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Friday, June 27, 2008

James Gist taken in the NBA Draft

I just have a few small wishes in this world, and several of them have to do with Maryland alumni making it at the professional level of their respective sports.

This spring, I was denied this privilege when linebacker Erin Henderson, the defensive star on Maryland's football squad, went undrafted due to injury concerns. Last night, I was surprised to see this wish fulfilled when James Gist was selected 57th overall by the San Antonio Spurs.

I was pleased enough to even overcome my marked distaste for Tony Parker (because they apparently don't know how to shave in France), Bruce Bowen (because he's dirty) and Manu Ginobilli (because he's just plain annoying).

Nonetheless, I'm happy for Gist and I think all Maryland fans should be. He put a lot of hard work into the last couple months, managing to boost his draft stock in workouts while still being able to graduate. I remember seeing him around on campus a month and a half ago thinking, "Shouldn't you be running drills right now?" But to his credit, he got his education finished off in his four years (unlike most other recent Terps) and the NBA was still there for him. It's an achievement I'll admit that even I undervalue sometimes.

Also, let us not forget that Maryland basketball can use a few bright spots.

Obviously he still has a long way to go before he can make the Spurs roster, but I'm looking forward to reading up on him and following his success. Congrats James Gist, and keep it classy.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Blog Returns - Quick Hitters

I'm back, but don't get used to it. It's just that I've been quiet for too long and there's such a rich landscape of sporting events right now, I can't hold it all inside. Instead of take the usual time to look at in-depth issues, we're going to tackle them quickly and sloppily. You know, real professional-like ...

  • TIGER WOODS: I'm not the kind of guy who encourages someone to play through serious injury, but you have to admire the gutsiness and greatness of what Tiger did. Sometimes, pride can be a good thing in sports. He won the Open because Tiger believes he's the best, and he won't accept less from himself. Even if he misses the rest of the season, it's worth it, because the U.S. Open win will be the signature victory of Tiger's career. I guarantee it.
  • CELTICS ARE NBA CHAMPIONS: I was leaning softly on the side of the Celtics this series because I always felt it would be a crying shame if Garnett had to retire without a ring, not to mention the other aging superstars on that team. Boston clearly dominated throughout the series, and even in games they lost, you still felt like they were the better team. I don't feel bad for the Lakers because next year, Kobe will still be Kobe, and Bynum will come back, plus they can try to sign a savvy vet at small forward. They're the hands-down favorite for next year's title.
  • THE STATE OF MARYLAND BASKETBALL: Someone isn't doing their job. I expect to see some kind of firing very soon. Maryland is the favorite in the ACC next year ... to finish in dead last place.
  • THE STATE OF THE RAVENS: I'm pleased with the changes Harbaugh has made. Despite my previous support of Rex Ryan for head coach, I have reassessed how he has handled the team - with discipline. So far the players seem to be responding well. It certainly isn't Camp Cupcake. My ideal Ravens team in August has Troy Smith at QB and Maryland alum Jared Gaither anchoring the line at left tackle.
See, that wasn't too bad. Hope summer is going well for all of you!

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