LOS ANGELES - Washington junior Isaiah Thomas' 17 point performance Friday at UCLA launched him past four former Huskies and into 16th place on the school's all-time scoring list.
One of the players he passed was Paul Fortier, now a UW assistant.
“I just congratulated him,” Fortier said. “I knew he was coming up there because I knew the other names that he was coming up to. I knew I was a name as well. I’m happy for Isaiah. As I told him after in the locker room, I’m happy that he passed me. He’s a great person.”
Fortier played from 1983-86. Three of his teams advanced to the NCAA tournament. In his senior season, he served as team captain and averaged 14.8 points and 7.2 rebounds.
When Fortier woke up Friday, he ranked 17th among all-time Huskies with 1,326 career points.
However, by the time he went to bed, he had dropped a notch, as Thomas’ 1,335 points moved him past Mark Sanford (1,318 points from 1995-97), ex-Lincoln High star Clarence Ramsey (1,323 points from 1974-76), Fortier and Bruno Boin (1,330 points from 1955-59).
Thomas, a Tacoman who played at Curtis High School, scored more points over his first two seasons than any other Husky.
He said he was unaware of passing Fortier until the coach told him. And he made clear that he has a higher target in mind.
“He just said something in the locker room,” Thomas said. “ ‘I’m coming for that No. 1 spot.’ That’s what I told him.”
Washington’s career scoring leader is Chris Welp, who scored 2,073 points from 1984-87.
Justin Holiday is a senior and a UW co-captain. But he picked up an uncharacteristic technical foul midway through the first half Friday, immediately after nailing a 3-pointer from in front of the UCLA bench.
“I was talking, that’s all I can say,” Holiday said. “I will admit I was talking. I wanted to get the win. It was selfish on my part. But we still won, thank God.”
If the technical foul call was surprising, Holiday said coach Lorenzo Romar’s displeasure was not.
“I knew,” he said. “If you’d seen when they blew the whistle, if you could see me I was like, ‘Here comes Romar.’ I already knew.”
The game had special meaning to Holiday, who is a Los Angeles native. And like everyone else on the UW roster, he had never won at UCLA.
“I’m speechless right now,” he said. “I’m just glad we did it as a team. It’s the way we did it that I’m most happy about. We’re going in the right direction.”
Don Ruiz: 253-597-8808 email@example.com blog.thenewstribune.com/uwsports