Siena basketball's Prince Oduro seeks release to transfer – Albany Times Union



Siena freshman forward Prince Oduro, a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference All-Rookie selection, has asked for his release to transfer but the college hasn’t given it to him yet, according to his prep school coach.

“Siena is holding Prince’s release he just wants a fresh start,” First Love Christian Academy’s Khayree Wilson said in a Twitter message. “This process has taken a toll on him and his family and we all just want him to move on. But Siena is not doing right by a kid who has done right by them.”



The Siena athletic department released a statement, without identifying the player, saying one requested a release on Thursday that didn’t specify any schools. Teams often don’t want a player transferring to rival programs within the same league, in this case the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

“It is not our policy to provide a blanket release, and we asked the student athlete to provide us with a list of schools he would like to be in contact with which we have not yet received,’’ the statement read.

Siena also said a second unidentified player provided the name of a school he wished to speak with, and permission was granted at that time. The name of that player wasn’t immediately available.

Oduro, a 6-foot-8, 253-pound native of Toronto, averaged 9.1 points and a team-high 5.1 rebounds in his first season as Siena went 8-24. He wants to explore playing elsewhere after head coach Jimmy Patsos resigned under pressure earlier this month following a college investigation into alleged misconduct.


Siena is in a national search for a new head coach.

Oduro signed with Siena over offers from several schools, including St. Bonaventure, Fordham and Duquesne of the Atlantic-10.

He shot 48.4 percent from the field in his debut season and showed impressive athletic ability for his size. However, he also made just 33.3 percent from the foul line.

“I think this offseason will be a big one for me,” Oduro said in January. “I feel like I can prove that. I’ll prove that this offseason. People will see a different me next year.”

It might just be at a different school.

msingelais@timesunion.com ■ 518-454-5509 ■ @MarkSingelais



Family says 'thank you' to St. Jude with Donkey Basketball – WPSD Local 6


WINGO, Ky. — Every day, more than 40 families are told their child has cancer. It’s the leading cause of death among children. But there is hope; with continued research and treatment, more than 80 percent of patients are now long-term survivors.

For parents Brian and Ashley Perkins, their world came to halt the day their daughter was diagnosed with cancer.

“It’s like a tornado,” says Ashley. “Your world has been flipped upside down.”

Alleigh Brooke Perkins was only 6 years old when doctors at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis found a tumor in her kidney the size of a deflated volleyball.

“You’re the parent. Your job is to take care of your child, but you can’t,” says Ashley. “All you can do is hold hair back, move a trash can, wipe her face.”

For the first time ever, Ashley and Brian put their daughter’s future in the hands of someone else.

“I think we walked around for six months with a smile on our face.” But Ashley says the smiles weren’t real. The couple looked happy on the outside, but felt terrified on the inside.

“It was a struggle,” says Brian. “I mean it really was.”

But now, Alleigh Brooke is 8 years old and cancer free.

“We can’t cure cancer, but we can raise money to go to St. Jude to help find a cure,” says Ashley.

“There’s never going to be a way we can repay St. Jude for what they’ve done for our little girl,” says Brian.

The couple has already raised $11,000 for St. Jude. But to them, that’s not a big enough thank you. So, to help rake in even more cash, they brought in donkeys for a game of basketball at Wingo Elementary School.

They call it Donkey Basketball. It’s basically just a bunch of adults trying to play basketball while riding donkeys. As you can see in the video, things get pretty interesting.

Ashley says Alleigh is one of four kids in their community diagnosed with cancer and treated at St. Jude. “She knows what we’re doing it for,” she says. “I think that’s kind of why we do it. She knows ‘They’re not doing this for just me. They’re doing this for other families.’”

No more fake smiles for the Perkins family. Their smiles now are as real as they get.

Friday’s Donkey Basketball fundraiser helped raise $2,800 for St. Jude. If you’d like to pitch in, click here.

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Louisville basketball grad transfer target Zach Johnson is headed to Miami – The Courier-Journal


CLOSE

Mack talks about Luke Murray, Mike Pegues and Dino Guadio joining the Louisville basketball coaching staff.
Matt Stone, Courier Journal

One of the graduate transfers Louisville basketball targeted this month has committed elsewhere.

Zach Johnson, a guard who played for Florida Gulf Coast and visited Louisville’s campus on Tuesday, announced his plans to transfer to Miami on Thursday evening.

A 6-foot-2 scoring guard, Johnson averaged 16.1 points per game last season for Florida Gulf Coast. Aside from Louisville, Miami also beat Creighton in the chase.

Louisville cast a wide net on graduate transfers just after new coach Chris Mack and his staff started. 

More: Graduate transfer big board: Who’s on Louisville basketball’s radar so far?

The Cardinals’ coaches met with Fordham graduate transfer Joseph Chartouny on Friday and Wake Forest graduate transfer Keyshawn Woods on Monday. They’ll host South Carolina-Upstate graduate transfer Mike Cunningham for a campus visit in two weekends.

Louisville was also scheduled to meet with unsigned Class of 2018 guard Courtney Ramey on Wednesday, but that meeting was postponed. Ramey’s dad said there were efforts being made for a campus visit, though no date or time was set.

Mack said at a press conference two Mondays ago that Louisville’s staff wants to add guards to its 2018-19 roster, with only two — Darius Perry and Ryan McMahon — currently on scholarship.

Also: Louisville’s new coaching staff looking for guards through grad transfers

Chartouny also has Marquette, Oregon and other schools pursuing him. Woods visited Ohio State, and Cunningham visited or plans to visit Tulane, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State before Louisville.

The Cards have four open scholarships, though Mack suggested they may not fill all of them.

They’ve also expressed interest in transfers who would have to sit out next season, namely UNC-Asheville guard MaCio Teague, a Cincinnati native.



Monmouth basketball: Micah Seaborn will declare for NBA Draft without an agent – Asbury Park Press


CLOSE

UFC Atlantic City at Boardwalk Hall on April 21, 2018, will give Toms River native Frankie Edgar the opportunity to cross something off his bucket list.
Steve Feitl

WEST LONG BRANCH — From the time he arrived at Monmouth University in the summer of 2014, Micah Seaborn always had pro aspirations. 

Now, after four years as a collegian with one year of eligibility still in his pocket, Seaborn will test those waters. 

Seaborn, twice an All-MAAC selection, but coming off a junior season littered with injuries, announced on Instagram late Wednesday evening that he would enter his name into the NBA Draft, but without an agent. The early-entry deadline to do so is Sunday at 11:59 p.m. Not hiring an agent means Seaborn can maintain his one year of eligibility and return to school. 

The deadline for Seaborn to pull his name out of the draft is May 30 at 11:59 p.m.

“They’re going to dissect his game like he’s never had it picked apart before,” former Monmouth star Justin Robinson said, having been through this process a year ago, albeit with an agent following his senior season. “It’s good and bad for him at the same time because it’s going to give him perspective on where higher-ups see his game, but he’s naturally going to get frustrated with some of the opinions they have.”

If Seaborn, who turned 23 in March, decides to keep his name in, Monmouth would have an unexpected scholarship to play with. Given the May 30 deadline, head coach King Rice and his staff may not have clarity on that for some time. 

“He is an athletic wing, for sure,” one NBA scout told Gannett New Jersey. “He is an excellent defender that can guard positions one through three, but needs to be a consistent knockdown shooter. 

“He can play overseas. He is not an NBA-level player yet, but has solid upside. 

“He’s been playing for free his entire life, so I’m sure he’s ready to be paid,” Robinson said. “But I think for him, it’s more about the dream of being a professional hooper. He knows he’s talented enough, so someone would just have to take the chance on him.”

Seaborn’s commitment nine days after Easter in 2014 was viewed as a coup, a three-star scoring guard with a strong high school pedigree that could slide right in and do some damage. His having attended infamous, now-shuttered Prime Prep, though, meant academic trouble might follow. It did as Seaborn lost his entire freshman season in 2014-15 after the NCAA ruled him ineligible. 

Once eligible, Seaborn was often brilliant, playing key roles on teams that won MAAC regular-season titles in 2016 and 2017, while falling short of NCAA Tournament bids via the MAAC Tournament. 

That 2017 season ended with knee surgery, but last season began with 21 points, 10 rebounds, and two late free throws to beat eventual-Patriot League champion Bucknell. With Seaborn at the helm, despite a young roster, Monmouth was expected to compete in the top third of the MAAC, but it never panned out. Seaborn’s knee was balky, ankle and hamstring injuries crept up, and he wound up missing a total of 13 games for the various reasons. 

In 85 games, Seaborn is averaging 13.5 points on 40.6 percent shooting from the floor and 37.4 percent from 3-point range. His 1,144 career points tie him for 14th all-time at Monmouth with Dwayne Byfield and Mustapha Barksdale. 

Staff writer Josh Newman: jnewman@app.com; @Joshua_Newman



Northwestern Basketball 2019 Recruiting: Collins and staff visit Illinois Mr. Basketball EJ Liddell, point guard … – Inside NU


With its outstanding 2018 recruiting class inked and ready to go, Northwestern has turned fully to the 2019 crop of prospects.

Chris Collins, Brian James, and AJ Guyton took a trip to Belleville, Ill. on Tuesday for an in-home visit with EJ Liddell, the reigning Mr. Basketball and Gatorade Player of the Year in the state and a highly-touted four-star recruit.

Liddell, a crazy athletic 6-foot-7, 220-pound forward, led Belleville West to the Class 4A state title this past season, knocking off Chicago powerhouse Whitney Young. He averaged 20.8 points, 8.2 rebounds, 5.9 blocks (!) and 2.8 assists per game as a junior.

Naturally, there is plenty of competition for his services. Northwestern got in the game relatively late when it became his 12th offer back in December. Liddell also holds offers from Illinois, Florida (where Armon Gates is now an assistant coach/top recruiter), Ohio State, Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas State, Marquette, Missouri, and a couple others.

247 Sports’ composite rankings give him a 0.9797 rating, good for 52nd in the country and second in the state behind only Normal, Ill. big man Francis Okoro. Rivals has him ranked 42nd. 247’s lone crystal ball projection has Liddell going to Mizzou, and Illinois and Ohio State also seem to be leading candidates. NU was his third in-home visit after the Buckeyes and Illini. As is the case for any big-time recruit with an Illini offer, hundreds of Twitter users with 50 followers and an Illinois logo for their profile picture are spamming his mentions with orange and blue diamond emojis.

Is Liddell a longshot to come to Northwestern at this point? Probably. But it’s a testament to how much Chris Collins has changed the culture and perception of the program that it’s even a possibility. Maybe he’ll be enticed by the possibility of playing with Nance, Lathon, Kopp, and Young and NU will land the Illinois Mr. Basketball winner for the first time ever. If you dare to dream, here are some highlights:

There are tons more on YouTube.

Next up for an in-home visit: Paul Mulcahy

After visiting Liddell, Collins and Co. are venturing to the northeast and Bayonne, N.J. for an in-home visit with 6-foot-4 three-star point guard Paul Mulcahy on Wednesday.

Mulcahy is a crafty, lightning-quick guard with great passing skills. His offer sheet includes Xavier, Virginia Tech, Seton Hall, Rutgers, Florida, UConn, and Georgia Tech, among others. Northwestern will be his fifth in-home visit, following GT, Rutgers, Xavier and UConn.

So even though he’s just a high three-star and sits outside of the top 150 in the class at the moment, per 247 Sports’ composite, Collins will have plenty of competition to land Mulcahy.

Here’s the current short list of players Collins has offered in the 2019 class.




How Basketball Briefly Saved Me From Politics – Pacific Standard


Andrew Wiggins of the Minnesota Timberwolves (left) during game one of the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs in Houston, Texas, on April 15th, 2018.

Andrew Wiggins of the Minnesota Timberwolves (left) during game one of the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs in Houston, Texas, on April 15th, 2018.

The last time the Minnesota Timberwolves reached the NBA postseason it was 2004 and I was preparing to be done with my teens, sprinting into what I imagined would be my promising 20s. It was the height of the Kevin Garnett era, during his MVP season. The team made a run to the Western Conference Finals, where they eventually lost to the Los Angeles Lakers. Still, it was a more promising time for me, a Timberwolves fan since their early days in the league. Just three short years later, the Kevin Garnett era ended, its doom accelerated by a series of poor trades and draft picks by the franchise. The Timberwolves would go on to miss the playoffs for the next 13 straight seasons, often never even coming close.

The moment when a luxury becomes a desperately needed escape can be scary. I grew up loving and watching all manner of sports, deeply investing myself in them, timing my schedule around them and then building a schedule around the emotional space I would need to occupy if my team won or lost. Despite how much time and thought I put into it, this devotion was an enjoyable and comforting luxury. The performance of being a sports fan was an identity that made watching the event more thrilling. It was still an escape, of course, but one that I could do without, if I needed. Despite building a life around it, I didn’t see my life outside of sports fandom as so difficult to navigate that I needed the sport to tether me to the blessed escape at all times.