NBA, NCAA Heroes Honored at Legends of Hoops Night
The audience turnout was larger-than-life, not unlike the careers of three Cypress College legends.
Former NBA and ABA stars Mark Eaton and Swen Nater, along with former Cypress College coach and UCLA Hall-of-Famer Don Johnson were honored for their contributions to the school at half court of Gym II last Friday at the Legends of Hoops Night event. The event also marked the final games of the regular season for both the Cypress Women and Men’s Basketball teams.
Before the unveiling of the banners honoring each legend, Coach Don Johnson gave an inspired speech and reflected upon his life, along with his relationships with both Eaton and Nater.
As for the games, the Lady Chargers stole the show with a dominating performance, crushing the Santa Ana Dons by 28 points. The case was not the same for the men’s team, as they gave a rather lazy effort to end their season, losing to Santa Ana 80-72.
Overall, the event was a success, as more than 700 people showed up to support the Cypress basketball program. If you’re wondering whether the spirit of college sports is intact at Cypress, well, those numbers don’t lie.
The Cypress Lady Chargers getting loose during pre-game warmups.
Denshay Wallace of the Lady Chargers flies high for the opening tip-off of women’s game.
Cypress PG DeShields Fajardo showing some hustle while chasing a loose ball midway through the first half.
Fans in attendance showed their Cypress colors and filled the room with support and energy.
An intense DeShields Fajardo slices through the Lady Dons’ defense with this floater during the first half.
Head Coach Margaret Mohr calling plays from the Lady Chargers’ bench, midway through the first half.
SG Denshay Wallace drives in and pulls a beautiful, uncontested layup.
F Jessica Beeler throws a pretty floater from close range late in the second half as the Lady Chargers enjoy a comfortable 21-point lead.
Coach Don Johnson reflects upon a career of success, while sharing some inspirational words with the Cypress College fans at halftime.
An emotional Don Johnson watches as his image is immortalized, high in the rafters of the Cypress College gym.
Legends Mark Eaton, Coach Don Johnson and Swen Nater pose for some photo ops after being honored at halftime.
From L to R: Coach Don Johnson, Mark Eaton, Swen Nater, Dr. Robert Simpson, President of Cypress College and Dr. Rick Rams, Dean of Student Support Services.
The victorious Lady Chargers thank the fans in attendance for their unwavering support.
There were prizes to be won Friday night for those with enough skill to win them. This $100 scholarship to the Cypress Bookstore was snagged by Chichi Okoroama, who putted a golf ball from half court through two cones to take home the goods.
After a dominant performance by the Lady Chargers, it was the men’s turn to show their stuff. After some pre-game warmups, the guys were ready for battle.
The Sunburst Youth Academy made their presence felt all night, cheering in unison and flying their Cypress yellow towels.
Cypress F Jesse Henderson-Lewis shows some grit early in the game and drives his way to the bucket.
AS representatives Jocelyn Zaragoza, Lore Jac-Rey and Frida Lugo were on hand to support the ever-hustling Chargers basketball program.
A visibly frustrated Men’s Head Coach Chris St. Clair barks from the sidelines as his Chargers stumble through a lackluster first half.
G Jerred Cook tosses up a wide-open jumper from beyond the arc during the first half of the men’s game.