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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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Tuesday / July 16.
  • LOS ANGELES (AP) — John Wooden, college basketball’s gentlemanly Wizard of Westwood who built one of the greatest dynasties in all of sports at UCLA and became one of the most revered coaches ever, has died. He was 99.

    The university said Wooden died Friday night of natural causes at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, where he had been since May 26.

    Wooden remained beloved by many of his former players, several of whom visited him in recent days to say their goodbyes.

    Sources close to the Monmouth University athletic department said the family of Travis Taylor is going to start the appeals process for his total unconditional release and that the family is “livid that the school is denying him his total unconditional release.”

    Taylor, a 6-foot-7 sophomore from Union, N.J. who averaged 17.8 points and 7.6 rebounds last season, requested his release in late May and was ultimately told by Dr. Marilyn McNeil, the school’s AD,  that he would get a conditional release that would prevent him from going to any school on Monmouth’s schedule next season.

    “It is true that we said we would not give permission to give contact to any school that is on the schedule,” McNeil said Friday in a phone interview.

    Asked if the Taylor family had obtained a copy of the schedule, she added: “I believe it [the schedule] was emailed” to the family.

    **Photos courtesy Lonnie Webb Photography**

    GREENBURGH, N.Y. — JayVaughn Pinkston spent part of last summer cooped up in a classroom at Bishop Loughlin High School while his friends were out playing summer ball.

    He didn’t want to do it, but he had to in order to get his academics right.

    “I felt that it was important for me to get my grades up,” the Villanova-bound Pinkston said Thursday night after scoring 15 points as the Blue team downed the White squad, 124-112, in the 3rd Annual Frankie Williams Charity Classic at the Theodore D. Young Community Center. The game was sponsored by Frenji Sports.

    On Saturday his hard work will pay off when Pinkston will become the first member of his family to graduate from high school. On Sunday, he will head to summer school at Villanova.

    Will LeBron James‘ summer movie delay the timeframe on when he signs?

    Brian Windhorst, the Cleveland Plain Dealer beat writer who may be closer to James than any other reporter in the nation, says the delays in casting James’ movie could push his impending free agency decision “past the 15th [of July].”

    The film — originally called “Fantasy Basketball Camp” and now named “Ballers” — will begin filming in “late August,” James told Larry King in the CNN interview that airs Friday.

    James plays the head of a camp who gets involved in the lives of “some averages Joes living out their basketball dreams,” according to the Plain Dealer.

    James told King they are “older guys…who wish they could be LeBron James or Kobe Bryant, but they come to my camp and, you know, they have a lot of the same privileges as the NBA guys. So it’s going to be fun.”

    Rutgers officially announced that rising junior guard Tyree Graham has signed a scholarship agreement to play for the Scarlet Knights.

    He will have two years of eligibility remaining and figures to take over Mike Rosario’s vacated shooting guard spot.

    “Yessir,” Graham told SNY.tv last month. “That’s exactly it. I think Mike Rosario is a very good player. He will be a professional player someday. I wouldn’t mind to come in to be called upon to do some of the same things he did.”

    A First Team All-Region 10 selection at Brunswick Community College (N.C.) this past season and a former North Carolina High School First Team All-State choice, Graham played his freshman season (2008-09) at Texas Tech.

    Ryan Arcidiacono drove to the hoop for a reverse layup last Friday night at the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions in North Carolina when an opposing player undercut him and sent him flying to the floor.

    “The kid shoved me and took my legs out and my face hit the ground pretty hard,” recalled Arcidiacono, a 16-year-old rising junior at Neshaminy (Pa.) High School. “It just hurt. It felt like I had a golf ball in my face. I had blood on my hands. It was just gushing blood.”

    It was after midnight when Gene Rice, Arcidiacono’s AAU coach with the PA Playaz, took his 6-foot-4, 190-pound point guard to the Wake Forest University Medical Center where he took eight stitches in the forehead.

    “The doctor said if it was his kid he wouldn’t let me play [the next day],” Arcidiacono said.

    Kadeem Jack took an unofficial visit to Rutgers on Wednesday, but says he’s still planning on attending South Kent (Conn.) next season for a prep year.

    “It was a great experience,” the 6-foot-9 Jack said in a phone interview. “I went up there on the campus a little bit. I met with the players.”

    Jack, a senior at Manhattan Rice High School, visited with his mentor, Damian Leslie, who has a relationship with new Rutgers assistant Van Macon. He also played pickup with the team.

    “I ran with them a little bit,” he said.

    Jack said he’s still planning on prepping next year at South Kent alongside 2011 UConn commit Maurice Harkless of Forest Hills (Queens) High.

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