Sports Item: Under-13 volleyball girls win provincials.
I don't care what sport it is, I don't care how deep the competition is, anytime you can hang a provincial gold medal around your neck, it has to be a good feeling. So it was for the Nighthawks, who took on all comers in winning a Nova Scotia title recently.
Volleyball is a great sport to play, and a wonderful spectator sport that takes athletic ability to play well. You don't even have to be tall to be good at it – although it certainly helps – because even a kid on the smaller side can help his or her team by using quickness, good hand-eye and hustle to keep balls alive and rack up the digs. (What a great word "digs" is in this context, because to get a dig you have to sometimes dig deep, sacrifice and scramble, setting up teammates who may be less vertically challenged.) Love volleyball, a totally under-rated sport.
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Sports Item: L.A. Clippers' owner Donald Sterling banned for life, fine $2.5 million by the NBA for making racist remarks.
Of course the NBA brass had to do it, you can't have the owner of a professional sports franchise making such remarks and then do nothing about it. (Google it, you'll find something on the Internet for sure.)
Sterling may as well sell the Clippers – he's a pariah within the sports world, and while he's at it, he might want to study up on race relations (maybe the dog's too old to learn that trick, maybe he doesn't want to) and start hanging out with women closer to his own age.
Sterling's so-called "female companion" can't be too proud of herself, either, calling him up on the telephone, goading him into saying things she knew she'd say, then broadcasting it over the Internet. A woman scorned, not a nice person.
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Canadiens, Bruins renew rivalry, Sharks caught and gutted.
Usually, the idea of wishing for good things to happen to the Montreal Canadiens makes my stomach churn a little, but since the Canadiens are now playing the Bruins in the Stanley Cup playoffs – a team I personally can't stand – all I can say is, "Go Habs… for now."
I think it might be better to cheer for the Leafs than the San Jose Sharks, who didn't fail to disappoint me in that they choked away a 3-0 series lead against the Los Angeles Kings, becoming only the fourth team in NHL history to suffer such a collapse.
It's not easy to blow up a team that has success in the regular season year after year, but when your cornerstones can't elevate their games in the playoffs, a problem that has hounded the Sharks for several years now, more than a little tweaking is necessary.
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On a much brighter NBA note, the Toronto Raptors were on the verge of winning their first-round playoff series against the Brooklyn Nets, heading into Friday's Game 6 in Brooklyn.
The Raptors almost let Game 5 slip away on Wednesday night, building a 26-point lead by late in the third quarter, only to watch as the Nets roared back to tie the game late. Toronto avoided catastrophe and scratched out a two-point win, and had they failed to do that, it might have been too much of a stomach-punch to recover from. But they endured, and a team that is slowly capturing the imagination of borderline basketball fans in Canada is maturing, game-by-game.
The Raptors won't be winning a title in 2014 – although we can never know these things for sure – but a team without stars is proving that a team in the real sense of the word can achieve more than perhaps most might think – kind of like what the Under-13 Nighthawk volleyballers showed.
Kevin Adshade is a sports columnist for The News.