Houston Sports Notebook

By Yolande Lezine
Updated: November 20, 2008

HOUSTON — A look at the recent sports happenings in the city.


Nimitz High senior post Brittany Griner made the first week of the 2008-09 regular season a memorable one. She collected 25 blocked shots vs. Hastings in the season-opener last Tuesday, and then on the following day, she signed a national letter of intent to play with Baylor University.


Griner was in attendance to watch her future team the Baylor Lady Bears rout the No. 2 ranked Stanford Cardinals 81-65 in Waco. Baylor, who was previously ranked No. 19, got 25 points from Rachel Allison. The Lady Bears had never beaten an opponent ranked this high in the regular season.

Prairie View Lady Panthers defeated Cal State Northridge 78-58 as forward Shondria Combs scored 20 points and center Chari Smith added 14 points and eight rebounds to lead the Panthers.

Rice Lady Owls women’s basketball coach Greg Williams announced the signing of Jessica Goswitz, Lacey Neu, Zoe Rogers and Opal Taskila to National Letters of Intent to play for the Rice women’s basketball program. All four players will enter as freshman for the 2009-2010 season.

Goswitz is a guard out of the Webb School of Knoxville, in Knoxville, Tennnessee. Neu is from Granbury High School in Granbury, Texas and Rogers is from Bellaire. Taskila, a post player is from Winnsboro High School in Winnsboro, Texas.


UTSA guard Devin Gibson , a former CyFalls guard, has been named a preseason nominee for the Bob Cousy Award, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced.

Senior forward Gordon Watt scored 18 points and Baron Sauls chipped in 12 as Houston Baptist lost 80-63 to Middle Tennessee.


The University of St. Thomas volleyball team defeated Our Lady of the Lake University in straight sets to win the Association of Independent Institutions postseason tournament and advance to the NAIA National Tournament.


The finalists for the Draddy Trophy, the so-called academic Heisman were recently announced. Some of the more notable names include: Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel, Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell, Ohio State receiver Brian Robiskie, and others.

Rice University wide receiver Jarrett Dillard, the record-smashing senior is one of 15 players who have been selected by the Walter Camp Football Foundation as Players to Watch for its 2008 Player of the Year award, the fourth oldest individual college football award in the nation.

Joining Dillard on the Camp Award list are Sam Bradford of Oklahoma, Michael Crabtree of Texas Tech, Chase Daniel of Missouri, Graham Harrell of Texas Tech, James Laurinaitis of Ohio State, Jeremy Maclin of Missouri, Colt McCoy of Texas, Tim Tebow of Florida and others.

The Touchdown Club of Houston held the annual Texas/Texas A & M luncheon at the JW Marriott. The speaker for the event was Texas A&M Aggies head coach Mike Sherman. Governor Rick Perry branded and signed a cowhide, 13-0, that was auctioned off at the event.


The University of Houston announced it’s Hall of Honor inductees. They include David Klinger-football, Phill Hansel-Swimming & Diving, Riley Odoms-football, Louis Dunbar-Men’s Basketball,1967-68 Men’s Basketball Team, Kirk Baptiste-Track & Field, Rita Crockett-Volleyball, Carlton Hanta-Baseball, Wade Phillips-Football, and Keith Fergus-Golf.


The official 2009 NBA All-Star Ballot was unveiled at a special tip-off event in Phoenix, Arizona, the official host city of NBA All-Star 2009. NBA All-Star Balloting presented by T-Mobile USA,Inc., officially began last Thursday.

The 2009 NBA All-Star Game, which will air live on TNT and ESPN Radio will be held on Sunday, February 15, 2009 at US Airways Center. Voting will continue through January 11, 2008 for paper balloting and January 19th for NBA.com and wireless balloting.

120 players, 60 each from the Eastern and Western conferences, are listed on the NBA All-Star ballot. Six members of the Houston Rockets are listed on the Western Conference ballot. They include: Rafer Alston, Tracy McGrady, Ron Artest, Shane Battier, Luis Scola, and Yao Ming.