Plaschke's honorable mention's
From Russian with glove
Hitting high notes
Cohen didn't act the part, so of course she didn't get the part
The name is in giant cardinal letters, stripped across two sides of the new basketball court in this city's new basketball treasure, the signature on USC's signature arena.

It will be stepped upon by generations of Trojans basketball players.

It will be seen by millions of Galen Center fans.

Yet it is cloaked in mystery.

Jim Sterkel Court.

"Are you sure?" asks his wife, Joanne Sterkel. "His name is on what?"

It's on the hardwood, scripted there forever, officially scuffed for the first time on Nov. 16, when the Trojans open the season against South Carolina.

It honors a former Trojan who played only two seasons in the mid-1950s. He never averaged more than 10 points a game. His teams never won more than 16 games. He never graduated.

Jim Sterkel Court.

"You're kidding me," asks his daughter Jill. "Are you sure you have the right man?"

He spent a lifetime working as a Johnson Wax salesman. He died of cancer in 1997. He left behind a wife of 38 years and three children and a modest Hacienda Heights home.

Outside that home today there hangs a college banner.

A UCLA banner.

He wasn't a Trojans donor, he never had Trojans season tickets, and if he had any Trojans memories, he kept them to himself.