Frank Burgess, the Gonzaga University All-American who led NCAA Division I men’s basketball in scoring in 1961 with a 32.4 points-per-game average, was one of six former players and two coaches inducted into the inaugural West Coast Conference Hall of Honor Saturday in Las Vegas.
The induction was held in conjunction with the 23rd annual WCC basketball tournament. Those honored will be introduced at halftime of the first men’s semifinal game today at 6:30 p.m. that features Gonzaga.
Each of the conference’s eight schools is represented in the first class.
Others are Hank Gathers of Loyola Marymont, the conference’s first two-time men’s basketball tournament MVP; 1991 and 1992 men’s basketball All-American and conference MVP Doug Christie from Pepperdine; and head coach Clive Charles, who led Portland’s men’s and women’s soccer teams to 439 victories, 20 national playoff berths, 13 league titles and a national championship.
Also, Santa Clara men’s basketball coach and former athletic director Carroll Williams; Tom Meschery, who concluded his collegiate basketball career as Saint Mary’s leading rebounder and 12th-leading scorer; former San Diego basketball captain and MVP Bernie Bickerstaff, who later coached the USD men’s team and moved on to coach in the NBA; and San Francisco basketball Hall of Famer Joe Ellis, who played in the World Games.
Burgess, from Eudora, Ark., came to Gonzaga out of the Air Force in 1958. At 6-foot-1, he led the Bulldogs in scoring for three seasons, compiling what is still a school-best 2,196 points in his three years. He scored more than 40 points in a game seven times, including a school-record 52 against UC Davis as a senior.
After two seasons with Hawaii in the professional American Basketball League, he returned to Gonzaga to attend law school and graduated near the top of his class. He has been a federal judge in Tacoma since his appointment in 1994 by President Clinton.
A former member of the athletic department and an alum and longtime contributor will be inducted into the Community Colleges of Spokane Hall of Fame on March 21.
John Blake, who worked in the athletic department for 22 years, and Jon Heimbigner, a member of Spokane Falls Community College’s first graduating class in 1966, join 10 women’s teams in the Class of 2009, CCS announced.
Blake became assistant athletic director in 1988 and served in that capacity until his retirement in 2001. He also served 13 years as an assistant women’s basketball coach and is a member of the Bigfoot Booster Club executive board.
Heimbigner, who played basketball at SFCC, has a statewide reputation for his contributions to the sports community and has successfully played and coached softball and basketball for 35 years. He serves on the Spokane Regional Sports Commission (31 years), Inland Northwest Sports Hall of Fame (chairman, 27 years), State B tournament committee (30 years), and Eastern Washington University Hall of Fame committee (13 years).
Induction ceremonies will be at 5:30 p.m. at the Red Lion River Inn. Tickets are $25.
Info: Nancy Zacher, 533-3630, or NancyZ@spokanefalls.edu.
•Irv Zakheim of Spokane, owner of the Spokane RiverHawks semipro baseball team, was inducted into the Cal State Northridge Hall of Fame during ceremonies last weekend in Northridge along with his teammates on the 1970 Matadors baseball team that compiled a 41-21 record and won the NCAA Division II College World Series.
Spokane officials Randy Burkhart and Mike Peterson are working in the West Coast Conference tournament this weekend in Las Vegas.
Peterson has also been selected to officiate the NCAA Division III Final Four March 20-21 in Salem, Va. It is his second NCAA championship tournament. In 1997 he worked the Division II nationals in Louisville, Ky.
Rebecca Gimeno, a St. George’s graduate who transferred to Concordia University in Portland from Montana Tech for her senior year, was named newcomer of the year in women’s basketball in the Cascade Conference.
The 5-foot-4 guard and two-time conference player of the week averaged 14.0 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.6 assists a game. She was named to the All-Cascade Conference first team and all-defensive team.
•Three area swimmers contributed to the University of Nevada’s third straight Western Athletic Conference championship.
Summer Halwas-Morgan of Nine Mile Falls was second (2 minutes, 13.57 seconds) and Sarah Shields of Lake City was 12th (2:20.5) in the 200-yard breaststroke, and Miranda Moore of University High was ninth (17:18.47) in the 1,650-yard freestyle. All are juniors.
•Chelsi Shaw, a Puget Sound senior guard from Metaline Falls, came off the bench to score 11 points for the Loggers in a 67-58 loss to George Fox in the Northwest Conference women’s basketball tournament championship game last weekend.
Shaw averaged 15.5 minutes, 5.4 points and 1.4 rebounds a game for the 18-9 Loggers.
•Anthony Varnell, a Northwest College sophomore from Lewis and Clark, became a two-time All-American by placing sixth at 149 pounds in the National Junior College Athletic Association national championships last weekend in Rochester, Minn.
•Nick Atwood of Montana State, a junior from East Valley, earned All-Big Sky Conference honors by placing second in the 3,000 meters in the indoor championships last weekend in Flagstaff, Ariz. He also was seventh in the 5,000.
•The Idaho and Washington State women’s cross country teams have been honored by the U.S Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association as Division I All-Academic teams.
Idaho ranked third among 160 schools honored with a 3.730 team grade-point average. WSU was 30th at 3.535.
Track and field
Five high school seniors – one for the men’s team and four for the women’s – have signed national letters of intent to compete for Washington State starting in the fall, Cougars coach Rick Sloan announced.
Slated to join the men’s team is Brett Blanshan, a sprinter from Selah, Wash.
Signing with the women’s team are distance runners Alyssa Andrews from Gig Harbor, Wash., the State 4A cross country champion, and Caroline Austin, Chehalis, Wash.; and high jumpers Holly Parent, Victoria, British Columbia, who tied the B.C. provincial and national youth high jump records by clearing 5 feet, 103/4 inches, and Christine Rice of Ridgefield, Wash.
Kaylee Rector, an All-Greater Spokane League libero from Shadle Park, has signed a letter of intent with Lewis-Clark State College, Warrior assistant coach Burdette Greeny announced.
Rector, a 5-foot-3 defensive specialist who played on the varsity for two seasons, had 504 digs as a senior and helped the Highlanders win the State 3A title this past fall. As a junior, she was All-GSL honorable mention as Shadle placed fifth at the State 4A tournament.
“Kaylee is a good athlete who has sound passing and defensive fundamentals,” Greeny said. “In addition, (she) possesses the capacity to extend rallies. There were a number of times, either watching games live or on video, where she made some unbelievable highlight-tape defensive plays. It’s no surprise to us that she received first-team Greater Spokane League honors.”