Category: Sports Written by Bill Neal
:10 Hey, here’s a bulletin! Just because a girl is high, drunk, knocked out, whatever, doesn’t give anyone the right to do anything to her. Let alone rape! The two punk jocks from Steubenville should get more than a year in the juvenile system. I’m just saying!
Last Updated on Thursday, 21 March 2013 08:35
Category: Sports Written by Courier Newsroom
EMOTIONAL FAREWELL—Shatori Walker-Kimbrough gets emotional as she leaves the court in her last high school game against South Park March 13. Walker- Kimbrough finished her outstanding high school career with 2,427 points. (Courier Photos/William McBride)
CHICAGO—In its 28th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, recently announced Shatori Walker-Kimbrough of Hopewell High School as its 2012-13 Gatorade Pennsylvania Girls Basketball Player of the Year.
The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the court, distinguishes Walker-Kimbrough as Pennsylvania’s best high school girls basketball player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year award to be announced this week, Walker-Kimbrough joins an elite alumni association of past state girls basketball award-winners, including Candace Parker (2001-02, Naperville Central HS, Ill.), Diana Taurasi (1998-99 & 1999-00, Don Antonio Lugo HS, Calif.), Maya Moore (2005-06 Collins Hill HS, Ga.), Rashanda McCants (2004-05, Asheville HS, N.C.), Shyra Ely (1999-00, Ben Davis HS, Ind.) and Lisa Leslie (1988-89, Morningside HS, Calif.).
The 5-foot-11 senior guard led the Vikings to a 22-5 record and a second-round clash with South Park in the Class AAA playoffs, on March 13. Walker-Kimbrough scored 20 points for Hopewell but they lost to South Park 50-46. Through 26 games, Walker-Kimbrough was averaging 28.3 points, 10.1 rebounds, 6.8 steals and 4.5 assists. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Player of the Year in 2012, she is a
two-time First Team All-State selection and an Honorable Mention All-American by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association.
Walker-Kimbrough has maintained a 3.90 GPA in the classroom. She has volunteered locally on behalf of food and toy donation drives, as well as the Special Olympics and youth basketball programs.
“Walker-Kimbrough is the most dominant player I’ve seen in my eight years as a head coach,” said Steve Lodovico, head coach at Blackhawk High. “She’s very athletic and can get to the rim almost at ease. She’s also developed her outside game and has become a threat from 15 feet and out.”
Walker-Kimbrough has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball on scholarship at the University of Maryland this fall.
Walker-Kimbrough joins recent Gatorade Pennsylvania Girls Basketball Players of the Year Sierra Moore (2011-12, Delone Catholic High School), Madison Cable (2010-11, Mt. Lebanon High School), Kayla McBride (2009-10, Villa Maria Academy), Stephanie Holzer (2008-09, Cardinal O’Hara), Markel Walker (2007-08, Schenley), and Jence Rhoads (2006–07, Slippery Rock Area) among the state’s list of former award winners.
The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each
sport. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade high school sports leadership team in partnership with USA TODAY High School Sports, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.
To keep up to date on the latest happenings, become a fan of Gatorade Player of the Year on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. For more on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information, a complete list of past winners and the announcement of the Gatorade National Player of the Year, visit www.gatorade.com/poy.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 09:27
Category: Sports Written by Associated Press
ROUGH START—James McDonald throws during the first inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game against the Boston Red Sox, March 18, in Bradenton, Fla. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
BRADENTON, Fla. (AP)—James McDonald was not rattled by his rough start.
McDonald labored in the first inning, then recovered as the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Boston Red Sox 4-3 Monday.
“I got locked back in, kept my composure and finished strong,” McDonald said. “I didn't let the game get away from me. I felt confident—every pitch, every moment out there.”
Ryan Lavarnway hit a two-run single in the first. McDonald then retired 11 of 14 batters. He gave up four hits and three walks in five innings and struck out six.
This was the second game in a row that McDonald overcame a rocky first inning.
“It’s definitely correctable,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “He's got some weapons. With James, it’s about rhythm, pace and timing. That improved as the game went on. We’ve got to keep him working and take the cerebral part out of it.”
McDonald has a 4.19 ERA in five games with 4 strikeouts in 19 1-3 innings.
Neil Walker homered to end Clay Buchholz's 9 1-3 inning scoreless streak and Gaby Sanchez hit a two-run drive.
Walker’s leadoff homer in the second was the only hit off Buchholz, who struck out four and walked two in five innings.
Sanchez homered in the seventh against Chris Carpenter, and Michael McKenry hit a solo drive off Oscar Villarreal in the eighth.
NOTES: Red Sox DH David Ortiz’s scheduled batting practice was canceled due to continued pain in both heels. “He’s not ready for that next phase,” Farrell said…The start of the game was delayed by 48 minutes, but it didn't start raining until after the tarp was removed and play got under way…The Pirates reassigned RHPs Gerrit Cole, Brooks Brown, Kyle Waldrop, LHP Kris Johnson and C Ali Solis to their minor league camp. RHP Phil Irwin was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis. Cole, the first overall pick in the 2011 amateur draft, is the team’s top prospect.…Closer Jason Grilli pitched a 1-2-3 sixth inning in his first appearance for the Pirates since pitching for Italy in the World Baseball Classic.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 08:00
Category: Sports Written by Aubrey Bruce
“From Jackie Robinson to Muhammad Ali and Arthur Ashe, African American athletes have been at the center of modern culture, their on-the-field heroics admired and stratospheric earnings envied. But for all their money, fame, and achievement Black athletes still find themselves on the periphery of true power in the multibillion-dollar industry their talent built. (New York Times columnist William C. Rhoden, author ‘Forty Million Dollar Slaves’)
As I viewed the latest smash hit, “The Bible,” a myriad of sports and social issues danced around in my head, one of those being slavery. Hollywood depicts the inhumanity of forced servitude as almost being “noble.” As far as Black athletes are concerned they will probably never understand their true value because it will never be revealed to them. As far as I am concerned the NFL compensation process is biased, corrupt and flawed as it relates to Black athletes. There is nothing noble about it.
As far as the recent free agent and trade situations are concerned; I am now retracing the journey of one Anquan Boldin, former Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, now current San Francisco 49ers, wide receiver. Now this intrigues me a bit. For the first seven seasons of his illustrious career, Boldin plied his trade with the Cardinals. He was the man in the clutch. He could go deep, short, across the middle, hey folks he was “Mr. Everything.” However, when former Minnesota Vikings ball boy and University of Pittsburgh wide receiver great Larry Fitzgerald arrived in Tempe AZ, the general consensus was that fiscally as well as from a talent perspective, Boldin’s days were numbered in the “land of the desert sun.” But hold on folks, tell the conductor that we missed a stop because there is more to this than meets the eye. On Feb. 1, 2009 the Steelers defeated the Cardinals to win Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa. Although the game was close and Boldin had a respectable outing, (8 catches for 84 yards) the upcoming 2009 season would be the final season that Boldin would don a Cardinals uniform. It was concluded by many sports journalists’ including a few of the “asinine” bloggers that due to their Super Bowl loss, the Cardinals did not have the market or patience to justify retaining two wide-outs whose initial market value could exceed two hundred million dollars. What the sports world failed to recognize was that no matter how great the man is that has to throw the rock, there are a few more variables involved for the man who has to catch the rock….you dig. So after the 2009 season, Boldin followed the golden spike and took the midnight train to Georgia, oops sorry; Charlie Chan meant the “red eye” to Baltimore where he instantly became the “security blanket” for Ravens “journeyman” quarterback Joe Flacco. What was Boldin’s reward for his contribution to the Ravens victory in Super Bowl XLVII? Well he was shipped off to the team that he helped to defeat. Do you find it ironic that a year after he lost XLIII, Anquan Boldin was allowed to depart the Cardinals for Baltimore after losing to Pittsburgh and less than ninety days after he helped the Ravens win Super Bowl XLVII he was “traded” to the 49ers, the team coached by the brother of the head coach he played for in Baltimore? Can’t you just hear the conversation between 49ers Coach Jim Harbaugh and his sibling John, the coach of the Ravens? This next exchange is merely theoretical and conjectural so don’t go blogging “crazy” or blow up the phone lines at “sports talk” because of it. “Hey John, this is Jim calling. I know,” says John; “your name came up on the caller I.D., what’s up? “Well” Jim replies, “seeing that you had to break the bank with the 120 + million that you had to dole out to Joe “pockets full of dough” Flacco I don’t see how you and Ozzie will be able to afford to sign more than a handful of players. Plus you got yours, so let’s keep the Lombardi’s in the family. Before Anquan gets any serious ideas about getting paid, ship him out West so that we can get that final good year out of him before Roger puts him out to pasture.” They gave the man who threw the ball in Super Bowl XLVII, $120 million along with $52 million guaranteed but the man who made more than 50 percent of the “clutch” catches to get him there was carted off to another conference. “Weel about, an’ turn about an’ do jis so. Eb’ry time I weel about, I jump Jim Crow.” (From the biography of Eddie Robinson) Black athletes have been and will continue to be devalued as far as equal compensation for equal talent is concerned as far as the world of professional sports is concerned. Even though he was possibly the greatest college football coach in history, with all due respect to the late coach Robinson, he was just one of the motors on the “conveyor belts” that as Bill Rhoden so elegantly put it; “brings kids from inner cities and small towns to big-time programs, where they’re cut off from their roots and exploited by team owners, sports agents, and the media.” Black players with less than three years experience unless they are first round or high second round picks receive pitiful sums when compared to their White counterparts. Boldin did all of the right dances and said all of the right things but it did not matter. Anquan Boldon helped Joe Flacco get paid while he was “slay-ed.” Most often when Black players say; “show me the money,” they are unceremoniously shown the door…..later
Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 10:17
Category: Sports Written by Associated Press
FINAL BIG EAST BATTLE--Pittsburgh's Steven Adams (13) goes up past Syracuse's C.J. Fair during the Big East Conference tournament, March 14, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
by Will Graves
AP Sports Writer
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The NCAA tournament held opening weekend games at Consol Energy Center last spring, a few hundred feet from Tray Woodall's front door. The Pittsburgh guard, however, wanted none of it.
"We weren't in the tournament so I didn't go over there," Woodall said. "I was frustrated."
A year later, Woodall and the Panthers are back in the middle of the madness.
Following a lost season in which Pitt missed the tournament for the first time in over a decade, the eighth-seeded Panthers (24-8) will play ninth-seeded Wichita State (26-8) in the second round of the West Region in Salt Lake City on Thursday.
While senior center Dante Taylor admitted he was a little surprised to see a team that went 12-6 in the Big East drop all the way to an eighth seed, it certainly beats the alternative of not being in the tournament at all.
"I definitely think it's something we're going to use to our advantage," Taylor said. "There's nothing we can do about it. Yeah we usually are higher but we've got to prove to people we deserve to be higher."
Pitt hasn't been seeded so low in the NCAA since being a ninth-seed in 2005, when the Panthers were knocked off by Pacific in the opening round. Woodall cautioned Pitt could make another early exit if it takes the Shockers lightly.
"We said while we were watching the (selection) show, we basically could be playing Gonzaga but if we do that we're overlooking" Wichita, Woodall said. "We want to win. Me and Dante want to go out on top. We want to make a big run."
It's something the Panthers failed to do in their final go-round at the Big East tournament last week. Pitt qualified as the fourth seed and earned a double-bye but never really got going in a 62-59 loss to Syracuse.
The Panthers shot just 37 percent from the floor and never led over the final 28 minutes. Taylor earned five stitches over his right eye while battling for a rebound and has missed two straight practices and his vision out of the eye remains blurry. He didn't practice Sunday but insisted "I'll be good" by Thursday.
Pitt will certainly need him against the Shockers, who average a robust 38.4 rebounds per game and will hardly be intimidated against a team that has looked vulnerable at times. The Panthers went just 5-7 against teams that made the NCAA field and have five players making their NCAA tournament debuts, including starting point guard James Robinson and center Steven Adams.
The 7-foot Adams, a New Zealand native, is still trying to get a handle on the NCAAs. It was never a priority while growing up half a world away.
"It never interested me at all," Adams said with a laugh.
Things have changed in the last few weeks. He called the atmosphere at Madison Square Garden for the Big East tournament an eye opener and believes he's better prepared to handle the pressure that comes this time of year.
"I've been progressing," he said. "I've been quite happy about it as I've been gaining a bit more confidence here or there."
Even if the bank of TVs turned to the selection show and the murmur that went up when Pitt's name finally popped up caught him by surprise. Adams has no real sense of what the seeding means. He just knows one loss and the season is over.
"I don't really care who we play, just so long as we win," Adams said.
It's an ethos preached by coach Jamie Dixon. While he anticipated a team that finished fourth in the Big East getting a friendlier seed, he pointed out "nobody except the ones are probably happy with their seeds."
Besides, for once Pitt enters the tournament under the radar. For a program still searching for its first Final Four appearance in the modern era, that's not a bad thing. The Panthers were a No. 1 seed two years ago only to fall victim to eighth-seeded Butler in the second round.
How fitting if they could earn a chance to turn the tables provided they can beat Wichita State first. Pitt dominated the last meeting between the two schools in 2009, rolling to a 68-55 victory behind 19 points from Woodall.
It seems like a long time ago, but for veterans Woodall and Taylor the mission remains the same.
"We've just got to go in and handle business," Taylor said. "We've got to get the W."
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"They didn't even tell me there was going to be a whole bunch of people here. They just told me there was going to be food. So I said, 'Sweet, food," Pittsburgh freshman center Steve Adams, who grew up in New Zealand and had no idea why his teammates and a few hundred Panthers fans were gathering to watch the tournament selection show. --AP
Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 March 2013 15:38
Digital Daily Signup
Sign up now for the New Pittsburgh Courier Digital Daily newsletter!
- 'Africa Day': In Ethiopia, African Union celebrates 50 years (1)
- Robert L. Johnson receives highest award recognition From Black Enterprise magazine (1)
- Is Scandal’s Olivia Pope just like the reality show chicks? (4)
- Time to share the ‘truth’ about ‘timeshares’ (5)
- Community outraged over toddler’s shooting death, Rayco declares 'War' (1)