6-22-23 roundup: Pro basketball, football, baseball and soccer, College baseball, Legion baseball, NASCAR

By Richard Walker

After months of intrigue and speculation, the Charlotte Hornets used the No. 2 overall selection to draft a player most experts thought they’d chose and later added another first-rounder that was one of the country’s top high school prospects just a year ago.

Brandon Miller during his recent pre-draft workout for the Charlotte Hornets.

With reports swirling that the Hornets would consider trading away their No. 2 selection, Charlotte followed reports that indicated they would choose Alabama’s Brandon Miller.

Later, they picked Arkansas’ Nick Smith, Jr., with the No. 27 pick of the first round.

After choosing Miller, Hornets general manager Mitch Kupchak said the 6-foot-9, 200-pounder had been the team’s “favorite all along.”

That’s even after the reaction at the franchise draft party held at the Spectrum Center was mixed as a large portion of fans booed the selection of Miller.

“I’m not aware of that,” Kupchak said when asked about his thoughts on the reaction of some Hornets’ fans. “That’s news to me. We’re confident in (Miller) on and off the court.”

A forward from Antioch, Tenn., Miller led the SEC in scoring as a freshman for the Crimson Tide at 18.8 points per game to go along with 8.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists. He was the SEC player of the year, SEC freshman of the year and SEC tournament MVP for Alabama’s Sweet 16 team that finished with a 31-6 overall record.

Miller was selected despite multiple trade rumors that could be available to the Hornets – among them acquiring former Duke star Zion Williamson of the New Orleans Pelicans – and after choosing Miller over eventual No. 3 selection 6-foot-2 G-League guard Scoot Henderson to the Portland Trail Blazers.

The draft pick also could be the final major decision as majority owner by Michael Jordan, whose sale to a group of led by Gabe Plotkin and Rick Schnall for a reported $3 billion is pending NBA approval.

In his 14 seasons as NBA majority owner, Jordan’s teams have made three playoff appearances and two NBA play-in tournament appearances without ever winning a series and many of his draft picks have been criticized, particularly lottery picks.

“Brandon was the favorite all along,” Kupchak said. There was “a lot of spirited discussion, which I welcome. Our opinion from the beginning did not change. We think he is the player that is the best player.”

Miller was already looking forward to playing the Hornets’ All-Star guard LaMelo Ball:

“As far as you have LaMelo Ball’s playmaking, I think him being a playmaker and me being a shot maker, I think that kind of fits well.”

Later in the first round, the Hornets selected 6-2 guard Nick Smith, Jr. with the No. 27 pick.

Smith, considered by some the No. 1 overall player in the 2022 high school class, missed 19 games in his freshman season at Arkansas due to a persistent knee injury that many felt kept Smith from being a lottery pick.

In the second round, the Hornets made three more selections at Nos. 34, 39 and 41 but the Nos. 34 and 39 picks were sent to the Boston Celtics for the No. 31 selection.

To acquire James Nnaji, the team will send the No. 34 pick (Xavier guard Colby Jones) and No. 39 pick (Washington State forward Mouhamed Gueye) to the Boston Celtics in a proposed trade.

Nnaji is an 18-year-old 6-11, 250-pounder from Nigeria who has played four seasons professionally and was rated ESPN’s No. 24 prospect for the 2023 NBA Draft.

Finally, at No. 41, Charlotte selected guard Amari Bailey out of UCLA.

Here’s a list of all-time Charlotte Hornets/Bobcats NBA draft selections:

First round (No. 8 overall) Rex Chapman, Kentucky
Second round (No. 34 overall) Tom Tolbert, Arizona
Third round (No. 58 overall) Jeff Moore, Auburn

First round (No. 5 overall) J.R. Reid, North Carolina
Second round (No. 29 overall) Dyron Nix, Tennessee

First round (No. 5 overall) Kendall Gill, Illinois
Second round (No. 39 overall) Steve Scheffler, Purdue

First round (No. 1 overall) Larry Johnson, UNLV
Second round (No. 28 overall) Kevin Lynch, Minnesota

First round (No. 2 overall) Alonzo Mourning, Georgetown
Second round (No. 35 overall) Tony Bennett, Wisconsin-Green Bay

First round (No. 17 overall) Greg Graham, Indiana
First round (No. 20 overall) Scott Burrell, Connecticut

Second round (No. 38 overall) Darrin Hancock, Kansas

First round (No. 22 overall) George Zidek, UCLA

First round (No. 13 overall) Kobe Bryant, Lower Merion, Pa., HS
First round (No. 16 overall) Tony Delk, Kentucky
Second round (No. 44 overall) Malik Rose, Drexel

No selections

First round (No. 21 overall) Ricky Davis, Iowa
Second round (No. 50 overall) Andrew Betts, Long Beach State

First round (No. 3 overall) Baron Davis, UCLA
Second round (No. 43 overall) Lee Nailon, TCU

First round (No. 19 overall) Jamaal Magloire, Kentucky

First round (No. 16 overall) Kirk Haston, Indiana

First round (No. 2 overall) Emeka Okafor, Connecticut
Second round (No. 45 overall) Bernard Robinson, Michigan

First round (No. 5 overall) Raymond Felton, North Carolina
First round (No. 13 overall) Sean May, North Carolina

First round (No. 3 overall) Adam Morrison, Gonzaga
Second round (No. 50 overall) Ryan Hollins, UCLA

First round (No. 8 overall) Brandan Wright, North Carolina
First round (No. 22 overall) Jared Dudley, Boston College
Second round (No. 36 overall) Jermareo Davidson, Alabama

First round (No. 9 overall) D.J. Augustin, Texas
First round (No. 20 overall) Alexis Ajinca, France
Second round (No. 38 overall) Kyle Weaver, Washington State

First round (No. 12 overall) Gerald Henderson, Duke
Second round (No. 40 overall) Derrick Brown, Xavier
Second round (No. 54 overall) Robert Vaden, UAB

No selections

First round (No. 7 overall) Bismack Biyombo, Congo
First round (No. 9 overall) Kemba Walker, Connecticut
First round (No. 19 overall) Tobias Harris, Tennessee
Second round (No. 39 overall) Jeremy Tyler, Japan

First round (No. 2 overall) Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky
Second round (No. 31 ovearll) Jeffery Taylor, Vanderbilt

First round (No. 4 overall) Cody Zeller, Indiana

First round (No. 4 overall) Noah Vonleh, Indiana
First round (No. 24 overall) Shabazz Napier, Connecticut
First round (No. 26 overall) P.J. Hairston, North Carolina
Second round (No. 45 overall) Dwight Powell, Stanford
Second round (No. 55 overall) Semaj Christon, Xavier

First round (No. 9 overall) Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin
Second round (No. 39 overall) Juan Pablo Vaulet, Argentina

First round (No. 22 overall) Malachi Richardson, Syracuse

First round (No. 11 overall) Malik Monk, Kentucky
Second round (No. 31 overall) Frank Jackson, Duke
Second round (No. 40 overall) Dwayne Bacon, Florida State

First round (No. 11 overall) Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Kentucky
First round (No. 12 overall) Miles Bridges, Michigan State
Second round (No. 34 overall) Devonte’ Graham, Kansas
Second round (No. 44 overall) Hamidou Diallo, Kentucky
Second round (No. 55 overall) Arnoldas Kulboka, Germany

First round (No. 12 overall) PJ Washington, Kentucky
Second round (No. 36 overall) Cody Martin, Nevada
Second round (No. 52 overall) Jalen McDaniels, San Diego State

First round (No. 3 overall) LaMelo Ball, Australia
Second round (No. 32 overall) Vernon Carey, Jr., Duke
Second round (No. 56 overall) Grant Riller, College of Charleston

First round (No. 11 overall) James Bouknight, Connecticut
Second round (No. 56 overall) Scottie Lewis, Miami, Fla.
Second round (No. 57 overall) Balsa Koprivica, Serbia

First round (No. 13 overall) Jalen Duren, Memphis
First round (No. 15 overall) Mark Williams, Duke
Second round (No. 45 overall) Josh Minott, Memphis

First round (No. 2 overall) Brandon Miller, Alabama
First round (No. 27 overall) Nick Smith, Jr., Arkansas
Second round (No. 34 overall) Colby Jones, Xavier
Second round (No. 39 overall) Mouhamed Gueye, Washington State
Second round (No. 41 overall) Amari Bailey, UCLA













College baseball

LSU’s victory over Wake Forest on Thursday night gives Gaston County its second participant in the College World Series championship game.

LSU assistant coach Josh Jordan, a 1998 Huss High graduate, and the Tigers will begin a best-of-3 title series with Florida on Saturday.

Jonathan Hovis, a 2002 Forestview High graduate, is the only other Gaston County product to advance to the NCAA title game as he was a member of North Carolina’s 2006 runner-up team to Oregon State.

The only area products to win a College World Series title are Shelby High graduates Jim Horn and Chad Holbrook. Horn, a 1951 Shelby High graduate, was on the 1955 Wake Forest national championship winner and 1989 Shelby High graduate Chad Holbrook was an assistant coach for South Carolina when the Gamecocks won the 2010 and 2011 national championships.

The College World Series schedule:

(Friday, June 16)
Game 1: Oral Roberts (51-11) vs. TCU (42-22) – Oral Roberts 6-5
Game 2: Virginia (50-13) vs. Florida (50-15) – Florida 6-5
(Saturday, June 17)
Game 3: Stanford (44-18) vs. Wake Forest (52-10) – Wake Forest 3-2
Game 4: Tennessee (43-20) vs. LSU (48-15) – LSU 6-3
(Sunday, June 18)
Game 5: TCU vs. Virginia – TCU 4-3 (Virginia eliminated)
Game 6: Oral Roberts vs. Florida – Florida 5-4
(Monday, June 19)
Game 7: Stanford vs. Tennessee – Tennessee 6-4 (Stanford eliminated)
Game 8: Wake Forest vs. LSU – Wake Forest 3-2
(Tuesday, June 20)
Game 9: TCU vs. Oral Roberts – TCU 6-1 (Oral Roberts eliminated)
Game 10: Tennessee vs. LSU – LSU 5-0 (Tennessee eliminated)
(Wednesday, June 21)
Game 11: Florida vs. TCU – Florida 3-2 (TCU eliminated)
Game 12: Wake Forest vs. LSU – LSU 5-2
(Thursday, June 22)
Game 13: not necessary
Game 14: Wake Forest vs. LSU – LSU 2-0 in 11

Best-of-3 finals: Florida (53-15) vs. LSU (52-16)
Game 1: June 24, 7 p.m.
Game 2: June 25, 3 p.m.
Game 3 (if necessary): June 26, 7 p.m.











Legion baseball

(Thursday’s game)
Burke at Cherryville (ppd., June 28 at 4 p.m.)

















Pro soccer

Here is Charlotte FC’s full 2023 schedule with results:

(7-7-5 record)
Feb. 25 New England Revolution (L 0-1)
March 4 at St. Louis City SC (L 1-3)
March 11 Atlanta United FC (L 0-3)
March 18 at Orlando City SC (W 2-1)
March 25 New York Red Bulls (T 1-1)
April 1 at Toronto FC (T 2-2)
April 8 at Real Salt Lake (L 1-3)
April 15 Colorado Rapids (T 2-2)
April 22 Columbus Crew (W 1-0)
April 29 at D.C. United (L 0-3)
May 6 New York City FC (W 3-2)
May 13 at Atlanta United FC (W 3-1)
May 17 Chicago Fire FC (W 2-1)
May 20 Nashville SC (L 1-2)
May 27 at L.A. Galaxy (W 1-0)
May 31 at Philadelphia Union (L 0-1)
June 3 at Columbus Crew (W 4-2)
June 10 Seattle Sounders FC (T 3-3)
June 21 at New York Red Bulls (T 2-2)
June 24 CF Montreal, 7:30 p.m.
July 5 at New York City FC, 7:30 p.m.
July 8 FC Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m.
July 15 at CF Montreal, 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 20 at Inter Miami CF, 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 26 L.A. FC, 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 30 Orlando City SC, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 2 at Nashville SC, 8:30 p.m.
Sept. 16 D.C. United, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 20 Philadelphia Union, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 23 at FC Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 30 at New England Revolution, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 4 Toronto FC, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 7 at Chicago Fire FC, 8:30 p.m.
Oct. 21 Inter Miami CF, TBD














Pro baseball

Louisville 2, Charlotte 1: A bases-loaded double play turned by Louisville in the bottom of the ninth inning ended the Knights’ comeback hopes in Thursday’s heartbreaking loss. The teams play the 3rd and 4th games of the series with a doubleheader that starts at 5:30 p.m. at Charlotte Truist Field on Friday.

Here is the full Charlotte Knights’ 2023 schedule:

Overall record: 33-38
March 31-April 2 Louisville (2-1)
April 4-9 at Columbus (3-3)
April 11-16 Jacksonville (3-3)
April 18-23 at Louisville (2-4)
April 25-30 Norfolk (2-4)
May 2-7 at Gwinnett (4-2)
May 9-14 Durham (3-3)
May 16-21 Scranton-Wilkes Barre (2-4)
May 23-28 at Jacksonville (4-2)
May 30-June 4 Nashville (3-3)
June 6-11 at Gwinnett (1-5)
June 13-18 at Durham (3-3)
June 20-25 Louisville (1-1)
June 28-July 3 at Norfolk
July 4-9 Jacksonville
July 14-16 at Lehigh Valley
July 18-23 Memphis
July 25-30 at Durham
Aug. 1-6 at Norfolk
Aug. 8-13 Gwinnett
Aug. 15-20 at Nashville
Aug. 22-24, 26-27 Memphis
Aug. 28-Sept. 3 at Jacksonville
Sept. 5-10 Durham
Sept. 12-17 Nashville
Sept. 18-24 at Memphis

Gastonia 4-5, Lancaster 1-2: The Honey Hunters closed the 4-game road series with a doubleheader sweep.

Here is the full Gastonia Honey Hunters’ 2023 schedule:

Overall record: 35-14
April (3-0)
28 Frederick (W 10-4)
29 Frederick (W 8-6)
30 Frederick (W 7-4)

May (17-9)
2 at So. Maryland (W 8-6)
3 at So. Maryland (W 11-6)
4 at So. Maryland (L 2-4)
5 at Long Island (W 3-2)
6 at Long Island (L 1-3)
7 at Long Island (L 4-6)
9 Frederick (W 2-1 in 10)
10 Frederick (W 10-0)
11 Frederick (W 9-7)
12 at High Point (L 5-8)
13 at High Point (W 12-5)
14 at High Point (L 3-4)
16 Charleston, W.Va. (W 13-4)
17 Charleston, W.Va. (W 4-2)
18 Charleston, W.Va. (L 4-6)
19 at Lexington (W 15-2)
20 at Lexington (W 8-0)
21 at Lexington (W 5-3)
23 at Frederick (W 6-0)
24 at Frederick (W 8-5)
25 at Frederick (W 8-3)
26 Lancaster (L 3-4 in 11)
27 Lancaster (ppd., rain)
28 Lancaster (ppd., rain)
29 Lancaster (W 9-1)
29 Lancaster (L 3-4)
30 High Point (L 8-10)
31 High Point (W 14-10)

June (15-5)
1 High Point (W 7-4)
2 Lexington (W 3-2)
3 Lexington (W 10-1)
4 Lexington (W 4-1)
6 at Charleston, W.Va. (W 4-1)
7 at Charleston, W.Va. (L 1-13)
8 at Charleston, W.Va. (L 2-4)
9 at Frederick (W 5-4)
10 at Frederick (W 12-7)
11 at Frederick (L 6-9)
13 So. Maryland (W 5-0)
14 So. Maryland (L 9-10)
15 So. Maryland (W 11-6)
16 Staten Island (W 5-4)
17 Staten Island (W 7-5)
18 Staten Island (W 5-1)
20 at Lancaster (L 0-6)
21 at Lancaster (W 9-7)
22 at Lancaster (W 4-1, W 5-2)
23 at Staten Island
24 at Staten Island
25 at Staten Island
27 High Point
28 High Point
29 High Point
30 So. Maryland

1 So. Maryland
2 So. Maryland
4 at Frederick
5 at Frederick
6 at Frederick
7 at High Point
8 at High Point
9 at High Point
11 at Charleston, W.Va.
12 at Charleston, W.Va.
13 at Charleston, W.Va.
14 Staten Island
15 Staten Island
16 Staten Island
18 High Point
19 High Point
20 High Point
21 at So. Maryland
22 at So. Maryland
23 at So. Maryland
25 at Staten Island
26 at Staten Island
27 at Staten Island
28 at Long Island
29 at Long Island
30 at Long Island

1 High Point
2 High Point
3 High Point
4 Lexington
5 Lexington
6 Lexington
8 Frederick
9 Frederick
10 Frederick
11 at Long Island
12 at Long Island
13 at Long Island
15 York
16 York
17 York
18 Lexington
19 Lexington
20 Lexington
22 at Long Island
23 at Long Island
24 at Long Island
25 at Lancaster
26 at Lancaster
27 at Lancaster
29 Frederick
30 Frederick
31 Frederick

1 So. Maryland
2 So. Maryland
3 So. Maryland
4 So. Maryland
5 at High Point
6 at High Point
7 at High Point
8 Charleston, W.Va.
9 Charleston, W.Va.
10 Charleston, W.Va.
12 So. Maryland
13 So. Maryland
14 So. Maryland
15 at Lexington
16 at Lexington
17 at Lexington













Pro football

The Carolina Panthers’ training camp schedule:

Practices (at Wofford unless noted):
July 26-27 10:15 a.m.
July 29 11 a.m.
July 31 10:25 a.m.
Aug. 1 10:15 p.m.
Aug. 2 Fan Fest at Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium, 7 p.m.
Aug. 4 10:25 a.m.
Aug. 5-6 10:15 a.m.
Aug. 8 10:15 a.m.
Aug. 9 Joint practice with N.Y. Jets, 10:15 a.m.
Aug. 10 Joint practice with N.Y. Jets, 9 a.m.

Here is the 2023 preseason and regular season schedule for the Carolina Panthers:

Aug. 12 N.Y. Jets, 4 p.m.
Aug. 18 at N.Y. Giants, 7 p.m.
Aug. 25 Detroit, 8 p.m.

(Regular season)
Sept. 10 at Atlanta, 1 p.m.
Sept. 18 New Orleans, 7:15 p.m.
Sept. 24 at Seattle, 4:05 p.m.
Oct. 1 Minnesota, 1 p.m.
Oct. 8 at Detroit, 1 p.m.
Oct. 15 at Miami, 1 p.m.
Oct. 22 OFF WEEK
Oct. 29 Houston, 1 p.m.
Nov. 5 Indianapolis, 4:05 p.m.
Nov. 9 at Chicago, 8:15 p.m.
Nov. 19 Dallas, 1 p.m.
Nov. 26 at Tennessee, 1 p.m.
Dec. 3 at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m.
Dec. 10 at New Orleans, 1 p.m.
Dec. 17-18 Atlanta, TBD
Dec. 24 Green Bay, 1 p.m.
Dec. 31 at Jacksonville, 1 p.m.
Jan. 6-7 Tampa Bay, TBD











Auto racing

The 2023 NASCAR schedule (with winners in parentheses):

Feb 5 Clash at The Coliseum, Los Angeles CA (Martin Truex, Jr.)
Feb 16 Duel No. 1, Daytona Beach FL (Joey Logano)
Feb 16 Duel No. 2, Daytona Beach FL (Aric Almirola)
Feb 19 Daytona 500, Daytona Beach FL (Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.)
Feb 26 NASCAR Cup Series at California, Fontana CA (Kyle Busch)
Mar 5 NASCAR Cup Series at Las Vegas, Las Vegas NV (William Byron)
Mar 12 NASCAR Cup Series at Phoenix, Avondale AZ (William Byron-2)
Mar 19 NASCAR Cup Series at Atlanta, Hampton GA (Joey Logano-2)
Mar 26 NASCAR Cup Series at Circuit of the Americas, Austin TX (Tyler Reddick)
Apr 2 NASCAR Cup Series at Richmond, Richmond VA (Kyle Larson)
Apr 9 NASCAR Cup Series at Bristol, Bristol TN (Christopher Bell)
Apr 16 NASCAR Cup Series at Martinsville, Martinsville VA (Kyle Larson-2)
Apr 23 NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega, Lincoln AL (Kyle Busch-2)
May 1 NASCAR Cup Series at Dover, Dover DE (Martin Truex, Jr.-2)
May 7 NASCAR Cup Series at Kansas, Kansas City KS (Denny Hamlin)
May 14 NASCAR Cup Series at Darlington, Darlington SC (William Byron-3)
May 21 NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Open Race, North Wilkesboro NC (Josh Berry)
May 21 NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race, North Wilkesboro NC (Kyle Larson-3)
May 29 NASCAR Cup Series at Charlotte, Concord NC (Ryan Blaney)
Jun 4 NASCAR Cup Series at World Wide Technology Raceway, Madison IL (Kyle Busch-3)
Jun 11 NASCAR Cup Series at Sonoma, Sonoma CA (Martin Trues, Jr.-3)
Jun 25 NASCAR Cup Series at Nashville, Lebanon TN, 7 p.m. on NBC
Jul 2 NASCAR Cup Series at Chicago, Chicago IL, 5:30 p.m. on NBC
Jul 9 NASCAR Cup Series at Atlanta, Hampton GA, 7 p.m. on USA
Jul 16 NASCAR Cup Series at New Hampshire, Loudon NH, 2:30 p.m. on USA
Jul 23 NASCAR Cup Series at Pocono, Long Pond PA, 2:30 p.m. on USA
Jul 30 NASCAR Cup Series at Richmond, Richmond VA, 3 p.m. on USA
Aug 6 NASCAR Cup Series at Michigan, Brooklyn MI, 2:30 p.m. on USA
Aug 13 NASCAR Cup Series at Indianapolis Road Course, Speedway IN, 2:30 p.m. on NBC
Aug 20 NASCAR Cup Series at Watkins Glen, Watkins Glen NY, 3 p.m. on USA
Aug 26 NASCAR Cup Series at Daytona, Daytona Beach FL, 7 p.m. on NBC

(Cup Playoffs)
Sep 3 NASCAR Cup Series at Darlington, Darlington SC, 6 p.m. on USA
Sep 10 NASCAR Cup Series at Kansas, Kansas City KS, 3 p.m. on USA
Sep 16 NASCAR Cup Series at Bristol, Bristol TN, 7:30 p.m. on USA
Sep 24 NASCAR Cup Series at Texas, Fort Worth TX, 3:30 p.m. on USA
Oct 1 NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega, Lincoln AL, 2 p.m. on NBC
Oct 8 NASCAR Cup Series at Charlotte, Concord NC, 2 p.m. on NBC
Oct 15 NASCAR Cup Series at Las Vegas, Las Vegas NV, 2:30 p.m. on NBC
Oct 22 NASCAR Cup Series at Miami, Homestead FL, 2:30 p.m. on NBC
Oct 29 NASCAR Cup Series at Martinsville, Martinsville, 2 p.m. on NBC
Nov 5 NASCAR Cup Series at Phoenix, Avondale AZ, 3 p.m. on NBC