The Barton Community College Sports Hall of Fame grew by four this past weekend as the new inductees were honored. A soccer player, high jumper, and two basketball players were part of the 2019 class Saturday.
Shala Giardini was member the women’s soccer team in 2009 and 2010. The Greeley, Colorado native scored 59 goals her freshman season to earn the program’s initial first-team NJCAA All-American award. Coming out of high school, Giardini did not expect the success she had.
Shala Giardini Audio
Giardini is currently a nursing facility Compliance Inspector for the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment and is an Olympic Weightlifting competitor.
Joel Light’s hometown is Great Bend. Competing at Barton before heading to the University of Kansas, Light became the first in school history to eclipse the 7-foot high jump mark. At Barton from 1977 through 1979, Light cleared the 7-foot height at Nationals to become Barton’s first ever individual champion.
Joel Light Audio
Light spent over 25 years in aviation including time with Boeing and Spirit AeroSystems and eventually returned to education as a professor.
The 2019 class also included two men’s basketball teammates from the late 1970s.
Jimmy Graham, the McPherson native, averaged 23 points per game his sophomore year, and was part of a team that finished 27-3 his freshman season. Graham had a lot of success at McPherson High School, but was not heavily recruited which baffled him his senior year. Recruiting was different in the 1970s, as college coaches and universities would send letters. The player would have to respond to the letters before getting recruited. Graham found out he was getting recruited, he just did not know about it.
Jimmy Graham Audio
Shortly after the recruitment discovery, then Barton coach Lorin Miller visited Graham and convinced him to come to Great Bend. Graham went on to play at Newman University and served as Director of Computer Sciences at Barton for 11 years and currently works at the University of Central Missouri.
Graham’s teammate on the 1977 Barton team was Steve Griffin. Griffin grew up in Hoisington and knocked down “the shot heard around Barton County” that secured Barton’s first ever Jayhawk West Division conference title.
Steve Griffin Audio
Griffin went on to play at Pittsburg State University and Fort Hays State University. He currently serves as a Senior Consultant to Cardinal Health Scientific Products in Salina.