SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Saturday was a day of celebration for the Santa Clara University community with the induction of the 2017 Hall of Fame Class and the bestowment of awards to its senior student-athletes.
Steve Nash, a two-time West Coast Conference Player of the Year and longtime NBA player, entered the school's Athletics Hall of Fame, along with two of his teams – the 1992-93 and 1995-96 squads – during the fifth annual Red & White Hall of Fame Celebration presented by the Bronco Bench Foundation and Heritage Bank of Commerce.
Kurt Rambis, another Bronco WCC Player of the Year (1980), who won four NBA titles as a player and two more as an assistant coach, presented Nash.
Dick Davey who coached both the 1992-93 and 1995-96 teams presented both of those squads to the more than 600 in attendance at Leavey Center.
After serving as an assistant under longtime coach Carroll Williams since 1977, Davey took over as head coach in 1992-93 and led that team to a berth in the NCAA Tournament where the 15th-seeded Broncos knocked off No. 2 seed Arizona in the opening round.
Three years later, Davey led the Broncos to a share of the WCC regular-season title and after earning an at-large berth into the NCAAs as a No. 10 seed, they upended seventh-seeded in the opening round.
During Nash's career, the Broncos posted a 73-42 record, won two WCC regular-season titles (also in 1994-95) and made three NCAA Tournament appearances. Nash, who earned honorable mention All-America honors as a senior in 1995-96, helped Santa Clara claim its first national ranking since 1972-73 when the Broncos reached No. 25 in both Associated Press and Coaches polls on Dec. 4, 1995.
"I feel so far away from the school sometimes but my heart is always so close," Nash said during his induction speech. "I want to say thank you to everyone that's involved in this great university. It's a special place that I love and my teammates love. I had the best teammates that I could ever ask for. I love these guys. They'll be great friends for the rest of my life. I ask that everyone here continue to support the university."
Six coaches, including Davey, along with all but two of the players from those two teams were in attendance at the ceremony. There were former players who traveled from Canada, Ireland, Germany and Australia.
Along with his other endeavors, Nash works with the player development department of the Golden State Warriors. Three other attendees are NBA assistant coaches including Rambis who is in his third season as associate head coach with the New York Knicks. Marlon Garnett is in his first season with the Phoenix Suns as assistant coach/player development coordinator and Lloyd Pierce has spent the last four years as an assistant with the Philadelphia 76ers.
The department of athletics also bestowed eight awards to its senior class.
Jared Brownridge, the fourth-leading scorer in WCC history and three-time first-team all-league basketball player, received the Vic Corsiglia Award, as the top male student-athlete.
Jordan Jesolva, a two-time All-WCC midfielder on the soccer team, secured the Henry Schmidt Award as the top female student-athlete.
Director of athletics Renee Baumgartner awarded longtime director of sports medicine Mike Cembellin, who retired in January, a lifetime ticket to any future Santa Clara Broncos sporting event. Cembellin spent 39 years working at the school.
About Steve Nash
Nash was named the West Coast Conference Player of the Year in both 1995 and 1996, and spearheaded some of the best teams in school history.
During Nash's career, the Broncos posted a 73-42 record, won WCC regular-season titles in 1995 and 1996, and made three NCAA Tournament appearances. Nash, who earned honorable mention All-America honors as a senior in 1995-96, helped Santa Clara claim its first national ranking since 1972-73 when the Broncos reached No. 25 in both the Associated Press and Coaches polls on Dec. 4, 1995.
One of just five players in WCC history to lead the league in both points and assists per game in the same season, Nash, who accomplished that feat in 1994-95, is in the top 10 in many of Santa Clara's career lists, including scoring (7th; 1,689), field-goal attempts (10th; 1,229), 3-pointers (3rd; 263), 3-point attempts (4th; 656), 3-point field-goal percentage (2nd; 40.1), free-throw percentage (1st; 86.0) assists (3rd; 510) and steals (7th; 147).
Nash went on to be selected 15th overall in the 1996 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns. He played 19 seasons in the NBA where he was an eight-time all-star and seven-time All-NBA choice. Nash earned league MVP in both 2004-05 and 2005-06 as a member of the Suns. He also played for the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers, and was named by ESPN in 2006 as the ninth-best point guard of all-time. Nash is among the all-time top 10 in NBA history in 3-point field goal percentage (9th; 42.78), free-throw percentage (1st; 90.43), assists, (3rd; 10,335) and assists per game (10th; 8.49).
About the 1992-93 Team
The 1992-93 men's basketball team (19-12, 9-5 WCC), led by first-year head coach Dick Davey, returned just one starter from the previous year and featured seven freshmen on the 16-man roster. Forwards Pete Eisenrich and DeWayne Lewis, and guard Mark Schmitz led the offense, with each averaging 12 or more points per game. Eisenrich and Lewis earned first-team All-WCC honors. Santa Clara was selected eighth in the WCC preseason poll, but ended up third in the final standings and won the conference tournament.
The Broncos closed that season with a flourish to earn the school's ninth trip to the NCAA Tournament, including first since 1987. They won six of their final seven regular-season games and knocked off the top two seeds in the WCC Tournament, including No. 1 Pepperdine, 73-63, in the final behind a barrage of nine second-half 3-pointers. Nash became the first freshman to be named MVP of the WCC Tournament.
Santa Clara then proceeded to pull off one of the biggest upsets in NCAA Tournament history. The 15th-seeded Broncos knocked off No. 2 seed and fifth-ranked Arizona, 64-61, in Salt Lake City, Utah. It marked only the second time a No. 15 seed had defeated a No. 2 in the NCAAs. The Broncos were eliminated two days later in the second round by seventh-seeded Temple, which advanced to the West Regional final, but they had already etched their name in NCAA history.
About the 1995-96 Team
In 1995-96, Santa Clara finished 20-9 overall (10-4) and shared the WCC regular-season title with Gonzaga. Behind the guard play of Nash (17.0 points per game) and Marlon Garnett (12.8), Davey's squad made its third trip in a four-year span, including second straight, to the NCAAs. The Broncos did not lose two in a row all season and won at Gonzaga in the last game of the regular season to clinch a share of the WCC crown. It marked only the second time in program history and the first since the 1968-69 and 1969-70 seasons that SCU won two-straight conference titles. Nash claimed his second WCC Player of the Year award, senior Brendan Graves was named to first-team all-league and Garnett earned an honorable mention nod.
After being knocked out of the 1996 WCC Tournament, Santa Clara earned an at-large berth as a No. 10 seed, again in the West Regional.
In opening-round action in Tempe, Arizona, Santa Clara upset seventh-seeded Maryland, 91-79, led by a game-high 28 points from Nash and 18 from Garnett. But an Elite Eight participant once again knocked the Broncos out of the NCAAs as second-seeded Kansas was victorious in a second-round meeting.
• Henry Schmidt Award – Jordan Jesolva (women's soccer)
• Pat Malley Award – Graham McClone (men's water polo); Nikki Hess (volleyball)
• James Farwell Award – Nate Kratch (men's basketball); Jenna Roering (women's soccer)
• Carroll Williams Award – Pasha Hashemi (men's soccer)
• DJ Frandsen Award – Steve Wilson (baseball)
• Jim Shea Award – Marie Bertholdt (women's basketball)
• Senior Academic Award – Drew Del Toro (men's rowing); Keri Clifford (women's water polo)
• Vic Corsiglia Award – Jared Brownridge (men's basketball)
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