Sunday Locals: WSU great Puidokas selected for Pac-12 honor
The late Steve Puidokas, a Washington State men’s basketball great who set five school records during his career between 1973-77, is one of 12 who will be inducted into the Pac-12 Hall of Honor during the 2012 Pacific Life Pac-12 men’s tournament March 7-10 in Los Angeles.
Puidokas, who ignited a turnaround in WSU basketball fortunes as a freshman in 1973-74, became the first basketball player and only the second student-athlete in WSU history to have his jersey number (55) retired when he was honored on Feb. 26, 1977.
He left WSU as the Cougars’ all-time leading scorer with 1,894 points and its all-time leading rebounder with 992. He was named second-team All-Pacific-8 four straight years, was twice on All-West Coast teams (second as a senior, third as a freshman) and twice was named a District 8 all-star (freshman and senior).
At the end of his career, Puidokas ranked fourth on the all-time Pac-8 list in scoring and seventh in rebounding. As a sophomore, he set school records with 42 points against Gonzaga and a 22.4-points-per- game season average and led the Pacific-8 in scoring and ranked second in rebounding.
Puidokas still holds the WSU career marks for scoring average (18.6 points per game), field goals (734) and rebounds, and is in the top five in four other categories.
Following his tenure at WSU, Puidokas was the 13th pick in the third round of the 1976 NBA He was drafted by the Washington Bullets, but when he couldn’t get guaranteed money, he moved to Europe, where he played professionally for 14 years in Italy. That’s where he married, and died in 1994 at age 40 of a heart attack.
Joining Puidokas as this year’s Hall of Honor inductees are Richard Jefferson (Arizona), Kurt Nimphius (Arizona State), Lamond Murray (California), Burdette Haldorson (Colorado), Jim Barnett (Oregon), A.C. Green (Oregon State), George Selleck (Stanford), Ed O’Bannon (UCLA), Sam Barry (USC), Arnie Ferrin (Utah) and George Irvine (Washington).
Allison Walker, a 6-foot-1 sophomore outside hitter at Idaho, competed in the USA Women’s Volleyball National Team open tryout at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., last week.
Walker was one of 208 collegiate players at the tryout. Because she has college eligibility remaining, Walker is not eligible to earn a spot on the USA National team, but she can be selected to train with the national team, or earn a spot on one of four USA Women’s Senior A2 teams, which will compete at the USA Girls Junior National Championships in July.
Walker represented the USA at the China-USA Challenge Invitational tournament in China last summer.
• Five athletes with area ties have been named to United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) 2011 All-Academic cross country teams.
To be eligible, a student-athlete must have a 3.25 grade-point average or better in Divisions I and II and 3.30 or better in Division III, and place high in an NCAA regional or national championship event.
Andrew Kimpel, a Washington State sophomore from North Central with a 3.29 GPA in management information systems, and Hannah Kiser, a sophomore at Idaho, were named to Division I teams. Mary Rogers, a Western Washington junior from Shadle Park, was selected to the D-II team. And Whitworth juniors Joy Shufeldt and Trevor Berrian were honored at the D-III level.
• Senior forward Cliff Ederaine of the men’s basketball team and women’s junior center Carrie Ojeda were selected the Eastern Washington athletic department Scholar-Athletes of the Month for February, recognizing their athletic and academic success, based primarily on performances during the previous month.
Ederaine, a transfer from College of the Sequoias in California with a 3.2 GPA, averaged 11.1 points, 8.1 rebounds and shot 49.3 percent from the field as the EWU men went 3-5 in January.
Ojeda, from Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma, Wash., has maintained a 3.57 GPA since last quarter. She averaged 12.1 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and 1.9 steals per game as the women Eagles went 6-2 in January.
Letters of intent
• Carroll women’s soccer: Carissa Yedica, F/D, Mt. Spokane.
• Idaho women’s soccer: Meli Cortez, MF, Salem, Ore.
• Idaho track and field/cross country: Marquita Palmer, women’s middle distance, Weiser, Idaho; Stephanie Rexus, women’s distance, Kamiakin; and Bertrand Alcaraz Garcia, men’s sprinter, Cartagena, Spain.
Sandpoint natives Patrick and Nate Holland placed 10th and 11th, respectively, Thursday in the World Cup Snowboardcross at Blue Mountain Resort near Toronto, Ontario.