Another view on LeBron James …

I enjoyed Bryant Gumbel’s thoughts on the Lebron James to Miami discussion. This is what he said at the conclusion of this week’s HBO Real Sports segment …This is a transcript provided by the network..

Gumbel: Finally tonight, a few words about championship rings. Just when did they become the all-important barometer of who does or doesn’t count in sports? When did they supersede personal excellence or exemplary character as a standard of greatness? (to continue, click thread).

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Things H.S football players think about … This is the kid who doesn’t want to be Rudy

You can find anything from google searches, so I thought I would give you random questions from high school football players around the country. I don’t know where or when this kid wrote this, but I’m sure it applies to HS football players everywhere. If you’re a player in the Valley and have a question that you would like our bloggers to discuss, you can email me anonymously and I will post it for you. Send to….Anyway, here’s today’s question/dilema

HS player writes: I’m an incoming sophomore getting ready for summer ball, season, etc. This is my 2nd year of football, and i didn’t start as a freshmen. Coach is already favoring his starters in spring ball. When we do 7 on 7 he gets the linebackers (my position) that don’t know what to do mentally. I know everything I must do mentally, and physically, I’m real fast and pretty strong. Football isn’t fun to me at all. It’s all just hard hard work just to…well.. be someones backup. I’m not content with being a backup. (to continue click thread).

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What would Azusa Pacific leaving the NAIA for NCAA Division II do for area athletes and the San Gabriel Valley’s fan base?

If you haven’t been to an APU football game you’re missing out. It’s the closest thing we have to a small town college atmosphere. They draw more fans locally than anyone other than Bishop Amat. Not just in football, but in all sports. It’s by far the area’s best sports school in terms of fan support.

With Cal Baptist leaving the NAIA to Division II, Azusa Pacific is expected to follow next year and would likely join the CCAA with Cal Poly, Pomona, an intriguing possibility that could create a much needed area rivalry among the valley college athletic powers. In football, APU already has a huge fan base competing in the NAIA, where it won a national title in 1997, but the bump to Division II would be even more appealing to area players — and area coaches such as South Hills’ Steve Bogan, who would likely be interested if the job ever became available. Read Michelle Gardner’s story in today’s Tribune, she examines the possibilities: Cal Poly Pomona men’s basketball coach Greg Kamansky can’t help but be a bit concerned these days. He has been successful with limited resources in leading the Broncos to an NCAA national championship four months ago and an appearance in the title came the previous year, but Division II is changing and it’s likely to make his job even tougher. California Baptist, an NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) power, is among eight schools whose application to move into the NCAA Division II was accepted earlier this week.

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When the glare of Friday Night Lights stares down on them, who will become your next rising stars?

You know most of the big names, but how about the newcomers, surprises and first-year varsity players expected to make an impact. You know that Jay Anderson isn’t returning his senior season at Bishop Amat, but all I’ve heard is great things about junior running backs Jalen Moore and Zachary Shay, whom coach Steve Hagerty described as “pure” football players. Speaking of which, Hagerty is extremely impressed with sophomore tight end Sal Velasquez, a 6-foot transfer from Los Altos whom Hagerty said, “Is a kid that was a Lancer and didn’t even know it. It was in his DNA. If I could draw a Lancer on the board, he would be it. He comes in, works hard in the weight room, works hard on the field and is unfazed by things. You can tell a lot by how a kid works, and he gets it.” How are those for strong words. You want more, we asked coaches to list their top newcomers, here a a few, Covina lists sophomore RB Gevontray Ainsworth and linebacker Justin Turner, Baldwin Park likes junior QB Ray Bosque, Azusa is counting on junior LB Eric Perez, Glendora naming junior RB/LB Cory Victoria, Duarte naming practically everyone (which includes Sr. QB Anthony Martinez), Workman loves Jr. QB Val Cervantes, Gladstone RB/LB Carlos Gomez, Northview going with a pair of sophomores in RB/WR Javon Taylor and LB/TE Roy Torres, just to name a few …. Now it’s your turn, lets hear your predictions on the Valley’s next rising stars. We want to hear it here first.

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Is there any doubt that Glendora-Charter Oak should lead the way in week zero? Um, can we move the Smudge Pot to Thursday?

I had a fun conversation with Glendora quarterback Chad Jeffries yesterday, who wasn’t short on predictions. One, he said junior Donovan Holmes, the younger brother of Andre Holmes, is an absolute stud and will be a huge part of their offense in the backfield. He said he was glad he made his decision early to go to San Diego State so he could concentrate on the season, and said we should make the Week 0 Charter Oak and Glendora the game of the week, because they’ve got some surprises for the two-time defending champion Chargers. You got to love his confidence, when I asked where they should be in the Trib rankings, he said No. 1, then laughed and said no lower than No. 3, though I know he really felt they deserved the No. 1 tag. The smartest team of all is Ganesha, they will have the stage to themsleves by kicking off our season with a Thursday night game on Sept. 2 (too bad Bonita and San Dimas couldn’t play on Thursday, it would have been the biggest Smudge Pot ever). As far as who gets the Friday night game of the week, is there anything better than Glendora-Charter Oak? I know San Dimas-Bonita is tradition, it’s for the Smudge, but for pure football anticipation Jeffries is right, Glendora-Charter Oak is No. 1. For the fun of it, I will rank who we feel are the most important games as far as coverage.

Thursday, September 2
Ganesha at Montclair, 7 p.m.
Friday, September 3
1. Charter Oak vs. Glendora at Citrus College, 7 p.m.
2. San Dimas at Bonita, 7 p.m.
3. Rowland at Baldwin Park, 7 p.m.
4. Garfield vs. Bishop Amat at East Los Angeles College, 7 p.m.
5. Covina at West Covina, 7 p.m.
6. Nogales at Diamond Bar, 7 p.m.
7. Ontario at Arroyo, 7 p.m.
8. Los Altos at El Rancho, 7 p.m.
9. Diamond Ranch vs. Santa Margarita at Saddleback College, 7 p.m.
10. Ayala at Don Lugo, 7 p.m.
11. Garey at Pomona, 7 p.m.
12. Bassett at Keppel, 7 p.m.
13. Chino Hills vs. Mayfair at Bellflower, 7 p.m.

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Jordan Canada finally gets his scholarship

Scouting Guru writes: South Hills Running Back Jordan Canada – who recently graduated from South Hills High School three weeks ago – was offered a full scholarship at the University of Montana and has signed a letter of intent to play for the University of Montana. Canada, a first-team All-Montview League selection in 2008, didn’t play in 2009 when the California Interscholastic Federation’s Southern Section Office ruled him ineligible to play for the 2009 season. Canada also had an offer coming off his junior year from New Mexico State University. (to continue click thread).

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