Pac-10 Basketball Hall Of Honor To Induct 2008-09 Class
Jan. 9, 2009
The Pac-10 Conference will honor 10 former student-athletes and coaches with their induction into the Pac-10 Men's Basketball Hall of Honor presented by World Financial Group during the 2009 Pacific Life Pac-10 Men's Basketball Tournament.
Those individuals to be inducted include; Lute Olson (Arizona), Royce Youree (Arizona State), Nibs Price (California), Greg Ballard (Oregon), Paul Valenti (Oregon State), Jim Pollard (Stanford), Michael Warren (UCLA), Gus Williams (USC), Detlef Schrempf (Washington) and Isaac Fontaine (Washington State). The induction ceremony will take place on Saturday, March 14 during the Pac-10 Hall of Honor luncheon.
Lute Olson, Arizona - After 50 years of coaching and 25 seasons at Arizona, Olson retired on October 23, 2008. A member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class of 2002, Olson guided the Wildcats to a 589-187 (.759) record, 11 Pac-10 titles, 23 consecutive NCAA appearances, four Final Four appearances, capped with the national title in 1997. His career record of 780-280 (.736), which includes one season at Long Beach State (24-2) and nine seasons at Iowa (167-91), ranks 12th on the all-time NCAA victory list entering the 2008-09 season. The seven-time Pac-10 Coach of the Year also guided Arizona to 20 consecutive 20-win seasons. He posted a 327-104 (.764) record in conference play. The league victories are the most ever in the Pac-10, while his winning percentage is second only to the legendary John Wooden (.810/304-74). Olson produced 54 NBA draft picks, including 33 at Arizona. In addition, Olson guided Team USA to the gold medal at the 1986 World Championships.
Royce Youree, Arizona State - Youree was a three-year starter from 1956-58 who left as the school's career scoring leader (1,036 points) and was the first player in school history to surpass 1,000 points. He made 362 career free throws, which stood as the ASU's all-time record for 45 years until Ike Diogu surpassed his mark during the 2003-04 season. Youree helped ASU win its first Border Conference championship in 1957-58 and receive its first bid to the NCAA Tournament. He was a two-time second-team All-Border Conference selection (1957 and 1958). Following his ASU career, he played three years of minor league baseball before entering the coaching ranks. He compiled a 5A record of 301-56 and won five state championships while at Phoenix East High School. Youree continued his coaching career at Mesa Community College as co-coach from 1982-1987. From 1988-95, Youree coached in the Basketball Congress International (BCI), then accepted a position at the University of San Diego, where he helped mentor the Toreros for two seasons (1996-97).
Nibs Price, California - Price served as Cal's head coach from 1925-54, compiling a 449-224 record and is the all-time winningest coach in school history. He guided the Bears to the 1946 Final Four and seven Pacific Coast Conference titles. Price graduated from Cal in 1914 and was a member of the baseball team as an undergraduate. In addition to his basketball duties, he served as Cal's head football coach from 1926-30, posting a 27-17-3 record and leading the Bears to the 1930 Rose Bowl. He was inducted into the Cal Athletic Hall of Fame in 1986.
Greg Ballard, Oregon - A member of the famed 'Kamikaze Kids,' Ballard was a four-year starter from 1974-77. During his career, he amassed 1,829 points (15.9 ppg) and 1,114 rebounds (9.7 rpg). Those totals rank fourth and first respectively on the Oregon all-time lists. Only four players in Pac-10 history have recorded more rebounds. He still owns the school's single-game scoring mark with a 43-point outburst against Oral Roberts on March 9, 1977. He never wanted to be the star as he was quoted as saying, 'A star plays great one night and not so great the next. I'm a ballplayer, ballplayers do everything and they do it every night.' The 6-7 forward was the hard-nosed catalyst to Oregon squads that played in three straight NIT tournaments when it was nearly impossible to make the NCAA field. The team's most valuable player and All-American as a senior in 1976-77. He's the Ducks' highest NBA draft pick ever, having been selected as the fourth pick overall in the first round by the Washington Bullets in 1977. He played for both Washington and Golden State during his 10-year professional career.
Paul Valenti, Oregon State - Valenti played on two Northern Division conference title teams between 1940-42 and during those three years led Oregon State to 64 wins. After graduating in 1942, Valenti had a four-year stay in the Navy during World War II. Upon his return, he served as a long-time assistant to fellow Hall of Honor and Basketball Hall of Fame member Slats Gill.He took over the head coaching duties at his alma mater following the 1964 season and guided the Beavers for seven seasons. Crowned the AAWU Champions with a 12-2 league record in 1966, Valenti led Oregon State to a 21-7 record overall, defeated an Elvin Hayes led Houston team in the NCAA Tournament and narrowly missed qualifying for the Final Four after a 70-64 defeat to Utah. The Beavers led the nation that season with the stingiest defense, allowing just 54.5 points per game. For his accomplishment, he was named the 1966 Conference Coach of the Year. He was inducted into the State of Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1982 and is also a member of the OSU Sports Hall of Fame.
Jim Pollard, Stanford - Nicknamed 'The Kangaroo Kid' because of his extraordinary leaping ability, it was reported that he could touch the top of the backboard and dunk from the foul line, predating today's athletic players. Pollard starred for Hall of Fame coach Everett Dean at Stanford in a career interrupted by military service. A member of Stanford's 1941-42 NCAA championship squad, Pollard also was named a First Team All-American that same season. Although he did not play in the championship game of the 1942 NCAA Tournament because of the flu, Pollard was the tournament's leading scorer with 43 points. A member of the National Basketball Hall of Fame, Pollard scored a tournament-high 26 points in Stanford's 53-47 victory over Rice in the NCAA Tournament opener. He followed that up with a 17-point effort in Stanford's 46-35 victory over Colorado. During the 1941-42 campaign, Pollard led Stanford in scoring at 10.5 points per game. A member of the Stanford Athletic Hall of Fame, Pollard later played professional basketball with the Minneapolis Lakers from 1947-55 where he averaged 13.1 points and was named a four-time NBA All-Star. In 1952, Pollard was named the best player of the era by the Basketball Association of America.
Michael Warren, UCLA - Warren became UCLA's starting point guard as a sophomore, averaged 16.6 points and earned second-team All-AAWU honors. The Bruins were 18-8 overall and placed second in the conference. As a junior team captain, along with his four sophomore starting teammates, Warren helped lead the Bruins to the school's third NCAA Championship and second-ever 30-0 unbeaten season. Warren averaged 12.7 ppg, earned Academic All-America honors and Honorable Mention All-America acclaim. In his final season, Warren, again the team captain, earned first-team All-America and All-Conference honors, and averaged 12.1 points. The Bruins finished the year 29-1 and won their second consecutive NCAA title. That lone loss came on Jan. 20, 1968 in the Houston Astrodome, in what was billed as the 'Game of the Century', No. 2 Houston defeated No. 1 UCLA 71-69, snapping the Bruins' 47-game winning streak. However, the Bruins would emphatically avenge that loss two months later in an NCAA semifinal game, beating Houston 101-69. During his three-year varsity career, Warren appeared in 86 games, averaged 13.7 points and 4.0 rebounds. At graduation, he was UCLA's No. 7 all-time scorer (1,176 points). In 1993, Warren was honored by the National Association of Basketball Coaches of the United States (NABC) as a member of its Silver Anniversary All-America team. Despite being drafted in the 14th round of the 1968 NBA Draft by Seattle, Warren chose the entertainment industry as his career path. A Fine Arts major (theater) at UCLA, his acting career has spanned 40 years and he has appeared in numerous films and television shows. Warren is best known for his Emmy nominated role as Robert 'Bobby' Hill in the hit TV series, `Hill Street Blues' (1981-87). He also received the NAACP Image Award for Best Actor.
Gus Williams, USC - A high-scoring and electrifying guard, was USC basketball's own version of the 'Wizard.' The three-year letterman (1973-75) earned All-American first team, All-Pac-8 first team and USC MVP honors in 1975 when he led the Pac-8 in scoring (21.2 ppg). He finished his career with 1,308 points (then the most ever by a Trojan guard) while averaging 16.1 points per game. He also set since-broken records for assists in a career (362) and season (141 in 1974). He still ranks in the USC all-time Top 5 in assists and Top 15 in scoring. In 1974, he averaged a team-best 15.5 points and led Troy to a 24-5 record. He then played in the NBA for 11 years, averaging 17.1 points with Golden State, Seattle (where he won an NBA championship in 1979 after being runner-up the previous season), Washington and Atlanta and twice earning All-Star honors. He now is involved with organizations combating domestic and substance abuse and youth violence. He will be inducted into the 2009 class of the USC Athletic Hall of Fame.
Detlef Schrempf, Washington - A four-year letterwinner for Coach Marv Harshman from 1982-85, Schrempf is 11th on the school's all-time scoring list with 1,449 points. A native of Leverkusen, Germany, he was a two-time all-Pacific-10 Conference selection, two-time team MVP, three-time winner of the team's top rebounder award. He was also the team captain as a senior and The Sporting News named him to its All-America second team.Selected eighth overall by the Dallas Mavericks of the National Basketball Association, Schrempf played 16 seasons in the NBA. From 1993-99, he was a member of the Seattle Supersonics before finishing his career with Portland in 2001. He was a three-time NBA All-Star and won NBA Sixth Man awards in 1990 and 1991. Internationally, Schrempf played for Germany in the 1984 and 1992 Olympic Games. He also participated for his home country in the 1983 and 1985 European Championships. He established the Detlef Schrempf Foundation in 1996 to benefit Seattle-area charities.
Isaac Fontaine, Washington State - Fontaine is the only Cougar to score 2,000 points in a career. In his four-year basketball career at WSU (1994-97), Fontaine led his team to an NCAA Tournament appearance in 1994, the team's first since 1983. The following season Fontaine and the Cougars advanced to the third round of the NIT. WSU made a third-straight postseason appearance with another trip to the NIT in 1996. Fontaine received Pacific-10 honors all-four of his years in a Washington State uniform, becoming the 10th Cougar to earn Pac-10 All-Conference First Team honors twice (1996, 1997). He was named to the Pac-10 All-Freshmen Team (1994) and was an All-Pac-10 Honorable Mention honoree as a sophomore (1995). On top of his conference honors, Fontaine also received accolades from NABC, USBWA, and the Associated Press. As a senior he was one of 18 finalists for the John R. Wooden Award and was WSU's 1997 Pac-10 Medal winner. On top of holding the school's scoring record (2,003 points), Fontaine also holds the WSU all-time career best mark for 3-point percentage (.457). His 90-consecutive games started streak ranks second all-time in school history. Following graduation, Fontaine signed a professional contract with Scavolini Pesaro (Pesaro, Italy), an AI Division team in the Italian Basketball League. He had a brief stint for the NBA's Memphis Grizzlies during the 2001-02 season.