Tidbits gathered at Mario Chalmers’ auction and golf tournament to benefit cancer research. ...
• Perry-Lecompton High’s boys basketball team figures to cause quite a stir in the new Big Seven Conference this winter.
Opposing fans at Hiawatha, Holton, Jefferson West, Sabetha, Santa Fe Trail and Seneca-Nemaha Valley undoubtedly will swamp the P-L bench after games to ask for autographs from former Kansas University players Jeff Hawkins and Moulaye Niang.
Hawkins, who recently was named Kaws head coach after working as an assistant at Ellis High last season, on Friday made public the addition of former KU center Niang to his staff.
“I know what guards do. Moulaye knows what posts do,” said Hawkins, who has his first head-coaching job at age 27 and Niang his first assistant-coaching job at the same age.
“Moulaye will be perfect for the position. He can work with the bigs. He’s played that position and had the chance to play under coach Roy Williams and Bill Self, and I think he’ll be a big asset to Perry-Lecompton.”
Hawkins red-shirted one season and played one season for Williams, then played three years for Self at KU, completing his eligibility in 2005-06. Niang played at KU from 2002 to ’05. He sat out his senior season because of a bad back, finishing up as a grad assistant on Self’s staff.
“It really does seem like yesterday. At the same time it’s been 10 years since I was playing high school ball,” said Hawkins, a former standout at Kansas City Sumner High. “Now I’m coaching high school players. Even though it’s at a young age, it makes me feel old because I was coached by an older coach in high school.
“I know I’ve been blessed. I know a lot of coaches were assistants for 10 years waiting for a head-coaching position. My second year coaching I have the opportunity to be a head coach. I’m happy and thankful I have a chance to help some kids get better and help them excel in life.”
• Former KU forward Christian Moody and his wife, Nicole, arrived at Friday’s golf tournament at Alvamar with baby boy, William.
“We really like the name Max and almost named him, Max,” Moody said with a smile, while introducing his son to KU broadcasting legend Max Falkenstien.
Moody attends KU Med School.
• Former KU guard Russell Robinson averaged 6.8 points and 1.5 assists a game for the Indiana Pacers in summer league play in Orlando, Fla. He moved on to Las Vegas, where he averaged 11.8 points and 2.3 assists a game for the NBA Development League All-Stars.
“Summer league was up and down,” said Robinson, who has not heard from Pacer officials whether they want to invite him to preseason camp. He played in the NBADL last year for both Maine and Reno, Nev.
“It was pretty good overall. I got to play, showcase my talent. Everything went well. Now we just sit and wait and make a decision.”
Robinson said he heard positive things about his summer-league play.
“My position is a little different. I’m a little older now. It’s harder to go to camp with a non-guarantee. I’m trying to find the best situation that will work out for me,” said the 24-year-old Robinson, who wants to start making significant dollars here or in Europe.
“I do like it,” he added of the NBADL. “It doesn’t pay very well, but it is a great opportunity, a way to get in the NBA. I’ve been there, done that. I’m kind of looking for a new experience.”
He said there’s “about an 80 percent chance I’ll be somewhere in Europe next year.”
• Robinson was able to catch up with former KU teammate Darrell Arthur in Las Vegas. Arthur, who was on the original list of participants but did not attend Chalmers’ tournament, played for the Memphis Grizzlies summer league team.
“I played against ‘Shady’ this past week. That was pretty cool. He’s doing well,” Robinson said of Arthur, who played in just 32 NBA games last year, averaging 4.5 points and 3.4 rebounds a game. Arthur missed much of his second season with a torn pectoral muscle.
• Former KU center Matt Kleinmann has finished a summer internship with Helix Architecture and Design in Kansas City, Mo. Kleinmann soon will head to Argentina to study for four months as part of his graduate program at Washington University in St. Louis.
He showed for Chalmers’ auction wearing his 2008 NCAA championship ring.
“I figure if there’s an event we’re talking about it, I might as well bring it. I never wear it out unless I’m doing a job interview. If I have a job interview, I have it on,” Kleinmann said, laughing.
• The Miami Heat late last week re-signed point guard Carlos Arroyo, who will battle Chalmers for the starting lead guard job.
“I think with my experience of winning and being with the Miami Heat organization a couple years, I think I can bring a lot of experience and depth to the team. I think it’ll be a lot of fun,” Chalmers said of his third season in the pros.
As far as what Chalmers needs to do to play, he said: “Just being ready when my opportunity knocks, being ready for the open shot, knocking down my shot, working on my game, trying to get better.”