JA WATCH

Morant's dream realized as No. 2 pick by Grizzlies

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Several years ago, the idea of Ja Morant being the No. 2 pick in the NBA draft by the Memphis Grizzlies wasn't on anyone's radar. On Thursday night, the unlikely scenario became a …

Local Sports

Ja Morant’s family and friends cheer him on during a watch party Thursday night at Club Trends in Sumter.

Family, friends celebrate at Ja draft watch party

Former Crestwood High School standout basketball player Ja Morant was selected second overall by the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2019 NBA draft on Thursday, and nearly 100 of his closest friends and family members were on hand at Club Trends in Sumter …

Murray State's Ja Morant walks on stage after being selected the second pick overall by the Memphis Grizzlies during the NBA basketball draft Thursday in New York.

What's being said about Ja's future in NBA

Draft day has come and gone, and Dalzell's own Ja Morant is now officially a member of the Memphis Grizzlies. However, no draft day is complete without insiders and draft "experts" weighing in with their …

SPORTS ITEMS: Green up by 1 entering final round of Women's PGA Championship

CHASKA, Minn. - Hannah Green has a one-shot lead going into the final round of the KPMG Women's PGA Championship and fresh evidence that going after her first LPGA Tour victory at a major won't be easy. Green three-putted for bogey on the 18th …

DENNIS BRUNSON / THE SUMTER ITEM  Sumter pitcher Dustin Kennedy delivers a pitch against Post 51 of Concord, North Carolina, in the Palmetto Invitational on Saturday at Riley Park. The P-15's won 3-1.

Kennedy pitches P-15's to 3-1 victory over Concord

Dustin Kennedy may not have been at his best on the mound for the Sumter P-15's on Saturday morning, but it was enough to keep Sumter undefeated in the Palmetto Invitational. Kennedy gave up six hits in the first three innings to Post 51 of Concord, …

Manning-Santee tops Dalzell-Shaw 5-3 for third straight triumph

DALZELL - The American Legion baseball teams representing Manning-Santee and Dalzell-Shaw went in opposite directions this week, with Post 68 winning three straight while Post 175 dropped all three of its games, but it is still the Jets at this …

From the Wire

New Orleans Pelicans first-round NBA draft pick Zion Williamson, right, laughs at his introductory news conference at the team's practice facility in Metairie, Louisiana, on Friday. Head coach Alvin Gentry, left, and executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin, center, look on.

Grateful Pelicans welcome No. 1 pick Williamson

METAIRIE, La. - Zion Williamson and his family were met with applause and traditional New Orleans jazz as they walked into the Pelicans' headquarters. The practice gym was filled with team employees and executives eager to welcome the player who …

Kyle Larson

Kyle Larson claims 3rd straight NASCAR pole at Sonoma Raceway

SONOMA, Calif. - Not even a change in the course layout could halt Kyle Larson's qualifying dominance on his home track. Larson won the NASCAR Cup Series pole at Sonoma Raceway for the third consecutive year on Saturday, easily navigating the …

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Vanderbilt's JJ Bleday (51) scores as Louisville catcher Henry Davis applies a late tag in the Commodores' 3-2 win on Friday in the College World Series on Friday in Omaha, Nebraska. Vanderbilt will face Michigan in the CWS finals beginning on Monday.

Vanderbilt beats Louisville 3-2 to advance to CWS finals

OMAHA, Neb. - Vanderbilt came to the College World Series ranked in the top five in all the major offensive categories. The Commodores have a .400 hitter, the No. 4 overall draft pick and three of the top 20 run producers in the nation. Through 8 …

Dallas Keuchel made his debut for the Atlanta Braves in their 4-3 loss to the Washington Nationals on Friday in Washington.

Keuchel labors through Atlanta debut as Nats nip Braves 4-3

WASHINGTON - Dallas Keuchel enjoyed being back on the mound after than a longer-than-expected wait between major league starts. He would have been happier if a three-run lead hadn't slipped away. Keuchel labored through five innings in his …

Michigan's Jack Blomgren (2) is greeted after scoring against Texas Tech during the Wolverines' 15-3 win in the College World Series on Friday in Omaha, Nebraska.

Wolverines are finding Omaha to be their home away from home

OMAHA, Neb. - The Michigan baseball team is feeling right at home in Omaha and the state of Nebraska as its chases the program's first national title since 1962. Some key moments on the Wolverines' improbable journey occurred here even before the …

JA WATCH

MICAH GREEN / THE SUMTER ITEM  Ja Morant talks to members of the media during Ja Morant Day at Crestwood earlier this year. The former Knights standout and Murray State All-American point guard is expected to hear his name called as the No. 2 overall selection in the NBA draft by the Memphis Grizzlies today.

Ja Morant's super fast track from Crestwood to NBA comes to fruition today in NBA draft

At this time two years ago, Ja Morant had just graduated from Crestwood High School and was getting ready to head to Murray State to play college basketball. While he was preparing to play with an NCAA Division I program, the National Basketball …

Former Crestwood High School and Murray State point guard (12) is projected to be the second overall pick by the Memphis Grizzlies in Thursday's NBA draft.

Crestwood's Edwards knew Morant was special, just not how special

Memphis or Manhattan.That's the only question left for Ja Morant as he waits to see which city he'll call home after Thursday's NBA draft. If the mock drafts are to be believed, then Morant likely won't have to wait very long to hear his name …

AP FILE PHOTO Former Crestwood High School and Murray State point guard Ja Morant (12) is projected to be the second overall pick by the Memphis Grizzlies in Thursday's NBA draft.

Former Crestwood, Murray State standout Morant tops list of point guards for upcoming NBA draft

Ja Morant, Darius Garland and Coby White make up a clear top tier of point guards in next week's NBA draft, though one has barely played in the past year. Morant was an NCAA Tournament star for Murray State, while White blossomed into a …

Murray State's Ja Morant (12) looks up at the scoreboard during the first half of the Racers' second round loss to Florida State in the NCAA men's basketball tournament in March. Morant is scheduled for knee surgery on Monday.

Morant's journey to NBA slowed a bit

Ja Morant's run to the National Basketball Association has been slowed a bit. Morant, the former Crestwood High School standout and Murray State All-American point guard, will undergo an arthroscopic procedure on his right knee on Monday, …

Former Crestwood High School standout and Murray State All-American point guard Ja Morant has signed an endorsement contract with Nike. He is the first player eligible for the NBA draft to sign a shoe contract. He is projected to be the No. 2 overall pick in next month's draft.

Former Crestwood standout Morant signs with Nike

Former Crestwood High School standout and Murray State All-American Ja Morant has signed a shoe deal with Nike. ESPN's Nick DePaula reported on Monday that a multiyear, multimillion deal with the footwear and apparel giant was agreed to in …

CLEMSON

PHIL KORNBLUT

Massive JUCO OL Turnetine commits to Gamecocks

Longtime University of South Carolina football lean Jazston Turnetine made an official commitment to USC last weekend. The 6-foot-8-inch, 340-pound offensive lineman of Hutchinson Junior College in Kansas and Ellenwood, Ga., made his commitment …

Barbara Boxleitner / Special to The Sumter Item  Former Sumter High School and Clemson standout pitcher Charlie Barnes has been promoted to Minnesota's Double-A affiliate in Pensacola, Florida.

Former Sumter, Clemson standout LHP Barnes promoted to Minnesota's Double-A affiliate

Charlie Barnes has made it another step closer to the Major Leagues. The former Sumter High School and Clemson standout pitcher was recently promoted to Pensacola, the Double-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. The left-hander was called up …

Freshman lefty, 3 HRs push Ole Miss over Clemson 6-1 in NCAA

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi freshman Doug Nikhazy struck out nine pitching into the ninth inning, and the Rebels beat Clemson 6-1 on Saturday night to advance to the NCAA Tournament regional …

Clemson's Braden Galloway (88) celebrates a touchdown during its spring game in Clemson on April 16. Galloway and offensive lineman  Zach Giella will miss next season after an NCAA panel rejected the  school's appeal of their drug suspensions.

2 Clemson players suspended for season; NCAA rejects appeal

COLUMBIA - Clemson tight end Braden Galloway and offensive lineman Zach Giella will miss next season after an NCAA panel rejected the school's appeal of their drug suspension. Clemson athletic spokesman Jeff Kallin said Friday that the school …

SMITH

Clemson, basketball assistant part ways amid corruption trial

COLUMBIA - Clemson has parted ways with men's basketball assistant coach Steve Smith after his voice was heard on a federal wiretap involving defendant Christian Dawkins on the ongoing trial into college corruption. The video from 2017 included …

USC

South Carolina guard A.J. Lawson (00) has withdrawn his name from the National Basketball Association draft and will return for his sophomore season.

Lawson withdraws from NBA draft

COLUMBIA - South Carolina freshman guard A.J. Lawson has withdrawn his name from the NBA draft. Lawson announced his choice on Tuesday, a day before the deadline for those who want to return to college to pull out of the draft pool. Lawson is …

PHIL KORNBLUT

QB prospect Colten Gauthier says USC is a priority

The University of South Carolina football program has offered several 2021 quarterback prospects and a few have risen to a level of prominence in the eyes of head coach Will Muschamp and QB coach Dan Werner. Apparently one of those is Colten …

LSU's Josh Smith, left, scores as South Carolina pitcher Parker Coyne misses the throw during the Gamecocks' 8-6 loss in the Southeastern Conference tournament on Tuesday. The loss brought an end to a bad season for USC, which was 28-28 on the season and 8-22 in SEC play.

USC baseball must find way to turn things around quickly

On the positive side for the University of South Carolina's baseball season - and yes, there was a very small, small, small one - the Gamecocks finally won the season series against archrival Clemson, finally beat North Carolina after taking several …

South Carolina head basketball coach Frank Martin addresses Shaw Air Force Base military members on Wednesday at Carolina Skies Club and Conference Center on base.

USC basketball coach Frank Martin speaks on leadership at Shaw

University of South Carolina head basketball coach Frank Martin has gained his fair share of leadership experiences, and he was not at all hesitant to share them Wednesday. Martin, who coached the Gamecocks to the Final Four in 2017, visited Shaw …

South Carolina head football coach Will Muschamp answers questions from the audience at Tuesday's Sumter County Civic Center.

Muschamp addresses Sumter County Gamecock Club

University of South Carolina football head coach Will Muschamp visited Sumter on Tuesday for the Sumter County Gamecock Club meeting at Sumter County Civic Center. Before he addressed the crowd, Muschamp stopped to speak with members of the media …

Outdoors

GEDDINGS

A personal account

My feet were getting wet, and it woke me up. The rain was being driven through the screen on the window, near the foot of the bed. I was a heavy sleeper, and it took a lot to wake me up. Now that I was awake, I got up and closed the window. Even in …

Survey sees biggest U.S. honeybee winter die-off yet

WASHINGTON - Winter hit U.S. honeybees hard with the highest loss rate yet, an annual survey of beekeepers showed. The annual nationwide survey by the Bee Informed Partnership found 37.7% of honeybee colonies died this past winter, nearly 9 …

Keep family safe during mosquito, tick season

FAIRFAX, Va. - As warm weather moves in across the country, several regions are now reporting an increase in mosquito and tick activity. A recent online research study conducted between January 2018 and May …

Extras
TV SCHEDULE, STANDINGS & MORE - JUNE 5

TV, RADIO TODAY 8 a.m. - Professional Tennis: French Open Men's and Women's Quarterfinal Matches from Paris (TENNIS). 1 p.m. - Major League Baseball: Chicago White Sox at Washington (MLB NETWORK). 2:30 p.m. - International Soccer: UEFA …

Sumter High mini cheer camp begins Monday

TV SCHEDULE, STANDINGS & MORE - JUNE 2

NCAA REGIONAL RESULTS

Rossi wins pole at 1st of 2 Detroit IndyCar races