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Taurasi shoots from lip with cheeky antics

It was Friday morning at Cox Pavilion, and USA Basketball women’s national team mini-camp practice was winding down — or so I thought — when Diana Taurasi walked out as I was walking in. Taurasi apparently had some sort of business to attend to in the tunnel linking Cox Pavilion to the Thomas & Mack Center.

Amid incredible joy, unspeakable tragedy

Dannielle Lois Diamant, Jerry Tarkanian’s 6-foot-5-inch granddaughter, was caught in a whirlwind Saturday. She was scurrying from one function to the next in Springfield, Mass., to celebrate her grandpa’s long-awaited induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame when her cellphone lit up.

Summer league rocks to own tune

Now that they have run the table again, in a different format with a playoff bracket and everything, it’s almost too easy to compare the NBA Summer League’s Golden State Warriors with author Roger Kahn’s “Boys of Summer.”

Well-traveled Watson’s goodwill hits home

He was standing against the wall of the gymnasium at Doolittle Community Center on Friday morning, waiting to get on the court. It must have been a flashback of sorts for C.J. Watson, who first started doing that when he was in second grade.

A.J. Matthews takes the long, long, long road to the NBA

Kid from hardscrabble neighborhood goes to hardscrabble high school. Kid gets taken under wing by hardscrabble guidance counselor, or other authority figure. Kid goes on to become NBA prospect.

Honors for Tark long overdue

Through the years, Jerry Tarkanian has remained steadfast. Unlike Pete Rose, he did not have to apologize. For anything. All that has changed is how the basketball establishment views him.

Upstart Florida team looks eerily familiar

When I see this season’s Florida Gulf Coast basketball team, I see the Jacksonville basketball team of 1969-70. They even play in the same conference, something called the Atlantic Sun. Twenty bucks and the home edition of “Jeopardy!” if you can name all 10 members.

Jackson springs into action with gracious sneaker gift

Pierre Jackson, formerly of Desert Pines High School, now of the Baylor Bears, won the Big 12 basketball scoring title this season with an average of 19.8 points per game.

Shabazz not first kid to be ‘redshirted’

When I heard UCLA’s Shabazz Muhammad is a year older than his old man has been telling people, it didn’t come as a surprise: The first time I saw him play for Bishop Gorman, he looked like Grady from “Sanford and Son.”

:)