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Continued: Hartman: Local NBA draft picks were once the norm

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Last update: June 26, 2014 - 12:06 AM

Former Gophers forward Trevor Mbakwe, who averaged 10.6 points and 10 rebounds for Virtus Rome in Italy, will be a member of the Los Angeles Lakers summer league team.

Mbakwe, who went undrafted last year, told the Minnesota Daily the year in Europe was beneficial, saying: “For the most part it helped me moving forward. The style of play is a little bit different.”

Jottings

• Red Wing tackle Nick Connelly canceled scheduled visits to Iowa and Illinois and committed over the weekend to the Gophers football team. Connelly, ranked a three-star recruit by 247sports.com, made a great impression at one of the Gophers summer camps.

• Every one of some 120 Gopher football players, including all the freshmen, have enrolled in summer school and are working out on a regular basis. … Running back David Cobb, quarterback Mitch Leidner and defensive lineman Cedrick Thompson will represent the Gophers at the annual Big Ten football media program in Chicago July 28-29.

• Former Gophers righthander Alec Crawford made his professional baseball debut last Thursday for Grand Junction, the Colorado Rockies’ rookie squad. He retired all six batters faced, striking out three, and earned a save. Crawford, a 25th-round pick, also pitched one scoreless inning Sunday.

• Gophers track and field recruit Glen Harold, who attended Brookfield (Wis.) East High School, cleared 16 feet, 9 inches in a pole vault event last weekend and has qualified for the USA Junior Championships that will be held July 5-6 in Oregon.

• Eden Prairie recently had one of its best all-around athletes graduate in Charlie Venable. He played on five state championship teams, both as a running back on the football team and in lacrosse. He earned seven varsity letters and will now go on to play both lacrosse and football at St. Thomas.

• Brian Dozier entered Wednesday with 38 RBI and 15 home runs, a total before the All-Star break that far surpasses what any other Twins second baseman has matched in a long time. … Former Twins first baseman Justin Morneau had 57 RBI for Colorado, the second most in the National League, and was hitting .305. More than likely, Morneau will make it back to the Twin Cities as an All-Star this summer. … Speaking of Morneau, he got a chance to face off against former teammate Pat Neshek on Wednesday when the Rockies faced the Cardinals. Neshek retried him on a foul pop-out and Neshek also got the victory, as the Cardinals won 9-6. The Park Center High School product is 2-0 with a 0.88 ERA, 31 strikeouts and only 14 hits and three earned runs in 30 ⅔ innings pitched.

 

Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on 830-AM at 7:40, 8:40 and 9:20 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. shartman@startribune.com

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