Campaign underway to name Paly court after former coach


"Clem Wiser Court" will be the name of the basketball court at Palo Alto High School’s spectacular Peery Family Center, if former players, coaches and teaching colleagues have their way.

"It’s a logical and positive honor, that is long overdue," said Kent Hinckley, former Paly and Stanford basketball star, now a novelist living in San Diego.

Award-winning television sports anchor and team captain Dave Feldman agreed. "Coach Wiser had a major impact on my young life. He was strict but fair. Old school. Our '82 league championship season gave me great memories that I will always remember and he was obviously a huge part of that."

Operating informally as the Paly Sports Legacy Project, the "Wiser Court" naming is sought by a group of former Paly athletes, including Feldman, Hinckley, prominent Paly and Stanford long distance runner John Northway; former Paly basketball standouts Craig Carpenter, Bob Strohecker, John Pastinieks, Lynn Bennion and Norm Eliason; footballers Mike McClellan and Don McPhail; legendary football coach and retired Paly teacher Earl Hansen; and current Paly faculty member Arne Lim.

“It is a simple decision, really,” asserted Project coordinator McPhail. "Clem Wiser was Paly basketball.”

Wiser coached at Paly for 28 years and has more victories than any coach, in any sport in Paly history. His teams won over 400 games and nine league titles.

Added McPhail, “Clem Wiser was also a sportsman and a gentleman. He was highly respected by students, faculty colleagues, community members, and other coaches.”

According to the Paly Sports Legacy Project, there are currently two Paly sports facilities named after legendary coaches: Hod Ray Field for football, and George Hurley Baseball Field. The naming of “Clem Wiser Court at the Peery Family Center” is consistent with the existing naming policy.

The concept is already supported by past athletes and staff, many of whom attended the Clem Wiser memorial celebration in April of this year. The Project is currently gathering names from alumni and fans, and plans to present these names to the Palo Alto School District and Paly Principal within thirty days.

All supporters are encouraged to send messages of support via email, to, Subject: “Clem Wiser Court”, or mail letters to: Paly Sports Legacy Project, in care of 403 Hope Street, Mtn. View, CA 94041.

— Palo Alto Online Sports/Paly Sports Legacy Project

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