I became a basketball fan early growing up. I was seven when I latched on to the Los Angels Lakers and their gangly point guard, Earvin “Magic” Johnson. Like most 80s and 90s kids I became a fan of Michael Jordan, too. I was lucky to grow up in the “golden age” of the NBA and watched as many games as I could and followed many of the stars of the time.
However, my first basketball heroes didn’t play in the NBA. I vividly remember at 5 watching ABC’s Wide World of Sports and being mesmerized by the Harlem Globetrotters. I became familiar with them from Saturday morning cartoons and loved watching them when they were on ABC.
I loved the ball-handling tricks, and being a kid, I loved the antics. The way the players went through women’s purses and threw water into the crowd, and then confetti. I was a big fan.
As I grew older, I perfected Larry “Gator” Rivers’ trick of dribbling with the basketball and sliding on the floor while continuing to dribble. I could also almost spin the ball on my finger.
In third grade, I nearly got in a fight over the Globetrotters … Read more >
Two Top 20 teams from power conferences that boast high-octane offenses, standout coaches and NBA-caliber players is a recipe for an outstanding nonconfernece clash.
That’s what could happen tonight when Arkansas plays Iowa State at 8 p.m. on ESPN 2 in a Big 12/SEC Challenge game.
If both teams are playing their best, this is a game that could be talked about nationally for awhile, particularly as both teams make their case to the NCAA Tournament selection committee in March.
Arkansas has become one of the suprise teams so far starting 6-0 for the first time since 1997. It appears coach Mike Anderson, with a team full of his recruited players, has been able to fully implement his system, that has made some Hogs fans harken back to the old days when Nolan Richardson’s teams were turning turnovers into easy buckets.
Most teams can’t run with Arkansas. Iowa State is one that can. Under former Cyclone star Fred Hoiberg, the Cyclones have pushed the ball and shhot as many three-point shots as possible. Something will have to give tonight, most likely the scoreboard which could flip to triple digits. Iowa State is hard to pressure with sophomore point guard Monte … Read more >
The text messages came before I even heard the news. It was May, and it was just announced that Iowa State was playing Arkansas in basketball.
One friend asked me who I would be rooting for. Then as I read the official press release of the announcment of the game that is a part of the Big 12/SEC Challenge, I received a text from my friend and fellow native Iowan, Justin Acri.
“Arkansas at Iowa State, we are going.”
By June we aleready had a hotel booked. If you have listened to Acri’s show, The Zone heard on 103.7 The Buzz with co-host Pat Bradley, you have heard the trip mentioned often. And for good reason.
Acri and I grew up die-hard Iowa State fans, and most of the time that wasn’t easy. We both grew up near the campus and had family who attaended ISU. I started going to games when I was three. My dad, an ISU alum, was extremely proud of his alma mater, and every time we visited the campus he showed me an old dorm, an old class building or another landmark. I loved every minute of it, and he had hooked me. I was … Read more >
Photo by Lauren Clark Former University of Arkansas basketball coach Nolan Richardson enjoyed the Toast and Roast in his honor last week at the Embassy Suites in Little Rock.
Pat Bradley showed nerves of steel taking big shots for Arkansas during his career. However, the line he delivered last week during the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arkansas Toast and Roast of former UA coach Nolan Richardson may have taken more gumption than all of those clutch shots put together.
As Bradley took to the podium he motioned toward the event’s emcee Craig O’Neill, a THV 11 news anchor, and Richardson and said, “You guys both have something in common. You were both fired by Frank Broyles.”
At first, the crowd gasped, then laughed loudly as Richardson and O’Neill both smiled and laughed and got up from their chairs and hugged.
“[Pat] saw that as a really funny moment,” Richardson says. “It was a really funny moment when you stop and think about it. A lot of guys don’t have the guts to say things. I’m glad the guys can say some of the things they may not have been able to say before.”
O’Neill was relieved of his … Read more >
My basketball coaching record is perfect, and I don’t expect that to change Saturday. After a 22-year hiatus, I’m “coaching” the South Men’s College All-Stars in the Arkansas College Basketball All-Star Game at Summit Arena in Hot Springs. Joining me on the bench is legendary University of Arkansas sharp-shooting guard Al Dillard, who 20 years ago helped the Razorbacks win the National Championship.
I’m confident our group of players from the smaller schools in the state will run past the North, comprised mainly of Arkansas and Arkansas State players, and coached by Northwest Arkansas radio personality Ched “The Ugly Uncle” Carpenter and Dillard’s former teammate, Clint McDaniel. The South is the obvious underdog, but more on that in a moment.
In the spring of 1992, my then-14-year-old brother informed me the older brother of one his teammates ditched the traveling team he played on. A tournament approached, and they needed a coach. I gladly chipped in, and guided my brother’s team to the tournament championship. It was a combination of a wide-open, freelance offense I emphasized combined with their ability to hit shots. A press, we ran on the varsity squad, also worked well.
Not a bad coaching debut, … Read more >