I opened my email this morning to learn the sad news that Ralph Lewis, a longtime official in multiple sports and coach in Miami-Dade County, passed away late last night after an 18-month battle with leukemia.
Lewis, 54, officiated numerous high school and college events around the state for over two decades, as well as coached and worked at Killian and Palmetto High Schools.
This past May, we had the privilege of honoring him at our All-Dade Awards breakfast with our annual Walter Krietsch/Leo Suarez Courage Award for his years of dedicated service to high school student-athletes in South Florida.
Speaking on a personal note, Lewis was a generous, caring and professional individual, who was always willing to help others and was a pleasure to be around and work with.
The kind of guy that officiated a high school football game on a Friday night, then hit the road right after to go to Dade City and officiate a state cross-country championship at the crack of dawn the next morning...and do it with a positive attitude. He was a classy individual that will be missed.
On behalf of the Miami Herald's high school sports staff, I'd like to extend our deepest condolences to his wife, Dorothy Lewis and his extended family.
Funeral arrangements and details haven't been made available yet, but we will have that information soon either on this blog or in the newspaper.
- Andre C. Fernandez
Just ran across this press release on the Florida High School Athletic Association's website:
That should shake things up among small school basketball. ACD has made it to the Class 1A state finals six consecutive seasons, and won 5 titles in a row before last season.
Arlington Country Day resigns FHSAA membership
GAINESVILLE - Arlington Country Day School in Jacksonville resigned its membership in the Florida High School Athletic Association, effective immediately.
School officials had been in contact with Executive Director Roger Dearing to tender the school's resignation. The FHSAA and Arlington Country Day mutually agreed to this decision.
Defending state champions have cruised so far in the first day of the FHSAA boys' basketball state championships here at The Lakeland Center.
Pine Crest, led by its star guard Brandon Knight, romped against Williston 77-63 in the Class 3A state semifinal.
Although he played only 26 minutes due to foul trouble and due to a minor leg muscle injury, Knight finished with 25 points, six rebounds and eight assists.
Knight's teammates helped overcome an uncharacteristic 35-turnover performance by the Panthers.
Tevin Westbrook had 11 points and a game-high 16 rebounds. Traveon Henry had 17 points and seven rebounds. Forward Matt Milk had 11 points and 10 rebounds, and Billy Thompson, Jr. had nine points and seven rebounds.
In other games so far:
Five-time defending Class 2A state champion Jacksonville Arlington Country Day moved down to 1A this season.
The Apaches have a chance to continue their dominance after an easy 63-43 win against West Palm Beach Summit Christian moved them into the 1A final.
Their opponent will be two-time defending state champion Orlando Christian Prep, which also won convincingly 59-33 against Boca Raton Grandview Prep.
ACD will try to break the state record for most consecutive titles when they take on OCP in the 1A championship at noon Thursday.
HOLLYWOOD – Tony Perkins, head boys basketball coach at Chaminade-Madonna announced that Brandon Knight (Pine Crest), Darius Perkins (Chaminade-Madonna), Alex Carter (South Miami), Zachary Perkins (Archbishop McCarthy) and Fred Conner (Ely) will headline several of South Florida's top high school basketball teams at the Chaminade-Madonna High School Tip-Off Classic, to be held at Chaminade Madonna starting on Thursday, Nov. 19 at 6:30 p.m. and ending Saturday Nov. 22 at 8pm.
This event will showcase eight of South Floridas talented high school basketball teams: Chaminade-Madonna, Northwest Christian, Champagnat Catholic School, South Miami, Piper, Archbishop McCarthy, Ely and Pine Crest.
This event strives to be South Floridas premier Fall High School Basketball Tip-off Classic.
Chaminade-Madonna Prep is located at 500 Chaminade Drive. The cost for each game is $5.
For more information, contact Tony Perkins at 786-202-1679 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nov. 19, 6:30pm – Game #1 Champagnat Catholic vs. Archbishop McCarthy
Nov. 19, 8pm – Game #2 Chaminade-Madonna vs. Pine Crest
Nov. 20, 6:30pm – Game #3 Piper vs. Northwest Christian
Nov. 20, 8pm – Game #4 Blanche Ely vs. South Miami High School
Nov. 21, 3:30pm – Loser of Game #1 vs. Loser of Game #3
Nov. 21, 5:00pm – Loser of Game #2 vs. Loser of Game #4
Nov. 21, 6:30pm – Winner of Game #1 vs. Winner of Game #3
Nov. 21, 8:00pm – Winner of Game #2 vs. Winner of Game #4
Due to poor field conditions at Alex Fernandez Field after that nasty T-storm yesterday, Tuesday's GMAC quarterfinals have been moved to Killian High.
The Killian-Goleman game will be at 2:30, followed by Hialeah-Columbus immediately after weather permitting.
If there are more changes to the schedule, we will post them here.
Still can't get enough basketball in March?
Some of the top players in Dade County will be at the 23rd Annual 4A–1A Basketball All Star Game tonight (Friday) at Miami Christian School.
Admission is $6. The girls' game will be played at 6 p.m., followed by the boys' game at 7:30 p.m.
The event will also feature a slam-dunk contest for the boys, as well as a three-point shootouts for the boys and girls. Coaches and Player of the Year Awards will be given during the event as well.
The boys will be coached by Calusa Prep's Tim Fowler and Miami Christian's Ozzie Pineda. The girls' game will be coached by Palmer Trinity's James Valle and La Salle's Raymond Lopez.
Here's the state poll for girls basketball for this week. I'm trying to get the boys' poll. Once I do, I will post.
Team, record, (first-place) votes
MiamiNorland (6);20-0; 60
3. South Broward;15-2;49;3
6. Our Lady of
8. Blanche Ely;11-4;13;7
9. Atlantic Community;18-7;12;
Others receiving votes:
Palm BeachCentral 8.
Winter Park6. Coral Reef Senior 5.
1. Dillard (5);17-1;58;2
8. Barron Collier;16-5;19;6
9. Wesley Chapel;18-1;16;10
10. Boca Ciega;17-3;11;8
Others receiving votes: Gibbs 10.
West Boca RatonCommunity 5. Pace 1.
1. Bishop Moore (4);14-2;56;1
T2. Andrew Jackson (1);17-2;52;3
T2. Astronaut (1);14-1;52;2
Others receiving votes: Bishop Kenny 9. Archbishop McCarthy 6. Monsignor Pace 6. Wiregrass Ranch 5.
2. P.K. Yonge;16-0;52;3
5. Cardinal Newman;18-1;31;7
8. Gulliver Prep;17-1;19;9
9. Lake Highland;14-3;11;
Others receiving votes:
1. Hollywood Christian (6);19-2;60;2
3. Father Lopez Catholic;;46;1
4. King’s Academy;16-3;43;T4
Others receiving votes: Maclay 6. University Christian 3. Jupiter Christian 3.
1. Trinity Christian-
6. Seffner Christian;11-6;27;6
8. FAMU Developmental Research;;23;7
10. Northwest Christian;;7;10
Others receiving votes: Rock 4.
It's an awkward time to be talking high school hoops. The basketball world is concentrating on next week's NBA draft and the Boston Celtics' coronation. However, this story on ESPN.com caught my eye and I thought it was worth mentioning.
Brandon Jennings is the top-ranked point guard in the nation and has committed to attend Arizona in the fall, but due to a large discrepancy between his first and second standardized tests, he was flagged and now awaits the results of a third test. If he doesn't make the grade, he says he'll just go to Europe to play for pay until he is eligable for the 2009 NBA Draft.
When the NBA ironed out its last collective bargaining agreement - making it necessary for high schoolers to spend a year playing basically ANYWHERE before they could apply for the draft - this was a scenario that was brought up by some pundits who were quickly dismissed. The prevailing knowledge was that any American kid with NBA aspirations would naturally spend at least one year in a college, gaining exposure and possibly pulling a Carmelo Anthony (that is, leading his team to mainstream postseason success on CBS and sending his stock soaring as Melo did in his only year at Syracuse). After all, these are kids who have grown up with regional affiliations, they all watch the Final Four, they all know the words to One Shining Moment. There is just no way, at the tender age of 18, they could be money-hungry enough to eschew tradition and ply their trade some place where they might actually get compensated for it. Is there?
Apparently, there is. According to ESPN, O.J. Mayo considered going the same route before entangling himself in his current problems. Spanish import Juan Carlos Navarro of the Memphis Grizzlies has announced he will leave the NBA to rejoin FC Barcelona. The difference in his options, when taking the weak dollar into account, is the difference between about $1.2 million in Memphis versus $15 million back home, US. And he was a journeyman role-player. What happens when the Euro Leagues start offering the Brandon Jennings, Kevin Durants and Greg Odens of the world one-year, $25 million dollar contracts? Will the recruits bite? Will the NCAA game suffer? I would think so. Will Euro-American players suffer on draft day? It is like the old tree-in-the-forest adage: If you average 30 points per game in Tel Aviv, does it make a sound?
I ask you, readers, what learning experience would you rather have at age 18: 1. A year of paid education at a top unviersity while being the big man on campus, or 2. A year making millions touring parts of the world you may never get to see again?