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Latest from The Spokesman-Review

‘Little Gipper’ Pens Notre Dame Book

Like a lot of 10-year-old boys, Jacob Keyes likes football – especially Notre Dame football. But unlike most fifth-graders, Jacob, of Spokane, has written a book about his favorite team. “The Little Gipper’s Welcome to Notre Dame Football” is Jacob’s tribute to the school and the team he adores. In 2010, he attended a summer skills camp at the university and was hooked – on the sport and the school. “The first place he ever set foot on a football field was Notre Dame,” said his father, Michael Keyes. He enjoyed the football skills camp so much, he wanted to return the following summer. He earned tuition by doing extra chores. The idea for the book came to him when he visited Hammes Bookstore at Notre Dame. “I couldn’t find any books about Notre Dame football for kids my age,” Jacob recalled. “I thought, ‘Why can’t I do that?’ ”/Cindy Hval, SR. More here. (SR photo: Jesse Tinsley)

Question: Do you have a favorite football team?

Zags ‘D’ shuts down Notre Dame

Back with my initial game story from Gonzaga's 73-53 defense-driven victory over Notre Dame tonight at the McCarthey Athletic Center.

Here's a link to the story I filed five minutes after the final buzzer. This version will run in the Idaho edition

UPDATE: As promised, my final game story.

Check back in the a.m. for my day-after post.

Zags reading material

Several GU-related links this morning: The view from Notre Dame herehere and here, and more on the GU-N.D. matchup here. Here's a recap of Illinois' road win over Maryland (GU takes on Illinois on Saturday). Finally, ex-Zag Adam Morrison is headed home with hopes of hooking up with an NBA team.  

Gonzaga Faces Notre Dame Tonight

Gonzaga is entering the marquee portion of its attractive nonconference men’s basketball schedule. First up: Notre Dame, a 27-win team last season – one of those ‘W’s’ came against Gonzaga – that is dealing with the loss of standout forward Tim Abromaitis to a torn ACL last week. The Fighting Irish (5-2) open GU’s arduous stretch of games that includes Illinois, Michigan State, Arizona, Butler and Xavier before the arrival of 2012. Tip-off is at 8:20 at the McCarthey Athletic Center. “That’s why everybody comes here, to play in those big games,” junior forward Elias Harris said/Jim Meehan, SR. More here. (AP file photo: Notre Dame coach Mike Brey)

Question: How will Gonzaga do against marquee teams in preseason?

GU entertains Irish

The start of a tough stretch of games for the Zags begins with Notre Dame on Wednesday. Here's.my game preview that will run in the S-R tomorrow: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2011/nov/29/now-real-fun-starts-zags/

Celebrating Another Extraordinary Year of Ordinary Days

(Photo by Cheryl-Anne Millsap)




    I turned the corner, down an unfamiliar street, my mind so oblivious to where I was going I might just as well have been a dog with its head out the window, lost in the delicious rush of mysterious and fragrant air, just happy to be out and about with no thought of what might be ahead.

    Most of the leaves had fallen from the trees, swept down by the wind and an early snowfall, and the sidewalks and street were littered with the russet and copper remnants of a spectacular autumn. But at the end of the block a scarlet tree still blazed, a burning bush, bright and vibrant against the faded landscape. Even the sun could not ignore it and sunlight danced in the tree, painting the leaves with subtle shades and shadows.

    It was impossible to look away and I didn’t try. I gazed at it as I drove by and even looked back at it in the rearview mirror. 

    Thursday my family will sit down to our Thanksgiving meal and for the first time one of our small group will be absent. My son is away, working in Japan, and we will miss him even as we celebrate his success.

    We are so fortunate to have made it this far without an empty seat at the table. Even in difficult times—and I have never pretended there weren’t some truly difficult days—we gathered, held hands, and spoke aloud the things for which we were most grateful.

    Each year I compose a mental list but when it is my turn to speak, the words fly out of my head. I tear up and can say only that I am grateful for the love of those around me. But what I can never seem to get out is that I am filled with gratitude for the gift of a million small moments.

    There were quiet Sundays spent reading, curled in the big chair beside the fire, my husband stretched out on the sofa. There were Saturday morning feasts that lured home grown children who filled the house with the sound of laughter and the smell of bacon and coffee.

  There were quiet walks through the park with my dogs and the rapturous look on my daughter’s face as we stood in Notre Dame Cathedral on a rainy January day in Paris. There was the afternoon my son turned to me and recited a poem I’d read to him when he was a boy, and my firstborn’s secret smile when she told us her news.

   There were shooting stars glimpsed from my back door and my youngest daughter’s shining face as she sat in the saddle, flying on horseback. There was, just this week, the chance encounter with a beautiful brilliant tree in a landscape that had already surrendered to winter.

 On Thanksgiving Day I will blink back tears and fumble the opportunity to say what I feel. But in my heart I will celebrate the quiet gift of time and the chance to have lived one more extraordinary year of ordinary days.

Cheryl-Anne Millsap writes for The Spokesman-Review and is a contributing editor at Spokane Metro Magazine. Her essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the country. She is the author of “Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons” and can be reached at catmillsap@gmail.com

Notre Dame pulls away from Gonzaga

Gonzaga faded down the stretch in its battle with No. 16 Notre Dame in Seattle Wednesday afternoon. We ran the Associated Press story. The Seattle Times had a story by Jayda Evans with a sensational photo of Courtney Vandersloot and the South Bend Tribune was there with this take. The Bulldogs, who are 0-4 in the big games on their schedule this year, face Seattle tonight at 7, after Notre Dame plays Loyola Marymount.

Also tonight, Eastern Washington is home against Willamete with Kyla Evans on the verge of breaking the school's 3-point record and Idaho is at Portland.

Another 3-point record should fall tonight - at Tennessee, with local product Angie Bjorklund (University) entering the game with Rutgers' tied for the Lady Vols mark with 267. Dan Fleser of the Knoxville News-Sentinel writes that records aren't what motive Bjorklund.

Katie Baker (Lake City) was named to the All-Tournament team as host Montana won its own gathering. … Alyssa Green (Mead) had 21 points as Carroll College thumped visiting Whitworth. … LC State is 2-0 on a trip to California and tonight play at The Masters, which will put the Warriors' Loree Hill (Central Valley) opposite the Masters' Zoe Scott (University). Hill is averaging a couple points and a couple rebounds in 10 minutes for 12-1 LC, ranked third nationally.  Scott is averaging almost nine points and three rebounds in 20 minutes for 10-2 Masters.

Local duo come up big in win; GU faces No. 16 Irish in Seattle

Due to a breakdown in communications in the communications business, the women's basketball notebook didn't get posted. But in addition to adding that link, we've got a few others for you.

The focus of the notebook is Portland State's two seniors from Spokane, who open Big Sky Conference play next weekend at Eastern Washington. Kelli Valentine (No. 22, Mead) had a memorable night and Lexi Bishop (No. 33, Shadle Park) a clutch game as the Vikings rallied past Portland and Tara Cronin (G-Prep), who had 14 points, by two last night. More notes follow.

Gonzaga drops to 4-5

Back with an expanded game story from Gonzaga’s 83-79 loss to Notre Dame, which you can find here.

Read on for an A.P. article that has some Notre Dame quotes.

Zags rally, but fall short

Gonzaga staged a late rally, but it came up short as Ben Hansbrough hit 4 of 4 free throws in the final 11.6 seconds to lift No. 23 Notre Dame to an 83-79 victory in South Bend, Ind.

GU (4-5) dropped its third straight. Notre Dame improved to 9-1.

Gonzaga trailed 73-62 before Manny Arop hit a 3-pointer with 1:25 remaining. After a Notre Dame turnover, Steven Gray hit a 3-pointer and GU was down 75-70 with 1 minute left. The Irish made just 4 of 8 free throws as Gonzaga closed within 79-77.

Hansbrough made two free throws to make in 81-77. He added two more free throws with 2.7 seconds left after Marquise Carter’s layup had trimmed the lead to two.

More in about 90 minutes.

Another tough matchup for Zags

Back with my game preview of Saturday’s GU-Notre Dame contest. Click here for the version that will run in Saturday’s S-R. Here’s an article on Gonzaga’s problems in the South Bend Tribune.

Obama Invite Divides Catholics

Item: Notre Dame president catches heat for Obama invite/AP

More Info: The Rev. John Jenkins … is getting plenty of criticism from Catholic leaders, students and alumni because of the university’s decision to invite President Barack Obama to deliver its commencement address and receive an honorary degree Sunday. Opponents of the invitation, including at least 70 bishops, say Obama’s support for abortion rights and embryonic stem-cell research contradicts church teachings and that Jenkins has created a breach with the church.

Question: I’d like to hear from local Catholics on this one. Do you agree with Rev. Jenkins decision to invite President Barack Obama to deliver Notre Dame’s commencement address? Sunday.

Would GU invite Obama to speak?

Obama will deliver a commencement address at Notre Dame. This has some Catholics upset, since some of his views don’t square with Catholic teaching. I recall Planned Parenthood not being allowed at Gonzaga. Then again, McCain has been there, even though he is for the death penalty and the church is against.

What do you think?