1. The day starts fine. Sure, there’s a wildfire about 45 minutes from my house and the wind is blowing right down the canyon so my whole town is full of smoke and I can’t ride my bike to work because I’d probably collapse and flop around like a goldfish in the road. But that’s fine. Typically it’s a summer thing. But whatever. When the snowpack is at 17% of normal, these things happen.
This blog isn’t about my life. It’s about basketball. And when I woke everything was fine. It was better than fine. It was Bohemian Rhapsody, only about Syracuse. I’m usually not into this sort of parody, but it was early. I hadn’t had my coffee. Joke away, jokesters. I’m yours.
2. Thursday begins to go sideways when we find out that LaDontae Henton – the leading rebounder for Providence – is arrested for domestic assault, which included throwing his girlfriend around and breaking her cellphone.
That sucks, right? But players get arrested all the time. This just happened to be one of those days.
Until…. It turns out that his girlfriend was charged as well. She is charged with destroying his t.v.
We don’t know the whole story, so there’s no reason to speculate, but I’m going to anyways.
Scene 1: Girlfriend hears a rumor, rushes to LaDontae Henton’s dorm, and starts freaking out. Henton tries to calm her down but it doesn’t work. Not only does it not work, but she picks something up and smashes it through the screen of his Vizeo 60”. Henton grabs her to keep her from destroying his Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 and she goes down, flinging her phone in the process.
Scene 2: Henton is a thug and thinks roughing up women is fine.
Either way, we lose. Good kids get caught in bad situations, and kids we think are good turn out not to be. This one could break any number of ways, but it’s definitely put a kink in my Thursday.
UPDATE: The Providence Journal is now reporting that he punched her.
3. Andrew Wiggins still has not committed anywhere. Seriously bro? You have every right to take as long as you want, and it’s not like you’re interviewing constantly and staying in the limelight – you’re almost invisible. But as a guy who covers FSU sports, help me out. Let’s end this thing one way or another.
4. So this six-year-old girl gets kidnapped in Kemper County, Mississippi, which is typically exactly the kind of story I skip over. It’s not that I’m cold hearted. It’s not that I don’t care about kids. It’s just that this world is filled to overflowing with horrible things happening to children. And I can’t read about it unless there’s some other hook.
But I get pulled in to this one, which sucks in a completely selfish way. I don’t want to be pulled in!
The accused kidnapper is Devonta Pollard’s mother. Pollard, in case you don’t know, might be the best basketball player to ever come out of Porterville, MS. And now his mother is accused of walking into an elementary school, taking a kid who isn’t hers, and then texting the mother of the child and telling her “dont call the police I will call you later if you call the police u wont see her again.”
Really? WTF? That’s 20 years to life for Moma Pollard if this turns out to be true. And she’s a teacher!
This day is stupid. What the hell happened to Boeheimian Rhapsody anway?
5. I’m home from work. We’ve got friends over. Their kids are over as well which means they all have to stay on the back porch. I’ll cook for them, but I don’t want their germs and I sure as hell don’t want to have to say something twice.
So I’m 9/10ths of the way through making fish tacos (with fish driven from the coast this morning!) and a huge bowl of guacamole when my phone gets hit by three texts at the same time.
That could mean one of three things: A) somebody died. 2) Andrew Wiggins committed. D) The Atlantic published yet another article detailing how schools completely and whole heartedly fuck over student athletes.
You already know that Wiggins didn’t commit. And no one in my family/close circle died. Which leaves The Atlantic.
Part of the story – emphasis on PART, as there’s enough here to really ruin a Thursday without all of the other nonsense – is about Kyle Hardrick. Remember him? No, it’s because he’s royally screwed.
Hardrick grew up in Oklahoma. He competed against Blake Griffin and Daniel Orton. All he ever wanted was to be a Sooner and from there launch into the NBA.
And Oklahoma head coach Jeff Capel promised him a scholarship when he was 14. Even after he tore his ACL as a freshman in high school, Capel kept the offer on the table as long as he didn’t talk to other schools. So, of course, he didn’t. And he ended up at Oklahoma.
Then, as a freshman, a teammate fell on his leg and something popped in his knee. Typically, that’s not good. But this was the exception! X-rays showed that there were no torn ligaments. Woohoo!
Fast forward 14 months. In that time period Hardrick hasn’t been able to practice very much, much less play, because of awful pains in his knee. The coaches responded by telling him he wasn’t trying hard enough.
That’s when his mother gets a call from a medical clinic demanding money for an MRI her son had 14 months earlier. But her son didn’t have an MRI, he had an X-ray. The coaches told her that. But the woman on the other end of the phone was insistent. She was looking at the MRI. It showed a torn meniscus in her son’s knee. The lab wanted money.
So the Hardrick family confronted the school, and they denied everything. What could the Hardrick’s do?
A few months later a bill showed up for $3,500 at the same time that a letter showed up from the University informing him that his scholarship had been rescinded, effective LAST semester.
Forgetting the $3,500 dollars, Hardrick was a good student. He could transfer. And despite his injury plenty of schools had interest. But he’d already missed a year, so schools needed a medical hardship in order to take him on, and to get a medical hardship they would need a letter from Oklahoma.
Yeah, you can see where this is going.
Oklahoma stated – and this is backed up in writing – that they’d be happy to write that letter. That is, assuming the Hardricks would sign a statement saying that Kyle had never been injured and the family was surrendering all rights to sue the University at a later date.
The only bright spot is that the family told the University the exact same thing that I feel like telling Thursday: screw you.
Here’s to a better Friday.