Best of 2016 season

All the right moves: Monmouth hoops making noise on court & on sidelines

The celebrations begin in secret. Not even Monmouth coach King Rice gets a glimpse of his bench’s elaborate performances before they go live in games—in fact, he rarely sees them during the games either, so focused is he on the action on the court. It isn’t until he boards the bus home and opens his text messages that he discovers, mostly through links to dozens of Vine loops, his backups’ best moves.

 

Ex-UNI team doctor Dan Murphy now changing—and saving—lives abroad

When Dan Murphy decided to move to East Timor in 1998, one of his main concerns was whether he’d be able to play any decent pickup basketball. It’s not that he was unconcerned about the climate in Timor at the time. He knew about its history, that the small island in Southeast Asia had been occupied almost continuously for about 400 years, first somewhat peacefully by the Portuguese and later militarily by Indonesia. He knew that during Indonesia’s occupancy, about one-tenth of the population was killed and another two-tenths fled their homeland as refugees. And he knew that preventable diseases and malnutrition were plaguing the fledgling nation. But to Murphy, those facts weren’t daunting, they were inviting.

 

A tragic fight between college-bound basketball stars changed lives forever

The last steps of Troy Causey’s life led him out of the south Dallas home where he’d been staying, past the gated front door, past the tattered basketball hoop and onto the asphalt to fight his roommate, Johnathan Turner. What happened next? Those awful moments have been the subject of debate and heartbreak here for more than a year.

 

Malcolm Brogdon knows his impact can extend well beyond the hardwood

About six months ago, Malcolm Brogdon mulled leaving Virginia for the NBA. At ACC Media Day prior to the season he had promised that he would return for a fifth season no matter what—that it was “set in stone.” But still, he wanted to consider all his options this spring. Had he accomplished all he could at Virginia? He had bounced back from a broken foot suffered his freshman year to start 71 consecutive games in two seasons, earning All-ACC honors twice and becoming a second-team All-America a year ago. He was weeks away from graduating with a history degree, too. But when he called his mother to seek advice, she reminded him that he had unfinished business.

New York Liberty star Tina Charles determined to help her community

Out of tragedy came clarity. Tina Charles had always searched for problems to solve, for people to serve. In high school, she fed the homeless with her mother, Angella Murry, and their Queens, N.Y., church on Thanksgivings. In college, she interned at Bergin Correctional Institution, earning credits helping inmates prepare to transition back to society. And when she started collecting paychecks from the Connecticut Sun, which selected her with the No. 1 pick in the 2010 WNBA draft, she really started to splurge, spreading her money and impact from the Caribbean to Africa.

 

Best of 2015 season

To understand Terry Rozier, all you need to do is look at him. His tattoos, which now cover most of his arms, legs and chest, started on his right arm. He’s known for a long time that basketball would be his way out, and he wanted to mark its significance on his skin. He asked his mother, Gina Tucker, if he could get his first tattoo when he was 14. She’d surrendered to the ink for the first time when she was 21 (and now has 14 tattoos), so she had no problem with Terry starting so young. She only gave him one rule: Each tattoo must carry a meaning.

Terry Rozier hopes to carry Louisville, and his family, to new heights

 

 
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Coach K celebrates win No. 1,000 with family, friends

After the buzzer sounded, the cameras swarmed. The game was finished, the 1,000th win was in the history books, but the moment wasn’t over. Mike Krzyzewski was swept away from his wife, Mickie, to absorb clicks and flashes and on-court interviews. So she found every Duke player she could, hugged them and thanked them for what they just helped her husband accomplish.


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My Brother's Keeper: Derrick Gordon celebrates freedom with his twin

In arenas across the country, he has fixed his eyes on this photo. He’s wrapped it in a towel, slid it into a special compartment in his backpack and carried it to Bowling Green, Kentucky. To Texas, Colorado and Florida. Or was it the photo that carried him? To Amherst, Massachusetts. To Ohio, New York and North Carolina. When he stared at the photo, he was no longer in the locker room. Trainers taping ankles, players exorcising pregame jitters with jokes, coaches making last-minute adjustments -- he separated from all of it to be together with his twin again.


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Isaiah Austin daring to dream again after NBA hopes dashed

Two hours before tip-off at TD Garden, Isaiah Austin slides into a crowded elevator. It’s opening night of the Celtics’ season, and amid chatter about their playoff chances, a man hauling video equipment turns to the 7-foot-1 Austin and asks the obvious question: “Are you playing basketball tonight?”

“No,” Austin says. “I’m long since retired.”


Best of 2014 season

Photo Credit: Mitya Ku

Junior's Moment: Gary Harris Jr. holds Michigan State together

Gary Harris Jr. held no press conference to announce his college commitment two years ago. The near-consensus No. 1 shooting guard in the class of 2012, he could have filled the Hamilton Southeastern High gym in Fishers, Ind., full of fans, reporters and camera crews as he placed his future school's hat on his head. Instead, he broke the news that he'd chosen Michigan State to his family at home during dinner. But before calling Spartans coach Tom Izzo, Harris made another decision: He would phone the coaches from the three other schools on his short list (Indiana, Kentucky and Purdue) and thank them for their time and effort recruiting him.