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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Saturday / September 23.
  • Aug 31, 2015; New York, NY, USA; Serena Williams of the United States serves to Vitalia Diatchenko of Russia on day one of the 2015 US Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

    Serena Williams took the first step toward the Grand Slam on Monday night. Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

    NEW YORK — One down, six to go.

    Serena Williams needed only half an hour Monday night to take the first step toward winning the Grand Slam when Russian Vitalia Diatchenko retired down 6-2, 2-0, in front of a packed crowd inside Arthur Ashe Stadium at the U.S. Open.

    Diatchenko was bothered by an foot injury and seemed overwhelmed from the start. She trailed 5-0 after 12 minutes and after calling for the trainer a second time, she threw in the towel and shook Serena’s hand.

    Total points won: Serena 32, Diatchenko 5.

    “I told her I was proud of her for even coming out and making this effort for being injured even before she got out here,” Serena said on court. “It was a great effort and hopefully we’ll be able to play again soon.”

    Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 2.25.29 PMBy JACK LeGWIN

    Frank Jackson will announce his college decision on Tuesday, with Duke the presumptive favorite.

    One of the top point guards in the Class of 2016, Jackson averaged 24 points, 4 rebounds, 2.7 assists in 10 games for the Utah Prospects on the Adidas Gauntlet.

    Jackson, ranked No. 13 in the class of 2016 by 247 Sports, has been predicted to go to Duke by 100 percent of experts. 

    "CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - NBPA Players Association Top 100 Camp at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville Virginia on June 18, 2015. (Photo by Kelly Kline/Under Armour)"

    Shamorie Ponds could be closing in on a college decision. (Photo by Kelly Kline/Under Armour)

    Shamorie Ponds will huddle with his family on Monday night following his official visit to St. John’s and it’s possible a decision could be forthcoming.

    “We’re going to sit down, we’re going to have a long, long talk later on today [Monday] over dinner because it was a whole bunch for a 17-year-old to digest,” Shawn Ponds, the player’s father, told SNY.tv Monday morning. “I explained to him that we’re going to sit down over dinner and I’m going to hear him out, what he loves about it, if he can handle it.”

    Asked if they could make a decision Monday night, Shawn said, “Yes.”

    Mohammed BambaMohamed Bamba has had a busy couple of days.

    The 6-foot-11 2017 star out of Westtown (Pa.) School and the PSA Cardinals AAU program visited St. John’s, Wake Forest and Duke unofficially in the past few days. He was at St. John’s Aug. 24 and then hit the ACC schools on the weekend.

    After a big summer in which he picked up offers from numerous schools, including Kentucky and Duke, the Harlem native is now ranked No. 8 in the Class of 2017 by ESPN.com and No. 4 by Scout.com.

    “I attribute that to all the hard work I’ve done in the gym,” Bamba told Scout.com during the recent Nike Select visit to the Bahamas. “I’m just not known nationally now for no reason. Everything happens for a reason, and I worked for it. I think I worked for it.”