Friends, family, fun – and a whole lot of memories.
The Solano Community College women’s basketball program celebrated in style earlier this week as two more alumni were inducted into the Solano Athletic Hall of Fame on Monday night.
LaStar Brown, who played at Solano from 2000-02, and former assistant coach Kevin Chaney, who coached at Solano for nine years from 1993-2003, continued a storied tradition by cementing their legacies at Solano College.
The Hall of Fame banquet, held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Fairfield, was emotional as current Solano women’s basketball coach Matt Borchert opened the night by inducting LaStar, the first of his former players to go into the Hall of Fame.
“When I arrived at Solano, I was taking over for (former Solano coach) Kim (Gervasoni) and she told me that there was a player from Washington High School in San Francisco that was thinking about coming to Solano,” said Matt. “Well, she ended up coming to Solano.”
LaStar was a second team all-state selection as a sophomore and an honorable mention All-American. She was a two-time all-Bay Valley Conference choice as well. LaStar ranks No. 5 all-time in career scoring and No. 4 in career rebounding. She also still ranks No. 10 in single season rebounding. She holds the record for most assists in a game (13) and a single season (188). She helped Solano to a No. 1 state ranking in her freshman year and compiled a 45-25 overall record and a 15-7 BVC record in her two years.
LaStar is the 17th former Solano women’s basketball player to enter the Hall of Fame. She was presented with her framed NO. 5 jersey upon her induction.
LaStar gave a moving acceptance speech in which she thanked Kevin, Matt and former assistant coach Wendy Derby (who flew in from Illinois to attend the ceremony) for helping her become “the woman I am today.”
As he took the podium to introduce Kevin, coach Matt hesitated.
“This is going to be tough,” he admited.
Kevin, who is now the women’s basketball coach at University of Nebraska, Kearney, coached with Kim Gervasoni for six seasons before staying on when Coach Matt took over in 2000.
They roamed the sidelines together for three years together, and if Monday’s speeches were any indication – it was a special time for both.
Kevin spoke about some of the important players who he say changed his life – including Leah Whatley, who after Solano went on to win a Division II national championship while at Cal Poly Pomona.
He also talked about Tracy Brown, who he witnessed get in a car accident during her time at Solano. He pulled off the freeway and stayed with her, praying that God would make her well.
His speech concluded with reference to LaStar. He attended one of her final games when she was at Oklahoma City University. LaStar later gave Kevin her diploma, thanking him for helping her get it.
“I asked God what I was supposed to do with this and he told me that someday we would come together again,” Kevin said. “Here we are.”
Kevin presented LaStar with her diploma and the hugged to a huge round of applause. Coach Matt presented Kevin with a collage of photos from his coaching days at Solano. While he was touched by the gesture, he wasn’t quite sure where it would make its final home.
“I can’t put this in my office,” he joked. “My girls would make fun of me forever.”
Thank you to Sharonda Watson for providing video of the induction speeches. Videos are available on the Solano Communtiy College women’s basketball Facebook page. Check back later for photos from the reunion held at Chevy’s in Vacaville the night before the Hall of Fame banquet and from the ceremony.