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Thursday, May 31, 2018: NYSSWA girls basketball all-state team

   Leading off today: Three seniors and two sophomores have been selected girls basketball state players of the year in their respective classes by the New York State Sportswriters Association.

   The selections are:

  • Class AA: Jordan Nixon, Mary Louis Academy, guard
  • Class A: Meg Hair, Jamesville-DeWitt, guard
  • Class B: Danielle Rauch, Bishop Ludden guard
  • Class C: Erin Fox, Millbrook forward
  • Class D: Dani Haskell, Franklinville, guard
   Fox and Haskell are sophomores.

   Hair was the Class A co-player of the year the previous two seasons and led the Red Rams to New York State Public High School Athletic Association and Federation crowns in March. Fox powered Millbrook to a NYSPHSAA championship.

   The complete NYSSWA all-state teams for Classes AA and A are posted here. The selections in Classes B, C and D can be viewed here.

   Nixon, bound for Notre Dame in the fall, moved up from the second team a year ago. Senior Aziah Hudson of Baldwin and junior Celeste Taylor of Long Island Lutheran repeated as first-team picks in Class AA. Aubrey Griffin of Ossining returned to the first team after missing all of her sophomore season following a knee injury.

   Hair, who'll attend Penn in the Ivy League in the fall, was joined by North Shore junior guard Gabrielle Zaffiro as a repeat pick on the Class A first team.

   Rauch, a Michigan recruit, was a repeat first-team selection in Class B.

   Shanniah Wright of Poly Prep earned a place on the Class C first team for the third consecutive season, and Lyrik Jackson of Syracuse Academy of Science and Julie Ford of Cooperstown made it for the second year in a row.

   There were no repeat first-team picks in Class D.


   Following up: The story about the falsified New Jersey high school track and field results from a May 20 meet took a fresh turn with a report Thursday that the coach of one of the teams that allegedly participated had resigned.

   Eddie Greene, who co-founded the Newark Flames Track Club, conceded that the so-called Brick City Invitational also did happen in 2017 as originally reported either, reported. Greene said he submitted fake results to NJ MileSplit last year and that fewer than half of the nine scheduled teams even showed up despite recording results for at least eight teams.

   Newark (N.J.) West Side High, where Greene was the boys' track and field coach, confirmed receipt of his resignation letter to Gary Taylor, the athletic director.

   "It was a stupid decision on my part," Greene said. "It was a great meet. I was just trying to make the meet look bigger than it was. It was a stupid decision."

   Once questions arose about the validity of results of this month's meet and it became apparent that all the times and distances were bogus, Greene denied involvement. A man who identified himself as Corey Johnson, a track club


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  • coach, in an interview with said that he was responsible for the charade. It's no longer clear whether Johnson even exists or if it was an identity created by Greene.

       Several performances posted for the May 20 meet included significant personal bests for many of the athletes, including marks that would have qualified them for the New Balance Nationals next month.

       Interesting reading: Timing be everything, I'd just traded email messages with Dr. Tommy John III about half an hour before I stumbled across a Cincinnati newspaper's story regarding his work treating sports injuries in young athletes.

       John, the son of the retired Major League Baseball pitcher whose comeback from major arm surgery has led to literally thousands of players at all levels being able to continue their careers after undoing the same procedure, runs the Performance and Healing Center in San Diego.

       The doctor has authored a book, "Minimize Injury, Maximize Performance: A Sports Parent's Survival Guide, in which he delves into aspects of youth sports that have become commonplace but perhaps shouldn't -- pre-teen baseball pitchers undergoing Tommy John surgery, basketball players rehabbing torn ACLs or swimmers or college-age swimmers whose bodies have been ravaged by day after day of high-yardage workouts.

       "It's a public health concern," he told the paper.

       Some 57 percent of Tommy John surgeries now involve athletes between 15 and 19 years old, but the doctor does not perform that procedure to reconstruct the ulnar collateral ligament.

       After a brief playing career in the minors, the doctor opened what he called a "baseball performance company" only to come to the realization after a while that "the young athletes I was teaching were suffering from the same ligament and tendon damage as the older adults I was treating. I found myself offering rehab advice instead of instruction about the game."

       John puts his emphasis now on injury prevention and counts himself among the many experts decrying specialization by young athletes, going so far as to suggest four-month annual breaks for those who do focus on a single sport.

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