Longtime Del Oro (Calif.) coach Mike Takayama died in June after a heart attack.
The 56-year-old left behind his wife Kathy, son Ryan, and a full town’s worth of former Del Oro girls basketball players from his 29 years at the helm. Takayama topped 600 career victories, all at Del Oro. He was the catalyst in turning Del Oro into a bona fide state power, earning two section titles, 18 league titles and 28 tournament berths, meaning that his teams missed the entire CIF playoffs just once.
As the new season is about to get underway, the team left a seat open on the bench with a sportscoat over it and flowers. The flowers were provided by Del Oro’s opponent, Ponderosa (Shingle Springs, Calif.) in a classy gesture prior to the teams’ scrimmage.