Christian@sandiegosportsassn.com, (858) 342 5509
BRASSEY, BUEHLER, GATES
TO BE INDUCTED INTO BREITBARD HALL OF FAME
Chargers record-setting tight end Antonio Gates, San Diego State University and Olympic volleyball standout Laurel Brassey (Iversen), and World Cup and Olympic soccer star Rachel Buehler (Van Hollebeke) have been selected for induction into the Breitbard Hall of Fame, the San Diego Sports Association announced.
The three will receive San Diego’s most prestigious sports honor at the 75th annual Salute to the Champions in 2021 (date TBA).
Laurel Brassey (Iversen) made national headlines when she was asked to play on the Aztecs’ men’s team in 1974, a year after they won the school’s only NCAA title. She not only accepted, becoming the first woman to play on an NCAA men’s team, but became a key player as a setter and back-line player. She went on to play in 350 international women’s matches and was a member of the USA Women’s teams in the 1980 boycotted Olympics and 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea. She later coached at the University of New Mexico for 17 years, compiling a 280-173 record.
“Growing up in San Diego this hits a soft spot for me, growing up here the experiences I had on and off the volleyball court made me who I am, and I’m very grateful for this honor,” Brassey Iversen said.
Rachel Buehler (Van Hollebeke) One of the top defenders in the nation at every level she played, Buehler is most known for being a part of the 2012 London Olympics gold medal winning Team USA defense. The Del Mar native started her winning ways at Torrey Pines High School winning two CIF Section championships as well as twice being named a Parade All-American before going on to play at Stanford. During her time at Stanford, she was a team captain for three years and received numerous accolades, including selections to first and second-team All Pac-10. After college, Buehler went on to play in 113 matches for the US National team and was part of two Olympic Gold medal teams (2008 and ’12) as well as being a key member of the 2011 World Cup team.
Antonio Gates retired from the National Football League after the 2018 season as the NFL’s all-time leader in touchdowns scored by a tight end with 116. He spent his entire 16-year career (2003-18) in a Chargers uniform. Gates produced huge numbers from his rookie season and never slowed down. He averaged more than 10 yards per catch every season in his career and caught double–digit touchdown passes in four seasons. His career highlights include eight Pro Bowl selections, two All-Pro selections, and nine times he finished a season leading all NFL tight ends in either receptions, yards or touchdowns.
“To get an honor like this makes you think about the countless days that it took to get here; all the hard work and all the people who helped me get to where I am. It’s overwhelming,” Gates said.
ABOUT THE SAN DIEGO SPORTS ASSOCIATION
The mission of the San Diego Sports Association is to promote and support local athletic achievement and youth development through sports. Tracing its roots to the Breitbard Athletic Foundation, the San Diego Sports Association is made up of San Diego’s leading sports influencers, champions, and decision-makers. The San Diego Sports Association is dedicated to creating strategic and meaningful opportunities to use sports and philanthropy to make a positive impact in San Diego and reaches more than 750,000 people a year through our awards programs and community outreach initiatives. For more information, visit sandiegosportsassociation.com.