Boyd Grant unable to attend Fresno State’s 30-year anniversary of NIT championship

Former Fresno State men’s basketball coach Boyd Grant waves while being recognized at half time of the Fresno State women’s game againt Idaho at the Save Mart Center Thursday, February 16, 2012. (CRAIG KOHLRUSS/THE FRESNO BEE)

Fresno State will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the men’s basketball team’s 1983 NIT championship on Saturday, but coach Boyd Grant won’t be able to attend after all.

Grant — who in nine seasons (1977-86) guided the Bulldogs to an overall record of 194-74, including 25-10 in the NIT title season of 1982-83 — is recovering from pneumonia and won’t  be at the 7 p.m. game against Boise State at the Save Mart Center. The team will be honored at halftime.

“It is with great disappointment that I will not be able to attend this weekend’s 30 year celebration of the 1983 Championship team,” Grant said, in a news release. “I am excited to hear that so many of the players from that team are returning to celebrate such an accomplishment after 30 years with the dedicated fans of the Red Wave that supported them through it all.”

Players from the 1982-83 team expected to be in attendance include Tyrone Bradley, Marvin Carter, Dave Mosebar, Charlie Smith, Mark Gustin, Omel Nieves, Mitch Arnold and Desi Barmore. Other former Bulldogs from that era, including Bobby Anderson, Bobby Davis, Kenny Cook and Art Williams will also be on hand.

Two of the team’s stars — “Bookend Forwards” Bernard Thompson and Ron Anderson — are not scheduled to attend.

“I’m really excited about coming back and seeing my friends,” Bradley said. “It will be great to get together after all of these years.”

Said Mosebar: “I am very much looking forward to seeing all of the guys and coaches. I’m sorry that we won’t be able to see Coach Grant there because of his pneumonia, but I am looking forward to seeing all of the guys.”

In the 1983 NIT, Fresno State defeated UTEP (71-64), Michigan State (72-58), Oregon Sate (76-67) and Wake Forest (86-62) to reach the final against DePaul. The Bulldogs beat the Blue Demons 69-60 in the championship.

Note: Fresno State is promoting Saturday’s matchup as a White Out game. All fans are encouraged to wear white and the first 500 through the doors will get an official White Out game day shirt and some fans will also receive a Coach Terry Towel.

Sunnyside CC to host 2013 U.S. Open qualifier

Sunnyside Country Club, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2011, will host a local U.S. Open qualifier on Monday, May 6, 2013. (CRAIG KOHLRUSS/THE FRESNO BEE)

Sunnyside Country Club in Fresno has been selected as one of 111 local qualifying sites for the 2013 U.S. Open.

Sunnyside is one of 28 courses hosting qualifying over 18 holes on May 6, including five other California sites: Indian Ridge CC in Palm Desert, Almaden CC in San Jose, Butte Creek CC in Chico, Valencia CC and Barona Creek GC in Lakeside.

Local qualifiers advance to sectional qualifying, which will be conducted over 36 holes at 11 U.S. sites on June 3. The U.S. Open is June 13-16 at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa.

Last year, eight players who advanced through qualifying made the cut at the U.S. Open, the most since 1997.

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Former Fresno State coach Jerry Tarkanian among Hall finalists

Fresno State basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian receives a hug from Mustafa Al-Sayyad as he walks off the court for the final time Wednesday, March 13, 2002, in Fresno. Fresno State lost to Temple 81-75 in what would be Tarkanian’s final game. (GARY KAZANJIAN/ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Former Fresno State coach Jerry Tarkanian is one of 12 finalists for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

The 2013 Hall of Fame class will be announced April 8 prior to the NCAA Tournament men’s national championship game in Atlanta.

A finalist needs 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee for election into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Induction ceremonies will take place Sept. 8 in Springfield, Mass.

The other finalists are: Gary Payton, Rick Pitino, Tim Hardaway, Mitch Richmond, Tom Heinsohn, Sylvia Hatchell, Dawn Staley, Maurice Cheeks, Spencer Haywood, Bernard King and Guy Lewis.

Here is what the Hall said about Tarkanian, whose Fresno State teams went 104-79 from 1995-2002:

“Known as one of the most passionate coaches in the game of basketball, Tarkanian recorded 990 wins during his career with an 81% winning percentage that included leading the University of Nevada-Las Vegas to four NCAA Final Four appearances (1977, 1987, 1990 and 1991) and the 1990 NCAA Championship. During his career, he led three different schools to NCAA Tournament appearances (UNLV, Fresno State and Long Beach State), including 21 post season appearances, 14 NCAA tournaments, 13 Sweet Sixteen appearances, seven Elite Eights, 17 conference championships and four 30-plus win seasons. Tarkanian is a four-time National Coach of the Year (1977 Kodak; 1983 UPI; 1984, 1990 Basketball Times). At the junior college level, he still owns the highest winning percentage of all-time at .891. He has coached 44 future NBA prospects including 12 First Round draft picks. Off the court, he was the recipient of the Roy Campanella Humanitarian Award and the Dream a Dream Foundation Inspiration Award – the only basketball coach to receive the award.”

Jose Ramirez fight scheduled for Feb. 23 called off

Jose Ramirez scored a first-round TKO in his pro debut in December 2012. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Professional boxer Jose Ramirez of Avenal has a right hand injury and his fight scheduled for next weekend has been called off.

Ramirez (1-0) had been set to face Charlie Dubray in Culver City on Feb. 23, but instead will next fight March 30 on the HBO-televised Brandon Rios/Mike Alvarado II card from Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

Ramirez co-manager and promoter Rick Mirigian said the injury was “nothing bad or major.”



Avenal’s Jose Ramirez to next fight Feb. 23

Jose Ramirez, right, corners Corey Siegwarth during the first round of their scheduled four-round lightweight fight Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012, in Las Vegas. (ASSOCIATED PRESS/ERIC JAMISON)

Avenal boxer Jose Ramirez — coming off a TKO victory in his pro debut in December — will next fight on Feb. 23 in Southern California.

Ramirez (1-0) faces Charlie Dubray at 8:30 p.m. Feb. 23 in Culver City.

Ramirez also could be looking at another bout next month, co-manager and promoter Rick Mirigian said, potentially March 30 on the high profile Brandon Rios/Mike Alvarado II card live on HBO from The Mandalay Bay Events center in Las Vegas.

In his pro debut, scheduled for four rounds as part of the undercard to Manny Pacquiao-Juan Marquez IV,  Ramirez scored a TKO at the 2:05 mark of the opening round against Corey Siegwarth, a pro from Colorado who was 2-1 with a knockout.

NFL Combine invites Fresno State’s Rouse, Thomas along with McDonald, Bray, Jefferson and Wilson

Fresno State senior running back Robbie Rouse enters Bulldog Stadium before the Bulldogs’ game against Air Force on Nov. 24, 2012. (CRAIG KOHLRUSS/THE FRESNO BEE)

Running back Robbie Rouse — Fresno State’s all-time leading rusher — and safety Phillip Thomas – a unanimous All-American at safety this past fall for the Bulldogs — have been invited to the NFL Combine, scheduled for Feb. 20-26 in Indianapolis.

USC All-America safety T.J. McDonald from Edison High also was invited.

In addition, three juniors with ties to the Fresno area earned invitations: Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray from Kingsburg High, Nevada running back Stefphon Jefferson from El Diamante High and former Washington State wide receiver Marquess Wilson out of Tulare High.

Here is the schedule of workouts, with coverage on the NFL Network:

** Saturday, Feb. 23: Tight ends, offensive linemen, special teams.

** Sunday, Feb. 24: Quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers.

** Monday, Feb. 25: Defensive linemen, linebackers.

** Tuesday, Feb. 26: Defensive backs.

Baseball events dot Fresno calendar next week

Ryan Vogelsong pitched for the 2001 Fresno Grizzlies, going 3-3 with a 2.79 ERA in 10 starts. He also started the 2011 season with the Triple-A club before getting called up to the Giants and in 2012 started on Opening Day for the team while on a rehab assignment.

Spring training is right around the corner and Fresno also is gearing up for the start of the baseball season.

Next week, the Giants’ World Champions Trophy Tour comes to the Valley with several stops — notably Chuckchansi Park in Fresno on Feb. 5 from 6-8 p.m. The tour and both the 2010 and 2012 World Series trophies also will be at the Porterville College Gymnasium on Feb. 4 from 5-7 p.m., at the Reedley Community Center on Feb. 6 from 2-4 p.m. and in Sanger, at a site still to be determined, from 6-8 p.m. The tour also will make several other Valley stops, including Merced (Feb. 11), Los Banos (Feb. 12), Modesto (Feb. 19) and Atwater (Feb. 20).

Also next week, the Fresno Grizzlies host the 52nd Anniversary Hot Stove on Feb. 7 at the New Exhibit Hall Convention Center in downtown Fresno. Doors open at 5:30 pm. Guest speakers include team alum and current Giants star Ryan Vogelsong and Tigers star Doug Fister, the Merced native and former Fresno State star who pitched in the World Series this past fall against the Giants.

On Feb. 8, Fister will be inducted into the Fresno State Wall of Fame during the Dugout Club‘s Double Play Dinner at Clovis Veterans Memorial Hall as part of the baseball program’s alumni weekend that includes a golf tournament earlier in the day Feb. 8 and the annual alumni baseball game at Beiden Field at 2 p.m. Feb. 9.

Some season openers of note: The Bulldogs baseball team on Feb. 15-17 against UC Santa Barbara; the Bulldogs softball team hosts the Fresno State Kick-Off on Feb. 8-10 at Bulldog Diamond. The Fresno Pacific baseball home opener is Feb. 8 vs. Cal State Stanislaus. In the JC world, the Fresno City baseball team opens Friday at Sac City.

Rugby festival set for Saturday at Wawona Middle School

The Bullard Rugby Club works on passing skills during practice on Monday January 18, 2010. (DARRELL WONG/THE FRESNO BEE)

Get ready to get your scrum on.

All of the Fresno-area rugby clubs — from the high school level to the Fresno State club team to the Fresno Rugby Club — are scheduled to be featured Saturday as part of a day-long festival to the sport at Wawona Middle School in Fresno.

Bullard, Fresno, Roosevelt, Buchanan, Clovis West and Clovis will play in a high school tournament, featuring time-shortened games, starting at 8 a.m. and running until noon. A JV match between Buchanan and Clovis will follow.

After the prep matches, the Fresno Rugby Club will take on Vacaville at 1 p.m. and the Fresno State club team will face off against Nevada at 2 p.m.

The event is free to attend. For more information, contact Harlie Smith with the Central California Youth Rugby Foundation at (559) 259-7073.