Gymnasium court named after Blazer basketball star
The court in the Michael Smith Gymnasium in the Centralia College Health and Wellness Center (HWC) is now the Bill Watterson Court, named in honor of a former Blazer basketball star.
A formal dedication of the Watterson Court will take place Thursday, Sept. 19, at 1:30 p.m. in the HWC. Watterson is expected to attend.
Watterson was a standout guard for the Centralia College Blazer basketball team beginning in 1959 and was considered to be the Mr. Hustle and Mr. Inspirational awards recipient. He continued his basketball career at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks. After finishing his education there he remained in Alaska and eventually formed a construction firm that has grown into one of the largest in Alaska. Along the way he earned a graduate degree in engineering from Stanford University.
Watterson is one of Centralia College’s first Sports Hall of Fame inductees, voted into membership in 1987.
“As a Centralia College Blazer, he was a very skilled and energetic guard who was a disruptive force for the opposition,” Bob Peters, current athletic director, said. Peters added that Watterson is still an active ball player.
“The naming of the court in his honor is really appropriate. He has been a good friend to the college and has supported us for a long time,” Peterson said. Earlier this year, the Wattersons (Bill and wife Helga) donated 17.5 acres of wooded land to the foundation.
Over the summer, the college resurfaced the court, adding Watterson’s name.
“Every 20 years or so we redo the floor, sanding down to the bare wood,” Peters said. “This year we took out some of the lines that were not needed, added some touches to improve the look of the court and put Watterson’s name on it.”
The women’s volleyball team will break in the newly named court Sept. 27 with a match against Clark College. That contest will begin at 7 p.m.