It seems like eons since something certifiably good has happened to the Milwaukee Bucks.
This is an organization that has been mired in mediocrity for nearly a decade. The Bucks bottomed out this past season when they won a franchise-low 15 games.
But Thursday night, there should be plenty of celebrating in Bucks Nation. The Bucks will have the second pick in the NBA draft and will select a certifiable blue-chip player, a marquee player, someone who will definitely make them better and more enjoyable to watch.
Depending on whom the Cleveland Cavaliers take with the No. 1 pick, the Bucks will wind up with either Duke forward Jabari Parker, an exceptionally-gifted offensive player, or Andrew Wiggins, a freakish athletic wing player whose upside is off the charts.
The preference of this veteran scribe is for the Bucks to land Parker, who has an impeccable reputation as a player and person. He possesses an exquisite inside-outside game and can flat-out score. Anyone who witnessed last season’s train wreck knows the Bucks need a prime-time scorer in the worst way.
Wiggins isn’t a bad booby prize, though. He also has good character and has the potential to be the most exciting player in franchise history. His hops are ridiculous and he runs the floor as fast and gracefully as, ah, a buck. Oh, and his game is pretty darn good, too.
Wiggins or Parker?
Parker or Wiggins?
For the Bucks, it’s a win-win situation.
Something to monitor
If the Milwaukee Brewers are to stay atop the National League’s Central Division, they’ll need Francisco Rodriguez to keep pitching like he’s Rollie Fingers.
Rodriguez has been amazing so far. His strikeout-to-walk ratio has been most impressive: He has recorded 43 Ks and surrendered only nine walks in 38 1/3 innings.
Having written that, the 32-year-old Rodriguez has shown some slippage in recent weeks. On June 12, his ERA was 1.95. Now, six appearances later, it has risen to 2.35.
Certainly, that’s not cause for alarm, but the Brewers can ill afford to see their ace reliever’s ERA continue to trend upward.
Honoring a good man
Steve Case left an indelible legacy on the local wrestling scene.
Case was a longtime wrestling coach at Park and Horlick high schools and was actively involved in youth wrestling as well.
Case died while competing in the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race off the coast of Virginia in October 2012, but his impact on the wrestling community hasn’t been forgotten.
The Wisconsin chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame will honor Case for his lifetime service to the sport during a banquet Sunday, Aug. 3 at UW-Whitewater.
To reserve a seat for the banquet and dinner, you can call Phil Dobbs at (352) 348-3150 or email him at email@example.com. Tickets are $30. The deadline is July 15.
“I think Steve would have really been overwhelmed by this,” said his wife Nancy. “He never sought the spotlight. He would have been very humbled and honored.”
Darion King is a good basketball player and an equally good football player.
Recruited in both sports, the Case High School standout has decided to play college football, making a verbal commitment to attend Western Michigan University.
King is a massive tight end, standing 6-foot-6 and weighing 235 pounds. He chose Western Michigan over Eastern Michigan. He also drew interest from Wisconsin, Vanderbilt and Central Michigan.
“I like the school a lot and I think I can make the football program better,” said King, who made a visit to the Kalamazoo, Mich., school a couple of weeks ago. “When I visited there, I felt it was the place for me. It’s close to home, not too far.”
King has been courted some by some lower D-I schools for basketball as he has been the starting center on the Eagles’ powerhouse basketball team the last three seasons.
King didn’t dismiss the possibility of playing basketball for the Broncos as well.
“They’re going to see if I can play basketball,” King said. “I’d love to do that.”
Getting some attention
Deantae Woods is gaining some notice on the summer AAU basketball circuit.
Woods, who is coming off a strong junior season at Horlick High School, not only has been offered a scholarship by UW-Milwaukee but is also drawing interest from several other D-I schools, including Penn State, Northern Colorado and Wichita.
The 6-foot-3 Woods, a point guard, is playing for the Wisconsin Playground Elite. Two of his teammates are Case point guard Tyrese Pinson and Case center Darion King. They have already played in major tournaments in California, Minnesota, Virginia and Texas.
No ordinary team
The 1988 Park High School football team was unequivocally one of the greatest ever in Racine.
Behind the brilliant coaching of Phil Dobbs and sensational running of Brent Moss, the Panthers won the WIAA Division 1 state championship. In the title game, the Panthers smoked Superior 34-14.
Dobbs, along with many of his assistant coaches and players, will be reunited Oct. 30 when the ’88 Park team will be honored at the Racine County Sports Hall of Fame banquet.
Gery Woelfel is a sports reporter for The Journal Times. Gery can be reached by calling (262) 631-1713 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org