This JZ might end up with some “Dead Presidents”: CHD interviews former LMU player Jon Ziri about the EA video game settlement

On July 16th US District Judge Claudia Wilken approved a $60 million settlement for college football and basketball players regarding a class-action lawsuit that was filed against the NCAA and video game maker Electronic Arts.  The plaintiffs claimed that the names and images of the athletes had been used in video games for years without giving any compensation to the players.  This decision is a big step in the fight for the rights of student-athletes, and could lead to many other types of compensation for college athletes.  CHD got to chat with former Loyola Marymount basketball player Jon Ziri about why he submitted a claim as part of the settlement and what he hopes to do with any money he receives.


You grew up in Tempe and won the 2002 5A state title at Marcos De Niza High School: what did it mean to you to win a title, and why did you decide to go to college at Loyola Marymount? Winning a title was great: I was teammates with a lot of my friends who I had grown up with, so it was very special to us to finish our high school career with a title. I chose LMU because I liked the coaching staff: I felt we had a chance to build something special.

In the 2006 WCC tourney title game you scored six points in a 1-point loss to Gonzaga: how much of a home-court advantage did the Bulldogs have in Spokane, and did you think Chris Ayer’s shot at the end of the game was going in? Gonzaga had the best facility in the WCC at the time and always sold it out, so I think they were in their comfort zone. However, they were a top-5 team in the nation so I did not think it was that big of a factor. We were able to find Chris inside and he had an opportunity to win the game but unfortunately it did not go our way. I thought we had a shot to make the NCAA tourney until reality kicked in.

As a senior you were named team captain: what is the key to being a good leader? Leadership is a learned behavior. The captain my previous year was a very vocal guy, but since we had a lot of freshmen when I was a senior I tried to lead by example. It is a tough transition for young pups when they go from high school to college. Continue Reading


USA Basketball: 21 Begin Journey to Pan-Am Games in Toronto

21 players will meet July 7 to begin what they hope will be a journey to Toronto later this month at the Pan Am games.

16 college players, four who played overseas and one NBA player will meet and compete in Colorado Springs at the USA Training facility to fill the 12 man roster.

Ron Baker (Wichita St.), Malcolm Brogdon (Virginia), Isaiah Cousins Oklahoma), Kellen Dunham (Butler), Rico Gathers (Baylor), Issac Haas (Purude), Nigel Hayes (Wisconsin), Malcolm Hill (Illinois), Shawn Long (Louisiana), Monte Morris (Iowa State), Taurean Prince (Baylor), Joshua Scott (Colorado), Kaleb Tarczewski (Arizona), Romelo Trimble (Maryland), Denzel Valentine (Michigan State), Fred Van Vleet (Wichita St).

Overseas Pros:
Bobby Brown (China/ Cal St Fullerton), Keith Langford (Russia/ Kansas), Anthony Randolph (Russia/ LSU), Damien Wilkins (Puerto Rico/ NC State).

Ryan Hollins (Sacramento Kings/ UCLA)

Basketball at the Pan Am Games will be July 21-25 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Feeling well, looking Weller: CHD interviews Hall of Fame coach Chris Weller

Chris Weller did a little of everything at Maryland: 3-sport athlete while in college, assistant to her former coach Dottie McKnight, first-ever assistant athletic director for women, then 499 wins during 25+ years as head coach.  As head coach she won eight ACC titles and was named national Coach of the Year in 1992.  CHD’s Jon Teitel got to chat with Coach Weller about her superstitions as well as her role in one of the greatest games in women’s history. 


You went to college at Maryland where you played basketball, swimming, and lacrosse: what sport were you best at, and what sport did you enjoy the most? I was best at basketball so that is what I enjoyed the most. I played lacrosse because there was a group of us who were physical education majors who thought it was such an interesting game. I felt that if I wanted to really understand sports I needed to participate in as many different kinds that I could. Continue Reading


Wayne’s World: CHD interviews Kansas G Wayne Selden Jr.

Kansas was selected to represent America at the World University Games in July.  After losing Cliff Alexander and Kelly Oubre Jr. to the NBA, the Jayhawks will have to depend on such returnees as Wayne Selden Jr.  In 2013 he was named a McDonald’s All-American and then decided to become a Jayhawk.  He has played in two straight NCAA tourneys and scored a career-high 25 points against Iowa State in last year’s Big 12 tourney title game.  CHD’s Jon Teitel got to chat with Wayne about his famous teammates, facing a near-perfect Kentucky team, and playing for team USA. 


You played with Nerlens Noel in the Elite Youth Basketball League and at the Tilton School: how dominant were you two back in the day?  It was not just the two of us: we also played with Georges Niang. We had Dominique Bull (who committed to Missouri), a kid who went to Dartmouth (Kevin Crescenzi), and another who went to UNLV, so there were a lot of good players on that team. Continue Reading


Welcome to the Palestra: CHD interviews Penn recruit Jake Silpe

The Penn Quakers have had a rough six months: after completing their third straight losing season, they fired Coach Jerome Allen and replaced him with Steve Donahue. However, the future looks a bit brighter due to an incoming freshman class that they hope will restore the proud tradition of Penn basketball. CHD’s Jon Teitel recently got to chat with Penn recruit Jake Silpe about why he chose the Quakers and what he knows about his new coach.


Your Cherry Hill East team made it all the way to the Group 4 state final before losing to Paterson Eastside: where does that rank among the most devastating losses of your career? The loss to Paterson Eastside was not really devastating. We wanted to win but we knew going in that we were the underdog. We were just happy to get to the state championship for the first time in Cherry Hill East history: I was very proud of my team.

Eastside’s Shakur Juiston had 18 rebounds and seven steals in the Ghosts’ 50-34 win: how do you think he is going to do at the next level? I only saw Juiston play once so it is hard to say, but he played really well during that game. I think if he keeps improving his game he will be great at the next level. Continue Reading


Ask Andy Landers: CHD interviews the legendary Georgia women’s coach

Andy Landers started coaching at Georgia in the 1970s, and after more than three decades on the sideline her finally retired this past March as one of the 10 winningest coaches in D-1 women’s basketball history.  He won the National Women’s Invitational Tournament in 1981, made the NCAA title game in 1985, and made 20 straight NCAA tourneys from 1995-2014.  He was named national COY on four occasions despite going head-to-head with other legends like Pat Summitt and Geno Auriemma.  CHD’s Jon Teitel recently got to chat with Coach Landers about playing for national titles in the past and enjoying retirement in the present.


Georgia athletic director Vince Dooley made you his first hire in 1979: did you feel ready to become a D-1 coach at age 26? It is amazing how much you can accomplish when you do not know what you do not know! I was a junior college coach at age 22 and then four years later I became head coach at Georgia. I did not know what I was doing but I had the energy and vision and work ethic to make something happen. Continue Reading


Welcome to the Palestra: CHD interviews Penn recruit Morris Esformes

The Quakers have had a rough six months: after completing their third straight losing season, they fired Coach Jerome Allen and replaced him with Steve Donahue. However, the future looks a bit brighter due to an incoming freshman class that they hope will restore the proud tradition of Penn basketball. CHD’s Jon Teitel recently got to chat with Penn recruit Morris Esformes about why he chose the Quakers and what he knows about his new coach.


Your primary trainer is Demetrius McDaniels, whose brother happens to be Dwyane Wade: how important is training compared to coaching, and has Dwyane given you any good advice? Demetrius was initially my coach back in seventh grade but has become a great trainer and friend. I also have a new trainer named Brandon Payne who has helped me with my agility and shooting. D-Wade is closer to my dad and is usually on the road with the Heat, but when he is home he just tells me to keep working hard. Continue Reading


The Doctor who won an NBA title: CHD remembers the legendary Dr. Jack Ramsay

By the end of this month either Steve Kerr or David Blatt will become the first rookie coach to lead their team to an NBA title since Pat Riley did it with the Lakers in 1982.  It usually takes coaches a much longer time to win the coveted ring, often with several years of experience as a college coach on their resume.  Dr. Jack Ramsay spent more than a decade as head coach at his alma mater of St. Joe’s, during which time he made seven trips to the NCAA tourney.  After leaving the college ranks he won an NBA title as GM of the 76ers in 1967, then won another title a decade later as coach of the Trail Blazers.  Dr. Jack passed away in 2014, but CHD’s Jon Teitel got to chat with both Jack’s son Chris and St. Joe’s athletic director Don DiJulia, who played for Dr. Jack,  about one man’s life, legacy, and love of the game.


In 1955 your dad became coach at St. Joe’s: why did he take the job, and what did it mean to him to return to his alma mater? CR: My dad was teaching and coaching at a small high school in Delaware and making no money while also playing in the Eastern League. One summer he was offered a pair of tickets to a Phillies game and ran into the St. Joe’s moderator of athletics at the game.  He was offered the job as St. Joe’s head coach and said of course he would take it. He loved the school, both playing there and coaching there. Continue Reading


On your Marks: CHD interviews Boise State guard Derrick Marks

Boise State is commonly known as a football school, but Derrick Marks went a long way toward changing that perception last year.  Despite a season-ending injury to his fellow senior Anthony Drmic, Marks helped his team win the 1st Mountain West regular season title in school history, then almost single-handedly beat Dayton on its home court in the NCAA tourney before coming up one point short.  CHD’s Jon Teitel recently got to chat with Marks about overcoming injuries and finishing his career as the conference POY. 


You grew up in Illinois: how did you end up at Boise State? I came here on a visit when College Game Day was here for a football game against Oregon State, and the atmosphere here was great.

You appeared in each of your team’s 30 games as a freshman and scored 9.4 points per contest: how were you able to come in and contribute right from the start? At that point I was just focused on playing hard and doing whatever the team needed me to do. Continue Reading