Blogs: Hoophead

NBA All-Star Weekend Day 2: Zach LaVine Slams The Roof off of Barclays

  • Hoophead
  • Christina M. Tapper, Lauren Shute
  • February 15, 2015, 12:47 PM

By Lauren Shute and Christina M. Tapper

We’ve reached the midpoint of the All-Star weekend and the big game is tonight! Four events highlighted Saturday night’s action. But the main event was the Slam Dunk Contest. Here’s what went down:

zach lavine all star game slam dunk contest

LaVine Wows Crowd With Perfection in Dunk Contest

Zach LaVine’s name had been on the lips of just about every NBA player before the NBA’s All-Star Slam Dunk Contest. And Saturday night, everyone in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center — and millions watching at home — saw exactly why. 
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Recapping Day 1 of NBA All-Star Weekend

  • Hoophead
  • Christina M. Tapper, Lauren Shute
  • February 14, 2015, 11:48 AM

The 2015 NBA All-Star Weekend kicked off yesterday with Media Day. It gave journalists covering this weekend’s All-Star Game some time with featured players from around the league. Media Day was packed with what seemed like a never-ending crowd of reporters and cameras rolling and flashing at every turn. But we managed to get in on some Media Day action with some of your favorite NBA star.

2015 nba all-star game lebron james dwyane wade

Bright Lights

Upon arrival at Media Day, LeBron James reunited with his former teammate Dwyane Wade while reporters looked on and captured the moment. LeBron, whose dominant play led the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 12-game win streak earlier this year, comfortably dressed in sweats and donned sunglasses inside the room. It was probably the most useful accessory to have when the spotlight is on you!
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NBA All-Star Media Day Interview with Anthony Davis

  • Hoophead
  • Lauren Shute
  • February 13, 2015, 6:18 PM

anthony davis new orleans pelicans all-star game

Before the start of the NBA season, Hall-of-Famer Charles Barkley had a message for media personnel in New York City: “If you haven’t gotten a chance to see Anthony Davis play, let me tell you, he’s the next big thing in the NBA.” 

Davis was the first pick in the 2012 NBA Draft by the New Orleans Hornets (now the Pelicans). He spent last summer in Barcelona, Spain, with Team USA, and Barkley was impressed by what he saw. Just three years into his pro career, Davis has gone from a great young talent with loads of potential to one of the best young players in the league. So far this season, he’s averaging 24.5 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks per game. Davis was recently selected for his second All-Star appearance (his first time as a starter). Though he’ll miss the game because of a nagging shoulder injury, Davis spoke with SI Kids as All-Star Weekend kicked off about all of his early professional success, how far he’s come, and what his Pelicans need to do to turn things around come playoff time. 
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Philadelphia 76ers Introduce Their New Mascot: Franklin, the Big Blue Dog

  • Hoophead
  • Dante A. Ciampaglia
  • February 10, 2015, 6:00 PM

franklin philadelphia 76ers

Its been a tough season for the Philadelphia 76ers. A 12-41 is pretty lousy, regardless if they earned it by tanking our just being straight up bad. There’s not a whole lot to do to get your fan base at least a little excited (isn’t that right, Knicks?), but the 76ers gave it a try today by introducing Franklin, the team’s new mascot.

Franklin made his debut, appropriately enough, at the Franklin Institute in Philly. Three hundred kids were on hand to meet the big blue dog “with perky ears and wagging tail” and who is Sixers fans’ new “best friend.” (I wonder if the team gave any thought to introducing a dog mascot in the middle of a dog of a season…)
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Tiffany Mitchell: A Player and Her Coach

  • Hoophead
  • Lauren Shute
  • January 27, 2015, 1:31 PM

tiffany mitchell dawn staley south carolina

In Tiffany Mitchell’s short time playing college basketball, the junior guard has developed into a powerful force on the court. She has helped South Carolina reach the top of the national rankings for the first time in school history, while simultaneously becoming the school’s first (preseason) All-America selection. 

Mitchell credits much of her success to her coach, Hall of Famer Dawn Staley

“I wouldn’t want to play for anyone else,” Mitchell says. “That’s why I came to South Carolina, and that [she is my coach] makes everything that much better.” 

The relationship between player and coach began long before Mitchell ever stepped on campus.
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Klay Thompson Scores Record 37 Points in One Quarter!

  • Hoophead
  • Dante A. Ciampaglia
  • January 26, 2015, 11:57 AM

klay thompson golden state warriors 37 points


So while you were all finalizing your plans to watch the NHL All-Star Game and NFL Pro Bowl (ahem), Golden State Warriors guard was making history. On Friday night, Thompson dropped an NBA-record 37 points in the third quarter against the Sacramento Kings en route to a 52-point night (which included 11 threes, tying a Warriors record). The Warriors would go on to win, of course, 126-101. The previous mark was 33, set in 1978 by George Gervin and match in 2008 by Carmelo Anthony. 
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Now Starring… A'Ja Wilson!

  • Hoophead
  • Lauren Shute
  • January 5, 2015, 4:03 PM

a'ja wilson south carolina college basketball 

The most exciting newcomer in women's college basketball is A'Ja Wilson, but she hasn't always been a phenom. When Wilson was 11 years old, her father tricked her into trying out for a local basketball team. "I didn't know I was trying out, but I made the team," she recalls. "The first two years I didn't get any playing time. I was terrible. Awful."

Her feelings shifted around the age of 12. Wilson went from hating the game to watching it, and then she took to the hardwood. When she walked through the doors of Heathwood Hall (a private school in Columbia, South Carolina), she was a 5'9" freshman, but in four years she transformed into a 6'5" senior and champion, leading the Highlanders to their first ever state title and averaging 34.4 points, 13.9 rebounds, 3.0 steals, and 5.0 blocks. She was named a 2014 McDonald's All-American and picked as the top-ranked girls' recruit of her class.

Last April, Wilson announced at her own press conference, live on ESPNU, that she would not be joining Geno Auriemma at UConn or volunteering her services at Tennessee like most top prospects. Instead, she chose to stay close to home. Wilson grew up about 20 miles from the South Carolina campus. Last year the upstart women's program won its first regular-season SEC championship and was a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. (The Gamecocks lost to North Carolina 65--58 in the Sweet 16.) The coach is Dawn Staley, a basketball Hall of Famer and three-time Olympic gold medalist. When Wilson was deciding on where to go, she asked herself, "Why wouldn't you want to be a part of that?"

SI KIDS spoke with Wilson about being a rookie, her favorite Southern food, and making history in her home state.
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