Monday, January 28, 2013

Chris Kobayashi

Finally, he may only be an eighth-grader, but don’t be surprised if you hear the name Chris Kobayashi in the years ahead. The Punahou middle-schooler is a fleet-footed receiver in football, a sure-handed setter in volleyball, and a scoring machine as a basketball guard. Recently, in a big AAU tournament in Las Vegas where he played for coach Tes Whitlock, Kobayashi had high scoring games of 44 points, 39 points and 33 points (twice).

The neat thing about his story is that family friend Derrick Low came to watch him play. Kobayashi has known the former Iolani superstar since the age of 5. And like Low, who also was raising eyebrows with his amazing scoring efforts back in junior high, Kobayashi “played up” by competing in the 14-under and 15-under division as well as his 13-under age group.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Lance Armstrong admits it

Saying his "mythic, perfect story" was "one big lie," Lance Armstrong admitted that he used banned drugs or blood transfusions during most of his famed cycling career, including all seven of his victories in the Tour de France.

"I will spend the rest of my life trying to earn back trust and apologize to people," Armstrong told talk-show host Oprah Winfrey in an interview that aired Thursday night.

Armstrong, 41, said he started taking performance-enhancing drugs in the mid-1990s and that his "cocktail" of choice was banned testosterone, EPO and blood transfusions using his own boosted blood.

He disputed that he doped during his comeback in 2009 and 2010, saying the last time he "crossed the line" with banned substances was in 2005, his last victory in the Tour de France.

After denying doping allegations for several years, Armstrong said he failed to tell the truth because he got swept up in the "momentum" of his own legend. He was the cancer survivor turned superhero, the squeaky clean rider waving the American flag in victory.

"It just gets going and I lost myself in all that," Armstrong said.

He also said he didn't think he could compete if he didn't turn to doping because doping was so pervasive in cycling. "I didn't invent the culture, but I didn't try to stop the culture," Armstrong said.

The 90-minute broadcast was taped Monday in Austin, Texas, Armstrong's hometown. A second portion of the interview will air Friday night.

LeBron youngest to 20K

OAKLAND, Calif. -- LeBron James has become the youngest player in NBA history to score 20,000 points.

James eclipsed the milestone Wednesday night against the Golden State Warriors when he made a short jumper with 2:45 left in the second quarter to give him 20,001 career points. He needed 18 points entering the game to be the 38th NBA player to reach the mark.

The previous youngest to score 20,000 points was Lakers star Kobe Bryant, who got there when he was 29 years, 122 days old. James was 28 years, 17 days on Wednesday.

In the first quarter, James also found Dwyane Wade slicing down the lane for his 5,000th career assist. He is the 13th player with 20,000 points and 5,000 assists.

James already was the youngest player in league history to win Rookie of the Year, record a triple-double, score 1,000 points, score 10,000 points and win MVP honors at an All-Star Game. Only Bryant, Wilt Chamberlain (29 years, 134 days) and Michael Jordan (29 years, 326 days) reached the latest milestone before turning 30.

James also is the 13th player with 20,000 points and 5,000 assists. The only active players to reach both marks are Bryant and Boston's Kevin Garnett.

Manti's girlfriend

In a statement released today, Te'o said he was a victim of a "humiliating" hoax.

His statement came soon after the website reported that Te'o's purported girlfriend, who was said to have died in September, never existed. The website ran the story today under the headline "Blarney."
In a statement issued by his representatives, Te'o said: "This is incredibly embarrassing to talk about, but over a period (of) months I developed an emotional relationship with a woman I met online. We maintained what I thought to be an authentic relationship by communicating frequently online and on the phone, and I grew to care deeply about her."

Te'o, a 2009 Punahou School graduate, was much celebrated for playing through the announced deaths of a grandmother and girlfriend in a 24-hour period in September and performing well in Notre Dame's 20-3 upset of then-10th ranked Michigan State.

Days before the game, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly told the media Sept. 13 that Te'o "lost some people very close to him and it's obviously taken a toll on him."

"Our players have been there for him and have been a great support. We'll support him," Kelly said. "He'll be with us. He practiced. He'll be playing Saturday against Michigan State. Unfortunately, he's gone through a very rough 24, 48 hours."

Kelly added: "But his support and his family at home have been great, and all of the coaches and players have been there for him. He wants to be with his teammates, he wants to be with the people that care about him. He's a strong man and he's going through a tough time, but he'll rise to the occasion."

His grandmother, Annette Santiago, died Sept. 11, 2012, at age 72. 

But the alleged girlfriend, Lennay Marie Kekua, who was reported to be a Stanford student, does not exist, Deadspin said.

The heartwarming story was reported on ESPN, Sports Illustrated, in the Star-Advertiser and many media outlets and helped boost Teo's stock for a runner-up Heisman Trophy finish and seven major awards.


more from deadspin


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Manti speaks to ESPN


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Wednesday, January 09, 2013

and the 2013 Hall of Fame inductees are ...

No one was elected to the Hall of Fame this year. When voters closed the doors to Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa, they also shut out everybody else.

For only the second time in four decades, baseball writers failed to give any player the 75 percent required for induction to Cooperstown, sending a powerful signal that stars of the Steroids Era will be held to a different standard.

All the awards and accomplishments collected over long careers by Bonds, Clemens and Sosa could not offset suspicions those feats were boosted by performance-enhancing drugs.

Voters also denied entry Wednesday to fellow newcomers Craig Biggio, Mike Piazza and Curt Schilling, along with holdovers Jack Morris, Jeff Bagwell and Lee Smith.

Biggio, 20th on the career list with 3,060 hits, appeared on 68.2 percent of the 569 ballots, the highest total but 39 votes shy. The three newcomers with the highest profiles failed to come close to even majority support, with Clemens at 37.6 percent, Bonds at 36.2 and Sosa at 12.5.

Other top vote-getters were Morris (67.7), Jeff Bagwell (59.6), Piazza (57.8), Tim Raines (52.2), Lee Smith (47.8) and Schilling (38.8).

Bonds, baseball's only seven-time Most Valuable Player, hit 762 home runs, including a record 73 in 2001. He was indicted on charges he lied to a grand jury in 2003 when he denied using PEDs but a jury two years ago failed to reach a verdict on three counts he made false statements and convicted him on one obstruction of justice count, finding he gave an evasive answer.

''It is unimaginable that the best player to ever play the game would not be a unanimous first-ballot selection,'' said Jeff Borris of the Beverly Hills Sports Council, Bonds' longtime agent.

Clemens, the only seven-time Cy Young Award winner, is third in career strikeouts (4,672) and ninth in wins (354). He was acquitted last year on one count of obstruction of Congress, three counts of making false statements to Congress and two counts of perjury, all stemming from his denials of drug use.

Since 1961, the only years the writers didn't elect a candidate had been when Yogi Berra topped the 1971 vote by appearing on 67 percent of the ballots cast and when Phil Niekro headed the 1996 ballot at 68 percent - both got in the following years. The other BBWAA elections without a winner were in 1945, 1946, 1950, 1958 and 1960.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Boise State staying in MWC

Boise State has backed out on a commitment to join the Big East and will remain a member of the Mountain West in 2013 — and San Diego State could be next to reverse course.

Boise State and the Mountain West announced Monday they had come to an agreement to keep the Broncos playing in the league they have been a part of the past two seasons.

“Without question, conference affiliation has been an odyssey for Boise State, with all the unexpected turns and changes that term suggests,” Boise State University President Robert Kustra said in statement. “The benefits of geographic footprint, revenue, and national exposure have to be balanced against the changing circumstances of conference realignment. I am confident that our Mountain West membership is the very best decision for Boise State University, our student-athletes and our incredible fan base.”

Boise State, which left the Western Athletic Conference for the Mountain West after the 2010 season, is still on the hook to pay a $5 million exit fee to the Big East, though the school says there are “provisions” that could make it less. Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson said the conference will help Boise State pay its exit fee.

The Broncos were scheduled to join the Big East next year for football only. Boise State’s other sports were going to compete in the Big West. But more recent defections from the Big East made Boise State reconsider. And the Broncos were able to cut a sweet deal with the Mountain West that could allow Boise State to cash in on its popular and perennially powerful football program.

The Mountain West recently restructured its television deal with CBS Sports Network to allow the conference to sell games to other national networks. The deal, which runs through the 2015-16 season, will net a $300,000 bonus for schools that appear on ESPN, ESPN2, NBC, CBS or Fox, with an additional bonus of $200,000 for a Saturday game.

Under its new agreement with the Mountain West, Boise State home football games will not be part of the current or future Mountain West television rights contracts, Kustra said. The school’s home games will be sold separately by the conference and the university and revenue will be distributed among league members. But Boise State can make extra money by being on national television more often than its conference mates.