Amherst senior tri-captain Peter Kaasila of Plaistow became the sixth local product to win a basketball national title. He follows Methuen’s Gary McLain (Villanova ‘85), Central Catholic’s Bobby Licare and Leo Parent (UMass Lowell ‘88), Londonderry’s Kelley Hunt (UConn women ‘95) and Central’s Dan “The Man” O’Shea (Amherst ‘07).
Three of the top 15 incoming women’s basketball recruits are daughters of former pros: No. 2, 6-2 Kaela Davis (Georgia Tech, NBA’s Antonio Davis), No. 3 6-2 Diamond DeShields (North Carolina, MLB’s Delino DeShields) and No. 15 5-9 Lexie Brown (Maryland, ex-Celtic Dee Brown).
Kaela’s twin brother, 6-6 A.J. Davis, will play for Tennessee. Ken Griffey Jr.’s daughter Taryn is No. 45 in ESPN’s junior class rankings.
We ran a list of people with University of Michigan sports connections and left out ex-Masconomet star Stephanie McArdle of Beyond Soccer, Inc. in Lawrence. McArdle (UM ‘00) was a two-year soccer captain.
no charity case
In basketball-mad Louisville, a slew of kids would kill to walk on at Louisville. A lot of people thought Tim Henderson got a coveted spot because his uncle is the CEO of Yum! Brands, which is the name of the 22,000-seat arena.
The 6-2 junior rarely played but proved he’s a player with his two huge threes off the bench in the national semis vs. Wichita State.
Tip of the hat to Peyton Manning for pledging $500,000 to ex-Tennessee basketball coach Pat Summitt’s Alzheimer’s foundation. He, of course, knows her well since his days as the QB for the Vols.
Big, bad bobby
Bobby Martin Jr. of Waltham, a 6-6 sophomore forward at Nobles, is gaining national attention. His father starred on those great Pitt teams of the late ‘80s with Charles Smith, Jerome “Send It In” Lane and Sean Miller.
Methuen softball coach Jason Smith was profiled in The Eagle-Tribune last week for his love of his basketball team at his alma mater, Syracuse. He neglected to mention his wife ex-Haverhill swimmer Keryn Dugan Smith, was a UVM grad. UVM, of course, stunned Syracuse in the 2005 NCAA tourney.
giant 8th grader
Jay Murphy, a 6-11 BC grad, played in the NBA and his 6-10 son Erik at Florida might follow him. Another son, Alex, is a 6-8 freshman at Duke. The most promising son? That might be 6-7 8th grader Tomas Murphy of Wakefield, R.I., who scored 64 points recently in the New England AAU quarterfinals.
The crazy conference realignments aren’t limited to Division 1 schools. Maine Presque Isle’s women’s athletic teams are joining the Great South Athletic Conference. The league consists of schools in Georgia (2), North Carolina, California, Michigan, Massachusetts (Pine Manor), Maine and Washington, D.C.
Follow Michael Muldoon on Twitter under the screen name @MullyET.