Random thoughts from this high school basketball fan regarding Ron Ashlaw’s six-year run as coach at Waukegan High School — a stint that officially ended Monday night when he was hired to be the new hoops coach at Bloom High School in south suburban Chicago Heights.
EXTRA POINT: There aren’t enough fingers and toes on this dinosaur’s body to count the number of elite high school athletes from Lake County schools who, over the years, disappeared from the radar screen once they got to the collegiate level for reasons other than just not being good enough on the field of play. But there are plenty of digits — 20 probably (10 fingers/10 toes) — available for counting the number of elite prep athletes from our area who got “lost,” and then got “found,” as in, we found out that the athlete was better than ever.
EXTRA POINT: Other points pondered while trying to accept the concept as reality that the market value of a house can go way down while, at the same time, taxes on that devalued property go way up — with the current tax bill reflecting probably the biggest single-year increase that these tired ol’ eyes have seen in all the years he’s been a home owner.
EXTRA POINT: After not being one of the 224 players selected in last week’s NFL draft, Waukegan High School graduate and NIU senior Rashaan Melvin signed a free-agent contract with the Tampa Bay Bucs.
The sad/tragic events that occurred 4 hours and 9 minutes into the Boston Marathon made what happened in the 4 hours and 9 minutes before that just a footnote to history. But a part of history it is, and a bit of it is going to be passed along to you now.
News you can use ... or maybe not. ■ PRO BOXER FROM WAUKEGAN WINS! Nicholas Asberry, a graduate of Waukegan High School, made his professional boxing debut last weekend and it was a smashing success. The 6-5, 239-pounder scored what amounted to a one-punch knockout …
EXTRA POINT: Not all change is for the better. (Just ask the people who own the buildings with rooftop seating across the street from Wrigley Field in Chicago.) But one change that has been outstanding involves the current generation of young people — specifically current students and recent graduates of Lake County high schools.
EXTRA POINT: Let the record show that very few things this month have brought a smile to the face of someone’s whose twitter-account (@jeffbonato) profile is pretty much truthful when it says, “When James Naismith was nailing the peach basket to the side of the barn, I was holding the ladder for him.”
EXTRA POINT: Jereme Richmond’s name has been removed from the roster of the Sauk Valley Predators semi-pro basketball team that’s based out of the Sterling area (near DeKalb), and it’s been confirmed by multiple sources that the former Waukegan High School basketball star has left the team for good.
EXTRA POINT: The Chicago Red Stars, who play out of Benedictine College in west suburban Lisle, opened their National Women’s Soccer League season last weekend with a 1-1 tie against the Seattle Reign. Of significance is that Lake Forest High grad Rachel Quon was on the pitch for all 90 minutes in her professional debut.
Had to turn the way-back machine back a few years — four or five — to recall the first time these eyes and ears saw and heard of Nicholas Asberry.
EXTRA POINT: Saw this play happen in a high school softball game the other day, and it reminded of how hard it is to teach the “game within a game” to girls who haven’t been taught it at younger levels.
It really is a small world after all. In the past two weeks, college basketball fans learned, by unofficial count, at least 379 different things about Florida Gulf Coast State University, which was the small, obscure school that became the first No. 15 seed ever to win two games in the March Madness tournament. Coming up now is different thing No. 380.
EXTRA POINT: The major league baseball season just got under way, and Monday marked the “unofficial” start of the high school spring sports season in Lake County (baseball, softball, soccer, track, tennis, etc.). But regardless of what the calendar says, it’s never not football season in this corner of the state.
EXTRA POINT: The phrase “March Madness” is used to describe both the Illinois high school boys basketball playoffs, and the NCAA Division I college hoops extravaganza. And back in the day, the high school and college tournaments were, in fact, parallel play — three-week events that finished on the same Saturday night. How times have changed!
EXTRA POINT: While Lake County has had a team bring a trophy home from the state basketball tournament every year for the last six years, the Chicago Public League’s currently working on a seven-year string of successes.