Just before the start of training camp for the United States World University Games team, Louisville forward Luke Hancock’s father passed away after a bout with cancer. Some wondered whether or not Hancock would attend the camp but the rising senior flew to Colorado Springs and ended up being one of the 12 players selected to play in the games, which begin on July 7 in Kazan, Russia.
On Thursday, USA Basketball announced that Hancock has been selected by his peers to be the flag bearer for the United States delegation for the opening ceremonies on Saturday.
“I am very proud. I am not sure exactly what to expect, but I am looking forward to the opportunity,” Hancock said in the release. “I’m honored to lead the way for the U.S. I’m excited.”
Hancock will be the fourth basketball player to bear this responsibility for the United States in the World University Games, with Orlando Johnson (2011), Alexis Gray-Lawson (2009) and Randy Foye (2005) being the others.
The World University Games men’s team also includes players such as Creighton forward Doug McDermott, Michigan State forward Adreian Payne and Indiana’s Yogi Ferrell and Will Sheehey. The team scrimmaged Russian club team UNICS on Thursday, winning 94-60 with Hancock (14 points) and McDermott (13) leading the way offensively.
The United States will play its first game on Sunday against the United Arab Emirates.
Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.
Wichita State senior forward Anton Grady received some positive news on Saturday as a neurosurgeon reviewed MRI results, which are negative for spinal cord trauma.
According to a release from Wichita State, doctors believed Grady suffered a spinal cord concussion during a collision on Friday after he was taken off the floor in a stretcher and taken to a hospital in an ambulance. CT and MRI scans on Friday both turned up negative, but the news of Saturday’s results are an even more encouraging sign for Grady.
The injury for Grady occurred during a Friday loss to Alabama during the AdvoCare Invitational as the senior’s condition has improved since the collision. Grady will receive physical therapy over the next few days and doctors will check his progress before he is released from the hospital.
Grady has been alert and responsive to questions and had feeling in his extremities on Friday, but the use of his arms and legs was limited. By Saturday morning, Grady had improved the use of his extremities.
The 6-foot-8 Grady has averaged 9 points and 6 rebounds per game this season in his first season with the Shockers. The Cleveland State transfer is shooting 39 percent from the field.
Colorado sophomore forward Tory Miller has been reprimanded by the Pac-12 and he also apologized for biting Air Force’s Hayden Graham earlier this week.
During Colorado’s win over Air Force on Wednesday, Miller was assessed a Flagrant 2 Dead Ball Technical Foul and ejected with 12:25 left in the second half after biting Graham during a loose ball.
In a release from the Pac-12, they announced reprimanding Miller, but he will not be suspended.
“All of our student-athletes must adhere to the Pac-12’s Standards of Conduct and Sportsman-ship,” Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said in the release. “Regardless of Mr. Miller’s frustration and emotion, such behavior is unacceptable and he is being appropriately reprimanded.”
Miller also released his apology in the same release.
“I would like to apologize for my actions during the Air Force game. I would like to apologize to Hayden Graham, Air Force, my teammates and fans. It was a heat of the moment thing. I’m an emotional player, but I let my emotions get the best of me. I will use this as a learning experience and focus on helping my teammates and respecting my opponents for the rest of the season and beyond,” Miller said.
For Miller to not be suspended for this is good news for him and Colorado since he won’t miss any additional action, but did the Pac-12 make the right decision on this?