"Devastated" is part of the self-description that Bluff City Classic organizer Stanley Blue used to convey the way he feels about the decision to cancel play in the high-profile Memphis summer basketball league.
Safety concerns have sidelined the long-running league that was only two weeks into this summer's scheduled competition.
On July 5, more than 1,000 fans and players left The LeMoyne-Owen College gym in the 800-block of Walker and encountered a crime scene.
Legendary Southwest Men's Basketball Coach and Athletic Director Verties Sails Jr. has retired ending a 33-year coaching career at the college.
Sails' retirement was effective June 30. He led the Saluqis to a 709-276 record, 16 Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) championships and 10 region championships and National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) tournament appearances.
There's a new guy in town and hopefully he is the end of season after season of guard trafficking by the Memphis Grizzlies.
Less than a full 24 hours after 19-year-old combo guard Tony Wroten Jr. was selected as the No. 25 overall pick in the first round of the 2012 NBA draft (June 28), Wroten, who played one year at the University of Washington, was in Memphis being introduced to applause.
"He's from a quite accomplished athletic family," Grizzlies General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace said, referring to Wroten's parents who were seated front row with his two sisters.
The time has come for the Bluff City Classic, Memphis' premier summer basketball league featuring a balanced mixture of NBA players, college athletes and overseas greats. And it has new faces and a new home – the gym floor at The LeMoyne-Owen College.
Marresse Speights, Memphis Grizzlies' center and power forward, got into mix Wednesday (June 27 as the Classic moves through week two.
"I only finished with 14 points," Speights said after the game.
The University of Memphis women's basketball team added another local talent to the roster Tuesday as Central High School alum Jamila "Mimi" Ajanaku has decided to transfer to the Tigers from Middle Tennessee.
"Mimi was the first recruit I sat with when I took the Memphis job," Head Coach Melissa McFerrin said. "Unfortunately for us, she was so far down the road with Middle Tennessee in recruiting. When she contacted us about returning home for family reasons, it gave us a tremendous opportunity.
by Earl Austin, Jr.
NNPA News Service
It is hard to believe that we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of "The Dream Team" – the great collection of athletes in the history of sports.
Yeah, I said it. The 1992 United States Olympic men's basketball team was the best team ever put together in any sport at any time. Period.
As elevator speeches go, Mayor A C Wharton Jr. has one ready and well-tested for the myriad Memphis Grizzlies fans who want to know his perspective on whether the team they have grown to love will stick around.
The uneasiness about the future ratcheted up on Monday morning when fans woke up to news that Memphis Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley had reached a deal to sell the team to tech-business owner and "billionaire" Robert Pera for a reported $350 million.