It won’t be added on to his city-record 521 coaching wins but Sahuaro girls basketball coach and athletic director Steve Botkin scored a special victory last night at Phoenix.
Botkin was honored as the Phoenix Mercury’s “Coach of the Game” during last night’s win over the Atlanta Dream at the Talking Stick Resort Arena.
The Mercury provided tickets to Botkin’s family and Sahuaro’s girls basketball program, and he was honored at midcourt in a ceremony before the game.
Botkin’s 521 career victories at Rincon and Sahuaro are well ahead of the next coach from Southern Arizona — former Marana coach Mike Dyer with 337. Former Sahuaro coach Jim Scott, one of Botkin’s mentors along with late coaching legend Dick McConnell, had 333 wins.
Sahuaro, which finished 25-4 and reached the state semifinals last year, should be again be a force in the 4A Kino region because of returning juniors Alyssa Brown and Lucky Franke. The team also has six seniors returning from last year’s team.
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.