North Carolina Newspapers

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Wt)t Cliarlotte $0!St
Draft is a
game at
very least
By Dave Goldberg
When Keyshawn Johnson
was taken by the New York
Jets with the first pick in the
1996 NFL draft, it was
assumed he woidd be a
Keyshawn has had a good
career: three Pro Bowls, a
Super Bowl ring and nearly
10,000 yards receiving.
But subsequent events
have demon
strated he cer
tainly wasn’t
the best player
in that draft
.1 and no better
than No. 3
among wide-
Johnson outs. Certainly
not as good as
three players ahead of him in
a mock redraft of 1996: Ray
Lewis, Marvin Harrison and.
Iferrell Owens, who for aU his
off-field notoriety has been a
star on it.
But that’s the norm.
What potential NFL play
ers do in college and then in
workouts often has little rela
tionship to what they can do
on the field, so at best, the
draft is a guessing game.
Every team, fi'om top to bot
tom, has had its duds in high
places - the top teams just
pick badly less often.
There are a lot of reasons
for that, none more than the
seeming obsession with what
happens OFF the field fixtm
January to April, when
prospective draftees are
poked, prodded, interviewed
and Wonderlic-ed.
So even the best scouts
often forget what made the
players prospects: the way
they can play
“Competitiveness is the
most important aspect and
that’s sometimes hard to
test,” says Gil Brandt, the
longtime personnel director
for the Dallas Cowboys and
now the NFL’s draft adviser.
“The only measurement you
can rise at all is something
that’s relevant to the position
he plays. We spend a lot of
time and money measuring
things that have no rele
vance to what a player wiU
Tkke linebacker Zach
Thomas of the Dolphins, a
fifth-rounder in ‘96 who
makes it into the top 10 in
the mock redraft, along with
safety Brian Dawkins of the
Eagles, a second-rounder,
and Owens and linebacker
Tbdy Bruschi, both third-
round choices. Thomas went
low because he seemed a lit
tle slow and certainly was a
little short at 5-foot-lO, but
Brandt says he’s the most
Please see AT BEST/2C
Lincoln plans to add
football, join CIAA
By Herbert L. White
The CIAA may not wait
long to replace Winston-
Salem State and N.C.
The board of trustees at
Division III Lincoln fPa.)
has voted to revive its foot
ball program aft^ 46 years
and apply for membership
in the CIAA, where it is a
charter member. School offi-
als expect to play a Division
II football schedule in 2009
after a club season in 2008.
‘We recognize that there
are challenges ahead, but
we are extremely excited
with tile board’s decision,”
Lincoln President Ivory
Nelson said. ‘We strongly
believe the action of tiie
board will boost school pride
for our students, faculty,
staff and alumni.”
Please see LINCOLN/3C
The Charlotte Eagles’ Patrick Daka(19) strikes the ball with his head against Cincinnati’s
Bret Jones in the Eagles' 1-0 win in their United Soccer League'2 season opener. Charlotte
plays Western Massachusetts Friday at Waddell High in a rematch of last year’s national
championship match, won by Charlotte.
More improvement is within reach for the Charlotte
Bobcats and forward Jumaine Jones. The Bobcats
finished 26-56, eight games better than 2004-05.
show room
for growth
Despite key injuries to frontcourt,
Charlotte boosts victory count
By Eric Bozeman
Tlie Cliarlotte Bobcats finished eight games better
than last season with a record of 26-56.
Capping the year off vrith a four game winning
streak was a positive step forward for the Bobcats,
who were bitten by the injury bug this season.
Charlotte lost Emeka Okafor (ankle), Sean May
(knee), Alan Anderson (shoulder), and Bernard
Robinson (finger), but managed to post series victories
throughout the year over key eastern conference foes.
Tlie Bobcats beat Philadelphia (3-1), Atlanta (3-l),and
New York (3-0), while splitting with the L.ALakers,
Minnesota, Sacramento and Seattle.
“Considering what we did finishing with 26 wins, a
four game winning streak, and the injuries we had, it’s
been an excellent season,” said Gerald Wallace, who
led the Bobcats with 15.2 points per game and 7.5
Brevin Knight and Raymond Felton were also key in
helping the Cheats overcome the injury riddled year.
Knight averaged 12.6 ppg with 8.8 assists, and Felton
was superb in his rookie year, posting double figures
in 19 consecutive games, while averaging 11.9 ppg.
Knight said the Bobcats meager success is due to the
players committing themselves to making the team
Please see BOBCATS/3C
The ‘real’ top 10
players in the NBA
By Eric Williams
PHILADELPHIA - I recently read an interesting
column the other day in which the writer ranked his
top 10 players in the league. Now, I must say, that
whenever someone writes an article like this, it is
purely the opinion of said writer.
Having said that, since I disagreed vehemently with
some of this other scribe’s selections, I decided to com
pile my own list of the 10 best players in the league
with a definitive reason to go along with each pick.
Now that I’ve gotten that long-winded explanation out
of my system, let’s get started.
1 Tim Duncan
Even with Duncan ailing aU season from a nagging
injury I know aU about fiom fii^t-hand experience
(plantar fasiditis) he is clearly the most important and
dominating player in the game. Yes, he has wonderful
talent all around him and the game’s best coach, but
it’s his driving presence that has driven San Antonio
to three championship and a possible fourth.
2.Kobe Br3/ant
I think Bryant has clearly shown this season that he
See NBA’S/3C
Home has advantages for Charlotte 49ers sprinter Former Globetrotter
Jason Moore, a standout sprinter at Vance High, has continued
his improvement with the Charlotte 49ers.
By Eric Bozeman
Charlotte 49ers sprinter
Jason Moore has found the idea
of running at home to his liking.
Moore, a sophomore who spe
cializes • in the 100 and 200
\*meters, was a 400 standout at
Vance Ihgh. In two years Moore
has blossomed into a collegiate
sprinter with limitless potential
for growth.
Moore ran a 22.3 during the
2005 indoor season, ranking
fourth aU time at Charlotte,
and he has run a 10.8 100.
Moore also competes on the
4x400 relay that has turned in
a time of 3 minutes, 9 seconds
that finished fourth in
Conference USA champi
onships last year.
‘Tfs more of an advantage
running at home,” he said. Its
stiU competitive, but you have
more of your family here, your
coaches fi’om high school to
cheer you on, so its a big plus.”
Switching to the Atlantic-10
Conference has not been a
major adjustment for Moore,
who says he hasn’t surpassed
his personal goal in the 200, but
is proud of his continued
improvement in the 100.
Moore wsis reluctant to share
what exact times he wanted to
run in the sprints this season.
“I just see it as another group
of competitive teams, I don’t
really put them out there, I just
see them as someone else that I
have to beat and race against,”
Moore said. “But as far as the
goals that I have set for myself.
See 49ER/2C
keeps busy with
mission, basketball
By Mardeio Cannon
It is not often that one gets to sit down
/ % andhave a conversation with a “living leg
end.” I had that privilege recently when I
had the opportunity to sit down and talk
to the unforgettable basketball great.
Meadowlark Lemon.
. ' Lemon is the most well-knovm name
associated with the traveling basketball
entertainers, the Harlem Globetrotters.
A great showman and crowd-pleaser
during his heyday Lemon was in town
\ ' recently as the special guest speaker for
the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity at their
annual Scholarship Brunch.
Lemon’s gift of comedic timing and bas
ketball skills were what set him apart

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