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Husky Men's Basketball

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May 24, 2008 at 8:17 PM

A little from Rip The Cut

Though it was a beautiful day in Seattle, I couldn’t resist and headed indoors for a while to watch a little of the Rip The Cut Tournament today at Cleveland High School.
Besides, it may be the last time any of us around here will be able to see that many NBA players on the floor at once.
As happens in these tournaments, the rosters were ever-fluctuating and there was one big name I didn’t know would be there who was — Spencer Hawes.
Hawes played for the Home Team, which also included Brandon Roy, Jamal Crawford and Will Conroy (former Eastern Washington guard Alvin Snow was the other starter). Hard to believe that team won’t win this thing, though they struggled for a while in the game I watched against a team that included no one I recognized before pulling away late (they led by 10 points with two minutes left before I had to leave and to be honest, the NBA guys looked like they were usually trying only about as hard as they needed to).
I talked with Conroy a little before the game and he said he’s headed soon to a workout with Indiana having just gotten back from a workout in Orlando for multiple NBA teams. That’s on top of the workout he just had with the Sonics.
Conroy said he has several offers to play on NBA summer league teams and is mulling over which one to accept.
“I’m just trying to find the best opportunity to make a team,” he said.
He played last year in Italy but said this year he plans to stay in the States.
“It was an experience,” he said. “And the money was good so I took it. But now I’m back trying to live my dream.”
Also spoke with Hawes for a little while. He’s back in town for the summer, planning to attend summer school at UW as he said he intends to get his degree. He’s got three years to go, he said, “so I’m just going to try to chip away at it.” He said he doesn’t know what he will major in, though he chuckled slightly when I suggested financial management (well, I thought it was kinda funny).
He said he weighs 240 pounds, and he ran the court well and had a couple nice passes — taking lobs from Roy and Conroy had to elicit a little “what might have been” from UW fans in attendance if maybe nature had either hurried up or slowed down just a little bit.
One of the early games featured a team that included former UW basketball player Jamie Booker and football player Anthony Kelley. Booker led a late rally to help his team win.
Booker was a fan favorite of the mid-90s Bob Bender teams with the bad timing to graduate the year before the team went to the Sweet 16. He’s now 32 and after taking a year-and-a-half off to work locally managing a Bally’s in Lynwood, he said he intends to again play overseas this season. He has played in Korea, Japan, Italy, England and Australia in his career.
“I’ve been all over the world,” he said. “It’s been good.”
If something overseas doesn’t work out, however, he said he has approached UW coach Lorenzo Romar about attempting to work with Husky basketball team in hopes of beginning a second career.
“I’d like to get in something,” he said. “Be the video man or something. I can’t play basketball forever, right?”
Nate Robinson was also in attendance but didn’t play, instead appearing to act as a coach for the team he helped organize. Word was Robinson was asked by the Knicks not to take part in such tournaments this summer.
Doug Wrenn was also supposed to be there, but I didn’t see him and Tre Simmons is still playing in Israel and wasn’t there.
The biggest name of all to play today might have been former Sonic Shawn Kemp.
Kemp played on a team alongside former Husky Eldridge Recasner, though he didn’t show up until early in the second half. His team was trailing when he arrived but pulled ahead, then after blowing a late lead, won in overtime.
Kemp looked in decent shape though he didn’t quite exhibit the Reign Man leaping ability of old. He had one nice coast-to-coast drive that included a between-the-legs dribble. But when he got the hoop, he laid the ball in rather than going for the dunk. I didn’t talk to Kemp —- he got mobbed quickly as the game ended by fans and autograph seekers — but I think other reporters did so you may see something about him somewhere in the next few days.
The tournament continues through Monday — the title game is at 3 p.m. I won’t be able to attend any more sessions, but if anyone else goes and wants to post what happened, feel free to do so here.



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