Hoops season is almost here. In the meantime, we have an interesting World Series to look forward to. I’m a Rangers fan, but have also been a big Astros fan since I was kid. I’ve got a lot of family in the Houston area, and even got to see a game at Astrodome in the 1980s, before the football remodel that knocked out the famous outfield scoreboards. But here they are for you to enjoy:
Today, eye-popping video boards are in every major sports facility. But 40-50 years ago, the big dot-matrix board in centerfield (similar to what Kansas City used in their park for many years in the 70s and 80s) and the sequenced lights mounted on the dome wall that formed the animated images were considered very high-tech. And to me, it still looks really cool today. I mean, the hi-def boards of today look amazing, but as a kid seeing the big bull and the fireworks and everything for the first time is definitely one of my favorite sports memories. I think I read that the entire scoreboard span was over 400 feet across.
A few notes for basketball while we wait until the season opener against Loyola-Marymount at College Park Center on November 11…
UTA has scheduled a scrimmage against OU next weekend that will benefit the United Way Harvey Recovery Fund. Usually, pre-season scrimmages are generally not open to the public, but the NCAA is allowing schools to play the games and donate money to hurricane and disaster relief. This is creating some great March-worthy matchups on the court and excellent opportunities for hoop-starved fans to see their favorite teams before the season starts in a couple of weeks. Kansas and Missouri quickly sold out their game at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, with fans gobbling up over 18,000 tickets for their matchup. Marquette and Milwaukee drew over 2,000 fans and raised almost $35,000 for the Red Cross that will be earmarked for hurricane relief. BYU and New Mexico play next weekend, as do Purdue and Indiana State. Providence vs. UConn is another good one scheduled for next week.
Kevin Sweeney is one of my favorite hoops writers, and he puts it best:
If UTA beats OU by 20 (or we lose by 20), it’s not really big deal either way. I’m sure coaches will be using lots of different lineups and working on their various offenses and defenses. But, it should be fun seeing the results over the next week or so as these games play out.
A couple of former Mavs are in NBA G-League (formerly D-League) training camps:
- Guard Jalen Jones was selected in the 3rd round this weekend by the Memphis Hustle, and was traded to the Canton Charge. The Charge is an affiliate of the Cavaliers. Jones draining threes with assists from LeBron one day? Wouldn’t that be cool!
- Anthony Walker is in G-League training camp with the Texas Legends. He played with the NBA D-League’s Fort Wayne MadAntz and the National Basketball League of Canada’s Cape Breton Highlanders the last season.
Updates on a few former Mavericks playing overseas:
- Marquez Haynes has re-signed with Italian Series A champion Reyer Venezia. One of the most talented guards to ever suit up in a Maverick uniform, he averaged 11 points in the regular season and 13 in the playoffs last year.
- Forward Faith Pope, who made a ton of threes and completed countless alley-oop dunks for UTA, is off to a good start in Spain. I’m having a tough time finding league stats, but it appears he’s had 25-point and 21-point games so far.
- Center Jorge Bilbao is playing in Poland for Legia Kosz. Underwent shoulder surgery before the start of the season but hopefully he’ll be back defending and grabbing tons of rebounds soon.