The NBA would go on without Kevin Durant, but it certainly wouldn't be the same.
After spending a Sunday afternoon with Eric Dompierre and his parents it's clear that they're extremely grateful that Eric has always been included.
A Michigan high schooler with Down Syndrome is told can't play sports because he's too old. CNN's Ted Rowlands reports.
With a swirl of confetti below them and DJ Khaled's megahit "All I Do Is Win" blaring from a loudspeaker above, the Baylor women's basketball team danced on the floor of the Pepsi Center in the moments following its 81-60 title game victory over Notre Dame. The lyrics of the song ("All I do is win, win, win no matter what") were fitting: Baylor is the first college basketball team in NCAA history, male or female, to finish a season 40-0.
Three years ago, I was assigned a story for the magazine about a high-school basketball game between Mater Dei and St. Benedict's. The magazine does not usually feature high-school basketball, but this was no ordinary game. Mater Dei, in Southern California, was 23-0 and ranked No. 1 in the nation. St. Benedict's, in New Jersey, was 19-0 and ranked No. 2. They were meeting at Mater Dei, in something called the Nike Extravaganza, which one college scout compared to the Super Bowl. The teams combined for more than 10 Division-I prospects, with two committed to North Carolina, two to Texas, and others to UCLA, USC, Stanford and Pittsburgh. St. Benedict's best player was a precocious power forward named Tristan Thompson who called the showdown "the top of the mountain."
I missed on Jeremy Lin, too. And like the front offices and coaching staffs of the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets, I'm kicking myself for not realizing what was right under my nose. The truth is, I had a better look, or at least a longer look, at him than any NBA talent evaluator, and I still never dreamed that Lin, the New York Knicks' suddenly brilliant point guard, would go from garbage time to prime time faster than a crossover dribble.
The emerging portrait of 16-year-old Corey Robinson -- athlete, musician, scholar -- combines the light and shadow of two eras. He is a mass of Renaissance brush strokes on a canvas of 21st Century color.
Kevin Love drew a box on the wall of his childhood home in Lake Oswego, Ore., and when he couldn't find a pick-up game he threw passes at the box. "Bounce passes, shovel passes, behind-the-back passes," Love said. His middle name is Wesley, after Wes Unseld, a Hall of Fame power forward whose outlet passes were aerial fast breaks. Love took his namesake seriously, studying tapes of the Showtime Lakers and the Celtics passing drills. He grew to be a power forward, just like Unseld, flinging inbounds passes that often traveled half the court. "I know people want the dunks, the crossovers, the sexy stuff," Love said. "But everything for me was based around the fundamentals."
Fifteen students were among several people hurt Tuesday night when a bus carrying a high school basketball team crashed in Maryland, officials said.
The heat is so intense it feels as if the sky is going to start melting from above, and below the heat rises off the parking lot asphalt in shimmery ribbons. But a hundred yards away, down on the beach, the ocean breakers are rolling in, and the kids are wading and laughing, and what could be better for a summer camper than to have your own stretch of Long Island Sound?
Related Galleries for the April 18, 2011 issue
It's cool to be Brandon Knight: A-student, high school all-American, prolific provider of game-winning shots in March. He's a star freshman on the basketball team at the University of Kentucky. That's like being the only female at a Johnny Depp convention.
Teammates remember Wes Leonard, who died after scoring the winning shot for his Michigan high school basketball team.
Danny Ainge turns 52 on St. Patrick's Day. He is a born Celtic and one of the most confident, fearless executives in professional sports. That's why he's not afraid to trade his starting center two months before the playoffs, even when his team has the best record in the conference.
Hundreds filed by a casket on Sunday to say goodbye to a small-town hero who died shortly after scoring the winning shot to clinch an undefeated season for his Michigan high school basketball team.
A judge has bounced a top-ranked Florida high school basketball team from the playoffs, providing a victory to the statewide athletic association that ruled a foreign-born player was ineligible.
A Florida high school hoops team has to give up its winning season after a player is declared ineligible. WSVN reports.
A Florida judge's ruling Wednesday will allow a foreign-born high school basketball player who was ruled ineligible and his team to compete in the playoffs, even though they could ultimately be stripped of any title they win.
Women's College Hoops Preview stories in the SI Vault
A parent and attorney address shocking video where a Mississippi high school basketball coach allegedly whips a player.
A Jackson, Mississippi, high school basketball coach is accused of whipping students for "failing to run basketball plays correctly," according to a federal lawsuit filed this week by three students.
If Scottie Pippen cries during his Hall of Fame induction speech on Friday, don't be surprised. This is the end of his career. He always cries at the end of his career.
He was hired to break the rules. That is the first thing you need to understand about Isiah Thomas' latest and briefest work for the Knicks, as a consultant. He was hired to break the rules.
As he sat on a couch in the coach's office at Palo Alto High School in Northern California, the walls festooned with aged, curling photos of teams from 50 and 60 years ago, Jeremy Lin understood the importance of his contract with the Golden State Warriors. After all, his new deal meant as much to him as it did to the Asian community that has been rooting for him.
From training camps in late September to blockbuster moves through the summer -- what has it all meant?
The "wingspan" player of this NBA draft is Kentucky center DeMarcus Cousins, whose reach bridges the No. 1 pick to the middle of the lottery. Cousins is talented enough to be chosen ahead of all of his peers on Thursday (though that isn't going to happen), and he is controversial enough to slide to No. 7 (not likely to happen either).
Lance Stephenson was supposed to follow in the footsteps of Stephon Marbury and Sebastian Telfair. Stephenson is, after all, one of the most successful high school players in history, having led New York's storied Abraham Lincoln High School to four consecutive AA state championships while becoming the state's all-time leading scorer. Stephenson seemed poised carry on the tradition of Lincoln guards to, one decade after another, become a first-round pick in the NBA draft and achieve instant wealth and fame.
How, in four brief years, does the No. 21 pick in the draft turn into an All-Star leader with a championship ring? Here is the story of the Celtics' 24-year-old point guard, Rajon Rondo, who averaged 20 points and 15.5 assists as Boston surprisingly split the opening two games against No. 1 seed Cleveland.
NEW YORK -- There is no great lineage of Canadian point guards. There was nothing, there was Steve Nash and then there was a drought. You're forgiven if you can't name the Canadian senior national team's current No. 1 point guard. It's Jermaine Anderson, a former combo guard from Fordham who's grown into a solid point in Germany and Croatia. Or the last Canadian point guard to go deep in an NCAA tournament: That was Collin Charles, with St. John's in 1999. "You'd think that with having Steve from here, we'd have a ton of great point guards," national team coach Leo Rautins said. "But we don't."
INDIANAPOLIS -- The one thing that is important to get straight, right off the top: Butler is not that great a story. That's not a knock -- it's the opposite of a knock. Butler is a very good basketball team. They're not some perplexing phenomenon. Oh sure, it's fun to have a new name at the Final Four, but let's not go crazy. This is not really some crazy Hoosiers-type saga, you know, with Gene Hackman teaching kids how to dribble around chairs and Jimmy Chitwood joining the team to save the coach's job and Ollie making underhand free throws to win a game at the end.
"There's one thing you have to understand something about us. We don't get blown out. We play too hard to get blown out." -- Bob Huggins, 1994
March Madness is here. We have the draw. Time to dive into the office pools.
As a columnist, I'm used to writing things that offend other folks. It comes with the job. And there are times when I have responded to what other folks in the media will say and write. Again, it's just what we do.
No. 1 pick Blake Griffin was the star of the draft, and Brandon Jennings has been the surprise of the opening months. But Tyreke Evans may turn out to be the best of all the rookies, based on the enormity of his talents and size.
Others tell you where they've been. We tell you where they're going! -- High School Basketball Illustrated mission statement
Last April, the day after North Carolina won the national championship in college basketball, I got an e-mail in South Africa from SI senior writer Tim Layden. I was living in Johannesburg for nearly a year while on leave from the college basketball beat, but I had stayed up until 4 a.m. to watch the Tar Heels take apart Michigan State in the title game on ESPN International.
My wife always knows what's coming whenever her hometown of Cuba, Kansas comes up in conversation.* She always knows I'm going to tell the story of the first time I went there with her. We've been married for more than 11 years, so we're now in that early stage of finishing each other's stories. And I suspect that the "first time I went to Cuba" story has been told more than most.
Kyle Johnson was a junior guard at West Hill Collegiate Institute, a public high school in eastern Toronto, when he started to make plans to play college basketball in the United States "because Canadian schools don't give full-ride scholarships."
Norm Brown sold cookie dough. He sought donations for a 5K run fundraiser. He helped organize a football camp. Brown, the football coach at Independence High in San Jose, Calif., poured his energy this spring into raising money to save the athletic program for the East Side Union school district's 11 high schools. So on June 25, when the district's board of trustees reversed an earlier decision to eliminate the district's $1.8 million athletic budget, Brown should have been celebrating. Instead, the night was bittersweet.
The first clue that one of the greatest movies ever made had lost its relevance came when I asked the cashier at my local Blockbuster where I could find a DVD of the 1994 documentary Hoop Dreams. The young lady, who was probably not even in grade school when the movie was released, pecked at her computer keyboard for a few seconds. "Sorry," she reported, "we don't carry it."
I spent three days on the July recruiting circuit last week, during which time I got a chance to watch about 90 percent of the nation's best high-school players in action. Two of those days were spent at Nike's King City Classic in Cleveland, and on the third day I attended the Reebok All-American Camp in Philadelphia. Based on what I saw, here is how I would sum up what the vast majority of college coaches will be looking for as the summer evaluation period continues over the next three weeks:
Six months ago, a runner for a sports agency based on the East Coast called James Tyler, the father of 6-foot-11 high school basketball star Jeremy Tyler, with an offer to "take the pressure off" of the Tyler family.
NORTH BETHESDA, Md. -- As the Findlay Prep players mugged for the cameras and cut down the nets Sunday evening, Cliff Findlay, the sun-burnt architect and financier of the three-year-old basketball program, contemplated his next project. A UNLV booster and millionaire auto magnate, he built the Pilots program outside Las Vegas with his own money, and now he was celebrating the inaugural High School Basketball Invitational championship. "We don't have a trophy case," Findlay said. "We'll have one shortly, though."
When Connecticut forward Maya Moore saw the Thanksgiving turkey or rather, the decorated outline of freshman guard Caroline Doty's left hand drawn on assistant coach Shea Ralph's office whiteboard in October, she couldn't resist. Moore picked up a marker, outlined her own left hand, added colorful gobbler flourishes and wrote beside both birds, "whose turkey is best?" If the results of the polling were unreliable ("Maya got more votes, but she was standing right there, so the count could be skewed," says Ralph), the contest itself, which wasn't a contest at all until Moore got involved, is instructive. "Maya wants to be the best at everything, and I mean everything," says junior center Tina Charles. "Video games, grades, who's first in the mile -- you name it. She takes every opportunity to show what she can do."
Barack Obama has talked of ripping out the White House bowling alley and replacing it with a basketball court. The former reserve player for Punahou High School's 1979 state championship team brings an enthusiasm for pickup basketball games to a place where golf, baseball and football have been the most-discussed sports.
The fourth-floor view of Tempe Town Lake would be splendid, but the shades are drawn because the glare from the descending desert sun makes Ping-Pong impossible. This glassy tower on the road snaking behind Arizona State's landmark "A" Mountain is no dorm -- if the architecture doesn't give it away, the sign advertising luxury condos will -- and inside it looks as if these college kids are crashing an investment banker's bachelor pad. But the resident of the two-bedroom unit is actually junior communications major Derek Glasser, the Sun Devils' starting point guard and son of premium jeans magnate Michael Glasser. Derek's volleying with sophomore shooting guard Ty Abbott as friends look on, heckling them.
QUEENS, N.Y. -- Now this is what college should look like.
ELIZABETH, N.J. -- Six years ago, Stu Vetter was not sold on Alan Stein.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- The party's over.
LOS ANGELES -- Ten seconds became 20 and 20 turned into 30, and still Glenn (Doc) Rivers was stuck, trapped, the emotion catching in his throat, the tears welling up just out of sight in corners of his eyes. Thirty seconds was headed toward 40, and the question still hung unanswered in the air.
While reporting a story on Punahou High, I spoke to the school's most famous alum, who happened to be a member of the Buff n' Blue's 1979 state championship basketball team.
Bill Self descended to his knees even before Davidson's Jason Richards hoisted an off-balance, 25-foot, buzzer-beating jump shot that could have completed a historic upset and crowned a new tournament Cinderella. The unsung, small-school Wildcats were America's underdog darlings, while perennial power Kansas was just another No. 1 seed on the cusp of its 13th Final Four.
The retired players gave a false impression of leisure in their oversized chairs in the plush film room of the New Jersey Nets' practice facility. They were starting over. They were rookies without guarantees. "Kenny, you have head-coaching experience,'' they heard Rick Carlisle say. "So I'm going to have you come up first.''
With his braided cornrows and thick Baltimore accent, Memphis senior forward Joey Dorsey looks and sounds a lot like a character from HBO's crime drama The Wire. But unlike Dorsey's favorite TV show, the NCAA tournament doesn't have to be a Greek tragedy, its actors doomed by the cruel Fates. And so, in the days before last week's games in North Little Rock, the notoriously downbeat Dorsey ignored the negatives -- his February swoon, the Tigers' two straight Elite Eight exits, his backfiring smack-talk toward Ohio State's Greg Oden in last year's tournament -- and at the behest of his coach, John Calipari, wrote his own fairy-tale script in the pages of a blue spiral notebook.
Two weeks ago members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce told league commissioners that they were mulling legislation that would mandate a universal antidoping policy for every professional sports league in the U.S. But until such a law is enacted (if it ever is), leagues are free to test at their discretion. While each sport prohibits a similar list of performance-enhancing drugs, such as steroids and stimulants, there is great variety in the scope and frequency of testing.
Carl Tinsley planned to finally start cashing in his wife's gift of 30 sessions with a personal trainer. The former Oregon City (Ore.) High girls basketball coach had scheduled a workout last month for early one afternoon. The night before the workout, Carl's son, Brad, a star point guard at Oregon City, received a release from the Letter of Intent he signed in November with Pepperdine.
It's the summer of 1989, and Chris Webber is about to dunk on my head. We're in Palo Alto, Calif., at something called the Stanford High Potential Basketball Camp, but it's fair to say the high potential designation applies to only one of us. Webber, a broad-shouldered, 6' 8" high school sophomore, is already one of the top prospects in the country; later in the week he will win the camp dunk contest by throwing down a leaning 360 that causes Stanford men's hoops coach Mike Montgomery to look as if he's just found religion. I, on the other hand, am a skinny, 5' 10" sophomore with a questionable left hand.
When hoops historians look back on the 2007-08 college basketball season, they may conclude that its most significant moment came on an Indian summer evening in October '03. At the head of a heavy oak table in his Memphis steak house sat Tigers coach John Calipari, who has led teams to both the Final Four and the NBA playoffs. Next to him was an obscure junior college coach from Fresno named Vance Walberg. For six days Walberg had observed Calipari's practices, continuing an annual pilgrimage that had given him deeper insight into the work of two dozen elite college coaches, from Bob Knight to Dean Smith to Billy Donovan.
The Seat Pleasant (Md.) Activity Center, a low-slung brick building just northeast of Washington, D.C., doesn't look all that special. It sits on a block littered with empty beer bottles and shares the neighborhood with bail-bond offices and run-down restaurants. Not long ago, two gunshot victims staggered to the front door, bleeding and desperate for help after a robbery gone bad. The 30-year-old gym at the Rec, as everyone calls it, has two side-by-side courts surrounded by six basketball goals (only two with glass backboards), the original scoreboard and four small rows of bleachers.
The pedal steel guitar used to be typecast as that twangy and sometimes mournful instrument often heard in country music. Robert Randolph, 29, changed our perception. The virtuso's high-energy playing can be described as a cross between Duane Allman and Jimi Hendrix with a healthy dose of joyful funk. Randolph and his Family Band have spent this year appearing with Eric Clapton, B.B. King, the Allman Brothers Band and Dave Matthews as well as headlining their own club tour. A huge sports fan and former high school basketball player, Randolph spoke with SI.com about his love of sports just before his band took the stage for a show in New Hampshire.
In the foreward to former UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian's 2005 memoir, Runnin' Rebel, he wrote, "In major college basketball, nine out of 10 teams break the rules. The other one is in last place."
The University of Connecticut's incoming superstar Maya Moore and UCLA-bound blue-chipper Kevin Love were selected by a nationwide electorate of 350 sports experts and media advisory board members as the 2007 Gatorade Male and Female Athletes of the Year. The announcement came today at a Hollywood luncheon preceding the ESPY Awards at the Kodak Theater, where all 10 Gatorade National Player of the Year award-winners walked the red carpet as special guests.
Now in his third year as the athletic director at Jesuit (Portland, Ore.) High, Mike Hughes says he has recognized a growing trend in the high school athletics landscape, namely the decline of the three-sport athlete.
Just before Mary Beck turned four, the Colorado native taught herself how to swim. Now a sophomore at Westlake (Austin, Texas), Beck has broken the national 200-yard individual medley record not once, but three times in a single month.
Without wearing a navy-blue singlet or making a single tactical move, Jeff Buxton is an intimidator both on the wresting mat and in the classrooms at Blair Academy (Blairstown, N.J.).
An Alabama high school coach who won a case before the Supreme Court after he was fired from his job has reached a settlement with his local school board.
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