Napier Returning To Connecticut for Camp in South Windsor

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Shabazz Napier is returning to Connecticut the week after next. Following in the footsteps of many other former Huskies, he will be running a camp in South Windsor July 28 to Aug. 1.

Napier will be on site, two hours each day. The camp, for boys and girls age 8 to 16, runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Nomad’s Adventure Quest on Bidwell Road. You can get more info here, or by calling 860-292-6311.

Napier has been playing for the Heat in the NBA Summer League, playing in both Orlando and Las Vegas. He was 32-for-107 from the floor, 11-for-48 on three-point shots. He had 43 turnovers in 10 games, averaging 9.8 points, 3.9 assists per game.

Rodney Purvis: ‘I’m Super-Ready’ … UConn Notes, Quotes From The Pro-Am

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WATERBURY – Spent Saturday at the Greater Hartford Pro-Am, which started up last week and runs until mid-August at Crosby High.

Rodney Purvis, who will finally be able to show his talents for UConn fans next season after sitting out, dropped by to play for Eblens in the late game and scored 26 points, showing some of the slick moves in traffic that made him an elite recruit. Purvis, who transferred from NC State in April 2013, had to sit out a year, and he had shoulder surgery last winter. He played a  few games in a pro-am league back home in North Carolina earlier this summer.

We’ll have a full story in the Courant this week. Here are some of Purvis’ thoughts:

On his recovery from shoulder surgery:

“It’s 100 percent now.”

On helping Amida Brimah recover from his similar surgery:

“Any questions he has, I help him get through whatever he needs to. The day of his surgery I went to go see him to make sure he was in great spirits because it is a long process, a six month recovery. That’s my brother so I had no choice but to be there for him.”

On getting ready for the season.

“I really appreciate all the love and the support from the fans. I’m just preparing myself every day to be ready for that moment. It’s right around the corner. I’m preparing for that first game, and I’m just ready. I’m super-ready.”

How difficult was it to sit out a year?

“I heard from different guys that it was rough on them, and of course, it’s rough having to sit out,. But I couldn’t have played anyway because of my shoulder. I was around a great group of guys, they always made me feel like I was in the loop, never made me feel like I was outside. The only thing I didn’t do was play in the games, everything else, I did. So I felt a part of the team.

Sitting out of basketball for a very long time is rough, but I’ve tried to make it worth it

I took advantage of everything, going up against guys like Shabazz [Napier] and Boatright every day in practice, I was in Shabazz’s ear all the time, in the room watching film with him, asking questions, and he gave me a lot of great feedback before he left.”

What did he learn from UConn’s championship run?

“We stayed together. That’s the most important thing. We stayed together no matter what. Anytime you saw one of us, there was always five or six of us. I don’t think people understand how being close off the court carries on to the court. We’re really brothers. We don’t put on a front for Twitter or the media, we take our relationships seriously amongst each other.

We’re always there for each other and it carried on to the court. That’ show we did it, we stayed together.”

How to recapture that feeling?

“I’m in the guys’ ear every day in the locker room, ‘let’s stay together, let’s do things together.’

Me and Sam [Cassell Jr.], we’re roommates, we go everywhere together, do things together. Same with [Daniel Hamilton and Rakim Lubin] – I don’t want them to feel like outsiders because they’re new guys. I’m real strong on brotherhood, that’s how I was raised and I saw what brotherhood can do last season and we want that same thing this season.”


On playing with Ryan Boatright:

“I honestly feel like, with us having relationship we have off the court, that’s going to carry on to the court. He was my roommate last year, he took me under his wing. Help me learn.

… Not many people know this. But the whole, entire year [until the surgery] me and Boatright were in the gym every single night, basically beating each other up, some days going back to the room not speaking to each other because one of us got the better of the other that one day. … I just appreciate Boatright. He’s a great guy and I can’t wait to play alongside him. Continue reading

Napier, Heat Wrap Things Up In Orlando

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Now we know Shabazz Napier won’t be playing with LeBron James after all. In fact, the Miami Heat will likely be a shell of what they were when next season begins. The summer league, which concluded Friday, was the first step in preparing Napier for what could be a larger role as a rookie.

In the Heat’s fifth and final game, Napier played 28 ½ minutes, going 1-for-4 from the floor, 0-for-2 on three-pointers, with two rebounds, seven assists, three steals and five turnovers. Miami (1-4) lost to Oklahoma City 103-98. Jeremy Lamb, who had averaged 17.3 points per game, did not play for the Thunder on Friday.

Napier’s final stats in Orlando: 27.5 miniutes, 10.8 points, 14-for-51 from the floor, four assists per game.

Neither Niels Giffey (Grizzlies) nor Lasan Kromah (Nets) got into a game in Orlando.

The Las Vegas summer league starts up Friday night. DeAndre Daniels, with Toronto, playing the Lakers at 6 p.m.

Talks Hoops with Jim Calhoun or Geno Auriemma? The Bidding Is On

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With the ESPYs coming up, and UConn up for several awards, the Huskies basketball programs and ESPN are teaming up for auctions to raise money for the V Foundation.

How does this grab you? One UConn experience is a chance to sit and talk basketball with Jim Calhoun courtside at UConn game, and take in the game, and other activities, with Andy Katz and Seth Greenberg. The bidding on Ebay is here.

Or, you can go to a UConn women’s game. This package includes meeting Geno Auriemma and partaking in the pregame meal. You can bid here.

For all the ESPYs action items, click here. Be sure to read the entire description and get all the details before you bid. The ESPYs will be on July 16, the day bidding ends.

UConn News and Notes: Scholarhip For Lenehan, A Talk with ‘Sticks,’ Etc.

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Hope everybody enjoyed their 4th of July. Just catching up on a few things …

UConn rewarded Pat Lenehan’s diligent work in the classroom, and dogged work in practice. They’ve put him on scholarship for his senior year coming up. Lenehan, from Cheshire and Xavier-Middletown, was a recipient of the Goldwater Scholarship, which goes to outstanding students in the fields of science, math and engineering. Lenehan, who has had a 4.0 GPA, is a molecular cell biology major and plans to earn an MD/PhD and become a research oncologist.

He has been a walk-on the last two seasons, and works hard to push his teammates in practice.


As you know, Will “Turtle” Jackson de-committed from UConn and committed to Georgia earlier this week. These things happen when kids commit early, as both Jackson and Prince Ali did from the Class of 2015. UConn kept recruiting, and when they landed Jalen Adams last week, Jackson saw that playing time might be scarce. So he probably made a wise decision. UConn has benefitted from players de-committing from elsewhere and coming to Storrs, such as Ryan Boatright. It’s just part of the recruiting process, which still has a long way to go with 2015 kids.


NBA teams still want Ray Allen. The Cavs are said to be pursuing him now. Allen’s “Ray of Hope” golf tournament at the TPC is set for Aug. 4, by the way. Here is some info on that.



Shabazz Napier has been up and down in the NBA summer league. Here is the update from his latest game with the Heat.



Had a nice talk today with former Husky Stanley Robinson, who played pro ball in Canada last year. “ Continue reading

The ESPYs: Red Carpet Treatment For Huskies?

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UConn’s run to the dual national championships is a gift that keeps on giving. The latest accolades beckoning the Huskies are the ESPYs – ESPN’s glitzy award show, which will be aired live on July 16 from Los Angeles. Drake is your host.

UConn men and women are up for several awards, for which you can cast a vote here.


  • Breanna Stewart is up for best female athlete, along with former Husky Maya Moore.
  • Stewart is also up for top college female athlete, and Moore for best WNBA player.
  • The UConn women, who went 40-0, are up for best team, along with the Red Sox, Kings, Spurs, Seahawks, Florida State football.
  • The UConn men’s run from No. 7 seed to the championship is nominated for “Best Upset,” along with Mercer’s win over Duke in men’s basketball, and Weidman over Silva in UCF.
  • Shabazz Napier is nominated for Best Championship Performance, along with David Ortiz, Kwahi Leonard and Jimmie Johnson.
  • In the Best Coach/Manager category, Geno Auriemma and Kevin Ollie are both nominated, along with John Farrell, Pete Carroll and Gregg Poppvich – that is quite a group.

Lasan Kromah To Play For Nets In Orlando Summer League

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Lasan Kromah will get a chance to show NBA folks what he can do. He has been added to the Nets’ summer league roster, which was released Tuesday.

Kromah, who played last season at UConn as a grad-student after graduating from George Washington, earned a master’s degree. Now he’ll join players like Mason Plumlee, Markel Brown, on Brooklyn’s roster. Play begins in Orlando on July 5, with players arriving now.

Kromah, 6-foot-6, was a starter for much of the season for UConn – starting 17 games – and was an effective defensive player, often assigned to the top opposing scoring threat. He averaged 6.1 points and 2.7 rebounds in 22 minutes per game, and had 45 steals.

Niels Giffey will be on the Grizzlies’ roster and, of course, first-round pick Shabazz Napier with the Heat, so there will be a few happy reunions in Orlando.

DeAndre Daniels is likely headed to Las Vegas summer league to play with the Raptors, who took him with the 37th pick of the draft.


Miami Meets Shabazz: ‘Each Level Gets Tougher and Tougher’

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The Miami Heat have a lot of work to do this off-season, but they took a moment to welcome Shabazz Napier into the fold. He was formally introduced to Heat fans in Miami at a press conference on Monday.

Here are some highlights:.

 “I’ve been playing basketball since I was 5 ½. Of course, each level it gets tougher and tougher. You have to expect that. You’ve got to prepare yourself for those opportunities at hand. I’m not nervous at all. I’m definitely excited to get it going. … [There will] be games where I’m the man and it’s going to be games where I’m not the man. That’s how it was in college. You have to understand it’s what the game asks of you that day. If that day it was my job to get 12 rebounds, so be it.”

Here is a full story from our sister paper, the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel.

No More Questions: Daniel Hamilton Is On Campus

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STORRS – Caught up with Daniel Hamilton briefly as his workout ended at Gampel on Monday. He arrived from LA last week, and began summer classes:

“I feel pretty good, first day of summer school. Everything went well. I’m excited to be here, excited to work [Kevin Ollie’s] camp last weekend. It’s just been a good experience since I’ve been here.

“ I was out there in Houston with my brother [Jordan Hamilton] a week ago, and we were just working out with James [Hardin], with Dwight [Howard], playing pick-up and stuff like that. And they were teaching me new things that I could do, to transfer to the college level.”

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Introducing the New Huskies: Rakim Lubin

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STORRS - Rakim Lubin has been a kind of mystery man for UConn. Little was known of him when he came to campus last September, watched the grueling first practice, and committed.

He was rarely, if ever, quoted in the media and he did not sign a letter of intent in November. But Lubin went about his business, averaging 21 points and 13 rebounds per game for Buford (Ga.) High. He signed his letter in the spring and arrived on campus last week.

Lubin, who rooms with Daniel Hamilton, looks a little shorter than 6-foot-8, but he has a broad, strong upper body, a player in the Jeff Adrien mold, perhaps. He said he had reached 265 pounds in the spring, but was down to 248 when he weighed in on Monday, as he finished his first day of classes.

Lubin was covered in sweat after a workout at Gampel Pavilion, and he talked for a few minutes.

On why he chose UConn after watching practice last Sept. 28:

“The coaching, and the way the guys stuck it out together. No matter how hard it got, they kept fighting and stayed together, and that’s the type of player I am. So I liked seeing that when I came in that first day.”

On watching the Huskies win the title:

“I was telling people the whole year that we were going to win it because we had the best point guard in college basketball. No one believed it. They thought Florida was going to win it. It was pretty good to rub that in.”

Why he signed when he did:

“For some reason, I just wanted to sign during the last period, but I knew who I committed to and I knew where I wanted to be. …”

Why he changed high schools:

“My academic level wasn’t where it needed to be in Alabama, The school in Buford was a pretty good academic school and they helped me get it up to where I needed to be to be NCAA eligible.”


How he can help the Huskies

“Physicality and a lot of rebounding, that’s my main thing right now, coming in my freshman year and getting a lot of board,

I watched a lot of games. The one I noticed big-time was the Florida game in the tournament. The big guy, Patric Young, he was a big guy and I was like ‘I could body up with him pretty good, it would be a fun matchup.’ Continue reading