Tom Meschery '61 and Diamon Simpson '09.
This story was originally published in the spring 2009 edition of Saint Mary's Magazine.
Tom Meschery '61, who concluded his collegiate career as Saint Mary's leading rebounder, was inducted into the West Coast Conference's new Hall of Honor on March 7 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.
Meschery, five other WCC players and two coaches were in an inaugural class that represented each of the WCC's eight institutions. In addition to being honored at a brunch, the men were introduced during halftime of the first men's basketball semifinal game on March 8.
Meschery, a 6-foot-6 power forward, played for Saint Mary's from 1957–1961. Averaging 16.7 points and 13.6 rebounds per game, he left as the school's leading rebounder (916) and his 1,126 career points rank 12th all-time at SMC. (Senior forward Diamon Simpson overtook Meschery in rebounds in February and ended his SMC career with 1,130.)
Meschery's No. 31 was retired by the College.
Meschery played 10 seasons in the NBA, first for the Philadelphia/San Francisco Warriors, where he competed in the 1963 NBA All-Star Game, and then with the Seattle Supersonics before retiring in 1971, the same year in which he became head coach of the ABA's Carolina Cougars. The Warriors also retired his jersey number (No. 14).
Meschery is also in the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame.
Other inductees to the WCC Hall of Honor were: Hank Gathers from Loyola Marymount; Doug Christie from Pepperdine; Frank Burgess from Gonzaga; former head coach Clive Charles of Portland; Carroll Williams from Santa Clara; Bernie Bickerstaff of San Diego; and Joe Ellis of USF.
"We are very proud of the inaugural Hall of Honor class," said WCC Commissioner Jamie Zaninovich. "The list of inductees represents the West Coast Conference's strong tradition of athletic excellence."