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A GRIP ON SPORTS • This summer’s Olympics are officially done, even before they began. The IOC announced this morning they would be held in 2021, though they will still be the 2020 Olympic Games. Interesting. But then again, the summer games are always interesting.
As much as Ben College is trying to avoid it, the “what-if” of the Whitworth men’s basketball season is difficult to dodge.
A GRIP ON SPORTS • It’s Saturday. Fun day. Cartoons, dates, golf, naps, depending on what state of your life you are in. So let’s have fun. Let’s stretch our memory and come up with a list of local college basketball players we loved watching back in the day – maybe even if that day was three of four weeks back.
A GRIP ON SPORTS • Now this was hard. Trying to distill all the college basketball players who have played in the Inland Northwest over the past 50 years into the three most accomplished. Or five. Or 10. No matter how long you make the list, it’s hard. But someone had to do it.
A GRIP ON SPORTS • Isn’t it fun to be surprised, in a good way? Someone jumping up from behind a couch yelling “happy birthday” is such an example. Opening up sports pages from up and down the West Coast and finding a whole bunch of stories to read is another. It’s the type of surprises we need these days.
The Los Angeles Rams are losing defensive starters and keeping their offensive line intact during free agency.
A GRIP ON SPORTS • College sports is different than the “next level,” as many commentators like to call the professional ranks. The biggest difference is, with college, the players come and go, but the coaches remain. For the most part. Our list of most accomplished college basketball coaches in the Inland Northwest over the past 50 years includes coaches who has stayed for decades and others who passed through rather quickly. But they all had success.
A GRIP ON SPORTS • Who would have thought, in these days of living alone as much as possible, huge sports news would break early in the morning. Tom Brady announcing on social media today he won’t be returning to the New England Patriots qualifies as humongous, doesn’t it? Yes, it does.
Whitworth University, North Idaho College and the Community Colleges of Spokane have joined the list of schools canceling in-person classes and preparing to give lessons online due to COVID-19. Meanwhile, Washington State University announced Friday it has canceled Mom’s Weekend.
A GRIP ON SPORTS • Friday mornings are usually the time to look ahead, to see what’s on tap for the weekend. Let’s check. OK, that’s over. If we are going to look ahead this Friday, we will have to look far ahead. All they way into an uncertain future. But first we have to look back at an amazing day.
Like so many college teams’ seasons, that of the Whitworth men’s basketball team will end with a win and likely an asterisk.
A GRIP ON SPORTS • Let’s be clear here. The coronavirus outbreak is serious. And it has to be taken seriously. Even in the world of sports.
Team personnel, credentialed administration and media, as well as gameday staff, will be permitted to attend the game. Any purchased tickets will be refunded, according to the release.
A GRIP ON SPORTS • Here it is, more than a third of the way through the month of March, and all five of the college men’s basketball teams in the Spokane area are still playing. Though, unless something unexpected occurs today, we will be down to three. Just in case, we better check in with all five on this fine Wednesday.
Area baseball: Jack Machtolf drew a bases-loaded walk with no outs in the bottom of the eighth, and Josh Bristyan followed with a sacrifice fly as Gonzaga rallied to beat visiting Cal State Northridge 4-2 on Sunday.
A GRIP ON SPORTS • What is it Tom Petty once sung about? Something about waiting being the hardest part? Mr. Petty must have been a basketball fan.
Jack Smith and Kyle Manzardo each scored three runs on 4-for-5 efforts, and Washington State defeated Niagara 10-4 at Bailey-Brayton Field.
Whitworth is back in the Sweet 16 for the first time in seven years. Ben College scored 24 points, and the Pirates rallied in the second half to beat host Texas-Dallas 73-66 Saturday in the second round of the Division III Tournament.
A GRIP ON SPORTS • It is wet outside. The good type of wet. Rain showers. Sprinkles really. Good for the plants and good for plans to watch sports on TV this Saturday. A win-win.
Isaiah Hernandez tried to get to the rim in the closing seconds.