Fujii, Concepcion to be Honored at the Salute to Champions Dinner Thursday

RENO, Nev. Ken Fujii will receive the Pride of Nevada Award and Gabbi Concepcion will be honored as the Youth Champion at the 13th annual Salute to Champions Dinner, Thursday, April 3, 2008 at the Peppermill Resort Casino.


Fujii, a former letterwinner in basketball and football at Nevada, has coached girls basketball at Reno High School, Battle Mountain High School, Sparks High School, Virginia City High School and Manogue High School for over 20 years. 


While coaching the Reno High School girls basketball team, Fujii won 254 of 280 games and won 100 of 103 games played at home in 11 seasons.  He saw 10 of his athletes earn high school All-America honors, while 26 went on to play in college with 16 earning college scholarships. 


Fujii coached his girls teams at Reno High to seven state championships and three runner-up finishes in the state tournament.  He also had a 76-game win streak that spanned from 1980-1982. 


In addition to coaching girl’s basketball at Reno High, Fujii spent 15 years coaching boys basketball at Reno High.  He also served as the boys’ football coach for 15 years and the softball coach for 10 seasons, leading the Huskies to a state softball championship in 1986. 


Fujii is entering his 27th year coaching and operating the Fujii Basketball Camp. 


He is a member of several halls of fame, including the NIAA Hall of Fame as both a player and coach, the Reno High School Hall of Fame and the Nevada Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame.


Fujii, who is currently the principal at Eureka County High School, spent 35 years working for the Washoe County School District as a teacher and principal.  He is a graduate of Reno High School and earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Nevada in 1958 and his master’s degree from Nevada in 1963.    


Concepcion, a seventh grader at Little Flower School, is this year’s Youth Champion honoree.  She started playing basketball at the age of seven and currently plays on the eighth-grade team for the Nevada Basketball Academy.  She also plays with the Bully’s seventh-grade team. 


The 13th annual Salute to Champions Dinner and silent auction will be held on Thursday, April 3, 2008 in the Tuscany Ballroom of the Peppermill Resort Casino in Reno

Women’s beach volleyball superstar and Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh will be the keynote speaker at this year’s event.  The year’s event is put on by Nevada Athletics and Pack PAWS (Promoting and Advancing Women in Sports). 

The annual event is presented by Dr. Nazir and Dr. Mary Ansari and is sponsored by The E.L. Cord Foundation, IGT, McDonald Carano Wilson LLP and the Whispering Vine Wine Company. Cocktails and the silent auction will begin at 5:30 p.m., with dinner set to be served at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets for the Salute to Champions dinner are $125 per person or $75 for youths 12 and under. Table packages are also available for purchase for $2,500 and $1,250, while attendees can also sponsor a student for $100.

For tickets or more information, call (775) 682-6965.

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