Aaliyah Gayles returns home after shooting
Less than a year after being shot 10 times at a party, Aaliyah Gayles returned home when USC played in the Pac-12 women's basketball tournament in Las Vegas.
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1. Aaliyah Gayles returns home after shooting
Less than a year after being shot 10 times at a party, Aaliyah Gayles returned home when USC played in the Pac-12 women's basketball tournament in Las Vegas. The Sporting Tribune’s Kevaney Martin caught up with Gayles to tell her remarkable story. The USC women’s basketball team won more than 20 games and will be back in the NCAA Tournament this year for the first time since 2014.
This time last year Gayles’ basketball career was picture-perfect. The 5-star recruit, who was ranked 8th nationally by ESPN, had just put a bow on her senior year by earning both McDonald’s and Naismith All-American nods and, not to mention, was committed to her dream school. Everything was going as planned until that fateful day, April 16, 2022, when the unthinkable happened. Gayles was shot 10 times in both the arms and legs while attending a house party in North Las Vegas. For the first time in her life, basketball became irrelevant and the sole focus was her survival. After a courageous fight that included three surgeries, Gayles was miraculously on the road to recovery and her return to the basketball court. The milestones started racking up. On April 25, just nine days after the horrific incident, Gayles signed a National Letter of Intent to USC. Two months after that, she took her first steps and in late September she was cleared to return to basketball activities.
2. Amid turmoil, Pac-12 commissioner stays silent
The Pacific 12 Conference is dealing with a lot of issues, not the least of which is a new media rights deal along with replacing departing members UCLA and USC. But its commissioner remains silent. The Sporting Tribune’s Steve Carp has more after covering the Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas.
It was a perfect evening Saturday for the Pacific 12 Conference, the kind of night it will look back on and wish it could replicate in the years to come. Arizona defeated UCLA 61-59 to win the men’s basketball championship. T-Mobile Arena was packed and rocking with 14,022 on hand. Bill Walton was chirping on ESPN as only Bill Walton can. Sunday brought more good news. The “Conference of Champions” received four bids (UCLA, Arizona, USC and Arizona State) to the men’s NCAA Tournament. Both the Bruins and Wildcats were seeded second, the Trojans a No. 10 and the Sun Devils an 11 seed and playing a First Four game Wednesday against Nevada in Dayton. The Pac-12 is sending seven teams to the NCAA Women’s Tournament (Stanford, Arizona, Utah, UCLA, Colorado, USC and Washington State). But moments like this may be fleeting. There is so much uncertainty surrounding the Pac-12, you have to wonder where things are going and how it will be down the road.
3. TST’s NBA Power Rankings Week 22
The “Wild Wild West” continues to heat up as no one is safe in missing the playoffs, whereas teams are starting to set themselves apart in the Eastern Conference. Where are the suddenly surging Lakers? The Sporting Tribune’s Brandon Deutsch has you covered in this week’s TST NBA Power Rankings.
The Lakers ruined an otherwise excellent week when they lost to the Jalen Brunson-less Knicks on Sunday night. Although D’Angelo Russell (30.5 points and 8.5 assists per game with an eFG% of 79.2 over his last two games) has looked like one of the best offensive players in the league since he returned from the ankle injury, Anthony Davis (25.9 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per game with an eFG% of 57.1) has looked like a fragment of himself over the last two games, scoring just 25 points combined and shooting just 12-26 from the field in that stretch. Still, there a lot of positives, as the team is still in a good position to make the Play-In Tournament, and they boast the best defensive rating in all of basketball since the trade deadline. Austin Reaves and Dennis Schroder have each played great, and this is a tough team to beat on a nightly basis even without LeBron James. If the Lakers continue to play defense like they’ve been doing and Russell can continue to alleviate some of the scoring pressure off of Davis, then the Lakers will compete in every game and have a great chance to make it out of the Play-In Tournament.
4. Chargers agree to a three-year deal with RT Trey Pipkins
The Chargers have been busy this offseason and their latest move was re-signing their right tackle Trey Pipkins to a three-year deal. The Sporting Tribune’s Ferando Ramirez has the latest on the Chargers.
The Chargers took care of one of their free agents on Tuesday when they agreed to a three-year extension with right tackle Trey Pipkins, a source confirmed. Pipkins came into his own last season with the Chargers as he was called upon to be a starter after winning the job in training camp. He started in 14 games last season and showed improvement from previous years.
5. Muncy hits first homer of spring as Dodgers beat Guardians
The Dodgers defeated Cleveland 11-4 as Max Muncy returned to his old ways by hitting his first home run of spring training. The Sporting Tribune’s Bruce Kuntz has the latest on the Dodgers.
Max Muncy tallied his first long ball of spring training in the Dodgers’ 11-4 win over the Guardians. Muncy has done well at the plate this spring, slashing .292/.393/.500 for an .893 OPS. He has doubled twice and driven in three runs in 10 games thus far. It was a tough first half of 2022 for Muncy. Up until the All-Star break, the infielder batted just .164 and hit nine home runs in 73 games. Muncy improved dramatically from August until the end of the year, looking like himself again by posting an .858 OPS and homering 12 times in 58 games. Muncy will need to produce closer to that second half self for the Dodgers this year. After losing Trea Turner and Justin Turner in the offseason, much of the gap left offensively will fall on Muncy to fill. His good numbers this spring indicate he is prepared to succeed in that role.
6. D’Angelo Russell’s maturity speaks volumes for Lakers future
D’Angelo Russell is helping turn around the Lakers’ season during his second act with the team that drafted him. His maturity during his time away now speaks volumes for the Lakers’ future, writes The Sporting Tribune’s Ryan Ward.
Maturity… Most of us will never understand what it is like to be a teenager thrust into the spotlight of being an NBA star. Unfortunately, D’Angelo Russell is one of those players who had to carry that burden and didn’t do a great job as a Los Angeles Lakers rookie, which isn’t an easy situation to slip into as a young player trying to make a name for themselves in the league. Personally, I got to see Russell’s maturation process… Unfortunately, it was only the beginning period, which was rough, to say the least. When the Lakers drafted Russell second overall in the 2015 NBA Draft, few argued with the decision for the storied franchise to bring in the talented guard out of Ohio State. In retrospect, the team might have gone with Devin Booker (No. 15) or traded up to snag Karl-Anthony Towns, who went to the Minnesota Timberwolves at No. 1. But Magic Johnson and company seemed set on Russell. The former Buckeye’s talent was glaring, especially to someone like Magic, who likely saw this guard’s ability to see the floor like no other on the board.
7. Odds and Ends presented by Circa Sports
Here are some odds at Circa Sports if you’re thinking about placing a wager today:
8. Ticket Time presented by TickPick
Here are the “get in” prices for tickets if you’re thinking about going to a game today:
Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Clippers – $73
New York Islanders at Anaheim Ducks – $25
LD Alajuelense at LAFC – $22
9. On the Air presented by Coca-Cola
Here are the game times and television channels for professional teams in the region today:
5:00 p.m. – Los Angeles Lakers at Houston Rockets – Spectrum SportsNet
7:00 p.m. – Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Clippers – Bally Sports SoCal, TNT
7:00 p.m. – New York Islanders at Anaheim Ducks – Bally Sports West
7:30 p.m. – LD Alajuelense at LAFC – FS2
10. The Arash Markazi Show presented by The Sporting Tribune
On Tuesday’s show, the crew welcomed Carlos Boozer to the show and talked about the Lakers’ playoff chances going into a critical stretch of the season against New Orleans and Houston.
Listen to The Arash Markazi Show presented by The Sporting Tribune on The Mightier 1090 ESPN Radio in Southern California, 98.5 The Bet in Las Vegas and the Hawaii Sports Radio Network 95.1 FM and 760 AM in Hawaii. You can also listen to the show on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Play and Stitcher.
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