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Basketball

James Donaldson at a basketball game for WSU
Spring 2022

Video and stories about James Donaldson

Former Coug and NBA basketball star James Donaldson (’79 Socio.) faced a lot of adversity over the last decade. He has turned his struggles with mental health into a new purpose: helping others through sharing his experiences.

Video: Eric Johnson (’84 Comm.) interviews Donaldson for Eric’s Heroes on Seattle’s KOMO-TV

Donaldson is a guest on Chino y Chicano, co-hosted by Enrique Cerna (’75 Comm.). (Read more about Cerna and his podcast)

Your Gift of Life: Donaldson’s nonprofit to increase awareness of mental health

Read more about Donaldson’s journey back in “Standing tall.”

From the … » More …

Spring 2022

The turning point

When asked what the turning point was during the 2006-07 season coach Tony Bennett said:

“That game against Gonzaga.”

Bennett began his first season as the Cougar head coach with seven straight wins, marking the best start by a Pac-10 head coach in his inaugural season since 1951-52.

The winning streak was snapped by a loss at Utah, Dec. 2. Next up was a pivotal match-up against Gonzaga in Pullman three days later.

“That game was a big game for us,” remembers Kyle Weaver, a junior guard on the team. “Gonzaga was a solid team.”

Gonzaga established itself a perennial national power with a … » More …

WSU student holds a t-shirt that reads Believe
Spring 2022

Finding out the meaning of T.A.Y. the hard way

T.A.Y. (Turnaround Year) was more than an acronym for the 2006-07 Cougar basketball team.

“That was not just a slogan for us,” remembers Kyle Weaver, a junior guard on the team. “We really took it to heart. It goes to the things we did to prepare for it to be a turnaround year.”

“We had a lot of tough, grueling workouts,” adds Weaver.

Weaver remembers seeing the director of strength and conditioning, David Lang, when arriving for the day’s workout session; in particular, the runs up the hills of Sunnyside Park in the summer heat.

“We came to the hill and said, ‘What’s about to … » More …

The most prolific scorJeanne (Eggart) Helfer. Photo Bruce Andre
Spring 2017

How you play the game

It took a while for the guys to start passing her the ball during pickup games at the gym.

Jeanne (Eggart) Helfer ’82 stuck with it, spending much of her free time back in 1977 simply running the length of the basketball court waiting for a chance to show she knew her way around the paint. It was her first semester at Washington State, a few months before she would start setting school records, and Helfer patiently waited for the guys to discover what her older brother and his friends already had learned back in Walla Walla.

That girl can shoot. And pass. And rebound.

» More …

Ernie Kent
Spring 2015

A winning style

While most reporters covering Ernie Kent focus on his affinity for fast-paced basketball and his ability to recruit, inevitably the subject of his sartorial splendor arises. He’s the “man of a million clothes,” according to The Seattle Times and in the Oregonian’s view, a “clothes horse,” with “tight ties,” and “sharp collars.”

Whether he’s coordinating plays or coordinating outfits, Ernie Kent is a man with a brand.

“In this day and age, your brand is huge,” says Kent. “If you don’t understand that at a young age, it’s going to be a shock to your system as you go from the bright lights of college … » More …

New and Noteworthy
Winter 2014

New & noteworthy

 

After Artest: The NBA and the Assault on Blackness

David J. Leonard

SUNY Press, 2012

After a brawl at a Pistons-Pacers game in 2004, the NBA adopted policies to govern black players and prevent them from embracing styles and personas associated with blackness. This book by Leonard, associate professor of critical culture, gender, and race studies at Washington State University, discloses connections between the NBA’s discourse and the broader discourse of anti-black racism.

 

Emergence and Collapse of Early Villages

Timothy A. Kohler (editor), Mark D. Varien (editor)

University of California Press, 2012

This book examines how climate change, population size, interpersonal conflict, resource … » More …

Summer 2013

We Are the Bus

Bus

 

James McKean ’68, ’74
Texas Review Press, 2012

This small book of poetry plays on themes of reminiscence, travel, and the bliss of simple things like being a boy with a Racket Box full of fireworks. This collection of 42 poems won the 2011 X.J. Kennedy Poetry Prize.

In it McKean transports us to some lovely places. Fishing on the Sandy River, climbing up to the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, floating on … » More …

WSU basketball crowd
Spring 2013

Down Under to Pullman

The crowd at Beasley Coliseum calls out, “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Oy, Oy, Oy!” for the Australian basketball players on the court, but one key to the Down Under connection sits on the sidelines.

Assistant WSU coach Ben Johnson played professionally and coached in Australia for six years, and has been instrumental in bringing standout players Aron Baynes and Brock Motum from there, as well as up-and-coming players Dexter Kernich-Drew and James Hunter.

Johnson, who has been at Washington State for nine seasons, says, “Through that time, I was able to build some good networks and contacts over there in Australia. And … » More …

WSU West
Spring 2013

Posts for Spring 2013

Patrick Siler

I was thrilled to see the feature on Patrick Siler in your fall 2012 issue. I am a proud fine arts graduate from WSU and as a former professor of mine, Patrick Siler had (and continues to have), a huge influence on me.

I never considered myself a natural artist. I was drawn toward computer arts, that is until I took Patrick Siler’s drawing class. My advisor warned me that he was hard, but I am so glad that I took it. During the class he not only gave me invaluable feedback, but he, in his quirky way, encouraged me toward a … » More …