March 20, 2014

LAWT News Service

 

No. 4-seed UCLA (26-8) will face No. 13-seed Tulsa (21-12) in a second-round matchup of the NCAA Tournament’s South Region this Friday night at Viejas Arena in San Diego. The Bruins earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament after having won the  Pac-12 Tournament title in Las Vegas last Saturday. Game time on Friday is slated for 6:57 p.m. (PT). UCLA’s contest against Tulsa will be nationally televised by truTV.

FRIDAY’S GAME IN SAN DIEGO

Venue: Viejas Arena (11,564)

Game Time: 6:57 pm (PT)

TV Station: truTV

TV Talents: Andrew Catalon (play-by-play), Mike Gminski (analyst), Otis Livingston (sideline)

Radio: AM 570 (KLAC)

Radio Talent: Chris Roberts (play-by-play), Tracy Murray (analyst)

SIRIUS Satellite Radio: Channel 157

SIRIUS XM Radio: Channel 190

KEY NOTES ABOUT UCLA

• UCLA will make its 46th appearance in the NCAA Tourna­ment this week, having earned its highest tournament seed (No. 4) since entering the 2008 field as the No. 1 seed in the West Region ... the Bruins are one of six Pac-12 Conference programs in the 68-team field (joining Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Oregon and Stanford).

• The Bruins secured the Pac-12 Conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament by winning its fourth Pac-12 Tournament title in the 17-year history of the tournament ... UCLA defeated Arizona, 75-71, in the title game ... Jordan Adams nailed a tie-breaking three-pointer to give UCLA a 71-68 cushion with 45 seconds to play.

• Under the leadership of head coach Steve Alford, in his first season at UCLA, the Bruins have gone 26-8 overall, recording their highest single-season win total since going 26-9 in 2008-09 ... UCLA won its three games in the Pac-12 Tournament by an average of 16.0 points per game, averaging 80.3 points per contest.

• UCLA finished its regular season schedule with a second-place finish in the competitive Pac-12 Conference standings (12-6 Pac-12 record), trailing first-place Arizona (15-3 Pac-12) by three games.

• The Bruins have won at least 20 games in 48 seasons, including 31 times in the last 39 years (since John Wooden retired in 1975) ... UCLA has won at least 26 games in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2008-09.

• Kyle Anderson has averaged closer to a triple-double than any other player in the nation ... the Bruins’ sophomore 6-foot-9 point guard enters the NCAA Tournament averaging 14.9 points per game, leading the team in rebounds per game (8.8) and the conference in assists per game (6.6) ... he has registered a Pac-12-best 16 double-doubles.

• Under Coach Alford’s direction, UCLA has averaged its highest offensive output (81.8 ppg) since the Bruins averaged 83.1 points per game in 1997-98 ... in his 23rd season as a college head coach, Alford has guided his teams to at least 22 wins in each of the last seven seasons (includes his six seasons as New Mexico’s head coach).

• Jordan Adams leads UCLA in scoring (17.2 ppg) and ranks seventh in that category in the Pac-12 ... Adams scored a career-high 31 points at Washington (March 6) to pass the 1,000 career point mark ... he also leads all Pac-12 players with 90 steals, the UCLA single-season record (surpassing Cameron Dollar’s 82 steals in 1997).

• UCLA’s roster features seven players who have scored at least 20 points in one career game, with six of those seven having registered at least 20 points in a game this season ... Jordan Adams leads the Bruins with 12 games of 20 points or more and has scored in double figures in 28 of 33 games played.

• The Bruins returned six of their primary eight contributors from the 2012-13 team ... this season, UCLA has primarily used an eight-man rotation that includes starters Jordan Adams, Kyle Anderson, Norman Powell, David Wear andTravis Wear, with Zach LaVine, Bryce Alford and Tony Parker contributing off the bench.

ALL-PAC-12 ACCOLADES

Jordan Adams (17.2 pgg, 5.3 rpg) and Kyle Anderson (14.9 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 6.6 apg) earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors, marking the second consecutive year in which two UCLA players secured first-team acclaim (last season, Larry Drew II and Shabazz Muhammad). In addition, Bryce Alford (8.1 ppg, 2.7 apg) and Zach LaVine (10.0 ppg, 2.6 rpg) were among five players named to the conference’s All-Freshman Team.

STANDING OUT

Kyle Anderson secured Most Outstanding Player accolades at the Pac-12 Tournament last weekend, having averaged 15.0 points, 10.3 rebounds and 6.0 assists in three games. Anderson registered his conference-leading 16th double-double (21 points, 15 rebounds) in the championship win over Arizona.

MARCH MADNESS

Head coach Steve Alford has become the 12th head coach in college basketball history to have led at least four NCAA Division I programs to the NCAA Tournament (Missouri State, Iowa, New Mexico and UCLA). He has guided his teams to conference tournament titles in each of the past three seasons and is the first UCLA head coach to have led the Bruins to the Pac-12 Tournament Championship in his first year at the helm. The other 11 coaches to have led at least four NCAA Division I teams to the NCAA Tournament include John Beilein, Lefty Driesell, Cliff Ellis, Larry Eustachy, Jim Harrick, Lon Kruger, Fran McCaffery, Tom Penders, Rick Pitino, Tubby Smith and Eddie Sutton. Eight of those 11 coaches are active head coaches

THE OPPOSITION

UCLA has compiled a 3-2 all-time record against Tulsa, having met the Golden Hurricanes once in NCAA Tournament action. The Bruins suffered a 112-102 overtime loss to Tulsa in the first round of the 1994 Tournament. UCLA and Tulsa did not share any common opponents this season. Since the NCAA Tournament featured seeds in 1978-79, UCLA has gone 9-4 in its first NCAA Tournament game when seeded No. 4 or higher.

Parent Category: News
Category: Sports

March 13, 2014

LAWT News Services

 

LA KISS single game tickets are now on sale, ahead of the team’s inaugural season. Tickets for each of the team’s nine home games are available for purchase, including the home-opener against the Portland Thunder on April 5 and the promotional item series.

Fans can expect a number of gameday promotions before select games, including several KISS Bobblehead Nights. The limited-edition series is inspired by legendary rock band KISS and its four members, including LA KISS Co-owners Gene Simmons (Demon) and Paul Stanley (Starchild). To commemorate the team’s first home game as a franchise, all fans in attendance for the April 5 game will receive a special guitar pick.

In addition to hard-hitting, high-scoring football, the LA KISS games will feature a complete game entertainment experience with live music, Super Bowl style halftime shows, and other surprises throughout the season.

Tickets are available via ticketmaster.com or the Honda Center Box Office. Single-game tickets start at just $15 per game, and fans can save money from the day of game price by purchasing tickets in advance.

Season Tickets, Suites, Mini-Plans & Groups — Season tickets, luxury suites, mini-plans and group seating are also available for purchase at lakissfootball.com

For more information on LA KISS, or to purchase season tickets packages, which include a free KISS concert at the Honda Center, please visit www.lakissfootball.com.

Parent Category: News
Category: Sports

March 06, 2014

LAWT Wire Services

 

The MLB Educational Devel­opment Program began when the Academy was found in 2006 as afterschool tutoring, mentoring, academic counseling and homework support for Academy members. In the last three years, the program has expanded to offer SAT and ACT preparation classes, credit-recovery opportunities, College Preparatory Checklist workshops, and Funding Your Education workshops that are designed to help the student-athlete navigate through difficult courses needed to get into college and be successful.

The program has had much success which validates the hard work done by the staff.

Dominic Smith came to the Academy at an early age with tremendous baseball potential, but in his own words, “school was not his favorite place to be.” After attending weekly mentoring, academic counseling, tutoring, SAT prep help, and credit recovery for two classes that he had failed, Smith scored a 1240 on the SAT, improved his grades and graduated from Serra High School in Gardena with a 3.2 GPA. Smith was offered and signed a full scholarship to play baseball at the University of Southern California.  He was eventually selected 11th overall by the New York Mets in the first-year player draft and opted to play professional baseball at this time.

Juan Avena of Compton started at the Academy as a youth and was faced with daily challenges of living in the middle of gang territory.  At age 11, Avena began working on his academic skills at the Academy daily and worked his way to star for the Compton College baseball team.  His success on the field and inside the classroom has paid dividends.  He was also drafted by the Mets (37th round) earlier this year. However, because he had improved so much academically, he was offered and has since accepted a full scholarship to attend Sterling College in Sterling, KS, choosing not to play professional baseball at this time.

The Mayfair High School baseball team from Lakewood completed a SAT prep course at the Academy in 2013. Their scores on the SAT were very high (averaging 1350) and head coach Joe Magnolia was extremely pleased with his players’ results.

In 2012, the Centennial High School baseball team from Compton attended the Academy for mentoring, homework support, and one-on-one tutoring on a weekly basis. Most of the players were doing so poorly in their classes that head Coach Gerald Pickens threatened to cancel the baseball season until their grades improved.  After working hard at the Academy for several months, the players’ grades improved dramatically and the baseball season continued.

Also in 2012, the King Drew High School softball team from Los Angeles went through the MLB UYA mentoring and homework support program. Though these girls maintained excellent grades in their classes, they dedicated themselves to doing extra work while gaining weekly tutoring and homework support. Their hard work has paid off and several of the student-athletes are currently attending Division 1 colleges and playing softball on scholarships.

Parent Category: News
Category: Sports

March 06, 2014

I have watched and listened to all of the so-called experts (people who used to be Black) and those who aspire to become Black again respond to and comment on the National Football League’s banning of the ‘N’ Word.

That four letter sports network even had one of their reporters ask Eagles receiver Riley Cooper if he thought the word should be banned. What a joke!

What does anybody expect anyone to say in a public forum, other than what might be politically acceptable. After all some of the people are employed by the same four letter sports network.

Almost as sensible as the LAPD investigating itself after brutal beating of a Black motorist. Duh!

First and foremost the National Football League is just that a professional football league that has monopolized the sport of football, voiding itself of any competition, with federal antennas that branch out form K Street to the White House and beyond.

If any of their players are fortunate enough to play out their contracts, chances are they won’t have a memory of what they were not supposed to say.

It is the only sports league with partially guaranteed contracts, meaning they can get rid of you at their own choosing.

It is a modernized slave ship that is a vivid reminder of the days of auction block purchases. A league whose front office and coaching fraternity is dominated by non Blacks.

We would rather you not treat us like ‘N’ Word, than say you are banning the word so that we can’t say it among ourselves.

In other words, No more Rap Music, next will be haircuts and not eating or drinking any product that does not have an agreement with the NFL.

All I want from the NFL is an occasionally close Super Bowl when the best two teams are playing.

I don’t need the NFL or any of its operatives to tell me what I can and cannot say. Of course they are not talking to me because I am not an NFL player, but if you look close enough they are talking to you. I think the ‘N’ letter should be banned from N-F-L! How do I legislate that?

 

Just Tank It

 

The Lakers began this week with a 20-39 record and among the laughing stocks of the NBA season.

During a season without Kobe and a makeshift roster of players auditioning for a chance to play pro ball, the NBA’s golden nugget is resembling a copper penny.

Oh, and if you believe in what former Lakers great Jerry West had to say about the NBA draft class, then there doesn’t appear to be any help on the way.

West doesn’t believe this will be a great draft at all, and says it highly over rated.

He’s in the minority in that opinion, because most believe this will be one of the great draft classes in memory.

No one can say for sure how great, but with freshmen Jabari Parker of Duke and Andrew Wiggins of Kansas among the top of most projections this draft will be deep and transformational.

The NBA is an Over 30 League and the product with all these veterans is just not that good. It’s expensive, but the basketball ain’t pretty at all.

So, if you are going to have a league that isn’t that good anyway, you may as well infused it with young exciting raw players that fans would at least be interested in watching.

Regardless where the Lakers land in this NBA draft, they will get a player who is better than many they have and one who can be a foundational piece for their long rebuilding future.

 

The Great Silence

 

I ran into legendary Muhammad Ali photographer Howard Bingham the other day in a local grocery store.

Advancing in age, he was grabbing some fruits and veggies.

I had to ask him how the champ was doing.

Sadly, it’s not good! Ali, according to Bingham can’t speak at all anymore due to Parkinson disease. Ali’s vital signs are in good shape according to his long time photographer, but we will never hear him say “I’m The Greatest!” or another speaking word again!

Parent Category: News
Category: Sports

March 06, 2014

 

SINGING FOR THE CHAMPS: The rematch of Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley is one of the most highly anticipated boxing events of the year. Fans attending or tuning in to the April 12 showdown will get a special treat. Pop star Ashanti has accepted Pacquiao’s invitation to sing the national anthem.

Parent Category: News
Category: Sports

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