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Metta World Peace to serve as girls’ high school basketball assistant in Palisades

Metta World Peace KnicksMetta World Peace is still a free agent after being waived by the New York Knicks earlier this year, but he already has a job lined up for next season. It’s just not the job he has grown used to over the past 14 years.

On Thursday, the Palisadian-Post reported that World Peace will be joining the Palisades High School girls basketball team as an assistant coach. Head coach Torino Johnson confirmed that Metta has agreed to join his staff.

“Metta’s going to be heavy into the strategic portion of our practices,” Johnson told the Palisadian-Post. “He’ll be someone you’ll see around. We’re both into mental health awareness and I’ll be really excited to see him in the gym.”

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the area, Pacific Palisades is an upscale coastal city in Los Angeles. Steve Kerr played basketball at Pali High.

As of now, World Peace does not intend to retire from the NBA. He plans to work as an assistant coach in addition to joining another NBA team next year.

Can you imagine a guy who says stuff like this molding young minds? That’s kind of a scary thought.

Pinch-hitter hits walk-off home run to win state title on first varsity hit (Video)

Talk about a moment you dream about …

Sophomore Zach Gwillim of Monroe High School in Oregon hit a walk-off pinch-hit home run in the bottom of the seventh inning last Friday to give his team its first state title since 1991 … and it all came on his first varsity hit.

Zach GwillimAccording to The Oregonian, Gwillim was on varsity to start the season but was dropped to JV after one game. He was brought back up later in the season to add some depth, but he didn’t get an at-bat until the bottom of the seventh in the championship game. With the game tied at 1, Gwillim took a 1-1 pitch deep to left and out of the park for the walk-off victory. Monroe won 2-1 over Weston-McEwen/Griswold for the state 2A/1A championship.

“I wasn’t expecting to hit a walk-off. I had no idea. I thought it was just popped up. My first base coach was like, ‘you hit it out.’ I didn’t believe him,” Gwillim told The Oregonian after the game.

Gwillim’s coach was asked about the decision to place the sophomore as a pinch-hitter, and at least he didn’t try to make himself sound smarter than he is.

“It wasn’t anything fancy other than Zach swings it well in practice, he works hard, so let’s give him a shot,” coach Bill Crowson said.

The move paid off, and Gwillim now has an unforgettable memory. What an awesome story.

Below is video of Gwillim’s interview with The Oregonian after the game:

H/T MaxPreps

High school WR Johan Kenner shot and killed, couldn’t run away because of ACL surgery

Johan KennerSome terrible news out of New Orleans, where high school athlete Johan “Yoge” Kenner was shot and killed on Sunday night at St. Roch Playground playground not far from his home.

Yoge, 17, was going to be a senior at Landry-Walker High School in the fall, and he played football and basketball for the school. The Times-Picayune says he missed most of the football season last year because of a knee injury, which could have played a roll in his death.

“He just had ACL surgery, so he couldn’t run as fast,” his mother, Cortina Johnson-Cash, told The New Orleans Advocate. “And when he tried to get up and run … he was shot in the back.”

Yoge’s shooting was one of two killings of teenagers within a 30-minute span in the area Sunday night. No information about the suspects or motives have been released by police. Family members don’t believe Yoge was the intended target.

He was described by his coaches as a great kid who was a good student-athlete.

His girlfriend has been pouring her emotions out over Twitter and it’s pretty heartbreaking to read.

via USA Today

High school baseball team forfeits playoff win because of illegal batting practice

wiffle ball baseballPalos Verdes Peninsula High School (Rolling Hills Estates, Calif.) had to forfeit a playoff baseball game they won on Tuesday after the opposing team’s coach successfully protested that Peninsula took illegal batting practice before the game.

Peninsula beat Santa Monica High School 7-2 in their CIF-Southern Section Division 3 second-round playoff game Tuesday and was set to face Paloma Valley in the quarterfinals on Friday. However, Santa Monica coach Kurt Schwengel filed a protest after the game, saying that Peninsula violated CIF playoff rules by throwing wiffle balls overhand to their players before the game. One of Santa Monica’s coaches recorded video of Peninsula taking the illegal batting practice, according to the LA Times.

The CIF has rules that explicitly state baseball and softball teams are not allowed to take any form of batting practice other than side soft toss, pepper or tee work, prior to playoff games.

Bylaw 15.22.2 states:

Teams entered in the baseball playoffs will not be permitted to take batting practice on the day of a playoff game prior to the commencement of the contest.” Batting practice will be construed as ANY type of pitching motion with ANY type of ball from in front of the batter (including pitching machines and overhand throwing).

A CIF official told Larry Brown Sports that the reason for this batting practice rule is to prevent home teams from having an unfair advantage over their opponents in the playoffs. The Southern Section is so expansive — it encompasses a whopping seven counties across Southern California — that some teams have to travel three hours to get to a game. Allowing one team to have batting practice while the other is sitting on a bus would create an unfair advantage.

Though it seems a little ridiculous on the surface that a team would forfeit a playoff game for taking some pregame wiffle ball practice, the coaches should know the rules, which they apparently did not.

From the Daily Breeze in Torrance:

It sounds like Peninsula feels that the batting practice was a minor violation and that Santa Monica should call off the protest:

This also isn’t the first time we’ve seen this happen; last year, Shadow Hills forfeited a softball playoff game for the same reason, and in 2011, Alhambra’s softball team forfeited a game as well.

Santa Monica will now replace Peninsula and face Paloma Valley in the quarterfinals of the tournament.

HS baseball coach Kim Brooks goes on epic profanity-laced rant (Audio)

Kim-Brooks-La-MaridaLa Mirada (Calif.) High School baseball coach Kim Brooks was not at all pleased with the way his team played during a recent loss. We know this because an audio recording of Brooks lambasting his team with one of the most epic postgame rants of all time is currently going viral.

For roughly 17 minutes, Brooks told several of his players “f— you” individually and ripped his team for not playing with any heart. Deadspin got a hold of a copy of the full profanity-laced tirade, which Brooks has since apologized for.

“My language was inappropriate,” he said Tuesday, per David Felton of the Whittier Daily News. “I was trying to motivate my team after a very poor performance, and I apologize about the language.”

Brooks, who is also the athletic director at La Mirada, seemed to think his team did not give 100% because it had to play during school vacation week.

“I’m sorry that (during) your Easter vacation you had to play baseball,” he said during the rant. “There’s some (expletive) kids at Children’s Hospital that would have given anything to be able to walk and be out there!”

The Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District announced Tuesday that it has received a copy of the tirade and is reviewing the “serious nature of the content.” Brooks has been placed on administrative leave while the investigation continues, and he will not coach the team when La Mirada begins the CIF-SS Division 2 playoffs on Thursday.

Personally, I’ve heard much worse. Some of my high school coaches went off on us the same way Brooks went off on his players, and it never became an issue. I’m not saying I feel bad for the guy, I just don’t think swearing at high schoolers is a fireable offense.

Photo: La Marinda HS Baseball on Facebook

High schooler Sam Atwell makes incredible game-saving catch (Video)

Ocala Trinity Catholic defeated Bishop Verot 2-1 in a Class 4A Florida state semifinal matchup on Wednesday night. Had senior outfielder Sam Atwell not made one of the best diving catches you will see this year, the result may have gone the other way.

The game, which was played at JetBlue Park, was delayed several times because of rain and lightning. It did not begin until after 11 p.m., and Atwell made his incredible diving catch at 1:14 a.m with his team leading by a run and a man on base.

Sam-Atwell-catch

“It was crazy,” Atwell said, via David Dorsey of The News-Press in South Florida. “I thought it was about to be a tie ballgame. That was the fastest I’ve ever run in my life. That’s one of the toughest catches I’ve ever made.”

Not only was it one of the toughest catches Atwell has ever made, it was one of the toughest catches anyone will ever make. Thanks in large part to Atwell’s effort, Trinity Catholic will face Pensacola Catholic for the state championship on Thursday evening.

Video via Bob’s Blitz

High schooler Dylan Fosnacht throws 194 pitches, 14 innings in start

Dylan-FosnachtWith the amount of elbow injuries across Major League Baseball increasing by the year, there is a growing belieif that young athletes are putting too much strain on their arms while they are still developing. Perhaps we should be concerned for Dylan Fosnacht of Rochester (Wash.) High School, who threw 194 pitches and 14 innings on Tuesday.

Rochester coach Jerry Striegel chose to let Fosnacht rack up the mind-boggling pitch count during an eventual 1-0, 17-inning victory. Assistant coach Kyle Sprague told Max Preps that he made the decision to pull Fosnacht in the top of the 15th when he allowed two baserunners with nobody out.

Dustin Wilson took over and eventually got the win. Rochester had two games on Tuesday, and Wilson also pitched all seven innings of the second game. Despite the massive workloads, Sprague insists there is no concern over the condition of either player’s arm.

“I have never seen two guys take the mound and dominate like that for that long,” he said. “I have both of those guys in class, and they both said that their arms were fine today.”

Fosnacht embraced the challenge and opportunity to compete. He also said critics should relax because he’s primarily a middle infielder and not a pitcher.

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