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CSN preparing to bring back basketball programs

They’re back. Almost anyway.

After shutting down its men’s and women’s basketball programs after one tumultuous season nearly 20 years ago, the College of Southern Nevada is on the verge of reinstating them. An announcement may come later this month or in early October.

“All the preliminary work has been done and the sponsors have been secured,” CSN athletic director Dexter Irvin said Friday about bringing back basketball starting in 2020-21. “We’re just waiting to make sure we have all of the ducks lined up, and it looks like we’re going to move ahead.”

The teams probably would play most games on CSN’s North Las Vegas campus, Irvin said. A schedule and coaches would be announced later.

“The funding is relatively secure and the support is there from our administration,” Irvin said. “There’s been a great response from the community. We’re just trying to finish up the detail work so we’re on the path that is going to lead us to success.”

CSN briefly had men’s and women’s basketball in 2002-03. The programs were terminated after one season because of a lack of funding and interest.

The men’s team was coached by Jerry Tarkanian’s son, George. Daniel Artest, younger brother of former NBA star Metta World Peace, briefly played for the team. Most of the men’s players were from out of of town and few spectators attended the games.

Irvin is hopeful the basketball programs will compete at the same level as the CSN baseball team, which has won a national championship and annually ranks among the nation’s best junior college teams.

“That’s the goal,” he said. “It’s not going to start there, and (baseball) didn’t start there. It took them 10 or 15 years, and hopefully it doesn’t take us that long.”

Ride and park?

One of the aspects that makes NASCAR unique is that small teams and aspiring drivers are allowed on the same track with drivers competing for the championship during the playoffs.

The Miami Marlins wish baseball was like that.

But when Kyle Busch ran into the back of Garrett Smithley — who was running 12 laps down and in 35th place — relegating the Las Vegas driver to a 19th-place finish in last week’s South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, you probably can see the other side of it, too.

So here’s a radical proposal that might make both sides of the garage happy: Run the first two race stages with a full field of cars, but park nonplayoff drivers not running on the lead lap before the third begins.

That way the Garrett Smithleys still can be part of the show. But when races and championships are being decided, they won’t have to worry about which way to turn when Kyle Busch and the other fast cars are bearing down on them.

Around the horn

■ Thanks to a move to a late afternoon start that removed it from the NFL’s crosshairs, the South Point 400’s TV ratings were up 11 percent (1.42 to 1.28) over last year inaugural’s running. The race won by Martin Truex Jr. was watched by an estimated 52,000 in the seats and 2.384 million on TV.

■ Dearica Hamby’s miraculous 3-point shot from just inside half court that prolonged the Aces’ stay in the WNBA playoffs will not soon be forgotten. But should it even have counted?

A video has surfaced that shows Hamby may have stepped out of bounds before she released the shot. Although inconclusive, the slow-motion replay shows her foot perilously close to the sideline, and Chicago coach James Wade immediately reacting and gesturing to officials that Hamby stepped out of bounds.

■ An announced crowd of 20,132 turned out to watch Cruz Azul defeat Tigres UNAL 2-1 in an all-Mexican League final in the inaugural Leagues Cup title game at Sam Boyd Stadium on Wednesday, proving again the local Latino community will support professional soccer played by Latino strikers, midfielders and defenders. Or guys from Iceland, provided the other team is Mexican.

A baseball game featuring Mexican teams at Las Vegas Ballpark didn’t draw as well. Naranjeros de Hermosillo defeated Aguilas de Mexicali 9-7 Friday night in front of 1,981.

0:01

“Never got the memo. Sorry you got wrecked.”

NASCAR driver Garrett Smithley, after being blamed by Kyle Busch for not getting out of the Las Vegas driver’s way during the closing laps of the South Point 400.

Contact Ron Kantowski at rkantowski@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0352. Follow @ronkantowski on Twitter.

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