Surprise? Blackshear plays in All-American Game

Surprise? Blackshear plays in All-American Game

Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Posted: 11:58 p.m.
By Scott Phillips
YourSeason.com

Chicago certainly loves its basketball.

In front of a sold-out United Center crowd, fans that usually pack the place for Derrick Rose and the Bulls were treated to the flash and flair of the 34th annual McDonalds All-American game as the East topped the West 111-96 on Wednesday night.

The announced crowd of 19,909, the largest crowd ever for a McDonalds game, saw the typical highlight-reel plays that such a game produces. They also saw Sun-Times Player of the Year Wayne Blackshear battle through a dislocated left shoulder to play limited minutes.

After initially saying he wouldnt play in the game on Monday, Morgan Parks Blackshear, a Louisville recruit, played through the pain and started the game.

"Before I first came on the court I was in the back with team doctors trying to figure out if I would be able to play," Blackshear said. "(My shoulder) wasn't even hurting at all. I got loose before the game and it was okay. I was a little scared of it but it was nothing major. I was okay.

The doctor approved him to play limited minutes, said West coach Gene Pingatore of St. Joseph. So we decided to start him and play him four minutes each half.

Blackshear finished the game with two points on 1-of-3 shooting with two rebounds and two assists in eight minutes of playing time.

"It was fun. (It was my) first time on the United Center floor. It was a dream for me. I was just blessed to be here," Blackshear said, "I wanted to play, but all of the doctors told me no. But on game day we checked it out and they said I was good to go."

After trailing 57-44 at halftime, the West came roaring back thanks to the strong play of Chicagos other representative, Perspectives-MSAs Anthony Davis. The Kentucky recruit came out firing in the second half, leading the West on a 13-0 run to tie the game at 57-all. Davis scored nine of his 14 points in the second half and also finished with six rebounds and four blocks. Davis was 5-of-8 from the field.

Still, it wasnt enough as the East capitalized on 18 West turnovers that led to 26 points. The game featured 10 lead changes and 11 ties, but co-MVPs James McAdoo and Michael Gilchrist fought off the constant pushes from the West to pull away. McAdoo, a North Carolina recruit, had a game-high 17 points while Kentucky recruit Gilchrist notched 16 points and 12 rebounds.

Florida recruit Brad Beal also had 17 points for the East while Pittsburgh recruit Khem Birch led the West with 15 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks. The East also had double-figure efforts from North Carolina recruit P.J. Hairston (15 points) and Duke recruit Quinn Cook (14 points).

Austin Rivers, the son of former Proviso East legend and Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers, finished the game with 14 points, five rebounds and four assists. The Duke commit shot 5-of-14 from the field.

Kentucky recruit Kyle Wiltjer (11 points) and Indiana recruit Cody Zeller (10 points) also finished in double figures for the West.

White Sox instructor Luis Sierra to coach in 2017 World Baseball Classic

White Sox instructor Luis Sierra to coach in 2017 World Baseball Classic

Luis Sierra hopes to take another step next spring toward achieving his dream of being a major league manager when he coaches in the World Baseball Classic.

Sierra — who spent eight of 10 minor league seasons in the White Sox farm system — will return as a coach for Colombia after participating in the WBC qualifier last spring.

Colombia, which plays in Pool D in Miami along with the United States, Canada and Dominican Republic, is managed by Luis Urueta, a short-season field coordinator in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ farm system. Sierra, a pregame instructor in his second year for the White Sox, is Colombia’s first-base coach. The 29-year-old said the transition from player to coach hasn’t been too difficult.

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

“It didn’t take too long and that’s what I do now and that’s my focus, just to help the guys and get better as a coach and as a person,” Sierra said. “It’s been a great experience so far. Still learning. Hopefully one day I’ll be a big league manager.”

Sierra, who was a catcher and an infielder in his professional career, hails from Barranquilla, which is also the home of White Sox pitcher Jose Quintana. The two live near each other and work out in the offseason. Quintana has expressed interest in pitching for Colombia during the 2017 WBC.

Cubs-Pirates game ends in a 1-1 tie

Cubs-Pirates game ends in a 1-1 tie

PITTSBURGH – This definitely felt like something out of spring training, with Thursday night’s game between the Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates suspended as rain kept pouring down on PNC Park, ending after five innings in a 1-1 tie.

Major League Baseball considered this an official game – its first tie since it happened to the Cincinnati Reds and Houston Astros on June 30, 2005 – and stats will still count after an 83-minute rain delay. But there is no need to make it up with the Cubs having already clinched the National League’s No. 1 seed and the Pirates eliminated from wild-card contention.

The last time the Cubs finished in a tie: a 2-2 five-inning draw with the Montreal Expos on May 28, 1993 at Wrigley Field.