Board members of the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table recently gathered outside the Carrillo Street Gym in downtown Santa Barbara to dedicate a tree in the name of the late Larry Crandell.
A businessman and philanthropist known far and wide as “Mr. Santa Barbara,” Crandell died at his home in 2016 at age 93.
Crandell was an early member of SBART, which honors and recognizes athletes, coaches, community leaders and others, and pays tribute to the accomplishments in the Santa Barbara sports community.
For years, he emceed SBART Media Luncheons, Hall of Fame Banquets and other special events. His prowess at fundraising for SBART events was legendary, and the organization still uses the term “Crandellizing” to refer to the process of soliciting memberships from the crowd at the annual Prelude to March Madness festivities.
For as long as anyone can remember, Crandell proudly proclaimed himself to be SBART’s board chairman, often explaining that such an office was not mentioned in the bylaws.
The location of the tree, a mature Indian Laurel Fig, was selected by Crandell’s children, Michael, Leslie, Steven and Larry Jr. According to Michael Crandell, his father probably spent as much time as anyone in the Carrillo Gym, shooting what he considered “close misses” and others called “two-handed set shot bricks.”
The gym — at 102 E. Carrillo St. next to the Carrillo Recreation Center — is special for the rest of the Crandell family, as Steven and Leslie, each basketball players at Santa Barbara High School and Stanford, also spent considerable time there.
Click here for more information about the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table. Click here to join SBART.
— Joe Howell is a board member of the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table.