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Archive for Friday, July 1, 2011

Randall recalls earlier lockout

Former KU forward hopes 2011 dispute doesn’t last as long

July 1, 2011

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Denver Nuggets community relations director Mark Randall hopes the current NBA lockout does not stretch as long as the last.

“It was in 1999. We didn’t start until February that year,” recalled Randall, a 6-foot-8, 235-pound former Kansas University power forward, who was added to the Nuggets’ 1998-99 roster immediately after the lockout.

“I think we wound up packing 50 games in three months.”

The NBA formulated a killer schedule in hopes of salvaging as much money as possible for players and owners.

“You got nothing,” Randall said of pay during work stoppages. “In the NBA, the first check you get is Nov. 15. I believe it’s the same today. What you did was work out with individual players to make sure you were in shape in case the lockout was lifted. Fortunately it was.

“I stayed in Denver working out with LaPhonso Ellis, Bryant Stith, Tommy Hammonds, Rodney Rogers. We spent a lot of time at the athletic club.”

Randall — he taught fundamentals to youths at this week’s Cole Aldrich Basketball Camp in Olathe — said the current lockout was “inevitable.”

“From everything I’ve heard, the owners are going to stand firm. The players have their strong opinions, strong feelings about their stance,” Randall said.

Randall, 43, was a member of KU’s 1988 NCAA title team and second-leading scorer on KU’s 1991 national runner-up team. A first-round draft pick of the Chicago Bulls, he played four seasons in the NBA.

Randall’s current duties with the Nuggets include community relations work with the players and team corporate sponsors, as well as scheduling of the team mascot, in-game promotions, and color analysis on Altitude TV.

He ran his own basketball camp in Denver until this summer.

“I love doing basketball camps. I had my own for 18 years. This is the first summer I won’t be doing it,” Randall said. “We’ve got our (Nuggets) players more active in camps. I think more than anything it ran its course. It’s how it works. You’ve got to stop sometime.”

Recruiting: Christian Sanders, a 6-foot-3, 175-pound senior-to-be from St. Thomas High School in Houston, on Thursday completed an unofficial recruiting visit to KU.

The son of former KU guard Brad Sanders has received scholarship offers from Maryland, Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State and Colorado. He’s also heard from Houston, Oklahoma, Wichita State and others.

KU’s staff plans on evaluating Houston Defenders combo guard Sanders on the AAU circuit.

“I think KU is pretty interested. They need to see me play, which is respectful. I can definitely see that, so they plan on watching me this July,” Sanders told Rivals.com. “Depending on what KU’s needs are, and if they think I’m a fit for what Kansas basketball is, then they’ll make a move. I feel like they’re interested, and I’m pretty excited.”

Conner Frankamp, a 6-0 junior-to-be out of Wichita North, made an unofficial visit to KU on Thursday, Rivals.com reported. He told Rivals he received a scholarship offer on his visit. He has heard from KU, Missouri, Oklahoma, UCLA and others. He’s currently ranked No. 65 in the Class of 2013.

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