January 30, 2012
Name the best Gwinnett County high school basketball players you've ever seen play.
Lou Williams and Jodie Meeks have to be high on your list, right?
I'd have to say they're the two most dominant prep players that I've seen. Big guys are always impressive — like versatile former Norcross star Al-Farouq Aminu — but I've seen few players take over a game as well or as often as Williams and Meeks.
Both players could score in bunches, either with the outside shot or penetrating to the basket. Trying to guard either in a one-on-one situation in high school, forget about it.
The two Gwinnett products are still doing their thing in the NBA these days, and Saturday offers a great chance for local fans to see Williams and Meeks, teammates with the Philadelphia 76ers, in person when they face the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena (if you can't get there in person, tune into SportSouth at 7 p.m.).
Meeks, a Norcross grad, and Williams, a South Gwinnett grad, both average more than 25 minutes and rank 1-2 on the Sixers in 3-pointers and 3-point percentage. Meeks is hitting 43 percent of his 3s, Wiliams is making 41.7.
In just his third NBA season, Meeks has started every game this season. He averages 9.4 points. Williams is an early contender for the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year Award. The seventh-year pro leads Philly in scoring (15.7) despite coming off the bench, bringing the kind of instant offense he provided for the South Gwinnett Comets back in the day.
Where do Meeks and Williams rank on your list of all-time Gwinnett greats?
Witts back in the spotlight
Have you seen the recent media coverage on former Parkview quarterback Patrick Witt?
The New York Times ran a story about a Yale sexual harassment complaint that may have caused Witt to forgo his Rhodes Scholarship candidacy. It essentially implied that another factor came into play with Witt, who was publicly lauded for his tough decision to play a football game against rival Harvard instead of going to his Rhodes interview.
Here's that story:
The original story has prompted a pack of responses, including the following:
The Poynter Institute breaks down the Times' coverage of the Witt story, as well as the path taken by the Yale student newspaper here:
For those of us in Gwinnett County, we're not surprised by seeing the Witt family in the headlines.
Patrick and older brother Jeff have made the news in the past, both on and off the field. Both are good athletes and excellent students (Jeff has a Harvard degree, Patrick one from Yale), and both have a knack for being in the news.
Jeff made a not-so-private transfer from Chattahoochee to Parkview prior to his senior season to play quarterback for a state powerhouse and an offense more to his liking. It was a controversial move covered heavily in metro Atlanta and it worked out for Parkview as Witt led the Panthers to the state finals.
At the time, Parkview supporters were already talking about the talents of Jeff's younger brother. As it turned out, Patrick didn't make as big of an impact for the Panthers. He started his junior season and then moved to Texas, reportedly choosing to Highland Park initially before finishing up at another high school.
The younger Witt ended up at Nebraska for a couple of seasons, but never started and transferred to Yale. He had a well-documented run-in with law officials during his time at Nebraska.
Over the past few months, Patrick Witt has found himself back in the public eye for both good and bad. All of it for happenings off the field.
Witt reportedly now has NFL aspirations. Let's hope any future headlines involving him revolve around football.