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Sunday, June 25, 2017: Hameir Wright signs with Washington basketball

   Leading off today: The prevailing wisdom is that Mike Hopkins will eventually use his Southern California roots and connections to stock the roster for the University of Washington men's basketball program.

   In the interim, however, the incoming Huskies coach is cashing in on relationships built in his 21 years as Jim Boeheim's assistant at Syracuse. On Saturday, Hopkins landed his second Upstate New York prize in less than a month by prying 6-foot-8 forward Hameir Wright loose from plans to attend prep school in the fall.

   Wright was Gatorade's New York player of the year last season at Albany Academy, where he averaged 16.7 points, 9.1 rebounds and 1.9 blocks as a senior. He had previously said he intended to prep for a year at Brewster Academy in New Hampshire, but Michigan State, Syracuse and Villanova were among the schools believed to be maintaining close contact.

   "I am honored to announce my commitment to Coach Hop and the University of Washington," the two-time New York State Sportswriters Association player of the year in Class A wrote on his Twitter account.

   Wright visited the University of Washington this weekend and signed his letter of intent Saturday.

   Earlier this month, Hopkins locked up guard Nahziah Carter. The Rochester Bishop Kearney star was released from his letter of intent after a coaching change at Dayton and was considering offers from Georgia Tech, Indiana and UConn.

   Wright and Carter are teammates on the Albany City Rocks AAU team.

   The addition of Wright gives Hopkins a five-man recruiting class to begin his tenure.

    • Former Shenendehowa star Kevin Huerter, a rising sophomore at the University of Maryland, has made the roster for the U.S. team that will play in the FIBA U19 World Cup from July 1-9 in Egypt.

    Huerter won a gold medal last year in Chile playing 17 minutes a game for USA Basketball's U18 team.

   Leading off today: North Rockland senior Alex Harris, who missed her prom and graduation while traveling this weekend, has qualified for next month's Pan-Am Junior Games in Lima, Peru.

   Competing against 10 college racers in Sacramento in the USA Track & Field Junior Championships, the Villanova recruit finished second in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 10:25.80. Virginia Tech's Sarah Edwards set a meet record in 10:14.67.

   "I definitely knew there was a possibility of qualifying but I didn't want to get my hopes up or focus on that too much," Harris told The Journal News after rallying from fourth place on the bell lap.

   Harris placed third in the 2015 Pan-Am Junior Games, where she set her previous PR of 10:31.79. She has the season's fastest U.S. high school time in the 2,000 steeplechase.

   Sachem East's Lauren Harris placed second in the women's 10-kilometer racewalk on Friday in 52:47.84.

   M-E coach opts for grandpa duty: Gary Crooks, the baseball coach at Maine-Endwell for 35 seasons, is calling


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  • it a career as both a coach and a teacher.

       Crooks, also a football assistant, cited a desire to spend more time with family, including a 5-year-old granddaughter in North Carolina.

       "I've spent a lot of time with the athletic families I've coached," he told the Press & Sun-Bulletin. "Obviously, the big drawback is missing time with my own family."

       Crooks' baseball teams went 396-266 and won 13 Section 4 and two NYSPHSAA championships. The state-of-the-art baseball facility bankrolled by former player Thomas Tull, a minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, bears his name.

       Progress in Wisconsin: The vote was a narrow 6-4 margin, but the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association approved the use of a 35-second shot clock for varsity basketball beginning with the 2019-20 season.

       Wisconsin will become just the ninth state with a shot clock.

       The recommendation did not receive complete support as it worked its way through the WIAA. The coaches committee supported it unanimously, but two WIAA councils did not support the idea and the executive staff was split.

       The estimated cost to schools to buy and install the necessary equipment is between $2,000 and $2,400 per gym.

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