Hard-hitting Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott, known for his tenacious defense as a 49er, recently visited San Quentin along with his basketball team called the Outsiders and defeated the San Quentin Kings basketball team 62-59 in comeback fashion.
“I came to play ball and hang with the fellows,” said Lott, who patiently signed autographs for prisoners who flocked to the basketball court to see the NFL legend in action. “I’ve been here four times, but this is my first time playing ball.”
He also emphasized that his team came to compete and that the visitors were not intimidated by playing incarcerated men.
The Outsiders started their comeback as Mike Gallagher knocked down a free throw, followed by a Paul Bubble mid-range jumper. Bubble returned on a fast break lay-up to tie the game 51-51 and followed with a strong put back to give the Outsiders their first lead.
After a Kings jumper by Sean Pierce, Steve Watkin of the Outsiders hit a floater, and then followed with a jumper to increase their lead to 57-53.
‘I came to play ball
and hang out with the fellows’
Following a free throw by Paul Davidson, Lott tossed an assist to Gareth Hancock.
The Kings answered as Davidson buried a driving floater.
The Outsiders put the game away as Watkin hit a free throw and Gallagher made two free throws to increase the lead to 62-56.
The Kings’ point guard, Brain Asey, buried a three-pointer at the buzzer, but it was too late.
Lott stayed on a few extra minutes signing autographs for the many fans who applauded his visit.
Lott played a year of basketball at the University of Southern California. “This has been a great experience, just hanging with 49er and Raider fans. It’s just real,” he said.
Kings power forward Davidson commented after their loss: “It was a dream come true to play against Lott. I watched him in college and in the pros. Playing against him is something I will always remember. We were talking trash during the game and I told him this isn’t football; this is basketball. If I had to lose a game, I’d rather lose it to Lott. But he added that if the Outsiders return, “we will beat them.”