Names and their Games, Family Matters
Names are used by writers to identify people and their families but they don’t even come close to
telling the whole story about them. We’ll attempt that here, but mere words hardly do justice. Suffice to
say, if there is a first family of
sports in Tacoma and Pierce
County, the Scott Names “18”
is enough for a golf course or
team rosters in football, baseball,
soccer, even ice skating.
Yes, the Names family
name is synonymous with
Tacoma sports and it has been
since the 1920s, nearly nine
decades ago. That family
reference includes Scott, Sis,
Tom, Clint, Paula, Erin,
Beth, Monica, Rick, Kappy,
Curtis, Kim, Aidan, Patrick,
Kim and Trina. Did we leave
any of them out?
Well, let’s go figure.
You’ll probably get to meet
them all at the Banquet of Champions when they receive the First Family of Sports Award from the Williams
family (last year’s initial family award winners). The award promises to be an annual form of recognition
at future TAC-produced events like this and, before long, it will become apparent there are many
Tacoma area homes where sports are all in the family.
It began with Scott, long before he was a championship player for the 1931 Stadium Tigers who won
the state basketball title. As a youngster he was always shooting “hoops” and he never stopped until he
was age 68 and his knees needed rest. As a matter of fact,
Scott and his sons Tom and Clint played together on the same team in their golden years, combining
for 198 years worth. Clint stopped playing when he reached 60 but Tom refused to quit until age 70.
When the Names weren’t on a basketball court they were on a golf course. It is doubtful that any local
family ever won more honors in golf than the Names. Mom (nobody calls her anything but “Sis”) was
the very first Women’s Senior State Champion. Scott couldn’t match that championship but he was one of
Fircrest’s finest players while sons Tom and Clint won more than their share of titles.
Tom was Elks Allenmore Champion in 1959 and Fircrest Club Champion in 1972. He was three-time
runner-up at Fircrest, once to brother Clint in the 70s. In 1976 he became
President of Fircrest, and one of his big thrills was caddying for Arnold Palmer in the 1960 Carling Open.
Clint’s golf career was amazing. He started playing at 11 years of age and claimed the
Conference Championship in 1961 at the University of Washington. He won 12 Fircrest
Championships, including eight in a row. He holds the competitive course record for an amateur at Fircrest with a 63. He also won the Fircrest Amateur
five times, three times in a row with two-round totals
of 139. Pro golfer Ken Still assessed his ability by stating
that he was the most natural athlete “I’ve ever been
around”. Clint won the Pat Boone Celebrity Classic at
Ocean Shores in 1969 and the Tacoma Golf Association
Champion of Champions event in 1971.
The Names brothers grabbed even more recognition
on the hardwood. Tom was the city scoring
record-setter at Stadium before Clint broke that mark.
He was a four-year letter winner at the University of
Puget Sound. He was an all-Northwest AAU selection
after college. Clint was captain and inspirational award
winner at the UW where he and George Grant started
at guards after doing the same at Stadium. He was
a unanimous choice for All-State honors at Stadium
where he scored 22 consecutive points for the Tigers in
a 64-63 upset win at the state championships over #1
ranked Richland. The Seattle Times called his 39 points
(18 for 28) the most outstanding performance in state
tournament history at Hec Ed Pavilion.
As a youngster Clint may have been headed for
baseball glory but golf and basketball interfered. In
one “little league” game he struckout the side on nine
pitches and came to bat in the next inning with the
bases loaded. You guessed it, a grand slam!
We could go on with story after story but the rest of the family deserves mention here as well. Scott’s
brothers, Sid and Paul, once played with Tom, Clint and Scott on a team of Names, all by that name.
Scott’s history was highlighted by a 42-point scoring spree for the Tacoma Y which beat Seattle
in a Northwest YMCA League game as a youngster.
It came in an era when most teams didn’t score 42 points.
Mustn’t leave out daughter Paula. She stayed close to sports in high school as a Wilson
high cheerleader, and she has stayed active in slowpitch, volleyball, bicycling and kayaking.
Most notable athletic achievement? Try a 19,340 foot climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro and three weeks
of cycling the countryside in Vietnam.
What about the Names kids? Erin is a Soccer Mom of four, participating in basketball,
baseball and soccer. Beth is an accomplished Ice Skater. Monica played Soccer at Bellarmine
Prep and the U. of Portland. Grandpa Tom and wife Meg are mighty proud. So is great Grandma
Evelyn (Sis to you).
Clint’s kids are Rick, who was All-City in basketball and golf at Foss high school and
played both at Tacoma Community College; Kappy, who earned 9 letters in high school in 6
different sports in three years, and then played Soccer at PLU; Curtis, who played basketball
and golf at Bellarmine; Aidan, an All-Conference player in both volleyball and basketball at
Life Christian Academy; and Patrick, All-Conference in basketball at Bellarmine and basketball
You might say “it’s all in the family”
but the Names certainly rank among the
most athletically-involved ever to participate
in Tacoma and Pierce County. Athletics
have been good to them as well. Scott
opened a “hole in the wall” sports supply
store in Lakewood in 1959 and it was the
first in the nation to retail Nike shoes. That
led to meeting Phil Knight when he was
a shoe salesman in Portland, and a 1971
investment in a company called Sports Tek, Inc. In
1980 those shares were converted to common stock in a company which went public. That company
was Nike. In 1983 the Names Family Foundation
donated $1,074,675 to Bellarmine Prep for Names
Gymnasium. A year later it donated $450,000 to
help finance the Names Physical Education Center
at PLU. The Names have continued to “give back”
to the community with contributions to the YMCA,
UPS, and the Boys and Girls Clubs. Second and
third-generation family members are now involved
in the foundation, and contributions are certain to
continue long into the future.
Name names in sports here and, if you do, be
sure to capitalize the N. The Names we’re talking
about are special indeed.