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SPORTS SNIPPETS: Big Days Ahead For High School Sports; Jordan Decision ‘Ruled’

The plan at NickAbramo.com — a place for readers to get a unique take on Hawaii sports — is to have a notebook-style story about once a week.

That way, a bunch of story ideas that aren’t in the mix for a full-blown screed can get some air. Me and the website team call them Snippets. Here’s this week’s version:

High School Sports Gets Go-Ahead, More Plans Coming Soon

Late Friday afternoon, the Department of Education sent out a news release confirming that Aug. 19 would be the official start to the high school fall sports season.

This was huge news and NickAbramo.com had the story Friday evening. It was significant because previously the DOE had only said that Aug. 19 would be the soonest possible date to start.

So that’s a big load off many, many athletes’ and coaches’ minds, including senior kicker Kyler Halvorsen of Kaiser and senior quarterback Christian Rapis, who — at last check — was not enrolled at a school. Both kids were featured on this website recently.

Sure, the announcement is cause for celebration, but it should also be taken guardedly as well. As in: Don’t expect too much. A big increase in COVID-19 cases would most likely be a deal breaker on the carrying out of a fall sports season. But, at least at this point, there is a green light for the go-ahead. The DOE’s announcement was for the state’s many public high schools. The private schools will probably follow similar guidelines and more will be known about that in the near future.

The next week or two will be a time of setting up the plans for practices and games and finalizing schedules for what is expected to be an 11-week fall season.

Remember parents and players, keep the faith that it will happen, but just remember it might not come to fruition.

Reason For Michael Jordan’s Baseball Decision Was Awesome In Retrospect

While watching “The Last Dance,” the documentary about Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls championship years, I was struck by three things that came across crystal clear.

>> 1) Jordan played baseball and tried his best to become a major leaguer for the simplest reason out there: Because he wanted to.

It takes a strong, committed person to do what he wants and Jordan was not going to be denied his pursuit of a secondary sport he loved.

People questioned the decision back then. Why would arguably the best basketball player in the world leave his sport and play another one that he couldn’t possibly be as good at, surely not the best ever.

Not only did he follow his baseball dream, he also honored his dad (who wanted MJ to pursue baseball) by doing it. What a great son, right?!!!

So remember this advice from a grizzled veteran: Follow the path you want to follow, even if others say not to. Sure you’ve heard that before. But I mean it.

>> 2) Jordan, just like I remember when watching him on TV, was hand’s down the best, most athletic and most dynamic player I’ve seen. The highlights in the documentary prove it over and over again, and even today — to me — he’s still the best.

I’ve often questioned people’s judgement when they say LeBron James will some day be known as the greatest. I’m not a basketball guy to begin with, so if someone is going to say LeBron is better, then I’ll give it to them without argument. However, I don’t see it at all. LeBron is a freak of an athlete, but I’d take Jordan’s athletic gifts and his will to win any day.

>> 3) Jordan’s father, who was described in many newspaper and television reports as a shady character after his death in the 1990s, was most likely wrongfully portrayed at that time.

Back then, there was always something in the back of my head (fueled by media reports) that Jordan’s father was some kind of bad dude with a gambling problem. Based on the documentary, he was nothing of the sort. Of course, the documentary does not lay out all of James Jordan‘s life, but it does give compelling evidence that he was a great and loved father and that the media was just looking for a way to connect Air Jordan’s perceived gambling problems with something sinister.

Hey Vince: Here’s Why It’s Called Artistic Swimming Now

When your wife asks, it’s a good idea to get an answer.

 

It took me a few months for the following question she asked to go from being on a list of things to do to an actual answer.

So, Vince Abramo, here goes:

Q — Why is synchronized swimming called artistic swimming now?

A — The Summer Olympics sport of synchronized swimming is called artistic swimming as a rebranding to enhance its popularity, according to InsideTheGames.biz.

The impetus for the change was a request from the International Olympic committee in 2017.

“We felt that artistic is a more appropriate name for this event,” FINA (international swimming federation) vice-president Sam Ramsamy told the website. “It brings it into line with artistic gymnastics and will be better understood by the public and the media. This should help us rebrand and enhance its popularity.”

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