Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Holy families unite at Tuesday night's Greater NC Pro-Am

UNC's Leslie McDonald, John Henson, Kendall Marshall and Rasheed Wallace at Tuesday night's NC Pro-Am
Holy Family University is a private, Division II school in Philadelphia, PA with a student population just a little larger than the capacity of N.C. Central’s McLendon-McDougald Gymnasium.  The HFU Tigers’ basketball team plays in the CACC (Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference)—a conference not known for sending a bunch, if any, players to the NBA ranks.  But if their 6-foot sophomore and Durham native, Rashaad Sneed keeps building on the cheetah-speed point-guard play he unleashed during Tuesday night’s play, he might have a chance to make it to the next level.   However, his true test will come once we see him apply this same energy against either of this summer’s point-guard standouts, former N.C. State floor general, Alex Johnson, or Duke’s Quinn Cook.  

Former UNC stars, Kendall Marshall and John Henson made a surprise visit to Tuesday night’s NC Pro-Am games, taking a break from some of the “rookie hazing” they’ve been experiencing this summer as they make their transition to the NBA.  Of course, Rasheed Wallace was in full character, sitting next to Marshall and Henson, behind the scorer’s table, loudly poking-fun and pointing out that the boys “got tore up” during some recent NBA Summer League games.  In the third game of the evening, Wallace and UNC's P.J. Hairston led their Sheraton Imperial team to a 79-74 win over Banks Law Firm.  Wallace rejected a few at-the-basket shots and rebounded like an angry magnet while Hairston dropped some big 3-pointers and provided a powerful, crowd-pleasing putback dunk.  

Later, Wake Forest’s L.D. Williams showed off his high-jumping game, matched by N.C. Central forward, Dominique Sutton’s air dances.  North Carolina's Henson and Marshall were dressed casually, maybe opting to rest from recent NBA Summer League play, so this night’s lone NBA player was Baylor University standout Quincy Miller.  The Denver Nuggets’ second-round pick wasn’t at his best, but he showed off the swing-man versatility that he'll get to improve on as a strong reserve player for his new team. 

London 2012 Olympian, Andrea Woodson-Smith, and her husband, Jeremy Smith
While Team USA was busy crushing Spain in both of the teams’ final pre-Olympic exhibition game, here at NC Pro-Am, London 2012 Paralympics basketball player and N.C. Central assistant professor, Andrea Woodson-Smith steered her team to a victory in the Wheelchair Bridge to Sports game, playing on the same team as her husband, Jeremy Smith. Clearly, Tuesday's attractions were up to caliber--a packed gymnasium, NBA stars, Olympians, and NC Pro-Am Commissioner, Donyell Bryant's birthday. He couldn't have asked for a better gift.