Grambling State earns first DI victory in over 700 days

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Grambling State ended numerous losing streaks on Monday night as the Tigers knocked off Alcorn State 95-80 to earn a SWAC home win. Grambling State hadn’t won a game against a Division I opponent since March 4, 2012 when they knocked off Alabama A&M for a 75-72 overtime win.

The win for Grambling State snapped a 45-game Division I losing streak and 28-game losing streak in the SWAC for the Tigers. Grambling State defeated Central Baptist earlier in the year to snap a 32-game overall losing streak as the Tigers finished 0-28 during the 2012-13 season. Grambling State fans stormed the court after the win and it had to be a unique and relieving feeling for people that root for the Tigers.

Grambling State is now 2-18 on the season — 1-10 in the SWAC — but the pressure of ending that losing streak is probably a huge relief for everyone involved with the Grambling State men’s basketball program. Can the Grambling State men’s basketball team start a new streak, a winning streak, now? The Tigers will have their shot at two straight wins on Saturday at Texas Southern.

Bill Self on Cheick Diallo: ‘It may be a couple of more weeks’

2015 McDonald's All American Game
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Cheick Diallo is currently practicing with Kansas, but his eligibility still remains in question.

On Monday, Kansas head coach Bill Self appeared on “The Border Patrol” on WHB-AM 810 and was asked to update the status of his freshman big man.

“He’s been cleared to practice,” Self told hosts Steven St. John and Nate Bukaty. “(His status) is depending on what they find throughout from the information we submit to them whenever we get it all together.

“A lot of people think, ‘Well, why wouldn’t it all be together?’ Well there’s a lot of reasons why. It’s because they told us recently some things that they just wanted. Instead of just throwing it to them piece by piece, they requested we to just submit it all together, so it may be a couple of more weeks before we’re able to submit everything when you’re talking about getting information from schools in Mali and everything like that.

“But we hope in two weeks, maybe three weeks, before we have a definite answer. But right now, Cheick is like everybody else. He’s practicing.”

Diallo, a 6-foot-9 forward from Mali is allowed to practice with the Jayhawks, but has been waiting to be cleared by the NCAA Eligibility Center despite enrolling in classes over the summer and earning six credits. Self anticipated this would be a long process, but has remained confident Diallo, the top-5 recruit in Class of 2015, will eventually be cleared to play this season.

For three years, Diallo attended Our Savior New American School in Centereach, New York, which is currently under NCAA review. In September, Pitt freshman Damon Wilson, Diallo’s teammate at OSNA, was cleared to play.

Kansas opens the season on Nov. 13 against Northern Colorado.

Albany’s Peter Hooley accepts Inspiration Award

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Last week, Albany senior Peter Hooley accepted the Inspiration Award at the Coaches vs Cancer Basket Ball in Troy, New York. The Albany athletic department uploaded his entire speech on Monday afternoon.

Hooley had one of the most uplifting moments of March after months and months of heartache.

The junior guard missed three weeks of the season to travel back home to Australia to be with his mother, who was battling colon cancer. She passed away in January. Hooley returned to the team in February and the following month, the Great Danes had a shot at an NCAA tournament berth. In the America East Tournament championship, Hooley sunk a game-winning shot with 1.6 seconds to go.

Hooley, who graduated in May, was selected to give the commencement speech.