This year, the Jeff McInnis Summer basketball league changed names, but it's still growing. The Mecklenburg County Parks & Recreation Summer Hoops League, now in its sixth year, is attracting a healthy amount of area talent.
McInnis – a former West Charlotte High and North Carolina star who also played for the Bobcats – is a regular. So is Washington Wizards center Brendan Haywood. Bobcats guard Raymond Felton has played. Davidson's Stephen Curry has played – plus nine players from the Charlotte 49ers, nine from Winthrop and J.C. Smith's entire team.
“It's been our best year ever as far as player participation,” said league organizer Clarence Johnson.
The final regular season games are tonight and Thursday at Grady Cole Center. Games begin at 6:30.
At 7:30 Thursday night, there will be an overseas pro players' challenge followed by two college challenge games, with more than 40 current collegiates, at 8:30 and 9:30. Best of all, it's free. No tickets, no parking.
Want to win nine holes of golf with LPGA star Natalie Gulbis, plus dinner? Just visit rsmmcgladrey.com/nataliecontest To enter, you must write a 200-word or less essay on the most influential person in your life. Two things: You must be at least 18 and you must enter by Aug. 4.
Longtime AAU coach Malcolm Sanders got a rare treat Sunday in Lexington, Ky. The United Stars, a 12-and-under team, won the AAU National Championship, and Sanders' son, Jalen, was the team's 12-year-old point guard. Sanders' assistant, Reggie Mobley, who coaches West Charlotte High's girls team, also watched his son, Devin, win a title.
“It's hard when your kid is on the team,” said Sanders, “but you have to concentrate on what you're doing. He doesn't even call me Dad. I'm Coach Mac.
N.C. Tech, Charlotte's post-high school graduate team, has 110 football players on its third squad.
The Tigers are a combined 27-0 in two years under coach Tim Newman. This year's team features Thomas Shuler, a 6-foot-2, 230-pound fullback from Florida who was rated No. 8 at his position by rivals.com as a high school senior last year.
Shuler has committed to Arkansas.
J.C. Smith track star Shermaine Williams earned a silver medal in the 100-meter hurdles at the 12th World Junior Championships at the Zawisza Stadium in Bydgoszcz, Poland earlier this month.
Williams, who will be a sophomore this fall, is the current NCAA Division II 60-meter hurdles champion and owns the NCAA Division II 60-meter hurdles record (8.24 seconds).
Langston Wertz Jr: 704-358-5133; firstname.lastname@example.org