Monday, August 20, 2018

Tampa Catholic's Kevin Knox soars at McDonald's All-American Game

CHICAGO — Kevin Knox lingered on the sideline for a while as the rest of his teammates took turns scoring in the McDonald's All-American Game on Wednesday night.

Despite limited playing time, the Tampa Catholic forward made his presence known.

In the waning seconds of the first half, Knox raced down the United Center court. East teammate Colin Sexton put the ball behind his back before tossing a perfect alley-oop pass to Knox for a two-handed, buzzer-beating dunk.

Knox, a consensus five-star recruit, played 19 minutes and finished with 15 points in the East's 109-107 loss. The West's Michael Porter, who recently committed to Missouri, scored a team-high 17 points and was named the game's MVP.

"Overall, I thought I played really well, and I put on a show for the fans," Knox said. "The alley-oop was a great pass from Colin, and I had to finish off for him. It was a great play. I saw that it was going to make SportsCenter's Top 10 plays. It was definitely one of the best moments of the game."

This wasn't the first time Knox had played in a big game. Twice, he helped USA Basketball's junior national teams win world titles. He also helped Tampa Catholic reach the state semifinals last season and the state title game this season.

Wednesday was Knox's turn in the national spotlight. He was playing in an NBA arena, in a game televised on ESPN. LeBron James, whose Cavaliers were in town to play the Bulls tonight, was in the stands. So were the Bulls' Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rando.

"It was such a great atmosphere with so many people here and so many cheering," Knox said. "It's just such a great event. I saw a lot of the NBA players walking in. It's good for them to come out and support the kids."

Knox knew all about the history and wanted to be part of it. He is just the fifth boys player from the Tampa Bay area to play in the game, joining Brandon's Dwayne Schintzius (1986), Boca Ciega's David White (1986), Tampa Prep's Casey Sanders (1999) and Sickles' John Henson (2009).

If this game was supposed to be Knox's biggest test, he was determined to leave his mark. His 15 points were one shy of Henson's tally for most by a bay area player in the game.

The alley-oop dunk was not Knox's only highlight. Less than two minutes into the game, he stepped back and hit a 3-pointer. In the second half, Knox had another two-handed dunk. In the final three minutes, he scored three straight baskets for the East.

Knox's long-range prowess, which he showed off during Monday's 3-point contest, was not always sharp. He finished 1-for-5 from 3-point range. He made up for that by showing off his ability to score inside. Overall, he was 7-of-11 from the field. He also had three rebounds and an assist.

"I knew I wanted to play hard, have fun, slow down and let the game come to me and play the game I wanted to play," he said. "I missed a couple of shots, but I thought I had a really good game."

The national showcases aren't over. On Tuesday, Knox travels to Portland, Ore., for the Nike Hoops Summit. After that, he goes to New York for the Jordan Brand Classic.

Then it comes time for his college decision. Knox has narrowed his choices to Duke, Florida State, Kentucky and North Carolina, He will announce his decision in mid April.

For now, it's his time to bask in the spotlight of high school basketball's biggest stage.

"This is something I won't forget," Knox said.

Rays defeat Royals thanks to pitching and replay

Rays defeat Royals thanks to pitching and replay

ST. PETERSBURG — That the Rays defeated the Royals 1-0 on Monday night — Tampa Bay's major-league-leading 51st one-run game — is not surprising. What is a bit unusual is how they did it.With two outs and runners on first and third i...
Updated: 12 minutes ago
Rays journal: Seminole’s Brett Phillips returns home

Rays journal: Seminole’s Brett Phillips returns home

ST. PETERSBURG — Brett Phillips played at Tropicana Field in 2012 when he was a senior at Seminole High and a member of Team Pinellas in the annual Hillsborough vs. Pinellas All-Star Game. He was just weeks away from being picked in the sixth r...
Updated: 17 minutes ago
Who says preseason doesn’t count for Bucs?

Who says preseason doesn’t count for Bucs?

TAMPA — Monday was a beautiful day out at One Buc Place.Sunny. Blue skies. Hot, but not a thousand degrees like it has been in recent weeks around here.The Bucs were finally back home after spending most of the past week in Nashville. And despi...
Updated: 18 minutes ago
Rodney Page’s takeaways from Monday’s Rays-Royals game

Rodney Page’s takeaways from Monday’s Rays-Royals game

Replay played a big role in the game. The Rays got their run in the second when an out call at first was overturned. Then in the fourth, Kevin Kiermaier was picked off second with no outs after a replay showed his hand came off the base.Ryan Yarbroug...
Updated: 23 minutes ago

Sports on TV/radio for Tuesday, August 21

TODAYBaseballRays at Royals7 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMYankees at Marlins7 p.m.FSFIndians at Red Sox7 p.m.MLBCardinals at Dodgers10 p.m.ESPNBaseball, amateurAmerican Legion World Series7 p.m.ESPNUBaseball, Little League World SeriesElimination game: Coeur ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Bulls snubbed in preseason AP poll

Bulls snubbed in preseason AP poll

Less than two weeks before their season opener, the Bulls finally have a gaudy accessory to complement their new Adidas uniforms.The ol' chip on their shoulder pads.USF received no votes in the Associated Press preseason poll released Monday, marking...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Captain’s Corner: New moon has better grouper fishing farther offshore

Grouper fishing inside 160 feet continues to be a challenge due to the proximity of the new moon. This moon phase has the currents offshore moving at a pace that would rival a small river. Look for the bite to improve as we move away from this phase....
Updated: 7 hours ago
Vita Vea, Mitch Unrein injuries have Bucs scouring waiver wire again

Vita Vea, Mitch Unrein injuries have Bucs scouring waiver wire again

TAMPA — The Bucs continued to address their mounting injuries on defense by signing fifth-year defensive tackle Jerel Worthy.Rookie defensive tackle Vita Vea, the team's first round pick from Washington, hasn't played since suffering a calf str...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Justin Watson standing out in battle for Bucs’ final receiver spot

Justin Watson standing out in battle for Bucs’ final receiver spot

In the battle for the fifth receiver spot, Justin Watson needed to stand out.  Being 6-foot-3, 216 pounds helps. But the Penn rookie needed a play to separate himself from the pack.He got it at the end of the first half in Saturday's 30-14 win a...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Rob Kazmier’s Hernando County coaching roots get deeper

Rob Kazmier’s Hernando County coaching roots get deeper

BROOKSVILLE — Coach Kaz has been a Hernando County high school football fixture since his days as a 19-year-old volunteer assistant at Nature Coast. This season, he has a program to call his own.Rob Kazmier is the new head coach at Hernando Hig...
Updated: 10 hours ago