Cici Robinson grew up with Brandon Dingman. They played sports at El Camino High School, attended the same classes and graduated in 1996.
Then they returned to teach and coach at El Camino last decade, Robinson in 2004 to coach girls basketball and serve as athletic director, and Dingman in 2009 to coach boys basketball and teach English.
Dingman died in December of a heart attack during a pickup game with friends, leaving behind his wife, Carrie, and two young children. He was 36.
On Tuesday, El Camino and rival Rio Americano played a coed faculty game in Dingmans honor. The El Camino gym was packed, with the Dingman family sitting in the front row. Before the game, El Camino biology teacher Louie Diaz read a moving poem he wrote about Dingman. At halftime, El Camino teachers played the role of cheerleaders with a musical routine.
Robinson made two three-pointers and had two overtime free throws in El Caminos 26-24 victory. Dingmans best friend, El Camino football coach Adam Reinking, wore Dingmans basketball shoes in the game. All players wore jersey No. 40, Dingmans El Camino number, which was then retired.
It was a special night, really emotional, and everyone had so much fun, Robinson said Friday, holding back tears. Adams shoes were a bit big, but he played. I got some street cred from our players. I still had some game. It was great to see two schools come together like that. Very neat.
The Kings hosted the Dingman family and Reinking at a game last month, with seats behind the home bench.
The El Camino-Rio Americano faculty game will continue next season to raise funds for regional charities.
Grant coaching great dies Former Grant track and field coach Welton Moore, whose athletes set records decades ago that still stand, died on Thursday from complications of a stroke. He was 87.
Moore coached the Pacers for 37 years, stepping down in 2007 after a stroke. He was known as a kind man who still commanded the attention and respect of his athletes. A track meet each spring at Grant is named after Moore.
Everyone loved coach Moore, said current Grant track coach Lynn Reed, who was Moores assistant for years. He cared about all his kids, like a father. Hed take kids home. Hed yell at a kid, then put his arm around him and take him to lunch. Were going to miss him.
Grant athletes mentored by Moore included Monica Taylor, whose 100-meter time of 11.59 seconds in 1983 still stands as a Sac-Joaquin Section Masters championship record; Diatori Gildersleeve, who won the state long-jump championship in 1988; and James Hinex, whose 200 time of 20.95 in 1995 remains a Masters championship record.
For kicks Jennifer Lawson, a soccer star at Bradshaw Christian and state record holder for points scored by a girl in prep football, signed a letter of intent to play soccer at Portland State. Lawson was the Prides varsity kicker for four seasons, finishing with 208 career points, including a rushing touchdown. Lawson missed last seasons football playoffs with a knee injury, which will sideline her this spring in soccer, though she will remain with the program as a student-coach. A 4.75 grade-point average student, Lawson will study biochemistry.
• Cornerback Joe Turner from Sacramento High and College of San Mateo, signed a letter of intent with Auburn on Thursday.
• Lincoln hired Chris Bean as its new football coach. Bean had taught and coached at Bear River.
• Steve Stephens is the new Bella Vista football coach. He had a recent assistant coaching stint at Mira Loma.
Follow Joe Davidson on Twitter @SacBee_JoeD.