THE EVENING PAPER: Assistants get a hike, and we still like Ike


A handful of links to pass along this evening.

As a teacher, there are times when I turn to my wife and say, "I'm in the wrong business." Last night was one of those nights, as Vince Grippi reported the WSU basketball assistants' new salaries. Jeff Hironaka will be the highest paid assistant at $120,000, while Ben Johnson will make $115,000 and Curtis Allen $90,000. Johnson also got what amounted to a $10,000 bonus for being the only basketball coach for about a month.

From the new to the old, all-time basketball scoring leader Isaac Fontaine -- who played from 1993-97 -- was honored yesterday by the city of Sacramento for his basketball accomplishments, which included being inducted into Pac-10 Basketball Hall of Honor in March.

Fontaine is and always will be my all-time favorite WSU basketball player. Beyond being a great on the court -- easily the best all-around scorer the school has ever seen -- he was a great person. He had a smile that could light up a room, and was always gracious with his time when I was a reporter at The Evergreen. Ike was every bit the good guy he appeared to be. I even remember playing pickup with him at PEB one time and getting on his team. Terrified, I kept passing him the ball. He kept passing it back, saying, "Shoot, man! You can hit that!" He was that kind of guy.

By the way, the award was presented by Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson. Yes, tthat Kevin Johnson.

In women's basketball news, Cougfan.com checks in with June Daugherty. She's excited for next season. To which I ask: When is June Daugherty not excited?

Lastly, there are still tickets available for the tailgating event in Tri-Cities on Friday, if you want to see all your coaches and those not-so-secret uniforms up close and personal.

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