Kobe delivers for 'Eaters

October 04, 2010
  • Former Orange Coast College tailback Ray Holley (22) has scored two touchdowns for Louisiana Tech this season.
Former Orange Coast College tailback Ray Holley (22)… (File photo, Daily…)

The list of those who believe Kobe Bryant is selfish will not include the student-athletes at UC Irvine.

Anteaters in all sports were invited to an evening with the Lakers' superstar on Sept. 23 and the Newport Coast resident entertained and enlightened during an interactive session with about 500 in attendance at the Bren Events Center.

UCI men's volleyball coach John Speraw, who met Bryant at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, initiated the idea, originally hoping Bryant would relay some wisdom about his passion for excellence to Speraw's players.

But after conferring with UCI men's basketball assistant Ryan Badrtalei, who for years has coordinated Bryant's periodic workouts at UCI, it was decided to expand the invitation to all student-athletes.

The event came together in less than a week and UCI complied with Bryant's wish to have only student-athletes in the stands. No media was invited and Bryant even requested that the event not be videotaped.


Speraw said last week that Bryant was engaging and candid in answering questions posed by student-athletes. He even took photos with each team.

All involved were also impressed with Bryant's generosity. And Speraw said everyone came away with something they can use to be better competitors and people.

The Orange Coast College football team earned its first victory of the season Saturday with a 18-7 triumph over visiting San Diego Mesa. The Pirates opened last season 4-0, but due to a restructuring of the conferences and divisions within the 37-school Southern California Football Assn. in the off-season, found a much tougher early schedule before opening East Division play in the Central Conference.

In its last two games, Coach Mike Taylor's squad has established a running game, something that had been absent since the departure of 2009 sophomore tailback Ray Holley.

In its last two games, including a 42-35 loss at Grossmont on Sept. 27, OCC has posted 530 rushing yards and 787 yards of total offense.

Holley, who produced 1,457 and 18 touchdowns on the ground last season, the former a school single-season record, is finding modest success this season as a junior at Louisiana Tech.

Holley has carried 15 times for 66 yards and one touchdown and also caught seven passes for 49 yards and one touchdown for the 1-4 Bulldogs.

Holley makes his only West Coast appearance Nov. 27 at San Jose State. The Bulldogs visit national power Boise State on Oct. 26.

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