Updated: Oct. 30, 2015 | By Laura Tapia
Interim athletic director Jim Wooldridge and the Riverside City College basketball team’s hosted the inaugural Tiger Tip-off Luncheon on Oct. 29.
The luncheon was held in order to introduce this year’s members of the basketball programs and the college’s interim athletic director to RCC’s faculty and staff.
Wooldridge stated that while discussing ways of connecting the programs to people on the campus like students, faculty and community members with women’s basketball coach Alicia Berber and men’s basketball coach Philip Mathews, they came up with the concept of the luncheon.
While attendees were entered into a raffle for a chance to win prizes like RCC basketball shirts, what they took from the luncheon was much greater.
Inspirational speeches by RCC sports hall of famers Sam D. Knight and Mike Barnes, ignited the crowd and players alike.
Barnes, a counselor at RCC for 30 years also coached for 20 years at RCC. He was inducted as a member of the 2012 sports hall of fame class at RCC and a member of the 2003 California Community College Women’s Basketball Coaches Association hall of fame. According to Berber he is second in the assist record and one of the best point guards to ever play at RCC.
“This place made the difference in my life,” said Barnes, during his speech.
Knight was recently inducted into the 2015 RCC hall of fame after a career that included two state championship seasons including a season in which the Tigers went 35-0 in the 1963-64 season. Knight was also named the “Most Inspirational Player” that same season.
He stated that although RCC commonly stands for Riverside City College, he wants student athletes to see it as another acronym as well.
“You should improve each day with a focus on this acronym R.C.C … R is relationships, you have to work on those relationships,” he continued. “C is communication, communicate with your coach, your players and your community and C is commitment, you can’t get anywhere without commitment.”