Weekend Column: Gold medals, signings and football season

By Leon Hargrove Jr. - Sports Editor

ROCKINGHAM — Just try and keep up as I go on a tangent about everything from the Olympic Games to the upcoming football season.

If the men’s basketball team needed a wake-up call in Rio, it definitely got one Wednesday against Australia. Team USA pulled out 10-point victory and saw Carmelo Anthony and Kyrie Irving combine for 50 points, but it wasn’t all that easy.

The Aussies went into the break up by five, marking the first time since 2004 the men’s team trailed at halftime, and took a two-point lead at the start of the fourth quarter. The team from Down Under — which has five current NBA players on its roster — will probably be who Team USA faces in the gold medal game.

I’m going to guess that the name Simone will be a lot more common after the golden performances in Rio by gymnast Simone Biles and swimmer Simone Manuel.

I hope everyone has a healthy and injury-free experience at the Olympics, but how sweet would it be to see Ashton Locklear represent America on the uneven bars?

I still haven’t watched the video of the French gymnast breaking his leg during his routine. I’ve seen Kevin Ware’s and Paul George’s leg injury enough times. I don’t want to put myself through that again.

Anybody ever heard of a guy by the name of Michael Phelps? I heard he’s pretty good at swimming. So good, that he picked up his 22nd gold medal Thursday night — one more medal than Kanye West has Grammys.

No doubt the most decorated Olympian ever.

A 3-year, $85 million contract extension was signed last week by Oklahoma City guard Russell Westbrook. The organization may not have been able to keep Kevin Durant, but being able to retain the most passionate player in the league has to ease the pain a little bit.

I’m excited, but also scared, to see what kind of numbers Westbrook will put up now that he’s the unquestionable No. 1 player on the team. I was going to write about his shot attempt numbers going up, but who am I kidding? Westbrook shot however many times he wanted to when KD was by his side.

LeBron James announced he’s resigning with the Cavaliers, receiving $100 million over the next three years. Honestly, I’m disappointed. If I were him, I would’ve negotiated a lifetime deal for bringing an NBA championship to Cleveland.

Last year wasn’t a fluke. The Redskins will win the NFC East again this year — or at least come in second.

I don’t like that Junior Galette’s season ended before it even started or the fact Josh Doctson still hasn’t been cleared, but I like our chances. Desean Jackson, Pierre Garcon and Jordan Reed make for a strong group that Cousins can look for when dropping back to pass.

Josh Norman has been catching a lot of flak lately because of training camp videos — of him in one-on-one situations — that have been posted on social media. Despite all of that, I think Norman, Beshaud Breeland, DeAngelo Hall and David Bruton Jr. will be a much-improved secondary than Washington had last year.

Since it’s my first year here in Richmond County, I’m kind of anxious to experience everything that comes along with the community’s love and passion for Friday night football. I know there will a lot of long nights and deadlines missed, but I’m sure it’ll be worth it.

I’ve been able to get somewhat of a close look at the Richmond Senior football team since spring practice and I’m ready to see what the guys will do when the lights come on. I don’t know all the faces just yet, but I do know some of the names and numbers to watch out for.

I was told that more than 10,000 people were in attendance for the Richmond-Scotland game last season. Now listen, I’ve talked to many people around here that have told me about how serious this county is about Raider football, but 10,000 people at a high school football game? That is wild.

And to think that I’ve attended a Middle Creek-Garner football game and thought, ‘Wow, this is a lot of people.’

Reach sports editor Leon Hargrove Jr. at 910-817-2673 and follow him on Twitter @_UncleLeon.


By Leon Hargrove Jr.

Sports Editor

comments powered by Disqus