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EGGERS: Behind the scenes notes on tennis, Ernie Kent, Blazers, Damian Lillard and Nike
Notes, quotes and anecdotes from the sporting world
Aaron Gross and Susie Campbell-Gross -- men's and women's tennis coaches at the University of Portland -- emceed a short but fitting tribute to the late Perry Hines Sunday, unveiling an umpire's chair that will be employed in his honor.
Hines, a respected long-time umpire and tennis official in Portland, committed suicide last September. He was 63.
Hines' brother and sister, Rick and Jackie Hines, were at the UP Tennis Center for the ceremony along with dozens of friends and members of the Pilot men's and women's teams.
Much was made of Perry's lack of ego despite his status as one of the top tennis officials in the country.
"I guarantee if Perry were here, he wouldn't understand what the fuss is about," fellow umpire Jeff Carey said.
"Perry was so sincere and humble, you'd never hear him brag about himself," said Denis Kviz, chairman of the USTA/PNW officials committee.
Read a plaque on the chair: "In loving memory of Perry Hines, consummate professional and virtuous official who left a legacy larger than he could have imagined."
Said Rick Hines: "It's wonderful they would do this in Perry's memory. I'm sure he would have been pleased."
Ernie Kent was at Moda Center Sunday night, taking in the Blazers-Warriors game in his first appearance here as Washington State's basketball coach.
Kent said he is in the process of buying a house in Pullman and he plans to add at least one late recruit to the WSU roster.
"I don't want to say how many, but we're in a position to bring somebody in," he said. "We're hot into recruiting right now. We have until the end of the month to beat the bushes. We have some time to do some things."
How does he feel the talent base is for the Cougars, who finished 11th in the Pac-12 this season with a 3-15 record (10-21 overall)?
"Our talent is pretty good, but the kids' confidence is really shot," Kent said. "We have to do a better job that way. We need some pieces. We'll be able to do that. We have a team that's been beat up mentally. The last two years have been pretty tough on those kids."
Kent has hired Greg "Flea" Graham as his chief assistant. Graham played with Kent at Oregon and coached for him at Saint Mary's before becoming head coach at Boise State.
As Kent pointed out his son, Jordan, to Golden State coach Mark Jackson during the pregame media availability, the junior Kent got off a pair of great ad-libs.
"Got my looks from my mom," Jordan quipped, drawing laughs from the surrounding reporters.
What about the brains?
"That, too," he cracked.
On the Safeco Field desk of Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon: "Be Still and Know, Reflections from Living Buddha, Living Christ," by renowned scholar Thich Nhat Hanh. The book examines the connections between Buddhism and Christianity. If McClendon isn't a deep thinker, he's at least interested in something beyond the baselines.
Makes a lot of sense for the Trail Blazers' management to forbid Chris Stackpole, the team's first-year director of Player Health and Performance, to speak to the media. The club wouldn't want him to have to 'fess up his secrets for keeping so many players healthy this season.
Same logic applies to Adidas, which refused to divulge terms in Damian Lillard's new "multi-year" contract endorsement. Company officials wouldn't want the public to know how many years and dollars they've bestowed upon the Blazers' second-year point guard.
Word got out anyway -- as much as $100 million over 10 years, a lot of bread for a player to whom the Blazers are paying $2.67 million in salary this season.
Lillard, incidentally, was featured Tuesday night on Fox Sports Live, with panelist Gary Payton -- a fellow Oakland native -- providing background and commentary about the Blazer guard's upbringing and the strong presence of his parents, Houston Lillard and Gina Johnson.
Today's tip of the hat goes to the Nike Employee Grant Fund, which has announced grants totaling $250,000 to 25 local nonprofits and schools.
Among the beneficiaries are Elevate Oregon, a non-profit that uses outdoor adventure and athletic activities with urban youth to inspire school success, leadership and self-reliance, and the McMinnville School District's Jump Start Ready for Kindergarten program for low-income families.