clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

CGB HOF: (3)Brittany Boyd vs. (6)Kevin Parker

New, 1 comment

One of the best WBB stars ever takes on a constant on the football coach staffer and a true inspiration.

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

(3) Brittany Boyd

<iframe width="703" height="395" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/s97Nw0Jjmf4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Nick Kranz describes what Boyd meant to Cal and the Women's Basketball Program.

These hall of fame bios are supposed to be relatively succinct. I am incapable of being succinct when I get talking about Brittany Boyd. Just to start with, she was the final piece of Cal's Final Four puzzle. The Bears had everything they needed to be a great team except for an elite, two-way point guard, but those aren't necessarily easy to find. The got one within walking distance of campus.

Cal got so much from Brittany Boyd. They got a brilliant on-ball defender who occasionally took over games on the defensive end like few players ever have. They got an elite passer who broke down defenses and set up her teammates in ways both subtle and spectacular. The got a fierce competitor who relished throwing her body around the court for 40 minutes every game, who put more effort into every 40 minutes than anybody else. They got a beloved teammate. I loved hearing about Boyd's mentee-mentor relationship with Layshia Clarendon and her clairvoyant relationship with the cornflakes to her milk (or was is the milk to her cornflakes), Reshanda Gray. I love how Lindsay Gottlieb has trouble talking about Boyd without shedding a few tears because that's how much Boyd has meant to the program.

From a fan perspective, it's simple: Brittany Boyd is perhaps the single most entertaining, fun, compelling, thrilling athletes I've ever watched.

(6) Kevin "Rope Coach" Parker

<iframe width="854" height="480" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/U3kc6viqs9I" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Rope Coach's community work goes a long way toward making our currrent Cal athletes better citizens, as Berkelium discovered in a recent Golden Nuggets.

Kevin "Rope Coach" Parker constantly reminds himself and his players of the consequences of poor life choices.  His involvement with the SQUIRES program has earned him heaps of praise from his fellow coaches and his players.

Parker played running back at Oregon when Tedford was the offensive coordinator there in 1998. Parker had a short stint in the Arena Football League before Tedford brought him to Berkeley when he became the head coach in 2002.

A few years later, Parker was introduced to S.Q.U.I.R.E.S, a program at San Quentin State Prison where hard-core inmates meet with troubled youths to show them how they might end up if they make the wrong decisions in life. Parker, who saw lots of crime growing up and had always dreamed of going into law enforcement, was awed by the experience.

He came up with the idea of getting Cal's players involved in the program, if nothing else to teach them not to take anything for granted.

"The first thing I thought was we have to get some of our guys over here," Parker said. "I thought our players needed to see it because we're only one bad choice and one bad decision away from coming here. That's true for anybody. I think anybody and everybody should go visit a prison, just to keep you on the straight and narrow. You don't want to be there."

Parker said he brings a group of Cal players to the program about three times a year — there will be another visit next month — but now finds himself going on his own as much as possible. Parker tries to go every Saturday, just to listen to the inmates' stories and keep him as grounded as possible.

"I get over there pretty often," Parker said. "My wife gets mad at me for going over there so much. When I'm feeling bad, I go over there and hear their stories just to keep me on the straight and narrow. It's big-time therapy. Sometimes, I just sit in the corner and listen."