Notebook

Beach Ball Classic Notebook | Bishop O’Connell’s Etou picks mind of cousin, NBA’s Ibaka

ablondin@thesunnews.com, mmckinnon@thesunnews.com, For The Sun NewsDecember 26, 2012 

— Bishop O’Connell (Va.) senior forward Junior Etou has a wealth of knowledge to draw from, both through relatives and personal experience.

Etou is a native of the Democratic Republic of Congo and is the cousin of Oklahoma City star forward Serge Ibaka. He speaks to Ibaka regularly and gets suggestions from him, which could help propel Etou to the same level as his cousin.

“He and I talk and text a bunch,” Etou said. “It’s great because he gives me good advice that can help me get to where he is.”

Etou transferred from Arlington Country Day (Fla.) last year and has received scholarship offers from many major and mid-major colleges such as Clemson, Temple, Cincinnati, Xavier, West Virginia, Rutgers, Southern Cal and Miami.

“I left Congo for America because of my education first and foremost,” Etou said. “Basketball is a big part of my life, though.”

Clemson could be a good fit for Etou in terms of both education and basketball.

“I like Clemson because of [coach Brad Brownell],” Etou said. “They talk to me a lot and I think if I went to Clemson it would help [my career] a lot.”

Golson’s day, take 1

Wednesday was Everett Golson’s day at the Beach Ball Classic. He was honored at halftime of the game featuring Wheeler and Spring Valley.

But Jan. 7 will be his day throughout Myrtle Beach. City mayor and Beach Ball executive director John Rhodes has proclaimed that day “Everett Golson Day.” The Notre Dame quarterback and former Myrtle Beach High star will be playing Alabama on Jan. 7 for the BCS National Championship.

“That’s’ ridiculous,” Golson said of a day in his honor. “But it’s a big honor that the community would give me such a right like this. I’m definitely appreciative of it and want to thank my community. … This serves as reassurance that I’m doing the right thing.”

Golson is in town for only a few days, as he has to return to South Bend, Ind., to prepare for the title game. He came with gifts, possibly some national championship game tickets.

“Instead of getting from Santa Claus I think I played Santa Claus a little bit more,” Golson said. “I gave a few gifts and spent a lot of time with my family, and that is what’s most important, getting back to spend time with the family.”

Golson has only managed to return to Myrtle Beach a few times since he left for Notre Dame in January 2010, including last winter and for a short time over the summer. He played in the Beach Ball several times while at Myrtle Beach, where he won two state titles in football and one in basketball.

Weather or not

The Franklin (Ohio) Wildcats are among the many across the United States impacted by Winter Storm Euclid.

The Wildcats were expected to fly out of Cincinnati on Wednesday morning, according to Rhodes, but the Tri-State area was hit hard by Euclid, with some areas receiving up to 8 inches of snow according to local reports.

As of about 9 p.m. Wednesday, Rhodes said he thinks the team is still in Cincinnati. “I don’t know where the [heck] they are,” Rhodes said.

The Wildcats are scheduled to face Bishop Gorman (Nev.) Thursday night at 7.

Quote of the Day

While the result – a 51-48 loss to Rufus King (Wis.) – wasn’t exactly what East Rutherford (N.C.) coach Brad LeVine was hoping for, he was still positive on what the outcome meant for his team.

“If they are the No. 1 team in the state of Wisconsin, that doesn’t make East Rutherford too bad in North Carolina, I guess.” LeVine said.

On the tele

For those who can’t make it to the convention center, all of the Beach Ball’s meaningful games will be broadcast live on HTC Cable channel 4 and on the Internet at beachballclassic.com.

All winner’s bracket games will be telecast and webcast, including all four first round games Thursday, as well as the final two consolation bracket games Monday.

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