Duke Tigers football
|1 - 8||0 - 4||1 - 4||.111||82||422|
|2012-09-07||vs||Mt. View-Gotebo||L||0 - 46|
|2012-09-13||@||Canton JV||L||6 - 12|
|2012-09-21||vs||Grandfield||L||14 - 52|
|2012-09-28||@||Tipton||L||8 - 58|
|2012-10-05||vs||Ryan||L||0 - 54|
|2012-10-12||@||Cement||L||6 - 54|
|2012-10-18||vs||Temple||L||0 - 52|
|2012-10-26||@||Corn Bible||L||0 - 50|
|2012-11-02||@||Gracemont||W||48 - 44|
|Player Name||Number||Year||Height||Weight||Position (main)|
|There are no players associated with this team.|
Duke football News
NewsOK articles about Duke football, or articles mentioning current or former Duke football players.
Duke High School Varsity Boys Football
OKC Thunder: How Billy Donovan built a basketball powerhouse at FloridaAnthony SlaterThe Oklahoman, Oklahoma CityBack in the early 90's, Billy Donovan was dropped into a sport still run by many of its most legendary figures.Off back-to-back national titles, Mike Krzyzewski's Duke program was the nation's ascending college basketball brand. But Dean Smith still reigned at North Carolina, John...
OKC Thunder: How Billy Donovan built a basketball powerhouse at Florida
Anthony Slater, Associated Press | Aug 22, 2015OKC Thunder: How Billy Donovan built a basketball powerhouse at Florida Anthony Slater The Oklahoman, Oklahoma City Back in the early 90's, Billy Donovan was dropped into a sport still run by many of its most legendary figures. Off back-to-back national titles, Mike Krzyzewski's Duke program was the nation's ascending college basketball brand. But Dean Smith still reigned at North Carolina, John Thompson ruled at Georgetown, Bobby Knight was the face of Indiana and Roy Williams was in his first decade at Kansas. Those pillar programs often squared off for the country's top talent. As a key recruiter for Rick Pitino's reboot of Kentucky, Donovan was shoved right in the middle. Still in his mid-20's, still navigating the waters at his first coaching job, Donovan hit the trail a novice legitimized by his school's reputation. As a youth, Billy's basketball desire drove him to greatness. As a young coach, his energy and passion guided him to success. But during his climb to the top at Florida, it was that early experience at Kentucky -- and the recruiting knowledge and confidence that resulted from it -- which helped him morph a vision into reality in Gainesville. Lon Kruger left Florida for Illinois after the 1996 season. Two years earlier, the Gators made a shocking run to the Final Four. But in the 50 years prior, Florida made only five NCAA Tournaments and two Sweet 16s. "It came out of nowhere and it went right back to nowhere," Gainesville columnist Pat Dooley said. The year before Donovan arrived, the Gators went 12-16. "Coach Pitino told him not to come here because they were bankrupt of talent," Dooley said. But athletic director Jeremy Foley pitched a plan. He'd supply the public support and financial backing. Donovan and his uniquely young staff would infuse their up-tempo, fan-friendly style of play. "We shared a common vision and connection about what the program could be," Donovan said. The results were sparse his first two seasons. There were flashes, those crowd-igniting steal-3-steal-dunk spurts that were reflective of a Donovan coached team. But both squads were under .500. Neither made the tournament. Two years earlier, Foley returned from a short trip to Huntington, W. Va., certain Donovan was the man to transform his program. "I was drawn to him immediately as a person," Foley said. After the initial meeting, he immediately told the president they had to hire him. "It was that obvious to me," Foley said. So his trust didn't waver through those early struggles. During Donovan's first year on the job, Foley remembers a group dinner at a nice Italian restaurant. The whole coaching staff was there. "We'd eaten pizza, pasta, everything," Foley said. Everyone looked stuffed. But Billy said he wasn't. So Anthony Grant, one of the assistants, made him prove it. Go to McDonalds and eat two Big Macs. Challenge accepted. After a gourmet meal, why would you go search out a Big Mac, Foley asked Donovan. "I like it when people tell me I can't do something," he said. "I loved that competitive nature," Foley said. By Donovan's third year, those traits translated into results, especially on the recruiting trail. Grant was born and raised in Miami. He coached high school ball in the state. Those deep-rooted connections helped them snare local products like Udonis Haslem, Major Parker, Teddy Dupay and Brent Wright. To take the next step, Donovan knew they needed to go national, challenging the sport's powers. It's a strategy he'd planned since his days in Lexington. He'd gone after high profile guys like Jamal Mashburn and watched the lesser-known schools wilt at Kentucky's presence. "They wouldn't even try," Donovan said. "I always said, you know, if I get a job, I'm gonna go after the guys I want to recruit." Mike Miller was the first big target. Nicknamed Skinny, the slender 6-foot-8 South Dakota playmaker had offers from all the big programs. But Donovan's staff showed up to scout Miller wherever his teams played. He noticed the constant attention. Miller, now a two-time NBA champ, still talks to Donovan regularly. On draft night, he called Billy one of his best friends. Back in 1998, the two clicked immediately. Miller said he gravitated toward Donovan's energetic personality and believed in his message -- become known as the player that turned it around. "Right now people are asking why Florida?" Miller said at his commitment press conference. "By the time I leave, they'll be asking the next McDonald's All-American, why not Florida?" "That was a great comment for an 18-, 19-year-old kid to make," Grant said. "Just because of his trust in Billy." In his first season, Miller led the Gators in scoring. Fellow freshmen Haslem and Dupay averaged double-digits. One of the nation's youngest teams went 22-9 and marched to the Sweet 16 before losing a 73-72 thriller to Gonzaga. "(1999) just changed everything," Dooley said. "People were excited about going to the O'Dome again." But Florida's sudden rise came with some public criticism. During Miller's recruitment, Kansas coach Roy Williams was so upset he levied five NCAA allegations against Donovan and Florida. "I think in a lot of ways I upset the apple cart," Donovan said. All of a sudden, he was regularly landing blue-chip prospects, including one-and-done Donnell Harvey before the 2000 season. "You're like, wait, Florida is getting someone over Duke? In basketball?" Dooley said. The NCAA's 10-month investigation came up empty. "The thing that bothered me was the perception that maybe in some way I wasn't doing things the right way," Donovan said. "That was not the case." In 2000, with a roster so stacked that Matt Bonner, a future NBA champ with the Spurs, came off the bench, Florida went 28-9 and lost to Michigan State in the national title game. "I remember after they beat Oklahoma State to go to the Final Four, Billy caught his wife's eye and gave her this look, this smile, this raised eyebrow," Dooley said. "It was like a 'Can you believe this is happening?'" Donovan was 34. He'd just completed his fourth year on the job. "You're thinking, oh, we're gonna win it next year," Grant said. But college basketball's unpredictable playoff system can be cruel. From 2001-05, Donovan's Gators churned out five consecutive 20-plus win seasons, earning a top-five tournament seed. But all five years, they were upset, eliminated before the end of the first weekend by a lower seed. Billy's success created a newfound interest in Gainesville. And that also led to raised expectations. "He was taking some heat," Dooley said. The 2004 elimination really stung. Led by David Lee, the Gators were beaten soundly by 12th-seeded Manhattan in the first round.Donovan was seated next to Foley on the solemn plane ride back from North Carolina, a feeling becoming all too familiar, taking notes on how to solve the late-season issues. "He leaned over to me and said, Jeremy, a lot of people are going to say we had a good year here," Foley said. "Won 20 games, made the tournament. Let me tell you something, I didn't come here to have good years, I came here to have great years. I came here to win a national championship." Two things helped them get over the hump. The first was an extended conversation with Bill Belichick, the legendary Patriots coach whose teams won three of the first four Super Bowls of the 2000s. Donovan sought his advice. "It was really refreshing to me because I felt a lot of the things he was talking about, we were trying to do," Billy said. "We were on the right path." The second was an infusion of the right talent. Joakim Noah, Al Horford and Corey Brewer arrived on campus before the 2004-05 season. Brewer was a mega-recruit, while Horford and Noah quickly morphed into two of college basketball's best big men. As freshmen, they helped Florida win the SEC Tournament for the first time in program history. As sophomores, they bolted out to a 17-0 record and No. 2 ranking in the AP poll. Around the same time, Urban Meyer had reconstructed the football program into a national contender, led by Tim Tebow, one of the sport's most famous figures. "Tebow was like Elvis and they were The Beatles," Dooley said. "It was an amazing time to be around here. You had these real, true celebrities walking around." In March of 2006, Donovan's Gators repeated as SEC tourney champs and rode that momentum deep into the NCAA tournament. On April 3, they blasted UCLA by 16 points and won the school's first national title in basketball, a feat they'd repeat a season later. "It was an exclamation point," Foley said. "Kinda like Billy Donovan, don't tell the Gators they can't do something. He was relentless in his pursuit of that." Pat Dooley remembers going to lunch with Donovan weeks after he was hired back in 1996. It was at the height of Steve Spurrier mania in Gainesville. The football team had just won a national championship. The hoops hire didn't excite anybody. Dooley told Donovan it could never be a basketball school. "He still likes to remind me about that," Dooley says. ——— ©2015 The Oklahoman Visit The Oklahoman at www.newsok.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. _____ Topics: t000008056,t000003183,t000003277,t000003278,t000040506,t000404471,g000065577,g000362661,g000066164,g000065650
Aug 22, 2015
Billy Donovan and his up-tempo, fan-friendly style of play transformed Florida into a national power.
OKC Thunder: How Billy Donovan built a basketball powerhouse at Florida
By Anthony Slater | Aug 22, 2015Back in the early 90’s, Billy Donovan was dropped into a sport still run by many of its most legendary figures. Off back-to-back national titles, Mike Krzyzewski’s Duke program was the nation’s ascending college basketball brand. But Dean Smith still reigned at North Carolina, John Thompson ruled at Georgetown, Bobby Knight was the face of Indiana and Roy Williams was in his first decade at Kansas. Those pillar programs often squared off for the country’s top talent. As a key recruiter for Rick Pitino’s reboot of Kentucky, Donovan was shoved right in the middle. Still in his mid-20’s, still navigating the waters at his first coaching job, Donovan hit the trail a novice legitimized by his school’s reputation. As a youth, Billy’s basketball desire drove him to greatness. As a young coach, his energy and passion guided him to success. But during his climb to the top at Florida, it was that early experience at Kentucky – and the recruiting knowledge and confidence that resulted from it – which helped him morph a vision into reality in Gainesville. Lon Kruger left Florida for Illinois after the 1996 season. Two years earlier, the Gators made a shocking run to the Final Four. But in the 50 years prior, Florida made only five NCAA Tournaments and two Sweet 16s. “It came out of nowhere and it went right back to nowhere,” Gainesville columnist Pat Dooley said. The year before Donovan arrived, the Gators went 12-16. “Coach Pitino told him not to come here because they were bankrupt of talent,” Dooley said. But athletic director Jeremy Foley pitched a plan. He’d supply the public support and financial backing. Donovan and his young staff would implement their up-tempo, fan-friendly style of play. “We shared a common vision and connection about what the program could be,” Donovan said. The results were disappointing his first two seasons. There were flashes, those crowd-igniting steal-3-steal-dunk spurts that were reflective of a Donovan coached team. But both squads were under .500. Neither made the tournament. Two years earlier, Foley returned from a short trip to Huntington, W. Va., certain Donovan was the man to transform his program. “I was drawn to him immediately as a person,” Foley said. After the initial meeting, he immediately told the president they had to hire him. “It was that obvious to me,” Foley said. So his trust didn’t waver through those early struggles. During Donovan’s first year on the job, Foley remembers a group dinner at a nice Italian restaurant. The whole coaching staff was there. “We’d eaten pizza, pasta, everything,” Foley said. Everyone looked stuffed. But Billy said he wasn’t. So Anthony Grant, one of the assistants, made him prove it. Go to McDonalds and eat two Big Macs. Challenge accepted. After a gourmet meal, why would you go search out a Big Mac, Foley asked Donovan. “I like it when people tell me I can’t do something,” he said. “I loved that competitive nature,” Foley said. By Donovan’s third year, those traits translated into results, especially on the recruiting trail. Grant was born and raised in Miami. He coached high school ball in the state. Those deep-rooted connections helped them snare local products like Udonis Haslem, Major Parker, Teddy Dupay and Brent Wright. To take the next step, Donovan knew they needed to go national, challenging the sport’s powers. It’s a strategy he’d planned since his days in Lexington. He’d gone after high profile guys like Jamal Mashburn and watched the lesser-known schools wilt at Kentucky’s presence. “They wouldn’t even try,” Donovan said. “I always said, you know, if I get a job, I’m gonna go after the guys I want to recruit.” Mike Miller was the first big target. Nicknamed "Skinny," the slender 6-foot-8 South Dakota playmaker had offers from all the big programs. But Donovan’s staff showed up to scout Miller wherever his teams played. He noticed the constant attention. Miller, now a two-time NBA champ, still talks to Donovan regularly. On draft night, he called Billy one of his best friends. Back in 1998, the two clicked immediately. Miller said he gravitated toward Donovan’s energetic personality and believed in his message – become known as the player that turned it around. “Right now people are asking why Florida?” Miller said at his commitment press conference. “By the time I leave, they’ll be asking the next McDonald’s All-American, why not Florida?” “That was a great comment for an 18-, 19-year-old kid to make,” Grant said. “Just because of his trust in Billy.” In his first season, Miller led the Gators in scoring. Fellow freshman Haslem and Dupay averaged double-digits. One of the nation’s youngest teams went 22-9 and marched to the Sweet 16 before losing a 73-72 thriller to Gonzaga. “(1999) just changed everything,” Dooley said. “People were excited about going to the O’Dome again.” But Florida’s sudden rise came with some public criticism. During Miller’s recruitment, Kansas coach Roy Williams was so upset he levied five NCAA allegations against Donovan and Florida. “I think in a lot of ways I upset the apple cart,” Donovan said. All of a sudden, he was regularly landing blue-chip prospects, including one-and-done Donnell Harvey before the 2000 season. “You’re like, wait, Florida is getting someone over Duke? In basketball?” Dooley said. The NCAA’s 10-month investigation came up empty. “The thing that bothered me was the perception that maybe in some way I wasn’t doing things the right way,” Donovan said. “That was not the case.” In 2000, with a roster so stacked that Matt Bonner, a future NBA champ with the Spurs, came off the bench, Florida went 28-9 and lost to Michigan State in the national title game. “I remember after they beat Oklahoma State to go to the Final Four, Billy caught his wife’s eye and gave her this look, this smile, this raised eyebrow,” Dooley said. “It was like a ‘Can you believe this is happening?’” Donovan was 34. He’d just completed his fourth year on the job. “You’re thinking, oh, we’re gonna win it next year,” Grant said. But college basketball’s unpredictable playoff system can be cruel. From 2001-05, Donovan’s Gators churned out five consecutive 20-plus win seasons, earning a top-five tournament seed. But all five years, they were upset, eliminated before the end of the first weekend by a lower seed. Billy’s success created a newfound interest in Gainesville. And that also led to raised expectations. “He was taking some heat,” Dooley said. The 2004 elimination really stung. Led by David Lee, the Gators were beaten soundly by 12th-seeded Manhattan in the first round.Donovan was seated next to Foley on the somber plane ride back from North Carolina, a feeling becoming all too familiar, taking notes on how to solve the late-season issues. “He leaned over to me and said, Jeremy, a lot of people are going to say we had a good year here,” Foley said. “Won 20 games, made the tournament. Let me tell you something, I didn’t come here to have good years, I came here to have great years. I came here to win a national championship.” Two things helped them get over the hump. The first was an extended conversation with Bill Belichick, the legendary Patriots coach whose teams won three of the first four Super Bowls of the 2000s. Donovan sought his advice. “It was really refreshing to me because I felt a lot of the things he was talking about, we were trying to do,” Billy said. “We were on the right path.” The second was an influx of the right talent. Joakim Noah, Al Horford and Corey Brewer arrived on campus before the 2004-05 season. Brewer was a mega-recruit, while Horford and Noah quickly morphed into two of college basketball’s best big men. As freshmen, they helped Florida win the SEC Tournament for the first time in program history. As sophomores, they bolted out to a 17-0 record and No. 2 ranking in the AP poll. Around the same time, Urban Meyer had reconstructed the football program into a national contender, led by Tim Tebow, one of the sport’s most famous figures. “Tebow was like Elvis and they were The Beatles,” Dooley said. “It was an amazing time to be around here. You had these real, true celebrities walking around.” In March of 2006, Donovan’s Gators repeated as SEC tourney champs and rode that momentum deep into the NCAA tournament. On April 3, they blasted UCLA by 16 points and won the school’s first national title in basketball, a feat they’d repeat a season later. “It was an exclamation point,” Foley said. “Kinda like Billy Donovan, don’t tell the Gators they can’t do something. He was relentless in his pursuit of that.” Pat Dooley remembers going to lunch with Donovan weeks after he was hired back in 1996. It was at the height of Steve Spurrier mania in Gainesville. The football team had just won a national championship. The hoops hire didn’t excite anybody. Dooley told Donovan it could never be a basketball school. “He still likes to remind me about that,” Dooley says.
Aug 12, 2015
The Oklahoman's annual Fall Sports Media Day has been set for Wednesday, Aug. 19, at McGuinness High School. The event begins at 3:30 p.m. and ends at 7:30. The school is located at 801 Northwest 50th Street in Oklahoma City. Each Oklahoma City-area high school participating in football, fastpitch softball, cross country, volleyball and fall baseball is encouraged to bring athletes to...
High school notebook: The Oklahoman's fall media day Aug. 19
BY SCOTT WRIGHT, JACOB UNRUH AND ERIK HORNE | Aug 12, 2015The Oklahoman's annual Fall Sports Media Day has been set for Wednesday, Aug. 19, at McGuinness High School. The event begins at 3:30 p.m. and ends at 7:30. The school is located at 801 Northwest 50th Street in Oklahoma City. Each Oklahoma City-area high school participating in football, fastpitch softball, cross country, volleyball and fall baseball is encouraged to bring athletes to meet The Oklahoman's high school coverage team for interviews, videos and photos that will be used throughout the upcoming season. Athletic directors will receive a letter with further information. WELLS GETTING HEALTHY FOR PUTNAM CITY NORTH With most of the team’s experience up front on offense and defense, Putnam City North could count heavily on Noah Wells in the defensive secondary. Injuries have hampered Wells’ career the last two years, but the 6-foot, 180-pound senior will anchor an inexperienced secondary as the Panthers try to improve on last year’s 4-6 mark. “He’s been a two-year starter, but injuries have gotten in the way,” second-year coach Rod Richardson said. “He’s a big-time player for us and is one of the highest IQ football players I’ve ever been around.” NORMAN NORTH’S YOUNG ON NIKE ELITE ROSTER Norman North junior point guard Trae Young is one of the most coveted basketball recruits in the country, and he's put himself among elite company once again. Young is one of 12 players on a Nike roster headed to the Bahamas for a training session Aug. 19-23 which will culminate with a game against the Bahamian National Team. Young is one of six Class of 2017 prospects on the Nike EYBL Select Team roster, which is comprised of some of the best juniors and seniors in the country. Young was offered by Kentucky this week, and has offers from many of major college programs in the nation, including Duke, Arizona, Connecticut and Kansas. OSSAA APPROVES CHAMPIONSHIP SITES FOR FALL BASEBALL, TENNIS The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association board of directors unanimously approved the state championship sites for both fall baseball and tennis on Wednesday. Baseball will return to Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark while tennis will remain at the OKC Tennis Center the next three years despite a cost increase. The tennis center costs $7,500 per tournament after a $1,000 increase due to concession costs. Baseball played last fall at Bricktown and both Class A and Class B championships in the spring were played at the ballpark. The OSSAA will determine at a later date the spring championship sites. OSSAA WAIVER REQUEST NUMBERS DOWN OSSAA executive director Ed Sheakley told the board of directors that the number hardship waivers requested the past school year was down significantly due to rule changes and the implementation of the Intermediate Appeals Panel. The OSSAA handled just more than 700 requests of which the staff approved 71 percent. The appeals committee also approved 13 of the 60 appeals heard. All of those appeals then advanced to the board of directors with two being approved. Sheakley told the board that generally the OSSAA receives more than 1,000 hardship waiver requests per school year. The OSSAA formed the appeals committee last year to meet the week before the board and rule on appeals. It also meets an extra time in August and September.
Jul 16, 2015
The school board of Jay, Oklahoma, approved a plan to establish a life-size bronze bust of heavyweight champion Tommy “The Duke” Morrison on the school’s campus.
Jay school officials approve plan for statue honoring late boxer
By Sheila Stogsdill For The Oklahoman | Jul 16, 2015JAY — The Jay School Board unanimously approved a proposal to establish a life-size bronze bust of heavyweight champion Tommy “The Duke” Morrison on the school’s campus. Jim Roach, American Boxing Association president, briefly addressed the five-member board Tuesday saying that a larger percentage of money raised through the Tommy Morrison 8-man boxing tournament would be earmarked for scholastic endeavors. “I think this wonderful,” said Trisha Morrison, Morrison’s widow, in a telephone interview after the vote. About 50 people attended the regular school board meeting. Superintendent Charles Thomas recommended approving the monument with the stipulation that all legal arrangements will be reviewed and approved by the school’s attorney. Thomas said earlier the best interest of the school and the community would be a top priority of the school board when they make their decision. “It (the board’s approval) means a lot to me,” said Kenzie Morrison, Morrison’s son. Morrison said “he and his brother are extremely proud of their dad and honored that the bust was even considered. “Everyone knows where Dad came from and what he accomplished,” Morrison said. “It’s in our hearts — I'm from Jay myself.” “This means a lot,” said Trey Lippe-Morrison, another son. “He deserves it,” referring to the elder Morrison. For what Tommy Morrison accomplished — it a “good way to honor his memory,” Lippe-Morrison said. Both sons are undefeated heavyweights and bear a strong resemblance to their father. The bust will be more than 36-inches tall and will weigh about 100 pounds. Some of Morrison’s ashes will be encased in one of the boxing gloves. The $12,000 monument tab will be picked up by the association and unveiled at the Tommy Morrison 8-man boxing tournament, set for Jan. 2. That date is also Morrison’s birthday. Morrison, also a football standout, graduated from Jay High School in 1988. “Tommy was a tremendous athlete,” Roach said in an earlier interview. Morrison's legacy The young boxer who was just few years removed from the quite rural community of Jay shot to fame at the top of the boxing world with its bright lights and trappings. Morrison’s had a 48-3-1 record, knocking out 43 opponents and won a unanimous decision against George Foreman for the WBO Heavyweight Championship in 1993. His boxing reputation landed him a role as “Tommy Gunn” in the 1990 film "Rocky V" with Sylvester Stallone. Morrison had his run-ins with the law on weapon and drug violations. In 1996, the Nevada Athletic Commission suspended Morrison after he tested positive for HIV. Morrison later disputed the test results saying additional tests showed no virus, said his widow. “He went through rehab,” she said. “He turned himself around in the last part of his life.” Medical tests from other physicians and medical institutions revealed Morrison did not have HIV, she said. Morrison died Sept. 1, 2013, at age 44 from cardiac arrest, multiple organ failure, septic shock and pseudomonas aeruginosa.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — You slip a smartphone into a pair of clunky goggles and place them on your head. The room around you dissolves and you’re standing on a grassy field behind a lineup of football players. You hear the crowd’s cheers.It’s time to play football.Sure, the football players look more like video game characters than real people. And you’re not physically running on a field, nor do...
Virtual reality technology expands to a blitz of uses, including football
By Kasia Kovacs, Associated Press | Jul 8, 2015KANSAS CITY, Mo. — You slip a smartphone into a pair of clunky goggles and place them on your head. The room around you dissolves and you’re standing on a grassy field behind a lineup of football players. You hear the crowd’s cheers. It’s time to play football. Sure, the football players look more like video game characters than real people. And you’re not physically running on a field, nor do you have a football in your hand. Those goggles, a lightweight virtual headset, are your only equipment. You control the play with your eyes, deciding when to snap and where to throw. This virtual reality program — which some call VR — is not a video game. It’s a football training tool. “With this technology, you can do four plays in a minute. Cool!” said Brendan Reilly, CEO of Eon Sports, a Kansas City startup company that produces the training program. Because players work on mental reps in this simulation rather than engaging in physical play, this simulation could also lower the rate of injuries, including concussions. Reilly’s football software is among a tidal wave of VR programs being developed for introduction to consumers in the next year. The military already uses VR in some training exercises, but the technology has potential uses in other areas, such as entertainment and home improvement. Architects, for instance, can create life-size virtual models of buildings rather than relying on traditional physical models. Several companies gathered at the recent Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, in Los Angeles to show off their products. A few are being sold already, such as the $200 Samsung Gear VR headset, compatible only with Samsung smartphones. Other devices and programs are still in production as developers put on the final touches. HTC will begin selling its virtual reality headset, Vive by Valve, by the end of this year, and Oculus will follow suit with the Oculus Rift in early 2016. Sony is expected to release its own headset, Project Morpheus for PlayStation 4, around the same time. Prices have not been announced for these devices, but analysts predict they’ll be more than a few hundred dollars. (EDITORS: BEGIN OPTIONAL TRIM) THE RISE OF VIRTUAL REALITY When Reilly was a graduate assistant in 2010 to then Illinois State University basketball coach Tim Jankovich, the coach joked that he would fire him if he didn’t turn his idea for a VR sports training system into reality. Reilly graduated with a master’s degree, headed to California and became the CEO of a joint venture of Eon Reality and Eon Sports. Now Reilly, who grew up in the Kansas City area, is back in town. Eon has created Sidekiq software that trains football teams with programs ranging in price from $39 to $999. He delivered his first product last year and has sold programs to almost 1,000 consumers, high school teams and college teams such as UCLA and Ole Miss. “I had no idea how scalable this was going to become,” Reilly said. “Five years in virtual reality land is like 50 in the real world — it’s like dog years. It’s been crazy to watch this industry evolve and grow.” Over the past few years, increasing numbers of established companies and startups have turned to VR. At the E3 conference, companies touted virtual reality as the imminent next step in gaming technology. Whether it catches on with consumers, though, is unclear. “Not everyone’s going to want one,” said Brian Blau, a research director in personal technologies at Gartner. Not everyone will want one immediately, at least. Virtual reality programs are now directed toward hard-core gamers, a demographic that skews heavily toward millennial males. In addition, more sophisticated VR programs require a game console, which not everyone has. (END OPTIONAL TRIM) This isn’t the first time virtual reality has caused ripples of excitement in the tech community, nor is it the first time doubts have surrounded its success. Twenty years ago, scientists and gamers were overflowing with the hype surrounding virtual reality, but that anticipation eventually ebbed. The technology simply hadn’t caught up with the grand ideas. This time around, developers feel optimistic that technological development has finally aligned with the ambition of the 1990s. When Facebook reeled in Oculus, one of the biggest fish in VR, with a $2 billion acquisition in March 2014, the deal sounded a “bugle call” for the industry, said Skip Rizzo, a research professor at the Institute for Creative Technologies at the University of Southern California. Oculus had humble beginnings, raising money from donors online. But under the ownership of Facebook, Oculus now hopes to push VR into the mainstream marketplace. After the Oculus-Facebook deal, “companies and devices began popping up everywhere,” Rizzo said. “It was like the Wild West.” Those startups will continue to appear in the next two years, which Rizzo predicts will yield both wreckage and survivors. Device prices start high, but Rizzo is convinced that costs will drop in the next few years, especially with virtual reality applications that rely on mobile devices rather than expensive, bulky consoles. “Everyone will have a headset in their home,” Rizzo said. “They’ll be like toasters.” VR IN THE MARKETPLACE: THE DESERT OF THE REAL? Not everyone is convinced of the toaster theory. (EDITORS: BEGIN OPTIONAL TRIM) “With virtual reality, developers are making a very big leap,” Blau said. “Developers may make killer apps that draw people in, or they might not.” (END OPTIONAL TRIM) Raymond Wong, a product analyst for Mashable, said: “I’m not sure if people want to put these goggles on at home. It’s a very isolating experience.” Indeed, total immersion in a world that occupies most of the users’ senses could lend itself to previously unseen consequences. Regis Kopper, director of the Duke Immersive Virtual Environment at Duke University, is concerned with how people make sense of their physical surroundings in a virtual space. “When you wear a head-mounted display, you don’t have your own body,” he said. “In the physical world, your body is an anchor, and you lose that in virtual reality. How do you re-create touching your leg in virtual reality?” It’s one of many big questions VR researchers must confront. Simulation sickness is another. While many users’ senses are occupied by the virtual world, other senses are left behind in the physical world. This discrepancy can cause a motion sickness similar to the feeling of reading a book on a bumpy train. Researchers are investigating sometimes unexpected ways to combat simulation sickness. Scientists at Purdue, for instance, found that adding a 3-D nose to VR programs reduced symptoms of sickness. SIMULACRA AND SIMULATIONS Wong sees more potential for VR in commercial industries such as marketing or engineering. Research has already pointed to VR’s advantages in the medical field, Rizzo said. Once interactive intelligent agents — virtual characters — are advanced enough to respond like people, surgeons in training may be able to practice procedures with these characters. VR simulations could also be used as a way to distract patients from painful procedures, possibly becoming an alternative to pain medicine. (EDITORS: BEGIN OPTIONAL TRIM) Education may also benefit from advances in virtual reality. If a student struggles with conceptualizing the atomic structure, for instance, he could plop on the headset and be immersed within a virtual atom. As companies sell, developers invent and gamers play, one philosophical uncertainty looms over the industry: How will virtual reality alter human interaction? It’s a tricky question. “Social interaction in virtual reality is a double-edged sword,” said Jeremy Bailenson, director of Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab. “On the one hand, networked avatars allow us to ‘be with’ anyone, anywhere, anytime. … On the other hand, as we rely more and more on virtual interactions, the very nature of what it means to be social changes.” Different media powered by wireless connections have already transformed certain types of communication. Several researchers say virtual reality is just another medium. “But since it will engage more human senses, there is the potential for more problems,” Kopper said. “People might not be inclined to socialize as much. They might get drawn into the VR simulation.” (END OPTIONAL TRIM) David Whittinghill, an assistant professor at Purdue, isn’t convinced. He predicts that simulation sickness will limit how long one person can stay within a virtual world. In that sense, real life is still more appealing than virtual life. For many virtual reality developers, though, the utility of VR technologies outweighs the risk of uncertain circumstances. Back in Kansas City, Reilly had trouble containing his excitement for the possibilities of his company’s future. “The dream is that I’m a kid in Seattle and I’m playing against a kid in Kansas City. And we’re on our own physical fields playing these holographic guys,” he said. “That gets my geek juices going. And it’s becoming more and more realistic.” (EDITORS: STORY CAN END HERE) ——— VIRTUAL REALITY VS. AUGMENTED REALITY Many companies are also playing with augmented reality, which, although similar to virtual reality, has its differences. —Virtual reality immerses users into an entirely reconstructed world. Further, users have the ability to interact with that world. —Augmented reality blends virtual life and real life. Developers can create digital images — something like holograms — that blend in with the physical world. Users can interact with these digital objects. The biggest name in augmented reality is Microsoft HoloLens, which shows users holograms within the real world. HoloLens is still very much in its prototype phase, though, and consumers won’t see it on the market for a while. ——— VIRTUAL REALITY AS SEEN THROUGH … CARDBOARD? Google has already introduced its own virtual reality headset that won’t burn a console-size hole in your pocket. The headset is called Google Cardboard, and it’s just that — a device that connects some of the most advanced technology with one of the world’s most basic materials. The headset is delivered to you as a sheet of cardboard, which you then fold up like a piece of origami. Strap in your smartphone and voila! You have a fully operational VR headset ranging in price from $15 to $32. The only problem? “It’s the worst VR experience you can try,” said Raymond Wong, product analyst for Mashable. It certainly doesn’t reach up to the technological heights of Oculus Rift or even the Samsung Gear. But for the curious and impatient who don’t have a ton of cash, it’s a start. ——— ©2015 The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.) Visit The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.) at www.kansascity.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. ————— PHOTOS (for help with images, contact 312-222-4194): _____ Topics: t000013786,t000013795,t000013797,t000013821,t000013818,t000003086,t000026911,t000012815,t000381788,t000205510,t000012821,t000003087,t000003088,c000214448,c000212765,g000224911,g000065634,g000362661,g000066164,g000065558
Billy Jones is disappointed, but not surprised. He’s disappointed it took until now for use of the Confederate battle flag to fall into broad disfavor in this country. He is not surprised, however, that the flag has been sanctioned in areas of public life from official settings to sporting venues for the half-century since he became the first black basketball player in the ACC.“It’s very...
Barry Jacobs: Confederate flag issue brings back bad memories for ACC’s first black athletes
By Barry Jacobs, Associated Press | Jul 6, 2015Billy Jones is disappointed, but not surprised. He’s disappointed it took until now for use of the Confederate battle flag to fall into broad disfavor in this country. He is not surprised, however, that the flag has been sanctioned in areas of public life from official settings to sporting venues for the half-century since he became the first black basketball player in the ACC. “It’s very disappointing we’re still kicking this around, very disappointing,” Jones says of debate over the flag with its 13-starred blue “X” on a red field. “It’s a sign of the whole time when one group was in control, one group was oppressed, and to me it’s like holding on to that. That was just part of that world. I get it, but we’re not in the ’60s anymore. We’re just not there anymore.” Jones quietly entered the ACC as a Maryland Terrapin in an era before intensive media coverage of sports and prior to the existence of common understandings for intelligent discussions of race. During the 1965-66 season, when Jones took the court for the Maryland varsity, the league was a quaint assemblage covering four states and eight schools between College Park, Md., and Columbia, S.C. Political correctness in many places the Terps traveled was not defined by respect for differences, but rather by minorities “knowing their place” at the bottom of the social pecking order. Overt segregation was dying a slow death, but not without stiff resistance. Jones routinely encountered racial snubs and slurs, punctuated by prominent displays of the Confederate flag. The image appeared on T-shirts, on bumper stickers affixed to cars and trucks. Fraternities, including at Maryland, hung the battle flag from chapter house windows. “It was very obvious,” Jones says of the unwelcoming message the flag conveyed. One pioneering African-American athlete, Duke’s Ernie Jackson, a native of Columbia, recalled his discomfort relying on teammates who displayed the Confederate flag outside their dorms. The sight made it “extremely difficult to have to go to war with those guys and play with them from a teammate perspective,” said Jackson, a consensus All-American and the ACC football’s first black Player of the Year in 1971. Jones had his own sour experience on a visit to Duke, when the snack bar operator at Durham’s train station refused to serve him with his teammates. In response, coach Bud Millikan’s Maryland contingent walked away. When possible, Jones and classmate Pete Johnson kept such episodes to themselves. The slights were so numerous they might appear to be “crybabies” if they kept telling Millikan, Jones said. The apparent lack of friction reinforced a narrative of smoothly achieved integration. The backstory was more complicated throughout the ACC, and not only for individual players. The 1963 court-ordered admission of a black student at Clemson was accomplished without violence. But within weeks of the enrollment of Harvey Gantt, later the mayor of Charlotte, South Carolina lawmakers made an unmistakably defiant declaration by voting to place the Confederate battle flag atop the State House in Columbia. Their disdain for federal mandates to promote racial equality was in keeping with the spirit of an S.C. Supreme Court ruling only six years earlier, which found it inherently libelous, and a basis upon which to sue for damages, to call a white person a “Negro.” Soon after gaining admittance, the handful of African-American students at Clemson, as elsewhere around the South, strongly objected to school functions featuring renditions of “Dixie” and displays of the battle flag as vestiges of a slave-era past. But those divisive symbols were celebrated then, as now, by many whites as links to a proud past. So, when Clemson’s cheerleaders ran onto the field before an October 1969 football game at Death Valley carrying a huge American flag as a substitute for the customary Confederate version, the crowd booed and jeered. The next day, citing ongoing harassment — including a blackface Homecoming skit and cars driven slowly across campus shadowing African-American students — some 60 black undergrads protested by leaving Clemson en masse, if merely overnight. “It was not only the flag, but the activities behind the flag that bothered us,” says Craig Mobley, who in 1971 became the first black varsity basketball player at Clemson. “We knew it meant intimidation. That was it. That was just the bottom line. The flag itself is neutral. It’s the hands of the people that use it that make a difference.” The flag’s current presence on the grounds of the South Carolina capitol building is defended by boosters as a tribute to the sacrifices endured by state residents during the Civil War. But that portrayal willfully distorts the flag’s modern provenance and ignores the silence of traditionalists when that symbol of Confederate pride was adapted for less savory purposes. The battle flag was embraced by groups such as the Dixiecrats, a breakaway strain of white supremacist Democrats led in 1948 by South Carolina’s then-Gov. Strom Thurmond. And of course the flag is routinely flaunted by the Ku Klux Klan, long classified as a terrorist organization. “That’s what the KKK had,” says Al Heartley, the first African-American basketball player at N.C. State in the late 1960s. Heartley played high school ball in Smithfield, a town that long sported a billboard on its outskirts proclaiming, “Welcome to KKK Country.” Adds Heartley: “The KKK and the Confederate flag were together. Yeah, they would try to intimidate black folks.” When segregationist George Wallace became Alabama’s governor in 1963, he ordered Confederate battle flag replicas affixed to the helmets of state troopers. Two years later, just as Jones and classmate Pete Johnson finished their barrier-breaking freshman season at Maryland, that emblem was prominently displayed by troopers during a savage attack on voting-rights marchers at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala. “As we all have to acknowledge, the flag has always represented more than just ancestral pride,” President Barack Obama said last month while eulogizing pastor and state Sen. Clementa Pinckney, a shooting victim at Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church. “For a long time we were blind to the pain that the Confederate flag stirred in too many of our citizens.” Certainly those who led the way from a divided society to a commingled one through sports are not blind to the darker aspects of what the battle flag represents. “The flag is just a symbol,” says Jones, whose race still attracts security personnel when he shops in high-end stores. “It’s the bigotry, the right of entitlement, the sense of superiority that’s the issue.” Heartley foresees Confederate battle flags increasingly relegated to museums. Beyond that, he is more resigned than hopeful. “When things happen, unfortunately like the nine folks killed in Charleston, we’ll have a lot of discussion about it and we’ll go back and forth. My thought is, it’ll be like the gun (control) situation — we’ll talk about guns, but eventually we won’t do much.” Mobley, a native of Chester, S.C., believes younger generations — already exposed to more ethnic and cultural diversity than their predecessors — will benefit from discussions of America’s racially fraught past. Jones sees a chance to promote change, declaring, “I honestly believe that, the more we understand the past, the better we’re prepared for the future.” ——— ©2015 The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.) Visit The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.) at www.newsobserver.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. _____ Topics: t000008058,t000008056,t000003183,g000362661,g000065792,g000066164,g000225474,g000065582,g000215818
BETHANY: KYLE DUKE Athletics: First-team Little All-City and coaches’ all-state in football as a senior. Second-team all-conference in soccer. Also played varsity baseball. Academics: Weighted grade point average of 4.1. ACT score of 24. National Honor Society. Special Olympics volunteer. College: Oklahoma Also nominated: Dustin Bielich, Maddie Flemmons BETHEL: CLINT SIMMONS Athletics:...
Scholar-Athlete: Bios of all the school winners
BY JENNI CARLSON | Jun 20, 2015BETHANY: KYLE DUKE Athletics: First-team Little All-City and coaches’ all-state in football as a senior. Second-team all-conference in soccer. Also played varsity baseball. Academics: Weighted grade point average of 4.1. ACT score of 24. National Honor Society. Special Olympics volunteer. College: Oklahoma Also nominated: Dustin Bielich, Maddie Flemmons BETHEL: CLINT SIMMONS Athletics: Honorable mention Little All-City and honorable mention Class 3A All-State in basketball as a senior. Varsity letterwinner in baseball and football, too. Academics: Grade point average of 3.9. National Honor Society. Presidential Academic Excellence Award. Student council. College: Undecided Also nominated: Rylee Steward BLANCHARD: DAVID UMMEL Athletics: Second-team all-district in football as a senior. Member of state championship teams in football and powerlifting. Academics: ACT score of 32. Grade point average of 4.0. National Honor Society president. Student council. Class officer. Fellowship of Christian Athletes. College: Undecided Also nominated: Sierra Bailey BRIDGE CREEK: RAEGAN ROGERS Athletics: First-team All-City softball as a junior, second-team as a senior. Coaches’ all-state. One season varsity basketball. Will play softball at Oklahoma. Academics: Weighted grade point average of 4.1. National Honor Society. Spanish Club. Helmets of Hope volunteer. College: Oklahoma Also nominated: Jimmy Wynne CARL ALBERT: KALEY HALLMARK Athletics: Honorable mention Big All-City in basketball as a junior and senior. All-state in cross country as a senior. One season varsity soccer. Academics: ACT score of 30. Fellowship of Christian Athletes. National Honor Society. Eco Club. College: Undecided Also nominated: Harrison Hightower, Justin Humphrey CASADY: ELLEN PAYNE Athletics: Four-sport athlete who earned 16 varsity letters combined in field hockey, soccer, softball and track. Will play field hockey at North Carolina. Academics: ACT score of 29. National Science League Award. Youth Leadership Oklahoma. Student council. College: North Carolina Also nominated: Yogaish Khastgir CASHION: BRETT WILSON Athletics: Coaches’ all-State and honorable mention All-State in football as a senior. Member of state runner-up teams in football and baseball. Will play football at Oklahoma State. Academics: ACT score of 31. Academic Team captain. Student council. College: Oklahoma State Also nominated: Peyton Maroney, Alix Robinson CHOCTAW: JACOB RAPP Athletics: Coaches’ all-state, honorable mention All-State and honorable mention Big All-City in football as a senior. Honorable mention Big All-City baseball. Academics: ACT score of 27. Weighted grade point average of 4.2. National Football Foundation Scholar Athlete Award. College: Oklahoma State Also nominated: Mackinsey Jo Archer CHRISTIAN HERITAGE ACADEMY: CREED HENDRICKSON Athletics: All-district football as a senior. Crusader Award, the school’s highest athletic award. Academics: ACT score of 27. Christian Citizenship Award, the school’s highest honor. Salt & Light Leadership Program. Will spend a gap year with Impact 360. Also nominated: Jacquelyn Holdridge CLASSEN: TYLER DANG Athletics: Three-time honorable mention All-City tennis . Placed eighth in lightweight 8+ at U.S. Rowing Youth National Championships. Academics: ACT score of 36, a perfect score. Weighted grade point average of 4.5. National Merit Finalist. Youth Council of Oklahoma City. Debate Club. College: Oklahoma Also nominated: None DEER CREEK: BRYCE BALENSEIFEN Athletics: Three-time state cross country champion. All-City cross country runner of the year as a senior. Multi-time state track champion. Three-time Big All-City. Won eight total team titles. Will run at Oklahoma State. Academics: Weighted grade point average of 4.2. College: Oklahoma State Also nominated: None DESTINY CHRISTIAN: DALLAS BIDDLE Athletics: Honorable mention Little All-City in football as a junior and senior. Oklahoma Christian Schools Athletic Association all-state twice in football, three times in baseball. Academics: Grade point average of 3.7. National Honor Society. Robotics Club. College: Central Oklahoma Also nominated: Kylie Bowdler, Lynsi Stanley DOUGLASS: CHRISTIAN LUPER Athletics: All-district and all-conference football. All-conference baseball. Two years varsity track and soccer. Team captain football and baseball. Academics: Weighted grade point average of 4.0. National Honor Society. Student council. Yearbook. Douglass Youth Leaders. Special Olympics volunteer. Gates Millennium Scholarship. College: Oklahoma Also nominated: La'Di'ne Thompson EDMOND MEMORIAL: JACLYN HUMMEL Athletics: Two-time first-team All-City cross country. Honorable mention Big All-City track. Member of state championship teams in cross country and track, state runner-up in soccer. Academics: Grade point average of 4.0. Food Bank volunteer. Bulldog Mentor. College: Oklahoma Also nominated: Jordan Reed, Kayla Utsch EDMOND SANTA FE: JOBI HEATH Athletics: Second-team Big-All City softball. First-team All-City golf. Member of state title team and state runner-up in basketball. Will play softball at Central Oklahoma. Academics: ACT score of 26. ACE Program, working with special needs students. College: Central Oklahoma Also nominated: Tanner Kliewer, Jake Martin GUTHRIE: ALEX NELSON Athletics: State wrestling runner-up at 138 pounds as a senior. Second-team All-City wrestling as a freshman, honorable mention as a sophomore, junior and senior. Four-time state qualifier. Academics: Grade point average of 3.9. National Honor Society. Student council. College: Undecided Also nominated: Beau Davis, Bailey Shaffer HARRAH: RYLAN BOYER Athletics: Three-time state swimming qualifier, two-time finalist. Member of state runner-up team. Academics: ACT score of 30. Weighted grade point average of 4.2. Scholars Club president. Reading Club founder and president. Mu Alpha Theta math club. College: Rose State Also nominated: Jena Graves, Rachael Wright HERITAGE HALL: CONNOR McGINNIS Athletics: Little All-City defensive player of the year and first-team All-State in football. Second-team All-City soccer. Won state titles in football and soccer. State basketball qualifier. Will play football at Oklahoma. Academics: ACT score of 27. Spanish Honor Society. College: Oklahoma Also nominated: Jessica Borsky, Avery Niemann KINGFISHER: BROOKE BOECKMAN Athletics: Honorable mention Little All-City and honorable mention Class 4A All-State basketball as senior. Multiple top-five finishes at state track. Two seasons varsity tennis. Academics: Grade point average of 4.0. National Honor Society. National English Honor Society. Student council president. College: Oklahoma State Also nominated: Garrett Yost LIBERTY ACADEMY: KELSEE CRAWLEY Athletics: Four-time Oklahoma Christian Schools Athletic Association all-state in basketball and volleyball. Won three OCSAA state basketball titles, two volleyball. Varsity track. Varsity golf. Academics: Weighted grade point average of 4.2. National Honor Society. Choir. Gordon Cooper STEM Scholar Award. College: Oklahoma Baptist Also nominated: None LITTLE AXE: KEITH ROBERTSON Athletics: Coaches’ all-state in football. Played three years of varsity football, one year each of varsity basketball and baseball. Voted school’s athlete of the year. Academics: Grade point average of 3.4. Business Professionals of America. Geography Bee. College: Undecided Also nominated: Katherine Johnston, Nik Storm MACOMB: SHANIA PACE Athletics: Honorable mention Little All-City and honorable mention Class A All-State in basketball as a junior. Three-time all-conference. Four-year varsity starter in basketball and softball. Academics: Grade point average of 3.6. National Honor Society. Student council. College: Undecided Also nominated: Jose Chavez McLOUD: AUSTIN ROOKS Athletics: All-district in football. State qualifier in powerlifting. Varsity football three years. Varsity powerlifting two years. Academics: Grade point average of 4.0. National Honor Society. Oklahoma Honor Society. Student council treasurer. People to People ambassador. Envision National Youth Leadership Forum. College: Central Oklahoma Also nominated: None MINCO: ASHER BAADE Athletics: Coaches’ Class A all-state football as a senior. Honorable mention Class 2A All-State basketball as a senior. Two-time honorable mention All-State baseball. Academics: Grade point average of 3.6. National Honor Society. Gifted and Talented. Student council. Yearbook. College: Southwestern Oklahoma State Also nominated: None MOORE: COLBY MOATES Athletics: Three-time honorable mention All-City wrestling. Four-time state qualifier. Three-time state placer, including third as a senior. Academics: Scored 32 on ACT. Weighted grade point average of 4.7. Academic All-State. Award of Excellence Scholar. FIRST Robotics Team. Campfire USA volunteer. College: Oklahoma Also nominated: None MOUNT ST. MARY: JOE CASTIGLIONE JR. Athletics: Two-time honorable mention Little All-City football. Three years varsity football. Four years varsity baseball. Academics: Scored 26 on ACT. Grade point average of 3.9. Oklahoma National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete. National Honor Society. Student council. College: Oklahoma Also nominated: Diana Andrade, Tesa Danusantoso MUSTANG: JAYDEN CHESTNUT Athletics: Big All-City softball player of the year as a senior when her team won state. Gatorade Oklahoma player of the year. Will play softball at Oklahoma. Academics: Grade point average of 3.9. National Honor Society. Students Assisting Students. College: Oklahoma Also nominated: Lance Frost, Brandi Hutchison NEWCASTLE: PARKER BOLLES Athletics: Coaches’ all-state and second-team Little All-City in football as a senior. Two-time state qualifier in powerlifting. Two years varsity soccer. Academics: Grade point average of 3.8. Scored 27 on ACT. National Honor Society. College: Undecided Also nominated: Madison Granger, Shane Martin NOBLE: BRADY BRADSHAW Athletics: Second-team Big All-City baseball as a senior, two-time reserve. Three-time honorable mention All-State. Honorable mention Big All-City football. Two years varsity basketball. Will play baseball at Crowder (Mo.) College. Academics: Grade point average of 3.8. Boys State. DECA. College: Crowder (Mo.) College Also nominated: Kodi Holloway NORMAN: GRACIE KOONCE Athletics: Coaches’ all-state and honorable mention All-City in soccer. Honorable mention All-City cross country as a sophomore. One year varsity track. Will play soccer at Oklahoma. Academics: Scored 28 on ACT. Grade point average of 4.0. Youth Leadership Oklahoma. Student Congress president. College: Oklahoma Also nominated: None OKARCHE: MADISON LEE Athletics: Coaches’ all-state and first-team Little All-City in basketball as a senior. Played for state title every year, winning two. Three years varsity slow-pitch. Two years varsity softball. Academics: Grade point average of 4.0. National Honor Society treasurer. Student council vice president. College: Oklahoma State Also nominated: None OKLAHOMA CHRISTIAN SCHOOL: EMILY ROBERTS Athletics: Two-time honorable mention All-City in volleyball. Honorable mention All-City tennis as a junior. Academics: Scored 34 on ACT. Grade point average of 4.0. National Honor Society. National French Exam Honor. Academic Team. Book Club. Band. Baylor President’s Gold Scholarship. College: Baylor Also nominated: None PAULS VALLEY: KAYLIE UPTON Athletics: Coaches’ all-state alternate and honorable mention Little All-City in softball as a senior. State qualifier in cross country and track. Academics: Grade point average of 4.0. National Honor Society. Oklahoma School of Science and Math Regional School. College: Northern Oklahoma Also nominated: Treston Williams PERKINS-TRYON: BAILEY WENSLER Athletics: Coaches’ all-state basketball as a senior. Two-time honorable mention Little All-City and honorable mention Class 3A All-State. Honorable mention Little All-City track. Will play basketball at South Carolina Upstate. Academics: Grade point average of 4.0. Student council. Academic Team. College: South Carolina Upstate Also nominated: None PIEDMONT: CONNER ST. JOHN Athletics: Five-time state swimming champion. Coaches’ all-state. First-team All-City as a junior, second-team his three other seasons. Will swim at Saint Louis University. Academics: Scored 27 on ACT. Key Club. USA Swimming Central Diversity High Point Award. College: Saint Louis University Also nominated: Brody Largent PUTNAM CITY: BOLU ONIFADE Athletics: Second-team Big All-City football as a senior. Earned three varsity football letters, four track, one wrestling. Will play football at Abilene (Texas) Christian. Academics: Grade point average of 3.8. Senior class president. Elementary school mentor. College: Abilene (Texas) Christian Also nominated: Logan Jegelewicz, Zachary Moore PUTNAM CITY NORTH: KATRINA DWYER Athletics: Four-year state swimming qualifier. Honorable mention All-City. Will swim at Beloit (Wisc.) College. Academics: Scored 31 on ACT. Grade point average of 3.9. National Honor Society. Band. Received $100,000 President Scholarship from Beloit College. College: Beloit (Wisc.) College Also nominated: Casey Herndon, Dylan Rodolf PUTNAM CITY WEST: EASTON RODGERS Athletics: Oklahoma City Area Baseball Coaches Association All-Star. Four-year starter in baseball. Three-year starter in football. Academics: Weighted grade point average of 4.1. Scored 24 on ACT. National Honor Society. DECA. Mr. Patriot finalist. College choice: Undecided Also nominated: None SHAWNEE: GARRETT McDANIEL Athletics: State golf champion as a senior. Led team to first title since 1934. Coaches’ all-state. First-team All-City. Will play golf at Northeastern State. Academics: Grade point average of 3.9. National Honor Society. Junior Investor’s Challenge Team. Christmas Connection volunteer. College: Northeastern State Also nominated: None SOUTHEAST: PAULA CARDENAS Athletics: All-conference in cross country. Voted “most dedicated” by the soccer team. Three years varsity soccer, two years varsity cross country. Academics: Grade point average of 3.6. National Honor Society. Key Club. Business Professionals of America. Student council. College: Central Oklahoma Also nominated: None SOUTHWEST COVENANT: JOSH McMINN Athletics: Two-time first-team Little All-City and Class B All-State in basketball. First-team All-State baseball as a senior. Two-time first-team Little All-City. Will play baseball at Oral Roberts. Academics: Scored 29 on ACT. Grade point average of 3.5. Yearbook Club. College: Oral Roberts Also nominated: None TUTTLE: TYLER LESTER Athletics: Little All-City Player of the Year and Class 4A All-State in basketball as a senior. Led Tuttle to its first state appearance. Will play at Oklahoma Baptist. Academics: Scored 29 on ACT. National Honor Society. Alternative Education math tutor. College: Oklahoma Baptist Also nominated: Lexi Rumbaugh WASHINGTON: KAILEE ORR Athletics: First-team Little All-City in both softball and slow-pitch as senior. Won back-to-back state titles in both, too. Member of two state basketball teams. Academics: Scored 29 on ACT. Weighted grade point average of 4.3. National Honor Society president. Science Club. College: Oklahoma Also nominated: Kyler Barker WELLSTON: BEAU DANKER Athletics: Basketball team captain senior year. Earned four varsity letters. Started one season. Academics: Weighted grade point average of 4.1. National Honor Society. Class president. Family Career and Community Leaders of America vice president. Coached middle school basketball and little league soccer. College: Undecided Also nominated: None WESTERN HEIGHTS: ALI MIX Athletics: Coaches’ Class 5A all-state and honorable mention All-City in soccer as a senior. Will play at Bethany Lutheran (Minn.) College Academics: Ranked in top third of class. Class officer. Business Professionals of America officer. Choir. Elementary reading volunteer. College: Bethany Lutheran (Minn.) College Also nominated: None WESTMOORE: REBECCA RANDOLPH Athletics: Coaches’ all-state soccer as a senior. Two-time honorable mention All-City. Two-time cross country state qualifier. Will play soccer at Adams (Colo.) State. Academics: Scored 31 on ACT. Weighted grade point average of 4.6. Class officer. Scholastic Team. College: Adams (Colo.) State Also nominated: Calvin Miller, Savannah Waddell YUKON: KEEGAN MEYN Athletics: Reserve All-State, first-team Big All-City and coaches’ all-star in baseball as a senior. Two seasons varsity football. Will play baseball at Arkansas-Little Rock. Academics: Scored 28 on ACT. Weighted grade point average of 4.3. Ferguson Jenkins Outstanding Student-Athlete Award. College: Arkansas-Little Rock Also nominated: None
BEREA, Ohio — Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel held a funeral Wednesday for Johnny Football.“I’m trying to really close a chapter on my life and move forward and really continue to build on the things that I’ve done throughout this offseason,” Manziel said in his first interview since Dec. 29 after the Browns wrapped up their second practice of mandatory minicamp.Manziel admitted he became...
Browns QB Manziel closes chapter on ‘Johnny Football’
By Nate Ulrich, Associated Press | Jun 17, 2015BEREA, Ohio — Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel held a funeral Wednesday for Johnny Football. “I’m trying to really close a chapter on my life and move forward and really continue to build on the things that I’ve done throughout this offseason,” Manziel said in his first interview since Dec. 29 after the Browns wrapped up their second practice of mandatory minicamp. Manziel admitted he became overwhelmed by the Johnny Football persona he helped create when he took college football by storm and won the Heisman Trophy at Texas A&M in 2012. The hype, celebrity and partying became too much to handle. It played a part in his nightmarish rookie season with the Browns after they drafted him 22nd overall last year, and it ultimately contributed to him spending more than 10 weeks this offseason in an inpatient rehabilitation facility specializing in alcohol and drug addiction treatment. “I think it just overtook who I was just as person, too,” Manziel said. “I think, at times, Johnny Football probably took over me a little bit, too, and I bought into that. I think I didn’t do my best to hush things down, push down the hype. I think at times I welcomed it with immaturity and just accepted that a little bit, and that’s my fault. “At the end of the day, everything that happened last year is not on anybody else but myself. I guess I wasn’t prepared to handle the type of spotlight that I got and all the hype that came with it. So moving forward, I’m trying to do my part to push that down, suffocate that a little bit and just try to live my life and come out here, and I’m happy being back out here on the football field, I’m happy being back out here with these guys and I’m excited to come to work every day.” In an effort to bury Johnny Football, Manziel vowed to no longer flash his popular “money sign” hand gesture. In the past, he would routinely rub his fingers against his thumbs after making plays on the gridiron or while posing for photographs. He even did it on stage at Radio City Music Hall when he was drafted. “The money sign will not be back,” Manziel said. “I will not be making it.” Manziel, 22, politely told reporters he wouldn’t discuss details of his private life, but it’s clear the issues he faced off the field last year interfered with his job. He led the offense to just three points in six quarters as a starter and finished 0-2 after taking veteran Brian Hoyer’s spot in the lineup in December. He described his rookie season as a time he is not “proud of, not one that I want to look back on very much.” His poor performances and behavior away from the field cast a large shadow of doubt on whether he’ll ever live up to the expectations the Browns placed upon him when they traded up four spots to pick him. “Obviously, last year was, in my mind, for me personally, a disaster,” Manziel said. “I didn’t come out and perform. “I think it’s even my fault — the way that I’ve built myself up. I set myself up for a little bit of failure in that regard if I didn’t come out as a rookie and really perform.” Manziel thanked the Browns for their support throughout this offseason. He said his teammates embraced him when he rejoined the team after rehab and acknowledged his TMZ lifestyle has put many of them in difficult positions in the past. “My private life has been out there to a maximum degree,” Manziel said. “There’s no doubt about that. So for me, one thing that I want to do moving forward in this offseason is just try to quiet that to the best of my ability — whatever I can do to help quiet the noise that has surrounded this team and surrounded myself. I don’t want that anymore. I just want to be another player on this team that is in here trying to get better and trying to be successful. We want to win here. “Off the field, I was a little bit of a distraction. I feel bad about that today. I feel bad about that throughout the last months of my life really thinking back and seeing how much of my life outside of this field and outside of this locker room was documented. It’s not fair for [Pro Bowl cornerback] Joe Haden to be having to answer questions about me every day. It’s not fair for [All-Pro left tackle] Joe Thomas and all these guys to just continue to have questions asked about me. I don’t think that’s fair at all, and I don’t want that.” (EDITORS: STORY CAN END HERE) Manziel has promised to change before, only to fall short of delivering. After he landed on injured reserve last year, he didn’t show up to receive treatment on his hamstring the morning of Dec. 27 — the day before the season finale — at team headquarters because he stayed out too late the previous night partying with friends. The Browns reportedly sent security to rouse Manziel at his former downtown Cleveland apartment because they couldn’t reach him by phone. Two days later, he told reporters he needed to “look myself in the mirror and hold myself accountable and start making some deals with myself.” But the next day, a video of Manziel hanging out with friends at a nightclub in Miami Beach, Fla., appeared on social media. His partying continued during stops in Houston and Aspen, Colo. He checked into rehab Jan. 28 and news of his release broke April 11. Manziel realizes he must earn trust this time around. “Actions speak way louder than words,” he said. “So as much as I may have intended to do some of those things [I promised to do] last year and really truly wanted to, I don’t think I was in a position personally. Now I think I’m doing the right things and taking the right steps necessary for me to put myself in the best position possible to be exactly what this organization drafted me to be. I don’t want to give up on that fact at all. I’m not giving up on the fact that they brought me in here as a first-round pick and want to see something out of me. That’s not lost on me and hopefully not other people in this locker room, either.” Manziel has been working as the No. 2 quarterback throughout spring practices. Coach Mike Pettine has labeled veteran journeyman Josh McCown the favorite to head into the coming season as the starter. Last year, Pettine pitted Manziel against Hoyer in training camp, but this year, there has been no hint of a quarterback competition. “Obviously that’s Coach Pettine’s decision,” Manziel said. “But for now, I’m just doing all that I can do … to try and get better.” Manziel has been inconsistent this spring. He fumbled three shotgun snaps on Tuesday but rebounded with a better showing Wednesday, highlighted by an impressive back-shoulder throw for a completion to rookie running back Duke Johnson in team drills. Late last year, Manziel admitted he didn’t take his job seriously enough. Now he’s focused on improving his dedication and commitment, spending much more time at the team’s training facility, even when the players are off practice. “This position is extremely demanding, and for me now, even if I feel I may be doing enough, I need to continue to try and do more,” Manziel said. “And the more time I spend in this building, the better.” Pettine said Manziel has made strides this offseason “in all the little things that it takes to be an NFL quarterback.” He also has moved from downtown Cleveland and into a suburban golf course community west of the city. Julius Scott, his mentor and former offensive coordinator at Tivy High School in Kerrville, Texas, is living with him, a measure Pettine said he “absolutely” views as positive. “I have made steps to ensure a better chance of success for me moving forward,” Manziel said. The Browns are hoping Manziel can still thrive despite a turbulent start to his career. It might happen. It might not. Either way, Manziel wants his future to be determined without Johnny Football as part of the equation. “I think I’ve done a good job throughout this offseason of really trying to get back to my roots and who I really am as a person,” Manziel said. “I got back to doing some things that I grew up doing that I really enjoy, that are quiet, that occupy my time in a better way other than traveling or anything else of that sort. I’m here in Cleveland. Obviously, I’ve kind of made this my home, so moving forward just doing things that I really, truly love to do.” ——— ©2015 Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio) Visit the Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio) at www.ohio.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. _____ Topics: t000003195,t000046469,t000003183,t000158025,t000003194
So what if seemingly everyone with a reporter’s notebook and Twitter handle says it’s a done deal.Until the official word comes that Fred Hoiberg has become the Bulls coach, Iowa State alum and Hoiberg friend Dickson Jensen says: “There’s always hope. I would love to see Fred stay.”Everyone in Ames would.“He’s an icon around here,” said Tracy Drury, general manager of Hickory Park, a restaurant...
Iowa hometown reveres Fred Hoiberg as a ‘genuine’ icon
By Teddy Greenstein, Associated Press | Jun 1, 2015So what if seemingly everyone with a reporter’s notebook and Twitter handle says it’s a done deal. Until the official word comes that Fred Hoiberg has become the Bulls coach, Iowa State alum and Hoiberg friend Dickson Jensen says: “There’s always hope. I would love to see Fred stay.” Everyone in Ames would. “He’s an icon around here,” said Tracy Drury, general manager of Hickory Park, a restaurant that has served Cyclones fans in 1970. To begin to understand Hoiberg’s popularity, consider that he was named Iowa’s Mr. Basketball and led Ames High School to the 1991 state title by averaging 38.1 points in six tournament games. (As a quarterback, he also was named the state’s top football player by Gatorade.) He and wife Carol both attended Iowa State, where teammates dubbed him “The Mayor” during a career in which he played in three NCAA Tournaments, scored 1,993 points (third in school history), hit 34 consecutive free throws and earned a finance degree as a first-team Academic All-American. “He grew up here, was a ballboy at Iowa State, played for (coach) Johnny Orr,” said Marty Tirrell, who co-hosts an afternoon drive CBS Sports Radio show that originates from Des Moines. “I think part of the Cyclone fan base is in denial thinking: There’s no way he is going to leave.” He’d be leaving a lot. Hoiberg has built a remarkable program since taking over in April of 2010, guiding the school to its first stretch of four straight NCAA Tournament berths. ESPN’s Jeff Goodman put Iowa State at No. 4 in his 2015 preseason rankings, higher than Duke and Kentucky. If that were not enough, he’s young (42), handsome (think Robert Redford in “All the President’s Men”) and a father of four who has remained approachable. “He’s a down-to-earth guy,” said Jensen, a 25-year season-ticket holder at Hilton Coliseum. “There’s not a shred of cockiness or arrogance. He can go out with the elite and then hang out with a regular Iowa farm family and feel comfortable. He is genuine.” Hoiberg’s departure would not have the same feel as when coach Tim Floyd left Ames for the Bulls in 1998. “He told the fan base: ‘I will be your coach,’ ” Tirrell said. “It was good riddance.” Hoiberg never has hid his affection for the NBA, cultivated during a 10-year career during which he played for Larry Brown, Larry Bird, Flip Saunders, Kevin McHale and, in Chicago, Floyd, Bill Berry (two games) and Bill Cartwright. Hoiberg led the NBA by hitting 48.3 percent from 3-point land in 2005, but he retired after the season because of a heart ailment, necessitating surgery to repair an aneurysm in his aortic root. (He underwent a second planned surgery, in April, to replace his aortic valve.) He then spent four seasons in the front office of the Minnesota Timberwolves before adding to his legend in Ames and signing a 10-year, $20 million extension in 2013 that Cyclones fans hoped would keep him there. He has been a regular at Hickory Park, where Drury often sees him doing more talking than eating while dining with recruits. “We love him,” she said. “He’s always the same — calm, kind, cool and collected. Everybody’s heartbroken (about his expected departure) but you can’t blame somebody for making a different choice in their life. We’re all going to miss him, but this should be awesome for him and his family.” The Bulls dismissed Tom Thibodeau on Thursday, and within minutes Tirrell predicted what it meant, telling his listeners that Hoiberg was bound for Chicago. Tirrell actually went into the season thinking it would be Hoiberg’s last. Why? Because top assistant T.J. Otzelberger had left the University of Washington after just two seasons to return to Iowa State, indicating that Hoiberg had developed an exit strategy. “He’s a winner,” Tirrell said of Hoiberg. “Look at his life and he has done everything right. I just hope he does not turn out like John Calipari in New Jersey (72-112 record). Fred is a great college coach, but the last season took a huge toll (in part because of player arrests), and the NBA is a grind.” Jensen, a real estate developer and AAU basketball coach, has known Hoiberg since he was raining jumpers at Ames High School. “We have Nike teams that travel all around the country,” he said. “Most high school kids are knuckleheads. I coached Harrison Barnes (now of the Golden State Warriors) and he and Fred are in a unique category with their maturity. Fred has never changed. On game day he is very reserved, externally very calm. But you know what burns inside.” And as a recruiter, Jensen said, “Fred was able to get some dudes. You can’t make a steak out of hamburger.” Jensen has 10 center-court seasons tickets at Hilton Coliseum and said the atmosphere is “right up there with Kansas and Cameron Indoor (at Duke). Basketball is who we are, and I think we’ll keep the ball rolling.” But they’ll surely have to do it without the icon of Iowa State basketball, a man whose Twitter handle of @ISUMayor32 (for his retired jersey) has gone silent since May 24. ——— ©2015 Chicago Tribune Visit the Chicago Tribune at www.chicagotribune.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. _____ Topics: t000003277,t000003278,t000003183,g000065682,g000362661,g000066164
Oklahoma State football recruiting roundup: A closer look at three of the Cowboys' recent scholarship offersMay 21, 2015
Just 105 more days until football season. It’s never too early to look ahead. Oklahoma State coaches have been plenty busy evaluating high school talent as spring games fire up this week across the Cowboys’ recruiting hotbeds. Here are a few prep stars who have recently reported scholarship offers from OSU: 2017 WR HEZEKIAH JONES […]
Oklahoma State football recruiting roundup: A closer look at three of the Cowboys' recent scholarship offers
Kyle Fredrickson | May 21, 2015Just 105 more days until football season. It’s never too early to look ahead. Oklahoma State coaches have been plenty busy evaluating high school talent as spring games fire up this week across the Cowboys’ recruiting hotbeds. Here are a few prep stars who have recently reported scholarship offers from OSU: 2017 WR HEZEKIAH JONES / 5-11, 185 / STAFFORD, TEXAS (STAFFORD HS) Rivals: 4 stars Scout: 4 stars 24/7: 4 stars Other offers include: TCU, Texas, Baylor, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, UCLA, Texas A&M, Florida and Michigan. Synopsis: The Cowboys are jumping in early for one of the top Texas playmakers in the 2017 class. As a sophomore last year, Jones tallied 551 yards receiving and six touchdowns. At a Dallas Nike camp in March, he clocked the fastest 40-yard dash of any 2017 prospect and the 11th quickest time overall: 4.53 seconds. Jones would be a huge add to the Cowboys’ future recruiting class amid turnover in the receiving corps. David Glidden, Brandon Sheperd, Jhajuan Seales, Marcell Ateman and Austin Hays are all on pace to fulfill their eligibility prior to the 2017 season. — 2017 WR/RB KADARRIAN NIXON / 5-8, 170 / DESOTO, TEXAS (DESOTO HS) Rivals: 4 stars Scout: 4 stars 24/7: 4 stars Other offers include: Texas Tech, SMU, Arizona State, Louisville and Duke. Synopsis: As noted in this tweet, Nixon comes from the same Texas powerhouse program as current OSU wideout Chris Lacy. That connection should come in handy if the Cowboys land Nixon’s signature. He rushed for 110 yards on just 10 carries last season to go along with 623 receiving yards and five touchdowns. Nixon is also a sprinter/hurdler on DeSoto’s track team. — 2016 WR DEVIN DUVERNAY / 5-11, 195 / SACHSE, TEXAS (SACHSE HS) Rivals: 4 stars Scout: 4 stars 24/7: 4 stars Other offers include: Texas, Texas Tech, TCU, Baylor, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Oregon, Stanford and Texas A&M. Synopsis: Duvernay showcased why he’s received more than 35 scholarship offers from across the country when he won the Texas Class 6A state championship in the 100-meter dash (10.27 seconds) last weekend. As a junior, Duvernay hauled in 62 passes for 990 yards and nine touchdowns. He also rushed for 290 yards and three more scores.
May 2, 2015
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) — Their defense fortified with the first three rounds of the NFL draft, the Minnesota Vikings turned Saturday to other side of the ball.The crux of their objective was depth for the offensive line.Starting tackles Matt Kalil and Phil Loadholt struggled last year, and by the end of the 2016 season both of their contracts will be expired. Left guard Charlie Johnson wasn't...
Vikings turn focus to offense, targeting versatile linemen
By DAVE CAMPBELL, Associated Press | May 2, 2015EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) — Their defense fortified with the first three rounds of the NFL draft, the Minnesota Vikings turned Saturday to other side of the ball. The crux of their objective was depth for the offensive line. Starting tackles Matt Kalil and Phil Loadholt struggled last year, and by the end of the 2016 season both of their contracts will be expired. Left guard Charlie Johnson wasn't re-signed. Opportunity looms for T.J. Clemmings, Tyrus Thompson and Austin Shepherd, the linemen the Vikings drafted in the fourth, sixth and seventh rounds. "The best thing you can do is continue to add players at every position, and the best guys are going to come out and surface at the top," said general manager Rick Spielman, who traded down three times during the draft for extra selections and a total of 10 picks. Clemmings was a right tackle at Pittsburgh. Thompson was a left tackle at Oklahoma. Shepherd was a right tackle at Alabama, allowing two sacks in 27 games as a starter his last two seasons. The 6-foot-6, 315-pound Clemmings will be considered for either tackle spot. The 6-5, 336-pound Thompson will get the same treatment, plus potentially a look at guard. The 6-5, 320-pound Shepherd already moved to guard, during practice for the Senior Bowl after realizing the interest of several NFL teams. Versatile veteran Joe Berger returned for another season. David Yankey, a fifth-round draft pick last year, will be expected to make strides. One of the above will likely be the new starting left guard. "We're very excited about how David came back," Spielman said, referring to his strength and conditioning. Clemmings was a defensive end, until his junior year. Widely projected as a higher pick, he said he thought he might even go late in the first round. His shaky performance the week of the Senior Bowl game didn't help, though, and there were concerns by teams about a stress fracture in his foot. "It's an old injury and an old issue, but I've never had any problems," Clemmings said. "I have no concerns with it and I'm not worried about it. I'm ready to work." The position switch at Pittsburgh came when Clemmings sensed a better opportunity for success on the other side of the ball. Opportunity was what steered him toward the sport in the first place, actually. He was a basketball star at Paterson Catholic High School in New Jersey, with scholarship offers from Providence and Seton Hall. He played only two seasons of prep football, his participation prohibited by his mother, Fay, and her fear that it was too dangerous. "She changed her mind my junior year when I asked. My dad said, 'Hey, let him play,' and they allowed me to," Clemmings said. His size and athleticism triggered more interest from major football programs than basketball. Duke would've given him the chance to play both, but Pittsburgh was his choice. That's where Clemmings began grasping the intricacies of blocking. He said he gained a "nastiness" he never had playing defense, though the learning curve was steep. Thompson has had a steep learning curve, off the field. He's been married for almost three years, and he and his wife have two children. "It makes you really grateful for getting to play football and not having to be there when my wife is changing diapers and I can go to practice," said Thompson, who met Sooners alums Loadholt and Adrian Peterson while playing there. The Vikings didn't add any running backs during a deep draft for that position, yet another sign of their expectation that Peterson will return. They also didn't take any safeties, with the spot opposite Harrison Smith still unsettled. Robert Blanton and Andrew Sendejo are back. Antone Exum, a sixth-round draft pick last year who spent his rookie season transitioning from cornerback, will get a long look. The Vikings also added a couple of pass-catchers in 6-3, 255-pound Southern Illinois tight end MyCole Pruitt and 6-foot, 190-pound Maryland wide receiver Stefon Diggs in the fifth round. In the sixth round, the Vikings took 6-foot-5, 258-pound defensive end B.J. Dubose from Louisville, where he played all four positions on the line. In the seventh round, the Vikings drafted 6-foot-3, 245-pound outside linebacker Edmond Robinson from Division II Newberry College. Robinson was the first Newberry player drafted since 1974. ___ Online: AP NFL websites: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
May 1, 2015
ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — Ameer Abdullah is ready to help Detroit's backfield. He's just not about to compare himself to the running back he is replacing."I think there's only one Reggie Bush," Abdullah said. "Hopefully I'm out to prove that there's only one Ameer Abdullah. Reggie, obviously, in my years of living, watching college football and watching Reggie throughout his career, he's one of...
Lions draft Nebraska RB Abdullah, Stanford CB Carter
By NOAH TRISTER, Associated Press | May 1, 2015ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — Ameer Abdullah is ready to help Detroit's backfield. He's just not about to compare himself to the running back he is replacing. "I think there's only one Reggie Bush," Abdullah said. "Hopefully I'm out to prove that there's only one Ameer Abdullah. Reggie, obviously, in my years of living, watching college football and watching Reggie throughout his career, he's one of the most electrifying guys I've ever seen, so I'm ready to prove myself that I'm doing things my own way." The Lions drafted Abdullah in the second round Friday night, adding the Nebraska running back after they cut Bush earlier this offseason. That pick filled a need, and so did their next one when they took Stanford cornerback Alex Carter in the third round. General manager Martin Mayhew did say the 5-foot-9 Abdullah is somewhat similar to Bush, stylistically. "They are both guys that can function in space," Mayhew said. "Reggie is probably more developed as a receiver right now, but this guy is just a rookie right now and he will get better in that area. Both of them have similar traits." Abdullah rushed for over 1,600 yards in each of his final two seasons with the Cornhuskers. Joique Bell rushed for 860 yards for Detroit last season, and Abdullah gives the Lions another option. The Lions moved up eight picks in the third round in a trade with Minnesota, then drafted the 6-foot, 202-pound Carter. "He's a physical guy," Detroit coach Jim Caldwell said. "He's certainly got size to match up with some of the big receivers we'll see in our division. Not only that, he's smart. He is a student of the game, works extremely hard at it and you can see he's got all the makings to be a true pro, so those are the things that jump out at you." The Lions can use another good young cornerback after drafting Darius Slay two years ago. Carter left Stanford after his junior season. His father Tom played at Notre Dame and was a first-round draft pick by Washington in 1993, essentially replacing Mayhew, who had left via free agency to play for Tampa Bay that offseason. "I have known his dad for about 20 years now," Mayhew said. "The year I left the Redskins is the year he joined the Redskins so we know a lot of the same people." Alex Carter, who is from Ashburn, Virginia, even shared an unusual connection he has with the Detroit GM. "I actually came back, and the pastor that baptized me last summer told me that he also baptized Martin when he was playing for the Redskins," he said. Not only that, Alex Carter also said his roommate this past year was the son of former Lions star Barry Sanders. Earlier Friday, the Lions formally introduced guard Laken Tomlinson of Duke, taken the night before in the first round. His success is a source of pride for his native Jamaica. "My dad is still there. He was really excited about everything that happened," Tomlinson said. "I still have extended family there and they were rooting for me. I would say the island is pretty happy right now." Tomlinson moved to the U.S. from Jamaica when he was 11, after growing up in a crowded home on the Caribbean island. "It was a simple life. Back then I didn't have the knowledge I have today but just looking back, we didn't have much at all," Tomlinson said. "It was a tough lifestyle. Just having the opportunity to make that switch — my grandparents moved to the United States before we did and they worked to get their kids, and their kids' kids, to the United States." Tomlinson's mother was in attendance at his introductory news conference. He went to Lane Technical High School in Chicago before heading to Duke. The Lions also introduced offensive lineman Manny Ramirez, whom they acquired in a trade with Denver on Thursday. Ramirez was drafted by the Lions in 2007 and remained with them before being cut in 2010 and catching on with the Broncos. "When I got released from here it did hurt a lot," he said. "But at the same time I truly believe that it was the best thing that's ever happened to me. It put a lot of things in perspective for me." ___ Online: AP NFL websites: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
May 1, 2015
BEREA, Ohio (AP) — As Danny Shelton was presented with his No. 71 jersey by the Browns, his mom stood to the side of the dais. Her eyes welled with tears, her emotions torn in two.Oneone Shelton wore a button over her heart with No. 55, the jersey worn by her late son, Shennon, killed four years ago on Friday.And as Danny beamed with pride on the first day of a new chapter in a life he once...
Browns' pick Shelton overcame brother's death to make NFL
By TOM WITHERS, Associated Press | May 1, 2015BEREA, Ohio (AP) — As Danny Shelton was presented with his No. 71 jersey by the Browns, his mom stood to the side of the dais. Her eyes welled with tears, her emotions torn in two. Oneone Shelton wore a button over her heart with No. 55, the jersey worn by her late son, Shennon, killed four years ago on Friday. And as Danny beamed with pride on the first day of a new chapter in a life he once thought impossible, his mom grappled simultaneously with loss and love. "It was painful because I don't see my other son," she said. "And this is his anniversary, so we were are here for Danny. Some of our family in Seattle are celebrating his anniversary today. When we go back we'll go visit him. We're proud to be here with him today." Shelton was introduced Friday by the Browns, who selected the outgoing and hulky Washington defensive tackle with the No. 12 overall pick in the NFL draft on Thursday night. Shelton's selection was one of the more memorable in Chicago because when he came onstage, he hugged and lifted NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell off his feet. "He was just excited, just like I was," Shelton said of Goodell. "He was shocked at the same time but he was happy for me." Hours after he was taken by the Browns, who selected Florida State offensive lineman Cameron Erving with the No. 19 overall pick, Shelton was flown to Cleveland to officially begin his pro career. The 6-foot-2, 339-pound Shelton quickly won over Browns fans with his positive vibe and his eagerness to play for them. "How's the Dawg Pound?" he asked to open his welcoming news conference. Four years ago, his brother was shot and killed following an argument and fight that quickly escalated in Auburn, Washington, the Shelton's hometown. Shelton was 17, so badly shaken by the incident that he became withdrawn and nearly gave up football. But Shelton matured, persevered and is now living a dream. "It's just crazy to think, because four years ago I would never see myself here," he said. "It's definitely a blessing." Not long after introducing Shelton and Erving, the Browns got back to building their team by selecting Utah defensive end Nate Orchard with the No. 51 overall pick. Orchard , who had 18 1-2 sacks last year, will shift to outside linebacker in Cleveland's 3-4 scheme and should help a unit that recorded just 31 sacks in 2014. A converted wide receiver, Orchard has a knack for getting to the QB. "That is the head of the snake," Orchard said. "It can really change a ballgame. It is just my thing." Browns general manager Ray Farmer ignored playmakers in the first two rounds before selecting Miami running back Duke Johnson with the No. 77 overall pick. Johnson ran for 1,652 yards last season and finished as the Hurricanes career rushing leader despite just playing three seasons. He'll give the Browns backfield depth and could work into the rotation with Terrance West and Isaiah Crowell, who both showed promise as rookies last year. Before taking Orchard and Johnson, the Browns traded the No. 43 to Houston for the No. 51 selection, and Cleveland also dealt the 229th pick to the Texans for picks Nos. 116 and 195. The Browns will have seven picks on Saturday. Oneone Shelton said Danny, the second youngest of her four sons, was often in trouble during high school but she always thought he would turn out OK. He went to Washington, and with the support of the Huskies coaching staff, Shelton figured things out and became a team leader and academic All-American. "I'm so proud of him," she said. "He's a role model for our family." Shelton said he majored in anthropology in college so he could better connect to the Samoan heritage on his mother's side. He has learned the value of family and community, and Shelton aspires to have a career like others of Polynesian descent, including Pro Bowlers Troy Polamalu and Haloti Ngata. "Those are guys who represent our culture really well and I just want to follow their footsteps," he said. Shelton often thinks about his late brother, and although there have been many difficult moments since his passing, he's sure Shennon is proud of him. "It's a time to celebrate," he said. "I'm just glad that my mom and my uncle are here to celebrate it with me because it's a hard time for my family. I definitely know that my brother's smiling down on us, and I just can't wait to go back and see my family and be with them." ___ AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP_NFL
Apr 18, 2015
Hubie Brown, 81, is beginning his 30th year of broadcasting the NBA playoffs, including working with USA Network, CBS, Turner and now ABC/ESPN. He brings an encylopedic knowledge of the game and a coach’s approach to his broadcasts.
Collected Wisdom: Hubie Brown, NBA broadcaster and former coach
By Mel Bracht, email@example.com | Apr 18, 2015Hubie Brown, 81, is beginning his 30th year of broadcasting the NBA playoffs, including working with USA Network, CBS, Turner and now ABC/ESPN. He brings an encylopedic knowledge of the game and a coach’s approach to his broadcasts. A guard at Niagara University, Brown got into the coaching ranks as a high school coach. He moved into the college ranks as an assistant at William & Mary and Duke and broke into the NBA in 1972 as an assistant coach under Larry Costello, his former Niagara teammate, with the Milwaukee Bucks. His biggest success came in coaching the Kentucky Colonels to the 1975 American Basketball Association championship. He also was a head coach in the NBA with the Atlanta Hawks, New York Knicks and Memphis Grizzlies. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2005. My father is the greatest person who I met in my life. I was an only child. He’s the one that first instilled in me, and along with my high school basketball coach Al Lo Balbo — in the ’50s they won seven state championships in 10 years — to strive for excellence, whatever sport I was playing and for whatever else I was doing in my life. They’re the two male influences in my life and I always, always respect how much they contributed to me in my life. In high school, I was very fortunate to go to a small Catholic school in Elizabeth, N.J., which is 150,000 people, seven high schools. We were a very powerful sports school and I played football. My senior year we won the state championship in football. I was the right end. In basketball, we want undefeated and won the county championship and then the state championship. In baseball, I was a catcher. We only won the state championship my freshman year. At Niagara, I played four years of basketball, four years of baseball. For three straight years, we were in the Holiday Festival in New York, which was the No. 1 Christmas tournament in the country. Then we were in the NIT. The NCAA was a nothing back then. We had a very, very good team. We lost in the finals of the Holiday Festival to Duquesne, who was No. 1 in the country. We got beat in the semifinals of the NIT, also by Duquesne. And then we came in third. Back when we were playing, there were 80 guys in the NBA, eight teams, 10 guys on a team. And three guys off our junior team played in the league — Larry Costello, Eddie Fleming and Bo Erias and our starting center (Charles Hoxie) was the starting center for the Globetrotters back in the day because when we got out of school in ’55 there weren’t 10 black guys in the league. And three of us, including me, played in the old Eastern League. There were eight teams, all in Pennsylvania. My first year out of school, my left eye went bad. I was supposed to sign with Cleveland. If you ever met me, my eye will wander when I’m talking because I had an accident when I was 10 years old. My eye got progressively worse. I took a coaching job at St. Mary’s High School in Little Falls, N.Y. Then I went into the service for two years. I was at the Presidio in San Francisco. I played basketball and baseball there and volleyball. At that time, the only power volleyball in the country was played in California. Five guys off that team became college coaches and I became a pro coach. Korea was just ending up, ’57 and ’58. I came out of there and got a master’s degree in education from Niagara University because I knew I wanted to coach. The Kentucky Colonels were the best team that I ever coached. Back then, it was only 10 guys on a team. There were four new players and myself and we were able to win the ABA championship by beating Memphis, St. Louis and Indiana. We went 4-1, 4-1, 4-1. Off that team, Dan Issel, Artis Gilmore and Louie Dampier all have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. Louie is going in this year. They had been into the finals like four times in five years before we got there, but they always lost out. That was a great team because it averaged 108 points and gave up 92 in the playoffs. Unfortunately, after we won the championship, they sold Dan Issel for $500,000, which would be like $50 million today, to a team that never opened up. They were going to be the Baltimore Claws. They sold Issel to Denver. They sold the point guard Ted McLain, who was the No. 1 defensive point guard in the league, to New York. So unfortunately the second year, which was the last year in the league, we lost in Game 7 to Denver in the semifinals. They had to merge the leagues because the ABA was getting all the best young players. If you look at the 1978 NBA All-Star Game in Atlanta, 14 of the 22 or 24 guys were guys who played in the ABA. And in the last two years, the ABA was winning two of out three exhibition games. Naturally, the merger was good for the four teams that came into the league. Unfortunately, Colonels owner John Y. Brown and the board they took the allotment of money rather than come into the league. They immediately went for Indiana, and that was good because they were the ABA’s best franchise. My son Brendan was an advance scout for Memphis Grizzlies. Because of DirecTV, I used to watch all of their games. When they were in Vancouver, before they moved to Memphis and the time in Memphis, they never won more than 24 games. They started the season 0-8 and general manager Jerry West called me and asked me if I was interested in coming in and coaching the team. We won 28 games. From the All-Star Game to end of the year, we didn’t lost a game by more than eight points. We knew it was the third youngest team in the league — Pau Gasol’s a kid, Shane Battier, Jason Williams — over that summer, Jerry picked up James Posey from Denver and we made a trade with Phoenix and we got (Bo) Outlaw. And that helped us the next season when we won 50 games and made the playoffs. It was a real happening. The Spurs won the first two games in San Antonio. The first playoff game in Memphis, a sellout crowd, the write-ups called it the greatest game in Memphis athletics. Mike Hisle, our owner, sang the national anthem and was absolutely outstanding. That night I got coach of the year and Jerry got executive of the year. The game came down to Mike Miller shooting a three at the buzzer on the run. And the damn ball went down in the net, circles around the basket and pops out. That’s how it ended. We were 0-3. This will be my 30th year of broadcasting the playoffs since 1982. It’s been a joy because I enjoy being part of the NBA excitement. It keeps you young with the preparation and also with the on-site interviews with the players and the coaches. It keeps you relevant in the sport itself. For someone my age, it’s been a world of fun and I can’t thank ABC and ESPN enough for keeping me relevant. I just signed another two-year deal, this year and next year. I just hope I can fulfill the contract at a high level of expertise and teaching. I hope the fan out there realizes we’re talking to him and we’re never questioning his basketball level. What we’re doing is trying to explain, like you’re talking to your team, that it is a teaching situation. During the years, the fan has demanded more expertise. He has demanded to know why that happened? I feel we owe that to them by preparation. And as the game goes on, show them the variables of how it can be done more than one way and then also hope that you can give them a little history of the different players and then as well as hope we’re having a good time. If we’re having a good time, then they are having a good time watching. I’ve been around a long time. When we did the game the other day in Oklahoma City, I brought out Oscar Robertson when discussing Russell Westbrook’s achievements. You add it all up and Oscar Robertson’s averages for his first five years were 30 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists. Does that impress you? I was fortunate to coach him as an assistant coach in Milwaukee my last two years and he retired as one of the greatest players ever to play. When you pick the four best guards ever to play, he is going to be one of the four. What Westbrook has done under the conditions of no Kevin Durant, no Serge Ibaka and then the series of injuries to the soldiers has been remarkable. To see the athleticism, fierce competiveness, his willingness to sacrifice his body for the win and not be concerned about outside criticism — to shot attempts or whatever from people who are not Russell Westbrook fans — his tunnel vision has just been a joy to watch as a coach. Before the season started, I think everyone in Oklahoma City thought the Thunder could come out of the West and reach the NBA Finals. Next year when you look at Durant, Enes Kanter, Ibaka, and then you look at a backup of Anthony Morrow and Steven Adams and Nick Collison and then you have Mitch McGary, then in the backcourt, whichever way you want to go with the other guard, whether you want to go Andre Roberson or Dion Waiters, you haven’t added anything. You haven’t added a free agent, a draft pick. You would be expected to have even higher hopes of getting out of the West. Just because of the two trades they have made and the fact that Morrow has developed into a terrific player off the bench who makes crucial pressure shots.
AMHERST, N.Y. (AP) — Buffalo moved swiftly to replace Bobby Hurley by promoting assistant Nate Oats to take over as head coach of its men's basketball team.Oats' promotion Saturday came two days after Hurley was hired by Arizona State. Oats spent the past two seasons as an assistant under Hurley and brings continuity to a team that earned its first NCAA Tournament berth last month."After hours...
Buffalo promotes Oats to replace Hurley as basketball coach
Associated Press | Apr 11, 2015AMHERST, N.Y. (AP) — Buffalo moved swiftly to replace Bobby Hurley by promoting assistant Nate Oats to take over as head coach of its men's basketball team. Oats' promotion Saturday came two days after Hurley was hired by Arizona State. Oats spent the past two seasons as an assistant under Hurley and brings continuity to a team that earned its first NCAA Tournament berth last month. "After hours of conversations with Nate, it became very clear to me that the best candidate to lead our men's basketball team was already on campus," athletic director Danny White said in a statement released by the school. "Nate has tremendous experience as one of the finest coaches in America at both the collegiate and high school levels, and played an absolutely critical role in elevating our program." Oats has big shoes to fill after the Bulls went 42-20 under Hurley, the former Duke star point guard. That included a 23-10 finish last season, which ended with Buffalo losing to fifth-seeded West Virginia 68-62 in its NCAA opener. Oats is a noted recruiter and responsible for landing junior forward Justin Moss, the Mid-American Conference's player of the year last season. Buffalo is set to return four starters while losing only two seniors to graduation. "I have witnessed the potential of not only our team, but the entire athletic department over the last two years," Oats said. "We are starting to establish a great tradition of success here." Before coming to Buffalo, Oats had a 222-52 record in 11 seasons coaching Romulus High School, outside of Detroit. He played basketball at Marantha Baptist University in Wisconsin. Oats then spent two seasons as an assistant at Wisconsin-Whitewater, the same Division III school where Lance Leipold coached football before being hired by Buffalo in December.
When critiquing college basketball from a pro basketball summit, you’re always at risk of sounding like an NBA snob.So be it.“It’s uglier than ugly, and it’s evidenced by the scoring going down. When the NBA went through that, we changed things.”That’s Dallas Mavs owner Mark Cuban doing the critiquing.And he’s spot-on about the trouble with college hoops.Far too often, it’s unwatchable.True,...
Brian Schmitz: Mavs owner Cuban spot-on in college hoops critique
By Brian Schmitz, Associated Press | Apr 11, 2015When critiquing college basketball from a pro basketball summit, you’re always at risk of sounding like an NBA snob. So be it. “It’s uglier than ugly, and it’s evidenced by the scoring going down. When the NBA went through that, we changed things.” That’s Dallas Mavs owner Mark Cuban doing the critiquing. And he’s spot-on about the trouble with college hoops. Far too often, it’s unwatchable. True, March Madness is must-see TV. But it can’t obscure the fact that the regular season is awkwardly reaching The Big Dance on two left feet. Take an interminable 35-second shot-clock, add control-freak coaches, mix in physical defenses … and you have a slow, grinding game that’s an eyesore. Forget the style points for a minute. How about scoring points, period? Mar. 22, 2015: Michigan State 23, Virginia 18 at the half. Scoring was at a record low heading into the NCAA tourney (66.85 points per game, according to analyst Ken Pomeroy). Just last month Sports Illustrated studied the issue in a piece entitled, “Crisis On The Court: Why College Basketball Needs An Extreme Makeover.” ESPN analyst and former Duke forward Jay Bilas has been talking about how “brutal” the game is for viewers for years. While some coaches and purists feel critics are overreacting, average attendance for Division I games has declined steadily for the past seven years, according to the Sports Business Journal. The NCAA showed enough concern to experiment with a 30-second shot-clock in the NIT. The NCAA largely has wanted to keep its amateur appearance and separate itself from the NBA, thus its resistance to the 24-second shot-lock. Try it, you’ll like it. Reducing the time it takes to launch a shot is a start, creating more possessions and, hopefully, more points. With 35 seconds at their disposal, I’ve seen teams run three-man weaves at the top of the key — just to work the clock before getting into their offenses. Clothes go out of style while players stand around and casual fans grab the remote to channel-surf. “It’s horrible. It’s ridiculous,” Cuban told reporters. “It’s worse than high school. You’ve got 20 to 25 seconds of passing on the perimeter and then somebody goes and tries to make a play and do something stupid, and scoring’s gone down.” Unlike the NBA, coaches are the strutting stars of the college game. Many like nothing better than to have 35 seconds to call every play, stifling the creativity by gifted players. Less talented teams also use the clock to shorten games. College basketball coaches could improve their sport by taking a cue from college football coaches. The off-tackle curmudgeons have evolved, much to the delight of TV execs, making games high scoring and entertaining with no-huddles and spread offenses. College hoops also needs to widen the lane from 12 feet to 14 feet and extend the 20-foot three-point line a little — all to create more spacing. And please — pretty please — cut down on all the timeouts that interrupt the flow of games. Cuban’s off-base when he says the sorry state of the college game is hurting the NBA. It’s not supposed to be a farm system for the select few – no matter how many Kentucky Wildcats leave in a stretch limo. But, as Michigan State coach Tom Izzo has said, the NCAA could — and should — look to the pro game to improve its product. ——— ©2015 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.) Visit The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.) at www.OrlandoSentinel.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC _____ Topics: t000003277,t000003183,t000040506,t000404471,t000003278
Apr 10, 2015
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — The theater inside Arizona State's athletic complex was packed, television cameras everywhere. Even football coach Todd Graham and his staff showed up.Bobby Hurley can draw a crowd. Arizona State wanted to make a splash with its next basketball coach, and so far it's done just that."Our charge was to go out and find the best and the right fit for this program," Arizona State...
Bobby Hurley quickly becomes popular hire at Arizona State
By JOHN MARSHALL, Associated Press | Apr 10, 2015TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — The theater inside Arizona State's athletic complex was packed, television cameras everywhere. Even football coach Todd Graham and his staff showed up. Bobby Hurley can draw a crowd. Arizona State wanted to make a splash with its next basketball coach, and so far it's done just that. "Our charge was to go out and find the best and the right fit for this program," Arizona State athletic director Ray Anderson said Friday. "We believe very, very strongly and very confidently that we have accomplished that mission." The 43-year-old coach inherits a team playing in a major conference and stuck in mediocrity. "This is a destination job for me," said Hurley, who sat at the news conference between Anderson and Arizona State President Michael Crow. "A place that I want to spend a lot of time and be a fixture in the community and be a big part of the success of this entire athletic department." He will have his work cut out for him. Arizona State has enjoyed stretches of success, yet has not been able to sustain it. The Sun Devils have not won a conference regular-season title since the WAC in 1974-75 under coach Ned Wulk and have been to the NCAA Tournament in consecutive seasons just twice, the last one in 1980-81. Hurley succeeds Herb Sendek, who was respected at Arizona State and across the sport but couldn't win consistently. Arizona State reached the NCAA Tournament twice before he was fired in March after nine seasons as coach. Hurley said Levi Watkins, who worked on his staff at Buffalo, will join him at Arizona State and former Sendek assistant Stan Johnson will remain with the program. Hurley has proved himself at every level. He was a successful high school player under his father, Bob Hurley Sr., winning four state championships for a coach who is in the Naismith Hall of Fame. Hurley kept winning at Duke, where the fiery point guard went to the Final Four three times, won two national championships and was an All-American in 1993. He revived his NBA career after a horrific car accident, playing four more years. Hurley paid his basketball dues when he returned from a stint in horse racing, working as a scout for the Philadelphia 76ers before joining brother Dan Hurley at Wagner and Rhode Island. Once he became a head coach, Hurley won immediately. He led Buffalo to its first conference title and first NCAA Tournament in his second season as a coach. His next task is to change the basketball culture at Arizona State and win over recruits. "I think that I have a national name, have a name that people recognize," Hurley said. "My career as a player in college athletics and winning championships opens the doors for me. My dad being the legendary high school coach that people know, I'd be able to pick up the phone and develop relationships with all the people I need to." Once Hurley gets in the door, he will try to bust it all the way open. Though he may not have been the most physically gifted player, Hurley made up for it with a high basketball IQ that came from growing up around the game. His dirt-under-the-nails work ethic wore down opponents. It also allowed him to recover from a car accident that nearly killed him and become an NBA player again. "I have a blue-collar mentality because of my upbringing and nothing has ever come easy for me," Hurley said. "People really always doubted my career as a player, really never expected me to take it as far as I took it. My expectations and what other people's expectations are are a little different, so hopefully we'll get on the same page and get that done."
Final Four notes: Kentucky's Andrew Harrison apologizes to Wisconsin's Frank Kaminsky for postgame remark
Apology accepted.Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky said he received a call from Kentucky’s Andrew Harrison early Sunday morning, apologizing for a slur that was muttered after the Wildcats’ loss to the Badgers on Saturday night.A question was asked to a teammate about Kaminsky, and Harrison, under his breath, could be heard expressing an expletive and racial slur.“I got a text message ,and he said he...
Final Four notes: Kentucky's Andrew Harrison apologizes to Wisconsin's Frank Kaminsky for postgame remark
Blair Kerkhoff, Associated Press | Apr 5, 2015Apology accepted. Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky said he received a call from Kentucky’s Andrew Harrison early Sunday morning, apologizing for a slur that was muttered after the Wildcats’ loss to the Badgers on Saturday night. A question was asked to a teammate about Kaminsky, and Harrison, under his breath, could be heard expressing an expletive and racial slur. “I got a text message ,and he said he wanted to talk to me,” Kaminsky said. “I’m glad he reached out. He’s nice kid. He said he really respects me and apologized for what he said. I could tell he was sincere about it. “Things are said all the time, on the court, when microphones aren’t on. It’s not that big a deal to me. The situation is completely diffused.” The rematch On Dec. 3, Duke traveled to Madison, Wis., and thumped the Badgers 80-70. The Blue Devils led by three at halftime. Four players scored in double figures for the Blue Devils, led by Tyus Jones with 22 points. Wisconsin got 25 from Traevon Jackson and 17 from Kaminsky. That game means … nothing. “Totally different teams now,” Duke guard Quinn Cook said. But it was a huge victory for the Blue Devils and their three freshman starters. It was the team’s first true road game. “I remember we weren’t nervous,” guard Matt Jones said. “And we got a lot of confidence from that game.” One difference from then to now is the health of Wisconsin’s Sam Dekker. He played on an injured ankle and scored five points in the earlier game. “We didn’t play well in that game,” Kaminsky said. “Hopefully we can take some stuff from that game and use it this time.” Big Ten success In the last several years, the Big Ten has been first in realignment, first in creating a leaguewide network but not first in winning national championships in football or men’s basketball. Now, the conference has put itself in a position for a sweep. Ohio State beat Oregon in the first College Football Playoff championship game in January, and now Wisconsin has a chance in NCAA men’s basketball. Before this year, the last titles in those sports were the Buckeyes’ 2002 football championship and Michigan State’s 2000 basketball title. Since 2002, the SEC has piled up titles in football (eight) and basketball (four). The Big 12 and ACC have won championships in both sports. The Big Ten now has that opportunity. Calipari in Hall of Fame, Ryan not John Calipari will be introduced as a Naismith Hall of Fame member today. Several outlets reported Sunday that Calipari received enough votes to be inducted, but fellow finalist, Wisconsin’s Bo Ryan, did not. Wonder if the outcome would have been different had the voting occurred after the Badgers’ victory over Kentucky on Saturday? Other Hall of Fame finalists among players include former Kansas and Boston Celtics guard Jo Jo White, Spencer Haywood, Tim Hardaway, Kevin Johnson, Dikembe Mutumbo and Lisa Leslie. In addition, NBA coach Bill Fitch, NBA referee Dick Bavetta and high school coach Robert Hughes are finalists. ? Also Sunday, Calipari was chosen winner of the Naismith Coach of the Year, his second major coaching honor announced during the Final Four. To reach Blair Kerkhoff, call or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @BlairKerkhoff. ——— ©2015 The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.) Visit The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.) at www.kansascity.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC _____ Topics: t000008064,t000008056,t000003183,t000003277,t000040506,t000404496,t000169039,g000362661,g000066164,g000065586,g000065650
INDIANAPOLIS — A Wisconsin win Monday night would cap a crowning season for the Big Ten Conference, which hasn’t won an NCAA basketball title since Michigan State in 2000.The Big Ten won its first football championship since 2002 this season when Ohio State captured the first College Football Playoff title with a victory against Oregon.“We’ve had some really good teams in this league over the...
Wisconsin can help Big Ten cap a championship year
By Chris Dufresne, Associated Press | Apr 5, 2015INDIANAPOLIS — A Wisconsin win Monday night would cap a crowning season for the Big Ten Conference, which hasn’t won an NCAA basketball title since Michigan State in 2000. The Big Ten won its first football championship since 2002 this season when Ohio State captured the first College Football Playoff title with a victory against Oregon. “We’ve had some really good teams in this league over the years,” Wisconsin guard Josh Gasser said. “Kind of surprised there hasn’t been a national champion, but that doesn’t take anything away from the conference as a whole, I don’t think. We’re just trying to represent the conference. It’s not about the Big Ten; it’s about us, what we can do to win a national championship.” The Southeastern Conference, in 2011-12, was the last conference to win titles in both sports when Alabama won in football and Kentucky won in basketball. In 2006-07, Florida of the SEC won football and basketball national championships in the same season. The Pac-12, um, has some catching up to do. The league won its last NCAA basketball title in 1997 (Arizona) and last national football championship in 2004 (USC), which has been vacated. ——— SORRY COMMENTS Kentucky guard Andrew Harrison has apologized for uttering an expletive and racial slur about Wisconsin star Frank Kaminsky after Saturday night’s game. Harrison tweeted at 12:25 a.m. on Sunday morning: “First I want to apologize for my poor choice of words used in jest towards a player I respect and know.” Kaminsky said he received a personal apology from Harrison. “Yeah, he reached out to me,” Kaminsky said Sunday. “We talked about it. Over it. Nothing needs to be made out of it.” ——— DEEP THOUGHTS Kaminsky was asked at Sunday’s news conference to talk about the lack of confidence he had as a young player. Question: “Are you the man now?” Kaminsky: “I don’t know. I wasn’t prepared for a question of this magnitude. So do you want like an intellectual answer ...?” ——— FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH, AND IT MIGHT NOT BE MUCH Duke defeated Wisconsin, 80-70, in a Dec. 3 game at Madison. “They’re a different team now, we’re a different team,” Duke senior guard Quinn Cook said. “They’re a lot better. They’re playing as good as anyone.” Duke was different because it was a young team still feeling its way through the opening weeks of the season. Wisconsin is different because Sam Dekker, who has emerged as one of the stars of the NCAA tournament, was hobbled with an injured ankle. He scored only five points in 24 minutes. “We won the game,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said, “but I also knew that Wisconsin wasn’t their best.” Duke is different because freshman forward Justise Winslow has also emerged since that game, in which he scored only five points in 32 minutes. “I’ve kind of matured a lot since that first game, especially on the offensive end,” Winslow said. Duke players, though, said the game provided a confidence boost. “I think as a team, we realized how good we can be,” freshman center Jahlil Okafor said. “We beat a really good team in their gym.” Winslow, on what impresses him about Wisconsin: “They’re winners. Whether it’s Kaminsky making a big bucket or Dekker taking a charge, they just find ways to win. ... They don’t care who is scoring, they just care about winning.” ——— GOOD ON HIS WORD Duke was shocked in last year’s NCAA tournament, losing as a No. 3 seed in the first round to No. 14 Mercer. Guard Tyus Jones, who was in high school and had committed to Duke, recalled Sunday sending a text message to Krzyzewski. “I just told him that this won’t happen again next year,” Jones said. ——— ©2015 Los Angeles Times Visit the Los Angeles Times at www.latimes.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC _____ Topics: t000008064,t000008056,t000003183,t000008078,g000362661,g000066164,g000065586,g000065659
Apr 4, 2015
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — 7:59 P.M.Duke pulled away from Michigan State with a dominant start to the second half, leaving just one question: Will the Spartans have anybody left by the end?The trio of guys they've been throwing at Blue Devils star Jahlil Okafor — Matt Costello, Branden Dawson and Gavin Schilling — all had four fouls with 9 minutes to go.On top of that, point guard Travis Trice briefly...
The Latest: Blue Devils closing in on national title game
By DAVE SKRETTA, Associated Press | Apr 4, 2015INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — 7:59 P.M. Duke pulled away from Michigan State with a dominant start to the second half, leaving just one question: Will the Spartans have anybody left by the end? The trio of guys they've been throwing at Blue Devils star Jahlil Okafor — Matt Costello, Branden Dawson and Gavin Schilling — all had four fouls with 9 minutes to go. On top of that, point guard Travis Trice briefly slipped to the locker room after taking a shot to the — um, midsection. He returned to the floor a few minutes later. Justise Winslow got off to a miserable first few minutes for Duke, but the freshman guard has been their best player ever since. He had 16 points on 5-for-7 shooting, and had a game-high eight rebounds at the under-8 media timeout. The Blue Devils led 65-48 at that point. ___ 7:41 P.M. Grayson Allen may not look like a slam dunk champion. He proved why he is Saturday night. Often overshadowed by the Blue Devils' more touted freshman, the 6-foot-4 guard followed up a missed 3-pointer in the second half against Michigan State with a massive tomahawk jam. The explosion may have caught some fans off guard, but not those who follow the team closely. Allen won the American Family Insurance High School Slam Dunk Contest and the Beach Ball Classic Slam Dunk title before he joined the Blue Devils. Oh, he also was the 2014 Powerade Jam Fest slam dunk champion, jumping over teammate Jahlil Okafor to clinch the title. He joined former Blue Devil recruits Ricky Price (1994) and Gerald Henderson (2006) in winning the coveted dunk award. ___ 7:35 P.M. Duke is trying to make sure there's no second-half comeback this time. After allowing Michigan State to make things interesting in their first meeting, the Blue Devils opened the second half of Saturday night's national semifinal by stepping on the gas. Not only did they score the first six points to extend their lead to 42-25, they also brought any of their fans still sitting in a seat to their feet with some rim-rocking dunks. Jahlil Okafor provided one of them. Justise Winslow added another. The Blue Devils have been able to drive to the basket at will, while the Spartans have still settled for outside jumpers. Their field-goal slump reached 3 for 22 spanning halftime before Travis Trice scored their first bucket of the second half with 18 minutes to go. ___ 7:25 P.M. The second half of Duke-Michigan State is underway at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Spartans will need to heat up from the field again to have any hope of a comeback. They finished the first half on a dreadful 3-for-20 shooting slump, with Branden Dawson going 2 for 8 and Travis Trice — one of the hottest players in the tournament and the East regional most outstanding player — just 2 for 6. The Blue Devils figure to make things difficult for the Spartans, especially if they continue to hold onto the ball. They only turned it over four times in the first half. One bright spot for Duke: Six points off the bench. That doesn't sound like much, but the Blue Devils have won games this season when getting nothing from their reserves. It was Michigan State, the far deeper team, that got just two points from its backups. ___ 7:05 P.M. Duke is 20 minutes away from playing for a title. Behind another big first half from Jahlil Okafor and some poised play from their guards, the Blue Devils rallied from an early eight-point hole to take a 36-25 lead over Michigan State. The winner gets Kentucky or Wisconsin for the NCAA championship Monday night. The Spartans began the game by hitting five of their first seven shots, but finished just 8 of 27 from the field. And their one player was hot, Denzel Valentine, appeared to turn his ankle in the final minute of the first half. He was checked by a trainer, hopped around a bit and returned a moment later. Okafor finished with 10 points to lead the Blue Devils. Perhaps most importantly, the star freshman did it without committing a single foul. The foul trouble belonged to the Spartans, who put Duke in the bonus with more than 9 minutes left in the first half. The result? The Blue Devils went 12 of 16 from the foul line, while the Spartans were just 4 for 9 from the stripe. ___ 6:50 P.M. Michigan State is throwing waves of big men at Jahlil Okafor. Perhaps the Spartans will run out? Gavin Schilling and Matt Costello each had two fouls by the final media timeout in the first half, and they weren't exactly being effective slowing down Duke's star freshman anyway. Okafor was off to a 4-for-6 start from the field, with nine points and two boards. The Spartans have a big advantage in depth, but they have very little size. Schilling and Costello stand just 6-foot-9, a full 2 inches shorter than Okafor. The next-tallest players on the team are 6-7 forwards Trevor Bohnhoff and Colby Wollenman. No wonder the Blue Devils have been able to turn an early 14-6 deficit into a 29-20 lead. ___ 6:38 P.M. Here come the Blue Devils. After Michigan State raced out to an early eight-point lead, Duke punched back with a 14-2 run of its own to take the lead. Justise Winslow was the instigator, slashing to the basket as the Blue Devils tried to take advantage of their size in the paint. All the driving also got Michigan State in foul trouble — the Blue Devils were in the bonus for the final 9-plus minutes of the second half. The Spartans, meanwhile, began settling for jumpers. They wound up missing nine of 11 shots during a horrific stretch of offense, including an ugly airball by Branden Dawson and a 3-pointer that glanced off the side of the backboard by Tum Tum Nairn. Winslow picked up his second foul with 8:42 left in the half, though. He took a seat on the bench, and that could prove pivotal. The Blue Devils have precious little depth. ___ 6:29 P.M. Behind each basket in Lucas Oil Stadium are student sections, with a few hundred from each school. But with the floor raised, the folks in the back, even when they stand, have to watch most of the game on the video board above the floor. ___ 6:26 Jahlil Okafor was dynamic in the first meeting between these two teams in November, but it was when he was on the bench in foul trouble that the Blue Devils gained some separation. He wasn't in foul trouble when he subbed out in the first half Saturday night, but the move to junior Marshall Plumlee sparked Duke anyway. The Blue Devils forced three straight turnovers, and Justise Winslow's three-point play got them within 14-11 at the second media break. ___ 6:19 p.m. It took a few possessions but Duke finally got Jahlil Okafor some touches and he produced a foul on Gaven Schilling, who at 6-foot-9 and 240 pounds, looks small next to the 6-11, 270-pound freshman, and an easy basket inside. __ 6:16 P.M. Shooting is usually an x-factor at the Final Four, where the backdrop of a massive football stadium tends to throw off the depth perception of teams. So much for that. Michigan State and Duke both blistered the nets over the first few minutes of Saturday night's semifinal opener. The Spartans were 5 for 7 from the field, including a 3-for-3 start from 3-point range by junior guard Denzel Valentine. The Blue Devils made their first three shots, but were done in by a pair of turnovers by freshman guard Justise Winslow. The last of them turned into Valentine's third 3, a shot from the top of the key that nearly hopped out of the cylinder before settling back through. The Spartans led 14-6 at the first media timeout. ___ 6:01 P.M. Before the national anthem was sung, beautifully, by four student-athletes — one from each school — the public address announcer in the stadium said: "In the spirit of solidarity and united as one community ...' ___ 6 P.M. Duke and Michigan State are ready for their rematch — with a whole lot more at stake. In one of the first games of the season, the two schools met just down the street at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in the Champions Classic. The Blue Devils won that game, 81-71. Jahlil Okafor announced his presence in a big way that night against the Spartans. The freshman forward and presumptive No. 1 pick in June's NBA draft played 30 minutes, scoring 17 points on 8-for-10 shooting in a dominant performance in the paint. Duke raced to a 10-point lead late in the first half. Michigan State made a big second-half run but was never able to take the lead. The Blue Devils shot 54 percent from the field, turning 13 turnovers into 24 points, much to the chagrin of Spartans coach Tom Izzo. ___ 5:35 P.M. There were no surprises in the starting lineups for Saturday night's first semifinal. Michigan State went with the quicker lineup it adjusted to after some early season struggles, which meant freshman Tum Tum Nairn joined senior Travis Trice and junior Denzel Valentine in the Spartans' backcourt. Gavin Shilling and Branden Dawson started at forward. The Blue Devils are sticking with their three freshman phenoms — Jahlil Okafor, Justise Winslow and Tyus Jones — along with guards Quinn Coke and Matt Jones. ___ 5:20 P.M. The NCAA brought out some big names for its Final Four music festival, including Rihanna and country music acts Lady Antebellum and Zac Brown Band headline Sunday. As for the national anthem, the NCAA kept things focused on students-athletes. With the help of Amy Thornburg, a local vocal coach, officials selected one from each of the participating schools. The impromptu quartet got together for practice Friday night, and will take the floor to sing the anthem before a packed house at Lucas Oil Stadium. The singers: Michelle Dear, a soccer player from Michigan State; Vitto Brown, a basketball player from Wisconsin; Deion Williams, a football player from Duke; and Kennedy Collier, a member of the Kentucky women's soccer team. Brown is a sophomore forward who has rarely played of late. But he nevertheless had to head back stage quickly to prepare for the Badgers' semifinal against Kentucky. ___ 4:45 P.M. The festive atmosphere that built on the streets of Indianapolis made its way inside Lucas Oil Stadium, where Michigan State was preparing to face Duke and Wisconsin was meeting Kentucky in Saturday night's national semifinals. As the NCAA likes to say, "The road ends here." At the fan fest in in the massive convention center across the street from the stadium, the predominant color was red. Maybe Kentucky fans will catch up later, but Wisconsin supporters were winning the competition early. This is the first time that Indianapolis has hosted the Final Four since 2010, when the Blue Devils knocked off upstart Butler to win coach Mike Krzyzewski's fourth national title. Krzyzewski, by the way, has been wearing that title ring lately. "Usually I don't wear a ring on my right fingers, but I did for the tournament," he said. "Not for luck or anything, just a constant reminder of what it is. To come back here, again." Well, the Blue Devils are here. So is Big Blue Nation, chasing perfection. Thousands of Badgers fans. And the green and white of Michigan State, Wisconsin's Big Ten rival. Let the games begin.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — America's favorite underdog is pulling for an upset this weekend.No surprise there.With unbeaten Kentucky threatening Indiana's 39-year perch as the last perfect men's team in major college basketball, the team that stole millions of hearts in the movie "Hoosiers" is rooting for anybody but the Wildcats at Lucas Oil Stadium."Our rivalry with Kentucky starts early, with the...
INSIDE THE MADNESS: 'Hoosiers' pulling for an upset
Associated Press | Apr 4, 2015INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — America's favorite underdog is pulling for an upset this weekend. No surprise there. With unbeaten Kentucky threatening Indiana's 39-year perch as the last perfect men's team in major college basketball, the team that stole millions of hearts in the movie "Hoosiers" is rooting for anybody but the Wildcats at Lucas Oil Stadium. "Our rivalry with Kentucky starts early, with the Indiana-Kentucky All-Star Game," explained Ray Craft, who joined teammate Bobby Plump in the 1954 game. "So we don't want them to win it." Instead, they're hoping Wisconsin and Michigan State win Saturday's national semifinals, setting up an all-Big Ten championship game Monday in Big Ten country. Craft, Plump and four of their teammates returned to Lucas Oil Stadium, about six miles from Hinkle Fieldhouse where they pulled off one of the most stunning upsets in Indiana high school history. It is known in Indiana as the 1954 Milan Miracle. To just about everyone else, it's known simply as "Hoosiers," and the 1986 movie that captivated the nation and the world has continued to make an impact around the nation and the world. "We've had people come in from all 50 states and 27 foreign countries," Plump said. "When the Spanish team came here in 2001 or 2003 (for the World Basketball championships), one of the players came up to me and said 'You're the reason I started playing basketball.'" But there are other reasons they're around now. They're promoting a new museum that celebrates their accomplishment from 61 years ago. And, of course, it's March in Indianapolis, when every underdog -- including the three in town -- are hoping to recapture some of the Milan magic. — Mike Marot ___ DRIVING INTO THE FINAL FOUR: When players arrived at Lucas Oil Stadium for their first workouts this week, they found a gift in each of their lockers: a 1/18 scale die-cast IndyCar. Naturally, it was adorned with special Final Four graphics. GreenLight Collectibles produced 1,000 of the limited-edition cars for the NCAA to give out to players and school officials, along with sponsors and other VIPs. The cars are painted white, black and red — the colors of this year's Final Four logo — and carry No 15. "They're pretty cool," said Michigan State guard Bryn Forbes, turning the box over in his hands to get a closer look at the metal body, rubber wheels and other details. "Bringing to life the Final Four models and assisting in the marketing of Indianapolis's racing heritage was something we were thrilled to have the opportunity to participate in," said Jeff Nelson, the national sales manager for GreenLight Collectibles. There are also four full-size IndyCars in the same livery positioned around Indianapolis, as if anybody needed a reminder that the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway sits just to the west. The Spartans even had a two-seat IndyCar in their police escort when they arrived in town Wednesday night. When their caravan came to a stop, athletic director Mark Hollis popped out of one of the rear seat and pulled off his helmet. "I couldn't believe he was actually in there," Michigan State forward Denzel Valentine said with a smile. "I was kind of jealous." — Dave Skretta ___ IT'S OK IF YOU'RE FRIENDS: There promises to be at least one Buckeye cheering for Sparty on Saturday night. A high-profile one, too. You see, Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller and Michigan State point guard Travis Trice have been best friends since the fourth grade, when they played just about every sport together. They even partnered up on the same AAU team, two freakish athletes in a dynamic backcourt tandem. But by the time they had reached high school in Huber Heights, Ohio, it was clear where their futures lay. Miller had by that point become one of the nation's most sought-after football prospects, coaches flocking to Wayne High School to see him play. Trice had also played quarterback growing up, but as the star point guard for the Warriors, he began to hear from colleges who wanted him to focus on hoops. Their paths diverged again when Miller chose to stay home and play for the Buckeyes, and Trice accepted an offer from coach Tom Izzo to head to Michigan State. "Honestly, I never wanted to go to Ohio State," Trice said. "In Ohio, you're a diehard Ohio State fan or you don't really like them. I was sort of in the middle." Trice said he roots for the Buckeyes primarily to support his buddy — except when they're playing the Spartans. And considering Michigan State is playing Duke in Saturday night's national semifinals, you can bet that Miller will be rooting on the Spartans, too. —Dave Skretta ___ Find more sights, sounds and images from AP's journalists inside the Final Four at Inside the Madness at collegebasketball.ap.org/insidethemadness.
A look at Oklahoma high school athletes who have signed to play college sports as of April 4.
Oklahoma high school sports signing list: April 4, 2015
COMPILED BY SCOTT WRIGHT | Apr 4, 2015BASEBALL T.J. Black, Stillwater (NOC-Enid) Brayden Blaylock, Tulsa Union (NEO) Andrew Bolen, Silo (Arkansas) Brady Bradshaw, Noble (Crowder) Blake Brewster, Moore (OU) Chase Burgess, Jenks (NEO) Riley Cabral, Carl Albert (Chipola College) Joseph Corbett, McGuinness (Ark.-Little Rock) Joel Davis, Midwest City/Seminole St. (Texas A&M) Jonathan Davis, Edmond North (Ark.-Little Rock) Aidan Doherty, Deer Creek (NSU) Jesus Gamez, Dover (Seminole St.) Jackson Goddard, Holland Hall (Kansas) Dylan Grove, Moore (OU) Wade Hanska, Edmond Memorial (NOC-Enid) Thomas Hughes, Norman North (OU) Kale Keith, Verdigris (Connors St.) Karsten Laferr, Edmond North (NOC) Barrett Loseke, Jenks (Arkansas) Joshua Matelsky, Putnam City North (Dodge City CC) Trevor McCutchin, Owasso (ORU) Josh McMinn, SW Covenant/Union City (ORU) Bryan Pacheco, Dover (NOC-Enid) Zach Parish, Sequoyah-Tahlequah (NSU) Lane Paul, Tuttle/Murray St. (OC) Ricky Ramirez, Deer Creek (Seminole St.) Garret Rogers, Putnam City North (Barton CC) Landon Roney, Edmond North (NOC) Colin Simpson, Edmond Memorial (OSU) Blake Shepard, Ponca City (Fort Scott CC) Hunter Southerland, Westmoore (OU) Slater Springman, Holland Hall (OC) Kyle Tyler, Westmoore (OU) Madison Watkins, Sperry (Cowley County) Ryan Weeks, Savanna (Murray St.) Harrison Whitworth, Broken Arrow (Fort Scott) Ryan Wieligman, Stillwater (Cowley County) Lane Workman, Deer Creek (Pratt CC) Corey Zangari, Carl Albert (OSU) BOYS BASKETBALL Conner Avants, Deer Creek (Air Force) Chris Crawford, Victory Christian (ORU) A.J. Cockrell, Memorial (UTSA) Hayden Howell, Carl Albert (Abilene Christian) Will Lienhard, McGuinness (Navy) Chris Miller, Tulsa Washington (ORU) Shake Milton, Owasso (SMU) GIRLS BASKETBALL Amanda Allen, Edmond Santa Fe (McPherson) Ashley Beatty, Anadarko (ORU) Lauren Billie, Tulsa East Central (Texas-Arlington) Blake Blessington, Harrah (North Texas) Shay Brown, Tulsa East Central (Houston) Addy Clift, Kiowa (OC) Madison Davis, Locust Grove (West Texas A&M) Andee Decker, Edmond Memorial (West Texas A&M) Makenzie Ellis, Tulsa Washington (Colorado) Serithia Hawkins, Southmoore (Houston) Jentry Holt, Elgin (OSU) Alyssa Jones (Southmoore (Midwestern St.) DeRae Lewis, Millwood (North Texas) Kylie Looney, Adair (NSU) Crystal Polk, Lawton Eisenhower (Tulsa) Hayden Priddy, Piedmont (SWOSU) Raven Prince, Millwood (North Texas) Bre Reid, Piedmont (Southern Utah) Lexi Smith, Bethany (ECU) Bailey Taylor, Shawnee (UCO) Rylie Torrey, Locust Grove (ORU) Dakota Vann, Deer Creek (Loyola-Chicago) Tia Williams, Norman North (ECU) CROSS COUNTRY/TRACK Ben Barrett, Norman North (North Carolina St.) Bryce Balenseifen, Deer Creek (OSU) Rachel Chrisman, Norman North (Embry-Riddle) Olivia Head, McGuinness (Wofford) Morgan Long, Sand Springs (OU) Baylor Nelson, Lincoln Christian (OSU) Donovan Nunley, Edmond Memorial (Pittsburg St.) Harrison Pierce, Edmond Memorial (OCU) Isabella Rose, Norman North (OU) Sierra Thompson, Owasso (SWOSU) EQUESTRIAN Emma Holbrook, Stillwater (OSU) Addie Minnick, Jenks (OSU) FIELD HOCKEY Ellen Payne, Casady (North Carolina) Mercedes Pena, Holland Hall (Saint Louis) FOOTBALL Emmanuel Adesokan, Victory Christian (OBU) Malon Al-Jiboori, Tulsa Union (NEO) Chazdon Anderson, Davis (SNU) Michael Anderson, Owasso (Tulsa) Collin Andrews, Washington (ECU) Estevan Arana, Enid (Emporia St.) Jordan Baker, Glenpool (NWOSU) Jalin Barnett, Lawton (Nebraska) Dustin Basks, Claremore (UCO) Tyler Beasley, Cordell (NWOSU) Bryce Bell, Nowata (NEO) Keaton Bell, Southmoore (ECU) Sammy Benard, Lindsay (UCO) Don Berger, Owasso (St. Mary’s) Bryce Birt, Lawton (SWOSU) Chris Bishop, Lawton (NEO) Shane Block, Yukon (UT-San Antonio) Terrell Bluejacket, Bluejacket (NEO) Malik Boardingham, Anadarko (UCO) Lane Bouse, Beggs (Panhandle St.) Kaleel Bowden, John Marshall (Feather River) Bryson Bowers, Deer Creek (McPherson) Tanner Bowman, Cherokee (NWOSU) Jakob Bradford, Durant (SOSU) Dominique Briggs, Tulsa Union (Coffeyville CC) Bentley Bross, Lawton Eisenhower (OU)* Taggart Brown, Chisholm (NWOSU) Terrel Buchanan, Tulsa Union (NEO) Dayton Campbell, Stillwater (Texas College) Austin Cantrell, Roland (Arkansas) Cyntrell Carden, Stillwater (NEO) Daulton Cardwell, Glenpool (Evangel) Camron Carson, Midwest City (Langston) Trevin Carson, Midwest City (Langston) Pete Carter, Wynnewood (SOSU) Eric Casey, Vian (NEO) Connor Cherry, Lawton MacArthur (Pittsburg St.) Tre’Von Cherry, Tulsa East Central (Grambling) Nathan Christmon, Carl Albert (OSU)* C.J. Citizen, Stillwater (Texas College) Andre Clanton, Millwood (UCO)* Wyatt Clevenger, Tulsa Union (NEO) Tristyn Close, Stroud (SWOSU) Antonio Cole, Edmond North (NEO) Derek Cole, Cascia Hall (Drake) Michael Colston, Midwest City (Langston) Will Collins, Lawton MacArthur (La.-Monroe) Quinton Conaway, Edmond North (Oregon)* Eric Cook, Tulsa Washington (NWOSU) Blake Cooper, Bixby (Central Missouri) Stelen Covel, Casady (Lamar) Jevonte Cross, Tulsa East Central/NEO (Sam Houston St.) L’liott Curry, Guthrie (UCO) Isaac Dake, Tulsa Memorial (Langston) Riley Daniel, Ringling (Baylor) Anthony Daniels, Jenks (NEO) Kerry Daniels, Beggs (SWOSU) Bradley Davis, Berryhill (SNU) Jonathon Dawley, Lexington (SNU) John DelMoral, Westmoore (NEO) Marwin Dickerson, Ada (OBU) Dameko Doddles, Douglass (Wyoming) Danny Donley, Jenks (Drake) Noah Dorton, Dewar (SWOSU) Dewayne Douchette, Lawton (ECU) Marcellous Dowell, Cache (SWOSU) Trent Dunaway, Thomas (SWOSU) Ben Duncan, Jenks (NEO) Zach Duncan, Oologah (Fort Hays St.) Kris’sean Edwards, Tulsa Union (NEO) Carson Epps, Jenks (Iowa St.) Joe Erwin, Jenks (William Penn) Sheldon Estes, Midwest City (NSU) Mason Farquhar, Tulsa Union (SW Baptist) Zach Fisher, Tulsa Union (SNU) Dajorh Fitzgerald, Midwest City (Langston) Dylan Flinn, Snyder (NWOSU) J.D. Flowers, Wynnewood (NEO) Omorrie Franklin, John Marshall (Langston) Jordan Fredrickson, Harrah (SWOSU) Casey Freeman, Newcastle (SWOSU) Davion Freeman, Del City (Wyoming) Corey Ganz, Enid (SWOSU) Mark Garner, Poteau (NEO) Sullie Garner, Mannford (NEO) Bo Garver, Norman North (SWOSU) Devin Gates, Lawton (ECU) Caleb Gatewood, Del City (NEO) Roscoe Gatewood, Midwest City (Emporia St.) Tim Giddings, Casady (Emporia St.) Reece Gilbert, Southmoore (OBU) Jaymes Ginn, Owasso (William Jewell) Malik Givens, Tulsa Washington (Drake) Seth Glasscock, Nowata (OBU) Tristan Gooden, Lawton (NSU) DeOndre Graham, Tulsa Union (NEO) Dahu Green, Westmoore (OU) Gunner Green, Owasso (UCO) Maleek Greenlee, Tulsa Memorial (NSU) Noah Gregory, Thomas (SWOSU) Austin Grotts, Bixby (Tulsa) Cordale Grundy, Tulsa Washington (NEO) Rhett Hall, Westmoore (OBU) Will Hamilton, Tulsa Union (Washburn) Jason Hand, Edmond Memorial (NSU) Mahlik Hanna, Lawton (Pittsburg St.) Khari Harding, Edmond Santa Fe/Auburn (Tulsa) Davis Harker, Tulsa Union (NEO) Trenton Harmon, Garber (NWOSU) Antwan Harris, Broken Arrow (NEO) Cody Harris, Broken Arrow (NEO) Ken Harris, Edmond Santa Fe (Langston) O’Shay Harris, Lone Grove (UCO) T.J. Harris, Tulsa Washington (Arkansas St.) DeMikal Harrison, Midwest City (North Texas) Judge Hartin, Madill (NEO) Doc Harvey, Seminole (NWOSU) Docker Haub, Kingfisher (NWOSU) Ryan Haymaker, Collinsville (NWOSU) Jacques Henderson, Lawton Mac (OBU) J.R. Hensley, Edmond Santa Fe (Hawaii) Jacoby Hicks, Victory Christian (SNU) Razhon Hines, Tulsa Washington (SW Baptist) Duke Hollingsworth, Northeast (OBU) James Houchin, Lone Grove (ECU) Daniel Hubler, Bartlesville (Evangel) Cameron Hunter, McAlester (NSU) KeyOndre Huntley, Tulsa Memorial (NEO) Travis Hytche, Tulsa Rogers (OBU) Coltyn Ingham, Douglass (Haskell) Kaden Jackson, Kingfisher (Wyoming) Nick Jackson, Broken Arrow (William Penn) Noah Jackson, Stillwater (NEO) John Jacobs, Shawnee (East Carolina) Baylor Jenkins, Skiatook (Haskell) Mark Jimmerson, Putnam City (NEO) Jett Jobe, Tuttle (Emporia St.) Dejai Johnson, Midwest City (SWOSU) Denver Johnson, Casady (Iowa St.) Jonathan Johnson, Tulsa East Central (Sam Houston St.) Chris Jones, Lawton (NWOSU) Ian Jones, Cushing (SNU) Bryan Jordan, Tonkawa (NEO) Larry Joubert, Douglass (NEO) Hayden Kaaiohelo, Edmond Memorial (Lamar) Brendan Kane, Yukon (Friends) Chase Kemp, Edmond Memorial (SOSU) Exzavier King, Putnam City West (NEO) Roderick Kirby, Muskogee (NSU) Nathan Knitig, Texhoma (Panhandle St.) John Kolar, Norman North (OSU) Shawn Koscheski, Collinsville (NWOSU) Bryson Lee, Westmoore (OBU) James Lee, Chisholm (NWOSU) Johnathan Lee, Lone Grove (NEO) Trevor Lester, Noble (Panhandle St.) Adrian Lewis, Tulsa Union (NEO) A.J. Lewis, Tulsa Rogers (Langston) James Lewis, Western Heights (NEO) Jordan Littrell, Apache (SNU) Jonah Llanusa, Choctaw (Navy) Alan Lockhart, Talihina (SOSU) Dillon Lohr, Carl Albert (Emporia St.) Kaelon Love, John Marshall (Army) Keagan Macias, Hollis (Wayland Baptist) Trevor Magee, Norman North (OBU) Tyler Marr, Beggs (SWOSU) D’Shaun Martin, Seminole (NEO) Ryan Martin, Tulsa Kelley (Air Force) Cameron Mayberry, Stillwater (Colo. School of Mines) Akylen Mayfield, Tulsa Edison (Independence CC) Floyd McAllister, Lawton Ike (NWOSU) Stephen McClernon, Edmond North (Benedictine) Kevion McGee, Ardmore (NEO) Aaron McKinney, Midwest City (NEO) Rasha McKnight, Tulsa Washington (Midwestern St.) Robert McQuarters, Tulsa Washington (NEO) Byron Mendoza, Westville (NEO) Jack Meservy, Lawton (Middlebury) Tez Miles, Westmoore (NEO) Johnson Miller, OKC Legion (SWOSU) Alec Monsees , Garber (NWOSU) Jakii Moore, Tulsa Webster/UAB (North Texas) Josh Morgan, Shawnee (UCO) Colin Morris, Casady (Colo. School of Mines) LaMarcus Morris, Hartshorne (UCO) Markale Moses, Broken Arrow (South Dakota) Cullen Nail, Midwest City (Langston) DTravius Neal, Spiro (NEO) Tyeson Neals, Moore (NEO) Chase Nevel, Catoosa (NEO) Carlton Oates, Tulsa Memorial (NEO) Terrence Olds, Star Spencer/OU (SNU) Michael Ott, Broken Arrow (William Penn) Marquise Overton, Jenks (OU) DeMarcus Owens, Yukon (New Mexico St.) Deonta Owens, Tulsa Washington (NEO) Jonathan Palmer, Christian Heritage (NEO) David Parker, Mustang (Emporia St.) Josh Parton, Anadarko (NWOSU) Darreyl Patterson, Lawton (Kansas St.) Jacques Penney, Tulsa Washington (NEO) Ben Persall, Newcastle (SNU) Jacob Peyton, Perkins-Tryon (NWOSU) Nolan Philpott, Sequoyah-Tahlequah (NEO) Chris Pogi, Putnam City (New Mexico) Brandon Pollard, Anadarko (OBU) Tyler Potter, Colcord (NEO) Brandon Prather, Stillwater (NEO) Ashton Preston, Edmond Santa Fe (North Texas) Logan Price, Putnam City North (SWOSU) Wendell Prim, Kingfisher (NWOSU) Tryce Prince, Ada (Abilene Chr.) Camren Proby, Casady (Emporia St.) Jared Ragland, Fort Gibson (SNU) Joshua Redmond, Victory Christian (OBU) Jordan Reed, Edmond Memorial (Emporia St.) Keenan Reed, Tulsa Washington (NEO) TomyJo Reider, Tulsa Washington (OBU) Jordan Rickets, Plainview (OBU) Keonric Ricks, Idabel (NEO) Lance Riggs, Davis (SNU) Cagney Roberson, Coweta (OBU) Brooks Robertson, Roland/UCO (SWOSU) Stephan Robinson, Westmoore (NEO) Roman Rodriguez, Wagoner (NSU) Brandon Rolin, Purcell (SWOSU) Alex Rudolf, Durant (OBU) Curtis Rushing, Wynnewood (SOSU) Kalin Sadler, Lawton (Abilene Chr.) Grant Scherber, Deer Creek (UCO) DuJuan Shaw, Midwest City (Langston) Joseph Shells, John Marshall (SNU) Rylee Simon, Vian (OSU)* J.R. Singleton, Fort Gibson (SNU) Brady Smith, Kingfisher (SNU) Brett Smith, Kingfisher (SNU) Carson Smith, Blanchard (UCO) Darrin Smith, Glenpool (McPherson) Jerome Smith, John Marshall (Langston) Riley Smith, McAlester (NSU) Chase Sparks, Putnam City North (Bethel) Emmett Spencer, Tulsa Hale (NWOSU) Cody Spess, Luther (NWOSU) Wyatt Steigerwald, Nowata (NEO) Jace Sternberger, Kingfisher (Kansas) Austin Steward, Edmond North (UCO) Tyler Stilwell, Yukon (UCO) Bennett Stone, Edmond Memorial (OBU) Jared Storey, Newcastle (OBU) Branson Straessle, Glenpool (Emporia St.) Blake Summers, Davis (ECU) Will Sunderland, Midwest City (OU) Jordan Sweat, Edmond Santa Fe (Langston) Matt Tate, Tulsa Union (SWOSU) Corey Taylor, Holland Hall (Air Force) Jacob Test, Texhoma (Panhandle St.) Lorenzo Thomas, Tulsa Union (Air Force) Robert Thomas, Tulsa Union (Missouri St.) Darwin Thompson, Jenks (NEO) Dylan Thompson, Skiatook (Haskell) Mikal Thompson, Lawton (NWOSU) Rudy Thompson, Western Heights (NEO) Quinton Thorp, Cashion (OBU) Marshall Tolson, Pawhuska (UCO) Jesse Turner, Mount St. Mary (Colo. School of Mines) Dillon Twigg, Empire (SNU) Houston Tyler, Southmoore/Citadel (OBU) Jacob Unsicker, Westmoore (SNU) Nathan Varano, Catoosa (NEO) Ashton Vickers, Vian (OBU) T’Quan Wallace, Casady (Emporia St.) Anthony Walker, Tulsa Washington (NEO) James Walker, Putnam City West (UCO) Kyle Walker, Del City (NEO) William Wampler, Broken Arrow (William Penn) Warren Wand, Edmond Memorial (Arkansas St.) Josh Wariboko-Alali, Casady (UCLA) Jaylon Watson, Broken Bow (Wyoming) Tramayne Wauahdooah, Anadarko (NEO) Chance Wenglewski, Tulsa Union (Lindenwood) Braden Wesley, Idabel (NEO) Lorenzo West, Lawton MacArthur (Pittsburg St.) Gerald White, Tipton (SWOSU) McKinley Whitfield, Spiro (Tulsa) Isaac Whitney, Southmoore/Riverside CC (USC) De’Aundre Wilkins, Pocola (NEO) Daxton Williams, Eufaula (UCO) Justin Williams, Bixby (NEO) Dalton Wood, McAlester (OU) Gary Woods, Casady (Emporia St.) Jake Woodson, Wagoner (NSU) Creede Wright, Velma-Alma (OBU) Demeco Wright, Midwest City (Langston) Tristan Wyatt, Shawnee (Tulsa) Nick Yates, Marlow (SWOSU) Cody Young, Western Heights (NEO) Devontrae Young, Lawton Mac (OBU) BOYS GOLF Rhett Bechtel, Edmond North (SNU) John Bonaobra, Tulsa Union (Central Missouri) Cody Burrows, Chickasha (ORU) Brad Dalke, Hobart (OU) Quade Cummins, Weatherford (OU) Brett Hagan, Edmond Santa Fe (SNU) Thomas Johnson, Norman North (OU) J.T. Neuzil, Bixby (UCO) Arjun Reddy, Holland Hall (Drake) Tyson Reeder, Edmond North (OSU) Ethan Smith, OCS (OC) Logan Smoak, Edmond Santa Fe (SNU) GIRLS GOLF Elizabeth Freeman, Casady (OC) Kathryn Goodwin, Riverfield Country Day (OC) Shannen Stewart, Broken Arrow (OBU) LACROSSE Corey Perron, Edmond Memorial (Missouri Valley) Joey Provost, Edmond North (St. Gregory’s) ROWING Emily Vittitow, Norman North (OU) BOYS SOCCER Junior Andrade, Santa Fe South (OBU) Jake Burger, Edmond Memorial (Fort Lewis) Carson Cacciatore, Norman North (Central Arkansas) Quinton Carey, Edmond Memorial (Regis) Wyatt Carroll, Putnam City North (Barton County) Andrew DeLapaz, Tulsa East Central (Rose St.) Ethan Dvorak, Norman North (OBU) Camilo Haller, Casady (Washington, Mo.) Jacob Jerles, Norman North (Central Arkansas) Matthew McLaughlin, Heritage Hall (SMU) Myles Moore, Edmond Santa Fe (OBU) Cooper Mosely, Chickasha (Harding) Michael Ojada, Edmond Memorial (OC) Austin Parker, Deer Creek (USAO) Ricardo Perez, Tulsa Union (NSU) Keegan Radichel, Mustang (SNU) Munashe Raranje, Jenks (Tulsa) Martin Romero, Southmoore (OBU) Cutter Smith, Mustang (SNU) Tristan Tippeconic, Edmond Memorial (Northeastern-Boston) Jacob Tunney, Edmond North (OBU) GIRLS SOCCER Skylar Bozarth, Bethany (Oklahoma Wesleyan) Kelsi Bussert, Bethany (SNU) Bianca Cardenas, Piedmont (USAO) Sara Clarke, Tulsa Edison (OCU) Bri Demuth, Jenks (OCU) Hailey Drylie, Edmond Memorial (ECU) Catlin Harris, Piedmont (USAO) Casey Herndon, Putnam City North (UCO) Jordan Huereca, Edmond North (SW Christian) Kathryn Huff, Edmond Homeschool (John Brown) Brandi Hutchison, Mustang (USAO) Luka Joyner, Norman North (OU) Tifani Langston, Lawton MacArthur (Bethel) Alina Magruder, Mustang (Iowa) Vanessa McGee, Moore (Rose St.) Sage Moore, Norman North (Nebraska-Omaha) Addy Pritchard, Oologah (Rogers St.) Victoria Segui, Putnam City North (Cowley County) Ashley Snider, Edmond Santa Fe (UCO) Samantha Snow, Lawton Eisenhower/NEO (Rogers St.) Natalie Speer, Stillwater (Rose St.) Tayler Stover, Broken Arrow (Rogers St.) Alissa Tapp, Ponca City (Rose St.) Taylor Williams, Claremore (Rogers St.) Kristin Wilpitz, Norman North (OU) Haley Woodard, Norman North (OSU) Marlo Zoller, Jenks (OSU) SOFTBALL Larie Amos, Westmoore (SWOSU) Erika Brandenburg, Mooreland (Southern Illinois) Michelle Brandon, Piedmont (ECU) Maci Brush, Amber-Pocasset (Rose St.) Katie Carollo, Tuttle (Rogers St.) Jayden Chestnut, Mustang (OU) Caleigh Clifton, Wayne (OU) Dakota Clouse, Amber-Pocasset (Rose St.) Dru Collins, Norman North (Seminole St.) Annie Combs, Tuttle (Cameron) Hannah Danielson, Edmond North (Hutchinson CC) Lacey Davidson, Community Christian (OC) Demi Dobbs, Moore (Rose St.) Kayon Dunn, Edmond North (NOC) Mariah Ewy, Perry (ECU) Bry Flanagan, Bethel (Creighton) Ashley Fletcher, Maud (South Alabama) Katelyn Gamble, Edmond North (Rogers St.) Taryn Gray, Wyandotte (NSU) Sidney Green, Westmoore (USAO) Kelsey Harmon, Washington (NSU) JoBi Heath, Edmond Santa Fe (UCO) Kim Herron, Bethel (Dodge City CC) Courtney Hickman, Tupelo (Rose St.) Madison Hussey, Southmoore (Independence CC) Michal Hylton, Wayne (Creighton) Kyla Ibarra, Hilldale (NSU) Poetry Jameson, Northwest Classen (Rose St.) Nicole Jarvis, Luther (NOC-Enid) Jessica Johnson, Pioneer (Rose St.) Casey Jones, Mustang (Seminole St.) Keely Kingsley, Putnam City North (Rose St.) Dagan Lampkin, Washington (Seminole St.) Erica Martinez, Purcell (Rose St.) Jenifer Marwitz, Mount St. Mary (Kansas) Madison Morris, Piedmont (SWOSU) Alyssa Osterdock, Henryetta (Cameron) Kati Phillips, Sequoyah-Tahlequah (NSU) Ronnie Quinton, Putnam City North (NOC) Baylee Ratliff, Sequoyah-Tahlequah (NSU) Raegan Rogers, Bridge Creek (OU) Kaylee Sallee, Noble (Cowley County) Kirsten Scott, El Reno (OC) Kacey Taylor, Edmond Memorial (Rose St.) Bailey Thompson, Deer Creek (North Texas) Kasady Uhr, Mount St. Mary (St. Gregory’s) Ali Turner, Verdigris (NSU) Mykaela Wallace, Henryetta (SOSU) Abbey Warren, Marlow (Cameron) Emily Wassinger, Frederick (Cameron) Casady Webb, Davis (North Texas) Bridget White, Edmond North (OC) Makayla White, Edmond Memorial (Rose St.) Bailey Whitmore, Westmoore (OCU) Rylee Willmon, Luther (NOC-Enid) SWIMMING Breonna Barker, Broken Arrow (Kansas) Mason McCauley, Bartlesville (William Jewell) Avery Niemann, Heritage Hall (Denver) Ally Robertson, Edmond North (TCU) Conner St. John, Piedmont (Saint Louis) Justin Wu, Norman North (Harvard) TENNIS Alex Bowers, Duncan (OBU) David Burdick, Norman North (Southwestern, Kan.) Blake Cherry, Edmond Memorial (Southwestern, Kan.) Olivia Hauger, Tulsa Washington (California) Jordan Henry, Southmoore (Abilene Christian) Spencer Papa, Edmond (OU) BOYS VOLLEYBALL Logan Agnello, Casady (Missouri Baptist) GIRLS VOLLEYBALL Audrey Alford, Norman North (OU) Anna Bezhan, Holland Hall (Stetson) Maddie Flemmons, Bethany (SW Christian) Cassidy Hackett, Edmond Memorial (NWOSU) Taylor Horton, Edmond Santa Fe (UCO) Rachel Manriquez, Edmond North/Iowa St. (OU) Serena Mar, Lincoln Christian (SW Baptist) Baleigh Murphy, Edmond Santa Fe (UCO) Ijeoma Njenje, McGuinness (UCO) Heather Ann Pruitt, Choctaw (SW Christian) Livi Schiffner, Edmond Memorial (Midwestern) Jordan Spence, Edmond Santa Fe (UCO) WRESTLING Kaid Brock, Stillwater (OSU) Nathan Daniels, Del City (OCU) Jacob Fontanez, Stillwater (Army) Hayden Hansen, Norman North (OU) Davion Jeffries, Broken Arrow (OU) Becka Leathers, Choctaw (OCU) Boo Lewallen, Yukon (OSU) Dylan Lucas, Plainview (OU) Dustin Mason, Tuttle (OCU) Christian Moody, Collinsville (OU) Keegan Moore, Putnam City (West Virginia) Zachary Moore, Putnam City (West Virginia) Tristan Moran, Stillwater (OSU) Markus Simmons, Broken Arrow (Iowa St.) Joe Smith, Stillwater (OSU) *-Will walk on Know of a player who signed a letter of intent but isn't on this list? Email the information to Scott Wright at email@example.com.
Bo Ryan's squad clean, fun to watchBy Paul KleeThis Final Four is more about the coaches than the players — and that says a ton about the coaches. An NBA scout tells me the next draft lottery could include up to eight players from this Final Four.My esteemed colleague, Mr. Ramsey, is siding with Mike Krzyzewski, a fine choice as the best coach still standing. Coach K’s resume is almost as thick...
Friday Faceoff: Who is the best coach in the Final Four?
Paul Klee, Associated Press | Apr 3, 2015Bo Ryan's squad clean, fun to watch By Paul Klee This Final Four is more about the coaches than the players — and that says a ton about the coaches. An NBA scout tells me the next draft lottery could include up to eight players from this Final Four. My esteemed colleague, Mr. Ramsey, is siding with Mike Krzyzewski, a fine choice as the best coach still standing. Coach K’s resume is almost as thick as Mr. Ramsey’s. Krzyzewski, John Calipari and Tom Izzo are super coaches, of course. But that doesn’t mean I would hire them to run the basketball program at Klee University. First, the reasons I wouldn’t choose the other three. Start with Izzo. Media spent much of this season lamenting the state of the game, how scoring has dropped to historical lows. You can’t curse the state of the game and praise Izzo in the same breath. It’s hypocritical. The biggest reason scoring is down is overly physical defense. Izzo’s teams subscribe to basketball assault, and it works. Basketball has morphed into football. Izzo was one of the first coaches to recruit football players to his basketball team, one of the first to introduce rebounding drills where players wear football pads. “Football players bring a certain toughness,” he told me years ago. Why is Izzo so successful in March? MSU’s physical style of play can muck up the game against higher seeds. Brilliant strategy, really. But not my guy. Calipari would be a great choice. UK’s coach is open and honest about his program serving as an NBA farm club. Some folks cringe at Calipari’s relationship with William Wesley — the great middleman “Worldwide Wes,” as he’s known. If that’s a reason for rooting against Kentucky, well, you’ll have to root against Duke, too. Wes and Coach K have been tight for years. Sorry to throw mud on squeaky-clean Duke, but it’s true. Here’s a good rule as you watch the Final Four unfold: College basketball is the new sausage. Feel free to enjoy the flavor, but don’t ask how it’s made. That leaves us with Bo Ryan, the coach of Wisconsin. Bo’s my choice. He’s my choice because he refuses to bend to the shady undercurrents of college recruiting. He’s my choice because Wisconsin plays action ball — gorgeous offense with a don’t-foul defense. He’s my choice because I saw Frank Kaminsky in high school, and he looked like the third- or fourth-best prospect on his own AAU team, the Illinois Wolves. If Bo didn’t take him, Kaminsky was bound for Northwestern. Instead, Kaminsky developed into the national Player of the Year under Ryan’s staff at Wisconsin. Superb coaches, all four, each with their positives and negatives. But since you asked, I’ll take Bo. Coach K is in league by himself By David Ramsey Duke is America’s college basketball team, a truth that says bad things about America. I’m surrounded by Duke fans who have no reason to be Duke fans. Well, other than the fact that the Blue Devils have traveled to 12 Final Fours in the past 29 years. Everyone loves a winner, right? Wrong. Weaklings without the inner fortitude to endure losses pick winners. This explains why Duke boasts the most revolting fan base in the United States. (If you’re a Duke alum or a North Carolina native, you are excused from a place in the revolting category.) But … Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski is clearly the most accomplished and brainy coach in an edition of the Final Four jammed with genius coaches. Mr. Klee compares my resume with Coach K’s. Thanks, Paul, but this is the first and last time anyone will compare me to Coach K. Wisconsin’s Bo Ryan is a superlative coach, and I’ll forever wonder what would have happened if the University of Denver had hired him in the late 1990s to lead the basketball Pioneers. Kentucky’s John Calipari is basketball’s ultimate desperado, a man with only a light concern with rules, but he’s a master at rapidly forming a mighty, generous team out of major parts that will arrive and depart in the span of a few months. Michigan State’s Tom Izzo has taken an impressive, if brutal, path to near the top of the list of the finest coaches in college basketball history. But no one in this trio matches Coach K. No one comes close. He’s coached teams to 12 trips to the Final Four, 12 Atlantic Coast Conference titles, 82 NCAA Tournament victories and two Olympic gold medals. He never changes. I first met Coach K in 1986. He yelled a lot. He looked about 50, even though he was 39. He’s now 68. He still looks about 50. The names change. I’ll admit I believed Christian Laettner ranked as the prime reason for Coach K’s rise to consistent dominance. I wondered if the Duke magic would remain when Laettner departed. It remained. No doubt about that. The Blue Devils keep marching behind Coach K to victory. I have a feeling this script will remain the same for another decade. Meanwhile, fans keep jumping on board for the easiest train ride in sport. “I just like the way they play the game,” a 20-something Duke convert recently told me. Tell the truth, please. You just like the way they win. ——— ©2015 The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.) Visit The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.) at www.gazette.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC _____ Topics: t000003277,t000040506,t000003183,g000362661,g000066164,g000065586,g000065627,g000220680
SATURDAY MLB SPRING TRAINING Noon, Cincinnati vs. Toronto, MLBN (Cox 264) 1 p.m., N.Y. Mets vs. Texas, FSOK (Cox 37) 3 p.m., San Francisco vs. Oakland, MLBN (Cox 264) 8 p.m., L.A. Angels vs. L.A. Dodgers, MLBN (Cox 264) NHL 2 p.m., Vancouver at Winnipeg, NHLNET (Cox 263) 6 p.m., Toronto at Boston, NHLNET (Cox 263) 7 p.m., Dallas at Nashville, FSOK (Cox 37) AUTO RACING 5:30 p.m., FIA Formula E,...
Sports TV listings for Oklahoma City: Saturday, April 4-Sunday, April 5
Apr 3, 2015SATURDAY MLB SPRING TRAINING Noon, Cincinnati vs. Toronto, MLBN (Cox 264) 1 p.m., N.Y. Mets vs. Texas, FSOK (Cox 37) 3 p.m., San Francisco vs. Oakland, MLBN (Cox 264) 8 p.m., L.A. Angels vs. L.A. Dodgers, MLBN (Cox 264) NHL 2 p.m., Vancouver at Winnipeg, NHLNET (Cox 263) 6 p.m., Toronto at Boston, NHLNET (Cox 263) 7 p.m., Dallas at Nashville, FSOK (Cox 37) AUTO RACING 5:30 p.m., FIA Formula E, FS1 (Cox 67) GOLF Noon, Houston Open, GOLF (Cox 60) 2 p.m., Houston Open, KFOR-4 (Cox 4) 4 p.m., LPGA: ANA Inspiration, GOLF (Cox 60) MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL 5:09 p.m., Michigan State vs. Duke, TBS (Cox 62) 7:49 p.m., Wisconsin vs. Kentucky, TBS (Cox 62) MEN’S TENNIS 3 p.m., Texas Tech at Texas, LHN (Cox 274) WOMEN’S TENNIS Noon, ATP World Tour, ESPN2 (Cox 28) COLLEGE BASEBALL Noon, Texas A&M at Kentucky, SECN (Cox 275) 1 p.m., Indiana St. at Wichita St., ESPNU (Cox 253) 2 p.m., Kansas at Oklahoma, FSPLUS (Cox 68)/FCS (Cox 272)/KREF-AM 1400/98.5 FM 6 p.m., Arkansas at Auburn, SECN (Cox 275) 6:30 p.m., Texas at Oklahoma State, ESPNU (Cox 253)/KSPI-FM 93.7 COLLEGE SOFTBALL 11 a.m., Alabama at Kentucky, ESPNU (Cox 253 Noon, Texas Tech at Baylor, FSPLUS (Cox 68) 1 p.m., Texas State at Texas, LHN (Cox 274) 3:30 p.m., Tennessee at Auburn, SECN (Cox 275) LACROSSE 4 p.m., Notre Dame at Duke, ESPNU (Cox 253) MEN’S SOCCER 6:45 a.m., English Premier League, NBCSN (Cox 251) 9 a.m., English Premier League, NBCSN (Cox 251) 11:30 a.m., Chelsea vs. Stoke City, KFOR-4 (Cox 4) WOMEN’S SOCCER 3 p.m., USA vs. New Zealand, FS1 (Cox 67) ARENA FOOTBALL 9:30 p.m., Arizona at Las Vegas, ESPN2 (Cox 28) GIRLS BASKETBALL 9 a.m., High School Nationals, ESPN2 (Cox 28) BOYS BASKETBALL 11 a.m., High School Nationals, ESPN (Cox 29) NBADL 6 p.m., Oklahoma City at Erie, KINB-FM 105.3 GYMNASTICS 4 p.m., NCAA Norman Regional, FSOK (Cox 37)/FCS (Cox 271) BOXING 2 p.m., A. Stevenson vs. S. Bika, KWTV-9 (Cox 10) SUNDAY MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL 7 p.m., St. Louis at Chi. Cubs, ESPN2 (Cox 28) NBA Noon, Houston at Oklahoma City, KOCO-5 (Cox 8)/WWLS-AM 640/98.1 FM 2:30 p.m., Chicago at Cleveland, KOCO-5 (Cox 8) 6 p.m., Golden St. at San Antonio, NBATV (Cox 256) 8:30 p.m., L.A. Clippers at L.A. Lakers, NBATV (Cox 256) NHL 11 a.m., Pittsburgh at Philadelphia, KFOR-4 (Cox 4) 4 p.m., Washington at Detroit, NHLNET (Cox 263) 6:30 p.m., St. Louis at Chicago, NBCSN (Cox 251) GOLF 7 a.m., Drive-Putt-Chip, GOLF (Cox 60) Noon, Houston Open, GOLF (Cox 60) 2 p.m., Houston Open, KFOR-4 (Cox 4) 4 p.m., LPGA: ANA Inspiration, GOLF (Cox 60) MEN’S TENNIS Noon, ATP World Tour, ESPN (Cox 29) WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL 5:30 p.m., Notre Dame vs. S. Carolina, ESPN (Cox 29) 8 p.m., Maryland vs. UConn, ESPN (Cox 29) COLLEGE BASEBALL 11 a.m., Vanderbilt at Georgia, SECN (Cox 275) 1 p.m., Texas at Oklahoma State, ESPNU (Cox 253)/KSPI-FM 93.7 COLLEGE SOFTBALL 2 p.m., Oregon at UCLA, ESPN2 (Cox 28) 2:30 p.m., Alabama at Kentucky, SECN (Cox 275) 5 p.m., Mississippi St. at Arkansas, SECN (Cox 275) MEN’S SOCCER 7:30 a.m., English Premier League, NBCSN (Cox 251) 10 a.m., English Premier League, NBCSN (Cox 251) 4 p.m., Salt Lake at San Jose, ESPN2 (Cox 28) 6 p.m., Sporting KC at Philadelphia, FS1 (Cox 67)
HOUSTON — Three days after his 19th birthday, Justise Winslow climbed a ladder, snipped a piece of basketball net and wiggled it loose.If there was ever a time to be animated, to let loose a little, it was now. Here in his hometown, Winslow had helped Duke defeat Gonzaga to advance to the Final Four. In two games at Houston’s NRG Stadium, Winslow had taken center court, stealing the spotlight...
Duke’s Winslow creating own buzz
By Zach Helfand, Associated Press | Apr 2, 2015HOUSTON — Three days after his 19th birthday, Justise Winslow climbed a ladder, snipped a piece of basketball net and wiggled it loose. If there was ever a time to be animated, to let loose a little, it was now. Here in his hometown, Winslow had helped Duke defeat Gonzaga to advance to the Final Four. In two games at Houston’s NRG Stadium, Winslow had taken center court, stealing the spotlight away from fellow freshman luminaries Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones. Blue Devils Coach Mike Krzyzewski had been urging Winslow to show more emotion, but he didn’t oblige. Winslow raised the netting over his head, gave a wave, then stepped down and tucked it into the clasp of his hat. If there was a point to prove — that he wasn’t a third wheel among Duke freshmen — he had done it by averaging 18.5 points in two tough games on one of college basketball’s biggest stages. Winslow came to college not wanting to be overshadowed. He had been an age-group club teammate of the more celebrated Okafor and Jones and was looking to establish his own identity, which is one reason why he nearly chose UCLA over Duke. Winslow said he was “pretty close” to playing for the Bruins. He liked the coaching staff, and playing near his brother, who lived in Los Angeles, would have felt like home, he said. “It’s a great program,” Winslow said, “A lot of tradition. So it would’ve been an honor.” But Jones and Okafor, who had already committed to Duke, peppered him with text messages. Together, they told him, they could accomplish something special. When it came time for the announcement, Winslow kept them in the dark. Okafor went so far as to stream Winslow’s news conference through the computer in his coach’s office, stealing away during practice to check on what was happening. “My coaches were cool with it,” Okafor recently recalled. “They understood how important it was.” When Winslow and the rest of Duke’s freshman class arrived on campus, Okafor received most of the attention. He had been rated by more than one publication as the top high school player in the country. Jones was the top point guard. Winslow was not as polished. His ball-handling needed tightening, and his jump shot was spotty. Early this season, Winslow was tentative and often deferred to his more established teammates. Then he injured his ribs and his shoulder, which also drained his assertiveness. But late in the Atlantic Coast Conference season, Winslow started harnessing his athleticism. Winslow is 6 feet 6, but at 225 pounds with the build of a football player, Krzyzewski plays him at power forward. Winslow began pounding through defenses like a running back fighting for yardage. He broke through against Virginia when he collected his first double-double, then collected two more in a row, including one against Notre Dame. His shooting came around — he has made 41.7 percent of his three pointers — and on defense, his size and quickness overwhelmed opponents. “He does everything,” Okafor said. “Steals, blocks, obviously he can score. He can defend pretty much one through four. Five if necessary.” And now he is zipping up the NBA draft boards — as high as No. 5 in the mock draft of one popular Internet site. During a regional semifinal game against Utah, when Duke’s offense was sluggish and no other Blue Devils player made a three-pointer, Winslow made three of four and finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Early in the next game, against Gonzaga, he injured his ankle but returned to score 16 points. Late in that game, Gonzaga was down by only three points and still had a chance to win when Winslow scored seven consecutive points, capping the run with a three-pointer. When his shot from behind the arc went in, he bounced around, looked quickly into the hometown crowd and let out a howl. There was that emotion the coach had been requesting. But that was as far as the celebration went. There would be at least one game to be played, more work to do. ——— ©2015 Los Angeles Times Visit the Los Angeles Times at www.latimes.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC _____ Topics: t000003277,t000040506,t000003183
FRIDAY MLB SPRING TRAINING Noon, Tampa Bay vs. Detroit, MLBN (Cox 264) 5 p.m., Atlanta vs. Baltimore, MLBN (Cox 264) 8:30 p.m., Chi. Cubs vs. Arizona, MLBN (Cox 264) NBA 7 p.m., Oklahoma City at Memphis, FSOK (Cox 37)/ESPN (Cox 29)/WWLS-AM 640/98.1 FM 9:30 p.m., Portland at L.A. Lakers, ESPN (Cox 29) NHL 6 p.m., Chicago at Buffalo, NHLNET (Cox 263) 7:30 p.m., St. Louis at Dallas, FSPLUS (Cox...
Sports TV listings for Oklahoma City: Friday, April 3-Sunday, April 5
Apr 2, 2015FRIDAY MLB SPRING TRAINING Noon, Tampa Bay vs. Detroit, MLBN (Cox 264) 5 p.m., Atlanta vs. Baltimore, MLBN (Cox 264) 8:30 p.m., Chi. Cubs vs. Arizona, MLBN (Cox 264) NBA 7 p.m., Oklahoma City at Memphis, FSOK (Cox 37)/ESPN (Cox 29)/WWLS-AM 640/98.1 FM 9:30 p.m., Portland at L.A. Lakers, ESPN (Cox 29) NHL 6 p.m., Chicago at Buffalo, NHLNET (Cox 263) 7:30 p.m., St. Louis at Dallas, FSPLUS (Cox 68) GOLF 11 a.m., LPGA: ANA Inspiration, GOLF (Cox 60) 2 p.m., Houston Open, GOLF (Cox 60) 5 p.m., LPGA: ANA Inspiration, GOLF (Cox 60) TENNIS Noon, ATP World Tour, ESPN2 (Cox 28) 6 p.m., ATP World Tour, ESPN2 (Cox 28) AHL 6 p.m., Oklahoma City at Charlotte, KXXY-FM 96.1 COLLEGE BASEBALL 2 p.m., TCU at Texas Tech, FSOK (Cox 37) 6 p.m., Kansas at Oklahoma, FCS (Cox 273)/KREF-AM 1400/98.5 FM 6 p.m., Texas A&M at Kentucky, SECN (Cox 275) 7 p.m., Texas at Oklahoma State, KSPI-FM 93.7 COLLEGE SOFTBALL 6:30 p.m., Iowa State at Oklahoma, FCS (Cox 271) WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL 6 p.m., SMU at Texas, LHN (Cox 274) LACROSSE 6 p.m., N. Carolina at Virginia, ESPNU (Cox 253) 7:30 p.m., Villanova at Denver, FS1 (Cox 67) BOXING 8 p.m., P. Petrov vs. G. Diaz, ESPN2 (Cox 28) BOYS BASKETBALL 10 a.m., Gonz. Prep vs. Miami C. Day, ESPNU (Cox 253) Noon, South Shore vs. Dillard, ESPNU (Cox 253) 2 p.m., Nationals Semifinals, ESPN2 (Cox 28) 4 p.m., Nationals Semifinals, ESPN2 (Cox 28) NBADL 7 p.m., Idaho at Oklahoma City, KINB-FM 105.3 SATURDAY MLB SPRING TRAINING Noon, Cincinnati vs. Toronto, MLBN (Cox 264) 1 p.m., N.Y. Mets vs. Texas, FSOK (Cox 37) 3 p.m., San Francisco vs. Oakland, MLBN (Cox 264) 8 p.m., L.A. Angels vs. L.A. Dodgers, MLBN (Cox 264) NHL 2 p.m., Vancouver at Winnipeg, NHLNET (Cox 263) 6 p.m., Toronto at Boston, NHLNET (Cox 263) 7 p.m., Dallas at Nashville, FSOK (Cox 37) AUTO RACING 5:30 p.m., FIA Formula E, FS1 (Cox 67) GOLF Noon, Houston Open, GOLF (Cox 60) 2 p.m., Houston Open, KFOR-4 (Cox 4) 4 p.m., LPGA: ANA Inspiration, GOLF (Cox 60) MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL 5:09 p.m., Michigan State vs. Duke, TBS (Cox 62) 7:49 p.m., Wisconsin vs. Kentucky, TBS (Cox 62) MEN’S TENNIS 3 p.m., Texas Tech at Texas, LHN (Cox 274) WOMEN’S TENNIS Noon, ATP World Tour, ESPN2 (Cox 28) COLLEGE BASEBALL Noon, Texas A&M at Kentucky, SECN (Cox 275) 1 p.m., Indiana St. at Wichita St., ESPNU (Cox 253) 2 p.m., Kansas at Oklahoma, FSPLUS (Cox 68)/FCS (Cox 272)/KREF-AM 1400/98.5 FM 6 p.m., Arkansas at Auburn, SECN (Cox 275) 6:30 p.m., Texas at Oklahoma State, ESPNU (Cox 253)/KSPI-FM 93.7 COLLEGE SOFTBALL 11 a.m., Alabama at Kentucky, ESPNU (Cox 253 Noon, Texas Tech at Baylor, FSPLUS (Cox 68) 1 p.m., Texas State at Texas, LHN (Cox 274) 3:30 p.m., Tennessee at Auburn, SECN (Cox 275) LACROSSE 4 p.m., Notre Dame at Duke, ESPNU (Cox 253) MEN’S SOCCER 6:45 a.m., English Premier League, NBCSN (Cox 251) 9 a.m., English Premier League, NBCSN (Cox 251) 11:30 a.m., Chelsea vs. Stoke City, KFOR-4 (Cox 4) WOMEN’S SOCCER 3 p.m., USA vs. New Zealand, FS1 (Cox 67) ARENA FOOTBALL 9:30 p.m., Arizona at Las Vegas, ESPN2 (Cox 28) GIRLS BASKETBALL 9 a.m., High School Nationals, ESPN2 (Cox 28) BOYS BASKETBALL 11 a.m., High School Nationals, ESPN (Cox 29) NBADL 6 p.m., Oklahoma City at Erie, KINB-FM 105.3 GYMNASTICS 4 p.m., NCAA Norman Regional, FSOK (Cox 37)/FCS (Cox 271) BOXING 2 p.m., A. Stevenson vs. S. Bika, KWTV-9 (Cox 10) SUNDAY MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL 7 p.m., St. Louis at Chi. Cubs, ESPN2 (Cox 28) NBA Noon, Houston at Oklahoma City, KOCO-5 (Cox 8)/WWLS-AM 640/98.1 FM 2:30 p.m., Chicago at Cleveland, KOCO-5 (Cox 8) 6 p.m., Golden St. at San Antonio, NBATV (Cox 256) 8:30 p.m., L.A. Clippers at L.A. Lakers, NBATV (Cox 256) NHL 11 a.m., Pittsburgh at Philadelphia, KFOR-4 (Cox 4) 4 p.m., Washington at Detroit, NHLNET (Cox 263) 6:30 p.m., St. Louis at Chicago, NBCSN (Cox 251) GOLF 7 a.m., Drive-Putt-Chip, GOLF (Cox 60) Noon, Houston Open, GOLF (Cox 60) 2 p.m., Houston Open, KFOR-4 (Cox 4) 4 p.m., LPGA: ANA Inspiration, GOLF (Cox 60) MEN’S TENNIS Noon, ATP World Tour, ESPN (Cox 29) WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL 5:30 p.m., Notre Dame vs. S. Carolina, ESPN (Cox 29) 8 p.m., Maryland vs. UConn, ESPN (Cox 29) COLLEGE BASEBALL 11 a.m., Vanderbilt at Georgia, SECN (Cox 275) 1 p.m., Texas at Oklahoma State, ESPNU (Cox 253)/KSPI-FM 93.7 COLLEGE SOFTBALL 2 p.m., Oregon at UCLA, ESPN2 (Cox 28) 2:30 p.m., Alabama at Kentucky, SECN (Cox 275) 5 p.m., Mississippi St. at Arkansas, SECN (Cox 275) MEN’S SOCCER 7:30 a.m., English Premier League, NBCSN (Cox 251) 10 a.m., English Premier League, NBCSN (Cox 251) 4 p.m., Salt Lake at San Jose, ESPN2 (Cox 28) 6 p.m., Sporting KC at Philadelphia, FS1 (Cox 67)
SUNDAY MLB SPRING TRAINING Noon, N.Y. Mets vs. St. Louis, FSPLUS (Cox 68) Noon, Tampa Bay vs. Boston, MLBN (Cox 264) 3 p.m., Seattle vs. San Diego, MLBN (Cox 264) NBA 11:30 a.m., Houston at Washington, KOCO-5 (Cox 8) 8 p.m., OKC at Phoenix, FSOK (Cox 37)/NBATV (Cox 256)/WWLS-AM 640/98.1 FM NHL 2 p.m., Washington at N.Y. Rangers, NHLNET (Cox 263) 6:30 p.m., San Jose at Pittsburgh, NBCSN (Cox...
Sports TV listings for Oklahoma City: Sunday, March 29-Monday, March 30
Mar 28, 2015SUNDAY MLB SPRING TRAINING Noon, N.Y. Mets vs. St. Louis, FSPLUS (Cox 68) Noon, Tampa Bay vs. Boston, MLBN (Cox 264) 3 p.m., Seattle vs. San Diego, MLBN (Cox 264) NBA 11:30 a.m., Houston at Washington, KOCO-5 (Cox 8) 8 p.m., OKC at Phoenix, FSOK (Cox 37)/NBATV (Cox 256)/WWLS-AM 640/98.1 FM NHL 2 p.m., Washington at N.Y. Rangers, NHLNET (Cox 263) 6:30 p.m., San Jose at Pittsburgh, NBCSN (Cox 251) AUTO RACING Noon, NASCAR, FS1 (Cox 67) 2 p.m., IndyCar Series, KOCO-5 (Cox 8) GOLF 8 a.m., Trophee Hassan II, GOLF (Cox 60) Noon, Valero Texas Open, GOLF (Cox 60) 2 p.m., Valero Texas Open, KFOR-4 (Cox 4) 2 p.m., Gulf Resort Classic, GOLF (Cox 60) 5 p.m., LPGA: Kia Classic, GOLF (Cox 60) MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL 1:20 p.m., Louisville vs. Michigan St., KWTV-9 (Cox 10) 4:05 p.m., Duke vs. Gonzaga, KWTV-9 (Cox 10) WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL 11 a.m., Florida St. vs. S. Carolina, ESPN (Cox 29) 7:30 p.m., Baylor vs. Notre Dame, ESPN (Cox 29) COLLEGE BASEBALL 1 p.m., Kansas St. at Oklahoma St., KSPI-FM 93.7 1 p.m., Oklahoma at Baylor, FSOK (Cox 37)/KREF-AM 1400/98.5 FM/KRXO-FM 107.7 2:30 p.m., Tennessee at Vanderbilt, SECN (Cox 275) COLLEGE SOFTBALL Noon, Oklahoma St. at Baylor, FCS (Cox 272) Noon, Auburn at Missouri, SECN (Cox 275) 6 p.m., Georgia at Tennessee, SECN (Cox 275) COLLEGE HOCKEY 4 p.m., NCAA Tournament, ESPNU (Cox 253) 6:30 p.m., NCAA Tournament, ESPNU (Cox 253) MEN’S LACROSSE 10 a.m., Brown vs. Princeton, ESPNU (Cox 253) Noon, Duke at N. Carolina, ESPNU (Cox 253) 2 p.m., Ohio St. vs. Penn St., ESPNU (Cox 253) MEN’S SOCCER 1:30 p.m., Serbia at Portugal, ESPN2 (Cox 28) 3:50 p.m., Philadelphia at Chicago, ESPN2 (Cox 28) 6 p.m., Salt Lake vs. Toronto, FS1 (Cox 67) ARENA FOOTBALL 6 p.m., Philadelphia at Orlando, ESPN2 (Cox 28) NBADL 5 p.m., Oklahoma City at Austin, KINB-FM 105.3 MONDAY HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL 5 p.m., Edmond N. at Norman N., KREF-AM 1400/98.5 FM/www.normansports.tv MLB SPRING TRAINING Noon, Washington vs. St. Louis, FSPLUS (Cox 68) NBA 6:30 p.m., Houston at Toronto, NBATV (Cox 256) 9 p.m., Phoenix at Portland, NBATV (Cox 256) NHL 7:30 p.m., Calgary at Dallas, FSOK (Cox 37) 7:30 p.m., Los Angeles at Chicago, NBCSN (Cox 251) WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL 6 p.m., Regional from Albany, ESPN (Cox 29) 8 p.m., Regional from Spokane, ESPN (Cox 29) COLLEGE SOFTBALL 6 p.m., Georgia at Tennessee, SECN (Cox 275) HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL 7 p.m., Powerade Jamfest, ESPN2 (Cox 28)
DURHAM, N.C. — On the east side of Duke’s campus sits Wilson residence hall, a sprawling, reddish-brownish brick building with no air conditioning.This is where Jahlil Okafor goes to escape labels, to feed his Netflix addiction, to try to fit in while standing out for one of the No. 1-seeded teams in the NCAA tournament.There are no reminders of basketball past and not much talk of basketball...
Jahlil Okafor, on the brink of superstardom, tries to blend in
By Paul Skrbina, Associated Press | Mar 17, 2015DURHAM, N.C. — On the east side of Duke’s campus sits Wilson residence hall, a sprawling, reddish-brownish brick building with no air conditioning. This is where Jahlil Okafor goes to escape labels, to feed his Netflix addiction, to try to fit in while standing out for one of the No. 1-seeded teams in the NCAA tournament. There are no reminders of basketball past and not much talk of basketball future. No Mr. Basketball of Illinois trophy, Team USA jersey, national player of the year mementos. “I had enough shoes and stuff to bring,” he said with a shrug. This stop, Durham, N.C., is where Okafor is caught between boyhood and manhood. His transition just happens to be nationally televised. About 100 freshmen live in Wilson, most of who aren’t athletes. Okafor shares a two-room suite with his best friend and point guard, Tyus Jones. They spend their time rapping and giving each other a hard time. Missing their families. “He’s not a pig,” Jones said with a laugh. “He keeps his room nice and neat. People look at him as if he’s not human, but he’s just a 19-year-old kid.” “A 7-foot 5-year-old,” senior teammate Quinn Cook said. Okafor also is a national player of the year candidate predicted by many to be the No. 1 overall pick in the June NBA draft. He’s the first freshman in the 63-year history of the Atlantic Coast Conference to be named player of the year. He is on the brink of becoming a superstar. A very rich superstar. “Pretty much everybody here (at Duke) is the best at what they do,” Okafor said. “I do my thing on the court, but we have geniuses here starting their own businesses before they hit 20. Being talented here kind of makes you blend in.” Something that has been difficult for the kid who was 6-foot-5 in seventh grade. Here he is known by one name. “You’re ‘Jah,’ ” Duke associate head coach Jeff Capel tells Okafor, whom he said hasn’t brought up the NBA to him. “You should be a guy identified by one word, like LeBron or Kobe or Bird or Magic or Jordan. At some point in your career it should just be ‘Jah,’ and the world knows who that is.” ——— ‘He loves, loves, loves his family’ Before the basketball world began learning about “Jah,” he was playing the tuba. He was a freshman fulfilling his music course obligation and starting on the varsity basketball team at Whitney Young High School in Chicago. Chukwudi “Chucky” Okafor was there too. He’s always there. “He came to my band lessons and he was still the loudest one,” Jahlil said of his father. “I let him know you can’t do that.” Except he can. Except he does. The stage is no matter. Jahlil Okafor had a minor role in a school musical and spent the rest of his time holding a spotlight. Chucky stood up during intermission and began clapping. “Man, that’s the best stagehand I’ve ever seen,” Chucky recalls yelling. These days, Chucky is a fixture at Duke games. He stands — never sits — with other parents a few rows behind the Blue Devils bench. His son plays the leading role on a roster with seven other McDonald’s All-Americans. Chucky still is the loudest one. “The Okafors should have a reality show,” Capel said, not kidding. “VH1 or Bravo or ESPN. They are so fun. They have showered that kid with so much love and support. That’s the reason why he’s so happy.” To Chucky and Jahlil, love is a verb. Like his father, Jahlil lost his mother at a young age. Jahlil was 9, living with Dacresha “Dee” Benton in Oklahoma, when her lung collapsed after a bout with bronchitis. Jahlil ran from the house hysterical, calling 911 from a neighbor’s phone because his family’s phone didn’t work. His older sister, Jalen, was there too. Benton died March 16, 2005. She was 29. Basketball became Okafor’s refuge. The growing up began. “She’s completely my inspiration for everything I do,” Okafor said. Soon after his mother’s death, Jahlil moved to Chicago to live with Chucky, strengthening a bond the two already had shared. Jahlil’s aunt, Dr. Chinyere Okafor-Conley, helped raise him, just as she helped raise her brother after their mother died. “The first word that comes to mind about Jahlil is ‘family,’ ” said Cook, Okafor’s roommate on the road. “The connection he has is incredible to me. … I know that he loves, loves, loves his family.” Chucky, who does marketing for a traveling company, said he had some run-ins with the law as a teenager. Says Jahlil’s birth changed his perspective. Chucky also has earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees. “I don’t want to seem like I’m not humble or I’ve raised the best son since Jesus Christ,” Chucky said, “but a lot of this stuff doesn’t surprise me. It’s expected. “He didn’t just come to Duke as a place to stop. That’s where he’s going to get his degree. In my family, graduation is way more celebrated than Christmas, birthdays. He will be no different.” ——— ‘He’s got a ballerina’s feet’ ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas calls Okafor a Tim Duncan type — tough without being over the top. Says his will be the first name called in the draft. “His hands are phenomenal,” Bilas said. “He’s got great size and length. He’s got a ballerina’s feet.” Okafor’s defense, particularly on ball screens, has been questioned, though Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski isn’t buying it. “It’s amazing how good a job he’s done on defense as a result of the physical play on the offensive end,” Krzyzewski said. “The misconception about the ball screen is that two guys are defending it. Five guys are defending it.” Okafor is embarrassed by his struggles from the free-throw line, where he’s goes 51.1 percent, worst on the team. Okafor can’t escape the talk, the dissection. He doesn’t necessarily try. When he needs an ear, though, one person he calls on is Jabari Parker, a Simeon High School graduate about a year removed from Okafor’s shoes. “It’s bigger than basketball between me and him,” said Parker, who was picked second by the Bucks in last year’s NBA draft after spending a season at Duke. “Of course I miss playing with him. … We don’t even talk about basketball that much.” His advice for his friend? “He just has to go on his feeling,” Parker said. “It’s in his heart.” ——— ‘The biggest stars on campus’ It’s Tuesday, the day before North Carolina-Duke, Part I. Krzyzewskiville is deserted. “Looks like a war zone,” one female student said in passing. Tents are half-collapsed under the weight of snow. School is closed thanks to an ice storm. Jeffrey Ho, a sophomore from Massachusetts, has been taking turns sleeping here since the first week of January so he can get into the game. He steps over some empty cases of beer to check his tent. “You see him on campus, nobody really treats him any different than any student,” Ho saod of Okafor in particular and the school’s basketball players in general. “People don’t take photos or run up to them or do anything weird. “But when they’re on the basketball court, they’re the biggest stars on campus. It’s a very weird dichotomy — the difference between when they’re on campus and when we see them in Cameron.” In less than 24 hours, music will blast from speakers the size of small sheds on this makeshift campground next to Cameron Indoor Stadium. Students in Okafor jerseys and Christian Laettner jerseys will play beer pong on one side; others will gather for a small Bible study on another. “It’s crazy out there,” Okafor said. ——— ‘My thing, my true love’ Chucky Okafor is, along with just more than 9,300 others, sweating 40-weight motor oil, which he wipes from his head with a white towel. He’s clapping again, this time as his son is helped to the locker room to chants of “OK-A-FOR, OK-A-FOR.” Moments earlier on this mid-February night, Jahlil Okafor reaches for his left ankle with his left hand. He had just let loose a turnaround jumper and his size-17 left shoe didn’t quite stick the landing. His hands cover his eyes. He’s down for a good minute. “There’s no definite answer of what’s going to happen next,” Chucky later said. “As a parent, I enjoy being loud and supportive. I cheer on the whole squad. From a selfish standpoint, I want to make myself feel like he does better when I’m in the gym. There’s no science to that.” Jahlil re-enters with 45 seconds left in the half, with him a noticeable limp. Cameron exhales. He plays the entire second half and overtime of a 92-90 victory against North Carolina, finishing with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Twice in OT he gives the Blue Devils the lead, including for good with 1 minute, 42 seconds left. Okafor missed the next game, three days later against Clemson, but scored a career-high 30 points and grabs nine rebounds in an overtime victory against Virginia Tech a week after spraining his ankle. Okafor is averaging 17.5 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game while shooting 66.8 percent from the field, all team highs for the 29-4 Blue Devils. That premonition Okafor had while completing a fourth-grade assignment, the one in which the teacher had everyone write down what they wanted to be when they grew up, seems one step closer. “I wrote professional basketball player,” Okafor said. “I thought everyone was going to say basketball player or football player, but I saw stuff like astronauts and chefs. That’s when I realized maybe this is my thing, my true love.” ——— ‘He’s very gifted’ He has unfolded all 83 of his inches and 270 of his pounds onto a beige, L-shaped couch tucked in the corner of a players lounge inside Cameron Indoor Stadium. A gray Duke hoodie spills over a pair of black Duke warmup pants, which spill over the walking boot choking his aching left ankle, the one he sprained the previous night. “You have Jay Williams right there,” he said, pointing to pictures decorating the walls, like he’s showing off his new home. “Mason Plumlee … I’m playing with his younger brother.” Okafor has danced with teammates after Krzyzewski’s 1,000th career victory, has been named ACC Rookie of the Week eight times, and Player of the Week once. He has stopped by assistant coach Jon Scheyer’s number-retirement ceremony in Northbrook. He spent the good part of an afternoon with another “Jah,” Capel’s son Elijah, at his birthday party, to which he didn’t go empty-handed, stopping first at a mall for a present. He’s leaving an impression. “Scary is not a bad word,” North Carolina coach Roy Williams says when describing Okafor’s game. “He’s very gifted.” An impression is being left on him. A couple of Duke posters hang on Okafor’s dorm wall. His king-size bed is here. He also has his PlayStation. “I always knew I wanted to be in the NBA and play myself in a video game,” Okafor said. “That was my goal when I was a kid. … It’s crazy to think that at the end of this season I could potentially have that opportunity.” ——— ©2015 Chicago Tribune Visit the Chicago Tribune at www.chicagotribune.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC _____ Topics: t000003277,t000003278,t000003183,t000040506,t000404471,t000027855,t000003142,g000065560,g000362661,g000066164,g000065598
When Morgan Gilliam blows his horn first thing in the morning, rest assured, it’s not reveille.It’s a lot jazzier.Morgan, a sophomore at Fort Gibson High, is part of the school’s jazz band. Most school days since November, members have shown up for their 7 a.m. sessions.Rising so early can be hard sometimes, Morgan said.“But it’s worth it because we can make music,” Morgan said.The early class...
Jazzing it up -- early: High school's jazz band practices before class
Cathy Spaulding, Associated Press | Mar 17, 2015When Morgan Gilliam blows his horn first thing in the morning, rest assured, it’s not reveille. It’s a lot jazzier. Morgan, a sophomore at Fort Gibson High, is part of the school’s jazz band. Most school days since November, members have shown up for their 7 a.m. sessions. Rising so early can be hard sometimes, Morgan said. “But it’s worth it because we can make music,” Morgan said. The early class is the students’ idea, said jazz band director Diania Hopkins. “All this started in 2006.” Hopkins said that when she first led the jazz band, practices were held after school. However, getting everyone there proved impossible because of conflicting sports or other extracurricular activities, she said. She said some of the students then said, “Hey, Mrs. Hopkins, let’s do it before school.” So, there they are, showing up with their saxophones, trumpets, trombones, guitars and drums, ready to go. “School starts at 7:55 a.m., and we go from 7 to 7:50 a.m.,” Hopkins said. “This gives them a five-minute break.” The jazz band isn’t the only school group that makes music so early. Before and during football season, the marching band practices before school, Hopkins said. “We start doing it after the last marching band competition,” she said. The jazz band mostly has worked on pieces they play for music festivals, such as the Northeastern State Jazz Festival earlier this month. So far, the band has earned Superior ratings at each festival, she said. However, more festivals are coming up, including one at Tonkawa on April 3 and one at Oklahoma Baptist University on April 10. Bass saxophonist Maria Hernandez said she intends to keep practicing during spring break this week. Drummer Brock Gilliam, a senior, has been in the jazz band for five years. He said he started in the eighth grade. “We go to state competition every year,” he said. Brock said he comes early because of his love for music. “It’s like I can achieve something,” he said. Hopkins said the jazz band began going to the state competition four years ago. However, a band does not need to qualify for the state competition. “Last year, we ended up being state runner-up, below Checotah. Their jazz band is amazing,” she said. Hopkins said she feels confident this year’s group has a good chance. “I feel this is one of the best ensembles,” she said. “These kids are really good.” In fact, the band is practicing what Hopkins says is a college-level piece of music, “Sir Duke.” The song comes from Stevie Wonder’s 1976 album “Songs in the Key of Life” and begins with the words “Music is a world within itself.” “It’s got a lot of 16th notes,” Hopkins said. A 16th note is one-fourth of a quarter note, considered the standard beat in music. Part of the musical score Hopkins uses to direct the song is black with 16th notes. “High school kids aren’t used to that,” she said. “But we had a parent request it.” Reach Cathy Spaulding at (918) 684-2928 or cspaulding@muskogee phoenix.com. ——— ©2015 the Muskogee Phoenix (Muskogee, Okla.) Visit the Muskogee Phoenix (Muskogee, Okla.) at muskogeephoenix.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC _____ Topics: t000003277,t000003278,t000045814,t000045806,t000003183,t000045851,t000002409,t000002424,t000040659,g000216672,g000065627,g000362661,g000066164
Imagine March Madness without the usual fab freshmen.No Karl-Anthony Towns leading unbeaten Kentucky. No Jahlil Okafor acting as Duke's double-double machine. Kansas unable to count on Kelly Oubre and Devonte Graham, who helped the Jayhawks clinch their 11th straight Big 12 men's basketball title on Tuesday.Myles Turner? He might be the star of the Longhorns' junior varsity.It sounds...
A freshman freeze: Far-fetched or fair game?
Kevin Lyttle, Associated Press | Mar 5, 2015Imagine March Madness without the usual fab freshmen. No Karl-Anthony Towns leading unbeaten Kentucky. No Jahlil Okafor acting as Duke's double-double machine. Kansas unable to count on Kelly Oubre and Devonte Graham, who helped the Jayhawks clinch their 11th straight Big 12 men's basketball title on Tuesday. Myles Turner? He might be the star of the Longhorns' junior varsity. It sounds far-fetched to turn back the clock to 1971, when freshmen were ineligible for varsity college teams, but several conference commissioners, including the Big 12's Bob Bowlsby, have said the concept needs to be considered for some sports. The idea is that freshmen would better adapt academically and socially to college life if they weren't immediately thrown into Division I athletics. There is pressure from outside to consider reforms, too. A recent lawsuit brought against the NCAA and North Carolina questions how much of an education athletes in high-profile sports actually are receiving. "I think freshman ineligibility would have a profoundly positive effect on men's basketball and football because it would ease the transition from high school," Bowlsby said. "We need a robust debate on the issue, and I think we should consider it any way we can." Commissioners from the Big Ten, Pac-12 and ACC said freshman ineligibility has strong merits, but SEC commissioner Mike Slive isn't buying it. "Many student athletes come to college prepared both academically and athletically, and to penalize them with a universal policy may create unintended consequences," Slive told reporters Monday. Many Big 12 basketball coaches agree with the SEC boss. "If you're a good student, your field is music and you're considered one of the great vocalists of your era, why should you be held back from it for a year?" said Texas' Rick Barnes. "In basketball and football, the time for earning income is up front in your life. I've watched kids do it, leave after their freshman season, make good money and be set up for life. Look at Kevin Durant and LaMarcus Aldridge." Barnes questioned whether there should be a blanket rule on freshman eligibility because "academic time-management issues are not confined to sports but other activities, too." West Virginia's Bob Huggins pondered other issues. "You'd need to have a freshman or JV team like we did back in the day," he said. "Those cost money. Obviously you'd need more scholarships. We had 18 back then, we have 13 now. Then you'd need more women's scholarships for gender equity. "You'd have travel expenses for the freshman team. Would we play local colleges like Pitt and Duquesne or would we take nine Big 12 trips? We're probably not going to charter (flights for) those. Can you imagine the number of classes they'd miss?" The freshman eligibility issue will be addressed at least partially, Kansas coach Bill Self noted, because academic redshirt years are on the way. In 2016, the NCAA is stiffening eligibility standards for all athletes, including freshmen. The minimum high-school GPA bumps up from 2.0 to 2.3. Early academic progress in core courses also will be emphasized. The changes could result in many athletes sitting out their freshman year while they get their classroom work in order. "I understand the argument about freshmen getting a year under their belts to figure out college," Iowa State's Fred Hoiberg said, "but we've been throwing more and more resources into tutors, academic counselors and getting kids on campus early." Lon Kruger of Oklahoma echoed other coaches who said they can't picture freshmen sitting out. "Guys come in more ready than ever, and I don't know that you take away from them the one thing they love most," he said. "On the whole issue, I just think it would be hard to turn back the clock." ——— ©2015 Austin American-Statesman, Texas Visit Austin American-Statesman, Texas at www.statesman.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC _____ Topics: t000008060,t000008056,t000003183