COLUMBIA — When this season ends Hickman baseball coach Dave Wilson will leave to take a job at Staley High School in North Kansas City.
Wilson, who attended Winnetonka High School in North Kansas City, said returning to the area where he grew up was an important part of his decision to leave the Kewpies after nine years with the program. Wilson said he will be within a 10-minute drive of almost all of his family members. He said he and his wife were set on staying in Columbia, but working in Kansas City was difficult to overlook.
“We were content with setting our roots here, but when I got the opportunity to go home that was really the only other area we were interested in,” Wilson said.
Wilson who is in his fourth year as Hickman’s head coach, was the Kewpies’ assistant coach for five years before taking over in 2005. In his first season with the team, the Kewpies won the Class 4 state title.
Before coming to Hickman, Wilson coached at Harrisonville High School where he won three district titles and two sectional championships.
MU BASEBALL: The Tigers home finale against Nebraska set for 3:30 p.m. May 18 at Taylor Stadium will be broadcast live on Fox Sports Net. The contest will be the fifth of six Big 12 Conference games broadcast by FSN in 2008, with the last being the Big 12 championship on May 25 in Oklahoma City.
NBA: Kevin Durant was so excited to learn he had just won the NBA Rookie of the Year award, he went back to sleep.
That’s what seven months and 82 games, more than double the amount the lanky 19-year-old had played in any previous season, can do to a teenager.
Fatigue that wasn’t apparent while Durant soared in Seattle but this season finally caught up to the SuperSonics’ star this week. Then his mother, Wanda Pratt, woke him up with the news that he had just joined mentor LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Oscar Robertson and Wilt Chamberlain in a legendary legacy of rookie award winners.
“I was asleep. It was a long season,” Durant said Thursday with a smile about Seattle’s 20-62 disaster, the worst season in team history. “My mom woke me up when she got the call. She screamed. I was happy.”
“Then I went back to sleep.”
Durant, the national college player of the year at Texas and the No. 2 overall draft pick last year, was as dreamy as advertised during an otherwise nightmare season in Seattle.
Despite being the only man opposing teams schemed to stop, the 6-foot-9 Durant averaged 20.3 points, 7.7 more than any other rookie. He was the only rookie to lead his team in five categories — points, blocks, steals, free throws made and free throw percentage. Durant blocked more shots than any other guard in the league (75).
MLB: Buzzie Bavasi, who built Dodgers teams that won four World Series titles in Brooklyn and Los Angeles, died Thursday at his home in the La Jolla area of San Diego. He was 93.
His death was announced by the Seattle Mariners, whose general manager is Bill Bavasi, a son of the former Dodgers GM.
“Buzzie was one of the game’s greatest front office executives during a period that spanned parts of six different decades,” baseball commissioner Bud Selig said. “He loved the game, and he loved talking about it.”
Emil Joseph Bavasi — nicknamed Buzzie by his family for the way he buzzed around as a kid — helped put together Dodgers teams included future Hall-of-Famers Jackie Robinson, Duke Snider, Pee Wee Reese, Roy Campanella, Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale.
As an executive in the Dodgers’ minor league system, he helped Robinson, Campanella and Don Newcombe through their often difficult integration into professional baseball. Robinson went on to break the major league color barrier.