Cover Photo via @BaylorWBB on Twitter.
Every week for the past twenty-two weeks, I have sat down to write a recap of high school sports in the DFW metroplex. It’s simple, easy and fun for me to do every week and I have enjoyed doing it. I appreciate anyone who has taken the time to read The Cooldown this season. This edition of The Cooldown is a little different though. This one is hard for me to write, in the midst of basketball season and on the heels of the passing of one of the greatest players to ever lace 'em up.
Kobe Bryant tragically passed on Sunday morning in a helicopter crash with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Marie on board. The two were en route to a basketball game when Bryant’s helicopter crashed in Calabasas, California. Bryant was a big influence on my life growing up, as is the case for most millenials. Even though I grew up a fan of the Boston Celtics, I loved watching Kobe’s game. I wore his sneakers and watched his highlights and checked his stats. I wasn’t the only kid who grew up watching Bryant, among a handful of other NBA stars. I’ll touch on Bryant again at the end of the post as we all mourn his passing.
Two DFW Area Girls Named McDonald’s All-Americans
Irving MacArthur’s Hannah Gusters and Duncanville’s Deja Kelly were both named McDonald’s All-Americans last week. Judging from their Twitter feeds, Gusters and Kelly were both big fans of Kobe. One of Bryant’s better quotes talked about how important it was for him to inspire the next generation. It seems safe to say he accomplished that goal with these two. I know both Gusters and Kelly will make DFW proud in the McDonald’s All-American Game and in their collegiate careers moving forward. Congratulations on such an incredible accomplishment to Hannah Gusters and Deja Kelly!
South Grand Prairie Outlasts Waxahachie in 4OT
I really wanted to talk about Newman Smith here, but I HAVE to talk about this game. I’ll have more on Newman Smith next week. I also discussed their season with Ashlea Bullington on the 5thQuarter last week. Be sure to check that out!
South Grand Prairie outscored Waxahachie 37-33 through four overtimes to outlast the Indians for a 101-97 win. Christian Turner led South Grand Prairie with 38 points and Khaden Bennett added 25 points. Jordan Roberts scored 11 points and Jaden Flournoy finished with eight points.
C.J. Noland scored a game high 41 points for Waxahachie and B.J. Francis followed with 16 points of his own. A.J. Russ finished with 11 points while Jalen Lake and Chris Pace scored eight points each. Waxahachie was down to its last five available players due to foul trouble in the fourth overtime and wasn’t able to overcome a talented South Grand Prairie squad.
These two teams will meet again one more time in the regular season. As it stands right now, South Grand Prairie and Waxahachie are battling for second and third place in district 7-6A. Grand Prairie is currently in first place and undefeated in district play. Keep a close eye on all three teams over the next few weeks as they will have to face one another one more time.
DFW Metroplex Mourns Kobe Bryant
As I mentioned above, Kobe Bryant played such a large part in my childhood. He was one of several players I tried to imitate. I know I am not the only one who did that on the playground. Here are some reactions from athletes and teams we have covered this season on the passing of Kobe Bryant.
Here is something cool a fan is trying to put together for Tuesday night's showdown between L.D. Bell and Trinity. Putting aside the rivalry to honor one of the game's greatest players. I would love to see this happen.
Dirk and the Dallas Mavericks expressed their deep sorrow and gratitude toward Kobe for everything he did for the game. Mark Cuban announced that the Dallas Mavericks will be retiring Kobe's No. 24 on Sunday afternoon. All of us here at Inside High School Sports share in the sadness, sorrow and sympathy for yesterday's tragedy.
Kobe Bryant was named to the All-NBA First Team 11 times and the All-Defense Team nine times. He was a five time NBA Finals Champion and won Finals MVP twice. Bryant won NBA MVP for the 2006-07 season. Bryant also became a big proponent of the WNBA since he retired from the NBA. His daughter Gianna played basketball and loved the game.
All of us at Inside High School Sports send our thoughts and prayers to the Bryant, Altobelli, Mauser, Chester and Zobayan families.