Finals matchup features Lone Star deja vu
It was in the semifinals of 2001 Class 4A state tournament against Hereford.
So impressive was he, that I remember turning to my friend Scott Kaiser of the Houston Chronicle and saying, “We are watching the first pick of the NBA draft in three years.”
He logged 31 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks against Hereford. He was 11- for-14 from the field and 9-of- 13 from the line.
This was the next Shaquille O’Neal—only better. Perkins could actually shoot free throws and had a nice short range jumper.
In only its fourth year of existance, Perkins led 36-0 Ozen to the title over vertically challenged San Antonio Lanier 58-42, with Perkins collecting 17 points, 13 rebounds and five blocked shots.
Were it not for Lanier, the matchup might have happened a year earlier—the Voks trimmed Lincoln in the semifinals 50-48 as Bosh fouled out after scoring just five points in 20 minutes.
The 2002 championship game has particular meaning because it featured Perkins going head-to-head with 6- foot-10 Dallas Lincoln star Chris Bosh—a sceanrio that will repeat itself beginning this week in the NBA Finals.
Now, Perkins and Bosh have faced each other dozens of times over the past decade, but never on this bright of a stage.
Back in 2002, Ozen was the defending state champions, but Lincoln was 38-0 and ranked No. 1 in the nation by USA Today.
In front of a record crowd of 16,995 fans at the Superdrum, Perkins became an afterthought as Lincoln used a half court trap to force Ozen into 27 turnovers, which they parlayed into 39 points in the 71-51 blowout.
Statistically, the battle between Bosh and Perkins was a draw—Bosh had 21 points, 11 boards, and seven blocks, while Perkins put up 20 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks.
Bosh was named the MVP.
Perkins brought Ozen back for one more try at the title in 2003, but weighty tradition of legendary Fort Worth Dunbar coach Robert Hughes was too much and the Panthers fell 66-54.
Perkins committed to Memphis, but jumped straight to the NBA.
Bosh attened Georgia Tech for one season and after being named the ACC freshman of the year, it was off to the pros.
Now despite my predictions, the ever-scowling Perkins (he was the 27th pick) is obviously no Shaquille O’Neal. He has even less offensive skills than O’Neal and is mainly used as a defensive intimidator.
The problem with Perkins is that he has not improved at all since his sophomore year in high school.
And despite his inclusion with LeBron James and DeWayne Wade, Bosh is no star, but a complementary role player who has his moments.
While they take their places in supporting roles over the next seven games, we gym rats will remember their star-studded past.
Here are the five best players from Texas who played in the UIL state tournament and the NBA:
1. Shaquille O’Neal (San Antonio Cole, 1989)
2. Slater Martin (Houston Davis, 1942-43).
3. Dwight Jones (Houston Wheatley 1968-70)
4. Ira Terrall (Dallas Roosevelt, 1972)
5. LaBradford Smith (Bay City, 1985)
Thorndale places seven on all-district baseball
The Thorndale Bulldogs placed seven players on the 12-2A alldistrict baseball team.
Tyler Miller, Steven McKendrick and Riley Schaefer were named to the first team.
Eric Guzman and Price Miller were second team selections.
Dillon Irwin and Josh Vasquez were named honorable mention.
Thorndale Dawgs 12U holding bake sale Sat.
THORNDALE—The Thorndale Dawgs 12U PONY baseball team will be holding a bake sale Saturday, June 16 from 8 a.m. until sold out.
Baked goods can be purchased at the Thorndale Meat Market in Thorndale or the Shell Gas Station located at 312 W Lake Drive in Taylor (behind Mr. Gattis). Come pick up your Father’s Day treats!
Second annual alumni golf tourney set July 28
The Rockdale Country Club Mens Golf Association is sponsoring the second annual Tiger Golf Team Alumni Tournament.
The tournament is scheduled for Saturday, July 28 at 1 p.m. at the Rockdale Country Club and all proceeds will go to the RHS golf team.
There w ill be a team draw party on Friday, July 27 at 7 p.m.
The format is a four-person scramble and the cost is $65 per person and includes cart, green fees and lunch.
Entry deadline is July 20.
Itisopentoanyonewho played on the RHS golf team, which dates back to 1965.
For more information, contact Allan Jones 512-760-8617, Russell Caffey 512-760-0320, Eddie Boyd 512-760-7551, Jeff King 512-430-0087.