Latest posts by Mike Sandrolini (see all)
By MIKE SANDROLINI
PROVISO | Proviso West’s girls track team turned in a strong performance at last Friday’s Reavis Class 3A sectional, finishing in fourth place as a team with 62 points and qualifying three relay teams and three individuals for this weekend’s state meet in Charleston.
The Lady Panthers’ 4×100- and 4×200-meter relay teams raced to first-place finishes while the 4×400 squad placed fourth, but registered a time that beat the state qualifying standard.
The 4×100 team, consisting of Zacaria Fisher, Tanayea Kimbrough, Marcedes Jackson and TeArra Winters, raced to first in a time of 48.71 seconds. Tanayea Kimbrough, Tarshana Kimbrough, Cameryn Fisher and Zacaria Fisher handily won the 4×200 in 1:43.47—over a second faster than the second-place team from Lyons Township.
The two Kimbroughs, Cameryn Fisher and TeArra Winters’ fourth-place time of 4:00.26 in the 4×400 was well under the state qualifying standard (4:04.48) for this event.
As for the individual events, junior Tanayea Kimbrough placed second in the 100 (12.56 seconds), while junior Marcedes Jackson jumped 16 feet, 2 inches in the long jump, also good for second place. Talia Robinson, also a junior, finished second in the 400 in 58.52 seconds.
First- and second-place finishers in individual and relay events automatically qualify for state from each sectional. At-large qualifiers must be at, or under, the state qualifying standard time in each event in order to go downstate.
At the St. Ignatius sectional held last Thursday, Proviso East failed to qualify anyone for the state meet, either individually or as a relay team. East finished 11th out of 12 clubs in the team standings.
The Lady Pirates’ 4×100 team of senior Dominique Wallace, juniors Dadrianna Gibson and Emani Washington and sophomore Moneesha Gay placed sixth in a time of 52.97 seconds, but that time was short of the 49.45 seconds needed to qualify for state.
Also taking sixth was the Pirates’ 4×200 relay team, consisting of Gibson, gay Washington and freshman Sherline Edwards, who turned in a time of 1:52.63 (the qualifying standard is 1:45.69).
Individually, Wallace finished fifth in the 300-meter low hurdles in 49.09 seconds (46.91 is the qualifying time).
The former Proviso East all-stater, who along with teammate Ben Moore played their final seasons at SMU this spring and left the school as the two winningest players in SMU history, said toward the end of the 2016-17 season that he wants to follow his older brother, Shannon Brown, into the NBA.
The 6-6 guard isn’t expected to go high in the June NBA Draft, but Draft Express’ 2017 mock draft has him going to the New York Knicks as the 58th player taken overall. Sterling’s teammate, Semi Ojeleye, a junior power forward, has been picked going higher in several mock drafts.
Among all seniors who are eligible for the NBA draft, however, Sterling is ranked the 15th best senior by draftexpress.com. His 6-6 frame will work in his favor as NBA teams like big guards.
Brown participated in the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament—the oldest amateur tournament in the nation and a postseason camp conducted for seniors only. Brown’s teammate at Proviso East, Paris Lee—the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year this past season—also played at Portsmouth.
“I felt like I held my own and I did pretty good in this setting,” Brown told draftexpresss.com in a recent interview. “I hope they (NBA scouts) can take away that I played with the best of them.”
Sterling said he got insight into what it takes to play in the NBA from watching his brother.
“I saw what it took and all the hard work he put in at all levels,” he told draftexpress.com. “That gave me a little drive. I know I’ve got a lot of room for improvement and I’ve just got to keep working like they tell me. He’s (Shannon Brown) crazy athletic. He can really do everything. I’m starting to come into my athleticism. I feel that I can handle the ball a little better and create plays for others but I’ve got more work to do.”
Brown told the website he just plans on working hard every day and see what happens when the NBA Draft rolls around June 22.
“Not just focus on one aspect, trying to get better in all areas,” he said. “I feel that I’m progressing pretty well, but I’ve got to get more of a defensive mindset going into this first year as a pro. That’s what coaches, my agent and scouts say they want to see from me.”
If neither Sterling nor Paris Lee gets drafted by an NBA squad, there’s always a chance either could be drafted by an NBA Development League team (that draft takes place either the last week of October or the first week of November). Or, they could opt to play overseas.
Dee Brown, another former Proviso East standout, played professionally overseas for a number of years. He was drafted by the Utah Jazz in 2006, but after a year with the Jazz, he then went to the Washington Wizards, Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks—spending time with those teams but also playing overseas in Turkey and Israel. He was released by the Mavericks in 2010, and then turned his attention exclusively to international basketball.
He competed with 10 teams over an eight-year span. After his pro career overseas ended following the 2014-15 season, Dee returned to his alma mater, the University of Illinois, where he was named Director of Player Development and Alumni Relations for the men’s basketball program. He resigned from that position last September, citing personal reasons.
Dee is back in the Chicago area, working as director of business development for a company.
A two-sport star (football and track) for Proviso East who went on to start at safety for Notre Dame, Brown was signed by the Buffalo Bills late in the 2016 season. He saw action in eight games, completing his seventh NFL campaign. Brown was cut by the Atlanta Falcons before the start of the season. He signed a three-year contract with Jacksonville in 2015, but was cut after one year.
Brown is no longer on the Bills’ active roster and is an unrestricted free agent going into the 2017 season.
It will be an interesting off-season, to say the least, for Doc Rivers, team president and head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers who, minus star forward Blake Griffin, were ousted in the first round of the playoffs by Utah. Griffin and guards Chris Paul and J.J. Redick are free agents, and there was speculation earlier this year that Rivers could be heading back to Orlando—where he began his NBA coaching career—for a front-office job. But that’s something Rivers dismissed in March.
Despite the uncertainty roster-wise, Rivers has one goal: to win an NBA championship in Los Angeles.
“I can tell you I do this for one reason, and that is to be the winner (in the NBA championship),” said Rivers in his season-ending press conference earlier this month. “I decided that a while ago. I no longer want to be in the party. I want to be the party. I told my players that when you set yourself up that way, you’re going to have a ton of disappointment. I told them that four years ago. You have to have your mind set that you can keep building and keep doing it. So that’s my mindset.”
Prater, a former high school all-American wide receiver at Proviso West, was at Concordia University in River Forest last Saturday, helping out with a high school level training session for varsity level receivers and quarterbacks, affiliated with Next Level Athletix Quarterback Training.
Prater, who began his collegiate career at Southern California but later transferred to Northwestern, spent the 2016 preseason with the New Orleans Saints. He was eventually waived by the Saints.
He will be featured in the Thursday, May 25 issue of the West Suburban Journal.