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I came across this Outside The Lines debate between Sonny Vaccaro, Dr. Todd Boyd of USC and Marcos Bretton of the Sacramento Bee. They were talking about Jeremy Tyler’s decision to skip his senior year of HS to play pro ball overseas. I’m not obsessed with this topic, I swear; but once I saw it, I just had to put the video up.
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In a sport where 90% of the participants are black and after being around these kids for over 40 years, Sonny knows that money is their primary motivation for playing. He’s selling these kids a dream and he’s using the power of the dollar to persuade them into doing something that they wouldn’t have even considered otherwise. These kids and their families trust him and he’s just using them to further his personal vendetta against the NCAA. If he cared about these kids as much as he puts off, he would convince them to go to school and he would never talk a teenager — and his family — into dropping out of HS. Even though success and failure rests squarely on the the shoulders of the individual, if Brandon Jennings and Jeremy Tyler’s careers don’t pan out I wonder if he’ll take responsibility for ultimately setting them on a collision course with failure?
Filed under: basketball, brandon jennings, college basketball, espn, espn.com, FIBA, high school basketball, hs basketball, jeremy tyler, lottomatica virtus roma, national basketball association, nba, otl, outside the lines, san diego cavers, san diego high school, sonny vaccaro | 8 Comments »
I got a text message this morning from one of my contacts in Mississippi that Renardo Sidney had signed with the Bulldogs. All I could say was wow…he’s going back home. He’s 6’10” and 265lbs. He can post up down low, handle the ball and shoot the 3. A certified phenom that’s been at the top of his class from day one, he’s the best recruit to ever sign and actually play in Starkville (see Jonathan Bender, Travis Outlaw & Monta Ellis). I wonder how much that cost the “Friends of the Program” at Mississippi State. Hmmmm….
This is the first time that I’ve written about Steph Curry on the blog. But after the news of him turning pro broke, I figured this was as good a time as any. There’s no question this kid has arguably the sweetest shooting stroke in college basketball. He comes from good stock, we all know who his dad is. The nation’s leading scorer this past season averaging almost 29ppg made the right decision because his stock couldn’t be any higher right now than it was during his breakout, almost-made-it-to-the-Final-Four season he had a year ago.
I’ve watched quite a few of his games over the past 2 seasons and I like what I see so far. My only complaint is that he relies a little too much on his jumper and he isn’t as aggressive going to the basket. I’m sure that aggressiveness will come once cats start taking it to his head in the league. I’m also concerned about his position. He ran the point this year at Davidson obviously in preparation to play PG in the NBA, but he’s not a true PG. Sure you can learn to play the position, but PG’s are born…not taught. Lastly, he isn’ that athletic so guarding the elite PG’s is going to be an issue as well. Yeah you can play zone in the league, but it’s still 99% man-to-man defense and I’m not sure if he can stay in front of guys like Rajon Rondo, Derrick Rose and Chris Paul. Ultimately, Steph Curry is a basketball player with a father who had a solid career in the league and he’s also good friends with LeBron James. Those things should bode well for him seeing success. I don’t see him being a star at the next level though, especially not playing the point. Derrick Rose he’s not. As I’m writing this, visions of JJ Redick are dancing in my head. You can find him on the end of the Orlando Magic bench. Sorry Steph, but this could be you. Good luck though; much success to you.
Basketball players come from all over the world. From major cities, to small towns that no one has ever heard of before. They come in different shapes and in different sizes and the skill and athleticism that they possess to compete on the basketball court is remarkable. But there is NO basketball player ANYWHERE as remarkable as Tiffara Steward of Farmingdale State College in Long Island, NY. She’s the starting PG for the Rams, is 20yrs old, stands 4’6″, wears a size 1 shoe and only weighs 90lbs (yes, you read that right). Not only that but she was born 3mos early, underwent 6 surgeries before she was 3yrs old, one of her legs is shorter than the other, she still battles severe scoliosis, AND she’s blind in her right eye and partially deaf! Still, in spite of all that she’s the team co-captain and was just named the 2009 Comeback Award recipient of the V Foundation. She is truly an inspiration and like the number on her jersey, she’s #1 in my book. Check it out…
In a couple of hours, Florida International University will hold a press conference introducing Isiah Thomas as its next head coach. He signed a 5 year deal yesterday and I followed this story the whole day on ESPN and the various other outlets talking about it. After giving it some thought, I think it’s a good move for Zeke and I’ll be glad to see him back on the sidelines. He’s really not a bad coach if you look at the success he had in Toronto and Indiana. The debacle in New York…well, that’s another story. I’m not quite sold on how good of a judge of talent he is though. Sure, he drafted Damon Stoudamire when he was in Toronto, but the team he put together in NY was awful. I was almost positive he was trying to sign every cat from Chicago that he could!
College basketball on the other hand will be a good fit for him and give him a chance to revive his career. I mean seriously, who can’t recruit a kid to come to Miami to play basketball?! Certainly Isiah Thomas could with his basketball pedigree and name alone. Plus, FIU has had a couple of players in the league that kids will recognize right away in Raja Bell and Carlos Arroyo. The Sun Belt Conference isn’t a powerhouse, but Zeke just made FIU the most high profile program in the whole league. I’m not sure how long it will take him to turn the program into a winner — if he can even do it all — but if he has even moderate success in south Florida maybe he can get himself back into the league.