Tag:Louisville Cardinals
Posted on: December 26, 2010 10:38 am
Edited on: December 26, 2010 10:54 am

Providence keeps Ledo at home

Posted by Eric Angevine

When Rick Pitino began talks with the Puerto Rico national team, pundits assumed that, in part, he hoped to gain an upper hand in recruiting. One of the primary targets he was after at the time was Ricardo "Ricky" Ledo, a top 2012 shooting guard from Rhode Island who is eligible to play for the island's squad due to his parentage.

Turns out, Ledo would rather play in front of his hometown fans and family, which is quite the Christmas gift for Keno Davis.

"I'm going to do it in front of my family and friends as opposed to leaving," Ledo said on Christmas morning. "So many other guys have left. I want to stay close to home, like Marvin Barnes."

Barnes, PC's legendary big man of the early 1970s, was a top player at Central High but never received the regional or national acclaim that Ledo has owned over the last two years.

Ledo said the attraction of his family and friends was powerful, as was PC's pitch for him to stay home and follow in the footsteps of Barnes, Ernie DiGregorio, Joe Hassett, Abdul Abdullah and, most recently, Jeff Xavier, as local high school stars who played for the Friars. Ledo spent Christmas with his grandparents, Ada and Julio Carrasco, as well as his brother Kyron and his parents, Kimeco Ledo and Ricardo Carrasco. He said everyone was excited with his choice.

-Kevin McNamara, Providence Journal

Davis has had a rough time in recent months, with Greedy Peterson and other players encountering legal troubles and being dismissed from the team. In addition, his leading recruiter, Pat Skerry, decamped to Big East rival Pitt. Keeping Ledo at home should go a long ways toward rehabbing the program's image, but Davis will probably need to win a fair number of games between now and 2012 in order to keep the wolves at bay.
Posted on: December 25, 2010 11:07 am

Open Thread: The Gift that Keeps On Giving

Posted by Eric Angevine

I live in the Eastern time zone, and I have an eight-year-old son, so I've been up since 6:15 am with my family, passing around gifts. For personal enjoyment, there's nothing like a good family gathering.

As I checked the email messages that came in on Christmas Eve, one in particular caught my eye. I haven't been shy in making fun of Louisville's new KFC Yum! Center, not because it's a bad building, but because the naming rights for the arena have given us a moniker that's somewhat ridiculous sounding, and because the whole thing is nearly a 180-degree change from good old Freedom Hall. As far as I know, it's the only college arena that could be featured in the old Interjections! song from Schoolhouse Rock.

Teasing aside, it turns out that Yum! Brands -- which owns KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Long John Silver's, and A&W restaurants around the world -- has been fighting hunger through more than just late-night drive-through windows.

Since its launch in 2007, the company's World Hunger Relief campaign has raised nearly $85 million from employees, franchisees, and their families, who have also volunteered more than 21 million hours to aid hunger relief efforts in communities worldwide. In the United States, Yum! is working to address hunger through its continued commitment to Food Donation Connection's Harvest program, which was launched in the 1990s and has become the largest prepared-food donation program in the world. In 2009, the program generated nearly 11 million pounds of food donations.
That's corporate largesse with a positive impact. Beats massive CEO bonus packages in a down economy.

It also puts me in mind of the two charities that are most associated with college basketball - organizations that can do a lot with any bucks we can spare this season: The Jimmy V Foundation and Samaritan's Feet.

Jimmy V's foundation fights cancer, inspired by the courage of the late, great Jim Valvano (they've also partnered with the group named after the late N.C. State women's coach Kay Yow in recent months). Samaritan's Feet is the North Carolina-based organization that collects new shoes and distributes them to needy recipients in developing countries. A movement that gained its first major TV exposure when IUPUI head coach Ron Hunter went barefoot on the sidelines in a 2008 game between his Jaguars and the Oakland Golden Grizzlies has gone on to make an impact worldwide with the help of college and pro coaches and players who have given of their time and used their fame to draw attention to the organization's goals.

These are just a couple of worthy organizations that give our love of hoops a little added meaning through their year-round efforts. If you have the means, you could do a lot worse than to funnel some cash or time in their direction. Or, if your favorite school is making a notable charity effort (like Penn State's massive Thon project), give it a plug in the comment section below. We'll do our best to share the holiday cheer with the rest of the world.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com