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Area buzz: Avery's move to NBA leaves bitterness in its wake

Web posted Sunday, August 29, 1999


From Staff Reports

Augusta's William Avery is an NBA millionaire now with the Minnesota Timberwolves, but he can't escape the leftovers of his premature departure from Duke in April.

ESPN The Magazine ran a story in its Aug. 30 edition on four players bolting Duke -- three for the NBA and one by transfer.

The early focus of the story, written by former Sports Illustrated writer Curry Kirkpatrick, is that Blue Devil basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski had a big disagreement with Avery and his mother, Terri Simonton, in April before Avery announced he was leaving.

Reportedly, Krzyzewski used an expletive to tell Simonton that her son was going to mess up his program. She said Krzyzewski was ``rude, personal.''

``Coach K is selfish,'' Simonton told ESPN The Magazine. ``He talks about a so-called close Duke family. But he just wants to protect his program. He lied to us about where William would go in the draft. Late in the first round? Maybe even second round? Come on. Even I could pick up the papers and read he was going earlier than that.''

Krzyzewski, who was less than two weeks removed from April 4 hip replacement surgery when the disagreement took place, says, ``I was never critical of William. I disagreed with his decision. That's telling the truth. He was upset because certain people wanted him to be upset. I knew he was getting family pressure. I said, `Let's see how much better you can take care of your family a year from now.' I just wish we were given a chance to explore the options.''

On Thursday, Avery said he hadn't seen the article.

TOO TALL:

Former Dallas Cowboys star defensive end Ed ``Too Tall'' Jones will be the featured speaker for the CSRA Classic weekend Oct. 22-23. Jones, who played with the Cowboys from 1974-89, will be the centerpiece of the CSRA Classic banquet on Friday, Oct. 22, at the Radisson Riverfront Hotel. A parade will be held down Laney-Walker Boulevard on Saturday, Oct. 23, at 10 a.m., followed by the Morehouse-Morris Brown football game at Lumpkin Road Stadium at 2 p.m., and a Greek step show at 8 p.m., at Augusta State.

BIG BASH:

The Border Bash will be back on Friday, Sept. 10, when the Swingin' Medallions headline the annual party on the eve of the Georgia-South Carolina football game in Athens.

The event, scheduled to start at 7 p.m., will be held on Riverwalk at 8th Street. There will be a $2 admission charge, with all proceeds going to the MCG Children's Hospital.

The Bulldog and Gamecock cheerleaders will be on hand. A captain's choice golf tournament is also scheduled for Friday at the River Club in North Augusta.

WHERE'S FRED?:

North Augusta's Fred Vinson, a second-round pick of the Green Bay Packers, has had a tough camp because of a lingering foot injury. The cornerback underwent off-season surgery on his left foot and then pulled up lame in a coverage drill on July 30. Two weeks ago he was back in action and returned an interception for a touchdown.

``What really helps me out is playing on the left side,'' Vinson said. ``On the left side, I plant a lot on my right foot. On the right side, I plant a lot on my left foot, which is my hurt foot.''

To help deal with the injury, Vinson's foot is taped in such a way that it doesn't flex where the pain exists.

Vinson was expected to see his first NFL action on Saturday night at New Orleans.

Two other Augusta-area NFL players, Corey Chavous of Silver Bluff and the Arizona Cardinals and Takeo Spikes of Washington County and the Cincinnati Bengals, are the feature players on their teams in Sports Illustrated's NFL preview issue.

BOXING REUNION:

On the heels of Friday's big boxing card at Bell Auditorium, two former area boxers are trying to organize a reunion of boxers from the 1950s and early 1960s. The get-together will be held on Sept. 18 at noon at the home of Gene Mann, 374 Brown Road, Cowden Plantation, Jackson, S.C. Call Mann at (803) 471-2549 or Vernon Parker at (803) 663-3079 for more details.

Got an item of area interest? Call (706) 823-3337 or e-mail wardc@augustachronicle.com.

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