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July 9, 2012
The Silver Lining comes to you each Monday shining a spotlight on some of the biggest stories in sports and entertainment.
Then there's Atlanta Hawks C Al Horford (Dominican Republic), soon-to-be Lokomotiv Kuban point guard Nick Calathes (Greece) and current redshirt senior guard Mike Rosario (Puerto Rico), all of whom saw their hopes dashed in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament over the weekend. Greece was shocked by Nigeria and eliminated from the event in the quarterfinals, Puerto Rico lost to Lithuania in the same round, and the Dominican Republic blew two chances to qualify with consecutive losses to Lithuania on Saturday and Nigeria on Sunday.
While the news was not positive for any of the three players this weekend, Horford's actions at the conclusion of Sunday's game were termed as a lack of "class and composure" by the FIBA announcers calling the contest - he left the court with the clock running and 15 seconds left and immediately headed to the locker room. Horford is better than that - I've never heard anyone question his character or maturity. He's usually a team leader and someone that players can look to when wondering how to handle situations the right way. He was the opposite on Sunday and while one might be able to chock it all up to supreme disappointment, Horford has to know that he needs to carry himself better no matter the situation.
Honestly, I don't know. He's certainly the most accomplished player on the collegiate level - there is no questioning that. Brad Wilkerson is the only Gators player in the College Baseball Hall of Fame, and he did it both ways with his bat and glove. Then there's Matt LaPorta, who may be the most feared hitter in team history and may not have won all the awards Zunino did but also brought his team to the brink of a national title and was picked No. 7 overall by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2007. "Best" and "greatest" are pretty subjective terms, and I could probably put together a cognitive argument for all three. Just know that if you watched Zunino play baseball especially these last two years, you saw one of the best to ever do it in the Orange & Blue.
Speaking of summer league action, PG Taurean Green will be playing for the Brooklyn Nets in Orlando, FL while PG Erving Walker will suit up for the Phoenix Suns in Las Vegas, NV.
(Deal ends July 20, 2012)