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2 posts from October 24, 2013

October 24, 2013

Coley on Wooden Top 30; Guy Cagers Open Scrimmage on Halloween

Few remember that before John Wooden closed his coaching career with a ridiculous run of national championships at UCLA, he was a great high school player at Martinsville High and Purdue University, gaining two hat tricks of All-State high school honors and All-America college honors. Wooden went into the Basketball Hall of Fame as a player in 1961, three years before he coached his first national championship team at UCLA.

When Wooden was named Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year in 1972, he shared the honor with pioneering tennis star Billie Jean King. The story on the two, often a conversation between them on sports, college sports and the future of each, is fascinating to look at 41 years later. I'll bet it makes Billie Jean smile that there's a Men's and Women's Wooden Award, for the best player in college of each gender.

The top 30 watch list, announced by the Los Angeles Athletic Club, includes FIU senior guard Jerica Coley, last year's national scoring leader, Conference USA Preseason Player of the Year and all-around good person.

 Coley surely will be among those signing autographs at the men's team's open intrasquad scrimmage on Oct. 31 at U.S. Century Bank Arena. In trying to draw students from their prep for Halloween festivities, the team's offering free grub, drinks, halftime contests, autographs from the women's team and free stuff. After halftime, men's coach Anthony Evans will announce the name of the FIU basketball student section, as voted on by the students.

(I vote for "Time Out" because most of the students I've seen sitting there look like they probably did when they were put in time out by their parents).

The Miami Beach Bowl

Quick hits from the news conference announcing The Miami Beach Bowl:

A formal rotation opposite the American Athletic Conference, the owner and operator of the bowl, hasn't been decided upon yet, but it'll include Conference USA, the Sun Belt and the Mid-American Conference. However, I was told, if FIU is bowl eligible to this level and it isn't Conference USA's turn, FIU likely would get chosen while the other team gets lateraled elsewhere.

Also, the AAC champion could wind up in the game. Just using logic, if Central Florida or South Florida winds up eligible or the AAC champion, look for them here.

Sheesh, there are a lot of FIU folks here. FIU athletic director Pete Garcia is on the dais. The program said he'll do the translating for the Spanish language media.

"FIU president Mark Rosenberg and Pete Garcia have been invaluable in connecting us with the right people in Miami-Dade County," said AAC senior associate commissioner Nick Carparelli.

Carparelli claiming $34 million economic impact for the county. We all know such things are more inflated than a carnival bouncy house, but there it is.

Miami Beach mayor Matti Bower's a born politician. Just because I happened to be standing net to her, having no idea who I was or where I lived (South Beach for 23 years), she introduced herself and took the time to have a conversation on Miami Beach flooding. Then, when she had to slide away to greet other folks, made sure to give the conversation a proper benediction.

Check out my Twitter feed, http://twitter.com/DavidJNeal for a photo of the football configuration of Marlins Park. Capacity of about 34,000.

The game is contracted for six years. Television and title sponsorship are yet to be determined. The date isn't set, but they'll hope for Dec. 22 or 23.

The roof is planned to be open.

 


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