We start with two of the greatest in their professions. Both have won multiple gold medals as US Olympians, and are among Cal's greatest.
For each athlete, you can vote in the poll; it closes a week from today at midnight. After the jump, you can read the athlete profiles written up by our commenters, and discuss in the comments your memories of each athlete and which one deserves to move on. (Check out the full bracket here. To check out the original nomination thread, click here. For those who want to track the CGB Hall of Fame posts exclusively, click here or right next to the timestamp above where it says "Hall of Fame".)
#1 Jason Kidd
Our basketball historian, LeonPowe, reminisces:
On the short list for best point guard of all time.
* In basketball history. Pac-10 Rookie of the Year. National Rookie of the Year. Pac-10 POY. Top 3 NBA pick. Top 5 pro assists of all time.
(I put Magic, Isiah, John Stockton and Oscar ahead of him . . .but I’d take Jason over Gary Payton, Bob Cousy, Walt Frazier, Kevin Johnson, Mark Price and Tiny Archibald.)
Overachieved in his freshman year (Sweet Sixteen), underachieved in his sophomore year (Bozeman’s biggest crime wasn’t cheating . . .it was that he couldn’t coach). But we finished 2nd in the Pac that second year and were ranked in the top 15-20 most of the year.
Now sit back, and watch some sweet Justin Kidd Cal highlights, capped off by the upset vs. Duke (to find out why I called him Justin, see the second video). These fourteen minutes are worth 10,000 words.
#8 Joy Fawcett
Great profile by Fawcett thanks to California Pete.
In the 1990s, Joy Fawcett became the world’s most famous soccer mom. One of the mainstays of the pioneering U.S. women’s national team (239 caps over 18 years), Joy played on the World Cup–winning sides of 1991 and 1999, and she also twice won Olympic gold in 1996 and 2004. While attacking players such as Mia Hamm and Julie Foudy attracted a bit more of the spotlight on those teams, Fawcett’s role was no less integral to their success. Indeed, Joy was a true fixture on the back line; she played every minute of every game in the 1995, 1999, and 2003 World Cups, as well as the ‘96 and 2000 Olympics. She did all of this while being mother to a growing family of three girls. A National Soccer Hall of Famer, Fawcett is arguably the greatest outside back the women’s game has ever seen. U.S. attacks often began with Fawcett’s accurate distribution from the flank, and she pushed forward enough herself to score 27 goals during her career on the WNT, most ever by a defender.
I first remember seeing the not-yet-married Joy Biefeld on the back page of the Daily Cal in the mid-to-late 1980s. This was a pretty dismal time for Cal sports, so any news of national-level success grabbed my attention. In 1986, the soccer stories were all about a young Brandi Chastain, who was national Freshman of the Year at Cal before transferring to Santa Clara. But ably stepping into her shoes in 1987 was Biefeld, whose offensive skills would be on full display. A three-time All-American, Biefeld amassed 55 goals and 23 assists during her Cal career, leading the Bears to the national semi-finals two years in a row. Joy was national player of the year in 1987, when she scored a school-record 23 goals.
Joy and her husband Walter now run Saddleback United Soccer Club in Mission Viejo.
- National Soccer Hall of Fame profile
- profile at Cal website
- Joy Fawcett profile on the WUSA website
- 2004 interview with USA Today
- story about her life today in OC, and living with rheumatoid arthritis