Redlands Connection is a concoction of sports memories emanating from a city that once numbered less than 20,000 people. From the Super Bowl to the World Series, from the World Cup to golf’s U.S. Open, plus NCAA Final Four connections, Tour de France cycling, major tennis, NBA and a little NHL, aquatics and quite a bit more, the sparkling little city that sits around halfway between Los Angeles and Palm Springs on Interstate 10 has its share of sports connections. – Obrey Brown
A few nuggets about a Redlands Connection:
Both Redlands High School and, eventually, city rival Redlands East Valley became connected to the San Bernardino Kiwanis Tournament as 100-percenters – but in different ways.
Ever since the tournament started in 1958, the Terriers have been rabid entries to a tournament that was once considered the prime time of prep basketball, perhaps, in two counties.
REV, meanwhile, joined the fray in 1997, when the school opened for the first time. Ever since, the Wildcats – their only coach, Bill Berich – have taken the floor against any and all opponents at the Kiwanis.
As for Kiwanis tournament dedication, look no further than Randy Genung. He coached the Terriers in the Kiwanis for a staggering total of 25 years, 1977 through 2001. After that, Brad Scott took over as head coach while Genung assisted through 2010. That’s 33 straight years at the Kiwanis.
Redlands, now under current coach Ted Berry for the past few seasons, just completed play in the 60th San Bernardino Kiwanis Tournament. The Terriers reached the finals, but lost to Barstow.
Incidentally, the Terriers have played in every single Kiwanis Tournament event since the first one in 1958.
As for the Kiwanis tourney, it’s still standing amid a remarkable stretch of history.
SOME KEY NAMES FROM KIWANIS HISTORY
John Masi, Scott Kay and Ty Stockham?
Those are a few of the past players who have shown up to play in San Bernardino.
While we awaited the outcome of the 60th annual San Bernardino Kiwanis Tournament, we’re reminded of the spectacular past performances of those high schoolers that came looking for tournament hardware, either a team title or all-tournament recognition.
Bunch, for instance, was the 34th player selected in the 1978 NBA draft by the New York Knicks. Out of Cal State Fullerton. He was a 6-foot-6 forward who made the all-tournament team in 1973 for Pacific.
Lynn, of course, was remembered for a brilliant baseball career. The El Monte High player was a 1968 Kiwanis all-tournament selection.
Hyder’s high school career at Victor Valley, coached by prep legend Ollie Butler, eventually led him to becoming the 39th pick in the 1970 NBA draft by the Cincinnati Royals (now the Sacramento Kings).
Kay, meanwhile, was tournament MVP in 1969. Years later, he coached San Bernardino High School to tournament titles with players like Bryon Russell – the Utah Jazz forward who was guarding against Michael Jordan’s game-winner in the 1997 NBA championship.
Russell, incidentally, was two-time Kiwanis tournament MVP in 1987 and 1988.
Masi, of course, turned up as UC Riverside coach during some brilliant days when the Highlanders dominated NCAA Division 2.
Stockham, the son of San Gorgonio coaching legend Doug Stockham, was another all-tournament player that also wound up leading his team to a tourney championship as a coach.
Part of the past includes Ken Hubbs, an original all-tourney selection in 1958.
Hubbs’ legacy, of course, is that he played major league baseball for the Chicago Cubs – winning 1962 National League Rookie of the Year honors – and was killed in an airplane crash shortly before spring training began in 1964.
Eventually, the Ken Hubbs Award was established. Such Kiwanis stars – San Bernardino’s Kyle Kopp and Shelton Diggs, Redlands’ Chad Roghair and Eisenhower’s Ronnie Lott, among others – won the Hubbs honors.
It’s left the Kiwanis with plenty of tradition, history and quite a continuing legacy.
NOBODY BIGGER THAN TARK
More tradition: Jerry Tarkanian, whose coaching legend started after leaving Redlands High School in 1961, brought his Terrier team into the mix at the 1960 Kiwanis. Danny Wolthers was picked on the five-player all-tourney team.
Tarkanian, of course, left Redlands for Riverside City College, departing for Pasadena City College – coaching five State titles for the Tigers and Lancers – before landing at Long Beach State (122-20 from 1968-73).
Ultimately, his travels took him to Nevada-Las Vegas (509-105 from 1974-92), leading the Runnin’ Rebels to the 1990 national championship.
Final coaching record – 784-202.
Footnote: It was during his Redlands days that Tark began his well-known history for chomping on wet towels during games.
Redlands and San Bernardino Kiwanis Tournament connections are seemingly endless.
Sixty Years of Redlands Tournament Players
Here is a list of the all-tournament players from Redlands High School and Redlands East Valley (all players through 2003 represented RHS; afterward the school is indicated):
- 1958 – Tom Fox
- 1960 – Danny Wolthers
- 1963 – Tom McCutcheon, Jim Gardner
- 1967 – Randy Orwig
- 1977 – Don Smith, Pat Keogh
- 1978 – Tom McCluskey
- 1980 – Mark Tappan
- 1981 – James Sakaguchi
- 1982 – Jon Hansen
- 1983 – Jon Hansen (MVP), Mark Smith
- 1986 – Jared Hansen
- 1987 – Chad Roghair
- 1989 – Fritz Bomke
- 1990 – Marcus Rogers
- 1991 – Ledel Smith
- 1992 – Eddie Lucas
- 1993 – Mike Allen
- 1994 – Nick Day
- 1985 – Jon Allen, Chris Harvey
- 1996 – Johnny Avila
- 1997 – Eric Siess
- 1998 – Eric Siess
- 1999 – Danny Genung
- 2003 – Richard Vazquez, Michael Estrada, Matt Mirau
- RHS 2004 – Mychal Estrada
- REV 2004 – Brandon Dowdy, Jacob Letson, Lance Evbuomwan (MVP)
- RHS 2005 – Mike Solimon
- REV 2005 – Lance Evbuomwan, Darnell Ferguson, Brandon Dowdy
- RHS 2006 – Tristan Kirk, Alex Wolpe, Josh Green
- RHS 2007 – Josh Green (MVP), Tristan Kirk, Ricky Peetz, Nate Futz
- REV 2007 – Robert Ellis, Jamell Simmons
- RHS 2008 – Tristan Kirk, Ricky Peetz, Matt Green
- REV 2008 – Ryan Griggs
- RHS 2009 – Matt Green, Hinsta Kifle
- RHS 2010 – Ashton Robinson
- REV 2010 – Greg Dishman, Terrell Todd, Paulin Mpawe
- REV 2011 – Jamal Ellis
- REV 2012 – Eli Chuha
- RHS 2013 – Brad Motylewski, Kamren Sims
- REV 2013 – Eli Chuha
- RHS 2014 – Brad Motylewski
- REV 2014 – Chris Harper (MVP), Julian Sinegal, Alex Ziska
- RHS 2015 – Samer Yeyha, Davonte Carrier
- REV 2015 – Kim Aiken, Brett Vansant
- RHS 2016 – Olivier Uzabakiriho
- REV 2016 – Kim Aiken
- RHS 2017 – Brian Landon
- REV 2016 – Sebastian Zerpa, Mykale Williams