FULLERTON, Calif. -- Recruiting, scheduling, state of affairs. All were discussed, among other topics, on Wednesday night as new Cal State Fullerton basketball coaches Dedrique Taylor and Daron Park joined Titans fans and supporters at a meet and greet fundraiser held at BIGS Bar and Grill in Fullerton.
"What an amazing show of support for you to take time out of your busy schedule… there are so many things that you can be doing right now and you will never understand how much we appreciate you being here and spending some time to get to know us better," Park said to the crowd.
"There's a lot of excitement going around the athletic department right now… I'm telling you, right now, you guys are in on the ground floor of something that's going to be very, very special with Cal State Fullerton men's and women's basketball."
Added Taylor, "First and foremost, thank you guys for opening up your arms and welcoming us to the Titan Family. It has been a warm reception. It has been exciting. It has been all of the above."
Joined by Athletics Director Jim Donovan, who also fielded questions from the assembled group, Taylor and Park took time to introduce themselves and their newly-hired coaching staffs in attendance -- Taja Edwards and Steven Fennelly for the women's team and John Smith, Danny Sprinkle, and Robert Spence on the men's side -- before fielding questions from the audience about various aspects of each program as the Titans head into the 2013-14 season.
Also discussed was the recent announcement that Fullerton would host the first two rounds of the inaugural Wooden Legacy Tournament during the Thanksgiving holiday, bringing some of the nation's top collegiate teams to Titan Gym.
"What that means for us, and this community, is that we get a chance to show the world what Cal State Fullerton is all about," Taylor said. "You'll get a chance to see, what I believe to be, some very quality basketball. It will be an exciting venue for us to be able to show people what we have and will also allow people to get on our campus and get a feel for what we're like.
"Obviously, John Wooden is one of the greatest coaches -- not just in basketball but, I think, he's one of the giants in college athletics, in general, just because of what he stands for. It gives us a chance to expose our players to some of the things he stood for in terms of the 'Pyramid of Success' and how important that is to life in general."