the Baller’s Almanac: August 16, 2012

It's James Donaldson's birthday in Heacham, England. Donaldson grew up in Sacramento, California, and eventually reached the height of 7-2.

He chose Washington State for college, and mostly sat on the bench for his first two seasons. As an upperclassmen he was a starter and averaged a double-double while also becoming Washington State's all-time leader in blocked shots.

Here he describes Coach Raveling's approach with him: "Quite frankly, I was simply not good enough to play at first because I was so raw. Coach Raveling gave me two keys: one to the weight room and one to the gym. He told me that he could not hold my hand 24-7, and they ended up being the keys to my success as an athlete"

After a lengthy professional career in the US and overseas, Donaldson settled in the Seattle area where he runs a rehab clinic and is also a motivational speaker. His book Standing Above the Crowd was published in April, 2011. He's also a motivational speaker. Here he is talking about his book, among other things:

Six years ago today Lonny Baxter was arrested for firing a pistol a few blocks from the White House. Baxter, a former University of Maryland star, was celebrating on his final night in Washington DC before heading to Italy to play basketball. After leaving a bar he decided on a whim to fire off two shots from a Glock recently purchased in Texas. Secret Service officers heard the shots from the White House.

This wasn't the first – or last – run-in he'd have over guns. In 2004 he was arrested after accidentally firing a shotgun in his Washington DC condominium. And later in 2006 he was charged for shipping four guns through FedEx without registering them. For both of the 2006 infractions he received 60 days in jail.

Lloyd "Sonny" Dove would have been 67 today. Born in Brooklyn, New York, Dove was of Native American Mashpee Wampanoag descent. Dove would attend St. John's (where he was known as "Big Indian") and when he left for the NBA he was 5th all-time in points scored, and 2nd in rebounds.

In 2008 he was selected for St. John's All-Century team, and in 2011 he was inducted into the New York City Hall of Fame.

Dove – who was a New York taxi driver following his professional career – died at the age of 37 when the taxi he was driving plunged into the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn.

Other birthdays include: Skinny Johnson 1911 (Kansas), Dale Hamilton 1919 (Franklin College), George King 1928 (Morris Harvey College), Charlie Tyra 1935 (Louisville),  Les "Big Game" Hunter 1942 (Loyola), Paul Stovall 1948 (Arizona State), Rory White 1959 (South Alabama), Carl Henry 1960 (Kansas), Bill Martin 1962 (Georgetown), Mike Morrison 1967 (Loyola of Maryland), and Eddie Gill 1978 (Weber State)