Governor Sarah Palin's Valley Connection

8/30/2008 Merced, CA, USA Her former basketball coach now teaches at John Muir elementary in Merced. Coach Cordell Randall has been living in Merced since '84. However he's remained in close touch with Sarah Palin's family and says he has fond memories of when Palin helped the girl's basketball team win the state championship in 1982.

"Our final game in the state tournament she had a stress fracture and she continued playing as she sunk the free-throw that iced the state championship for us," said Randall.

Randall lives in Merced now with his family but keeps in contact with Palin's mother and father, Sally and Chuck Heath. They still live Wasilla, Alaska--Palin's home town.

"I can't even get a call through to Chuck. I think everybody in the world is probably calling him!"

Randall never talked politics with her growing up but said he isn't surprised Palin is so accomplished. She's one of my girls and I know how smart she is and I know how determined she is and I know who hard she works," said Randall.

Randall is a democrat. He said he might not see eye to eye with his republican star on every issue but supports her just the same. I was thinking gosh she's gonna be debating against Joe Biden and I was thinking, 'Oh gosh Sarah!' It just makes me nervous for her but if anybody can do it she can," said Randall.

Randall said he wasn't even thinking of voting for McCain but now that Palin is his new running mate...he said he might have to reconsider.


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