Wed04012015

News

Council eyes bond for Hillview center

Council eyes bond for Hillview center


Rendering courtesy of city of Los Altos
The Los Altos City Council accepted an $87.5 million cost model for its preferred layout for replacing Hillview Community Center. Red lines indicate vehicle access points, and yellow lines represent pedestri...

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Schools

Oak students showcase creativity in Destination Imagination competitions

Oak students showcase creativity in Destination Imagination competitions


Courtesy of Jane Lee Choe
The Sharp Cheddars, a team of Oak Avenue School sixth-graders, perform at the Destination Imagination state competition Saturday in Riverside.

A team of seven Oak Avenue School sixth-graders traveled to Riverside last week...

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Community

Heising-Simons Foundation relocates to 400 Main St. property in Los Altos

Heising-Simons Foundation relocates to 400 Main St. property in Los Altos


Bruce Barton/Town Crier
All in the family: Mark Heising, from left, Caitlin Heising and Elizabeth Simons make up the board of the eight-year-old Heising-Simons Foundation, now in its new headquarters at 400 Main St. in downtown Los Altos.

The He...

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Comment

What would Bob do?: Editorial

The recent passing of an extraordinary Los Altos resident, Bob Grimm, has generated a range of heartfelt reaction, from sympathy to fond memories, from all corners. That’s because Bob did not discriminate in his desire to help others with his money, ...

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Special Sections

Cars that are right on track

Cars that are right on track


Courtesy of BMW
The BMW M4 is packed with power, featuring 425 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque.

There’s nothing more fun than driving a responsive automobile that feels alive in the curves and eager to go when given more than a touch ...

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Business

First Street's 'Fort Knox' up for sale

First Street's 'Fort Knox' up for sale


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
The Los Altos Vault and Safe Deposit Co. is on the market for $4.5 million. Its fortified steel and concrete structure has been compared to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s gold depository.

A downtown Los Altos structure “b...

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Books

'Pope Joan' Book weaves tale around legend of female pontiff

'Pope Joan' Book weaves tale around legend of female pontiff


The idea that there may have a female pope at one time in history has generated much speculation throughout the centuries. “Pope Joan” (Crown, 1996) by Donna Woolfolk Cross, does not answer the question; rather, the author has created a detai...

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People

JOHN BATISTICH

JOHN BATISTICH

John Batistich of Los Altos Hills died peacefully on March 12 surrounded by his family. John is survived by his wife Claire Batistich (Vidovich) of 67 years and children Gary Batistich of Lodi and Gay Batistich Abuel-Saud of Menlo Park. He is also ...

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Travel

Eat, hike, soak: Cavallo Point Lodge offers Marin experience

Eat, hike, soak: Cavallo Point Lodge offers Marin experience


Eren Göknar/ Town Crier
Cavallo Point Lodge comprises former U.S. Army buildings, like the Mission Blue Chapel, repurposed for guests seeking a luxurious getaway.

It used to be a place where batteries of soldiers lived, with officers’ quarter...

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Stepping Out

'Fire' ignites in Mtn. View

'Fire' ignites in Mtn. View


Courtesy of Kevin Berne
The cast of “Fire on the Mountain,” includes, from left, Tony Marcus, Harvy Blanks, Molly Andrews and Robert Parsons.

TheatreWorks is slated to present the regional premiere of the musical “Fire on the Mountain” this wee...

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Spiritual Life

Spiritual Life Briefs

Oshman JCC hosts Judaism and Science Symposium

The Oshman Family Jewish Community Center has scheduled its inaugural Judaism and Science Symposium, “An Exploration of the Convergence of Jewish & Scientific Thought,” 5 p.m. April 12 at the JCC’s ...

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Magazine

Food for thought: Hidden Villa programs offer teens training in sustainability on the farm

Food for thought: Hidden Villa programs offer teens training in sustainability on the farm


/Town Crier It’s not all cute and cuddly for teens participating in the eight-week Animal Husbandry Apprenticeship program at Hidden Villa in Los Altos Hills. Mia Mosing of Palo Alto, left, and Sophia Jackson of Los Altos clean the pigpens – one of...

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Los Altos hires former NBA player as coach

Ron Williams faced a number of difficult challenges in an illustrious athletic career that any athlete would admire.

Now, Williams will take on another challenge in leading the Los Altos High girls basketball program.

Williams, 57, will bring his plethora of basketball knowledge and experiences to a young Los Altos team that's making the challenging jump to the upper De Anza Division of the SCVAL this season.

After leading the varsity boys' program to success at Thurgood Marshall High in San Francisco, Williams was hired to direct the Eagles' girls program in October.

"I've always been interested in coaching girls basketball, even though the style of play is different," said Williams, who also teaches elementary school in San Mateo. "These girls are eager to learn and they catch on quick."

So what's so special about Williams that separates him from any other prep coach that played high school or college athletics?

Plenty.

After a brilliant prep athletic career at West Virginia's Weirton High where he earned 11 varsity letters and was twice named the state's top basketball player, more than 155 scholarship offers in basketball and football poured in. Williams decided to play close to home at West Virginia University, becoming the first African-American basketball player at the school and thus paving the way for others in the turbulent 1960s.

As a point guard for the Mountaineers (1965-68), the 6-foot-3 Williams followed in the footsteps of legendary WVU guards Hot Rod Hundley and Jerry West as one of the best in the nation by amassing 1,687 career points (20.1 points per game) and All-America status.

Following an outstanding collegiate career that earned him a spot on the WVU's list of "25 Greatest Athletes," Williams was the first guard taken in the 1968 NBA draft (ninth overall pick) by the then San Francisco Warriors.

Despite not playing college football, Williams was also a 14th-round pick for the Dallas Cowboys and offered a guaranteed three-year contract to play cornerback. Also in 1968, Williams turned down an invitation to tryout for the U.S. Olympic basketball team.

Williams averaged 7.8 points per game in his rookie season (1968-69) with the Warriors, then started in the backcourt with Jeff Mullins for the 1969-70 season and averaged a career-best 14.8 points per game.

After a handful of seasons for the Warriors, Williams became a member of the Milwaukee Bucks in 1973-74. Williams and notable teammates Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Oscar Robertson, Lucius Allen and Bobby Dandridge owned the best regular season record (59-23) in the NBA, but lost in the NBA Finals to the eventual world champion Boston Celtics in seven games.

Williams finished his memorable NBA career by being involved in a trade that brought himself and Abdul-Jabbar to the Los Angeles Lakers in 1976.

"It's hard to define my best moment athletically, it was all good," said the modest and personable Williams. "The most disappointing moment was not winning the NBA free throw title."

In 1971, Williams lost the free throw crown to future teammate Robertson by percentage points after missing an uncharacteristic three free throws in the regular-season finale in Seattle.

After years of playing against the best in the world, Williams turned to the bench. He worked as an assistant at Cal-Berkeley for two years in the mid-1980s under coach Dick Kuchen, where his star pupil was All-America point guard Kevin Johnson. After that, Williams spent four seasons as an assistant at Iona.

Upon learning that his wife was diagnosed with cancer, Williams returned home to the Bay Area as an assistant at Menlo College. Following his wife's death in 1993, Williams got out of basketball for a bit.

"After being out of the game for a while, I got the urge again," he said.

Now, Williams will try to direct a Los Altos team with an up-tempo style of play that will emphasize aggressiveness on defense.

"It's so enjoyable at Los Altos and I love being around the kids," Williams said. "Coaching keeps me young and I look forward to the challenge."

The Eagles seem to be off to a positive start already with an experienced coach who has conquered numerous challenges and played against the best in the world.

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