Sunday, September 14, 2014

Something bigger than yourself

The multiple benefits of participating in organized sports have certainly been previously extolled -- personal discipline, learning new skills, performing under pressure, et al -- but one seems to get shortchanged.

That is, being part of something bigger than yourself.

Talk about critical preparation for going out into the world!

When former high school and college players get together after a period of time lapses, what is talked about the most?

Funny stories, of course. A game winning shot or the critical pass or shotblock that led to victory. Other subjects typically include coming out on top when the odds weren't favorable or pushing a powerhouse to the very end in a loss.

But the underpinning to these memories whether said or unsaid is the sense of being part of a team, a unit that accomplished something. It's being a group that encountered what no one else did and the camaraderie that developed because of the shared experiences.

The sad part is that not all athletes understand this, meaning it's not something comprehensible to them either at the time or even afterwards as they go about their lives.

Plus, there are also the individuals who didn't stay long at any of their destinations of choice and thus missed out on the opportunity of bonding with others for life.

Another subset is those who were treated harshly or unfairly by a coach or their first coach (the one who recruited them) was fired at some point and they became the 'not-my-guys' individuals of the new staff.

So make your choice as wisely as possible because it's not necessarily all about playing time, signing bragging rights or getting on television as often as possible. The Band of Brothers (or Sisters) effect can last a lifetime.

The vagaries of the college coaching world

Mark Zeigler offers an interesting column on a few Mountain West Conference basketball coaches leveraging pay raises and extensions after not so successful seasons.

;) Who do they they are, Wall Street bankers?

Just asking

A Chris Murray tweet: "Curious: If Greg Hardy was found guilty of beating and threatening to kill Ron Rivera's daughter would the Panthers' coach still play Hardy?"

UPDATE: The Panthers have de-activated Hardy for today's game.

Ernie D and Marvin Barnes

Ernie DeGregorio was short, bedeviled by gravity and not necessarily quick afoot but he sure was the most entertaining player in college in the early 1970s, plus a Providence teammate and friend of the late Marvin Barnes as Bill Reynolds writes of their relationship.

Pittsburg High with new boys basketball coach

Missed this from earlier:

Pittsburg High School is excited to announce the newest member of our coaching staff. Carson Padon has been named boys basketball coach at PHS. After an extensive search of over 20 outstanding candidates the PUSD School Board has approved Coach Padon to take over the program. “I would like to welcome Carson to PHS”, said Mike Adras PUSD Coordinator of Athletics, “and also thank coach Ryan Lloyd for the tremendous job he did growing our basketball program these past three years.”

Coach Carson Padon commented, "I feel very honored and fortunate to be the next boys basketball coach at Pittsburg High School. First I'd like to thank Principal Whitmire, Coach Adras, and the hiring committee for selecting me for this position. My staff and I will stress academics first, and the importance of being a true student-athlete; student first, and athlete second. There are great things happening at PHS and in the proud community of Pittsburg. I am privileged to now be a part of them." 

Coach Padon file:

* 5 years as a head varsity boys basketball coach: 3 years at Marina High School in Marina, CA and 2 years at Woodland High School in Woodland, CA
* 4 years as a Junior College assistant: 3 years at MPC in Monterey, CA and this past season at South Puget Sound CC in Olympia, WA
* Also was the athletic director at Marina High School for 3 years and has 5 years of High School teaching experience (Social Studies and PE)


* MA in Coaching and Athletic Administration, Concordia University Irvine (2014)
* BA and Teaching Credential, CSU Monterey Bay (2008)
* AA from Sacramento City College (2004)

The Gators upgrade athletic facilities

San Francisco State has a revamped gymnasium -- Coach Paul Trevor has to be liking that: "...a new gym floor, updated locker rooms, athletic team rooms, new athletic training room and brand new bleachers featuring chair backs and easier access..."

Catching up with Tyler Johnson

Missed this earlier from the Pete Borello/Los Altos Town Crier on Tyler Johnson:

"Signed by the Miami Heat as an undrafted free agent last week, rookie Tyler Johnson faces an uphill battle to make the NBA. Good thing the Mountain View native is somewhat of an expert when it comes to conquering hills.

As soon as Johnson returned from Fresno State – where he played basketball the past four seasons – the St. Francis High graduate began running the rugged sand hills of San Francisco as part of his summer training regimen. He took them on almost every day..."

Hit the link.

Projecting Aaron Gordon

The Orlando Sentinel today begins introducing the newcomers to the Magic squad as September 30 is check-in day. As for AG, Brian Schmitz writes::

What he brings to the Magic: He easily will be the team’s most athletic big, if not the best athlete, period. Gordon will entertain fans with his non-stop motor on both ends. If he’s to earn playing time, it will be on defense as he can guard multiple positions. As he showed at Arizona, he contests shots, has great feet and can defend without fouling a lot – committing 2.3 fouls per 40 minutes. Gordon will get most of his points on offensive rebounds and running the floor until he develops. With his leaping ability at the rim, he reminded some scouts of Blake Griffin coming out of college. The Magic hope that Gordon, along with guards Victor Oladipo and Elfrid Payton Jr., can become a three-pronged defensive force in the future.  

What he needs to improve: Gordon is limited offensively, needing work on his jump shot and overall mechanics -- judging from his 45 percent free-throw percentage at Arizona. He should live in the weight room as a rookie to add bulk to his frame for post play. Then again, Gordon isn't close to maturing and won’t turn 19 until Sept. 16.

Projection: 4.5 points, 5.5 rebounds

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Will Knight do it?

Former Indiana guard A.J. Guyton is being inducted into the Hoosier Athletics Hall of Fame and wrote a public letter to his former coach (Bobby Knight) asking that Knight attend the ceremony.

Near the end, Guyton writes:
...Coach Knight, you taught each and every one of us how to over achieve by being the best AT being prepared. To believe it's not about talent, it's about outsmarting talented players. To be there for one another on & off the basketball court, for life. To have a short memory when it comes to mistakes, but also train yourself to make as little mistakes as possible. To make up for those mistakes by making the right plays. I don't know what happened during that time & I'm certainly not asking anyone to apologize for anything. I'm simply extending a public invitation for you to do ME a favor, attend the induction ceremony on November 7th, it would mean the world to me as a former player and supporter. For you to come see the young professional you've helped create. I believe it's time, i believe the time is now...

More on the prospects in the Bay Area Competition Clinic

Here are a few more analyses of prospects who recently participated in Gerry Freitas' Bay Area Competition Clinic:

6’5” SF/PF Dontee Durham of Tokay HS 2015  
Ok athlete, strong body, capable ball handler, shoots the ball ok with 3-point range, does a nice job posting up- has a hard to guard turnaround shot, a solid rebounder.

6’1” SG/PG Marcus Simon of Albany HS 2016    
Athletic combo guard, solid ball handler and real good passer who consistently makes plays in transition, gets to the basket on the drive and can shoot it some, capable rebounder. Nice prospect!

6’5” SF Jase Wickliffe of Wilcox HS 2016    
Athletic wing, passes it fairly well, can finish in transition, moves ok without the ball, has a jump hook on the block and a floater, perimeter shot needs some consistency.

6’4” SF Jasper Verduin of Drake HS 2015    
Wing man who runs the floor well, real good passer, moves fairly well without the ball, solid driver with a good first step, shoots it ok, pretty good understanding of the team defense.

A Juwan Anderson update

Via Jeff Depelteau: "Creighton and Tennessee are the latest schools to express interest in Juwan Anderson '15!."

Depelteau is the head coach at Suffield Academy in Connecticut where the former Bishop O'Dowd guard Anderson in enrolled.

A James Nunnally update

The latest on James Nunnally is that he is working out with the Lakers: "...This would make Nunnally more of a fit backing up Nick Young and Wesley Johnson at small forward. Nunnally also can man the power forward position if needed, which might give him an edge,.." 

The commonality between Goodell and Spears

What do Roger Goodell and Britney Spears have in common? Hit renditions of  "Oops I Did It Again"


Shareef Abdur-Rahim: 'I am proud I have a lot of African in me'

Noah Blackwell is owning the week

Josh Stirn tweeted: "Creighton has offered Roseville (Cali.) 2015 point guard Noah Blackwell."