Coach Wilson Memorial Basketball Tournament
From the inception of the Coach Wilson Basketball Tournament at Robert Louis Stevenson School, a private College Prep School in Pebble Beach where they compete with 7 other teams for the Championship, Coach Mac and then student Evan Santos initiated the “Athletic Cultural Exchange Program” with the invitation to Oakland Tech High School players and coaches to be housed at Stevenson with host families for the week.
Coach Mac and the Tech players were treated to the absolute best of the very privileged world of the financial and social elite of this storied community. The players were provided food and housing with maids, butlers, cooks and chauffeurs, attended class daily and perform all the homework with their host students, were DJ’s that hosted several radio programs each day and learned the inner workings of a radio and TV production studio, attended the schools private art gallery, theater, symphony hall, and a Lacrosse presentation, had several events in their honor, went horse back riding on the beach, golf, swimming, and had a field trip to the Monterey Aquarium.
To demonstrate their gratitude and to say “Thank you” so much for your gracious hospitality and the 2005 Tech team wore the Stevenson team jerseys at the championship game and gave Stevenson their Championship trophy as a token of their appreciation. When Tech came back to play Monterey a few weeks later, over 100 students from Stevenson came to the game as a demonstration of their support for Tech.
The cultural experience and exchange was priceless and beyond expression. The value that was captured between the parties will only be measured in the life altering course that this encounter has afforded all fortunate enough to have been touched by it. The team members did not want to return to Tech and the Stevenson student body did not want them to go. Needless to say, Tech has been invited back annually by Stevenson and they have gladly accepted the invitation as has Castlemont High in Oakland.
I know that this program as part of the tournament has made a huge difference andpaved the way for more minority students to attend Stevenson. Evan proved in his time there that if you stay the course and just stick with it, that is possible to make an incredible contribution to society by working hard to “just do the right thing” successfully. He has to continued his work at Stevenson and will for the rest of his life, to better this great school for those that follow him.
Since 2003 Coach Mac and Evan Santos worked with Mayor’s Jerry Brown and RonDellums of the City of Oakland and Councilmember Jane Brunner wherein he presented a wood framed endorsed Proclamation from the Mayor honoring the Stevenson School and recipients, a gold City of Oakland “Oak Tree” lapel pin, and a City of Oakland Sweatshirt to each of the host families, the athletic department and Stevenson school. Most importantly everyone had the opportunity to enjoy the diversity of the cultural exchange between rich and poor, White and African American, privileged and underprivileged, meet new life long friends and athletes from another level of our wonderful world.