Kevin Johnson was upstaged a bit last week.
As the keynote speaker for the Sac-Joaquin Section Hall of Fame induction ceremony Sunday at Sleep Train Arena, the Sacramento mayor spoke about how his experiences at Sacramento High School shaped him and his future. Johnson landed a scholarship to Cal, excelled in the NBA and became mayor of his hometown.
Johnson said he once had an opportunity to meet President Obama at the White House, but he misplaced his identification and feared he wouldn't clear security while other mayors marched in to chat with the president. Finally, the security fellow with the clipboard eyed a frantic Johnson and said, "You must be K.J. Welcome."
About 30 minutes after Johnson's speech, Suzy Powell, the American record holder in the discus, took the stage. Powell recalled her White House visit with other Olympians to meet President Clinton in 2000.
"He asked for my phone number and to go out for drinks," Powell joked, drawing a roar of laughter. "I hope K.J. didn't go through the same thing. OK, not true. Clinton just asked for my email."
Other highlights from Sunday's induction:
Johnson singled out retired McClatchy basketball coach Harvey Tahara, one of 43 inductees, and talked about how difficult it was to compete against his teams. Tahara's first Metro League title at McClatchy in 1983 came at the expense of Sac High and Johnson, who led the state in scoring.
Dave Maggard, a three-sport star at Turlock and Cal's athletic director (1979-91), also was inducted. Said Johnson, about his own nervous arrival in Berkeley: "Dave took me aside and said, 'If you go to class, you'll be all right.' "
Powell said she looked up to fellow inductee Kellie Cook, the Nevada Union basketball scoring great who won three Division I section titles (1989-91) and is now a local attorney. Said Powell: "You were the standard. Thanks for inspiring a generation of young girls."
Inductee Danielle Viglione said she was inspired by Cook, too. In the early 1990s, Viglione set section and state scoring records for Del Campo that still stand. Viglione now works with area athletes on basketball skills and conditioning.
The Sacramento Area Coaches Hall of Fame will induct seven tonight at Christian Brothers at 7 p.m. The inductees are: Paul Gonzalez (basketball and softball at Roseville), Stan Harms (led Folsom to the boys state basketball title in 1985); Tom Murphy (longtime referee); Pat O'Brien (Christian Brothers golf, tennis), John Rankin (basketball at Del Oro and Sierra College), John Volek (led Sacramento State football to its last conference title in 1995); and Tami Yasuda (won women's basketball titles at Bella Vista and American River College).
Cosumnes Oaks High junior national football recruits Alex Van Dyke, a receiver, and Kameron Schroeder, a tackle, will attend today's Big Game at Cal. They'll meet the Cal coaches, tour the facilities and stand on the sideline.
Not to be outdone, Stanford will host both Nov. 10 when Oregon State visits.