Hornets Hall of Fame to induct 1987-88 basketball team


The 1987-88 Sacramento State men’s basketball team was inducted into the Hornets Hall of Fame last night.

Daniel Morales

The Sacramento State Basketball Hall of Fame will be hosting its fourth annual induction ceremony in honor of the 1987-88 men’s team which holds a long-standing record at Sac State.

This team is remembered for its historic record-setting season of 22 wins – the most in the school’s history.

Joseph Anders, now the interim head coach for the women’s basketball team at Arizona State University, was the head coach for the Hornets from 1987 to 1992. He earned 75 wins while at the helm of the team which makes him the fourth most winning coach in school history.

Anders said his former group of players is worthy of the accolade.

“This team truly gave us something we will remember forever, and that is that they truly loved the game.” Anders said.

 Anders said the team loved to put on a show on the hardwood.

“They are a group that is well-deserving and this team really loved to bring showtime to the floor,” Anders said.

The “showtime” Anders speaks of refers to the high-powered offense that led the nation in 3-pointers with 303 and averaged 10.1 per game. The team scored an average of 93.1 points per game, which ranked the team seventh in the nation at the time. The team had four players who averaged double figures in points, including Alex Williams with 25.6 points per game, Robert Martin with 19.1 points per game, Sean McClendon with 13.1 points per game and Chris Farr with 11.5 points per game.

Williams, guard, still has the record for most 3-pointers made in the NCAA Div. II. The team scored 100 points or more seven times, also a school record.

 Anders also said he is thankful that the team is able to get a shot to enter the hall of fame and when the day of the their induction comes, it should be all about the team.

“Coaches do not put themselves in the hall of fame,” Anders said. “The team does.”

Point guard Bruce Woodard said the 1987-88 season is an experience he will remember forever.

“It was just a winning season. The chemistry of the team on and off the court was great,” Woodard said. “I played with some great guys and it was nice to see that we all graduated; it was rare in those days to see an athlete graduate.”

Woodard graduated majoring in criminal justice and a minor in computer science and works as a California Correctional Officer in the adult division.

Point guard Sean Smartt said he and the team are grateful for the chance at becoming a part of the school’s hall of fame.

“It means a lot. Out of all the years, they chose our team. It shows how special it was. And to still have the record stand and being a part of this is special,” Smartt said.

Woodard said he enjoyed playing in the small, packed gymnasium and remembers seeing people waiting in line outside the gym waiting to see them play.

“Bands and students were outside the gym in a line that stretched all the way to the clinic,” Woodard said. “They had to bring portable seating for all the people waiting.”

 The squad finished the historic season with a record of 22-8. The team was the only Hornet basketball team to qualify for the NCAA Tournament in the last 41 years. It entered the NCAA  D-II tournament ranked 12th in the nation and first in the West Region, but would eventually lose both tournament games to California State University, Hayward, which today is known as California State University, East Bay.

One of the team’s most notable wins of the season was defeating the powerhouse Texas A&M University at Arco Arena 87-84 on Dec. 19, 1987.

Smartt said he and the team were not favorites to win that game and remembers the leading scorer of the opposing team, Darrel  “Hardwood Wizard” McDonald.

“He was one of the leading scorers and he thought he was going to have a field day against us,” Smartt said. “I remember a play he did on a breakaway on the right side of the lane, Grover came over to defend him and he did a fake behind the back pass with his right almost making Grover fall and with his left laid it off the glass. We were just like ‘Whoa’.”

Apart from the induction, fourth-year head coach Brian Katz will introduce this year’s Hornet basketball squad and preview the 2011-12 season, which begins with a regular-season home game on Friday against Menlo College.

The 87-88 squad is the second team to be inducted into the hall of fame after every player from the 1961-62 team was inducted three years ago.

Daniel Morales can be reached at [email protected].