Article Image

Bill Bertka, second from left in the back, stopped by the Goleta Boys and Girls Club on Saturday to work with the Goleta Lady Bulls basketball team. (Brea McInnes photo)

The Goleta Lady Bulls had a visitor to their weekend practice, and it wasn’t just any visitor.

Bill Bertka, a Santa Barbara icon and the director of scouting for the Los Angeles Lakers, stopped by the Goleta Boys and Girls Club on Saturday to teach the team the fundamentals of shooting and playing defense.

“All week long, the girls were excited about this, but the energy really exploded once he arrived at the gym,” coach Norman Lowe said.

Parents of the girls were also there to witness the legend speak about how bad habits are created and how to stop them.

As he sat and watched, the team showed him how they run their basketball weave, which left him impressed. Once he came onto the court, all eyes and ears were fixated on him as he shared his knowledge and passion of the game. For more than 90 minutes, he ran them through shooting and defensive drills.

“An exciting and fun part of the practice was he ran them through a four-corner pass and screen drill, which the Lakers use at their daily practices,” Lowe said.

Before he left, he answered questions from the girls, and the smile on his face as he walked out the door showed his love for the game.

Assistant coach Jesse Jimenez, who set up this meeting for the team, said afterward, “This experience is something that the girls will take with them for the rest of their lives.”

Goleta Lady Bulls team members are Hallie Magee, Jordyn Lilly, Nicole Rea, Gwennie McInnes, Devan Staggs, Brandy Jimenez, Cassandra Sanchez, Angie Arzate and Maisie Schulman. Martin Lilly is an assistant coach.

Norman Lowe is a coach and parent for the Goleta Lady Bulls.