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PCC Alum Michael Cooper Inducted Into State's COA Sports Hall of Fame

PCC Alum Michael Cooper Inducted Into State's COA Sports Hall of Fame image

Former Los Angeles Lakers' great and Pasadena City College basketball alumnus Michael Cooper has been inducted into The Commission on Athletics (COA) California Community College Sports Hall of Fame. The announcement was made this morning in a release by the COA/CCCAA sports information office.

Cooper joins the late Pete Rozelle, former NFL commissioner from formerly Compton College, Warren Hansen, Cuesta College athletic director/coach, and Robert Dinaberg, Santa Barbara City College athletic director/coach, in the 2010 Hall of Fame class. The induction ceremony takes place at the annual COA/CCCAA Convention in Ontario on Wednesday, March 31 at 6 p.m. The convention will be held at the Doubletree Ontario Airport Hotel.

Cooper became the fifth Lancer in PCC basketball history to score 1,000 points in his career during his years here from 1974-76. Cooper would go on to play for five NBA championship teams for the Lakers, including being named the 1987 league defensive player of the year. "Coop" has gone on to coach two WNBA title teams for the Los Angeles Sparks and is now the head coach for the USC women's basketball team. 

Cooper played for head coach Joe Barnes at PCC and previously played under another former Lancers head coach in George Terzian, who directed him at Pasadena High School.

"By far, Michael was the best player I have ever coached." said Barnes in a PCC 1995 Spotlight magazine article. "Michael had all the tools and the potential to be successful. We had some good ones before like George Trapp who played for the Detroit Pistons. But Michael combined talent and heart, and that's something you can't measure."

Cooper recalled his early years in that same article: "I wanted to be the best person I could possibly be. Putting together what I learned at PHS and what I learned at PCC was like putting the pieces of a puzzle together. But that puzzle wasn't complete until the next phase in my life."

Cooper joins an elite list of PCC student/coaching alumni that have been inducted in the state Sports Hall of Fame, including MLB baseball great Jackie Robinson (in 1984), four-sport PJC star Ray Bartlett (1986), MLB 400-home run hitter Darrell Evans (1988), NFL wide receiver Rod Sherman (1990), 1936 Olympic silver medalist sprinter Mack Robinson (1997), NCAA basketball coaching legend Jerry Tarkanian (1999), and long-time PCC women's tennis coach Geralyn Shepard (2005).

[Photo--Michael Cooper shows his leaping ability as a Lancer in 1976, PCC archives.]

Release Date: 03/25/10
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
Phone: 626-585-7018, Email: rmlewis@pasadena.edu