Duke’s Zion Williamson wins AP men’s college player of the year

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Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college P260,000 each in aid to displaced Marawi folk released by US “It’s been remarkable what he’s done,” said North Carolina coach Roy Williams, who recruited Williamson. “There hasn’t been many guys like that to come down the road. So the attention he’s gotten, I think he’d deserved. … He’s driven a different ship.”That February shoe blowout illustrated just how different.Williamson missed nearly six full games after injuring his knee in the fall, which had his left foot sticking through the side of his Paul George signature shoe from Nike. The bizarre image wounded Nike’s day-after stock price and had some arguing that he shouldn’t return to protect his pro stock.That was never an option for Williamson. He returned in the ACC Tournament sporting a reinforced pair of Kyrie Irving Nikes, which followed Nike representatives visiting Duke’s campus to sort out what went wrong.The unusual moments of stardom didn’t stop there, either.“Cars will be driving by (on campus) and I mean, they’ll just stop,” Williamson said with a chuckle. “In the middle of the road. And people will jump out of the car and get pictures. I’m looking at my watch, I have two minutes to get to class and my class is a five-minute walk. … I’ll look at them and they’ll be so high, I’m like, ’Yeah, I got you, I’ll take the picture.”He also frequently encountered Duke fans waiting near the practice gym for autographs.“You’ve got 20 minutes before that clock starts for practice, you’ve got like 20 people outside,” Williamson said. “You’re like, ‘I don’t think I can do this.’ So then it comes down to: do I say no? Or do I tell them to wait?“I’ve been in a lot of situations. Sometimes they understood, other times they weren’t so accepting of it. But I guess that’s part of life.” Sarah Geronimo’s ‘Tala’ enters Billboard’s world digital song sales chart Duke freshman Zion Williamson answers questions at a news conference where he was awarded the Associated Press men’s college basketball player of the year award at the Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament, Friday, April 5, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)MINNEAPOLIS — Just about everything Zion Williamson did at Duke created a highlight or headline in a spectacle of a season.The soaring dunks.ADVERTISEMENT The open-court moves more nimble than his 6-foot-7, 285-pound frame should allow.Even the freak occurrence of one of his feet tearing through its shoe in a fall to the court.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsHandling all that attention became maybe the biggest lesson for the freshman, who quickly became the face of college basketball and the game’s biggest star in years — then fittingly finished as The Associated Press men’s player of the year.“I was comfortable with it because you don’t really have a choice,” Williamson said in an interview with the AP earlier this week. “I think if you try to force it out, then it’s going to bother you. … My mom just told me to look at it as a lot of kids would wish to be in my position, so if it does bother me, I just think about it like that.” There was the charisma, too. He projected a self-assured ease amid the crush of postgame interviews, even routinely having walk-on Mike Buckmire join him as a wingman as though bringing his teammate into his unique orbit. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Phivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruption Williamson claimed 59 of 64 votes from AP Top 25 voters before the NCAA Tournament in results released Friday. Freshman teammate RJ Barrett earned two votes as a fellow AP first-team All-American, while Virginia’s De’Andre Hunter, Michigan State’s Cassius Winston and Murray State’s Ja Morant each earned one vote.Williamson had hoped to be in Minneapolis preparing for Saturday’s national semifinals like Hunter and Winston. But the Blue Devils fell to Winston’s Spartans in the Elite Eight as the top overall seed.“I was just telling (teammates) don’t let nobody tell you this season was a disappointment, because people have got to understand it’s March Madness,” he said, adding: “I mean, winning the championship is not a cakewalk.”In a likely one-year college stop for a possible top overall NBA draft pick, the 18-year-old Williamson averaged 22.6 points and 8.9 rebounds while ranking second nationally by shooting 68%. He also ranked among the Atlantic Coast Conference leaders in steals (2.12) and blocks (1.79).Williamson’s play was marked by breathtaking athleticism to go by, through and over anyone to get the ball (look at his personal-favorite 360-degree dunk against Clemson or his rapid-closeout swat of Hunter’s shot at Virginia for proof).ADVERTISEMENT Sarah Geronimo’s ‘Tala’ enters Billboard’s world digital song sales chart Williamson said there’s “obviously a high possibility” he enters the draft but he’s not ready to make anything official as he enjoys being a college student a little longer with plans on taking summer classes toward a degree.Williamson said he has no regrets, calling the season “the most fun I’ve ever had in my life.”“My mom would tell me, ‘College is something you don’t want to miss out on’ because not only have I enjoyed the basketball side of coming to Duke, I’ve enjoyed being a student here just as much,” Williamson said. “The relationships I’ve built with the students here — like talking to kids I guess people wouldn’t picture me talking to, hanging out with them — it’s bigger than basketball.”VOTING BREAKDOWNZion Williamson, Duke — 59R.J. Barrett, Duke — 2De’Andre Hunter, Virginia — 1Ja Morant, Murray State — 1Cassius Winston, Michigan State — 1 LATEST STORIES View commentslast_img read more

Search for homegrown pastor pays off for local church

first_imgCarlson, retired from a banking career, has been happily surprised that Smith has raised the bar on Christian learning. “There are a lot of us who have never learned some of the things he’s brought up, even me, after 65 years as a Presbyterian,” Carlson said. One of the goals for the congregation is to attract younger members and families. St. James Presbyterian was founded in 1952 and enjoyed the golden age of church membership in the San Fernando Valley through the 1960s. But nowadays, could the denomination’s name be a drawback? “Presbyterian comes from the root of a Greek word meaning elder and elder, of course, doesn’t necessarily mean old,” said Smith. “The word refers to people who are elected to govern and make the critical decisions at the church. We are a representative democracy. “Traditionally, also, Presbyterians value education. For generations, you would have encountered pastors who were particularly well-read and informed on issues of the day.” The “frozen chosen” is a mocking term for Presbyterians that longtime member and elder Marianne Willard thinks is funny but not accurate – at least in her case. “People have said to me, `You go to church? You’re so much fun!’ My personal evangelism is to teach Sunday school and tell a joke at the same time,” said Willard, a special-education assistant at Fullbright Avenue Elementary School. “We are a very traditional church but if I want to raise my arm up to praise the Lord – and I usually sit up in front – I do it even if someone’s jaw might be dropping behind me.” Fellowship runs a close second to prayer at St. James Presbyterian Church. “What gets me to church every Sunday? It’s the fellowship. To be with fellow Christians is very important to me,” Carlson said. “If we miss a Sunday, there’s a hole in the week. I don’t know if I could ever do without going.” The fellowship and Christian learning that goes on in small groups is one of the goals Smith is encouraging because it creates a sense of community. The men’s ministry at St. James Presbyterian Church, for example, is very strong. Carlson has been attending for more than a decade, and now leads the 6:15 a.m. Wednesday men’s Bible study meeting. There is also a monthly breakfast fellowship where men gather to cook, eat and talk. “My challenge as a pastor is helping people to recognize that there is something more to what they would expect at church,” Smith said. “I think many people are looking for a power beyond themselves. I think they want to live their lives with satisfaction, fulfillment and purpose. I’d like people to learn that Jesus is it. Jesus is the key to life.” The congregation at St. James Presbyterian Church is proud of its longevity and stability. Both have been tested over the years but especially when the 1994 Northridge Earthquake resulted in Sunday service tent meetings until a new building was completed in 1998. “If you come on a Sunday, maybe you are thinking that you don’t know much about being a Christian. But actually, we’re all searching and growing toward that,” said Willard. “The best way to get to know St. James is to come three Sundays in a row. Just come, eat, listen and pray. Join in for the search for a better life.” The Rev. Steven R. Smith will lead the 10:30 a.m. Sunday service, St. James Presbyterian Church, 19414 Ventura Blvd., Tarzana. Dial-a-prayer, (818) 345-1953. Call (818) 345-2057. [email protected] (818) 713-3708160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Meanwhile, the Rev. Steven Smith was with a church in Illinois and not pushing his resume. And the St. James Presbyterian Church’s pastor search committee was seeking a candidate living in Southern California – mainly so there wouldn’t be housing sticker shock. “God was in the thing. It wasn’t supposed to happen. My goodness, they were praying for me. I found that impressive,” said Smith, a native Californian who accepted the post in July 2006. “What attracted me to them was they’re serious about prayer. Prayer is the engine that drives this church.” Smith’s dry humor and intellectual style of sermon delivery is a perfect match for the congregation that includes many who are in, or retired from, white-collar professions. TARZANA – They pray before and after church committee meetings. They pray that people have a good vacation. They pray for people’s safety. They especially prayed for a new pastor. “We prayed our legs off to find someone. We are very prayer-based,” said Paul Carlson, a member of last year’s pastor search committee at St. James Presbyterian Church in Tarzana. “We wanted a Bible-based preacher whose sermons were based on Bible verses, not current events. We prayed for a teacher-administrator and a confidante for the congregation.” last_img