Surfing to be official HS sport in Hawaii

552182.jpg

Surfing to be official HS sport in Hawaii

From Comcast SportsNet
HONOLULU (AP) -- Football wears the crown in Hawaii, but the real sport of kings is surfing. Hawaiian chiefs and royalty used to glide across the Pacific centuries ago as form of expression, to show courage and to compete. Today, it's big business and people ride waves across the world. "Hawaii is the birthplace of surfing," Gov. Neil Abercrombie said. "From Duke Kahanamoku to the thousands of residents and visitors who surf both recreationally and competitively, the sport is rooted in our culture and way of life." Abercrombie's comments come as Hawaii prepares to become the first state in the nation to make surfing an official high school sport, joining the likes of football, basketball, volleyball and swimming, starting as early as spring 2013. "It's quite clear, when you think of Hawaii, you think of surfing," said Abercrombie, with Waikiki beach behind him. The news conference was held near the statue of Kahanamoku, an island icon and Olympic gold medal swimmer known as the father of modern surfing. The Aloha State is known for its world-class surf breaks and competitions. It is home to many pro surfers and has produced several world champions including Hawaii's Carissa Moore, who this summer became the youngest world champion at 18. "I think it's awesome, and it will open doors for kids," said Moore, who welcomed the announcement. She said the sport taught her many life lessons growing up, such as hard work, perseverance, and time management. "Surfing and riding a wave is so much like life. You fall down over and over again, but you keep picking yourself back up until you ride one all the way to the beach," Moore said. "I know that's kind of cheesy, but I think surfing is definitely a really good outlet for a lot of teens and young kids. It's a way to channel a lot of energy into something positive. It's just really awesome." Hawaii has the only statewide public school district in the nation, which means surfing will be offered as a sanctioned prep sport in schools across the islands. Moore said it's "overdue." "I went through high school without it being a part the sports curriculum," she said. "It definitely was hard trying to find my own path and trying to convince my teachers that this is something that's really important to me and trying to find time and all that." The state Department of Education is working with the newly appointed Board of Education on developing a plan to implement surfing. Judging will be done similar to pro surf meets and there will be an individual boys and girls champions, as well as team champions, similar to golfing, said education board member Keith Amemiya, former head of the Hawaii High School Athletic Association. The board approved surfing in May 2004, but funding, safety concerns, liability and other challenges prevented the sport from becoming sanctioned. Amemiya said surfing often attracts athletes that may not be interested in traditional sports like football, baseball and soccer. "In our view, the more students that engage in athletics and other afterschool activities, the higher our student achievement rates will become," he said. With the addition of surfing, students in Hawaii public schools will have 19 different sports, believed to be the most of the nation -- from air riflery to bowling -- producing 44 state champions every year. Amemiya said the estimated cost of surfing in the first year about 150,000, with 50,000 already committed through private sources. "Because of these lean fiscal times, none of the DOE funding will be used to run the events," he said. "We're counting on the private sector and the public." The financially-strapped state is confident it will receive the necessary funding gauging from the interest from the community and corporate sponsors.

Saturday on CSN: Bradley vs. Nevada; Illinois State vs. New Mexico

parislee-1202.jpg
USA TODAY

Saturday on CSN: Bradley vs. Nevada; Illinois State vs. New Mexico

CSN will have two quality college basketball matchups on Saturday as two Mountain West/Missouri Valley Challenge games will be featured live.

Bradley (4-3) has Nevada (6-2) in town for a 7 p.m. game Saturday on CSN while Illinois State (3-2) will host New Mexico (5-2) at 7 p.m. Saturday on CSN+.

The Braves have alternated wins and losses all season as they hope to build momentum off of a road win over Eastern Illinois.

Freshman guard Darrell Brown paces Bradley at 15.3 points per game on 48 percent three-point shooting while junior guard JoJo McGlaston is putting up 12.7 points and 4.6 rebounds per contest.

Nevada enters this one winning four of their last five games as senior guard Marcus Marshall is averaging 20.0 points and 3.9 assists per game. Sophomore forward Cameron Oliver has been generating some pro buzz as he's averaging 16.8 points and 6.4 rebounds per game while shooting 44 percent from three-point range.

In the second contest, Illinois State is hoping for a key non-conference win against a quality opponent. Senior forward Deontae Hawkins is doing some solid damage as he's averaging 16.0 points and 7.6 rebounds per game while junior forward MiKyle McIntosh is at 14.2 points and 7.2 rebounds a game.

Proviso East product Paris Lee is also having a good year at guard for Illinois State.

New Mexico is led by a former area product as Homewood-Flossmoor graduate Tim Williams is averaging 19.0 points and 6.9 rebounds per game for the Lobos. Junior guard Elijah Brown, the son of former NBA coach Mike Brown, is also playing well for New Mexico as he's putting up 15.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game.

Doug McDermott cleared for contact; could return at end of next week

Doug McDermott cleared for contact; could return at end of next week

Reinforcements are on the way for the Bulls bench as Doug McDermott could be back late next week, passing the next step in the concussion protocol before Friday’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers and being cleared for contact practices.

He’ll probably miss the stretch of four games in five nights that started Friday, but it’s a possibility he can play next Thursday against the San Antonio Spurs at the United Center if he can get his conditioning under control and not suffer any setbacks.

McDermott missed his eighth straight game Friday after suffering a concussion from a fall against the Wizards on Nov. 12. It’s his second concussion of the season and it was clear the Bulls and team doctors were being careful with the third-year forward.

“He’s gotta go through some practices before he’s fully cleared, but it’s a step in the right direction,” said Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg before Friday’s game.

The bench has suffered mightily with McDermott and Michael Carter-Williams out, and there’s a chance he could get back on the floor late next week too if all things work out.

With McDermott, who’s averaged 10.6 points and shot 36 percent from 3 this season (43 percent last year), his return will push other players into more natural positions and presumably, lessen the pressure the bench has been under considering the way its underwhelmed recently.

The Bulls won’t have a practice day until after Thursday’s game, so he may go to Hoffman Estates to get some run before getting back to real action.

And considering he’s had two concussions, he’s gotta feel confident in playing again and secure enough that he won’t be afraid of another concussion occurring.

“It’s gonna take him at least a couple days to have full practices. He may practice with the Windy City (D-League team), contact,” Hoiberg said. “The big thing for him is the mental hurdle of going out and getting hit. The physicality this game presents. That’s as big as anything for Doug to clear that final hurdle.”

The Bulls went 3-for-18 against the Cavaliers from three-point range despite their 111-105 win, and those numbers have been more commonplace recently, especially with the struggles of Nikola Mirotic and Isaiah Canaan off the bench.

[SHOP: Gear up, Bulls fans!]

Canaan is shooting 29 percent from three and Mirotic is at 28 percent. The space has been limited and Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler have been more aggressively double-teamed as the shooting has gotten more scarce.

“Doug’s a guy, he had a 25-point game. He’s a guy the other team talks a lot about in their scouting report,” Hoiberg said. “Anytime you have a knockdown shooter, One of the top guys in the game, you have to gameplan for that. He’s missed, no doubt about that. It’s an opportuniuty for our young guys, no doubt about that. Doug’s got experience and our players look for. We run plays to get Doug shots.”