Tuesday, July 29, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Youth sports bring extended family together

james column sig

By
From page A8 | March 23, 2014 |

One of the major considerations my wife, Vicki, and I had when we decided to retire in Idaho a few years ago was the ability to live closer to family, hers to be exact.

Her mother was born in Idaho and several relatives – aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews all call the Boise area home. Her mom and sisters live a few hours north of here.

What wasn’t so apparent at the time was reconnecting with another family member, one not related to Vicki and her Idaho-born clan. This relative has connections to me and my first wife, Karen. She is Karen’s sister’s daughter. That makes Lisa, my niece, by a former marriage.

Despite a divorce more than four decades ago from her Aunt Karen, I continue to be Lisa’s Uncle Bill and she still is my niece. We’re family, even though she was born in 1972, the same year that Karen and I separated. Through the years, I was around to watch Lisa grow up, attending family functions that involved Lisa, her brother Mark and their parents.

The divorce did not interrupt being there for kids, whether it was birthdays or important kids’ activities. We were so connected through family that Lisa, when in high school, would occasionally baby-sit our daughter, Jennifer, and son, Kevin.

She was an outstanding athlete in high school and played softball at the collegiate level before graduating, settling down and starting her own family in Roseville where, at one time, we all lived.

In 2005, she, her husband, Craig, and three small children, packed up and moved right here to Meridian, a suburb of Boise. They were drawn to Idaho by the less-expensive housing and extremely inviting livability factors. Idaho has been good to her family.

She was excited when she heard we were moving here and we stopped by to visit while we were house hunting. We made an offer on a house just doors away from theirs, but the deal fell through. The home we eventually purchased is still within walking distance.

John, Lisa’s oldest son, became the catalyst that brought the families together so frequently during the past four years. As a freshman at Rocky Mountain High in Meridian, John made the varsity basketball team. During the past four years, he has rewritten the school’s record books for his outstanding play.

After attending a couple of games that freshman season, I was immediately addicted. It brought back memories of when my son, Greg (Lisa’s cousin), played basketball at Roseville High during the 1980s. High school basketball is a great spectator sport and John had incredible skills for a 14-year-old. I’ve attended dozens of games since that winter of 2010-11.

He completed his senior season a couple of weeks ago, leading his team for the second straight year into the large-school Idaho state basketball tournament. Last year, his team lost the championship game by three points. This year was a bit of a disappointment for the team, losing in a semifinal game to last year’s state champion, Borah High.

John unquestionably was among the best point guards in Idaho. He set school single-season records for baskets and free throws made, assists and steals. He completely shattered career records for points scored, field goals, free throws, assists and steals. He ended his senior season averaging nearly 12 points, five assists and three steals per game.

There is no doubt John has basketball intelligence and skills to play at the collegiate level, but at 5 feet 11 inches tall (we’re being generous here), the big schools are not breaking down the doors with offers. He has had plenty of interest from nonscholarship schools, but nothing has quite jelled, yet.

He’s a 3.5 GPA student and a great young man who will no doubt go far in his college and adult life. I will miss his uncanny, John Stockton-like passes, his clutch game-winning and game-tying 3-pointers, his tenacious defense and his leadership abilities on and off the court.

He was selected to play in an all-state prep basketball game in Northern Idaho that will conclude his high school career. I will miss that game. I definitely will miss those wintry nights traveling around the Treasure Valley to watch John and his Grizzly hoop team light up the night.

But alas, Lisa and Craig have two more children and I plan to be around to root for them. Their daughter, Raimee, a sophomore at Rocky Mountain, was just named Gatorade Idaho Girls Soccer Player of the Year and a finalist for the national award. Raimee scored 34 goals, had 11 assists, scored in 18 of 21 games and had 11 multiple-goal games. With two more years to play, she no doubt will be one of the most recruited soccer players to come out of Idaho in a long time.

Then there’s Nathan, a seventh-grader, who has already demonstrated the kind of basketball skills that earned his older brother accolades during his high school career. I attended one of his club team games this year. Another star point guard is in the making and John better hope his little brother doesn’t someday erase too many of those newly achieved records.

Lisa and Craig can count on Uncle Bill to join them on the soccer field sidelines and in the gym to cheer for Raimee and Nathan as they continue the winning legacy established by big brother, John.

Bill James is a former Daily Republic editor and publisher now living Meridian, Idaho, a suburb of Boise.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
Library teens plan summer reading party

By Glen Faison | From Page: A3

 
Weather for Tuesday, July 29, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page:

 
Big-rig driver strikes telephone lines in Fairfield

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A6, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: July 27, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: June 27, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Caltrans makes I-80 lane change

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 5 Comments

 
Fairfield tries to end Cordelia Road detour

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 15 Comments | Gallery

 
‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ primed for big screen

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7 | Gallery

.

US / World

 
Sacramento Gold Rush Days canceled due to drought

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Man charged in teen’s 9-month disappearance

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Deal to improve veterans’ health care costs $17B

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment | Gallery

Suspect dead, 2 marshals and cop wounded in NYC

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
New fears about Ebola spread after plane scare

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment

In Iraq’s Mosul, radicals unleash their vision

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 2 Comments

 
Fighting in Ukraine prompts residents to flee

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Witnesses: Thunderstorm hit beach without warning

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Suspect’s mom also charged in Long Beach burglary

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
City: Emails show ‘cozy’ ties of PG&E, regulator

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Pool water dumped in South Tahoe; resort fires 3

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Additional charge filed in California wildfire

By The Associated Press | From Page:

California governor takes dig at Texas guard plan

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 2 Comments | Gallery

 
.

Opinion

Editorial cartoons for July 29, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page:

 
 
.

Living

Horoscopes for July 29, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

 
Today in History for July 29, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page:

I don’t want to have intimate contact since learning I had a STD

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page:

 
Community Calendar: July 29, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page:

.

Entertainment

Kevin Bacon brings his ‘Six Degrees’ to Comic-Con

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Sarah Palin launches online subscription channel

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 1 Comment | Gallery

‘Sharknado’ sequel has bite and lots of laughs

By Frazier Moore | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
TVGrid July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

.

Sports

Giants lose 5th straight, 5-0 to Pirates

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
 
Lakers finally confirm Byron Scott is new coach

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Raiders relying on healthy Watson to solidify line

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
This date in sports history for Tuesday, July 29, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Quarterback Johnny Manziel’s day at Browns camp

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Judge OKs record-setting $2B sale of Clippers

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Humphrey to savor Hall of Fame day with ‘wingman’

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Rays’ Archer: ‘Never saw Hank Aaron flip his bat’

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Reed HOF induction gives Bills cause to celebrate

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

In the Pits: Gordon eyeing 5th title after big Brickyard win

By Jenna Fryer | From Page: | Gallery

 
Marketing agreement an obstacle in US bid for 2024

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Sailors to navigate dirty water in 1st Rio test

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Manningham back with Giants, with no guarantees

By The Associated Press | From Page:

.

Business

Contracts to buy US homes slip in June

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
FAA proposes to fine Southwest Airlines $12M

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Stocks pause as traders await key economic news

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Zillow buying Trulia to build real estate titan

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Dollar Tree steps up fight, buys Family Dollar

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

B.C. July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Get Fuzzy July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baldo July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baby Blues July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Rose is Rose July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Zits July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Crossword July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Garfield July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Pickles July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Frank and Ernest July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Beetle Bailey July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Peanuts July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Word Sleuth July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Cryptoquote July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

For Better or Worse July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Bridge July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Wizard of Id July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Dilbert July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sally Forth July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Blondie July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sudoku July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5