This has been a hectic time for Kristina Santiago, to say the least.

It's been hectic in a nice way, though.

Friday night, the former Righetti High School girls basketball star was inducted into the Cal Poly Sports Hall of Fame on the Cal Poly campus. Saturday she was at another on-campus event, an informal barbeque for her and the other six 2017 Cal Poly Sports Hall inductees.

"It's just been an insane weekend," The 6-foot-2 Santiago, who has played professional basketball overseas for several years but says she has likely retired from the sport as a player, said at the barbecue. "My whole family, a lot of people are in town for this.

"A lot of people helped me and tended to me while I was at the school, and it was good to be able to see some of them and do some catching up." 

Besides all that, "I'm going to be the director of operations for the women's basketball program," Santiago said with a smile. "I start Monday."

Friday night Santiago, who set a bunch of Cal Poly school records when she played for the Mustangs before graduating in 2012, was inducted into the Cal Poly Hall along with Danny Aldridge (men's track and field, and cross country, 1977-79), Kevin Correia (baseball, 2000-02), Billy Jackson (men's basketball, 1969-73), Gladees Prieur (women's track and field, and cross country, 1983-87), Dr. Ken Walker (administration, 1973-2017) and Craig Young (football, 1996-99).

Santiago said in July that she had been "literally shaking," and tearing up when Cal Poly Director of Athletics Don Oberhelman called her and told her that she would be inducted into the school's Athletics Hall of Fame.

At the induction ceremony Friday night, "I wasn't exactly shaky, but it was pretty emotional for me when it came time for my speech," said Santiago.

"It's such an honor. When you read the bios of these (fellow Cal Poly inductees), you realize what an honor it is to be inducted along with them.

"I did some great things at Cal Poly but still, it's an honor especially (to be inducted) in my first year of eligibility," Santiago said.

Santiago, 28, was the Cal Poly Female Athlete of the Year in 2009-10 and 2011-12. She holds school records for career scoring (1,953 points), rebounding (850) and field goal percentage (53.8 percent).

The Righetti grad also holds single-season school records for field goal percentage (55.8 percent) and scoring (23.4).

She was the Big West Conference Player of the Year for the 2011-12 season after missing the 2010-11 campaign with a torn ACL. The Mustangs compiled a 70-56 mark, including 42-22 in the Big West, when Santiago played for them.

Cal Poly retired Santiago's No. 12 jersey in December.

With her last pro team, BC Alte Kanti Aarau in Switzerland, she averaged 26.2 points, 10.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game.

Santiago signed earlier in the year with Haskova 2012 of Bulgaria of the Eastern European Women's Basketball League but that club, according to the EEWBL "withdrew from competition after the Bulgarian basketball federation put a ban on registering foreign players until 2020."

Last summer, Santiago said she was mulling retiring from the game as a player, saying the physicality and travel of pro basketball had taken a toll on her.

"People have gotten married, started families and then come back," to the professional sports realm, said Santiago. "I'm not ruling it out.

"Right now, though, it's not even close to being on the radar."


Sports Reporter