Friday, June 27, 2008

Police Escorts are Cool

Greetings from Shea Stadium, where I'm covering the nightcap of the split-site, Yanks-Mets doubleheader. Covered the opener, too, then was transported from Yankee Stadium to Shea by police escort.

The Mets had three buses -- two for players and team officials, one for media types -- for the ride to and fro the House That Ruth Built. We made it across town -- in the middle of New York City, rush-hour traffic, mind you -- in a little over 20 minutes! Let me tell you, you haven't lived until major thoroughfares in NYC are being shut down and opened up solely for you (well, not for me -- or any of the writers, for that matter. In fact, I feel sorry for the hundreds of fans sticking out of car windows or on the sides of roads waving and showing off their Mets regalia to us as we drove by. If they only knew that the third bus was just writers).

But we digress. Made some phone calls regarding the New London Day's report that Stanley Robinson will be missing at least the first semester of the upcoming school year, and that UConn is looking into a medical redshirt for "Sticks." Seems the story is pretty accurate.

Did learn a few other things. For one, Robinson will be back on the UConn campus in a couple of weeks. He will serve as a counselor at the Reebok All-American Camp in Philadelphia from July 6-10 (along with UConn JUCO recruit Charles Okwandu and, possibly, UConn senior-to-be Jeff Adrien), then will return to Storrs to work at the second session of the Jim Calhoun Basketball Camp from July 11-15.

Here's what some of UConn's other players are up to this summer:
*Adrien recently attended the Amare Stoudemire Camp and, if his summer schedule allows, will be a counselor at the Reebok Camp in Philly.
*Jerome Dyson is currently at the Steve Nash Camp.
*Hasheem Thabeet recently returned home from his native Tanzania and is back on the UConn campus. He'll be going to the LeBron James Skills Camp next week.
*A.J. Price rehab for his torn ACL is going well, though he hasn't started any strenuous basketball-related activities yet. That may be a few weeks away. The Huskies hoped Price would be playing in games again by September, but the hope now is that could start around mid-August.
*Gavin Edwards, and possibly Donnell Beverly, will be part of a basketball tour of England in August.
*Beverly also recently accompanied his high school teammate, Russell Westbrook, to the NBA Draft. Westbrook was taken by Seattle with the fourth overall pick.
*Kemba Walker will try out for the Under-18 National Team from July 1-3 at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. He played in the championship game of a league in New York City recently with ex-UConn star Marcus Williams as a teammate.
*Ater Majok, a 6-foot-9 incoming freshman, is still in school in Australia and may be taking an honors course that could keep him from arriving in Storrs until early September, shortly after classes start.
*And, of course, Jim Calhoun began his six weeks of radiation treatment on Tuesday. He's doing well, still riding his bike every afternoon and playing plenty of golf.

Monday, June 23, 2008

School Daze

A quick check-in on what's going over at Storrs these days:

* Nate Miles and Scottie Haralson are on campus for the first day of second-session summer classes.

*Charles Okwandu is taking summer courses at Harcum Junior College in Pennsylvannia in order to get his associate's degree. Once he passes (and Harcum coach Drew Kelly believes that won't be a problem) he'll be ready to enroll at UConn.

* Kemba Walker is not on campus as he prepares for tryouts for the Under-18 National Team July 1-3 at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. If he makes the team, he won't be going to summer school.

* Ater Majok is still in school down in Australia.

* Still no official word on the Stanley Robinson situation, though he was on campus on Friday.

* A.J. Price's rehab is going well. He's not doing any hard-core basketball-related stuff right now (that may be another month off), but he's been dribbling a ball while balancing on one leg and taking some stationary shots on the court. He's not running and jumping yet, getting most of his cardio from work in the pool and on the stationary bike. He's also been lifting weights quite a bit. The team's original goal was for Price to be actually playing in basketball games by September, but one source says that he may be able to start by mid-August.

* Jim Calhoun begins his radiation treatments tomorrow. He was down in Hilton Head, S.C. this past week but is up for a speaking engagement today. After his morning radiation tomorrow, he intends to be back at his office at Gampel in the afternoon.

* The floor at Gampel Pavilion has been redone and is looking good.