Nine Bruins Inducted into LA City Section Hall of Fame
Jan. 24, 2013
Before becoming UCLA sports legends, Mitch Gaylord (Grant HS '79/gymnastics), Florence Griffith Joyner (Jordan HS, '78/track & field), Sherri Howard (Kennedy HS, '80/track & field), Anita Ortega (Los Angeles HS, '75/basketball), Sharon Shapiro (Monroe HS, '79/gymnastics), Al Scates (Westchester HS, '57/volleyball), Kiki Vandeweghe (Pacific Palisades HS, '76/basketball), Sidney Wicks (Hamilton HS, '67/basketball) and Kevin Young (Jordan HS, '84/track & field) were standout student-athletes at Los Angeles area high schools. This week, these nine Bruins were honored for their prep athletic accomplishments by being inducted, along with 33 other recipients, into the second class of the Los Angeles City Section Hall of Fame.
In boys' gymnastics, Gaylord was the Los Angeles City HS All-Around champion and Los Angeles HS Athlete of the Year by KABC-TV in 1979. As a Bruin senior in 1984, Gaylord helped lead the UCLA men's gymnastics team to the NCAA title by winning the all-around crown. Later that summer, at the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympic Games, Gaylord, and his Bruin teammates Peter Vidmar and Tim Daggett, led the U. S. men's gymnastics squad to its first team Gold Medal. Competing in Pauley Pavilion, Gaylord became the first American gymnast to score a perfect 10.00 in the Olympics and won the silver medal in vault and the bronze in parallel bars and rings. He was inducted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame in 1995, the U. S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 2006 and the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 2009.
In girls' track & field, Florence Griffith set school records in the sprints and long jump and anchored a relay team that posted the nation's fastest time of the year. As a Bruin, she helped lead UCLA to two NCAA Championships (1982, winning the 200m (22.39)/1983, winning the 400m (50.94) and at the time set the school records in the 100m (11.06) and 200m (22.23). As a U. S. Olympian, Flo Jo set the World 100m record (10.49) at the 1988 U. S. Trials and at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, she set the 200m (21.34) World record and won gold medals in the 100m, 200m and 4 X 100m relay. Griffith Joyner, who passed away on Sept. 21, 1998 at the age of 38 years, was inducted into the USA Track & Field Hall of Fame in 1995 and into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame in 1998.
Howard was the California High School Athlete of the Year in girls' track & field in 1980. Also in 1980 she was the Track & Field News girls national High School Athlete of the Year after setting the national high school record in the 440 yard dash (53.65). As a freshman at UCLA, she helped lead the Bruins to a second-place team finish at the 1981 NCAA Championships, running on all three relays. She then transferred to Cal State Los Angeles, where she won the NCAA 400m. As a U.S. Olympian, Howard won a gold medal at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics in the 4 X 400m relay and a silver medal at the 1988 Seoul Olympics in the 4 X 400m relay.
Ortega had a standout prep basketball career at Los Angeles HS that led her to UCLA. As a Bruin senior starting guard in 1978, with teammates Ann Meyers and Denise Curry, she helped lead UCLA to the AIAW National title, scoring 23 points in the Bruins' 90-74 victory over Maryland in Pauley Pavilion. Following her collegiate career, she earned All-Pro honors in the Women's Professional Basketball League. A captain in the Los Angeles Police Department, Ortega is an NCAA Div. I women's basketball official and was inducted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame in 2002.
Shapiro was one of the nation's top prep gymnasts in all events. At UCLA, as a freshman in 1980 at the AIAW National Championships, she became the first (and still only) female collegiate gymnast to capture national titles on all four events and the all-around. In 1981 she earned the prestigious Broderick Award given to the nation's top female gymnast, and at the AIAW Championships, she defended her all-around crown and won the vault. In 1982 she earned All-America honors in the all-around, vault and balance beam. Shapiro was a 1999 inductee into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame.
Scates, the greatest collegiate men's volleyball coach in history as the Bruin head coach from 1963-2012, did not play volleyball at Westchester HS. He did participate in basketball under coach Bill Rankin, who played basketball at UCLA from 1945-48. As the Bruin men's volleyball head coach for 50 years, Scates led UCLA to a record-breaking 19 NCAA Championships and his 50-year coaching record of 1,239-290 (.812) is one of the best in collegiate sports. He was the first active coach to be inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame (1993) and the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame (2003) and in 2004 was inducted into the AVCA Hall of Fame.
In boys' basketball, Vandeweghe as a senior in 1976 averaged 24 points and 14 rebounds a game, earning prep All-America honors, Western League Player of the Year and first-team All-Los Angeles City. At UCLA as a two-year starting forward during his junior (1979) and senior (1980) seasons, Vandeweghe earned All-Pac-10 in 1980. During his Bruin career (113 games) he averaged 12.2ppg and 5.0rpg. In his 13-year NBA career, Vandeweghe averaged nearly 20 points a game (19.7ppg). In 1994 he was inducted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame.
Wicks earned All-America and All-City prep honors in basketball as a senior in 1967. During his UCLA career (1969-71), he played on three consecutive John Wooden UCLA NCAA Championship teams. As a junior starting forward in 1970, Wicks led the team in scoring (18.6ppg) and rebounding (11.9rpg), was the Most Outstanding Player at the NCAA Final Four and was co-National Player of the Year. As a senior in 1971, he once again led the Bruins in scoring (21.3ppg) and rebounding (12.7rpg) and was National Player of the Year. Wicks played 10 years in the NBA and was the 1972 Rookie of the Year. In 1985, he was inducted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame, and on Feb. 1, 1996, Wicks' UCLA jersey No. 35 was retired.
In boys' track & field, Young placed third at the State meet in the 110m hurdles as a senior in 1984. As a Bruin, he placed first in the 400m hurdles and ran (second leg) on UCLA winning 4 X 400m relay, leading the Bruins to the national team title in 1987. In 1988 as a senior, he again helped lead UCLA to the NCAA team championship, once again winning the 400m hurdles and 4 X 400m relay. Young is the school record-holder in the 400m hurdles (47.72). As a U. S. Olympian, at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, Young won the gold medal in the 400m hurdles, in a world-record setting time of 46.78. He was inducted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame in 1999 and into the USA Track & Field Hall of Fame in 2006.
Celebrating the 78-year history of high school sports in the Los Angeles Unified School District, the 42 new members of the 2013 Los Angeles City Section Hall of Fame will join the previous 55 inductees at a dinner on April 28 at the Westside DoubleTree Hotel.
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