milano
Big C 'Blues In the News'
                                                                 

Blue Red States   
blueredstate


Dr. Jerome Patmont   
                                                            patmont1

A memorial service will be held May 20 for Dr. Jerome H. Patmont, longtime team doctor for the
UC Berkeley intercollegiate sports program.

Dr. Patmont, who was 81, died Saturday at his home in Berkeley after a brief illness. Born in Nebraska,
he moved with his family as a 7-year old to Berkeley where he was an Eagle Scout and graduated from
Berkeley High School in 1942.

Dr. Patmont attended Cal as a student after service in the merchant marine during World War II.
He studied zoology and graduated in 1950, after which he earned his medical degree across the bay
at UCSF.

He became Cal's team physician in 1961, a position he filled half-time while also running
a private medical practice in Berkeley until he retired in 1995.

Known to colleagues and students alike as "Doc P", he had Cal blue and gold in his veins,
attending about 400 games in a row until he had to miss one in 1979, when he served as a
U.S. team physician at the Pan American Games. He was a doctor for the U.S. national team at the
1980 Olympics and at the Pan American games in 1975, in addition to 1979.

After retiring, he rarely missed a Cal home game, and even in later years often made at least
one road trip each season. He watched the men's basketball team lose to UCLA two weeks ago
- his last Cal game before falling ill.

Colleagues recalled him as a classic fan who never wavered in his optimism about the upcoming
season, no matter what disappointments he had to endure in the current season. He was courted
a few times by professional sports teams but didn't seem to have been seriously
tempted.

"He loved the college stuff, and he just loved being around Cal," said Dave Maggard, former
Cal athletic director, now at the University of Houston. "Cal was the only place he ever wanted to be.
He wouldn't have left Cal for anything. He loved the kids, the whole thing." "This guy had loyalty you
just don't find today." Maggard said. "He was not a guy who wanted to stand up and say, 'Look at me'.
He was part of the team. He wanted to do everything he could to make the team stronger.
He was a Golden Bear through and through, in every possible way."

He was also a charter member of the American College of Sports Medicine who became an early expert
in the benefits and dangers of performance-enhancing drugs, before anyone had heard of steroids,
and who developed a grape juice drink dubbed "Dr. P's Purple Passion Juice," spiked with
electrolytes, before anyone had heard of Gatorade.

Cal football great Craig Morton, a quarterback who played 18 years in the NFL, said Dr. Patmont
was his favorite physician. He twice performed knee surgery to repair Morton's college injuries.
"It seemed everybody knew Dr. Patmont," Morton said. "He just commanded all the respect you could
possibly give him. He was Cal, one of the great people of the University.

Survivors include his wife, Carolyn ("Micky"), daughters, Barbara Clausen of Vancouver, B.C.,
and Nancy Patmont of Grass Valley (Nevada County); sons, Steven and Jim Patmont, both of
Pleasanton, and Jonathan Patmont of Kailua, Hawaii; 12 grandchildren; one great-grandchild;
sister, Dorothy Smith Patmont of Walnut Creek, and brother Robert Patmont of Palm Springs.

A memorial service is scheduled for 11 A.M. on May 20 at First Presbyterian Church,
2407 Dana Street, Berkeley. A reception will follow at the Wally Haas Club Room, Haas Pavilion,
on the Cal campus.

The family requests that donations be made in his name to a favorite charity.
(reprinted from an article in the San Francisco Chronicle by Carl T. Hall)

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The "Dunk"   
        

"Forget the Game!..Remember The Slam"


…excerpted from Ray Ratto's column in San Francisco Chronicle, Sunday, March 05, 2006

                                          courtesy of ray barbour www.raybarbour.com

The picture above was taken by Ray Barbour. He has many more of Steve, the USC game,
and many other Cal games this year. To see more of his great pictures, go to www.raybarbour.com/

His e-mail address is:ray@raybarbour.com

                           

…Thus, having neither advanced nor damaged their case, the Golden Bears could lean back
for a moment, relax, and let Steve Panawek begin the lifelong task of embellishing his breakaway dunk into
something truly spectacular.

"Oh, yeah, it'll grow," he laughed. "It'll grow. It'll get to be a two-hander, then it'll be to win the game."
Panawek is technically a junior, but is on time to graduate this year (he did not play in 2004) and is also out
of eligibility. His career at Cal is largely that of the devoted practice player who hopes for blowouts so he can
sneak in a minute here and there. Thus, when he started Saturday's game as a pro forma from head coach
Ben Braun for the general thanklessness of his task, it was sentimentality tinged with a fervent hope that he
wouldn't harm the team's early start.

He didn't. He missed an open 3, he kept his man from getting a decent look at the basket, and when he was replaced
at the first TV timeout, he'd done as well as he, or anyone else, could have expected.


But as the game wore (and we do mean "wore") on, the possibility that Panawek would get in one more minute
or two grew. It grew more when fellow back-bencher Alex Pribble started coaxing the crowd in the final two minutes
with the standard "We Want Steve" chant.

But every time it seemed to get legs, either Gabe Pruitt or Lodrick Stewart would hit a long 3 to keep USC within
cab-hailing distance, and Braun didn't decide it was safe until there were 43.9 seconds left and the Bears were
11 points clear.


Panawek was fouled with 14.6 seconds left and made the back end of two free throws and then stole a pass from
Dwayne Shackleford with eight seconds left, and suddenly before him, the floor, the gym, and a lifetime of stories
opened wide and beckoned him.


"It was like the quickest three seconds in my life," he said. "I don't even remember it all, I was so excited, and
I was just focused on dunking the ball. I just wanted to put it down."


And he did. Chocolate Thunder it wasn't, but it did bring the often torpor-stricken house down with five seconds left
in the game. In fact, with the student section of the crowd howling loudest, he managed just enough authority to
look as if he'd done it before, even if it was just in the layup line.


                                                        Panawek lifts off

___________________Prepare for 'Liftoff' !!______________________

When the horn went off, the best part of the day happened for Panawek. His teammates mobbed him, forming
a mosh-pit within which he got the ride of his life, grinning all the way as he bounced from Rod Benson to Leon Powe
to Ayinde Ubaka to Richard Midgely.

              wilkes powe midgely benson hardin robertson

                     (courtesy of San Francisco Chronicle)

              'PAN'-demonium reigns as Bears Rejoice in "The Dunk"

L-R: Omar Wilkes, Leon Powe, Richard Midgely, Rod Benson, Devon Hardin, Theo Robertson

It is a memory that will sustain long after the brackish taste of this game is rinsed clean and he will only tell the
story to every living man, woman, child, and house pet he sees over the next 60 years or so.


In the bigger picture, it is nothing. But college sports is supposed to have room for the little snapshots as well.
Cal got its victory and can prep for USC again, although Braun ducked discussing the conference tournament for
reasons that frankly evade us.


But Steve Panawek got his moment, too. He set a career high in points with three, a career high in minutes played
with five, and he threw down the greatest dunk in the history of college basketball.


Have him buy you a beer and let him tell you all about it. Block out about a half-hour just to be on the safe side!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Golden Bear Basketball      Golden Bear Basketball         Golden Bear Basketball     Golden Bear Basketball
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The following is a letter from Sally Panawek, Steve's mom, thanking all those who called to express
their happiness for Steve

                            wilkes, panawek, hardin

                            (courtesy of San Francisco Chronicle)

              The Wilkes brothers, Steve Panawek, and Devon Hardin

Hello All,

As some of you are aware, Steve played his final home game at Cal last Saturday night against USC
and those of you who were present at the game know that he got his final moment that will stay with
him through his life!

We had secretly flown Kate in from grad school in Cincinnati but as sneaky as we had been Steve
knew she would be there because as he said, " No emails or phone calls from you Kate wishing me well
tipped me off that something was afoot and besides we're family"!

Steve has always been a tough one to fool. Anyway, he was delighted that his siblings were there
as well as mom,dad and uncle Scotty.

He got his first start in his three years on the team and we all watched with tears in our eyes
as he got pushed around in the team mash pit circle as the announcer called his name and the lights
flashed over the court!

He played till the first TV time out and then sat the rest of the game until the final minutes
when the student section started chanting "We want Steve" over and over. The coach did not respond
fast enough to the liking of the students, so they then chanted "Hey! Ben Braun! (the coach).. "
"WE WANT STEVE"!! over and over. Even the alums joined in.

Steve was then sent in with 42 sec. left on the clock. He got fouled and sunk the back end of his
free throws and then with 8 secs left on the clock he stole the ball from USC and tore up the court
for his first and final DUNK at Haas Pavillion.

It was a sight to behold and one I will never forget as we watched the team run out to hug Steve.
It was all about team and wanting each guy to have their success. It was a beautiful moment in
time and basketball for us.

Greg and I confessed to each other on the way back down I-5 to San Dieg0 that neither of us really
saw the dunk as we were desperately watching the trailing USC player to make sure he didn't upend Steve.
His last game in high school he had stolen the ball the same way and traveled down the court for a dunk.
He was mid air when the trailing player upended his feet causing him to come down hard head first.
A trip to the hospital followed and he was unable to finish out his senior post season play due to the
injury. He never made the dunk, so it's almost poetic that he completed that dunk his final game in college.
Hopefully, we'll get some tape so we can watch it without worry!

We have received so many emails and phone calls from friends expressing their happiness for Steve,
we just had to say thanks to all of you. Your calls and emails have meant so much. The picture in
the Sunday Chronicle Sports (Ray Ratto article) of the team erupting on the bench at the time of the dunk
speaks volumes for the friendships Steve has made through Cal Basketball. Even without this moment
he feels so blessed by being a part of this team. They are a tremendous group of guys. To have had
this ending moment is icing on the cake.

Thanks to all of you for your support to Steve through high school and college. He has appreciated
your waves, kind encouraging words, funny faces and attempts to distract him from the group huddles at
time outs!

For those out of the area click on the following sites for the Chronicle article and pictures as
well as the Cal BB Picture site by Ray Barbour (see above)

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/03/05/SPG41HIVK01.DTL& hw=Panawek&sn=001&sc=1000

To everyone, our heartfelt thanks for your kind words to Steve.

Fondly, Greg and Sal

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             Big C Meetings in the Southland!


There will be two Big C Meetings in southern California later this year.
One will be in San Diego; the other in Orange County.
Proposed dates: 1,2, or 3 November. More news about these events is forthcoming...stay tuned !!

The Orange County meeting has now been set !!

Dan and Suzy McInerny will be hosting our first ever (or at least in a long time!) get-together
for Big C Society members in the southern California area.

The party is set for Wednesday, November 2nd. It will begin at approximately 4:00 P.M.
with hors d'oeuvres being served. It will last through 8:00 P.M. A buffet-style dinner will
start around 5:30 or 6 P.M. ALL Big C letter winners are invited, even if they have not
paid their dues. Tiki torches, blue and gold banners, and a California Marching Band CD
will be on the premises.

Jack Clark, Cal's Rugby coach, will be in attendance as will be Teresa Kuehn
(or another representative from the Cal Athletic Office).

The "theme" for the evening will of a 'southern seas style gathering' and will
be called 'Southern C's'. Hawaiian music will set the tone and a microphone and
speakers will be provided.

Address for the 'Southern C's' party:
463 Jasmine Street
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Questions should be directed to: smcinerny@hub360.com or 949-376-5477




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Cal Football Games on Radio

California Football is now carried on 6 major news stations:


KGO 810 AM San Francisco
KKGO 1260 AM Los Angeles
           540 AM San Diego
KTKZ 1380 AM Sacramento
KNRO 600 AM Redding
KESP 970 AM Modesto




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Lose your Big C Medal? ...Need Another ?

Replicas of Big C Medals can be purchased.
(Note: they are 'replicas' in that original ones (in gold) are too expensive to make.)

Letterwinners must have some sort of ID to order replacement medals.

Click here to contact Big C Society

Need A New "Zebra" Sweater

Call Laura Wong (510 642-9055)    $80.00




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      Below: Sandy Barbour, Athletic Director; Ed Arnold, '40;Perry Conner, '37 Thunder Team;
      Bob Wilhelm, '37 Thunder Team; Sam Chapman, '37 Thunder Team; Dick Bahme, '40;
      Jeff Tedford, Cal Football Coach.
      They are shown presenting Ralph Sauer's Rose Bowl Blanket to the University.
      (Scroll down to see a picture of Ralph Sauer and a story that appeared in The California Monthly.)

      Ralph Sauer in a story in The California Monthly [September-October 2005]

      Below are: Bob Wilhelm, '37 Thunder Team; Perry Conner, '37 Thunder Team;
       Jeff Tedford, Cal Football Coach;Sam Chapman, '37 Thunder Team

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"Mr Big C" - Wayne Hooper

'A Good Man' is the name of a book written about Pete Newell, Cal's legendary basketball coach

It could equally apply to Wayne Hooper.

                         Wayne Hooper

Wayne was a two-sport athlete at Cal, playing both basketball and baseball. Upon graduation, he attended law school and later became a sports agent for many well known athletes, Jim Plunkett being one. His lifelong support for both Cal basketball and, particularly Cal baseball, is legendary

A past president of the Big C Society, Wayne's presence at Big C events was always enjoyable. He made people laugh and he always seemed to remember who you were and was concerned about how you and your family were doing.

Wayne is survived by his wife Barbara, his sons Randy and Don, and his daughter Rene.

Wayne died on July 31st. Memorial Services are pending. Tentatively they are set to be on Saturday, August 13 at Evans Diamond on the University of California campus. Time will most likely be 5 PM with a reception to be held afterwards at the Alumni House Attire: casual.

Donation: The family requests that your donation be made to the Cal Baseball Program as follows:
UC Regents-Bullpen Club
Bear Backer Office
2223 Fulton 3rd Floor
Berkeley, CA 94720




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Eddie Hart
                        

(Information is excerpted from an article written Monday, July 24, 2006 by Sarah Jacobson)

"Ex-Olympian Still a Standout"

In an era where the behavior of many professional athletes has become questionable,
and it can be difficult for young people to find heroes to look up to, Pittsburg resident
and Olympic gold medalist Eddie Hart stands out as an example of excellence.

In 1972, Hart ran the anchor leg of the four-man, 100 meter relay, bringing the US team
made up of Larry Black, Robert Taylor, and Gerald Tinker to victory in a world record time
of 38.19.He came home with the gold and a desire to give back to his community which has
not diminished in 34 years.

This Saturday, young people in Pittsburg will be the recipients of his efforts in the
first Olympian Track Clinic, held at Pittsburg High School.

The event will benefit any young person who has aspirations and goals, as they will learn
and be inspired by the lessons from Olympians and athletes including John Carlos, Kevin Young,
Andre Phillips, Rey Brown, Ed Miller, James Robinson, and Marilyn King. While the emphasis is
on track and field events, the lessons on focus, determination, and success will apply to any
area of interest.

When asked about his motivation for what could be considered such a vast undertaking, Hart said
that he has had his moments of glory, and now it is his turn to give back to his community, so
other young people will have their chance to achieve their own goals.

Hart recalls that his former coach, Bert Bonanno from Central Junior High, was one of the best
examples of a positive influence in his life. He was Hart's first "real" coach, and spent a good deal
of time not only coaching his team but taking the steps and gathering the needed support to raise
the level of the team's performance and recognition.

Hart learned from example about the difference a dedicated adult can make in the life of young
athletes, so he has taken extra steps to provide a program that will address the many needs of today's
youth. The clinic will have a unique highlight on education with representatives from UC Berkeley,
JFK University, and Los Medanos College on hand to provide information and help in dealing with issues
surrounding college acceptance, financing, student loans, and admission requirements.

Another emotional and exciting event for Hart will be reuniting with Olympic relay team member
Gerald Tinker whom he has not seen in 34 years. Tinker ran the third leg of 100-meter relay, passing
the baton to Hart, who ran the final leg for the winning team. Tinker will be participating in
events leading up to the clinic, which include a celebratory dinner open to the public.

Dinner with the Olympians is a special event designed to celebrate and recognize all the hard work
and efforts of community leaders and volunteers who have come together to make the Olympian Track
Clinic possible.

(Sarah Jacobson is a Pittsburg resident. Her column appears every Monday.
Write to her at sarahpittsburginfo@yahoo.com)




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Cal Footballer Ron Wheatcroft Memorial Service

Ron Wheatcroft, a prominent San Diego real estate developer, died June 22 at Scripps Hospital in La Jolla. He was 69 years old.

Ron was an award-winning athlete at South Pasadena High School and active in student affairs. He was named to the All-CIF football team in 1952 and to basketball teams in 1953 and 1954. In his senior year, he was elected student body president.

He entered Cal in 1954 with both athletic and academic scholarships and became a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity. While majoring in business accounting, he was a 3-year starter on Cal's football team from 1955 through 1957. In his senior year, he earned All-Coast honors and was named Northern California Lineman of the Year by the San Francisco Touchdown Club. He also received the Brick Muller Award as his team's most valuable lineman and the Ken Cotton award for courage. His collegiate play concluded with the East-West Shrine Game on New Year's Day in 1958.

Ron leaves behind his wife, Diana; daughters Julie Wheaton of San Diego and Jill Flyckt of Rancho Santa Fe; son Woods Wheatcroft of Sandpoint, Idaho; seven beloved grandchildren; sister, Donna Diaz of Portland, Oregon; brother, Gary D. Wheatcroft of Pasadena; and devoted nieces and nephews.

A memorial service was held on Thursday, June 30. For those interested in making a donation, the family would welcome donations to the Memorial Stadium Restoration Project, 210 Memorial Stadium, Berkeley, CA 92104




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Cal Football Player Deliberately Run Over By Car
Mike Tepper Deliberately Run Over by Car

 

Mike Tepper rode along Telegraph Avenue, past the spot where he was nearly killed early Sunday morning.

He noticed that blood stains remained on the street along with the skid marks made by the Chrylser used to run him over.

Those were sobering reminders of a harrowing incident that left Tepper, a freshman offensive tackle with a broken fibula, a dislocated right tibia, and severe ligament damage. Those injuries seem minor given that Tepper had been run over twice.

Tepper and a friend, former Cal volleyball player Camille Leffall, were crossing Telegraph and Dwight when the Chrysler pulled alongside and the occupants began verbally hitting on Camille. Tepper said, “Hey, we’re just going to meet some friends. Can we just get by?”

As Tepper and Leffall tried to cross behind the car, the vehicle was shifted into reverse and headed toward them. Tepper, fearing for Camille’s safety, threw her out of the direct path of the car.

Leffall said, “We both got hit, but Mike got run over. If he hadn’t pushed me out of the way, I probably would have had my foot amputated.”

And then the driver ran over Tepper again, crushing his right leg.

An alert Berkeley Police lieutenant called for assistance for Tepper and pursued the Chrysler.

Leffall said there were five occupants; the police managed to apprehend four of them.

Because of his injuries and subsequent surgery, Tepper won’t be able to play football for the Golden Bears this year. But, he said, the quick response by Berkeley Police saved his life.

Tuesday morning, Tepper had surgery. A plate and 9 screws were inserted in his leg. He won’t be able to put pressure on his leg for 8 months. In 2006, he can start running.

Tepper’s father, Gus Tepper of Cypress, said he will keep checking with the Alameda County DA’s office to make sure the driver’s are prosecuted.

Although outraged by the incident, he said he isn’t surprised his son acted in such a heroic manner. “I am proud of him,” Gus Tepper said. “This could have been a very ugly situation. But in other situations, Mike has done the same thing. At parties, if some guy is getting picked on, Mike will get in the way.”

“To tell the truth, I don’t know how I did it,” Tepper said. “I just reacted.”

“I credit that to Coach Jeff Tedford. He teaches us how to be football players with class. He just doesn’t teach us football, he teaches us character, how to be men.”



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Big C Grants Sports Fund Requests
The Big C Society recently approved the following Sports Fund Grant Requests.
  • Men's and Women's Soccer-Game Day Goals ($3,868.00)
  • Men's Swimming-Digital Underwater Camera ($909.00)
  • Field Hockey-Camera Equipmente(balance) ($3383.00)
  • Men's Gymnastics-Digital Camera & Monitor ($1,200)

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    Bill Alexander

    William "Bill" Alexander, guard on the championship squad, has had a very successful post-Cal career.

    Upon graduation with a degree in Physical Education in 1961, he was accepted to UCSF (University of California at San Francisco [medical center]).

    Five years later, he received his D.D.S (Doctor in Dental Surgery) from the UCSF School of Dentistry.

    That same year (1966), he married Barbara Grant.

    In 1968, he received an M.S.D (Master of Science in Dentistry) from the Indiana School of Dentistry in Indianopolis, Indiana.

    Lisa Michelle was born in 1971. The next year, a son, Michael Sean was born.

    For nearly 40 years (1966-2005), Bill has maintained his dental practice (Dentistry for Children) in Millbrae, California.

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    Neophyte Notes on Rugby

    My first Rugby Match


    I watched Cal beat Navy on Friday, April 29, 2005. It was my first rugby match; I'm 64. I've led a very sheltered life.

    On Friday morning, I had breakfast with a colleague, Frank, who played rugby for St. Mary's College. Using sugar packets and cream containers, he laid out the positioning of the 15 players.

    Frank also laid a bunch of terms on me (like "scrums" and "trys") which I tried to remember. He said if I watched the match as if it were a big game of 'keep-away' it might make more sense.

    At 12:30, I traveled across the San Mateo bridge to Stanford University. I got to the rugby facility just in time to see the Stanford women's team beat Princeton.

    The Cal-Navy game started at 2 PM just as advertised. In fact, one of the obvious aspects of a rugby game appears to be its crispness. A 40-minute first half, a 10 minute halftime (just enough time to hit the bathroom) and then another 40 minute second half. 90 minutes-an hour and a half- and you're out of there. You still have time to get things done during the rest of the day.

    Football may be a derivative of rugby but there's certainly more 'foot' in rugby than in football. Guys are kicking the ball all over the place. Kicking off, kicking to advance the ball, kicking it for defensive purposes, kicking to score 3 points, kicking to score 2 points (for what I call a PAT (Points After Try).

    The game moves with such quickness that you have to be awake or you'll miss something. The 'PAT' and the ensuing 'kickoff' occur immediately after the Try; no time for commercials.

    I was surprised at the "Makers-Takers" aspect of action after a Try. It appears as if after making a Try, you get the ball back!

    Now to those who know rugby, I may be getting some (or all) of this wrong, but these are my first-game/match observations.

    I found it odd that you can kick the ball out of bounds and yet still be the team that throws it in.

    My preconception of a rugby game was seeing a bunch of men huddled ('scrum') around an impending toss of a ball. This happened but it was much more interesting than I thought it would be.

    Occasionally the ball would go out of bounds near where I was sitting. I saw the players' faces, their eyes, and their breathing. These guys are in shape; maybe even in better (running) shape than soccer players.

    At breakfast, I asked Frank how many referees there were (considering there are 30 players on the field at one time). He said one. (And two sideline officials.) I said how can one official 'see' all that needs to be seen. He told me there's much 'self-policing' going on in a rugby match. He also told me that the referee has no compunction about tossing a player (or a coach) who 'protests too much'. In fact I saw the Navy coach yelling at one of the sideline officials; the official said, "One more comment and you're outta here".

    Although there was a lot I didn't quite understand, it certainly didn't take away from the pleasure of watching.

    Maybe not all rugby games are as enjoyable as the one I saw. After all, it was an NCAA semi-final game. But I thoroughly enjoyed this match, my very first...but definitely not my last!

    Dan Lufkin, Captain UC Golden Bear Basketball Team, 1964
    [currently, Big C Society Web Page Manager]

    Go Bears !!

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    Al Buch Memorial

    Memorial for Allan E. Buch

    There were many family members and friends in attendance for the celebration of the life of Al Buch (1937-2005)

    A good portion of Newell Court was filled with people coming to pay their respects to and honor Al Buch.

    Rabbi Steven Chester opened the service with a prayer from Ecclesiastes. An opening tribute to his older brother was paid by Shel Buch. This was followed by comments from Mike Simon.

    "You Are the New Day" was sung by Perfect Fifth, UC Choral Ensembles.

    Jerry Ross and Robert M. Berdahl related their experiences and relationship with Al.

    "Why Did I Choose You" was sung beautifully by Darice Richman Cooper.

    Additional tributes were paid by Herbie Friedman and Phil Levin, followed by the singing of "All the Things You Are" by the Perfect Fifth.

    Ned Averbuch, a member of the 1959 Championship Team, then asked all of the teammates present from that team to come to the front of the assemblage. He then read from a letter from coach Pete Newell who was unable to attend due to recovering from an operation.

    The final tribute was wonderfully paid by Al's son Jeff.

    Rabbi Chester closed the proceedings and the Perfect Fifth sang "Hail to California"

    Following the service, a reception was held in the Club Room of Haas Pavilion

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    Second only to Harvard !!

    The University of California at Berkeley ranks as the second-best university in the world in a new listing of top colleges compiled by a London publication.

    Berkeley is the top-rated public university and trails only Harvard in the "World University Rankings" published by the Times Higher, the higher education supplement of the London Times.

    The list ranks the top 200 universities in the world. The top 10 are:

    1. Harvard

    2. UC Berkeley

    3. MIT

    4. California Institute of Technology

    5. Oxford University

    6. Cambridge University

    7. Stanford University

    8. Yale University

    9. Princeton University

    10. ETH Zurich

    American universities dominate the top 10 on the list with MIT and CIT in third and fourth place, respectively. Stanford University is ranked seventh, followed by Yale and Princeton at eighth and ninth.

    Seven of the University of California' nine campuses are listed in the top 200.

    UC President Robert Dynes aid the campuses' ratings illustrate the high

    academic regard UC enjoys throughout the world.

    U.S. News and World Report's annual "America's Best Colleges" is perhaps the best-known in the US. That list routinely ranks UC Berkeley as the nations best public university.

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    Hall of Fame Banquet...
    Hall of Fame Banquet... .........a HUGE success

    With over 600 people in attendance (the largest ever), Bill Bailey and Roxy Bernstein presided over the induction of eight great University of California athletes.

    Held at the Greek Orthodox Church in Oakland the event began at 6 p.m. with a cocktail reception (there were so many people in attendance one of the bar facilities had to be moved outside!). After a wonderful dinner of either salmon or prime rib, Bill Bailey opened the induction ceremonies with a few words and then introduced our new athletic director, Sandy Barbour. Roxy Bernstein then took over and the presentation of the current crop of inductees began.

    Six of the eight inductees were in attendance and spoke on their own behalf. Davie Williams spoke for his father Arleigh and Frank Fiscalini spoke for his brother John.

    Sarah Anderson Swimming 1988-1991

    One of the best mid-to-long distance swimmers in Cal history, Sarah still holds school records for the 1,650 yard (16:10.33 in 1988) and 1,000 yard (9:46.08 in 1991) freestyle events-the only two freestyle categories to withstand the talents of three-time Swimmer of the Year Natalie Coughlin in school annals. In addition, the 21-time All-American curently ranks second in the 200 and third in the 500 freestyle events in California history. During her tenure at Cal, she placed in the top three at the NCAA meet four times finishing third in the 1,650 in 1988, second in the 200 free in 1991, and third in both the 1,650 free and 500 free in '91. Anderson was voted Pac-10 Swimmer of the Year in 1989, when she claimed conference crowns in the 200, 500, and 1,650 freestyle races. As a senior, she also earned national and Pac-10 All-Academic honors.

    Kirk Everist Water Polo 1985-1988

    A three-time All-American who led the Golden Bears to back-to-back NCAA championships in 1987-88, Everist was named Collegiate Player of the Year and NCAA Tournament MVP during his senior campaign in 1988. Now Cal's head water polo coach, Everist was a key member of the U.S. Olympic teams that placed fourth at the 1992 Barcelona Games and seventh at the 1996 Atlanta Games. He also represented the United States at the World University Games in 1991, and at the Pan American Games in both 1991 and 1995. In all, Everist logged nine years (1988-1996) with the U.S. National Team.

    John Fiscalini Baseball 1946-1948

    Fiscalini, who played left field on Cal's baseball team from 1945-48, enjoyed one of the finest seasons in school history in 1947. During that junior year, he earned both All-America and All-District 8 accolades after batting .414 and leading the Bears to the NCAA championship in the first-ever College World Series in Kalamazoo, Michigan. One of the most feared hitters of his era, Fiscalini was often walked intentionally during his Cal career

    Bob Milano Baseball(Coach) 1978-1999

    Retiring from California after the 1999 season, Bob completed his baseball coaching career with the most victories (688) in the program's history. Prior to notification of his induction into the California Athletic Hall of Fame, his crowning moment came last year when he became only the fourth person in Cal baseball history to have his game jersey (Number 7) retired. During his illustrious 22-year stint as Cal's head coach, Milano was name Pac-10 Coach of the Year twice (1980 and 1992) and coached 12 college All-Americans. He directed the Bears to three College World Series appearances (1980, 1988, and 1992), six NCAA Regional berths and the 1980 Pac-10 Southern Division title. His 1980 club finished third at the College World Series. A member of the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee, Milano served as head coach of the U.S. National Team in 1997 and was an assistant coach on the U.S. Olympic Team in 1988. Part of the Cal baseball program as a player, assistant coach, and head coach during a period that spanned 29 years, he also held the position of athletic director at Cal from 1974-1978. Currently, Bob remains active in the Big C society functioning as its executive secretary.

    Hardy Nickerson Football 1983-1986

    An All Pac-10 selection who played 16 seasons in the National Football League, Nickerson was named to the Pro Bowl five times during his professional career. For three straight seasons (1984-1986), Nickerson led the Golden Bears in tackles and was voted the team's Most Valuable Player. A first team All Pac-10 selection as a senior, he reeled off 141 tackles in 1984, 167 in 1985, and 132 in 1986. His 167 tackles during his junior year remains a Cal single season record, while his 501 career tackles rank second in school history. A fifth round draft pick by Pittsburgh in 1987, Nickerson played six seasons with the Steelers. He joined Tampa Bay in 1993, becoming the Buccaneers' number 2 career tackle leader with 1,028 stops in seven campaigns. Nickerson, who ended his pro career with brief stops in Jacksonville (2000-2001) and Green Bay (2002) was named to the 1990's NFL All-Decade second team in 2000.

    Harvey Salem Football 1979-1982

    Salem, a four-year starting offensive tackle at Cal from 1979-1982, earned both first team All-America and Academic All-America honors his senior season. A two-time first team All Pac-10 selection, Harvey played on Joe Kapp's 7-4 team in 1982-a year that featured "The Play" in the now-famous Big Game. Drafted in the second round by Houston, Salem played 10 seasons in the NFL with the Oilers (1983-1985), Detroit Lions (1986-1991) and Denver Broncos (1991-1992). He was a member of the 1991 Bronco team that claimed the Western Division title and advanced to the AFC Championship game. Salem, who also set the eighth-best shot put mark (58'-0.5 in) in Cal track history in 1982, currently serves as a teacher and assistant football and track coach at nearby Albany High School.

    Frank "Bud" Van Deren Football 1947-1948

    A 1948 first team All-Conference end who later was voted a member of Pappy Waldorf's All-Time Team on both offense and defense, Van Deren played on Cal teams that posted a 19-2 record during his two seasons (1947-1948). Also selected on Cal's Centennial Team-along with teammates Jackie Jensen and Rod Franz-he starred on a 1948 squad that registered a 10-1 mark and earned a share of the Pacific Coast Conference championship. That 1948 team lost 20-14 to Northwestern in the 1949 Rose Bowl. Van Deren also coached on Waldorf's Rose Bowl teams of 1950 and 1951. He returned to Cal in the '60's to coach on Ray Willsey's staff and later served as head coach at Humboldt State for 26 years.

    Arleigh Williams Football/Baseball 1932-1935

    Arleigh Williams is one of the storied names in both Cal athletics and academics. He starred in both football and baseball in the 1930's and later served 20 years at the university in student-related capacities that included Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs (1970-1976), Dean of Students (1967-1970), Dean of Men (1959-1966) and Director of Student Activities (1957-1959). Arleigh earned both first team All-America and first team All-Coast honors as a senior halfback in 1934. He remains the Bears' number 17 all-time career rusher with 1,404 yards on 526 carries. He was also a fine punter; he still owns the fifth-longest punt in Cal history, a 72-yarder against USC in 1933. While individual statistics are unavailable, Williams lettered on the 1934 and 1935 Cal baseball teams. Both of these teams finished first in the conference combining for a 45-15-1 record during that period.

    Many thanks to the work put in by Storrie Johnson, Lynn Lippstreu and many others who contributed to the success of this event.

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    --> Newell and Wooden An Evening With Two Legends of Basketball

    [This article was written by Jeff Faraudo of the Argus on October 14, 2004]

    Steve Lavin called them "half of the Mt. Rushmore of basketball, the equivalent of Lincoln and Jefferson," except that John Wooden and Pete Newell have outlived those presidents by a combined 44 years.

    Carvings on the side of a mountain will have to wait, thankfully. Wooden and Newell are still with us, and even as they perhaps shrink a bit physically, they remain larger than life.

    Wooden, who turned 94 years old on October 14th, and Newell, 89, first coached against each other 50 years ago this season. They were adversaries then, Wooden's teams winning the first seven matchups, Newell's squads the final eight in a row.

    Today, quite clearly, they are dear friends.

    On Saturday, October 9th, in about as good a way as anyone could think of to christen the imminent start of another college basketball season, the two gentlemen entertained - and awed - an audience of several hundred during "An Evening with the Legends," a fund-raising dinner at Cal State Monterey Bay.

    Even University president Dr. Peter Smith appeared starstruck as he welcomed the two great coaches and teachers. "To have you here," he said, "is astonishing to me."

    It was quite a scene, Wooden, winner of 10 NCAA titles in 12 years, sharing the stage with Newell, who took Cal to the 1959 NCAA title and guided the U.S. to the 1960 Olympic gold medal, then quit coaching but never abandoned the game.

    Wooden, who treasured quickness above all other athletic traits, now walks with the help of a cane. But neither his wit nor his wisdom has lost a step. Born just a year after the introduction of Henry Ford's Model T, Wooden still does four or five speaking engagements each month.

    Newell, for whom men's and women's scholarship endowments have been created at CSUMB, remains gregarious and tireless. His famed summer Big Man's Camp is entering its second quarter-century.

    Lynn Shackleford, who played for Wooden and worked for Newell with the Los Angeles Lakers, alluded to the differences in the men, stemming from their respective roots in Indiana and California.

    "The first thing you learned about John Wooden is you are different than him, and probably always will be," said Shackleford, who played alongside Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) at UCLA from 1967 to '69, "I could always picture coach Wooden feeding the chickens on his boyhood farm.

    "I could never picture Pete Newell body-surfing in the Pacific."

    With Lavin, the former UCLA coach and current ESPN analyst, serving as moderator, Wooden and Newell kept the audience rapt with 90 minutes of anecdotes and observations. With 183 years to cover, the time went too quickly.

    Here's some of what they had to say:

    Wooden on the failures of the U.S. Olympic basketball team in Athens: "It seems to me that we sent individuals to the Games, when the other countries sent teams."

    Newell on changes the U.S. Olympic basketball program should make: The Olympic team should live in the (athletes) village. My (1960) team stood in line for meals and slept four to a room. But they got to mingle with the other athletes. Now, to me, it's just another road trip for the NBA."

    Wooden on coaching vs. talent: "I'm not foolish enough to say any coach could win with talent. But no coach can win without talent."

    Wooden on the decline of fundamentals: "I actually believe the better women's teams are more fundamentally sound than the men."

    Newell on the dunk shot: "It's thrilling to fans, but killing to coaches.:

    Newell on growing up the youngest of eight children: "I was 14 before I knew anything more than the neck of turkey.:

    Wooden on academics: "Lewis (Alcindor) came to my office one day to show me some good grades he had gotten. He was feeling pretty proud of himself. I said, 'Isn't that what you're here for, Lewis?"

    Newell on Cal's 75-55 loss to Ohio State in the 1960 NCAA title game, his final game as the Bear's coach: "We didn't get back to the hotel until 1:30 in the morning after the semifinal game and we hadn't eaten. I made a terrible mistake the next morning (before the championship game) - I got them up at 11 a.m. "We were a step behind the whole game. They were a great team. I still would have liked to have played them on a good night's sleep."

    Newell on how the pressure of games led to his retirement at age 44: "I chewed on one end of a towel and yelled into the other. We all live in our certain kind of hell as coaches.:

    Wooden on his most memorable victory and defeat: "My most memorable game was the very last game, (the NCAA championship game) in 1975 vs. Kentucky. We weren't the favorite, and there's always more pleasure in doing the unexpected. The toughest loss was the double-overtime game to North Carolina State (in the NCAA semifinals) the year before that. To this day, I think I lost that for us. You'll notice I picked games from my last two years. You see, I'm going to be 94 years old, and I don't remember so many of the other ones.:

    And he laughed

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    Darall Imhoff
    " Olympic Games Were Hoop Dream for Darrall Imhoff"

    Months after leading CAL to its second straight Final Four appearance, Imhoff and Golden Bears coach Pete Newell are part of perhaps the greatest amateur basketball team in history. Oscar Robertson and Jerry West are among 10 future NBA players that lead the U.S. to its fifth straight gold medal. Darrall Imhoff's toughest moment involving the Olympics ? It probably came in 1996 when the former CAL and NBA basketball player was invited to carry the Olympic torch as it passed through Portland, Oregon. Imhoff was 59 at the time, and when the man assigned to run the next stretch of the relay was held up in traffic, Imhoff had to run a double leg.

    Imhoff and his Olympic teammates faced no such challenge back in 1960 in Rome, where they showed themselves to be perhaps the greatest amateur basketball team of all-time.

    Imagine this roster: Oscar Robertson, Jerry West, Jerry Lucas, Walt Bellamy, Bob Boozer. Nine future NBA players in all. And directed by one of history's greatest coaches - Pete Newell. "Are you kidding…that was a dream," Imhoff said.

    Imhoff, of course, played center for Newell on CAL's 1959 NCAA championship team and on the '60 squad that lost to Ohio State in the national title game.

    The basketball Olympic trials in those days were a dogfight involving top collegians along with veteran players from semi-pro AAU teams, which had great clout in the selection process. The team was so good that future Hall of Famers John Havlicek and Lenny Wilkins were left off the roster, their spots given to AAU players.

    After training at the West Point Academy, the team promptly lost its first game to the AAU's Cleveland Pipers. "We were just getting organized," Imhoff said, "After that, we didn't have a problem." Newell, who ran such a meticulous program at CAL, saw his role as Olympic coach as providing basic defensive structure but otherwise giving his talent-laden team a loose rein. "Pete got us ready to play," Imhoff said.

    Robertson and Lucas each averaged 17.0 points, West 13.8 and Imhoff contributed 4.8 per game as the American squad blitzed the field in Rome. In the semifinal round vs. Yugoslavia, the Americans led 32-1 on the way to a 104-42 win. In the final vs. Brazil, it was 41-14 after 14 minutes. The USA team finished 8-0, won every game by at least 24 points and outscored its foes by an average score of 102-59. Newell did his only serious coaching at halftime of a game against the Soviets, when his team led by just five points. "We put a full-court press on them," Imhoff said, "and in two minutes we had a 20 point lead."

    As exciting as it was to collect his gold medal, Imhoff said the highlight of the Games was coming out of the tunnel into the coliseum in Rome for the opening ceremonies. "You cannot believe the roar that came out of that place. It was like a jet," Imhoff said, "It was the greatest thrill of my life."

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    Stan Morrison

    Stan Morrison was born in Lynwood, California and attended Bellflower High School. His first love in athletics was baseball (1st base) and track and field (sprints and long jump). He didn't play basketball until his freshman year at Bellflower high school as a 5' 8" "D Team" player. He played 2 years of Varsity and graduated as a 6' 5" center and student body president. Today he stands 6' 8" tall.

    Nationally known for his work as a head basketball coach and as an athletics administrator, Stan Morrison has led the Highlanders of the University of California, Riverside in the transition to Division I. Morrison joined UCR in August 1999, an appointment that chancellor Raymond L. Orbach described as "one of the most significant in UCR's distinguished athletics history." Since then, he has worked tirelessly through the transition period. It is a challenge he has taken on with relish.

    Morrison was a center on the University of California, Berkeley basketball team as the Bears won the NCAA title in 1959 and were runners-up in 1960. The team has remained very close over the years holding reunions every 5 years, and now annually, on Coach Pete Newell's birthday each August in the Rancho Santa Fe area. Players and their spouses attend the gatherings coming from as far north as Bothall, Washington (Dick Doughty), as far west as Kailua, Hawaii (Dr. Bob Nemechek) and as far east as England (Captain, Al Buch). The majority of the team resides in the Bay Area/Northern California: (Assistant Coaches - Rene Herrerias and Rupe Ricksen, Manager - George Hill, Jim Langley, Ned Averbuck, Denny Bertlesman, Joe Kapp, Herb Friedman, Duane Asplund, Earl Robinson, Bob Dalton, Bert Mastrov, Bill McClintock, Bernie Simpson, Dave Stafford, Bob Wendell, Dr. Bill Alexander, Jim Barrons), and southern California (Dr. Earl Shultz, Tandy Gillis, Don McIntosh, Dennis Fitzpatrick, Jerry Mann, Wally Torkells, John Wible). Darrall Imhoff (Eugene, Oregon), Joe Hagler (Liberty Lake, Washington), Ed Pearson (Houston, Texas), George Sterling (Seattle, Washington), and Bob Wueste (Long Island, New York) round out the roster of the growing team.

    After earning a bachelor's degree in physical education in 1961, Morrison was a European All-Star and helped the Real Madrid team to the European Cup finals in 1962. He returned to Cal in 1962 as a graduate assistant to Rene Herrerias and played AAU basketball for the San Francisco Olympic Club, earning All-American honors.

    Morrison's first collegiate head coaching position was at the University of the Pacific (1972-79) where he led the Tigers to the Pacific Coast Athletic Association championship and a berth in the NCAA Tournament in 1979. He moved to the University of Southern California for seven seasons (1979-86) and led the Trojans to the NCAA Tournament in 1982, then repeated the feat in 1985 after USC won a share of the PAC-10 championship. He had a 7-7 record against rival UCLA , the highest winning percentage of any USC basketball coach.

    In 1986 Morrison was appointed Director of Athletics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. While at UCSB (1986-89), he was administrator over the Gauchos 21-sport athletics program, helped raise significant funds annually for UCSB Athletics and served on the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament Committee. In 1989, he returned to the coaching ranks at San Jose State University, guiding the Spartans for nine years (1989-98). His stay in San Jose was highlighted by a Big West Co-Championship in 1994, and the Big West Tournament Championship, NCAA bid, and his first round match-up with Rick Pitino's Kentucky Wildcats, the eventual NCAA Champion in 1996. He is one of a handful of coaches to take three different schools to the NCAA Tournament, and the only individual in NCAA basketball history to do it with three different schools from the same state.

    Upon leaving San Jose State, Morrison served as a personal coach and consultant to former Los Angeles Laker center Shaquille O'Neal. He continues to work as a color commentator for PAC-10 and West Coast Conference basketball for FOX Sports Net/Bay Area and KRON, and is vice president of The Dudeck Group, Inc. "Effectiveness Coaching for High Achieving Individuals." Morrison is Chairman of the Board of High Five America which combats drug/alcohol abuse and gang violence. He is also President of the Board of Trustees for Olive Crest Homes and Services for Abused Children and Families. He serves on the Inland Empire Executive Board for Boy Scouts of America and is an ex-officio member of the UCR Board of Trustees. Morrison serves also with The Unforgettables to give dignified burials to children from circumstances of poverty. He is a member of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Issues Committee. Morrison is a frequent speaker to business, industrial and educational organizations on topics of Leadership, Communication and Team Building.

    Morrison married the former Jessica MacKenzie (UC Berkeley 1962) and they have two children, Eric and Kristy. Their four grandchildren - Hope Rosalie Morrison (8), Jesse MacDonald Morrison (5), Ryan Patrick Kelson (5),and Sean MacKenzie Kelson (1) are the focus of their free time. Stan andJessica reside in Riverside, California.

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    Bill McClintock Although Bill McClintock was an All-City basketball player from Wisconsin, some local coaches (Marquette in particular) felt he was not good enough to play Division One basketball (Bill still enjoys flashing his NCAA championship watch when in the company of these people.). Bill McClintock - Big # 42 In 1957, he was working in a foundry in Milwaukee when a friend of Pete Newell suggested to Pete that he consider Bill playing at Cal. Pete sent Bill a letter inquiring if he would be interested in coming to California to play basketball and go to school. Bill freely admits he often had a tendency to let the former get in the way of the latter, but with Pete's guidance, Bill became the first in his family to attend and graduate from college, as all of Pete's players did. Bill paid his own way to get to California and enrolled in Monterey Peninsula College where initially coaches thought he was there to play football. He transferred to Cal the following year and, as a sophomore, was a starter on the 1959 Championship team that defeated Cincinnati (Oscar Robertson) and West Virginia (Jerry West) for the NCAA championship. In Bill's junior year, Cal again reached the NCAA championship game beating Cincinati in the semi-final game and then losing to Ohio State the following night. (Cal played the second semi-final game on Friday finishing late in the evening.

    At this time, the semi-final and final games were played Friday-Saturday. Pete Newell was instrumental in changing the format providing for a separation day between semi-final and championship games.)

    The next (1961) year, Pete Newell became the athletic director and Bill was a senior on Rene Herrerias' first Cal team. During this year, Bill set a conference rebounding record (16%). (A few years later (1967), Bill was pleased to see the San Francisco Chronicle report that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (then Lew Alcindor) broke Bill's Pac-8 conference rebounding record.)

    After finishing at Cal, Bill was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers. (Other notable players drafted that year were: Walt Bellamy, Larry Siegfried, Johnny Egan, Doug Moe, Bill Bridges, and Kevin Loughery. Earl Schultz, also on the '59 championship, was drafted that year.)

    Bill's 'post-playing' days have been in education (both basketball and academics). He was an administrator in Milpitas, a coach at Bellarmine High School, an assistant coach under Bob Gaillard at USF, during a year in which USF reached the 'sweet-16' of the NCAA tournament. He was an assistant under Stan Morrison at San Jose State University. Bill was a continuation school principal in Los Altos for over 15 years and was instrumental in helping many 'at-risk' students turn their lives around. He is currently at California State University, Monterey Bay where he was the men's basketball coach and now is the assistant athletic director.

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    Wesley Walker

    Wesley Walker was born without vision in his left eye. "I thought it would keep me from playing sports, so I never mentioned it," Walker said. "My eye began drifting when I was 14. I wore dark glasses all the time, never looked anybody in the eye." He went through a standout career at Cal without anyone knowing. Walker still holds Cal records for most yards receiving in a game and longest reception for a touchdown. The New York Jets discovered his impairment. "At my physical, they realized I couldn't read an eye chart," Walker said. That didn't stop him from playing 13 years in the NFL, averaging 19.0 yards per catch on 438 receptions and scoring 71 touchdowns.

    Andy Solari took part in graduation ceremonies May 20, 2005 at Cal. He received a bachelor's degree with a dual major in history and political science. On hand was a special guest, Wesley Walker. Solari and Walker have something in common: sight in just one eye. They have bonded in their half-sightedness.

    Solari was born with a cataract on his right eye. He underwent surgery when he was 3 months old and another to alleviate the condition, but by the third grade he started having difficulties seeing. Doctors at UC San Francisco thought the scar tissue from the previous operations was the problem. However, removing scar tissue from the retina was not easy. They had to pull the retina from its natural location, insert a silicone bubble, push it against the eye and hope it would reattach. The procedures didn't work. By the time Solari was in fourth grade he had undergone six surgeries and doctors told him there was nothing more they could do.

    He lost the sight in his right eye. "That was a hard time for me and my family," said Solari, a San Carlos native whose father, Rob, is head of the science department at Serra High. "I loved playing baseball and football. How was I going to play sports?"

    Shortly after his son had lost his sight, Rob Solari was driving to work listening to John Madden on the radio when the subject of pro athletes with impaired vision came up. Walker was mentioned, as was Fred Arbanas and others. He wrote a letter to Walker, and soon after his phone at work rang. "My office is attached to my classroom," Rob Solari said. "I usually never answer the phone in class. This time I answered it. Wesley Walker was on the line, asking what he could do to help. Rob asked if Andy could give him a call once he got home from school. Meanwhile, Rob went to the sports card shop and bought every Wesley Walker card he could find, to bring Andy up to date on a player who had retired when he was 5 years old.

    "I was really nervous before I called," Andy said. "But then we talked for 45 minutes, like with someone I'd known my whole life. He wrote me a real nice hand-written letter. I read it every night. I still have it at home and read it whenever I go home." "My dad told me I'd never seen him play. The next day a package arrived with videotape of him playing. I talked to him every day and started feeling better."

    Walker soon felt better as well, stunned at the impact he could make. "I didn't realize how I could help people, be an inspiration to people," Walker said. "I was just taken back. That was an inspiration to me. Andy is the story. He went through seven surgeries. To lose his vision, to be born with it and lose it is much harder than what I went through. It was easier for me being born without sight."

    Three years later the Solari family took a family trip to New York City and Washington D.C. Walker had continued to live on Long Island after his career with the Jets was over. "We asked Wesley if we could take him out to dinner," Andy said. "He left a message asking, "Why don't you come to my house instead. " We had a barbecue by the pool, went to the beach and the driving range. He was just so nice."

    Solari continued to play sports. He played baseball until eight grade, then ran track and cross country at Serra. Whe it was time to pick a college, he wanted to go to Cal because that's where Walker went. Graduation day arrived, and Solari asked Walker if he could attend. "For him to fly me out there is just overwhelming for me," said Walker, now an elementary school teacher in Dix Hills, Long Island. "I hope I can have half the impact on one person as he has had one me," Solari said. "He's my hero. This is the best graduation present I could ever imagine."

    The Big C Society ®  Copyright 2009

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