Kevon Looney’s uncanning instinct!

November 24, 2014 by — Had his brother been a better shooter, Kevon Looney might not be leading the UCLA men’s basketball team in rebounds. Looney, who has displayed a magnetic-like connection to loose balls, maintains he knows where the ball will land when it leaves the shooter’s hand. His teammates have decided it’s a skill that cannot be taught, and Looney can’t explain it beyond crediting instincts.

It started when Looney’s brother, Kevin — father and both sons respond to the same first name; Kev-ON is just pronounced slightly differently — took him to the court at Stuart Elementary in Milwaukee for pick-up games. Kevon was 7; Kevin was 15. “He shot all the shots,” Kevon says. “And he missed a lot of them.” Looney would station himself in the corner to retrieve Kevin’s misses, and then feed the ball back to him. To prove himself, he learned to read the angles and beat taller and older players to the ball. He became valuable that way, and later grew and matured into the most skilled player on the court.

Looney has led UCLA in rebounding all four games as the Bruins have sprinted to a 4-0 start and jumped to No. 22 Monday in the Associated Press media poll. His 12 rebounds per game ranks eighth nationally and is best among freshmen. No UCLA player before him had ever begun his freshman season with two double-doubles in three games. Looney has three in four — and he missed the fourth by one rebound. He is averaging 14.8 points, 12 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. Read Article


UCLA Freshman quickly grabs hold!

November 18, 2014 by — His basketball teammates can’t explain it beyond simply attributing it to his good instincts, but UCLA can be reasonably sure that after a miss, Kevon Looney will be there to gobble up the rebound. “Usually I know as soon as it’s shot,” explained Looney, a freshman forward. After that, he said, “It’s about me getting there.” Looney is 6 feet 9 with a 7-5 wingspan and is versatile enough to play guard. So he physically and athletically has a head start in the chase for a rebound.

But early on, he has also displayed a natural ability to read bounces and quickly analyze angles. In his first two games — both UCLA victories — he is averaging 19.5 points and 11.5 rebounds. “I’m not saying it was easy,” UCLA Coach Steve Alford said. “But you didn’t see him forcing anything. “What is he, 19 and 12 practically through two games? That’s unheard of.” Read Article


Headlights illuminate Running Rebels Football Practice

October 24, 2014 by — When the sun goes down in Johnsons Park, the cars come out, shining their headlights onto an open field where football practice is underway. Shorter days and dwindling daylight have forced Running Rebels football coach Maurice Brown to get creative so the team can practice in the dark. “Sometimes you can’t see the ball too well,” explained Omarion Bartlett, who plays quarterback for the Running Rebels “majors” football team consisting of 12- to 14-year old boys.

Myesha Hodges, whose son, Brian Johnson, also plays on the team, said the athletic and after school programs offered by the 34-year-old community organization have been critical for her children. “My kids have been going to Running Rebels every day after school since 2005,” explained Hodges, who resides along the southern border of Johnsons Park on West Brown Street. “Running Rebels has been a huge part of keeping our boys out of trouble.” Brown noted, “These kids are the future. If we invest in them now, they will have success in the future.”

More than 80 players ranging from 5- to 14-years old make up the 2014 Running Rebels football roster, which is divided into three teams based on league age requirements. Read Article


UCLA Spotlight Welsh & Looney

October 17, 2014 by — UCLA’s latest “Spotlight” video highlights freshmen basketball players Kevon Looney and Thomas Welsh, a pair of talented big men who secured McDonald’s All-America honors in high school last season. In this week’s “Spotlight,” both Looney and Welsh discuss their introductions to basketball, their relationship with head coach Steve Alford and what they each expect in their first game playing in UCLA’s historic Pauley Pavilion.

Looney, a 6-foot-9 forward from Milwaukee, Wis., averaged 27.9 points, 12.7 rebounds and 8.0 blocks per game during his senior season at Hamilton High School.

Welsh, a 7-foot center from Redondo Beach, Calif., starred on the varsity team at Loyola High School (Los Angeles) the last three seasons. As a senior for the Cubs, Welsh averaged 15.3 points, 11.2 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game. Read Article

Milwaukee Police Department says younger kids are committing more crimes

September 23, 2014 by WUWM Radio — Milwaukee recently experienced a rash of armed robberies and car jackings. Five suspects have been charged so far – all are teenagers or younger. Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn says he’s seeing more kids getting involved in serious crimes. We wanted to explore why some kids living in a neighborhood turn to crime, while others don’t. We went in search of answers at Running Rebels, a group on the north side that keeps young people busy.

Victor Barnett started Running Rebels back in 1980. He was 19 years old. “I took in 50 young people in 1980 when gangs were just getting started, and I said what can I do to keep them away from gangs? And 34 years later we do the same thing. We find out what is the passion of our young people. Get them loving that, get them wanting to be around you so that they can participate in that,” Barnett says. Read Article


Teens caught up in crime

September 15, 2014 by FOX6 — Milwaukee police make more arrests in the city’s ongoing string of violence involving young people. A 17-year-old and a 12-year-old have been taken into custody — accused of attacking and robbing an adult. It happened late Sunday, September 14th near 13th and Dakota. The 33-year-old victim recognized one of his attackers, and told police where to find them. Since the beginning of September, more than a dozen kids have been arrested for their role in robberies throughout the city. It’s something that’s frustrating for those who work to keep these young people out of trouble.

Inside a nondescript building off of Fond du Lac Avenue is an opportunity for inner-city adolescents to step into a different world — one where they can learn, and then let loose. “They`re gonna see the day-to-day negativity that happens in their life and sometimes at home, but what`s the alternative? And that`s what we try to provide – that different programming or those different opportunities,” Running Rebels Executive Assistant Michael Peeples said. Running Rebels is one of several organizations offering an escape for teens in the city’s roughest neighborhoods. Those organizations have been challenged this month by a rash of crime, committed by teenagers. Read Article


Gatorade names player of the year!

March 21, 2014 by — He averaged 27.9 points, 12.7 rebounds, 8.0 blocks, 7.0 assists and 2.5 steals per game this past season, leading the Wildcats (17-6) to the Division 1 sectional quarterfinals. A McDonald’s High School All-American Game selection, Looney shot 60 percent from the field, 43 percent from 3-point range and 77 percent from the free throw line. Named the state’s 2014 Mr. Basketball by the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association, he participated in the 2013-14 USA Basketball Men’s Developmental National Team October Mini-Camp this past fall. Read Article

Loon Squad headed to UCLA

March 3, 2014 by — He was barely into middle school at the time, but even then, Kevon Looney knew he and his AAU teammates were in over their heads. “We played against a bunch of the top guys in the country our age, like the Harrison twins, and they blew us out by 30,” Looney remembers. “It was really ugly.”

Looney and his young teammates on the Milwaukee Running Rebels weren’t quite ready for their first taste of big-time hoops, but as he’s quick to point out, “We’ve made some strides since then.” Few players in the country have made more progress than Looney. Now a senior at Milwaukee (WI) Hamilton, the 6-10, 210-pounder is a consensus top-15 prospect in the 2014 class. He says he started to realize how far he’d come a few years ago, first when he stepped up to the U17 level as a freshman. But it really hit home after his sophomore year. “That summer, I went to all the camps—LeBron Camp, NBA Players, all of ’em,” he says. “I was playing against all those guys who are on TV right now—[Andrew] Wiggins, Jabari [Parker], Julius Randle—and I held my own. That’s when I knew I could play.” Read Article


Athlete of the week nominees

February 23, 2014 by — Below are the Sport Ngin Athlete of the Week Nominees for the week of February 17-23. Voting is open until Thursday at 4pm, so be sure to vote for who you feel is most deserving and spread the word. Users may vote once per day.

Kevon Looney, Milwaukee Hamilton boys basketball, finished with 26 points and eclipsed 2,000 career points in their 76-72 victory over Milwaukee King to give the Wildcats a share of the Milwaukee City title. Looney also scored 22 points in a 95-65 win over Milwaukee Madison on Monday and 34 points in a 81-62 victory against Milwaukee Vincent on Friday. The UCLA recruit is averaging 27 points per game this season.

Zack Parkin, Madison Edgewood boys swimming, helped the Crusaders win the Division 2 state title. He won the 50-yard freestyle in a time of 20.92. Parkin also helped them win the 200 medley relay, 200 freestyle relay, and 400 freestyle relay.

Edie Reeg, Chippewa Falls/Menomonie girls hockey, scored two goals in their 5-2 win over top-seed Hudson on Saturday. She scored 8 goals and totaled 6 assists for Chippewa Falls/Menomonie in the regular season. Reeg suffered a serious car accident in September that put her senior year in jeopardy, but she made a miraculous comeback to even get back on the ice, let alone be a contributor.

John Rymaszewski, Brookfield/CMH boys hockey co-op, recorded a hat trick in the Stars 4-3 upset victory over No. 1 seed Homestead on Thursday night. He also scored a goal and finished with 2 assists in their 3-2 win over Germantown in the first round.

Andrea Thomas, Mauston girls basketball, scored a career-high 40 points in the Golden Eagles 56-54 win against River Valley on Tuesday night. The St. Cloud State recruit is averaging 19.4 points per game this season. Read Article

Players announced for McDonald’s All-American Game

January 29, 2014 by Running Rebels — The McDonald’s All-American Game announced its selections on Wednesday, with the usual 24 players on the roster.

•Cliff Alexander, PF, Chicago-Curie HS, Kansas (No. 3 in 247Sports Composite)
•Myles Turner, C, Euless (Tex.)-Trinity HS, Uncommitted (No. 4)
•Tyus Jones, PG, Apple Valley (Minn.) HS, Duke (No. 5)
•Karl Towns, PF, Metuchen (N.J.)-St. Joseph HS, Kentucky (No. 7)
•Justin Jackson, SF, Tomball (Tex.)-Homeschool Christian, North Carolina (No. 10)
•Justise Winslow, SF, Houston-St. John’s Duke (No. 11)
•Kevon Looney, PF, Milwaukee-Hamilton HS, UCLA (No. 12)
•Isaiah Whitehead, SG, Brooklyn-Lincoln, Seton Hall (No. 15)
•D’Angelo Russell, SG, Montverde (Fla.) Academy, Ohio State (No. 17)
•Theo Pinson, SF, Greensboro (NC)-Wesleyan Christian, North Carolina (No. 19)
•James Blackmon, SG, Marion (Ind.) HS, Indiana (No. 31)
•Romelo Trimble, PG, Upper Marlboro (Md.) O’Connell HS, Maryland (No. 33)

•Jahlil Okafor, C, Chicago-Whitney Young, Duke (No. 1)
•Emmanuel Mudiay, PG, Dallas-Prime Prep Academy, SMU (No. 2)
•Stanley Johnson, SF, Fullerton (Calif.)-Mater Dei HS, Arizona (No. 6)
•Kelly Oubre, SF, Henderson (Nev.)-Findlay Prep, Kansas (No. 8)
•Trey Lyles, PF, Indianapolis-Arsenal Technical, Kentucky (No. 9)
•Rashad Vaughn, SG, Henderson (Nev.)-Findlay Prep, Uncomitted (No. 13)
•Joel Berry, PG, Apopka (Fla.)-Lake Highland Prep, North Carolina (No. 18)
•Devin Booker, SG, Moss Point (Miss.) HS, Kentucky (No. 26)
•Grayson Allen, SG, Jacksonville (Fla.)-Providence School, Duke (No. 30)
•Tyler Ulis, PG, Chicago Heights-Marian Catholic, Kentucky (No. 34)
•Reid Travis, PF, Minneapolis-DeLaSalle, Stanford (No. 35)
•Thomas Welsh, C, Los Angeles-Loyola HS, UCLA (No. 67)
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