Basketball legends included at first Santa Barbara Court of Champions event

Brian Shaw, Jamaal Wilkes, Bill Bertka, Ben Howland, Jerry Pimm, Mark French, Gary Cunningham.

In basketball circles, it’s a group that has undoubtedly been an indelible part of the sport’s history.

In Santa Barbara circles, it’s part of a foundation that the local basketball community can look to for leadership, inspiration, and legacy.

Twenty-one individuals in total will be recognized at the launch of the Santa Barbara Court of Champions, a new local “Hall of Fame” established to honor the contributions that the sport of basketball has made in Santa Barbara.

An opening gala will be held at the Fess Parker DoubleTree Resort on Sunday, June 1, where inductees Bill Bertka and Carrick DeHart will lead a Q&A about their careers and past local basketball stories.

DeHart is included in the original class of 21.  While at UCSB, DeHart and the Gauchos defeated Jerry Tarkanian’s UNLV Runnin’ Rebels, Jim Valvano’s N.C. State Wolfpack and Guy Lewis’s Houston Cougars, aka ‘Phi Slamma Jamma.’

Bertka, a long-time Santa Barbara resident, is a 33-year Los Angeles Lakers employee. He can answer questions on the Glory Days of Wilt, Elgin and Jerry (60’s-70’s), Magic, James and Kareem (Showtime), and Kobe, Shaq, Derek Fisher and Pau Gasol (2000 era).  Bertka was a Laker assistant coach for Pat Riley, Mike Dunleavy, Randy Pfund, Magic Johnson, Del Harris, Kurt Rambis and Phil Jackson.

The other inductees are Don Ford, Holly Ford, Phil Patton, Jack Trigueiro, Andrew Butcher, Maury Halleck, Sal Rodriguez, John Moore, Don Volpi, Kirsten Moore, Erin Alexander, Vic Bartolome, and Larry Crandell.

Wilkes, a Santa Barbara High School graduate who then played for John Wooden and Gary Cunningham at UCLA before a championship and all-star  NBA career, was recently voted into basketball’s highest pantheon – the James Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

Tickets are available now by calling 805 969-7542.  The banquet will feature Fess Parker’s Roasted Baron of Beef and Hawaiian Mahi-Mahi plus a salad station.


Bill Bertka
Don Ford
Carrick DeHart
Ben Howland
Mark French
Jamaal Wilkes
Brian Shaw
Jerry Pimm
Holly Ford Emerson
Phil Patton
Jack Trigueiro
Andrew Butcher
Maury Halleck
Sal Rodriquez
John Moore
Don Volpi
Kirsten Moore
Erin Alexander Brown
Gary Cunningham
Vic Bartolome
Larry Crandell

Court of Champions Selection Committee

John Zant — Historian
Eric Burkhardt — High School Boys
Holly Ford Emerson — High School Girls
Dave Loveton — Santa Barbara City College
Bill Mahoney — UC Santa Barbara
Ron Mulder — Westmont College
Curt Pickering — Professional Level