Sports: An apology to local MLB hopeful; new assignment for Vincent girls B-Ball coach; the Bucks and the NBA draft

Written by admin   // June 25, 2010   // 0 Comments

by Troy A. Sparks–

Let me start by saying that I’m truly sorry to offend major-league hopeful and local product, Montaous Walton. I’m here to set the record straight.

I received some information from a source, reacting on Walton’s claim of signing with the Minnesota Twins, which the source said wasn’t accurate. Another source said that Walton signed on the dotted line. I didn’t realize that the information was supposed to be off the record.

To my knowledge, the first e-mail on Walton from the first source didn’t indicate that it was off the record. His second e-mail provided off the record information. The e-mail from the second source reported that Walton signed a contract.

So, I’m apologizing for previously failing to check my sources before writing the update on Walton. That update appeared near the end of my column in my original rough draft that I sent to the editorial department.

Walton addressed his concern last week to MCJ editor, Thomas Mitchell, after he saw the column, which, I guess, included his update before it was removed from the website. The column was back on the website without the update.

I will take full responsibility for the lack of professionalism.

Before I put a wrap on the Montaous Walton situation, I called Billy Corrigan, Minnesota’s Florida-based scout, last Friday, and left a message. He didn’t respond.

I couldn’t believe that former Vincent girls head coach Marquis Hines accepted another assignment. He took the Homestead boys basketball position. I got different responses from two of his top assistants on the girls’ team on whether Hines would stay or go.

One assistant I talked to thought Hines would stay put because the Vikings are still loaded with talent, but they don’t have Nicole Griffin. The other said he didn’t know what Hines would do.

I believe that Hines wanted the Vincent boys job after Tom Diener left, but athletic director John Allen took over as coach.

At Homestead, there are plenty of resources that Hines can tap from. The question is: Will he ask any of his assistants to join him? Their boys basketball program is starving for recognition in the rugged North Shore Conference.

The Highlanders won’t make it to state in their sectional without clearing some hurdles, namely Vincent, Menomonee Falls or Germantown.

Hines should get boys flocking to varsity tryouts and maybe some transfers from Milwaukee. Homestead wants to win now.

Let’s see, what else? A big gym, great student and booster support, some well-behaved spectators and plenty of money to go around in Mequon.

Mequon-Thiensville schools superintendent, Dr. Demond Means, who’s African-American, said the hiring of Hines was a grand slam. He said that Hines would give the program instant credibility.

The Homestead athletic department doesn’t have to share their budget with other high schools. So if Hines request new uniforms every three years, and the money’s there, he should get them.

Hines made sure that he coached Griffin through her high school years. Her involvement in the basketball program led the Vikings to a 95-8 record in four years and three straight WIAA state championships. Their attempt to win four in a row ended with a loss to Milwaukee Pius in the state semifinals in March.

A 74-101 record since 2002-03, including a 49-63 conference mark and only two appearances in the state tournament, was enough for Hines to take on the challenge to rebuild a winning tradition up there at Homestead.

On June 24th, I will attend the Milwaukee Bucks’ draft day event for media. They have the No. 15 selection in the first round and the 37th and 47th picks in the second round.

Throughout this month, the team brought in potential draft candidates and worked them out. It’ll be interesting to see what the Bucks will do with their second round picks. Maybe they’ll package them in a trade with a current player on their roster.

We know that guard John Salmons is thinking about either taking the option from the Bucks or testing the free agent market. I don’t think Salmons will get more in the open market than what the Bucks are offering.

The team also wants to keep guard Luke Ridnour, which is a good move if they can re-sign him.

A well-organized and talented team will set goals even higher, like getting past the first round of the playoffs.

Milwaukee should draft Xavier shooting guard Jordan Crawford. He’s familiar with the Bradley Center, playing there in the NCAA first and second round tournament.

They also worked out small forward and former Marquette player Lazar Hayward. Some people think he’ll be drafted.

Congratulations to Jimmy Johnson and his Lakers for winning the NBA championship.

He said the series would go to seven games. Last week, I said the Celtics would win. I guess Johnson proved me wrong.

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