Latavious Williams’ road to the NBA will begin tonight. The former Starkville High School standout will tip off his professional basketball career at 7 tonight when his NBA D-League Tulsa 66ers play host to the Utah Flash. Williams was the first of eight players Tulsa selected Nov. 5 in the D-League draft. He went through training camp and scored 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds in a preseason loss to the Iowa Energy and is ready to take his first step toward realizing a dream.
Jamayel Smith’s situation in the United Football League is unique. Sure, the former Mississippi State wide receiver believes he belongs there, but as a player with the New York Sentinels in the first-year league, he feels a little out of place.
The soccer options offered by the Columbus-Lowndes Recreation Authority continue to grow. The success of the CLRA’s Columbus United, a competitive Division II soccer club, has motivated the authority to introduce an Under-8 Developmental Program that will help prepare players for the transition to U-10 play. The primary goal of the program is to offer players enhanced skill training and challenging conditioning to help prepare them for the move to the next level.
Joey Pounders usually is prepared for anything when he is out on the water. But Pounders was lounging Monday with his feet propped up on his 20-foot pontoon boat enjoying a relaxing afternoon. A tug on the line of his seven-foot pole changed that.
The Golden Triangle was well represented Sunday at the 40th edition of the New York City Marathon. Six local athletes competed and finished the 26.2-mile event that featured a field of nearly 44,000 competitors that ran through New York’s five boroughs — Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Manhattan. Columbus’ Brad Atkins and his wife, Melissa, posted the best finishes of any local runners. Brad finished 807th with a time of 2 hours, 58.01 seconds, while Melissa had a personal-best time of 3:56.15.
Practice for the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series Southeast Regional Championship in Columbus started Monday to prepare the anglers for the two-day tournament, which begins Friday.
STARKVILLE — It didn’t take long for Randall Bradberry to discover James “Cubby” Harris’ talent. When Bradberry became the football coach at what was known then as East Mississippi Junior College in 1976, he didn’t know much about the recruits who were coming in for the fall season. Bradberry arrived at Scooba from Delta State and admitted he was “out of the loop.”
STARKVILLE — Registration for the Starkville Soccer Association season has just concluded and president Richard Stubbs said participants and sponsorships are down this year. Stubbs believes parents are feeling the pain of a struggling economy despite possible signs of improvement. He said cutting back on physical fitness, especially with children, is the wrong thing to do.
The duathlon last Saturday at Lake Lowndes State Park was just a warmup for Brad Atkins. The feature presentation will take place Saturday morning when Atkins, Delynn Burkhalter, Alex Woodard, and Randy McCalip participate in the USA Triathlon Age Group National Championship in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The event will bring together the nation’s top age-group triathletes from ages 18 to 80 and over.
John Dixson is a pioneer. Dixson, 43, can remember the “dark” days when nearly anything went in Mixed Martial Arts. Bare knuckles, groin shots, elbows, no time-limit matches — you name it and Dixson probably has seen it and dished it out in more than 13 years of competition around the world. Looking back to the origins of MMA, Dixson is surprised the sport has grown so quickly in a relatively short amount of time.
SAN FRANCISCO — Former Mississippi State pitcher Brandon Medders of the San Francisco Giants enjoys it when an opposing team has a player from his alma mater and he gets a chance to reminisce about old times. Medders was afforded such an opportunity this past week when the Giants played host to the Pittsburgh Pirates at AT&T Park.
CALEDONIA — Andi Franklin and Michael Eade hope their work as soccer ambassadors helps the United States produce World Cup caliber talent. Franklin and Eade joined Matthew Foster and Rachel Smythe in Caledonia last week as coaches with the Challenger Sports British Soccer Camp.
STARKVILLE — It has been a month since former Starkville High School sprinter Tavaris Tate participated at the United States Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore. The time off has served him well.
Mississippi State men’s associate head track and field coach Steve Dudley has been an interested spectator of prize recruit Tavaris Tate. Dudley, who works with the program’s sprinters, has followed Tate to all of his destinations this summer and hasn’t been surprised with the success of the former Starkville High School sprinter.
CLEVELAND — Members of Swim Columbus and the Shockwave swimming teams delivered solid performances last weekend at the 2009 MSI Long Course State Championships at Delta State University.
The Columbus-Lowndes Recreation Authority is registering players for its youth tackle football leagues.
PHILADELPHIA — Starkville’s Kelly White was the top female finisher Saturday at the 30th annual Heart o’ Dixie triathlon. White, 30, finished the half-mile swim, the 27.5-mile run, and the seven-mile run in a time of 2 hours, 16 minutes and 55 seconds. Her finish was just one of many from area participants.
STARKVILLE — The Starkville Baseball Association and the Park and Recreation Department wants to make sure the community shares the accomplishment of the Coach-Pitch 8-year-old Dizzy Dean All-Stars. The Dizzy Dean South State championship trophy and a team picture of the Starkville All-Stars have been on display at the Starkville Sportsplex since Starkville won its title July 13. Starkville coach Keith Lawrence said some parents of the players approached him about taking the trophy home, but he didn’t feel that was appropriate because the trophy belonged to the community.
STARKVILLE — Travis Outlaw looked around the Starkville Sportsplex on Wednesday afternoon and smiled. The Starkville native and member of the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers is proud the city has provided such a facility to the community. Outlaw and Ed LeBlanc, his personal coach, took advantage of the facility to focus on specific points of Outlaw’s game to help him prepare rejoin the Trail Blazers. Outlaw will leaves Starkville at the end of August to begin his sixth season in the NBA
The recruiting wars and the college admission process was different for Marcus Dent Sr. Twenty years ago, the former New Hope High School standout didn’t have Internet sites and recruiting services to help check his transcript and to assist him in his preparation for standardized tests like the SAT or the ACT. Still, Dent went on to play tight end at Alcorn State (1989-92) and was on a Southwestern Athletic Conference championship team.
1. MSMS junior Browning making impression at striker HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
2. Bulldogs remain fourth in College Playoff ranking COLLEGE SPORTS
3. MSU won't need extra motivation this week COLLEGE SPORTS
4. Ole Miss will try to dash Mississippi State's hopes COLLEGE SPORTS
5. Vivians honored as MSU women return to national rankings COLLEGE SPORTS