Archive for the ‘Basketball’ Category

Bennett Boyles (Photos courtesy Lucienne Rivera, Pat Kelley, and Konni Smith)

Never forgotten. Always loved.

Three years ago today Bennett Boyles battle with cancer ended.

He didn’t lose, as he fought with everything he had. But his body reached its breaking point.

Facing off with cancer is something no one should have to endure, much less a 12-year-old with his life stretching out in front of him.

Having lost family members to cancer, I know the mix of sadness, of anger, and of disbelief.

In his fight, in the way he faced an unyielding foe, Bennett touched many lives.

His fellow classmates, who are now sophomores at Coupeville High School, have never forgotten him.

They are carrying Bennett with them through every step of their school journey, from messages on the rock outside the school, to honoring him when they play basketball, a sport he loved.

When Hawthorne Wolfe launches a three-ball and the orb slips through the net without a ripple, Bennett is there with Hawk, his name written on the shoes which carry Wolfe up and down the court.

As we watch Xavier Murdy, and Grady Rickner, and Logan Martin, and Wolfe in action, it’s very easy to imagine Bennett out there, once again running the court with his friends.

That his classmates and coaches and friends and family and teachers and strangers alike embrace his memory, celebrate his life and accomplishments, keep alive everything good, binds our community together.

We will not forget Bennett.

There is anger, and there is sadness, and those are justifiable, and a lot of that will never fade.

But there is love and there is hope, and that is what Bennett means to Coupeville.

Every time a basketball net snaps, he’s here.

Every time we show kindness and grace to someone else, he’s here.

Every time we celebrate his soaring spirit — and it was there, firmly in place, long before his health problems — he’s here.

When the CHS Class of 2022 walks to the podium to receive their diplomas, when players like Hawk and X celebrate their Senior Nights on the basketball court, he will be there with them.

As a community we carry Bennett with us every day, and that will never change.

Never forgotten. Always loved.

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Weston Dill is a double threat — he can shoot and write. (Photo courtesy Jenny Dill)

With Washington state schools closed down for at least six weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re offering all Whidbey Island students a chance to be heard and stay connected.

Weston Dill, who wrote the following report on his favorite basketball player, is a 4th grader at South Whidbey Elementary.


Zach LaVine is an amazing basketball player and I will prove it to you.

Since I can remember, Michael Jordan has been my favorite basketball player.

The first time I saw Zach LaVine was in a slam dunk contest, he was wearing a Michael Jordan “Space Jam” jersey.

He was 19 years old. HE WON with a perfect score of 50!!

I think we have a lot of similarities.

Zach LaVine was born on March 10, 1995 in Renton , WA.

He was born into an athletic family.

His dad Paul LaVine played for the Seattle Seahawks and his mom Cheryl played softball in college. He also has 3 sisters.

Here are some amazing things about Zach LaVine: his awards are two-time NBA slam dunk contest champion, also NBA All-Rookie Second-Team (2015) and Pac-12 All-Freshman Team (2014).

Also, First-Team Parade All-American (2013).

AP Washington state player of the year (2013) and Washington Mr. Basketball (2013).

Zach LaVine went to Bothell High School.

He was a point guard and their main ball handler. His number was 14.

In 2013, his senior year, at 6’5” tall he averaged 28.5 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game.

He was the number 12 shooting guard and number 44 player overall in the nation.

Zach LaVine went to UCLA for college.

He played point guard. His number was still 14.

His stats were: 9.4 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists average per game, even after a six-game shooting slump.

He attended college for one year, from 2013-2014. After that he entered the NBA draft.

Zach LaVine was in the 2014 NBA draft.

He got drafted in round 1, pick 13 by the Minnesota Timberwolves. He played for them from 2014-2017.

In 2017 he got traded to the Chicago Bulls for a four-year 80-million dollar contract.

It was a big deal to him since Michael Jordan was his idol and Michael Jordan played for the Bulls.

Zach LaVine still plays for the Bulls. He is #8, small forward and shooting guard.

This season he averaged 26 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists per game.

His career high is 49 points with the Bulls in 2019. His net worth is now six million dollars.

Zach LaVine is also a role model off the court.

He loves to give back to the community. He gave 500 Thanksgiving meals to a local food bank.

He recently gave 12,500 meals to the Seattle Food Bank because of the coronavirus outbreak, to give back to his hometown.

At home he loves to play one on one with his dog in his backyard.

He also was on the Disney show “Kirby Buckets” in 2016.

He partners with Adidas, Uptime, Finish Line and Panini.

He is hard working and I look up to him.

Zach LaVine is my favorite basketball player currently playing.

He has the best dunk in my opinion. He is on my favorite team and loves Michael Jordan just like me.

Both of our parents train us hard and push us to our limits.

His dad would come up with amazing drills to help him be the best player he could be.

Every day I work on drills with my mom and my dad comes up with new ones too.

I think we have a lot of similarities and I hope to be as good as him someday, maybe even better.

We both love the game of basketball.

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Waiting for the lunch bus. (Photos courtesy Brad Sherman)

Ready to chow down.

Brad Sherman is Coupeville through and through.

A teacher and head boys basketball coach at CHS, he and his brothers are the third generation of their family to graduate on the prairie.

Now Brad and wife Abbey have four young boys who are beginning their own school journeys in the town where their dad and grandma Deb are both teachers.

As everyone adjusts to the school shut-down brought on by the nation’s battle with the coronavirus pandemic, Coupeville’s Connected Food Program has made sure local students are still being fed.

One teacher and father’s thoughts, as Brad Sherman shares his perspective with us:

Brady looks out the window each morning when it’s approaching the time for lunches to arrive – he knows once he sees the bus turn on Sherman Road that he’s got about two minutes before they get around the loop to our house.

And when he sees the bus, and his bus driver (shout out to Mr. Jump), and whichever staff member is volunteering on the route to hand him lunches each day, he grins from ear to ear.

The other day, Mr. Kemmer was that staff member.

When the boys asked for turkey sandwiches, he responded: “Gobble, gobble.”

They called my mom to tell her how funny he was.

Our kids don’t understand the magnitude of what’s going on around them. They just know something is very different.

They miss their friends.

They wonder why they aren’t starting tee-ball.

And for them, this is about more than lunches.

It’s about a little bit of normal. That school bus represents hope.

It represents the hard work of so many at a school district that sincerely loves its kids.

Proud to call Coupeville home.

Proud to call this my school district.

And proud to work with a whole lot of amazing people.

Go Wolves!

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Makana Stone, here with mom Eileen, continues to rake in college basketball honors. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Coupeville’s Makana Stone ends her college career as one of the best basketball players in the country.

The former Wolf, now a senior at Whitman College, was one of 25 players honored Tuesday when the D3hoops.com All-American teams were announced.

Already tabbed as the Northwest Conference Player of the Year and a First-Team All-West Region pick, Stone was one of five players to receive Honorable Mention status.

Erica DeCandido of Tufts University (Massachusetts) was selected as the NCAA D-III national player of the year.

Berea College (Kentucky) freshman Aaliyah Hampton was tabbed as Rookie of the Year, while Brian Morehouse, who led Hope College (Michigan) to an undefeated season, was named Coach of the Year.

The only West Coast player honored, Stone averaged 15.1 points and 8.3 rebounds a night as Whitman went 26-3 this season.

She collected 409 points, 225 rebounds, 37 assists, 26 steals, and 26 blocks, while shooting 166-316 (52.5%) from the floor and 74-96 (77.1%) from the free-throw line.

The Blues won their first two games in the NCAA tourney, and were hours away from playing in the Sweet 16 when the season was prematurely ended by the coronavirus.

During her four years as a Blue, Stone played in 110 games, including making a program-record 92 starts.

She finished as the #5 scorer (1,337 points) and #2 rebounder (837 caroms) in Whitman women’s basketball history.

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Makana Stone received another major college basketball award Tuesday afternoon. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Her basketball season ended prematurely, but she continues to be showered in awards.

Coupeville grad Makana Stone, already honored as the Northwest Conference Player of the Year, was named Tuesday to the D3hoops.com West Region First Team.

The Whitman College senior, who averaged 15.1 points and 8.3 rebounds, joins Emma Gerdes of Wartburg, Caitlin Navratil of Nebraska Wesleyan, Taite Anderson of Bethel, and Hanna Geistfeld of Bethany Lutheran.

Two other NWC players, Jamie Lange of Puget Sound and Kory Oleson of Linfield, earned Third Team honors.

Stone collected 409 points, 225 rebounds, 37 assists, 26 steals, and 26 blocks, while shooting 166-316 (52.5%) from the floor and 74-96 (77.1%) from the free-throw line this season.

During her four years as a Blue, the former Wolf star played in 110 games, including making a program-record 92 starts.

She finished as the #5 scorer (1,337 points) and #2 rebounder (837 caroms) in Whitman women’s basketball history.

Sparked by the play of Stone and teammates such as Mady Burdett, Whitman went 26-3, won its first regular-season title since 2014, and opened the NCAA tourney with back-to-back wins.

The Blues were in Maine preparing to play Oglethorpe University in the Sweet 16 when the remainder of the season was cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

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