It was a historic day one week ago when Haverhill’s Noah Vonleh was selected No. 9 overall in the NBA Draft by the Charlotte Hornets. While Vonleh will become the first local player to play in the NBA, it’s worth noting he is not the first local to ever be selected in the NBA Draft.
Former Andover High star Todd Orlando was drafted by the defending NBA champion Boston Celtics in 1984 out of Bentley College.
A fifth-round pick by the C’s — the draft now has just two rounds — Orlando never signed with the Celtics and instead played professionally in Germany. Since 2000 he has been the principal at Bishop Kenny High School in Jacksonville, Fla,, where one of his students was ex-Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon.
Mathieu goes deep
It was a breakthrough day for former Pinkerton multi-sport star and current New York Mets minor leaguer Zach Mathieu, who hit is first professional home run last Thursday.
Power was the signature for the former Astro in college at Franklin Pierce, where he hit 22 home runs in three years. Now in his second minor league season, Mathieu has struggled to adjust to professional pitching. In 40 games he has a .143 average. But he is just 10 games into the 2014 season.
He has some work to catch up to fellow 2013 draftee Mike Yastrzemski of Andover, who has hit 13 professional homers.
A legend passes
It was a sad day on the local sports scene yesterday, as long-time Salem News sportswriter Bill Kipouras passed away at age 74.
“Kippy” as he was known, spent 17 years writing for the Boston Herald, but he legacy will always be his decades as sports editor and columnist for the Salem News, where the Peabody resident began working in 1974.
The consummate local sports reporter, Kipouras’s sources in the community and ability to find the story made an enormous impact on the North Shore and many young writers. His endless list of honors included being the first writer elected to the Salem State University Hall of Fame.