January 12, 2001 |
Bill Ellerbee is not exactly new to coaching basketball at Simon Gratz High, so he had to think for a moment. And another moment. . . He munched on a postgame snack as he pondered and then, finally, he was ready to answer. "Pwobably not," he said through a full mouth. The question: Has Ellerbee, Gratz's coach for 19 seasons, ever coached a player who has made more improvement from junior year to senior year than 6-4 small forward Michael Cuffee? After the "pwobably not" response, Ellerbee mentioned Lynard Stewart, who was the 1994 Daily News City Player of the Year and then enjoyed a fine career at Temple.
October 24, 2000 |
They are two kids applying to the same college. Al has high test scores but performs badly in interviews. George has a mixed record on paper but shines in person. OK, you're the admissions director. Who gets in? Let's look at Al's file. A quarter-century of Washington experience capped by eight years as vice president. A hard-working student on issues both domestic and foreign. A spirited White House loyalist. Decided early that this is where he wants to go. George is a different kettle of fish.
August 13, 2000 |
Mike McDermott can't offer a precise reason for his breakthrough golf summer. He concedes that he is putting better, but the improvement in his iron play hasn't been that exceptional. He can crush a drive more than 300 yards, but length has never been a problem. Still, something has had to contribute to McDermott's play, which includes the Pennsylvania Amateur championship, a runner-up finish in the Philadelphia Amateur after a 38-hole title match, and a berth in next week's U.S. Amateur at historic Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, N.J. Simply expressed, in McDermott's words, "I've learned how to play.
April 27, 2000 |
You never really know where you will find a "player. " Some of the guys on everybody's "list" turn out to be guys who were high school heroes and college wannabes. And some guys who fall through the cracks turn out to be difference makers. St. Joseph's hopes it has found a player who, one day, can make a difference. John Bryant, a 6-7 forward from Woodbridge (Va.) High, isn't on any of the lists. But his coach is convinced he will be a player. Bryant has committed to St. Joe's and will be sending his letter of intent along in a few days.
March 11, 2000 |
Robert Georges spends all his sports time bouncing a ball or bouncing off the balls of his feet. You want a dunk where the guy almost jumps through the basket? Georges is your man. You want sensational efforts in track and field's assorted jumping events? Ditto. "Monday I went to the gym to shoot around, play a little one-on-one and work on my dunks," Georges said. "Tuesday I chilled. Wednesday I went back to the gym. Thursday I chilled. Today I went to track practice and then came over here.
January 11, 2000 |
Todd MacCulloch's statistics with the 76ers - averaging 5.4 points and 3.9 rebounds in 31 games - don't jump off the page at you. But his status as a late bloomer, a late second-round draft choice (No. 47) and a 7-footer with a huge upside fascinates basketball people. That seems to be part of the reason the NBA placed him on the Rookie squad for the Rookie Challenge on Feb. 12 in Oakland, Calif., that will be part of All-Star Weekend. To accommodate last season's rookies who missed an opportunity to play in the Rookie All-Star Game because the events were erased by the lockout, this year's game will match this season's rookies against a team of second-year players.
December 9, 1999 |
Mark Smith used to wave to his parents in the stands every time he was pinned. But he was 4 at the time and didn't know any better. Wrestling was something to do, a fun thing. That's the way it started for the Upper Perkiomen sophomore. However, he has transformed himself from someone who admittedly was not very good to one of the best 145-pound wrestlers in the state. He has done it with a style that often leaves opponents confounded. "Everything you teach a kid to normally do, Mark does the opposite, and it works out well for him," Upper Perkiomen coach Tom Hontz said.
July 29, 1999 |
It took a while for the pieces to come together for Bustleton Legion Post 810 this summer. But when the players did, coach John Cichonski said, they were fun to watch. Bustleton, which finished the regular season tied for third place with Ivy Ridge, rumbled through three straight playoff series to win the Philadelphia County American Legion League baseball title last week. The title was Post 810's third in the last five years. The championship gave Post 810 a berth in this week's double-elimination Region 3 tournament in Spring City.
February 13, 1999 |
Say it's 2 a.m. tomorrow, and you're just slinking home from a night of poker with the boys. Suddenly it comes to you: It's Valentine's Day. Where you gonna go? If you're Brian Brackeen, you know one reliable answer: Trolley Stop Florists. About 1:30 yesterday morning, Brackeen was already there, preparing to butter up his girlfriend, Lenise Hicks. "Usually I wait till the last minute to do everything," said Brackeen, 21, a manager in the computer department at Comcast's Northeast Philadelphia call center.
February 1, 1999 |
Some girls hit their peak while playing high school sports, but others are just getting started. Put Karisa McMorris in the latter group. The Camden County College sophomore has blossomed since hitting the junior-college basketball circuit. "I never really thought I would do as good as I'm doing," said McMorris, a 5-foot-8 guard and forward. "But I wanted to be where I am. I just enjoyed the sport of basketball and always wanted to have some success at it in college. " McMorris was a solid player at Clearview High School, finishing with 960 career points and averaging about 14 points a game for her four years on the varsity.