Three girls convince father to name race horse in honor of Lacey Holsworth

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The story of Lacey Holsworth is one that received a of attention over the last two years and with good reason. Fighting cancer, Holsworth’s friendship with former Michigan State forward Adreian Payne served as an inspiration for many and that remains the case to this day.

Holsworth lost her battle in early April, and her determination led to three sisters in Louisville paying tribute to her in their own way.

In a story written by Adam Himmelsbach of the Louisville Courier-Journal, horse owner Greg James discussed the impact that Holsworth’s story had on his three daughters who are between the ages of seven and 12. With Holsworth being eight years old at the time of her passing, the story was one the girls could identify with.

What happened next made James proud, and it made him hug his girls a little tighter. They approached him after Lacey’s death and said they wanted her to be remembered. They didn’t want people to forget.

The James family, which owns racehorses on a 57-acre farm east of in Middletown, happened to have a young filly preparing for her first race. James had planned to name her Interesting’s Bull, but Ericka asked if they could name her Lacey the Spartan instead.

“I just felt bad so for her family,” Ericka said. “I wanted to name our horse in her honor.”

James stated in the story that should Lacey the Spartan, who finished fourth in her first race, earn winnings he would like to donate a portion to charity in Holsworth’s name.

Syracuse receives mixed news on sanctions appeals

Jim Boeheim
Associated Press
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Wednesday the NCAA made its ruling on two appeals of sanctions made by Syracuse University, with the news being mixed for the men’s basketball program.

On the positive side the NCAA ruled that Syracuse will be docked two scholarships per season for the next four years, as opposed to the original ruling of three. As a result Jim Boeheim’s program only has to account for the loss of eight total scholarships, meaning that they’ll have 11 to fill in each of the next four seasons as opposed to ten.

One scholarship may not seem like a big deal, but in a sport where you only get 13 (when not dealing with sanctions) getting that grant-in-aid back really helps from a recruiting standpoint.

As for the negatives, they both concern Boeheim. Not only has there yet to be a ruling on Boeheim’s appeal of his nine-game suspension that goes into effect when ACC play begins in January (that appeal is being heard separately), but the appeal to reinstate the wins that were vacated as part of the sanctions was denied. As a result Boeheim officially has 868 wins instead of 969 (not counting today’s game against Charlotte).

And with Mike Hopkins set to take over as head coach in 2018, the denial means that college basketball will have to wait quite some time before anyone threatens to join Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski in the 1,000 wins club.

While not having the wins officially reinstated does hurt, getting a scholarship back for each of the next four seasons is a bigger deal when it comes to the long-term health of the Syracuse program. Also of great importance will be the ruling regarding Boeheim’s suspension, as a suspended coach is not allowed to have any contact with his players or coaching staff while serving the penalty.

And with the original ruling due to take up half of Syracuse’s league slate, not having Boeheim (or the chance to speak with him) is a big deal when it comes to this current team.

St. John’s forward Kassoum Yakwe cleared by NCAA

Chris Mullin
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer
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St. John’s forward Kassoum Yakwe has been cleared by the NCAA to play this season and will be eligible immediately, the school announced on Wednesday.

Yakwe is a 6-foot-8 forward that reclassified and enrolled at St. John’s this fall. He attended the same high school as Kansas forward Cheick Diallo, who was also cleared by the NCAA to play today.

St. John’s played in the Maui Invitational this week, and Yakwe did not take part. His first game with the Johnnies will be on Dec. 2nd against Fordham if the program plans to play his this season.

The question that must be asked, however, is whether or not he will suit up or simply redshirt. The Johnnies are in the midst of a serious rebuild and will be without their other elite recruit this season, Marcus Lovett. Lovett was ruled a partial qualifier. Would it make sense to burn a year of eligibility on what make amount to a wasted season, or will head coach Chris Mullin opt to save that year for down the road?