For Napier, Huskies, A ‘Super-Cool’ Night At The Ballpark … Notes, Quotes, Thoughts From Fenway

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BOSTON – It was a fun night for the Huskies at Fenway Park.

Of course, if you know me, you know I believe one can’t have a bad day at a ballpark. … But this was a particularly wonderful night; Shabazz Napier, Roxbury kid, takes the mound at Fenway Park, takes the ball from the Governor of Connecticut and throws a strike to the Red Sox’s catcher as his mom smiled.

Does it get cooler than that? “It’s super cool,” Napier said.

Of course, you must take attendance at events like this. None of the coaches made the trip, they are out recruiting at this pivotal time of year. UConn’s looking for that big man.

The women’s team cancelled out Tuesday morning and no one would say why.

Also absent were Ryan Boatright, DeAndre Daniels and Omar Calhoun. It would be easy to read into that. Is it a sign that Daniels and Boatright are leaving for the NBA Draft? It could be, sure. But we also know that it is very important that players to catch up with school work, especially if they are leaving, and finish the spring semester satisfactorily to keep the program out of APR trouble. Since I’m asked all the time, I’ll say this: I think Boatright and Daniels are leaning toward leaving, but could still determine otherwise this week. One way or another, we’ll know by the end of this week.

Joe Girardi came over to say hello to the UConn contingent behind the batting cage, and UConn video director Dave Kaplan was in his glory. Kappy, Terrence Samuel, Tor Watts and athletic trainer James Doran wore their Yankees hats and took their chances. Rodney Purvis had a Red Sox hat on. Phil Nolan (Brewers) and Lasan Kromah (Nationals) repped their hometown teams. Got to respect that.

Former Red Sox Kevin Millar came by to say hello.

… Got some great insights from both the Yankees and Red Sox clubhouses about UConn’s championship run. That’s here. Before the clubhouses opened, I was chatting with David Cone, who likes to follow the Huskies. He was tremendously impressed with Kevin Ollie. “He was very intense, yet under control,” Cone said. “His demeanor was just terrific, I thought.”

 

One thing that stuck out: Napier explained to the Boston media why he wants to be introduced as “from Roxbury,” rather than “Boston.”

“…. That’s where I’m from. And I want people to know that. I could have been known ‘from Boston,’ but people don’t realize that Boston is quite big. Roxbury is a little part of Boston that a lot of kids don’t come out of. I want people to know that I’m not only from Boston, but from Roxbury. If you give a kid a chance, good things can happen. I realized that at a young age and I’ve been blessed with a lot of opportunities I want to help out the little kids who were in my shoes, who don’t have people to push them and motivate them.”

 

Here Dave Borges of the NH Register reports that Amida Brimah could have surgery to fix the shoulder that troubled him during the season.

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