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Former UCSB Star Alan Williams Going Into SB Court of Champions

The fourth annual Santa Barbara Court of Champions will have some “Big Sauce” on the program when it honors 10 inductees with local ties.

Former UCSB star Alan “Big Sauce” Williams, who just completed his first NBA season with the Phoenix Suns, is one of the 10 that is being recognized in a ceremony and dinner on Sunday at the Cabrillo Arts Pavilion.

Williams will be joined by former Gauchos Lucius Davis, Josh Merrill, Kayte Christensen and Lisa Willett-Fry; Westmont alums Ron Mulder, Bill Odell and George Terzian, Santa Barbara High alum Kristin Knapp-Cole and longtime Dos Pueblos coach Phil Sherman.

Sgt. Mike McGrew, who is retiring fro the Santa Barbara Police Department after a 31-year career, will be a guest speaker at the function.

Tickets can purchased online at SBCourtofChampions.com.

Williams was on a 10-day contract with the Suns and the team ended up signing him for the remainder of the season. He played in 47 games, averaging 11.3 pits and 9.0 rebounds after the All-Star break.

At UCSB, Williams is the school’s two all-time leading rebounder. His 1,125 boards is a school record and the second most in Big West history. As a senior, he averaged 17.3 points and 11.8 rebounds, leading the nation in rebounding for the second straight year.

The other inductees:

Lucius Davis was a key member of UCSB basketball teams in late 1980s early 90s. As a freshman, he was part of a team that earned a NIT berth. In his sophomore year, he helped the Gauchos to a 21-win season, a berth in the NCAA Tournament and a first-round win over Houston. The Gauchos won 20 games and received a NIT bid during his junior year. As a senior, he averaged 22 points, the second highest scoring average in program history, was All Big West first team and a honorable mention All-American, Davis played professionally in Argentina, Greece and Italy.

Kristin Knapp-Cole is Santa Barbara High’s second leading scorer and all-time rebounder. She was a prep All-American and has her jersey retired at the school. Knapp-Cole played four years at the University of Notre Dame and is now the associate head coach at Texas-Arlington.

Lisa Willett starred in basketball and volleyball at Santa Barbara High. She is a three-time All-CIF and two-time County Player of the Year in basketball and a  three-time All-CIF and All  County pick in volleyball. She chose to stay home and play basketball at UCSB from 2000-2004. She helped the Gauchos to three NCAA Tournaments and a NCAA Sweet 16 in 2004. They played Connecticut tough and lost 63-55.

Kayte Christenson shot an amazing 54.9 parent in her career at UCSB. She was the Big West Player of the Year in 2002 and became the first Gaucho to be named to the Kodak All-American Team. As a senior, she led the Big West in scoring, rebounding and steals. In a game against Arizona, she made an astonishing 16 of 17 shots. She played in the WNBA with the Phoenix Mercury, Houston Comets and Chicago Sky. She now works for the Sacramento Kings NBA team and does a radio show in Sacramento.

Josh Merrill played basketball and baseball for UCSB. He was the basketball team’s second leading scorer and rebounder in three seasons. As a senior, he earned All Big West first-team honors after helping the and Gauchos win the Big West title. He averaged 14 points and 8 rebounds. He played pro basketball in Portugal and later played for the Santa Barbara Breakers semipro team and let it to an 18-0 season in 2008. 

Ron Mulder served as assistant coach at Westmont in the 1960s under Jack Siemans and in the early 70s under Tom Byron. He took over the head coaching job when Byron passed away. and guided the Warriors to District 3 titles in 1972  and 73 and the NAIA Elite 8 north those years. He was the coach when the Warriors scored a huge upset over NCAA Division 1 14th ranked Hawaii in 1972. He was instrumental in bringing the Snow Valley high school basketball camps to Westmont and they continue today. He played basketball at Westmont and was the outstanding athlete in the senior class in 1961.

Bill Odell is the father of current Westmont athletic director Dave Odell. He played at Westmont from 1960-64 and went on to become a successful high school coach at Covina and Long Beach Milliken and college coach at Azusa Pacific, where he also served as athletic director. He won a CIF title at Milliken and captured 13 Golden State Athletic Conference titles at Azusa Pacific. His winning percentage in 16 seasons at Azusa Pacific was an amazing .802. He is inducted in the NAIA Basketball Hall of Fame.

George Terzian starred at Westmont from 1955-58. He ranks fifth all-time in scoring, averaging 18.2 points per game. He played on the Warriors’ first national tournament team in 1957. He coached at Pasadena High for 18 years and won two titles and made the finals six times. He later coached at Pasadena City College for 20-plus season. He is in the State Community College Coaches Hall of Fame.

Phil Sherman just completed his 20th season of coaching at Dos Pueblos. Before arriving at DP, he built successful programs at Leuzinger, Marshall Fundamental in Pasadena and Ribet Academy of Los Angeles, winning a CIF boys title at Ribet. Hired at Dos Pueblos by the legendary Scott O’Leary, he had the pleasure of coaching Shantay Legans and won three Channel League titles. He won four titles in nine years as boys coach. He started coaching the girls at DP and is coming off back-to-back 20-win seasons and a CIF quarterfinal berth last season.

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