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Even George gets it right on occasion

By Staff
Scanning the sports scene on a State Games Sunday while wondering whatever happened to Maurice Carkuff …
Whatever you do, don't tell George Brooks this, but he may just be right.
The Meridian Community College head men's basketball coach walked up to me a year ago, pointed toward a lanky player talking to friends after the finals of the State Games of Mississippi, and said, "That's the best basketball player to ever be in this gym."
I told George that I wasn't so sure about that.
After all, a lot of good basketball players have spent a little time on the floor of what is now known as the Ivy Sports Center.
The player he was talking about was Travis Outlaw, who was about to enter his senior season at Starkville High School. I figured George was just hoping that some way or the other he could wind up with the player next year.
But, coach Brooks told me then and there that Outlaw would be headed to Mississippi State.
It seems he was just as wrong as I was.
Last week's NBA draft proved both me and George to be in error. When the Portland Trailblazers drafted Outlaw straight out of high school with their first-round pick, it make George's statement about Outlaw's prowess look pretty good. But it also meant that he wouldn't be going to Mississippi State. At least not as a basketball player.
While Outlaw is truly a great basketball player, I just wasn't ready to say that he was the best I had ever seen play in that gym.
The 6-foot-9, 195-pounder handled the ball like a guard, was a high-flyer who loved to deliver resounding dunks, and could shoot the long ball.
But it seemed like something was missing.
I guess the only think missing was a big contract.
Well George, perhaps you were right. So cut this out and put it on the wall, it may be the only time you ever see it in print.
Look for more coverage in Monday's paper
The State Games of Mississippi always presents a challenge for us here in the sports department of The Meridian Star.
We try to get out to as many of the events as we can in person, and also try to run all of the photos we can, but sometimes we run across obstacles that just can't be avoided.
Due to limited space in today's editions, the stories on the adult soccer, tennis and bowling events will be in Monday's paper. All three of those events are two-day competitions with the finals taking place on Sunday.
Okay Sam, here is your answer
A basketball fan named Sam called me on my cell phone the other day to ask me a basketball question.
I told him to call me back the next day and I would have the answer. I guess he either lost my number, figured out the answer, or moved on to something else, because I never got the call.
But, I did get the answer.
Admittedly, it did not come from my own research. I passed the question along to East Mississippi Group basketball expert Richard Dark.
Sam wanted to know what Allen Iverson's yearly salary was.
Well, the answer to how much 'The Answer' puts in his pockets for his work on the hardwood is $12,375,000 annually. And that doesn't include endorsements.
He is the 23rd highest-paid player in the league and his contract runs through the 2004-05 season.
Thanks to those who chip in
A big thank you goes out to the Queen City Speedway for faxing in the results of last week's races.
They appeared in Saturday morning's edition of The Meridian Star. Look for more local racing results in next week. All local tracks, ball fields, golf courses, etc., are encouraged to contribute.
The fax number is 485-1207.

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