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ANDRE D WILLIAMS BLOG

Chuck Rockmore to be inducted into the Lehigh Valley Basketball Hall of Fame
Chuck Rockmore is a real father and sort of the father of Allentown youth basketball.
Rockmore, 48, is the father of seven and since 2003 he's pumped up hundreds of kids in and around Allentown with his Wall-2-Wall youth organization and now a dozen years after starting the organization he's going to be prestigiously recognized.
 On Saturday, Rockmore will be inducted into the Lehigh Valley Sports Hall of Fame for basketball at the Gin Mill Grille in Northampton at 1 p.m.

"It's really a humbling experience," Rockmore said. "It tells me I have been recognized for my dedication in helping the youth in my community and beyond."

Rockmore, who's the founder, director, trainer and coach of W2W started the basketball part of the organization with JoJo Smith, Tank Hilliard and Jonafer McDonald. The fathering part of it has been all Rockmore, like dealing with different personalities, budgets and rides-to-practices and games type of stuff.
But where there's a will there's a way and Rockmore has managed just fine since 2003.
"We started with two teams and thru the years we've had as many as 11 teams, nine boys and two girls," Rockmore said.
W2W started slowly, first competing in AFBE Tournaments, a spend off of AAU. Then the organization jumped in with the big boys and has held its own over the years.
"We haven't won any national championships but in 2012 we played in some of the best tournaments in the country and have competed very well," Rockmore said. "We were ranked #23 in the nation by dunkdog.com and we stayed in the top ten on the East Coast thru basketballspotlight.com. We finished in the elite 8 at the LeBron James Classic that year, sweet 16 in the Maryland Invitational Tournament."
"Two thousand twelve was when we turned into to a national program," Rockmore said. "Before that we played a lot of tournaments in the hot beds of PA.. York, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Reading, Philly." 
W2W has often gone into tournaments with a loaded gun. Detroit Piston and Liberty graduate Darrun Hilliard, East Stroudsburg top assistant coach and Dieruff graduate Anthony Ross, former Michigan and Parkland tight end Tim Massaqoi, ex-ESU player Danny Hargrove, former Muhlenberg and Parkland player Toomey Anderson and Division III All-American guard Darnell Braswell, Allen alumnus and graduate and current top assistant coach of DeSales, Whitehall and current ACC third-place hurdler from Pittsburgh, Ashad Johnson, Allentown native and current Neumann Goretti freshman Chico Whyte, Jalen Cannon, an Allen and St. Francis of Brookly graduate, who led the nation in rebounding last year and many more have played for W2W, including four of his sons - Tyler, Dante and Justin and Buddy Bolton.
The enjoyment of wearing so many hats has been great for Rockmore.
"They most joy I get out of running a national program is seeing the kids play in high school and going on to college, being a productive young men in society," he said. "Basketball is a tool we use to keep on a good path."
Unfortunately, Rockmore wasn't afforded the chances he now gives youth growing up. It's because his father wasn't around, an issue Rockmore deals with these days but he and his staff deal with it so everything runs smooth and stays positive.
"I didn't  have the opportunity to progress like my kids," Rockmore said. "My dad left our family when I was 11/12 years old. My mom couldn't do it. It was hard in the projects for my mom with four kids but one thing I remember was a guy named Bob Aldinger and Jerry Christian who were the reason I do what I do now as well as a few others."
Rockmore is a former project kid who grew up to become an inspiration and motivator and coach of mostly inner city youth but W2W also caters to kids from wealthy families as well.
"The kids we cater too are normally inner city youth but thru the years we have joined forces with suburban kids and the program really took off," Rockmore said. "I think any suburban parent that knows the game knows it's a diversified game, so they want there kids to learn the game with inner city youth.
"Makes a smarter player."
It now seems that Rocklmore, who was the assistant head coach at District 1 Class 1A runner-up Faith Christian Academy in 2011, made a smart decision to leave coaching adults (won four consecutive Black Heritage Tournament Championships 1997-2000) to coach the youth where he has made a world of difference.
Liberty grad Jarrod West signs with the New York Jets
Liberty graduate Jarrod West waited four extra months but the call he had hoped for in April's NFL draft finally came this morning.
The New York Jets called and signed the wide receiver to a contract.
"I'm on the 90-man roster and I want to make the 53-man roster," said West, a starting wideout at Syracuse.
West now joins his friend and workout buddy Devin Street of the Dallas Cowboys as the two Liberty grads in the NFL.
"I can't believe it," West said.
After not being drafted in April West didn't pout. Instead he became driven and returned home to workout harder.
"It made me work harder to get to where I am now," West said.
He was seen working out at Libety, LA Fitness and Jason Brader's FASST training center.
"I was all over," West said.
He knows and understands that his journey will be much harder to make the NFL than it was to make it at the Cuse where he didn't exactly close with glossy stats. In 12 games last year, West caught a team-high 49 passes for 700 yards and no touchdowns.
"My college career was pretty good," he said. "I could have had a better senior year if I had scored but it was pretty good."
And now that he's in the Jets organization he'll have to change from his now former fan favorite.
"It was the Cowboys," West said. "It's now the Jets."

Darnell Braswell plays heart out, wins Mid-Summer Classic

You would think that Allen graduate Darnell Braswell was as accomplished a basketball player as possible.
As a junior at DeSales University he was named D3 first team All-American and then for the last few years he's been an assistant coach at Central Catholic, the last two as Dennis Csensits top assistant.
But as it turns out, Braswell had not accomplished everything until Sunday afternoon when he seemingly turned back the clock to his All-American season, playing with the same fire and determination to lead Hidden Talent to a 57-39 victory over the Harlem Heat for the Mid-Summer Classic title at Roosevelt Park.
"This is my first one," the elated Braswell said. "It's been a long time coming. I'm happy. I've been playing in this since I was 18 and I was 0-for-3 before this one."
You could look at Braswell's stern face and every grimace he made to tell there was a lot of pride in what he was going for, game after game all weekend.
"Somebody's got to be a leader out there," Braswell said.  "I was a player-coach and I tried to control it the best I could."
Braswell's performance was worthy of the MVP plaque but his teammate Tyler Kohl won that honor. Braswell wasn't upset. He accomplished a longtime goal and completed the summer undefeated in tournaments.
"I played real hard," he said. "This is the last event of the summer. We've won SportsFest, Stellar and I won the Tournament of Champions on Thursday and then this one."
For Kohl winning the MVP adds sweetness to his already sweet game. The 6-foot-5 Kohl had a scholarship to the University of Minnesota pulled away from him because of poor grades so he's got to settle for JuCo at Hutchinson Junior College in Kansas.
All tournament he played spirited at the point, crossing over men twice his age and rebounding with the best of them.
"I had to work hard," Kohl said. "Playing with the adults they aren't going to give you anything so I had to work hard for everything. This MVP means something."
Kohl had his own cheering section at the packed Roosevelt Park.
"This tournament meant a lot to my family," Kohl said. "I tried to come out here and play my hardest so I could bring a championship home. We won SportsFest and Stellar. This is all we were focused on."
Terrance Roderick returns home
Another Allen great, the high-flying Terrance Roderick returned from Italy to play in another Mid-Summer Classic and he still had the dashing finishes that Allentown remembered him from.
He too played with an edge.
"Everybody comes every year, same players and teams," Roderick said. "It's a big tradition for us."
At times the play made it seem like he was playing overseas where he's getting paid lovely.
"I'm happy to be where I'm at," Roderick said. "I'd rather be back at home but if this is where I have to stay for the rest of my life I'll be proud of it."
The play is similar to here in America, Roderick said.
"You'd be surprised It's the same as being back home in the United States," he said. "It's just a different culture but everything is the same."
 Notre Dame-GP's Vince Eze headed to Maine
Notre Dame-GP graduate Vince Eze has spent a year at a JuCo. Now he's ready to begin his Division I career.
Eze is headed to the University of Maine with a ripped up body and an improved game.
He thinks playing in the Mid-Summer Classic has prepared him for his journey.
"It's a great tournament," Eze said. "You've got pro and college players. It gets you ready for the next level of competition. It's basically going to help my game until I get back to school."
The Mid-Summer Classic may return to Valania Park
The Black Heritage Tournament which started 25 years ago at Valania Park in Center City Allentown has turned into a big spectacle, filled with high flying dunks and seemingly every player attempting to undress the other with a showtime move.
Even the name and location has changed.
"It's the Mid-Summer Classic, a spinoff to the Black Heritage," said tournament director Jules Roderick. "The reason we say Black Heritage is to get everybody's attention."
Once at Roosevelt Park the action will keep everybody in tune.
On Saturday everybody was there, ranging in ages 17-40 something, ranging in all levels - D1, D2, D3 and current high school players and in the case of Horace Jenkins, even the NBA.
"Everybody's coming through and we appreciate everybody that's coming through," Roderick said. "We've got a few D1, D2 and D3s right now that's playing. We've got Harrisburg, two teams out of Jersey, New York City. Allentown is carrying around 11 teams."
One of the local teams has new Medical Academy coach Al Blount's son on it, Al Jr., and the coach-dad was furious over the play in his sons victory.
"They are athletic but they've got no game smarts whatsoever, none," Blount Sr. said. "It's terrible because he plays a team game and this is a showcase kind of thing and that's all he knows.."
It seems just like yesterday when Blount was out there stroking 3s.
"The athleticism has risen but the basketball IQ  team concept has [diminished]," Blount Sr. said.
But the park was packed with people who wanted to see entertainment and ex-Division II All-American Terrance King from East Stroudsburg University and ex-Division III All-American Darnell Braswell put a show on for them, King with a tomahawk rebound follow dunk and Braswell with one slippery move after another.
Tournament organizer Chuck Rockmore has coached players the level of Braswell and King before, back in the Black Heritage.
"We're all done now but we're still one of the greatest teams that ever came through," Rockmore said of his Team Rockmore  teams. "Four in a row at Black Heritage. I think Toomey (Anderson) has won four of them but that' it for winning that many."
The Mid-Summer Classic perhaps draws better talent than the Black Heritage did allowing for a slight separation from the two tournaments.
"What's different about this tournament is we get all the top players, minority players that's what we get here," said tournament organizer Johafer McDonald. "This is one of the better tournaments on the East Coast with the talent we get here so you can get a little bit exposure."
But there's a sense that the tournament has been out of its element for the last 16 years since it moved to Roosevelt Park from Valania Park and the tournament directors will discuss about returning it back to home base at Valania.
"We can't wait till we get two courts over at Valania," Rockmore said. "We'll take it back. Ain't nothing like where you started but we've been here for 15 years so this is like home to us too."
McDonald thinks the current venue isn't sufficient.
"Actually Valania is too small for this now," McDonald said. "Roosevelt is too small. We get more people each year so we might have to go somewhere else. That's a good thing as long as it's a community thing and people are coming out and enjoying themselves we'll keep it going."
Roderick's plans might end up being the one accepted.
"I'm staying here for now but I'm trying to work on a plan where I'll take that final day back to Valania because Valania really is the mecca of basketball in Allentown and I'm really trying to get it back there where it belongs but with so many teams now we need these double courts and we need the time," Roderick said. "If I took it back to Valania we just wouldn't have enough time. It would take about a week to finish it  Where here it allows us to finish with the double courts."
Darrun Hilliard remains humble in the NBA
Excuse Darrun Hilliard if he pinches himself.
The magnitude of what he's accomplished is too great, of a young man going from the Southside of Bethlehem through the Little Canes youth program to Liberty to Villanova and now to the Detroit Pistons.
"As crazy as that sounds I still can't believe that I'm in the NBA," Hilliard said.
The Pistons took Hilliard off the boards with the 38th overall pick in the second round, ending the guessing game in the Hilliards house of who was going to take Darrun.
Now that he's there he will go all out a little smarter than he did before when he was trying to impress anyone and everyone but there's a slight change in his regime.
"A lot smarter," Hilliard said. "Before I was trying to put it in and I still do that now but you do it a lot smarter because you want to last for 10-plus years in the NBA and if you do that and take care of your money then you'll be set for life."
Needless to say, the Big East player of the year last season, has had a life altering experience. Many young players in his position would have run to spend money they will have but don't have at the current time but not Hilliard. He's still driving his 2004 Mitubishi Endeavor.
Around home in the Lehigh Valley he flaunts nothing. Instead he gives, mostly himself and he's having fun now that the weight of making it to the NBA is off his shoulders. Like Tuesday when he stopped off at the YMCA to go swimming with his family. Like Saturday when he stopped at the Stellar "Catch A Rising Star" tournament where he had to anticipate being mobbed.
And he was but he signed autographs and posed for pictures with Tony Stellar, Glenn "Mr. Summer Basketball" Klein and every kid that wanted. He did so with his Kodak smile.
"It was awesome.," Hilliard said. "People back home want to show love and appreciation. Honestly, I did it for those guys, the kids who didn't think it was possible. And for a kid who has been around the Lehigh Valley all these years, grew up in the Lehigh Valley, went through the same programs as a kid, it feels pretty good."
With the Pistons Hilliard has already gotten a taste of the pros in the NBA summer league and he has gotten off his cotton soft jumper. He has drove to the basket. He has dunked. He has played tenacious defense. He's basically done everything the Pistons expected of him.
"They just said stick with it," Hilliard said. "They know that I am going to have an adjustment with the 3-point line, the personnel and the learning curve and they just told me to stick with it."
The NBA 3-point line is eight feet farther than college and Hilliard has definitely noticed the difference in games. In practices he's had no problem drilling 3's but in the pros it takes a different effort.
"It's a big adjustment from college," he said. "The athletes that are in the NBA, the 3-point line is a lot different but I felt pretty good out there and hopefully I can carry that on through training camp."
As humble as Hilliard is he knows that there are pessimists out there and he likes it because it fuels his drive just as it did when he went to Villanova.
"When I first went to Villanova people counted me out and I'm sure they are going to count me out now," Hilliard said. "I just need to keep going."
Though he's still the same Hilliard who grew up in South Bethlehem there's no doubt his life has been bolstered and Hilliard is just taking everything in stride.
The hardest part is over.
"It's a little bit of a relief type thing," Hilliard said. "It's moreso a relief because you've waited for this moment all your life. Meanwhile all the sacrifice, all the hard work paid off. It's a little bit of a relief but you know that you've still got a long way to go."
 
Ray Barbosa has Bethlehem Catholic in an upbeat mood
The atmosphere at Bethlehem Catholic is a lot more mellow, patterned off its coach Ray Barbosa.
But during the game Barbosa, who succeeded Mike Frew, has injected a most needed energy boost that has players doing things they didn't show at all during a tumultuous 3-19 season.
The rejuvenated Golden Hawks are 2-0 in the Stellar "Catch A Rising Star" basketball tournament after dispatching Trinity 54-37 Friday at Cedar Beach.
It's the first major tournament the Hawks have played in since Barbosa was hired in April and the reviews are good.
Barbosa, considered legendary locally because of his famed years at Allen, has benefited from the return of musclebound Antwon Kennan and the addition of 6-foot-5 Kweku Dawson-Amoah, a transfer from Phillipsburg.
"I've been playing for a while," Kennan said. "I played my freshman and sophomore season and last year I got injured during football season and couldn't play."
His return has added muscle, toughness and experience.
As was the case when Barbosa played at Allen in the 1990s, Becahi's success will center around guards play and that means Barbosa's younger brother, DeAndre Tillett, who has a seesaw of emotions playing for his older brother.
"Of course he's hard on me because that's my brother," Tilllett said. "So he can do whatever he wants to me and it's fine. I just go in there and play hard."
Tillett is a pest on defense and a pusher on offense. All the other pieces are just coming together.
"We played well," Barbosa said. "Things are starting to come together. It's not surprising because I know the talent these guys have. It's starting to mesh quicker than we thought.
"We've been in the gym a lot over the summer and have played a lot of basketball."
Proof was in the Hawks' performance.
Al Blount has moved again
Former Bethlehem Catholic coach Al Blount has left his assistant coaching job at his Alma mater Deruff to accept the athletic director's and basketball coaching jobs at Medical Academy in Catasauqua, a first-year charter school classified as a 1A.
Whitehall roughed up Medical pretty good but Blount was more pleased than displeased with the performance.
"I'm happy," Blount said. "The kids work hard. They are new at it. Some of them never played before.  They played very well. We scored 30 points and we've only had around four practices so I'm happy."
Unfortunately, there is some bad news beside the scoreboard. Blount had to boot two starters and key players off the team.
"We lost two really good players and it hurts when you are coming into a tournament like this with this caliber players," Blount said. "So we are going to play with the guys we have and we are going to make them better. And hopefully we can be competitive."
And playing his athletic director job's part, Blount said that they are trying to fill their basketball schedule so give him a call if anybody can fit Medical into its schedule.
Also, Blount said that they will rent there gym out to anyone in need.
"We're renting our gym out so if anyone wants to use it it will go to our basketball program," he said.
Medical Academy Charter School
U of Minnesota getting a fine player in Tyler Kohl
The LVBR All-Star showcase on Saturday offered Lehigh Valley fans an opportunity to see two special talents - one going some place, one unsure.
But both of Tyler Kohl (Coatesville) and Anthony Prinkard (home schooled) put on spectacular shows.
Prinkard who was home schooled this year after running into difficulties at Impact Academy, played way above the rim, throwing down five sensational dunks.
How many dunks does he normally have?
"It depends on how I feel," he said.
On Saturday, "I was feeling goos."
Kohl is headed to the University of Minnesota. At 6-foot-5, he displayed dazzling guards ability. He averaged 25 points per game and between 7-8 assists per game at Coastal Academy this season.
He made dribbling the ball up court seem real easy, often with splendid drives to the basket of dishes.
"I missed a couple jump shots that I could have made but I had fun," Kohl said..
 
Riley Maye brings NCAA tournament experience to Stroudsburg jv
You may not know his name but you probably recall the shocker that Riley Maye was apart of in March, 2012.
That was the year that 15th-seeded Norfolk State upset No. 2 Missouri 86-84 in the NCAA tournament..
Memories of that stirring upset were drummed up Saturday when Maye - the coach - brought his Stroudsburg junior varsity team to the East Side Youth Center to compete in the state championship.
"I remember that I didn't play," said Maye, not that disturbed. "But it was a hard fought game and we matched up well against them."
The star of that game, current Orlando Magics forward Kyle O'Quinn is one of the main reason Maye chose the Spartans over other schools.
"Norfolk State was the best situation or me," Maye said. "It challenged me to be a better basketball player. I got to play against Kyle O'Quinn everday  and he plays for the Orlando Magic so it got me better."
Now Maye is trying to develop other Stroudsburg players to become better along with varsity coach Rich Baker..
"It's going on well," Maye said "The guys have come along and will be part of the varsity next year."
Part of the 6-foot-8 Maye's coaching regime is to get out and play with his players.
"I can still play," Maye said. "They don't do anything with it but they try to come at me. It builds confidence."
Like when he was at Norfolk State confidence can go a long way.
"I got two rings, one in my sophomore year and in my junior year we went 16-0.and won the conference championship," Maye said.
And then the Spartans became only the fifth No. 15 seed to win in the NCAA tournament.
Becahi's Kalista Walters dominates as usual
Senior Night at Bethlehem Catholic was no different than any other game for Golden Hawks star Kalista Walters.
She pounded the boards, moved exceptionally well on defense and for the coup de gras she scored 26 points to lead the Hawks to a 60-38 victory over Easton.
Walters added four rebounds, four assists and was 3-of-3 in three-point land.
She hugged people before and after her masterpiece.
"It was he last home game and its going to take a long time to get used to," Walters said.  "I'm going to college but it ws a good run."
A 2,000-point scorer, Walters isn't exactly finished playing at Bethlehem Catholic or achieving goals.
So many memories and one stands out greater than the others.
"Definitely going to states," said Walters, referring to the Hawks 50-38 loss to South Park in the 2013 PIAA Class 3A final. "We didn't win but we showed ourselves that we can get there and I'm hopefully getting there again."
If she plays like she did Friday night why not? She just needs her teammates to bond better and be more aggressive when she's not in the game to avoid two-point quarter like they had in the second quarter Friday with Walters on the bench with two fouls.
 I thought we got out of synch with some of the things we do," Becahi coach Jose Medina said. "We've been there before when she's been in foul trouble in some games before and we've played better. Today you credit Easton. They did a great job."
But guarding Walters wasn't easy.
"She is a great player and I had a lot of fun playing against her," said Easton center Lindsay Miers, who's 6-foot-3. "It's always fun playing against great competition."
Walters scored 13 points in the first quarter off an array of moves and there was little doubt that it was going to be her night to shine.
"She did a great job," Medina said. She stepped up. We rode her. That's what the big ones do and you ride them.
 "She's an animal. She's a beast. She does some of the little things extremely well and that's what seperates her. Just the things she does on the floor, off the floor its contagious and it's great to have her."
Walters father Alleyne is her drill sergeant away from the team. He's worked countless hours fine tuning her game to the point where she's without question the best player in the area and one of the greatest to ever play in the Lehigh Valley.
floor, off the floor its contagious and it's great to have her.
"Just a lot of skills and drills," Alleyne said. "We pick out what she's weak at and we work on it in the offseason. She has a shooting machine. It's a process. The more you practice the better you get. You only get out of it what you put in"
Parkland grad Rindock feeling at home at Muhlenberg
Forget about freshman jitters Parkland grad Nick Rindock is feeling at home at Muhlenberg.
Despite the fact that he's never left the area, Rindock  is still shooting and scoring like he did at Parkland.
He torched DeSales a school that recruited him, for 18 points on 6-of-7 shooting and 5-of-5 free throw shooting. 
He started the game 30 minutes, the third most amongst Muhlenberg players.
"Great," said Muhlenberg coach Scott McClary when asked about Rindock's performance. "He was a big part of Parklands success. It's why we recruited him, why a lot of schools recruited him. We are very happy and fortunate to have him and we expect him to be a big part of our success in future years.
 Rindock feels comfortable with the system and his teammates.
 "My teammates found me," Rindock said. "I hit one or two and I was ready to go.
"It's going good. I'm getting some time.  It's a lot of work, especially the school work but I am having a lot of fun.
"The game itself is a lot faster. Everybody is stronger, quicker and everybody can make shots."
Coaches Landis and Snyder teach hash lessons
Coaches Chad Landis of Liberty and Doug Snyder are at opposite side of the bench when it comes to coaching styles.
But they're both in play when it comes to discipline.
Landis, who yells and seems on the verge of a heartattack, has limited the playing time for star forward Jaevan Dobbins for breaking a team rule. Snyder, who only yells when needed, took out all his starters with Liberty giving them the business, leading 40-24 with 4:57 left in the third quarter.
When Liberty and Allen meet every player and ounce of energy is needed. Both coaches know that but they still remained firm with their decisions to sit their stars.
Dobbins, a senior, was late for the opening day of practice and Landis sat him for the whole game against Emmaus last Saturday and didn't bring him off the bench until with 21.5 seconds left in the first  half last night.
"There are some things I'd like to go the right way and these guys know what that is and they know when they don't do things right," Landis said. "He did a good job tonight. We are looking forward to getting him gong again."
Dobbins, who scored six points with seven rebounds, thought he should have done better with the limited time.
"I want to average a double-double," Dobbins said.
But to do that he's going to have to play a full game.
"That's up to coach," said Dobbins, who doesn't know how long he's going to be in the doghouse.
With his starters having scored just four points in the third quarter and his team trailing by 16 points, Snyder made mass substitutions  and didn't bring his starters back until the fourth quarter when Liberty was way ahead.
The good thing is that Snyder wasn't waving a white flag.
"That's not giving up," Snyder said. "That's sending a message that everybody on that team gets the message that we are not indispensable and if we don't play the way we're supposed to be playing somebody else is going to come in  and take my spot.
"I wasn't giving up because I thought we came back late, at least cut into the lead some."
Year-after-year Liberty returns to the district playoffs and every couple of years Allen comes up with a true gem so both coaches are continuing to do something right.
You don't have to like everything they do but you must respect them because they
Cross and Parkland high-flying already
By Andre D Williams
Fresh off the football season, Parkland junior Devante Cross is already high-flying on the court.
Except for a second half dunk attempt that Bethlehem Catholic senior Freddie Simmons pinned.
Nobody's perfect though Cross was nearly perfect - except for one play - in scoring a team-high 17 points to lead the Trojans to a 74-46 drubbing of Becahi on Saturday in the Yasso-Rothrock Christmas City Classic at Liberty.
 "I couldn't worry about it," Cross said of Simmons' block." You still got to play the game.  You play quarterback in football and you make a bad play you still got to get back out there."
 Pushing the rock from  end-to-end Cross made Parkland (2-0) look like a fine tuned machine to  the fans but they are just good now. The fine tuned part is still to come.
"We are finally back together so actually are going to get better," Cross said.
The only thing apparently between this year's Parkland team and last year's Central Catholic team is that the Vikings were led nightly in scoring by now Michigan guard Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman.
Parkland can be led in scoring from anyone of their starters.
Junior Kenny Yeboah was a beast on the boards. collecting a team-high 14 rebounds. He figures to battle with the outstanding Sam Iorio for tops in rebounding.
How good Parkland is won't be determined until Cross gets his feet totally under him. Parkland's football season ended on a Saturday and Cross was in the gym for practice two days later.
He estimates that he's 80 percent ready.
"At this point I've been doing this for three years so its all right," Cross said. "It's a little different. You've got to get into the gym, you've got to take shots, you gotta dribble the ball so its going to take some time to get it all back but its what I want to do."
Simmons off: Becahi struggles
At Bethlehem Catholic Freddie Simmons Jr. is the only returning starter and the only senior with vast experience.
If he's hot the team will follow in suit. If he struggles ... well we see the result.
"Athletically I don't think he has anything to worry about, " Hawks coach Mike Few said. "A lot of shots of his went in and out tonight."
And so the struggles of a young team took place.
"We can't give up a big play and then make a big play," Few said. "We've got to make a big play and get a stop. That comes with maturity."
Some more offense would be nice.
"I know we can't let them score in the 70s and we can't score in the 40s. So we've got to get better with movement, continuity and flow. You can tell it was our first game."
King of the court
Nick King is a sophomore so he's not that raw but nobody on the Freedom coaching staff expected him to be King of the court.
But that's exactly what King was on Saturday against Riverside.
King led Freedom's 64-55 vlctory  with the performance of his life. King scored 23 points with 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 steals.
"He's a sophomore, a young kid so I didn't know what to expect," Freedom coach Joe Stellato said. "I knew he could play but I didn't know he'd come out like that."
Confident with the ball, King was not pressured and he was sure to get up in Vikings faces.
"He's no one hit wonder," Stellato said. "He' s capable of playing that way. I just didn't expect him to play that well this soon. If he can stay consistently, I think we'll be able to sneak some wins."
Freedom is young team with five unproven seniors so Stellato has to patient and realistic with his goals.
"We have to be .500 to make the playoffs and then anything can happen," Stellato said. "The bottom line is that I am going to play a lot of guys and a lot of guys are going to have to step up."
Hudak difference maker for Liberty
He runs the floor well, he snags rebounds with tenacity, and he's a force around  the basket.
This  6-foot-8 wonder is Andrew Hudak, Liberty's new center and Bethlehem Catholic's old center.
"My dad waned me to go to school here," Hudak said. "That's the only reason I left."
Speculation is that his father didn't want his son to play another season with the gun-happy Simmons. Whatever the reason for the transfer Hudak is a nice fit for Liberty.
"Hudak has real quickly been able to grasp what we are trying to do here, " Liberty coach Chad Landis said. "Some nights he will figure high in the stats, some nights he won't. All nights we'll need him to be that glue guy that holds things together and does everything else well so he can be a factor so we can be successful."
Against Emmaus Hudak was a defensive force while senior guards Ludwin Gonzalez (15 points) and Trenton Bishop (13 points, nine rebounds).
Bishop, who's athletic was an underachiever in past seasons but it seems he's ready to turn the corner.
"He is a little bit better than he was last year," Landis said. "We need him to rebound the ball and he had nine tonight. If we get nine rebounds from a guard that's key. That will be huge for us."
 
 

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Pitt-bound Kalista Walters happy
When she wants to really ball there is no local girl better than Kalista Walters. She's the undisputed queen of the court.
 "Well she's tough," Scranton Prep coach Ross Macciocco said Saturday. "We played them in the second round last year in states and she had 13 against us. My kids all week wondered how she'd play and I was like, 'Well she's not going to be 4-for-20 again.' Every time she got the ball inside I told my girls, 'Well she's a quality player. Do whatever you can. I knew we weren't going to stop her.
"I know everyone would like to have a post player like her."
The University of Pittsburgh is the winner of Walters heart. She chose the Panthers over West Virginia and Wake Forest, mostly because of her family.
"I was looking at West Virginia, Wake Forest and Pitt and I think I just thought it was a fit distance-wise and I know a lot of people that went to Pitt," Walters said, adding that assistant coach Larry Weber and his daughter went to Pitt."
Walters certainly looked college ready on Saturday, especially in the second half when she put on remarkable moves to score on anyone Macciocco put on her to score 14 of her 22 points. The Hawks were down 37-28 at halftime.
"Coach gave us a pep talk about how we were down as a team and how we needed to collectively come  back as a team, just do whatever we need to do," Walters said.
Often that meant to feed Walters in the post or at the top of the key and to get out of the way.
Still her relentless effort netted the same result as the last meeting against Scranton Prep, ranked No. 3 in the state.
:"it's hard," Walters said. "They beat us in states last  year and we really wanted to come back and beat them this year, although it was a big improvement. Last year we took them lightly. We didn't scout but this year we wanted to play them hard."
The queen of the court left nothing but her sweat on the court.

 

 

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Jose Medina a prepared new Becahi  coach
 
Jose Medina, the Bethlehem Catholic new girls basketball coach, was not startled two weeks ago when he received a call to see if he wanted to interview for the job
That's because Medina was ready for any challenge. The 37-year-old stays ready
"I kept knocking on the door waiting for that opportunity and I couldn't be any more proud, " Medina said after losing to Scranton Prep, 54-52 on Saturday in the opening game of the 11th annual Yasso-Rothrock  Christmas City Classic at Liberty.
"I'm working with a great group of girls," Medina said.
Kalista Walters (verbal commitment to the University of Pittsburgh) is his gem, surrounded by a  taut defender in Nia Mims and an ace shooter in Maggie Melhem. Less than 24 hours after that heartbroken defeat Medina got his first win with the Golden Hawks beating West Chester Rustlin (two Division I players in the lineup) by 16 points in the third annual Blue Chip Classic in Philadelphia
Now victorious he said, "Now we're ready to go. If we play Scranton Prep down the road again we will beat them."
 
He replaces Meghan Dellacrosse who had replaced Bill Lanscek. Dellacrosse was only on the job for five monhs before suddenly resigning.
No problem. Becahi was in search of a coach real quick with the season fast approaching and Medina was already prepared to coach.
It's in his blood, almost 24-7. Now coaching Becahi, he won't be able to coach his daughter, St. Anne seventh grader Taliyah Medina at the YMCA as much. For two-to-three hours a day Medina could be seen at the YMCA coaching up his daughter who has the potential of being the next Kalista Walters.
About Walters it's almost as if Medina fell into a gold mine.
"What she does in practice is just phenomenal," Medina said. "She works hard. She is a class act. As great as she is on the court she's even greater off it."
 
The same applies to Medina, a smooth operator, handsome and with a wealth of basketball knowledge. He proved it in the first game by improving on the 20-point plus drubbing Scranton Prep gave the Golden Hawks last March in a second-round game.
He first got his girls to buy into his system, then in each other and he'll be able to match the x's and o's with the best of them.
"Continue to work with what we have and get better, " he said.  "We played a good team today and we had an  opportunity to see what they were about. I told the girls,' Last time we played this team in March we lost by 21 and today we only lost by two,' so for me that's a great benchmark.
"We are trending in the right direction and people talk about wins and losses. A lot can be learned from a loss and for me I know I'd rather be moving forward than backwards.
"I told the girls not to hang their heads. They fought all the way back and as a staff I couldn't be any more proud of them."
Local officials better be on top of their game when they call Becahi games. Near the end of his game, Medina was adamant in trying to get more time on the clock but the refs didn't budge.
"I tried," Medina said. "I thought when I called timeout it was 3.7 seconds and I called timeout immediately and it ran down to 2.6. But on the previous possession we got into some trouble and I called timeout but  I've got to be more aggressive and be louder next time"
This is Medina's first head coaching job in high schools but its not his first rode. He was the head coach at East Hills, then he spent assistant coaching stints at Dieruff, Liberty, Freedom and Emmaus.
He's a coach with style and character and it's highly unlikely to catch him berating any of his players.

Area stars shine in Show Me The Money showcase

Andre D Williams

Emmaus senior guard Tyler Prescott gave his all and was gotten some back in the "Show Me The Money Showcase"  event on Sunday at Allen High.
It was a special event, designed to give players from the Lehigh Valley and surrounding areas, including Philadelphia and Harrisburg more exposure and to teach them about the many avenues available to them because they play basketball.
Just what a player of Prescott's ability needed to be around.
" I wanted to see where I was compared to other people around the Valley, Philadelphia and Reading areas to see what I need to work on compared to  seniors, and juniors and sophomores out here,." Prescott said.
The 5'10 Prescott served some players and got served up too.
"I think I rated pretty high up there, Prescott said.  "I think I need to work on my shot because I missed a lot of shots. I need to be more consistent and making better decisions on the fastbreak off the ball and with the ball to keep the offense flowing."
He really can't wait to fly up and down the court with his Green Hornets teammates during the upcoming season.
Players of the day
Allen sophomore Talek Williams continues to amaze. The rising player had multiple dunks in transition, including a rock-the-backboard 360 finish.
The last impression of Williams was from him stirring the crowd en route to winning the "Atown Throwdown" slam dunk competition at Cedar Beach in the July.
On Sunday Williams had a set agenda.
"I wanted to play defense on somebody better than me," Williams said.
He's apparently still looking for someone.
Dashon Giddings gave Williams a run for it, scoring off  multiple dunks himself. But though he was a grade above everybody, except Williams, Giddings didn't look down on anyone.
"I don't look at anybody differently," Giddings said. "Everybody that steps on the court I treat them the same,"
Dobbins hopes to lead 'Canes by example
It's his final year at Liberty and Jaevan Dobbins has polished areas of his game that he needed  work on.
The end result is a relentless player who's going to be stomping on all-area  doors.
"I can shoot better, be more of a leader and rebound more," Dobbins said.
As for his team that's a big mystery. The Hurricanes have lost valuable players in each of the last three years but has still managed to scrap into districts.
Pratt ready to get going
You'd expect for Central Catholic players to be a little concerned a year after losing Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman from a 29-1 team.
Senior Ben Pratt admits to trepidation, but he's ready to get going because he's finally healthy.
"I had a shoulder injury that set me back a little bit," Pratt said.
Now that he's healthy the sky is the limit.
"I'm focused for the season,". Pratt said. "A lot of people are doubting us because we lost a lot of players."But the well isn't exactly dry on Fourth and Chew streets. The Vikings return Pratt and Zay Jennings. Pratt is bursting with confidence after his performance against elite players at the "Show Me The Money Showcase."
 "It shows you where you're at because there's a lot of good players here and good competition," Pratt said.
Ray Allen's father burnt James Brooks
 It was father against father and NBA star Ray Allen's dad won by a lot.
James Brooks, whose son Eli, participated in the Show Me The Money Showcase on Sunday at Allen.
James Brooks recalled the day he clamped down on Ray Allen, holding the then high school junior to 11 points in an Air Force game in 1998.
But the next day Brooks was toasted for 47 points by Allen's father, Stan.
'Stan was so good that he could shoot left-handed coming down the left side of the court and right on the right side," Brooks recalled. "He was an extraordinary player and his son followed in his foot steps."
Brooks hopes his son Eli takes after him. Judging by Sunday's performance Eli certainly has NBA game and Eli (Spring Grove) is one of the top players in the York area.
Devin Street impressing Cowboys
Devin Street has had a week being a Dallas Cowboy and would you believe that he hasn't seen the Cowboys' five Super Bowl trophy's.
"No I haven't got to see all that," Street said. "It's been a busy schedule but we'll get to see that when we start to wind down in the next two weeks."
 A routine day starts at 6:30 in the morning and doesn't end until 5 p.m. but then there's
homework he must do.
"I've got to be in the playbook for 2 or 3 hours at night because I'm playing all three wide receiver positions .so I read that until I go asleep."
Though Street is the only wide receiver the Cowboys drafted he's not taking making the team as a gimme.
 "It's been crazy," he said. "It's been a blessing to be in the locker room with those guys. I've impressed a lot of people."
He expects to sign a contract sometime next week.
"Oh yeah I've earned it," Street said about being a member of the Cowboys. ".Now I've got to get with the veterans and just be the best that I can be."
All his life that's what he's done and the best that he can be has been pretty awesome.
Street ready to make a splash in NFL
Thirty-one NFL teams snubbed their nose to Devin Street but then Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys called.
And the snot was cleaned.
It was a dream come true call as the Cowboys selected Street with the 146 overall pick, sixth in the fifth round.
No more waiting, just time to prove himself.
"Ever since I was 8 years old I've dreamed about playing in the NFL," Street said. "I can remember going to bed and think about the NFL. I played baseball and basketball but football was always my dream."
He just wasn't the  other 31 teams dream player. 
 "It was a little frustrating as I watched a lot of guys go before me that I'm better than," Street said.
A possession receiver who stretches the field, Street caught a Pittsburgh record 202 catches in his career but there was still doubts about his ability to play in the NFL because of his non-breakaway speed.
But not his ability to find the end zone which he did 16 times, amassing 2,903 yards in his career.
"It was a little frustrating but I went to the place I want to be," Street said. "But it's not where you're just what you do when you are drafted. I'm just  looking forward to go down there and get to work and help my team win a Super Bowl.
"Dream high," he said.
The Cowboys seem to love Street. They moved up 12 spots in the fifth round to draft him and then Jones, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett and two other assistant coaches spoke passionately to Street about what they expect of him.
Street, who has remained humble through all his successes, can't wait to step on the Cowboys practice field. Though tougher trials may be ahead who's going to doubt a guy who has made a living off proving everybody wrong. At 6-3, 198 pounds he's one of the Cowboys tallest receivers.
Now he wants to prove to be one of Tony Romo's best targets.
"It feels good coming to America's team," Street said. "I've got to make the best out of it so I'm excited. I just can't wait to get down there and get to work. Tony has a strong arm. He's a guy who worked his way up. He definitely has the experience and I think he's going to do great things and I'm excited to play with Tony Romo."
In Bethlehem, all of Street's fans are excited about his NFL future.
"My phone hasn't stopped ringing," Street said. "People are so happy and I thank them all."
 
Lehigh Valley college commitments
The best player in the Lehigh Valley is signed, just not delivered to the University of Michigan.
But barring an unforeseen circumstance, Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman will be delivered to Ann Arbor by his father Dawud next month.
And it is then that the realization will sink in for his father.
"Not really," Dawud said if everything has sinked in. "We went up there and it was all mesmerizing and it was 48 hours. When people
talk to us about it then it sinks in.
"It probably won't sink I until I take him up there next month."
But while Muhammad's college choice is decided the Vikings 6-foot-8 center Brendan Wagner has decided to go to prep school first.
The areas next biggest signee is mobile 6-foot-6 Freedom center David Williams who has a free ride to Shippensburg, a Division II school that plays in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.
Which means Lehigh Valley fans will be guaranteed of seeing him twice a year when Shippensburg visits East Stroudsburg and Kutztown.
Freedom guard Nigel Long will continue his athletic career at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., a lDivision III school.
"I think its a great situation," Stellato said of Williams. "They went after him big-time. They only won three games last year. I think his best basketball is ahead."
Freedom coach Joe Stellato is extremely proud of his two ex-players.
"Nigel I think will do well at Catholic. I can see him starting in his freshman year and having a great career there too."
A player whose staying local is Parkland's smooth as the other side of the pillow, Parkland guard Nick Rindock, who chose Muhlenberg.
"I'm really excited about it," Rindock said. "I'm just happy that it's over and I know where I am going next year."
And he expects to play right away, either shooting guard or small forward,,a perfect position for a D-III player.
 "From what he [Mules coach Scott McClarin) says all the positions are interchangeable  but I'm guessing the two or the three."
The best thing about choosing Muhlenberg is that the Mules up tempo offense is just like Parkland's and that his parents won't have to drive too far to see him play at the next level.
"Yeah they are excited about it," Rindock said. "I'm happy that I'm going to see the, at my games."
There is no news on Liberty's power forward DeShawn Oyenyi. His coach Chad Landis said Oyenyi could go a number of ways, perhaps prep school, junior college or to Division II where he'd likely have to sit out a year.
Lehigh Valley college commitments
By Andre D Williams
The best player in the Lehigh Valley is signed, just not delivered to the University of Michigan.
But barring an unforeseen circumstance, Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman will be delivered to Ann Arbor by his father Dawud next month.
And it is then that the realization will sink in for his father.
"Not really," Dawud said if everything has sinked in. "We went up there and it was all mesmerizing and it was 48 hours. When people
talk to us about it then it sinks in.
"It probably won't sink I until I take him up there next month."
But while Muhammad's college choice is decided the Vikings 6-foot-8 center Brendan Wagner has decided to go to prep school first.
The areas next biggest signee is mobile 6-foot-6 Freedom center David Williams who has a free ride to Shippensburg, a Division II school that plays in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.
Which means Lehigh Valley fans will be guaranteed of seeing him twice a year when Shippensburg visits East Stroudsburg and Kutztown.
Freedom guard Nigel Long will continue his athletic career at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., a lDivision III school.
"I think its a great situation," Stellato said of Williams. "They went after him big-time. They only won three games last year. I think his best basketball is ahead."
Freedom coach Joe Stellato is extremely proud of his two ex-players.
"Nigel I think will do well at Catholic. I can see him starting in his freshman year and having a great career there too."
A player whose staying local is Parkland's smooth as the other side of the pillow, Parkland guard Nick Rindock, who chose Muhlenberg.
"I'm really excited about it," Rindock said. "I'm just happy that it's over and I know where I am going next year."
And he expects to play right away, either shooting guard or small forward,,a perfect position for a D-III player.
 "From what he [Mules coach Scott McClarin) says all the positions are interchangeable  but I'm guessing the two or the three."
The best thing about choosing Muhlenberg is that the Mules up tempo offense is just like Parkland's and that his parents won't have to drive too far to see him play at the next level.
"Yeah they are excited about it," Rindock said. "I'm happy that I'm going to see the, at my games."
There is no news on Liberty's power forward DeShawn Oyenyi. His coach Chad Landis said Oyenyi could go a number of ways, perhaps prep school, junior college or to Division II where he'd likely have to sit out a year.
 
 
The Donald Sterling soap opera
The Donald Sterling situation has turned into an ugly soap opera.
And everybody's watching and listening.
The latest from the Los Angeles Clippers owner is him saying, "I wish I had just paid her off," Sterling said of ex-girlfriend V. Stiviano, the woman behind the audio tape published by TMZ on which Sterling made disparaging racial remarks.
That's one that will forever haunt the 80-year-old Sterling. Money not being the objective, Stiviano exposed Sterling as a racists.
It's better that we all know what his gut feeling is about blacks but it was a private conversation in which Sterling didn't expect it to go nationwide.
Let it be a lesson to future owners, that if you are going to cheat on your wife with a hottie, be careful about what you say at all times.
Because nobody is off limits from the Tiger Woods sex scandals to Donald Sterling's racists remarks.
This soap opera will continue, perhaps with Sterling fighting to stay as the Clippers owner, which would be useless since he was heard offending Los Angeles favorite son Magic Johnson and all blacks in general.
Larry Holmes likes Mayweather over Hopkins
Talk of a mega fight between IBF light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins against WBA and WBC welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. makes sense to former heavyweight champion Larry Holmes.
Why wouldn't it? Holmes, after all fought at age 52, winning a unanimous 10-round decision over Eric "Butterbean" Esch in Norfolk, Va.
So to Holmes age is only a number.
"It's nothing wrong with age as long as you take care of yourself," Holmes said.
Hopkins (55-6-2) is 49 years old and has obviously taken care of is body and his mind. His defensive style of boxing has cut the amount of punches he's taken to the head.
Hopkins gave a masterful p his last fight, beating Beibut Shumenov by a 12-round decision to earn another belt. He now owns the IBF and WBA light heavyweight titles.
But Mayweather (45-0) is a welterweight so he would have to bulk up to fight Hopkins which Holmes thinks is possible. He's also one victory shy of tying Rocky Marciano's 46-0 record.
"They probably will fight because there's nobody for  them to fight," Holmes said.
If the boxers come up with a compromise on the weight, Holmes doesn't think it will be much of a fight.
"Well Mayweather will beat Hopkins because he is so fast," the Champ said. "Bernard cannot outbox him. Bernard has the defense but Mayweather will get around that."
And then there's the other factor.
"I just think Mayweather has too much," Holmes said. "He's a proud man. He likes recognition. He likes his millions. He has too many things going on."
But Mayweather Jr. hasn't spoken about a possible future fight with Hopkins. Its Hopkins whose trying to drum up interest in a mega-fight and Floyd Sr. said Hopkins sounds foolish, if he thinks he's going to fight his son..
"He’s talking awful foolish," Floyd Sr. said to HustleBoss. "It’s a good thing for what he’s done and what he’s doing still. But I’m going to tell you right now, he’s jealous about Floyd. Talking about fighting Floyd, as big as he is. He ain’t fighting Floyd. It’s stupid, man. To be honest with you, it don’t even make sense for that fight to even take place.”
Ball not in Austin Scott's hands
This drug mess former Parkland great Austin Scott is tied with bothers me.
Scott was the can't-miss-pro when he was at Parkland but things went downhill once he arrived at Penn State.
The biggest flop was his rape charge that was later dropped but the trying situation forced him to be dropped from the Nittany Lions team in 2007.
So went millions he likely would have made in the NFL. It's really a sad story for Scott, who was untackale en route to rushing for a Pennsylvania state record 3,853 yards and 53 touchdowns as a senior to lead Parkland to the Class 4A state championship.
He had speed and dazzling moves. He just didn't have a future because of a number of things that happened.
Scott, now 28, is charged with selling marijuana to undercover officers four different times in July, September, October 2013, a stupid move and a deadly game to be into.
It would have been better had he stuck to football but his situation is one of the fallen high school star trying to recapture his glory days.
After the rape charge was dropped Scott got a tryout with the Cleveland Browns but was released without playing a game, then he messed around with a couple semi-pro teams, probably to kill time and stay in shape.
The latest news is the biggest of his life. Scott may plea bargain but that's on hold until officers determine the amount confiscated from Scott because it may qualify as small amount under Pennsylvania state law.
My hope is that Scott won't  see any jail time, that he will get a real job, perhaps take up coaching to try and produce the next Austin Scott in the Lehigh Valley.
Too tall to play
Paul Sturgess needs to stop growing so the rest of his body can catch up.
At present, Sturgess is 7 feet, 8 inches and is the world's tallest basketball player.
But you've never heard about him, right? That's because Sturgess has yet to do anything to get noticed. He plays for the Texas Legends in the NBA Development League and the chances of him making a jump to the NBA are unlikely.
His averages are horrible - 0.8 points, 0.8 rebounds per game. And there weren't many games he was able to play in because of his lack of conditioning and because of the leagues vertical jump rule which calls for referees to call a foul whenever a player doesn't jump straight up when defending a shot.
That's a major problem with Sturgess because, despite his immense size, he doesn't jump that much. He slouches like many 7-footers and he has a hunch in his neck, back and shoulders from years of slouching.
He was 7-feet by age 16 so he never got the chance to develop before leaving his native England to college play ball in the states but after college he joined the Globbetrotters.
That gave him a chance to get exposure and he was known for his "No jump dunk," but there was a major problem. The Globetrotters are more so entertainers than basketball players and they didn't practice which was bad for Sturgess.
Now the 26-year-old is in a bad dream that's not getting any clearer because the NBA is not going to call and the more he plays the more likely he'll damage his knees and feet as almost all 7-footers do.
The world's last 7-8 player was Japaneese Yasutaka Okayama, who the Golden State Warriors picked with the 171st slection, however Okayama never tried out for the Warriors and never played in the NBA.
Hungry no more
The NCAA is making a smart decision that will not keep scholarship athletes starving.
The NCAA legislative council has approved the universal expansion of unlimited meals for Division I athletes.
It still isn't approved but April 24 it will be put to a vote and it needs to be passed.
That will avoid another college player coming out like Connecticut All-America Shabazz Napier and saying he often went to bed "starving" because he couldn't afford the food.
And Napier is a star athlete. Makes you wonder what other lesser known athletes are going through at a school like Mercer which beat Duke in an NCAA first round matchup.
The NCAA already doesn't allow for its athletes to hold jobs so quite naturally you'd expect some athletes to go hungry at night no matter how much they ate at dinner.
At UConn its coach Kevin Ollie's job to coach them but not to feed them. Score one for the NCAA for wising up.
Abdur-Rahkman thinking about NCAA's
Central Catholic star Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman is the most prolific player in the Lehigh Valley history since Ray Barbosa graduated from Allen in 2003.
Guess what? They are cousins.
And Abdur-Rahkman followed his cousin in lighting up area teams in a standout career at Central Catholic, just like he'd like to follow Barbosa in playing in the NCAA Tournament.
Barbosa (2,202 high school points) went to the Big Dance with University of Maryland Baltimore County in 2006, his only NCAA Tournament experience.
Abdur-Rahkman's college decision will be based on a teams ability to qualify for the NCAA Tournament so that rules out Penn State.
"I don't know where I am going yet but I am definitely considering a school that goes to the NCAA's," Abdur-Rahkman said. "That will be a big part of my decision because I want to go to the NCAA Tournament."
That keeps Providence, Temple and Richmond in contention because neither school is a stranger to the Big Dance. LaSalle hasn't put on many slippers lately but the Explorers have a slight chance of getting the silky Vikings star who has picked Louisville or Michigan State to win the NCAA title.
Abdur-Rahman's quest for a PIAA Class 3A championship was cut short by eventual champ Neumann Goretti 60-50 last week. The Saints won the state title for the fourth time in the last five years.
"They have a good team with a lot of good players so I guess they deserved to win," Abdur-Rahkman said.
He scored a game-high 30 points against the Saints in opening up his entire offensive firepower.
"We could have beat them but we didn't play our best game," he said. "We needed to play better defense and not force shots."
It wouldn't have hurt if the Vikings had another player like Abdur-Rahkman who'll likely play in the NCAA Tournament soon.
 
 
 
OYENYI DELIVERS
The difficult season Liberty has been on which includes star KJ Williams quitting seems forgotten now.
That's what an unbelievable victory will do for you and Liberty's gut-wrenching 74-73 victory over Pocono Mountain West tonight in a District 11 Class 4A quarterfinal matchup is that victory.
This was the game Liberty (13-11) was supposed to be clobbered. Pocono Mountain, for the record, smashed the Hurricanes 86-60 just seven days earlier.
That's what makes sports so captivating. Given a second chance, Liberty played with more passion, heart and determination.
And it all began with the yeoman play of 6-foot-4 senior center Deshawn Oyenyi (29 points, 16 rebounds, six blocks, 4 assists, 14 of 17 free throws) delivering with a heroic game.
Frustrated over what happened in the first meeting against the Cardinals, Oyenyi went on a binge in the rematch, coming through when all his other teammates failed.
Like at the free throw line after his teammates had missed six consecutive free throws that enabled Pocono Mountain West to storm back and take its first lead, 63-61 with under 4 1/2 minutes left.
Oyenyi tied it up at 63-63 with two free throws with 4:14 remaining.
Oyenyi converted 7 of 8 free throws down the stretch and was the main reason Liberty eliminated top-seeded Pocono Mountain West (19-5) and earned at least two more games.
Without Williams every opponent knows Oyenyi will be the man and he still comes up big. Ludwin Gonzalez (16 points) made two of the game's biggest free throws with 14.1 seconds left, putting Liberty ahead, 74-73.
KJ WILLIAMS BAILS ON LIBERTY
KJ Williams makes Liberty a more exciting team because of his acrobatics but his launching shots from all over may not make Liberty a better team with him.
Case in point is Liberty's two-game winning streak since Williams quit the team.
Williams was in attendance for Liberty's 58-38 victory over Whitehall in a District 11 Class 4A first-round playoff game on Wednesday night.
"They played real good," Williams said. "They went out there and did what they had to do and they came out with the W."
Without Williams which makes no sense except for the fact that Williams is headed to Syracuse on a football scholarship and not basketball. KJ played this season because he has a passion for the game, risking potential injury that would have killed his dream.
It got to a point where KJ had to think about his future and stop playing for a Jekyll and Hyde team.
"I decided not to play because I had to focus on some things for school and all the court stuff was interfering," Williams said. "I played for mostly fun and to be there for my teammates but I had to focus on some more things for my future."
You can't help but wonder if Williams quit the team out of angst for Liberty coach Chad Landis who benched Williams in the second quarter of a must win game against Easton and he didn't return.
Liberty blew Easton out but two games later Williams quit the team.
"Not really," Williams said about Landis. "It was my decision so whatever I decided to do that's what happened so whatever consequences that's what happened."
If Williams goes on to an NFL career people may wonder what happened in his senior season at Liberty and Williams will have to say I quit, that's what happened.
PHILLIPSBURG IN DISARRAY OVER WRESTLERS
Racism has no place in sports.
So that said, you'd understand if the small black population in Phillipsburg put their index finger up at the school.
That's because of the incomprehensible actions of seven members of the Phillipsburg wrestling team, who were shown in a photo hanging a black dummy and with two wrestlers wearing hoods.
The dummy is dressed with a Paulsboro T-shirt, the rival school of Phillipsburg, located just outside of Philadelphia. What was the message those athletes were trying to relay?
It has angered the blacks in Phillipsburg who make up 36 percent of the population. It has angered the Paulsboro community, and most of all, it has angered state administrators who have the situation under review.
Phillipsburg principal Gregory A Troxell has not commented on the situation other than to say that the seven wrestlers have been scratched from Saturday's District I Tournament, officially ending their seasons.
Phillipsburg, which has won 41 district titles, will have a thin lineup. The seven wrestlers are Tyler Agans (113 pounds), D.J. Wissing (120), Tylor Petchonka (126), Jimmy Schuitema (145), Broderick Bupivi (160), Tim Hinkle (182) and Andrew Horun (220).
More repercussions need to be made though before blaming foolish kids Phillipsburg needs to analyze itself. According to a Phillipsburg native, the town has no black teachers, administrators, cops or elected officials.
So Phillipsburg is behind the times so how can we expect the kids to be up with the times? Because they are athletes and because there's no room for racism in sports. Maybe the wrestling coach should be fired, or something of a major point to this situation that has made national headlines.
FREEDOM DOESN'T MATCH UP
A year after playing in the Lehigh Valley Conference Championship game Freedom was smacked in the face with reality.
Graduation cleaned out the Patriots.
That fact of losing Derek Chiclana and Nyrif Jackson has hurt Freedom all season.
Friday night was the final straw as Freedom got clobbered on the boards and in transition to lose, 56-45 to Liberty.
The loss finished Freedom's season at 8-14, 6-8 in the LVC. The loser was eliminated from the district race.
"We went 4-for-20 from behind the arc," Freedom coach Joe Stellato said. "One of our best shooters went 1-for-9. You just aren't going to win many games when one you aren't scoring and getting extra rebounds. You just don't have that many possessions to win a game like that."
Not even the biggest player on the court, Freedom's 6-foot-6 senior David Williams (13 points, 14 rebounds) could save the Patriots in his final high school game.
"It got tough tonight, said Williams, whose being recruited by several Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference teams. "Coach warned us about rebounding and we didn't do it so we got beat."
Heart and determination didn't work all season for Freedom but Stellato was proud of the efforts of Williams and senior point guard Nigel Long.
"I'm proud of the seniors the way they stuck together," Stellato said. "They could have fallen apart quickly with the way we were losing games. We had an unbelievable point guard in Nigel Long who kept the team together. He just battled through every game. I knew that we were going to struggle. We didn't have a great team skill-wise but we played our butts off."
PARKLAND NEEDED MORE POSSESSIONS
Parkland lost the Lehigh Valley Conference title to Central Catholic on Saturday but didn't lose its dignity.
No, the Trojans played with all the fight and spirit possible in a game Parkland actually believed it would win.
"We're disappointed because we expected to win," Parkland coach Andy Stephens said. "We didn't go in there inferior. We went in to win. We thought we had the right to win as much as Central and that's why the game played out the way it did."
Possession by possession until the final 2:45 when Central Catholic made its move with the areas best player Muhammad Ali Abdul-Rahkman seized control of the game, first sucking the defense to him at the top of the key and then hitting a cutting Ben Pratt for a layup and subsequent layup to tie it at 56-56.
Abdul-Rahkman then made 7-of-8 free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.
"Give credit to Central," Stephens said. "They are really good and deserved to win. We had a breakdown in our zone. That was a big play. He kind of snuck behind the zone and Rahkman found him."
That play seemed to suck the air out of the Trojans. Not even the heroic play of senior standout (game-high 28 points) could save them. Rindock, whose offense had kept Parkland in the game, did not play on Jan. 28 when the Vikings rolled to a 77-63 victory at Rockne Hall.
"Having Nick back obviously helped because he didn't play the first game so he was ready to go," Stephens.
Who knows what would have happened if Parkland had a few more possessions. Central Catholic made good on its possessions.
DUMMY BOOTED OFF TEAM
Another dummy is now out of college. So much for a free education.
But enough is enough was kind of the feeling when Oklahoma State kicked freshman guard Stevie Clark off the basketball team.
 Clark's latest brush with the law came on early Sunday when he was arrested in Stillwater on suspicion of outraging public decency, a spokesman from the Stillwater jail said.
Clearly Clark, who averaged 5.3 points and 2.7 assists per game for the No. 19 ranked Cowboys was in school for all the wrong reasons.
On Jan. 1 Clark was a passenger in a car that was pulled over for a seatbelt violation and while
searching the vehicle police discovered marijuana and he was charged along with the driver for possession of marijuana complaints.
Both of his arrests warrant a slap on the wrist but the much bigger picture is his college basketball career which is over at Oklahoma State. It may resurface at a later date at another school.
Lehigh Valley athletes need to take heed to the Clark situation because I know that many of you are smoking weed and its illegal and dumb to do.
BETHLEHEM SURVIVES LIBERTY
By Andre D Williams
It was a classic, a game filled with punches and punch backs, that was not clinched until Liberty senior KJ Williams' halfcourt heave came no where close to going in.
That miss enabled rival Bethlehem Catholic to escape with an 83-82 triple overtime victory in a Lehigh Valley Conference thriller at Memorial Gymnasium.
Bethlehem Catholic (10-9, 7-5) enhanced its District 11 playoff chances while Liberty (8-9, 4-8) plunged and will probably have to win out to qualify.
It was just the 6-foot-7 Hudak's fifth point of the game, coming after bricking his first attempt amid hollering Hurricanes fans. But Hudak silenced them with his second free throw.
"We practice that every day and I watched him make 10 in a row before he left practice yesterday," Bethlehem Catholic coach Michael Frew said. "So that's something where you get good at just by drilling, drilling it."
But while Frew was confident that Hudak would put his team ahead, players were a lot more nervous as their big man stepped up to the line.
"I can't even describe it," Bethlehem Catholic junior Freddie Simmons said. "I had goose bumps. This place was packed and I was nervous. He's a sophomore and he has so much pride."
So too does Simmons. Hackled all game everytime he touched the ball, Simmons overcame a slow start by scoring 24 points.
 "We are pretty much used to it," Frew said. "In every gym we go into the student section pretty much recognize that he's a special player and he's grown from that."
Simmons' backcourt partner, senior Jamal Aziz (team-high 25 points) had one of his best games, coming up big with clutch baskets and free throws in overtime.
Liberty senior KJ Williams, who didn't start the game for personal reasons, had a chance to win the game in the first overtime but his tap in attempt caromed off at the buzzer, sending the game into a second OT, tied 69-69. Williams finished with 23 points and eight rebounds and Liberty senior Deshawn Oyenyi had a monster 27-point, career-high 20-rebound performance.
Oyenyi banged all game for his buckets, Williams turned it on in the fourth quarter and overtimes with some spectacular baskets.
"KJ has a knack for scoring the basketball, no doubt about it," Lihe's playing his motor is going and its tough to stop him. There was a stretch in that game where he really had his motor going."
But there were no individual accolades given out, just cheer for Golden Hawks and disconsolation for Liberty.
BETHLEHEM SURVIVES LIBERTY
By Andre D Williams
It was a classic, a game filled with punches and punch backs, that was not clinched until Liberty senior KJ Williams' halfcourt heave came no where close to going in.
That miss enabled rival Bethlehem Catholic to escape with an 83-82 triple overtime victory in a Lehigh Valley Conference thriller at Memorial Gymnasium.
Bethlehem Catholic (10-9, 7-5) enhanced its District 11 playoff chances while Liberty (8-9, 4-8) plunged and will probably have to win out to qualify.
It was just the 6-foot-7 Hudak's fifth point of the game, coming after bricking his first attempt amid hollering Hurricanes fans. But Hudak silenced them with his second free throw.
"We practice that every day and I watched him make 10 in a row before he left practice yesterday," Bethlehem Catholic coach Michael Frew said. "So that's something where you get good at just by drilling, drilling it."
But while Frew was confident that Hudak would put his team ahead, players were a lot more nervous as their big man stepped up to the line.
"I can't even describe it," Bethlehem Catholic junior Freddie Simmons said. "I had goose bumps. This place was packed and I was nervous. He's a sophomore and he has so much pride."
So too does Simmons. Hackled all game everytime he touched the ball, Simmons overcame a slow start by scoring 24 points.
 "We are pretty much used to it," Frew said. "In every gym we go into the student section pretty much recognize that he's a special player and he's grown from that."
Simmons' backcourt partner, senior Jamal Aziz (team-high 25 points) had one of his best games, coming up big with clutch baskets and free throws in overtime.
Liberty senior KJ Williams, who didn't start the game for personal reasons, had a chance to win the game in the first overtime but his tap in attempt caromed off at the buzzer, sending the game into a second OT, tied 69-69. Williams finished with 23 points and eight rebounds and Liberty senior Deshawn Oyenyi had a monster 27-point, career-high 20-rebound performance.
Oyenyi banged all game for his buckets, Williams turned it on in the fourth quarter and overtimes with some spectacular baskets.
"KJ has a knack for scoring the basketball, no doubt about it," Lihe's playing his motor is going and its tough to stop him. There was a stretch in that game where he really had his motor going."
But there were no individual accolades given out, just cheer for Golden Hawks and disconsolation for Liberty.
BETHLEHEM SURVIVES LIBERTY
By Andre D Williams
It was a classic, a game filled with punches and punch backs, that was not clinched until Liberty senior KJ Williams' halfcourt heave came no where close to going in.
That miss enabled rival Bethlehem Catholic to escape with an 83-82 triple overtime victory in a Lehigh Valley Conference thriller at Memorial Gymnasium.
Bethlehem Catholic (10-9, 7-5) enhanced its District 11 playoff chances while Liberty (8-9, 4-8) plunged and will probably have to win out to qualify.
It was just the 6-foot-7 Hudak's fifth point of the game, coming after bricking his first attempt amid hollering Hurricanes fans. But Hudak silenced them with his second free throw.
"We practice that every day and I watched him make 10 in a row before he left practice yesterday," Bethlehem Catholic coach Michael Frew said. "So that's something where you get good at just by drilling, drilling it."
But while Frew was confident that Hudak would put his team ahead, players were a lot more nervous as their big man stepped up to the line.
"I can't even describe it," Bethlehem Catholic junior Freddie Simmons said. "I had goose bumps. This place was packed and I was nervous. He's a sophomore and he has so much pride."
So too does Simmons. Hackled all game everytime he touched the ball, Simmons overcame a slow start by scoring 24 points.
 "We are pretty much used to it," Frew said. "In every gym we go into the student section pretty much recognize that he's a special player and he's grown from that."
Simmons' backcourt partner, senior Jamal Aziz (team-high 25 points) had one of his best games, coming up big with clutch baskets and free throws in overtime.
Liberty senior KJ Williams, who didn't start the game for personal reasons, had a chance to win the game in the first overtime but his tap in attempt caromed off at the buzzer, sending the game into a second OT, tied 69-69. Williams finished with 23 points and eight rebounds and Liberty senior Deshawn Oyenyi had a monster 27-point, career-high 20-rebound performance.
Oyenyi banged all game for his buckets, Williams turned it on in the fourth quarter and overtimes with some spectacular baskets.
"KJ has a knack for scoring the basketball, no doubt about it," Lihe's playing his motor is going and its tough to stop him. There was a stretch in that game where he really had his motor going."
But there were no individual accolades given out, just cheer for Golden Hawks and disconsolation for Liberty.
BETHLEHEM SURVIVES LIBERTY
By Andre D Williams
It was a classic, a game filled with punches and punch backs, that was not clinched until Liberty senior KJ Williams' halfcourt heave came no where close to going in.
That miss enabled rival Bethlehem Catholic to escape with an 83-82 triple overtime victory in a Lehigh Valley Conference thriller at Memorial Gymnasium.
Bethlehem Catholic (10-9, 7-5) enhanced its District 11 playoff chances while Liberty (8-9, 4-8) plunged and will probably have to win out to qualify.
It was just the 6-foot-7 Hudak's fifth point of the game, coming after bricking his first attempt amid hollering Hurricanes fans. But Hudak silenced them with his second free throw.
"We practice that every day and I watched him make 10 in a row before he left practice yesterday," Bethlehem Catholic coach Michael Frew said. "So that's something where you get good at just by drilling, drilling it."
But while Frew was confident that Hudak would put his team ahead, players were a lot more nervous as their big man stepped up to the line.
"I can't even describe it," Bethlehem Catholic junior Freddie Simmons said. "I had goose bumps. This place was packed and I was nervous. He's a sophomore and he has so much pride."
So too does Simmons. Hackled all game everytime he touched the ball, Simmons overcame a slow start by scoring 24 points.
 "We are pretty much used to it," Frew said. "In every gym we go into the student section pretty much recognize that he's a special player and he's grown from that."
Simmons' backcourt partner, senior Jamal Aziz (team-high 25 points) had one of his best games, coming up big with clutch baskets and free throws in overtime.
Liberty senior KJ Williams, who didn't start the game for personal reasons, had a chance to win the game in the first overtime but his tap in attempt caromed off at the buzzer, sending the game into a second OT, tied 69-69. Williams finished with 23 points and eight rebounds and Liberty senior Deshawn Oyenyi had a monster 27-point, career-high 20-rebound performance.
Oyenyi banged all game for his buckets, Williams turned it on in the fourth quarter and overtimes with some spectacular baskets.
"KJ has a knack for scoring the basketball, no doubt about it," Lihe's playing his motor is going and its tough to stop him. There was a stretch in that game where he really had his motor going."
But there were no individual accolades given out, just cheer for Golden Hawks and disconsolation for Liberty.
BETHLEHEM SURVIVES LIBERTY
By Andre D Williams
It was a classic, a game filled with punches and punch backs, that was not clinched until Liberty senior KJ Williams' halfcourt heave came no where close to going in.
That miss enabled rival Bethlehem Catholic to escape with an 83-82 triple overtime victory in a Lehigh Valley Conference thriller at Memorial Gymnasium.
Bethlehem Catholic (10-9, 7-5) enhanced its District 11 playoff chances while Liberty (8-9, 4-8) plunged and will probably have to win out to qualify.
It was just the 6-foot-7 Hudak's fifth point of the game, coming after bricking his first attempt amid hollering Hurricanes fans. But Hudak silenced them with his second free throw.
"We practice that every day and I watched him make 10 in a row before he left practice yesterday," Bethlehem Catholic coach Michael Frew said. "So that's something where you get good at just by drilling, drilling it."
But while Frew was confident that Hudak would put his team ahead, players were a lot more nervous as their big man stepped up to the line.
"I can't even describe it," Bethlehem Catholic junior Freddie Simmons said. "I had goose bumps. This place was packed and I was nervous. He's a sophomore and he has so much pride."
So too does Simmons. Hackled all game everytime he touched the ball, Simmons overcame a slow start by scoring 24 points.
 "We are pretty much used to it," Frew said. "In every gym we go into the student section pretty much recognize that he's a special player and he's grown from that."
Simmons' backcourt partner, senior Jamal Aziz (team-high 25 points) had one of his best games, coming up big with clutch baskets and free throws in overtime.
Liberty senior KJ Williams, who didn't start the game for personal reasons, had a chance to win the game in the first overtime but his tap in attempt caromed off at the buzzer, sending the game into a second OT, tied 69-69. Williams finished with 23 points and eight rebounds and Liberty senior Deshawn Oyenyi had a monster 27-point, career-high 20-rebound performance.
Oyenyi banged all game for his buckets, Williams turned it on in the fourth quarter and overtimes with some spectacular baskets.
"KJ has a knack for scoring the basketball, no doubt about it," Lihe's playing his motor is going and its tough to stop him. There was a stretch in that game where he really had his motor going."
But there were no individual accolades given out, just cheer for Golden Hawks and disconsolation for Liberty.
BETHLEHEM SURVIVES LIBERTY
By Andre D Williams
It was a classic, a game filled with punches and punch backs, that was not clinched until Liberty senior KJ Williams' halfcourt heave came no where close to going in.
That miss enabled rival Bethlehem Catholic to escape with an 83-82 triple overtime victory in a Lehigh Valley Conference thriller at Memorial Gymnasium.
Bethlehem Catholic (10-9, 7-5) enhanced its District 11 playoff chances while Liberty (8-9, 4-8) plunged and will probably have to win out to qualify.
It was just the 6-foot-7 Hudak's fifth point of the game, coming after bricking his first attempt amid hollering Hurricanes fans. But Hudak silenced them with his second free throw.
"We practice that every day and I watched him make 10 in a row before he left practice yesterday," Bethlehem Catholic coach Michael Frew said. "So that's something where you get good at just by drilling, drilling it."
But while Frew was confident that Hudak would put his team ahead, players were a lot more nervous as their big man stepped up to the line.
"I can't even describe it," Bethlehem Catholic junior Freddie Simmons said. "I had goose bumps. This place was packed and I was nervous. He's a sophomore and he has so much pride."
So too does Simmons. Hackled all game everytime he touched the ball, Simmons overcame a slow start by scoring 24 points.
 "We are pretty much used to it," Frew said. "In every gym we go into the student section pretty much recognize that he's a special player and he's grown from that."
Simmons' backcourt partner, senior Jamal Aziz (team-high 25 points) had one of his best games, coming up big with clutch baskets and free throws in overtime.
Liberty senior KJ Williams, who didn't start the game for personal reasons, had a chance to win the game in the first overtime but his tap in attempt caromed off at the buzzer, sending the game into a second OT, tied 69-69. Williams finished with 23 points and eight rebounds and Liberty senior Deshawn Oyenyi had a monster 27-point, career-high 20-rebound performance.
Oyenyi banged all game for his buckets, Williams turned it on in the fourth quarter and overtimes with some spectacular baskets.
"KJ has a knack for scoring the basketball, no doubt about it," Lihe's playing his motor is going and its tough to stop him. There was a stretch in that game where he really had his motor going."
But there were no individual accolades given out, just cheer for Golden Hawks and disconsolation for Liberty.
BETHLEHEM SURVIVES LIBERTY
By Andre D Williams
It was a classic, a game filled with punches and punch backs, that was not clinched until Liberty senior KJ Williams' halfcourt heave came no where close to going in.
That miss enabled rival Bethlehem Catholic to escape with an 83-82 triple overtime victory in a Lehigh Valley Conference thriller at Memorial Gymnasium.
Bethlehem Catholic (10-9, 7-5) enhanced its District 11 playoff chances while Liberty (8-9, 4-8) plunged and will probably have to win out to qualify.
It was just the 6-foot-7 Hudak's fifth point of the game, coming after bricking his first attempt amid hollering Hurricanes fans. But Hudak silenced them with his second free throw.
"We practice that every day and I watched him make 10 in a row before he left practice yesterday," Bethlehem Catholic coach Michael Frew said. "So that's something where you get good at just by drilling, drilling it."
But while Frew was confident that Hudak would put his team ahead, players were a lot more nervous as their big man stepped up to the line.
"I can't even describe it," Bethlehem Catholic junior Freddie Simmons said. "I had goose bumps. This place was packed and I was nervous. He's a sophomore and he has so much pride."
So too does Simmons. Hackled all game everytime he touched the ball, Simmons overcame a slow start by scoring 24 points.
 "We are pretty much used to it," Frew said. "In every gym we go into the student section pretty much recognize that he's a special player and he's grown from that."
Simmons' backcourt partner, senior Jamal Aziz (team-high 25 points) had one of his best games, coming up big with clutch baskets and free throws in overtime.
Liberty senior KJ Williams, who didn't start the game for personal reasons, had a chance to win the game in the first overtime but his tap in attempt caromed off at the buzzer, sending the game into a second OT, tied 69-69. Williams finished with 23 points and eight rebounds and Liberty senior Deshawn Oyenyi had a monster 27-point, career-high 20-rebound performance.
Oyenyi banged all game for his buckets, Williams turned it on in the fourth quarter and overtimes with some spectacular baskets.
"KJ has a knack for scoring the basketball, no doubt about it," Lihe's playing his motor is going and its tough to stop him. There was a stretch in that game where he really had his motor going."
But there were no individual accolades given out, just cheer for Golden Hawks and disconsolation for Liberty.
1/27  Snowed Out?
The more snow falls around MetLife Stadium in New Jersey the more the NFL worries that it might have to come up with a contingency plan.
Like if a blizzard was scheduled for next Sunday the NFL would likely explore moving Super Bowl XLVIII to either next Friday, Saturday or Monday, Feb. 3.
While all that seems impossible think about the site - New Jersey in the winter. Surely the NFL knew that snow was a heavy possibility when it scheduled it for the Northeast - the first Super Bowl held to be held in a cold-weather outdoor venue.
I know if I paid $2,000-3,000 to attend the game I wouldn't want it postponed and I would want to comfortable enjoy all the amenities that go around the Super Bowl.
MetLife Stadium sits in the outstretched arms of New York City and visitors will surely go over into the Big Apple to shop, eat and party and no amount of snow will stop it.
I just think that while the NFL wants to spread the wealth around that it will use better judgment in the future when scheduling where the Super Bowl will be played.
But not too worry it will take a blizzard to postpone or move the Super Bowl up early and the NFL is betting that the game will go off as planned at 6:30. The weather forecast for next weekend calls for a 30-percent chance of snow with temperatures in the 40s.
"What goes into whether deciding to (move) it, first of all, is public safety,"  said Eric Grubman, the NFL's vice president  for business operations,last Wednesday in a news conference at MetLife Stadium, where thousands of workers removed snow from the bleachers and field. "Unless it was a state of emergency which affected public resources in a way that made it impossible to get the resources here, or any kind of declaration by any of the authorities from the states involved that made it difficult to travel safety to and from the stadium, we would absolutely respect that."

1/24 Kobe No All Star

Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest guards/players of all-time but he's not interested in charities.

Like the charity that came from the fans voting Kobe a Western Conference starter, despite Kobe only having played six of the Los Angeles Lakers first 43 games.
Bryant, who is injured with a fracture of the lateral tibial plateau in his left knee, this after missing the Lakers' first 19 games to start the season recovering from a torn Achillies in his left leg.
Bryant, 35, was averaging 13.8 points, 6.3 assists and 4.3 rebounds a game - not bad for an old head. But that's not worthy of being an All-Star starter when there's a slew of younger talent out there who fans could and should have named to the 63rd annual All-Star game in New Orleans.
"With all due respect to the fans that voted me in, I certainly appreciate that, they know how much I appreciate that, but you got to do the right thing as well," Bryant said before the Lakers played the Miami Heat on Thursday. "My fans know you got to reward these young guys for the work that they've been putting in."

Spoken just like a man who realizes his time has come and gone and by saying that I think that Bryant has garnered even more respect. Greatness isn't just on the court its off it as well.

Dont Drink and Drive
The Dallas Cowboys have made their way into the news during this Super Bowl week.
But for all the wrong reasons and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has nothing to do with it.
Former Dallas Cowboy Josh Brent was  convicted of intoxication manslaughter for a wreck that killed teammate Jerry Brown in December 2012.
The law, for the record doesn't give a damn about the Super Bowl. The trial was scheduled for this time of year and the conviction of Brent should not distract from the greatest football game of the year.
"We understand the very serious nature of this situation and express our concerns for all of the families and individuals that have been affected by the tragedy of Jerry Brown's death," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said in a statement.
It's just a shame that another pro athlete is going down for an avoidable crime. Brent was drunk.
His football career is obviously over and now the 320-pound Brent has a more important matter at hand. He faces up to 20 years in prison or he could receive probation.
That will be the decision of the judge. The evidence against Brent is brutal. Prosecutors say that Brent had as much as 17 drinks the night of the crash and a blood alcohol limit of 0.18, more than twice the legal limit for drivers in Texas.
This is not a football crime. It's a society crime, a tragedy being that there was a death.
Now I love the Cowboys but by no means can I condone drunken fools who obviously overlooked every law imaginable so I say that Brent should be sent to jail for at least 10 years.

1/17  Obama and Bosh

NBA champion Chris Bosh would probably be put on President Obama's basketball staff, if such a thing existed.
It doesn't but Bosch still took the time to advise the president.
Bosh recently visited the White House with Heat players for a ceremony honoring the Heat for their World Championship and Bosh advised the president on his shooting form.
"The form looks pretty good but you know, sometimes you just go 2 for 22," Bosh told Politics Confidential, a production of ABC News and Yahoo
Now Obama is our country's leader but the prez took advice from Bosh on his shooting form like a champion.
"'It's really cool,' Bosh said of Obama's interest in basketball. 'The fact that he knows who you are, and he follows basketball, and that he probably watched all the games is pretty awesome."
capturing the NBA championship for the second year in a row. Bosh said it was 'awesome' to get to hang out with the basketball-loving president during the visit but regretted that there was no time to shoots some hoops.

1/15  Things are Getting Hairy

ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported on Monday that many NFL executives want Ryan to cut his hair to be considered for a head coaching job.
His hair? Not his knowledge and success? This season Ryan turned around a Saints defense that ranked near the worst in the league to one of its best, all in one season.
Last season he made the Dallas Cowboys much tougher than they displayed this past horrible season. Ryan can coach. There's no doubts about it.
Fans of whatever team he'd be the head coach of will only care about victories and not how long his hair is. That's such a silly thing, almost as if he's been blackballed.
But there's a lesson in it. NFL coaches must adhere to the normal standards of society and deviating away from it will prevent advancement. Ryan's hair is definitely freakish but I grew to respect him for the man he is and his coaching ability and not over his hair.
1/13 I'M BACK
I am back to blogging and I'm opening up with a juicy story about a Virginia high school football coach who lost his job for running up the score on undermanned teams.
People of the Lehigh Valley may find that odd considering having gone through the era where Bethlehem Catholic under Bob Stem would win games 65-0.
But at Bishop Sullivan Catholic of Virginia Beach such pummeling's will not be tolerated. Coach Carl Turner has been fired, despite leading Bishop Sullivan to an undefeated season and the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association Division 2 state championship.
Odd way of showing appreciation for Turner.
Of course there are two sides - the school's vs. Turner. The school sent out a release stating that Turner had decided to step down to spend more quality time with his family which  would include watching his son play at a Division I school that's still undetermined.
Turner's said he was summoned into the principal's office and was told, "We're not going to renew your contract."
Turner asked why and was given this: "Because we told you not to run the score and you chose to run up the score on teams?"
Now isn't that twofold? Why wasn't he dismissed during the season, before winning that state championship? In their championship years, Bethlehem Catholic, Central Catholic and Parkland beat the stuffing out of weaker Allen and Dieruff teams.
Asking a coach not to run up the score undermines what he's teaching his players, which is to play every down like your life depends on it.
It's up to the other teams coach to come up with a strategy to not get crushed. Now obviously Allen and Dieruff were way weaker than those three teams and even when second and third strings played the score still got out of reach.
If you can't handle the heat then don't get into the fire. Turner should be apologized to for an error in judgment.
11/7/13 Hilliard and Nova romp DII West Chester
By Andre D. Williams
The sky seems to be the ceiling by which former Liberty Player of the Year and two-time All-State choice Darrun Hilliard is playing under as he enters his junior season at Villanova.
With a cotton-soft jumper the 6-foot-6 Hilliard is set to do big things this season for the Wildcats. He gave a preview of what Villanova fans should expect last Saturday in a exhibition against Division II West Chester at the Wells Fargo Center.
An improved defender and still a tireless worker, Hilliard went 7-for-7 on 3-pointers and his parents, Tank and Charlene were there to cheer him on.
It was just like Hilliard used to pull-up and shoot the lights out at Liberty where he amassed 1,413 points to finish his career as the Hurricanes second all-time scorer behind Warren West.
"It was very impressive," Charlene said. "Keep working hard and hard work pays off so I'm proud of him."
 Believe it or not, Charlene is not focused on the fat NBA check Hilliard figures to be making in a couple years. 
"I don't think that far ahead," Hilliards mom said. "Let's get that paper that says you graduated from Villanova and then we'll talk about the NBA."
Tank, on the other hand, is more of the basketball guy and he just about melts in his place when the name NBA and Hilliard is mentioned in the same sentence.
Hilliard gave an NBA-like performance last week.
"I was very Impressed," Tank said. "He's been working hard for the longest - 1,000 jump shots a day and this is the result."
The ceiling Hilliard is playing under.
8-1-2013
By Andre D Williams
LEHIGH VALLEY BASKETBALL STORIES
Central Catholic senior Jean Lee Baez has a lot of muscle but the nearly 6-foot-5 player doesn't have to be the Vikings only brute anymore.
Baez has help on the low blocks in the form of 6-8 Brandon Wagner, a transfer from Souderton.
The two have been playing all summer together and this past weekend they gave an introduction of their dominance to area fans in the Stellar Catch A  Rising Star tournament at Cedar Beach.
Wagner swatted away a number of shots and rebounded with force while Baez did what he does when Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rakman is away - lead.
"Even when he's here I'm a leader," Baez said. "I rally the  troops but he's a good player. If we had him things would have been different but I am proud of my team."
Abdur-Rahkman was a way at a national AAU tournament in Florida. What the area's No. 1 player missed was a game performance by the Vikings, led by Baez, whose Vikings were eliminated from the double-elimination tournament with a 40-38 loss to Faith Christian Academy of Orlando, Fla.
Too many games in  the blazing sun took its toll.
"That's pretty humble of Jean because Jean is a leader in a lot of ways," Central Catholic coach Dennis Csensits said. "Muhammad has great leadership ability and is a great player but the guys we have on the team this time of year are doing a great job and Jean has great leadership ability and did a great job today."
PARKLAND'S RINDOCK BETTER PLAYER
Silky smooth shooter Nick Rindock of Parkland has improved his overall game since last season and defensed  is his No. 1 focus.
"This offseason I've really been working hard to become an overall better player, especially defensively," Rindock said after Parkland was eliminated by eventual champion Wilson West Lawn of Reading.
His offensive game is smooth as ever as Rindock scored off a number of slicing moves to the basket.
"It's good," Rindock said. "I want to keep improving with my jump shot."
PIUS X STARS
Pius X is no ordinary Class 1A team - far from it.
The Royals battled Parkland extremely hard before falling, 50-46 in overtime.
"We played hard," Pius X summer league coach said. "We showed a lot of character. They sucked it up and gave it all they had. I'm really disappointed but proud of them too."
 There was Eric Marbury, a lightening quick guard with deft moves. He's the nephew of ex-NBA star Stephon Marbury. Then there's the inside presence of Linden Ewing, the cousin of NBA Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing.
The younger Ewing is an intimidator in the paint. The 6-6 star is considering Patriot League or Ivy League school's to continue playing.
"I don't really get to work with him much," Ewing said about Patrick. "He's kind of busy."
 Ewing was busy putting in work against Parkland in a game Piux X was ahead by eight points in the second half before Rindock & company rallied back.
"We should have had that game," Ewing said. "We were up by eight and we just gave it away."
MORE BASKETBALL
The Catholic schools, Bethlehem Catholic and Central Catholic, both shared something in common.
And it wasn't going to mass together.
The Golden Hawks and Vikings are the only local teams to advance undefeated in the winner's bracket in the Stellar Catch A Rising Star Tournament at Cedar Beach.
The stars from both school's did their thing - Bethlehem Catholic's Freddie Simmons and Central Catholic's Jean Lee Baez, especially in their second games.
Led by Baez's 23 points, Central Catholic beat Northern Lehigh 50-43 and Simmons scored 19 points to lead the Hawks to an impressive, 60-48 victory over Liberty.
Please, some respect. That's what Simmons wants.
"We aren't getting the respect we deserve," Simmons said.
But the Hawks blew past Liberty with ease so there's got to be some respect, right?
"Yeah, a little bit but people are still going to come with the excuse, 'Its still summer league. [Liberty] is still trying to get their groove,' " Simmons said. "But you can't take a win from us. You've just got to give credit when its due."
Bethlehem Catholic was most impressed with Simmons' leadership in things that don't show up in a box score.
"I'm one of the upperclassmen now," Simmons said. "We've got a number of sophomores now and they look up to me and I've just got to play hard."
Simmons punctuated his performance with two breakaway dunks against Liberty.
Meanwhile Liberty is a team in disarray despite having player of the year candidate DeShawn Oyenyi, who scored 15 points against Bethlehem Catholic.
 "He did a good job scoring the ball," Liberty coach Chad Landis said. "We just need to figure out between DeShawn  and the rest of the guys kind of how important he is and ways to get him more touches."
The Hurricanes looked like a team without a clutch.
"We started out really slow twice today," Landis said. "I can't put my finger on why. The group of kids we have now enjoy to play. I'm just not sure they understand yet how hard you've got to play to be successful. It's a learning process and hopefully both games today will help us get better."
It was a beautiful day until the sky opened up and dropped rain, forcing the 8 o'clock games to be postponed until - check this out? - at 7 this morning.
It will be a long day for Lehigh Valley teams, all but two who will have to advance through the losers bracket. District 11 Class 4A Champion Parkland is one of those teams.
The Trojans have a lot of sharp-shooters, led by senior Nick Rindock, which should help their case.
STELLAR CATCH A RISING STAR TOURNAMENT
WINNER'S BRACKET
Bethlehem Catholic 67, Pocono Mountain East 29; Central Catholic 48, Pennysbury East 33; Pius X 43, Berks Catholic 41; Trinity 52, Easton 47; Allen 65, Catasaqua 26; Lower Daughin 53, Exeter 38; Wilson West Lawn 56, Whitehall 40; Freedom 34, Phillipsburg 34; Glenn Mills 65, Dieruff 58; Bethlehem Catholic 60, Liberty 48; Central Catholic 50, Northern Lehigh 43; Hazleton 53, Bangor 43
 
 

BOXING

With former heavyweight champion Larry Holmes sitting at ringside as an announcer, New Jersey boxers edged Pennsylvania 4-3 in a Golden Gloves showdown between the two states at SportsFest XVII Saturday at Cedar Beach.
Just two more bouts were scheduled when boxing was stopped because of a heavy downpour.
The champ was impressed with what he saw before he was drenched.
''It was pretty good,'' Holmes said. ''They got to learn. Everybody got drenched, you and me.''
Allentown's Hector Baynilla scored Pennsylvania's first victory 3-0 over Jahbril Jaurequi in a 132-pound open class match.
Baynilla used fast hands and slick foot movement. He landed the only telling shot of the match -a roundhouse right that momentarily stopped Jaurequi.
''Yes I remember,'' the 17-year-old said, who will be a junior at Allen this schoolyear.
Philadelphia's Tahree Caroll got the Keystone States second victory 3-0 over Garry Bonnilla.
It was a rugged 141-pound match with referee Eric Dali repeadly warning both fighters to keep it clean.
Caroll left little doubt who was going to be the victor.
''I had the will,'' Caroll said. ''I wasn't going to lose.''

7/10/2013  - Blog Entry #21

The sports world has gone totally crazy.
Not just in America but around the world.

REFEREE BEHEADED
Reaction to a sports incident led to outrage by spectators in Brazil and to a referee being beheaded.

My goodness.

The turmoil began after referee Otavio Jordan stabbed Josenir dos Santos Abreu during a soccer match in Maranhao, Brazil last Sunday.

The referee has then tied up by the hostile crowd, beaten, stoned and beheaded. His head was planted in the middle of the field.

One man, Luiz Moraes de Souza, 27, has been arrested over the incident. Police are searching for two more suspects.

Everything is horrible with this story. First, what was the referee carrying a knife on the field for, and then to take his head off is not the appropriate justice. The ref should have been charged and served jail time.

Policeman Valter Costa said, One crime never justifies another crime. Actions likes this do not collaborate with the legality of state law."

HOWARD LEAVING L.A. FOR HOUSTON

Playing with the flashy Kobe Bryant wasn't good enough for Dwight Howard so the All-Star center is leaving the Los Angeles Lakers for the Houston Rockets.

Money has no bearing on Howard leaving the Lakers after only one season of playing in front of Jack Nicholson.

That's because Howaerd is leaving $9.3 net dollars behind because he could have received a five-year deal and more from the Lakers, this assuming Howard becomes a resident of Texas rather than California.

Texas has no state income taxes while California has one of the highest in the country.

Howard said he's leaving the Lakers to play with a young Rockets team that has James Harden and promise galore.

nSurely Howard knew all this before got to LA so he should have never signed with the Lakers.

In Houston the 27-year-old Howard will try to join Moses Malone, Alex English, Bob McAdoo, Adrian Dantley and Bob Houbregs as the only players to make the Hall of Fame after playing with three different teams before turning 28.

CELTICS HIRE BUTLER COACH
Brad Stephens waited for the right opportunity to come and when the Boston Celtics knocked he answered.
The rest was just a matter of Stephens' name on the dotted line as the Celtics' new head coach, the franchises first college coach since Rick Pitino in 1997.$,
This is Stephens reward for leading Butler .to back-to-back NCAA championship games. Just 36, Stephens will be in charge of the Celtics' rebuilding process without Kevin Garnett or Paul Pierce around.

Those two Boston stars are headed to the Brooklyn Nets. It's the first time the Celtics have hired a college coach since Rick Pitino in 1997. 

Hopefully Stephens will adjust to the pro game as well as he did the college game. No need for Boston fans to expect a title in the near future but maybe years down the road.

It's a gutsy move by Boston to hire a college coach but everybody deserves a chance and giving a successful and young college coach a shot should be applauded.

 

6/28/2013 - Blog Entry #21

The ceiling is really high now for Lehigh University graduate C.J. McCollum, who became the school's first-ever NBA draft pick - 10th to the Portland Trailblazers - Thursday night.
I traveled to Lehigh hotspot the Tally Ho, hoping to see Lehigh students celebrate McCollum's selection but the students are on summer break and what students that were on campus, bought tickets to New York  to be in attendance for Lehigh's greatest night.
Tally Ho bartender Andrew Lee, a defensive back on Liberty's 2005 and 2006 PIAA Class 4A
runner up teams, offered his two cents on McCollum's pick.
"I think its great that he went to Portland," Lee said. "I think its great that he will go and play with Keith Miller. He's got a similar game. It's great for Lehigh, great for Bethlehem."
It's also great for the Patriot League, which had its second ever player drafted. Adonal Foyal (Colgate)  was the eighth overall pick of Golden State in 1997.
"Dependable  shooter," John Artreche of Allentown said. "I didn't see all the games when they were on that magical run for the tournament but he can shoot the ball."
The  magical run Artreche was talking about was Lehigh's 75-70 stunner over Duke in the NCAA Tournament first round in 2012. McCollum had 30 points, six assists, six rebounds and the acclaim of being called the best player on the court by Duke coach Mike Kryzewski.
McCollum was first discovered by former assistant Lehigh coach Matt Logie on the recruiting trails. Logie left wide-eyed and with several notes on McCollum.
In his notes Logie said of McCollum, a then-a star at Glen Oak High in Canton, Ohio that was very thin, great stroke. needs strength, has long arms. great feel, wasn't soft. similar to Steph Curry. High ceiling, young body. Offer him.
And the next step was easy - Lehigh coach Brett Reed offered McCollum a scholarship.
After winning two Patriot League Player of the Year awards, Rookie of the  Year, and indisputably the Patriot League's greatest victory, McCollum raised the ceiling yet again Thursday night.

  
6/26 Blog Entry #20 
The squeaky clean isn't apparently all that clean and state police in Boston are about to unveil the truth.
Their target is New England tight end ,Aaron Hernandez, who hasn't been charged with a crime - yet.
But Hernandez had cops at his house on Saturday for the second time in three days and they left with some evidence. They had two search dogs.
This situation stinks. Here's the facts of the case: A semi-pro football player was found dead a mile from Hernandez's house. Furthermore, Hernandez destroyed his home security system and shattered his cell phone to pieces.
Seems like he's trying to hide something. Nobody is commenting, not Hernandez, the authorities, or his lawyer.
Police also want to know why a team of cleaners were hired to clean Hernandez's mansion on Monday. At some point police expect to serve Hernandez with a warrant for obstruction of justice.
Guilty or not? Too many holes to say not. 

6/18/2013 -Blog Entry #19

I am a little stunned that the Boston Celtics would entertain any trade talks involving head coach Doc Rivers.

But that's what is happening and the deal could go down as early as today.

The blue chipper in the trade is All-Star power forward Kevin Garnett in a deal that would send Rivers and Garnett to the Los Angeles Clippers.

Move over Lakers, if this deal goes as hoped the Clippers will be running L.A.

So what's the stalemate about? Well the Celtics want young guard Eric Bledsoe and the Clippers say no way. How the stalemate can end and give Rivers and Garnett new addresses is if the Clippers take back the contract of either Courtney Lee or Jason Terry from the Celtics.

Other complications include, of course money. Originally, the Celtics were adamant about not letting Rivers out of the three years and $21 million contract he's under unless they receive Clippers center DeAndre Jordan and at least one future first-round pick.

In other words the Celtics don't want to be left totally dry so they are playing hardball.

CHAD JOHNSON OUT OF JAIL

Leave it to Chad Johnson to leave us all laughing.

But after a week in jail, Johnson smarted up and apologized to judge Kathleen McHugh, the Broward County Circuit Judge, for slapping his attorney on the backside last week. McHugh sentenced the NFL star to 30 days behind bars which she reduced to seven days with Johnson's apology on Monday.

Johnson was in court on a domestic violence case.

Here is his apology:

"I just wanted to apologize for disrespecting the court last time," said Johnson, wearing a tan jail jumpsuit with his hands shackled at the waist. "I apologize. I did have time to reflect on the mistakes I made in this courtroom."

After walking out of the courtroom, Johnson thanked McHugh for getting his sense back into his head.

''No one has been able to do it, not even my parents," he said. "I thank her. Everything she did was justified."

McHugh pointed out Johnson's violent past and to his apparent flirtation. He haed put his arm around a female prosecutor's shoulders, prompting the prosecutor to tell him twice not to touch her. The judge also pointed out that when Johnson head-butted his then-wife, Evelyn Lozada of the reality TV show "Basketball Wives," she suffered a 3-inch gash on her head that required eight stitches. The judge called those injuries horrific.

But at the end of the day Johnson was freed. Now 35, he can persue any offers from NFL teams.

''Just have to say my next move, my best move," Johnson said.

I don't think his phone is ringing off the hook.

DRIVER FOR HIRE BY PACK ONLY

Donald Driver may get the itch to play football again and if he does, it will be only for the Green Bay Packer's.

Speaking at his charity softball game Driver said that other NFL teams had called and asked if he'd want to come out of retirement for them.

He did not disclose who the teams were.

Driver, 38, is the Packers' all-time leader in receptions (743) and yards receiving (10,137). He also had 61 touchdown catches after making the team as a seventh-round draft pick out of Alcorn State in 1999.

But last season he only played in 13 games, catching eight passes for 77 yards. He retired in February. But in June is the itch to play back?

"I think the thing is, if you have the itch to continue to play, then it doesn't matter who you play for, because that's what you want to do. You just want to play the game. I love the game, but I only love one team," Driver said, according to Fox Sports Wisconsin.

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6/9/2013 - Blog Entry #18

The grandson of former heavyweight champion isn't
exactly a chip off the old block.
Featherweight Jeffrey Dorsey Holmes, with Larry sitting at ringside was manhandled in a four-round loss to Phillipsburg (NJ) native Marquis Pierce in the debut of boxing at SteelStacks.
Having the ex-champs grandson on the first card appeared to be a smart move by the Sands Casino of Bethlehem, Pa. That, however, was until Holmes took to the and was often cornered on the ropes and punished.
Holmes is now 0-2, not exactly a chip off Holmes, who went 48-0 before finally losing by decision to Michael Spinks.
Dorsey Holmes has a lot of work to do to make his granddad proud.
RODMAN: JAMES AVERAGE
Former NBA champion and freak Dennis Rodman is downgrading LeBron James' star power.
Rodman said on the Dan Patrick Show that LeBron would be average if he played in his era.
''I'm sick and tired of people comparing (James) to Michael Jordan," said Rodman, who won three NBA titles with Jordan. ''It's a different era, man." Rodman also won two NBA titles with the Detroit Pistons. But what is Rodman smoking? Scoring 18 points with 18 rebounds and 10 assists as LeBron had in Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the San Antonio Spurs is tough to do in any era.


 Oklahoma star Kevin Durant is changing his agent again and his new agent might throw a rap on it.
That seems to be the endows glare from Durant signing with Jay-Z's Roc Nation sports agency.
Jay-Z as an agent? He sure knows how to corner the market. Jay-Z will first have to relinquish his less than 1 percent ownership interest in the Brooklyn Nets.
Jay-Z is not allowed to have ownership of an NBA team and be a sports agent. So he's obviously going with the money - Durant.
Durant is signed with the Thunder through the 2015-16 season but Oklahoma is a small TV market.
Relocating to LA, New York or Chicago are high possibilities for the sky walker Durant.
MAJOR LEAGUE-BOUND
East Stroudsburg second baseman Joe Bennie is heading, to the Majors League's. Bennie was selected by the Oakland Athletics in the 28th round on Saturday. Batting in the leadoff position Bennie averaged .348 with a .513 slugging percentage, 10 doubles, 5 home runs, 21 stolen bases and a team-high 43 runs scored after transferring from division I La Salle to ESU. He's the third ESU player to be drafted in the majors in the last five years.

 

6/3/2013 - Blog Entry #17

Former NBA player Mookie Blaylock faces two charges in a fatal accident that killed a woman in Atlanta. Blaylock, 46, is charged with driving under a suspended license and for failing to stay in his lane, Jonesboro Police Chief Franklin Allen said on Sunday.
Monica Murphy, 43, was killed in the accident and her husband, who was driving, suffered a broken ankle.
So here we go again an athlete in with the law against a person from society. Blaylock may not be as lucky as Ray Lewis whose body guard killed a man the night.
Lewis was 24 at the time, Blaylock 46 and not nearly as popular as the Baltimore Ravens retired All-Pro linebacker.
Blaylock was sort of a name when he was drafted by the New Jersey Nets out of Oklahoma in 1989.
He played with the Atlanta Hawks 1992-99, enjoying his best season in 1996-97 when he averaged 17.6 points and 5.9 assists per game.
It's a shame that this situation has come up and the police don't know if more serious charges will be levied on Blaylock until they speak with him.
Blaylock was hospitalized to. His status had moved from critical to fair on Sunday. Is his next move jail? Probably so.

5/29/2013 - Blog Entry #16

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has something to say about gay marriage and it would be wise for the public to hear his views. Peterson is a hard-nosed running back, who's never in trouble off the field and is mostly a ram truck on it. Speaking to Sirus/XM NFL Radio, Petersen was asked his thoughts about the Vikings releasing longtime punter Chris Kluwe, who is an outspoken advocate of gay rights and gay marriage. "To each his own, [but] I'm not with it," he said. "I have relatives who are gay. I'm not biased towards them. I still treat them the same. I love 'em. But again, I'm not with that. That's not something I believe in. But to each his own." Peterson said he considers Kluwe a friend who he thinks wasn't released by the Vikings over his openness for gays. Kluwe has since signed with the Oakland Raiders. "I'm sure the Vikings organization didn't release him based on that," Petersen said. "They know Kluwe. They've been knowing him for a long time. They know he's outspoken." Gay marriage becomes legal on Aug. 1 in Minnesota.



5/14/2013 - Blog Entry #15

With a football in his hands Justin Blackmon is dangerous. With an alcohol bottle in his hands, Blackmon is out of control. One represents fame, the other chaos. Which has led Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver to a crossroads in his career and even worst, in his life. By no means should the ex-Oklahoma State standout should be at this point.

But that's what happens when the bottle becomes your best friend, negating every magnificent thing you do on the gridiron. Blackmon, 23, was arrested on a DUI charge in college in 2010, and then another DUI charge in 2012. Lesson? Nope because last month he was given a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy. Now there's a red light on his back and even worst his pockets are much lighter. The suspension cost Blackmon $289,000 in game checks and will likely void the guarantee on his $11 million contract money.

That's a lot of cheese. Asked if he had a substance abuse problem, Blackmon said, "No." "Out of this whole thing, one of the main things I would say that I had a problem with was just making a poor decision," Blackmon said.

That's three strikes. A normal person would be out but Blackmon is a standout pro receiver with a lot of potential and now he's close to losing all his prestige and perhaps his job if he continues with his naughty behavior.

MORAVIAN BASEBALL IN NCAA D-3 PLAYOFFS

 Moravian College has earned a No. 8 seed in the NCAA Division III Mid-Atlantic Region.

The Mules will meet top-seeded Ithaca at Falcon Park in Auburn, N.Y. at 1:15 on Wednesday.

 

 

 

5/13/2013 - Blog Entry #14

The Detroit Lions unloaded some dead weight -- and they are to be applauded for it.
That's because their ex-wide receiver Titus Young is a trouble maker who only amps up his troubles, instead of slowing down. Otherwise, how do you explain Young being arrested twice on the same day? But what occurred last Sunday is not what got Young jailed under $75,000 bail. The dummy was arrested late Friday night for allegedly breaking into a home in San Clemente, Calif. Unbelievable, huh? Guess you can't take the thug out of a real thug. A second-round draft pick in 2011, Young was sent home multiple times last season and was told to stay away from the Lions' facility for intentionally lining up incorrectly in the Lions' Week 14 loss to Green Bay.
But Detroit should have seen this coming. Young was no Saint at Boise State, where he repeatedly ran into trouble. Don't NFL teams do their homework on guys they plan to draft? Yes, of course they do. Young was given a clean slate when Detroit drafted him, giving him just under a $2 million contract. To break into someone's home means that Young was either broke or wanted to exhibit his gangster style. No other way to look at it. The NFL is probably now out-of-bounds for Young. What happened last Sunday is that Young was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, and then later that night, Young again was arrested for trying to take his car out of the impound lot. Guess being arrested once wasn't good enough? So now, after his latest arrest, Young is on the outside and looking up to Calvin Johnson and so many other NFL receivers, possibly facing jail time. Obviously, there's a great chance that Young is guilty, given his track record. And I doubt that any judge is going to let him stay on the streets as a free man.
ESU IN NCAA TOURNAMENT

East Stroudsburg University earned a No. 5 seed in the NCAA Division II Atlantic Region and will open up on the road. ESU (33-16), which won the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference for the first time in 42 years last week, will play at No.2 seed Winston-Salem (38-11) on Thursday.

This is the Warriors second trip to the NCAA Tournament in the last three years, and third in school history. ESU finished third in the Atlantic Region in 2011 at Millersville. ESU clinched the PSAC's automatic bid, beating West Chester 7-1 on Saturday. Senior P/1B Brian Ernst was named the PSAC Tournament MVP, throwing 8.0 against West Chester and going 8-for-16 from the plate in the weekend. ESU is 2-2 all-time against Winston-Salem.

 

 

5/11/2013 - Blog Entry #13

Native Americans need to give a rest to the notion that the Washington Redskins should change their nickname.
 Owner Daniel Snyder is opposed to it, all of the Washington Metropolitan Area surely is opposed to it and teams league-wide are opposed to it.
 "We will never change the name of the team," Snyder told the USA Today newspaper in an interview this week. "As a lifelong Redskins fan, and I think that the Redskins fans understand the great tradition and what it's all about and what it means, so we feel pretty fortunate to be just working on next season."
 The Redskins name is now a trademark, a foundation and a respected name -- and by no means is it offensive to Native Americans.
 It may take a court battle, however, because Native American local leaders and pundits have called for a name change. Opponents have launched a legal challenge intended to deny the team federal trademark protection. A bill introduced in Congress in March would do the same, though it appears unlikely to pass.
 Forever, it's been the Dallas Cowboys vs. the Redskins, and to ask for that to change is absurd.
 And besides, what do they want to change it to? Some patsy name? Forget about it. Leave Washington alone. The Washington Bullets, facing pressure from local opposition, changed their name to Wizards.
 David Grosso, a member of the Washington, D.C. Council, said he plans to submit a resolution calling on the Redskins to change their nickname because it is "racist and derogatory." He suggested "Redtails" -- in honor of the Tuskegee Airmen, a pioneering group of African-American pilots who served the United States in World War II -- as a replacement nickname.
 Like I said, a patsy name. What is Grosso smoking? This is sports, a team that has long established a foundation, and yet you say it is racist and derogatory. No way. This isn't politics.
 If Grosso succeeds with his wish, he will never be re-elected to the Council. In fact, he would have to move out of the D.C. area.
 This is a great time for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to step up and make a statement, supporting the Redskins nickname. That might put an end to all of this nonsense.

 

5/8/2013 - Blog Entry #12

Leave it to Charles Barkley to throw his two cents in on NBA veteran Jason Collins coming out and admitting his gay and you're likely going to get a mouthful.
The ex-NAB great and TNT analyst said on The Dan Patrick Show that he has played with gay teammates, “Barkley said.”Everybody played with a gay teammate, Dan. And it’s no big deal."
No big deal? But until Collins spoke up, no active pro athlete had ever said publicly that he was gay. So it was obviously a big deal to them.
Now with Sir Charles spilling the beans people are going to likely to be more aware of who's on the court and who's walking around the locker room.
Now Barkley saying it was no big deal is hogwash. Of course it is. Case in point, if a gay guy misses the game-winning shot he would probably be called out as soft or not focused.
Barkley added, “Think about Jason Collins. He played on six teams, so six teams played with a gay guy. And so, everybody has played with a gay guy, you just didn’t know he was a gay guy. 'Cause until a gay guy comes out, it’s none of your business.”
But with Collins coming out it's now everybody's business.
THE CHICAGO STORY
Folks if you haven't noticed the Chicago Bulls are a gritty team.
Without Derrick Rose who hasn't played since April 2012 the Bulls still found the will to stun the World Champion Miami Heat, 93-86 on Monday night in Game 1 of their Conference semifinals.
It was hardly a fluke. These Bulls ended the Heat's 27-game winning streak in the regular season - the second longest in NBA history. And the Bulls stopped the Heat's 12-game winning streak Monday night too.
They are making it seem like they don't need Rose but don't be fooled. Rose is a complete player who will not play in the playoffs as a precaution.
The Bulls have a lot of money invested into Rose to risk putting him out before he's really ready.
Now it might be a different story if the Bulls make the NBA Finals which seems like a farfetched dream because the Heat have league MVP LeBron James and a lot of other pieces not to let the Bulls win four games.

 

5/7/2013 - Blog Entry #11

Imagine the type of scuffle bitter swim rivals Emmaus and Parkland would have, if one member from either team shoved a member from the opposing team into the water during the post-meet handshake.
It would be nice and juicy stuff for us to write about but it wouldn't bode too well with administrators from both school's.
There are certain things you just don't do. Sportsmanship is always expected.
Trust me, I know very well about the Emmaus-Parkland rivalry from my days covering swimming for The Morning Call.
Which brings me to the distasteful act of sportsmanship that occurred in the post-handshake walk between water polo rivals St. Thomas Aquinas and Belen Jesuit School for the Florida high school championship.
A member from the Jesuit School shoved a member from St. Thomas into the water, this in a potshot after St. Thomas won the state title, 13-10.
Obviously emotions were high between two schools that weren't strangers, meeting in a winner take all match.
For those of you that don't, water polo is a rugged sport. You can get smashed in the face with the ball. It requires certain balance, power and best of all, determination.
But that doesn't excuse the lack of sportsmanship by the Jesuit swimmer. It was just wrong on all levels.
Imagine a football player punching the opposing player. A scuffle will break out so the same happened in the water polo encounter. I'm sure somebody from Emmaus or Parkland has wanted to slug the other after a bitter match. Shoot they have probably made plans to fight in the parking lot after everybody has left.
Tension does get that high at swim matches.
But that would have led to the player who incited the brawl being suspended. Hopefully cooler heads will prevail and this lack of sportsmanship won't be displayed again in Florida or any high school event again.

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