KCKCC adds 7-foot center, 6-3 guard to recruiting class

Depth at the guard and center positions at Kansas City Kansas Community College was fortified Monday by the signing of 6-3 Jeremy Holmes of Cleveland, left, and 7-foot Nicholas Alexander of Washington, D.C. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)

by Alan Hoskins
A 7-foot center and versatile 6-3 guard are the latest additions to the Kansas City Kansas Community College basketball program.
Nicholas Alexander, a 7-footer who played high school basketball at Theodore Roosevelt in Washington, D.C., and Jeremy Holmes, who played at Cleveland Heights High School, are among five out-of-state signees from such widespread cities as Chicago, Ill.; Midwest City, Okla.; Aurora, Colo.; Washington D.C.; and Cleveland, Ohio, announced Monday by Blue Devil head coach Kelley Newton.
“To be successful, it’s important to have diversity,” said Newton, a former standout at Wyandotte High School, Neosho County Community College and the University of Oklahoma. “Not only do we need to recruit locally and the surrounding areas, we have to be competitive at the national level to reach levels not reached before.”
Alexander, who averaged 10 points and 8 to 12 rebounds a game for Theodore Washington, selected KCKCC over at least seven other colleges.

“A friend of mine contacted coach and he recruited me,” said Alexander, who considers rebounding and defense to be his biggest strengths. “I like to set picks, block shots and catch alley oops for dunks.”
“He’s going to be great for our team,” Newton said. “Right now he’s real good at defending and rebounding and will be a definite plus at starting fast breaks and as a defensive anchor. I’m really looking forward to watching him grow over the next two years.”
Holmes averaged 14.9 points and 2.6 assists, led Cleveland Heights in rebounds (5.2) and shot 51 percent from the field.

“KCKCC was the first school to recruit me,” said Holmes, a ball handler who prefers assists over points.
“An extremely versatile player, Jeremy was able to play all five positions at some point,” said Cleveland Heights coach Andy Suttell. “His physical strength made him a very strong perimeter player, able to score as well as distribute the basketball and guard multiple positions on the floor. His game is still growing and with the right mentality, his best basketball is in front of him.”
“I’m really excited about Jeremy being here, he’s going to be a heckuva player,” said Newton, who has been a close observer of Holmes the last couple of years. “His father played at the University of Pittsburgh. Very athletic, he’s a good shooter and defender and a hard worker who comes from a good family.”
Holmes and Alexander will be joined by three other out-of-state recruits announced Monday by Newton:
Austin Hall, a 6-5 forward-guard from Gateway High School in Aurora, Colo.
“Long and athletic, Austin brings a great deal of versatility to the table,” Newton said. “He can play anywhere from shooting guard to power forward. With his size, we’ll move him around a lot. His coach and I have been talking for about the five or six months about players in Colorado and Austin is one who stood out.”
Andre Runnels, 5-10 guard from Del City High School in Midwest City, Okla.
“His No. 1 attribute is his defense,” says Newton. “He’s a very, very tough defender who will provide us a lot of toughness and grit we need to play tough-nosed defense. Plus, he’s a very capable ball handler.”
Armoni Shorter, 6-7 forward from Chicago, Ill. Not exactly a newcomer, Shorter spent the spring semester enrolled at KCKCC.
“Armoni never played high school basketball but got his GED and enrolled the spring semester to get his grades and learn how do things basketball-wise,” Newton said. “He’s still got a lot to learn but he’s long and athletic, can shoot the three, rebound, and defend and will be a good asset to our team.”
Previously announced recruits include guard Zach Jackson and forward-center Joe Lendway from Lansing’s undefeated state championship team; C.J. Harper, forward from Piper; guard Dehven Talley from Shawnee Mission Northwest; and guards Tevin Downing and Braeson Sester from Shawnee Heights.
“We’re still looking for a couple of more players but I’m happy so far,” Newton said. “I’m really excited for everyone to be here so we can go to work.” Most players are expected in late July or early August.
The Blue Devils return three veterans, forward Clay Young of Lansing who average 10.0 points and 5.6 rebounds, 5-8 guard Anthony Ridley, who led in assists while averaging 8.9 points; and C.J. Vallejo, a 6-4 sophomore guard who was red-shirted last season.
Alan Hoskins is the sports information director at KCKCC.

T-Bones win; Zagone remains undefeated

After a shaky first inning, starting pitcher Rick Zagone led the T-Bones to a 7-6 victory against the Laredo Lemurs on Sunday night at CommunityAmerica Ballpark in Kansas City, Kan.

Zagone pitched 6 1/3 innings, surrendering seven hits and giving up five earned runs. He walked no batters and struck out four. Zagone improves his record to 4-0 for the season.

Laredo sent seven batters to the plate in the first inning, scoring three runs on RBI doubles by Travis Denker and Gerardo Avila. Zagone then retired 15 Lemur batters in a row.

Danny Richar led the T-Bones offensively, going 3 for 4 with a two-run home run, an RBI single and a stolen base. The homer was his second of the season.

David Espinosa added to the T-Bones scoring with a two-RBI triple in the third inning. He also scored two runs on the day.

Darrell Hudson and Brian Erie also chipped in with one RBI apiece.

Laredo attempted a comeback, scoring two runs in the seventh. One was on a sacrifice fly by Josh Scheffert and the other on an RBI single by Nick Van Stratten.

With the win, the T-Bones (12-12) take the series against Laredo two games to one. The team resumes action on Tuesday night in Wichita. The T-Bones return home on June 17 with a three-game series against Sioux City. Tickets are available by calling the Providence Medical Center Box Office at CommunityAmerica Ballpark at 913-328-5618.
– Story from T-Bones

Grand Prix of Kansas proves exciting in KCK

Racing action Saturday from the road course at Kansas Speedway, Kansas City, Kan. The No. 00 Chevy Camaro was driven by Ashley McCalmont and Bob Michaelian. (Fan photo)

Road racing fans weren’t disappointed at Kansas Speedway Saturday night with great racing for the second consecutive year on Kansas Speedway’s infield road course in Kansas City, Kan.

A familiar name to NASCAR fans visited Victory Lane as Colin Braun and his co-driver Jon Bennett of CORE autosport won the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Prototype Challenge Series race.

“We rolled off the truck good, made a few changes and we had a good car from there,” Braun said. “This win is a testament to the team.”

For Bennett, it was a surreal weekend as he watched his son graduate and capped the weekend off with a win.

Kris Wilson and James Davison with TRG-AMR won the Grand Sport (GS) class of the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, giving Aston Martin its first win in the series.

“I knew it was important for me to not make any mistakes and I’m just really pleased we got this win,” Davison said.

Chad Gilsinger and Michael Valiante with HART Racing won the Street Tuner (ST) class of the series.

Tony Bullock with ONE Motorsports won the Cooper Tire Prototype Lites race #1 by just over one tenth of a second. Mikhail Goikhberg with JDC Motorsports won race #2 in the Prototype Lites Series.

Tickets are currently on sale for the Oct. 3 ARCA Racing Series at Kansas Speedway presented by Menards, the Oct. 4 Kansas Lottery 300 (NASCAR Nationwide Series) and the Oct. 5 Hollywood Casino 400, the fourth race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Tickets can be purchased by calling 866-460-RACE (7223) or by logging onto www.kansasspeedway.com.

– Story from Kansas Speedway

Racing action Saturday from the road course at Kansas Speedway, Kansas City, Kan. The 01 Camaro, left, was driven by Eric Curran and Lawson Aschenbach. (Fan photo)

Racing action Saturday from the road course at Kansas Speedway, Kansas City, Kan. (Fan photo)