national prominence with the 1985 title. He was the first-round NBA draft pick of the Indiana Pacers where he spent his entire 18-year pro career and retired as the all-time NBA three-point leader. He was a five-time all-star and led Indiana once to the finals. The 6-7 Miller won an Olympic Gold Medal in 1996 in Atlanta (joining Cheryl Miller as the first brother-sister basketball gold medal winners). He was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame as well as the Pac-10 Hall of Honor and UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame. His number 31 jersey has been retired by both UCLA and Indiana. He currently is a NBA and NCAA playoff broadcaster for Turner Sports.

HAROLD MINER

Harold was regarded as a dunking machine and became a HS All-American at Inglewood High School where his exploits became nationally known. He had a brilliant three-year career at USC where he averaged 23.5 ppg and 5 rebounds per game, scoring over 2000 points in becoming the all-time Trojan scoring leader. He brought the Trojans to its highest national showing, including a number two NCAA Tournament overall seed in 1992 (he averaged a school record 26.3 ppg and was Pac-10 Player of the Year). The 6-5 lefty collegiate All-American was the 1992 ‘Sports Illustrated’ College Player of the Year. He became the first round draft pick of the Miami Heat, but had his NBA career shortened by a severe knee injury (he was a two-time NBA dunking champion before the injury) to five seasons. He was dubbed ‘Baby Jordan’ coming up for his incredible leading ability. He was selected for the Pac-12 Hall of Honor, the USC Athletic Hall of Fame and his #23 jersey was retired by USC in 2012.

TRACY MURRAY

Tracy was the best three-year high school scorer in California history while playing at Glendora. He scored over 3,000 points in his career and averaging 44.2 points per game his senior season when Glendora won CIF title and lost in the state finals in 1989. Murray was the 1989 California Mr. Basketball. The McDonald’s All-American had an outstanding three-year career at UCLA, finishing his junior year in the NCAA Elite 8 and was a first round NBA draft pick of the San Antonio Spurs. He had a 15-year professional career in the NBA and overseas. He led the NBA in 3-point shooting one season and had 50 point game. He has worked as a NBA shooting coach, including with the Los Angeles Lakers. He is currently the UCLA basketball color commentator and also works locally on NBA post-game broadcasts for Channel 7.

PETE NEWELL (Deceased 2008)

Pete graduated from St. Agnes High School in Los Angeles in 1933 and went on to attend what is now known as Loyola Marymount University. There he played basketball for three seasons. His main claim is in coaching. He coached at USF (won the 1949 NIT), Michigan State and California where he led the Bears to the 1959 NCAA Title. He then coached the 1960 USA Olympic Team to the Gold Medal in Rome. He was the first coach in history to win the ‘Triple Crown’ of the NCAA, NIT and Olympic Gold Medal. He retired from coaching in 1960 and became California Athletic Director for eight years. He later became General Manager for the LA Lakers and helped engineer the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar trade. He was inducted into the Naismith HOF in 1979 and later into the College Basketball Hall of Fame. He passed away November 17, 2008.

ED O’BANNON

Ed was considered as one of the best CIF players of all-time playing at Artesia High School where he led his team to the CIF and state titles his senior year, averaging 25 points and 10 rebounds per game. He was a McDonald’s HS All-American and ‘Basketball Times’ HS Player of the Year and won the 1990 California Mr. Basketball award. After missing his freshman year at UCLA due to ACL knee surgery, O’Bannon came back to lead UCLA to the 1995 NCAA title win with 30 points and 17 rebounds in the championship game vs. Arkansas and was named Tournament MVP. He won the Wooden Award and the USBWA College Player of the Year honors. He was the first round NBA draft pick of the New Jersey Nets and then finished his pro career overseas. He was inducted into the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame and Pac-12 Hall of Honor. UCLA retired his number 31 jersey.

LINDA SHARP

Linda was raised in Cypress and attended John F. Kennedy HS in the OC where she was the starting point guard in the later 1960s. She then went to Fullerton College before transferring to Cal State Fullerton to play for coach Billie Moore. She helped the Titans to a third-place finish in the 1972 AIAW Championships. She began her coaching career at Mater Dei and was selected after three seasons to move to USC as an assistant coach. She then was promoted to head coach in 1977. The Trojans took off with her leadership. In 12 seasons she had a 271-99 overall record and won the school’s only two NCAA Championships in 1983 and 84 and was NCAArunner-up in 1986. She won the WCAA, Wade and Sporting News Coach of the Year honors. She was the Pac-10 Coach of the Year three times. She was the first head coach for the Los Angeles Sparks and later assisted Cheryl Miller with Phoenix. She went back to college coaching in Texas before retiring. She was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2001.

MILES SIMON

Miles came to Southern California from Stockholm, Sweden and became a HS All-American at Mater Dei where he won four CIF titles, a rarity in CIF history. Miles then went to Arizona where he led Wildcats in an All-American career to their only NCAA title in 1997 and was named Tournament MVP. He averaged 22 ppg in the NCAA tournament. The 6-5 guard had limited NBA career, but in a year in the CBA was named MVP and Playoff MVP. He also played professionally in Europe for 6 years. Simon then turned to coaching and was an assistant for Lute Olson for three years at U of A, including going to the NCAA Elite 8 one year. He also worked for many years doing television broadcasting before going to the LA Lakers in 2017 where he is currently an assistant coach.

JERRY TARKANIAN (Deceased 2015)

Jerry played basketball at Pasadena High School and Pasadena City College at the start of the 1950s. He then transferred and played college basketball at Fresno State and then earned a Master’s degree at the University of Redlands before getting into coaching. He coached at both Antelope Valley and Redlands for high school and then went to Riverside and Pasadena Junior Colleges in the middle 1960s where he won four straight California JC State Titles (3 at Riverside). He put Long Beach State on the map when he took over in 1968, reaching four straight NCAA Tournaments and almost knocking off UCLA and John Wooden twice. He then spent the next 21 years as the head coach at UNLV, winning the NCAA title in 1990 and going to four Final Fours. After leaving college to coach in the NBA, he came back and finished his college career at Fresno State from 1995-2002. He won over 900 games in his career and was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013. He passed away on February 11, 2015.

KIKI VANDEWEGHE

Kik was an All-City selection at Palisades High School and helped his school compete for the LA City Title. He then became the leader of UCLA’s 1980 NCAA finalist team, earning All-American honors. He scored 24 points in the NCAA semi-final win over Purdue. He was also a two-time Academic All-American and Rhodes Scholarship finalist. He was the first round draft pick of Dallas (traded to Denver in his first season) and averaged 20 points per game for 7 straight seasons and he made the playoffs in 12 of his 13 NBA seasons. VanDeWeghe continued his basketball career as the General Manager in both Denver and New Jersey and at one time he was the head coach for the Nets. Since 2013 he has been the Executive Vice-President of Operation for the NBA after previously working two years as the LA Clippers television analyst. He was inducted into the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame in 1994 and the LA City Athletic HOF in 2013.

BILL WALTON

Bill won two straight CIF titles at Helix HS in the San Diego area and was unbeaten in his final 49 prep games. He was the first high school player to ever be part of the USA Senior National Team. He was the California Mr. Basketball in 1970. He went to UCLA and led the Bruins to NCAA titles in 1972 and 1973 in helping the school winning streak reach a record 88 straight games. He was a three-time College Player of the Year (72, 73, 74) and three-time All-American. He set a NCAA record with 44 points in the title game in 1973 against Memphis. He was also an Academic All-American. He was the first overall NBA draft pick by Portland and won his first of two NBA titles there (the other in Boston) in a 15-year professional career that saw him win the MVP award and be part of the all-star team. He went into the Naismith HOF in 1993 and was part of the first College Basketball Hall of Fame class in 2006. He is in the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame. He is currently a college basketball commentator for ESPN and the Pac-12 Network.

WILLIE WEST, JR

Willie West is the winningest coach in LA City modern basketball history and has coached over 50 college players while serving as the head coach at Crenshaw High School. The former Cal State Los Angeles basketball player and member of the school’s Hall of Fame, won a record eight state titles, 16 Los Angeles City Section titles and 28 league titles. He began coaching in 1968, and won the LA City title in his first year as head coach in 1971. He came to Southern California from Texas and started at Los Angeles City College. He was LA City Coach of the Year 10 times and state coach of the year twice at Crenshaw. He was twice selected to coach the USA High School National Basketball Team in Colorado Springs. He finished in the top five in state lifetime wins with over 1,000. He was part of the LA City’s first athletic hall of fame class in 2011.

PAUL WESTPHAL

Paul is perhaps the greatest all-around player in USC history after having a brilliant high school career at Aviation HS in the South Bay. He was a rare local player to turn down John Wooden in the 1960s. He was the California Mr. Basketball in 1968. USC went 24-2 his junior year and he was team captain as a senior in averaging 20 points per game. He was the first round NBA draft pick of the Boston Celtics in 1972 and part of their 1974 NBA Championship team. He had a 12-year professional career where he was a NBA six-time all-star. After retiring he went into college and professional coaching with a successful college stint at Pepperdine and professional years in Phoenix and Seattle. He also did television broadcasting. He was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2019 after previously being inducted into the College Basketball and USC Athletic Halls of Fame.

JAMAAL WILKES

Jamaal was the CIF-4A Player of the Year at Santa Barbara HS after transferring from Ventura HS for his senior year when he led the Dons to the CIF semi-finals. He is perhaps the greatest player to ever come out of the SB County area. At Ventura HS he was the 1969 California Mr. Basketball. He went to UCLA as a starting forward and became a two-time All-American as part of NCAA title teams in 1972 and 73 (he was leading scorer in the 72 title game vs. Florida State). The Bruins lost in the NCAA semi-finals his senior year of 1974. He was the first round draft pick of the Golden State Warriors. He was the NBA Rookie of the Year as his team won a NBA title in his first season and then won three more NBA titles when he moved to the Los Angeles Lakers. He retired after a 12-year career with numerous honors. The 6-7 Wilkes was inducted into the Naismith HOF in 2012 and then in 2016 into the College Basketball Hall of Fame after previously being inducted into the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame.

JOHN WILLIAMS

John was a player that no one could guard in his high school basketball career at Crenshaw and he became a legend. He won the California State Mr. Basketball in both 1983 and 1984. He led Crenshaw to the LA City Title and was LA City Player of the Year. He went to LSU for two seasons and finished as a collegiate All-American. He then was a first round NBA selection by the Washington Wizards and made the NBA All-Rookie team in his first season. He had an eight-year NBA career where injuries slowed him down his last few seasons and he finished his playing overseas in Spain. His son plays high school basketball also in LA City where Williams has coached and he has been an individual training. He was inducted into the LA City Athletic Hall of Fame in 2015.

LEON WOOD

Leon was a 6-3 high school All-American point guard at St. Monica Catholic in Santa Monica where he averaged 42 points a game his senior year. He started college at the University of Arizona before transferring and becoming the first Division I All-American at Cal State Fullerton and he led the nation in assists his junior year. He was taken by Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the 1984 NBA draft and had a six year professional career. He won a gold medal with the 1984 USA Olympic Team in Los Angeles and a medal in the 1983 Pan-American Games team. After retiring as a player, he became a NBA Referee in 1996 and was an official for over 20 years. He was inducted into both the Orange County and Cal State Fullerton Athletic Halls of Fame.

MARK WULFEMEYER

Mark was an Orange County high school scoring legend at Troy. The 14-year old freshman scored 27 points in his first game (no three-point shots in 1971). He went onto a record setting prep career, averaging 27.5 points per game and eclipsed the all-time state scoring records by almost 500 points. Wulfemeyer averaged an all-time county best 36.5 points and made 53% of his shots as a senior. He scored 2,608 career points, and was named the CIF 1974 4-A Player of the Year. He turned down UCLA’s John Wooden and went to USC to play for Bob Boyd. However, he left as a freshman to sign a $42,500 bonus contract with the California Angels for his right pitching arm ability. He played six seasons in the minors, but gave up baseball to go back to basketball to return to USC, but it wasn’t for him and played only 29 games there in his career.. He tried baseball one more time, but didn’t make the majors. The 6-2 guard was inducted into the Orange County Hall of Fame in 1996.

GEORGE YARDLEY (Deceased 2004)

Born in Hollywood, Yardley was an All-CIF player at Newport Harbor HS before becoming a two-time All-American at Stanford. He was the first player in NBA history to score 2,000 points in one season, breaking the 1,932-point record held by George Mikan. Yardley was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1996 and part of the first College Basketball HOF class in 2006. Yardley was a dominating NBA player in his 7-year career, making the NBA All-Star team every year except for his rookie season. He led the Fort Wayne Pistons to two NBA Finals before the team moved to Detroit in 1957. Yardley led the league in scoring, averaging 27.8 points per game in his first year in Detroit, and tallied 2001 points, just enough to make him the first NBA player to score 2000 points in a season. That year, Yardley also set NBA records for most free throws attempted (808) and most free throws made (655), and was named to the All-NBA First Team for the only time in his career. Following a sixth All-Star season in 1959–1960, in which he averaged 20.2 points per game, Yardley retired from basketball at the age of 31. He was the first player in NBA history to retire after averaging at least 20 PPG in his final year. Later he came out of retirement to play one-year for Bill Sharman, who was coaching the Los Angeles Jets of the American Basketball League. He is in the Orange County Athletic Hall of Fame. He passed away in 2004 at the age of 75.