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National

  • Kirk is back with Canton

    Once again, former Los Alamos High School basketball player Alex Kirk is playing professional hoops, and it’s under the umbrella of his old team.
    Kirk, who has been playing pro ball since the start of the 2014-15 NBA season, was scheduled to be back in uniform Saturday with the Canton Charge. The Charge are part of the NBA’s Development League and a satellite team of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
    Cleveland originally signed Kirk to a free agent deal over the summer. Last week, Cleveland dealt Kirk, along with Lou Amundson, to the New York Knicks as part of a six-player, three-team trade which also involved the Oklahoma City Thunder.
    Wednesday, Kirk and Amundson, along with the third player the Knicks received, Lance Thomas of Oklahoma City, were waived by New York, effectively meaning the Knicks will get just one draft pick out of the convoluted deal. Kirk didn’t play one minute in a Knicks uniform.
    Less than a week after the trade, Kirk was back under the auspices of his old franchise and with the team he’s spent a good chunk of the season with.
    The 7-foot center was scheduled to play Saturday night with the Charge against, somewhat ironically, the D-League franchise of the team that just waived him, the Westchester Knicks.

  • Kirk back with Charge

    Former Los Alamos basketball star Alex Kirk will once again be back to action in the professional ranks.
    Kirk, who was waived earlier this week by the New York Knicks following a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers, will play tonight for his old D-League team, the Canton Charge.
    The game will be broadcast free on YouTube. Game time is set for 5 p.m. local time.
    For a link to the game, go to canton.dleague.nba.com.
     

  • Kirk waived following Knicks' trade

    The first go-round in the professional basketball ranks was a short one for former Los Alamos star Alex Kirk.
    Kirk, a 2010 graduate of Los Alamos High School, was waived by the New York Knicks Wednesday, less than 48 hours after he was acquired by New York in a three-team, six-player deal between it, Cleveland and Oklahoma City.
    Monday’s convoluted deal between the three teams sent Kirk and another Cleveland big man, Lou Amundson, to the Big Apple, along with Oklahoma City’s Lance Thomas.
    All three of those players were released by New York Wednesday.
    For Kirk, he could be claimed off of waivers by another interested NBA team and join up with them, but for now is out of a job.
    The season so far has been nothing short of disastrous for the Knicks, who, nearing the halfway point in their schedule, have won just 5 games. The Knicks dropped their 13th game in a row Wednesday to Washington, 101-91.
    That losing streak is a record for futility for the nearly 70-year-old franchise.
    Many basketball experts have speculated the Knicks threw in the towel on the 2014-15 season with the trade. Ironically, the Knicks were way above the NBA’s salary cap for much of the season, having spent big on players like Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony, without getting a lot of bang for their buck.

  • Kirk waived by Knicks

    The NBA is reporting that former Los Alamos center Alex Kirk has been waived by the New York Knicks.

    Kirk, who was traded Monday as part of a convoluted deal between the Cleveland Cavaliers, Knicks and Oklahoma City Thunder, will now be looking for a new team.

    The move by New York to waive Kirk and Lou Amundson, who also went to the Knicks in the trade, was expected. The Knicks have shown signs that, after a disastrous 5-32 2014-15 season, they're ready to cut salary and rebuild for next year.

    Because the waiver occurred today, the Knicks don't owe any salary to Kirk, who had a non-guaranteed contract with Cleveland.

  • MLS signs Thoma to pro soccer deal

    Former Los Alamos High School standout soccer player Andy Thoma will be turning pro very soon.
    Thoma, who led Los Alamos to its first boys soccer title in nearly 25 years in 2010, was signed to a contract Monday by Major League Soccer — the league itself — guaranteeing him a spot on a MLS team for the 2015 season.
    The announcement of his signing came in advance of the MLS’ SuperDraft.
    Thoma was one of eight players coming out of college in fall 2014 to be guaranteed a MLS spot. Last month, it was announced Thoma had been invited to the league’s upcoming combine.
    It is still expected that Thoma will be at the combine, which takes place Friday through Tuesday in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
    While at Los Alamos, Thoma was named the Class 4A Player of the Year following his senior year, in which the Hilltoppers pulled off three straight upsets at the state tournament to capture the 2010 title.
    After his career at Los Alamos, Thoma joined with the University of Washington and was named an All-American fullback following the 2014 season. During his career, he was named to the All-Pac 12 team on multiple occasions.
    Thoma and Washington advanced to the men’s soccer Sweet 16 last year.

  • Thoma signed by MLS before combine

    Former Los Alamos soccer star Andy Thoma has been signed by Major League Soccer ahead of his scheduled appearance at the league's upcoming combine.

    With the signing, Thoma, as well as the seven other players that were signed today, Thoma is guaranteed a spot on a MLS team for the 2015 season.

    Thoma was an All-American for the Washington Huskies on the defensive side of the field last season. He graduated from Los Alamos High School in 2011.

  • Kirk gets dealt to Knicks from Cavs

    Former Los Alamos basketball star Alex Kirk was traded to the New York Knicks Monday as part of a three-team deal between the Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder and the team that originally signed Kirk, the Cleveland Cavaliers.
    While it’s unclear what’s going to happen with Kirk, the rookie center, when he reaches the Big Apple, the Associated Press reported that he may be waived by the team today or Wednesday.
    No word on any potential moves by New York had been announced as of press time today.
    Motivating the move on New York’s part was a desire to clear salary cap space. The Knicks have a league-worst record 5-32 and are likely trying to find new free agent talent or preparing for this summer’s NBA draft.
    Along with Kirk, New York also received Cleveland reserve Lou Amundson and a second round draft pick from the Cavaliers in 2019, as well as Lance Thomas from the Thunder.
    Cleveland also traded off-guard Dion Waiters to Oklahoma City. In turn, Cleveland received guards JR Smith and Iman Shumpert from the Knicks and a protected first round pick from Oklahoma City in this year’s draft.

  • Gronk, Watt are top All-Pro selections

    NEW YORK (AP) — J.J. Watt found a unique way to make the 2014 Associated Press NFL All-Pro team.
    Houston’s Watt was listed on all 50 ballots by a nationwide panel of media members who regularly cover the league, with 45 of the votes for defensive end and the other five for defensive tackle. So he actually was a first-team end and a second-team tackle in gaining his third straight selection.
    “Everybody always says you try and make it so the other team can’t game plan you because they don’t know where you’re coming from,” Watt said. “I mean, half the time I have no clue where I’m coming from, so it makes it pretty tough for the other people, I think, and that’s the goal.”
    No such confusion for New England’s Rob Gronkowski as the other unanimous pick. He grabbed all the votes for tight end.
    “He’s, I think, when you say a kid playing the game, that’s him,” Patriots safety Devin McCourty said. “He don’t care about anything, stats, if we’re up or down, he’s playing one way. He’s playing hard and you can tell he’s just having fun with his friends on the field.”

  • Fans brave weather to make playoffs

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — The bowl trip is a holiday tradition for many college football fans. Take some time off around Christmas and New Year’s Day and go watch your favorite team play a big game. Maybe even the biggest game.
    This season the supporters of the four teams playing in the first College Football Playoff are facing a choice about which trip to take: Semifinal or championship game?
    Today, Oregon plays Florida State at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, and Alabama meets Ohio State at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. The winners will play Jan. 12 in Arlington, Texas, at the home of the Dallas Cowboys.
    Fans of the Crimson Tide and Ducks get the benefit of games close to home. Neither Alabama nor Oregon will suffer from a lack of support in the semifinals. It’s a trickier call for Ohio State fans, who must make a cross-country trip. Seminoles supporters just traveled to see their team win a national title in Southern California last year, and many are hoping they made the right choice by skipping the semifinal trip.
    “It was going to cost me as much as $1,000 to go with nobody I knew,” said Maxx Smith, a 21-year-old senior at Florida State. “There was no motivation to go.”

  • Bumgarner is AP Athlete of 2014

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Madison Bumgarner sat in the outfield alongside Jake Peavy before Game 7 of the World Series and told his teammate exactly what needed to happen: Tim Hudson would work a few innings and get the ball to Bumgarner, who would hand it off to the bullpen to finish the championship.
    Peavy quickly offered his own prediction that Bumgarner would end it himself.
    That’s exactly what MadBum did, following up a pair of World Series wins with a save at Kansas City to close out San Francisco’s third title in five years and cap a brilliant postseason that made him a household name — or, at the very least, a household nickname. He is the 2014 Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year.
    “I was sitting in the outfield with Madison and he was asking me how I thought this game was going to play out,” Peavy recalled this month. “I said to him: ‘Madison, when you get the ball, you’re not coming out of the game. You’re the best guy we’ve got.’ ... He said, ‘Man, that’s exactly what I hoped you would say’ and exactly what he wanted. He just needed some confirmation, somebody to believe in him as well. I said, ‘Fight for that ball, man,’ and what he did will go down in the ages as the best ever.”