High School Sports

PAC 7 boys basketball: Larson floored by school’s naming of basketball court

The court at Gil Asa Gym at Paso Robles High will soon be named after 33rd-year Bearcats boys basketball coach Scott Larson, the Paso Robles Public Schools board of trustees unanimously decided Tuesday night.

A naming ceremony will take place before Paso Robles’ game against Righetti at 7:30 Friday night. The proposal to the board mentioned a plaque being placed in Larson’s honor inside the gym, as well as his name being painted in a visible location upon entry to the gym.

“It’s a terrific honor,” Larson said. “It’s hard to describe the feeling you have when people honor you like that.“It’s a very nice gesture by the board of trustees,” he added. “I’m humbled.”

“It’s definitely a well-deserved honor,” Paso Robles athletic director Mark Rose added. “Several former players, parents and others felt it was time we honored somebody who’s been with us for 33 years.”

Larson, who attended Alhambra High and Occidental College, has amassed 422 wins at Paso Robles and — including an earlier stint at Lee Vining — 446 victories overall.

The California Coaches Association Boys Basketball Coach of the Year award winner a year ago, Larson has led Paso Robles to 11 league titles, including undefeated league campaigns in 1994, 1998 and 2006.

In both 2001 and 2006, his teams advanced to the CIF-Southern Section divisional semifinals, the first time in Division II-AA and the latter in Division II-A.

“He has a passion for the kids,” Rose said of Larson, a social studies teacher. “It’s all about integrity and teaching them values.”

In light of pending proposed budget cuts in Paso Robles that would eliminate coaching stipends and cut sports transportation funding by 50 percent, Larson recently spoke out in opposition of statewide cuts to education in general.

“If we want to have quality education for our kids, it takes money to do that,” Larson said earlier this month. “Our priorities should be with the youth of our nation.”