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NWAC HEADLINES

Tacoma CC welcomes new Hall of Fame inductees

by Rachel Payne

Tacoma, WA -- Tacoma Community College welcomed five individuals and three teams to the Athletics Hall of Fame at the third annual Hall of Fame Dinner and Auction event, held Saturday April 10 in the Student Center.

The event, which raises money for athletic scholarships, was well attended.

“It just keeps getting bigger and better each year,” said Athletic Director and Men’s Basketball Coach Carl Howell.

Hosting the event was Frank Bosone, former executive director of the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges (NWAACC).

Individual Honorees

Bob Barnette was student body president when he attended TCC; it was during his presidency that the student body raised funds for the Opgaard Student Center, where the Athletics Hall of Fame Dinner was held. He was also an Ellen Pinto outstanding student of the year and Team Captain for the 1986 NWAACC basketball championship team.

“I’m from a family where nobody went to college,” said Barnette. “College was something that was ‘out there.’ It’s only through basketball that I went to college.”

Women’s soccer All-NWAACC performer and Region MVP AJ Fairburn thanked her family for taking her to “every Saturday morning practice, every Sunday game.”

“My experience at TCC was just amazing,” said women’s soccer all-NWAACC performer Robin Saathoff. “The teachers supported us amazingly. I want to thank TCC for letting me be a part of that experience.”

1975 Men’s basketball NWAACC tournament MVP David Olivier didn’t plant to go to TCC. But his aunt and uncle had recently moved into the region, and his mother bought him a one-way ticket to Washington, where he started playing for Coach Moseid.

“He was hard on me,” said Olivier, “‘Cause I was lazy. I had to work hard to get my AA degree… then I went to Central. I did well, got my degree. Tacoma Community College is where I can say I got my start to becoming a man.”

1994 men’s basketball Region MVP and TCC all-time leading scorer Lorenzo Rollins graduated from Gonzaga in 1998 with a degree in communications.

Rollins, who grew up in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood, talked about how basketball provided him with options he wouldn’t otherwise have had.

“My two years here at TCC were magical,” said Rollins. “Coach Howell took a chance on me. I was a street kid, a knucklehead… it is what it is…. My basketball family saw me through a lot of hard times as well. You all mean a lot to me. I love you. Thank you.”

Team Honorees
1986 NWAACC Champion women’s basketball team
1986 NWAACC Champion men’s basketball team
1996 NWAACC Champion women’s soccer team

“The stories people tell – that’s what makes it all worth it,” said Howell. “If he (Lorenzo Rollins) hadn’t taken a chance on a goofy 26-year-old head coach like I was then – I don’t think the program would be where it is today.”


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