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7-6-23 roundup: Pro basketball, football, baseball and soccer, Legion baseball, College baseball, NASCAR

By Richard Walker

The Charlotte Hornets made a huge financial commitment that will make LaMelo Ball the face of their franchise for years to come.

Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball (left) shakes hands with team general manager Mitch Kupchak after signing the franchise’s most lucrative contract in history.

Hornets president of basketball operations and general manager Mitch Kupchak announced on Thursday that it had reached a contract extension with Ball. The team didn’t disclose financial details but multiple media reports indicate the agreement a five-year designated maximum extension worth as much as $260 million and will keep Ball under contract through the 2028-29 season.

The 2020-21 NBA Rookie of the Year and a 2021-22 NBA All-Star, Ball has appeared in 162 games (142 starts) in three seasons since being the No. 3 overall pick of the 2020 NBA draft. His career averages are 19.4 points, 7.3 assists, 6.4 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 31.8 minutes per game.

Ball averaged 15.7 points, 6.1 assists, 5.9 rebounds and 1.6 steals in his Rookie of the Year season and averaged 20.1 points, 7.6 assists, 6.7 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 32.3 minutes per game in All-Star season.

This past season, Ball averaged career highs of 23.3 points, 8.4 assists, 6.4 rebounds and 1.3 steals in an injury-plagued 36-game season. He was the only player in the league to average at least 23.0 points, 8.0 assists and 4.0 3-pointers per game and also became the youngest player in NBA history to make a 3-pointer in 50 straight games and set the franchise record for career triple-doubles with nine.

The contract, which has a base amount of $205.9 million, locks up Ball for the franchise that hopes to soon end a playoff drought that dates to 2016. The contract can be for as large as $260 million if he meets incentives that could include major end-of-season awards and all-league selections.

After making $24.7 million in his first three seasons and $10.9 million this upcoming season, Ball’s contract will jump up to $35.5 million in 2024-25, $38.34 million in 2025-26, $41.18 million in 2026-27, $44.02 million in 2027-28 and $46.86 million in 2028-29.

The contract is the most lucrative in Charlotte Hornets’ though it also reveals how much contract values have escalated over the years.

The previous high-dollar contracts granted by the team were a pair of $120 million contract – a 5-year deal to Nicolas Batum in July 2016 when he was a Hornets’ unrestricted free agent and a 4-year deal to Gordon Hayward in November 2020 as part of a sign-and-trade with the Boston Celtics.

Two other contracts have exceeded $80 million in value, starting with Larry Johnson’s 12-year, $84.00 million contract in October 1993 that was the largest in team sports at the time and Terry Rozier’s 4-year, $97.00 million extension in August 2021.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Legion baseball

The full Area IV Senior Legion playoff schedule:

-First round (July 1-5, best of 5)

West No. 1 Cleveland County, West No. 2 Cherryville, East No. 1 Queen City – byes

East No. 4 Matthews vs. West No. 5 Burke
Game 1 – July 1 at M – suspended with M leading 1-0 in 2nd
Game 1 – July 2 at B – M 8-7
Game 2 – July 2 at B – M 9-3
Game 3 – July 3 at M – M 6-4 (M wins series 3-0)

West No. 3 Asheville vs. East No. 6 Gastonia
Game 1 – July 1 at A – A 13-3 in 5
Game 2 – July 1 at A – A 9-4
Game 3 – July 2 at G – A 13-3 in 6 (Asheville wins series 3-0)

East No. 2 Mint Hill vs. West No. 7 Hickory
Game 1 – July 1 at M – postponed
Game 1 – July 2 at H – M 4-1
Game 2 – July 2 at H – H 7-6
Game 3 – July 3 at M – H 12-0 in 5
Game 4 – July 4 at H – M 9-6
Game 5 – July 5 at M – H 13-3 (Hickory wins series 3-2)

West No. 4 Rutherford vs. East No. 5 Lincoln
Game 1 – July 1 at R – R 13-5
Game 2 – July 2 at L – R 8-6
Game 3 – July 3 at R – R 9-7 (R wins series 3-0)

East No. 3 Gaston Braves vs. West No. 6 Caldwell
Game 1 – July 1 at GB – C 9-2
Game 2 – July 2 at C – GB 8-4
Game 3 – July 3 at GB – C 9-5
Game 4 – July 4 at C – C by forfeit (C wins series 3-1)

-Quarterfinals (July 6-11, best of 5)
West No. 1 Cleveland vs. East No. 4 Matthews
Game 1 – July 6 at C – C 5-0
Game 2 – July 7 at M
Game 3 – July 8 at C
Game 4 (if necessary) – July 9 at M
Game 5 (if necessary) – July 10 at C

West No. 3 Asheville vs. West No. 7 Hickory
Game 1 – July 6 at A – A 7-4
Game 2 – July 7 at H
Game 3 – July 8 at A
Game 4 (if necessary) – July 9 at H
Game 5 (if necessary) – July 10 at A

East No. 1 Queen City vs. West No. 4 Rutherford
Game 1 – July 6 at Q – R 7-3
Game 2 – July 7 at Q
Game 3 – July 8 at R
Game 4 (if necessary) – July 9 at R
Game 5 (if necessary) – July 10 at Q

West No. 6 Caldwell vs. West No. 2 Cherryville
Game 1 – July 6 at Cville – Cville 2-1: Starter Joseph Webb got the win and reliever Wyatt Davis the save for Cherryville.
Game 2 – July 7 at Caldwell
Game 3 – July 8 at Cville
Game 4 (if necessary) – July 9 at Caldwell
Game 5 (if necessary) – July 10 at Cville

-Semifinals (July 12-19, best of 7)
West No. 1-East No. 4 winner vs. West No. 3-West No. 7 winner

East No. 1-West No. 4 winner vs. West No. 6-West No. 2 winner

-Final (July 20-22, 1 game or best of 3)

 

The full Area IV Junior Legion playoff schedule (All series best-of-3):

Area IV Playoffs (All series best-of-3):

-Quarterfinals June 30-July 4
No. 1 South Caldwell-1 (10-0) vs. No. 8 R-S Central (6-4)
Game 1 – June 30 at SC – SC 3-0
Game 2 – July 1 at R-S – R-S 10-3
Game 3 – July 2 at SC – SC 5-4 in 10 (SC wins series 2-1)

No. 4 Dallas (7-3) vs No. 5 Chase (7-3)
Game 1 – June 30 at Dallas – Dallas 8-1
Game 2 – July 1 at Chase – Dallas 13-1 (Dallas wins series 2-0)

No. 3 Matthews (8-2) vs. No. 6 Cherryville (6-4)
Game 1 – June 30 at Matthews – Matthews 11-8
Game 2 – July 1 at Cherryville – Matthews 6-1 (Matthews wins series 2-0)

No. 2 East Rutherford (9-1) vs. No. 7 South Caldwell-2 (6-4)
Game 1 – June 30 at ER – ER 9-4
Game 2 – July 1 at SC – ER 18-7 (ER wins series 2-0)

-Semifinals July 5-8
No. 1 South Caldwell-1 vs. No. 4 Dallas
Game 1 – July 5 at SC – SC 7-0
Game 2 – July 6 at Dallas – SC 13-3 (SC wins series 2-0)

No. 3 Matthews vs. No. 2 East Rutherford
Game 1 – July 5 at ER – ER 6-5 in 8
Game 2 – July 6 at M – ER 10-0 in 5 (ER wins series 2-0)

-Finals July 9-12
No. 1 South Caldwell-1 vs. No. 2 East Rutherford
Game 1 – July 9 at SC
Game 2 – July 10 at ER
Game 3 (if necessary) – July 11 at SC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pro basketball

The Charlotte Hornets’ California Classic Summer League schedule in Sacramento:

July 3 vs. San Antonio Spurs (L 77-98)
July 5 vs. Golden State Warriors (L 83-98)

The Charlotte Hornets’ Las Vegas Summer League schedule:

July 7 (Thomas & Mack Center) – vs. San Antonio Spurs (9 p.m., ESPN)
July 9 (Thomas & Mack Center) – vs. L.A. Lakers (4 p.m., ESPN2)
July 11 (Thomas & Mack Center) – vs. Portland (8:30 p.m., NBA TV)
July 13 (Cox Pavilion) – vs. New Orleans (7:30 p.m., NBA TV)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

College baseball

Queens University of Charlotte Director of Athletics Cherie Swarthout announced the school was hiring Jake Hendrick as the Royals’ new head baseball coach.

Hendrick was the associate head coach last season at Austin Peay.

“We knew immediately upon meeting Coach Hendrick that he would be the person to help our Royals rise to another level in a very competitive ASUN Conference,” Swarthout said in a school news release. “He brings successful head coaching and program-building experience that will make an immediate impact on our players and community.”

This past season, Hendrick helped the Governors finished 26-32 overall and 15-15 in league play to earn the No. 8 seed in the ASUN Tournament.

“Queens absolutely nailed it with the hiring of Jake Hendrick,” Governors head coach Roland Fanning said in a Queens news release. “Jake will immediately elevate the baseball program in more ways than one. Jake is a natural leader who is organized and detailed driven. He has a track record of success as a head coach during his time at Northeastern State University and he was instrumental in our growth at Austin Peay. The ASUN conference just got better with the hiring of Jake Hendrick!”

Prior to coaching at Austin Peay, Hendrick spent nine seasons as assistant coach and head coach at NCAA Division II Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Okla. He began his coaching as an assistant caoch at Stillwater, Okla. HIgh School from 2009 to 2012, spent one year at junior college Marion Military Institute in Alabama. He also coached two seasons in the Valley Baseball League, a collegiate summer league.

“I am very excited about the opportunity to be joining Queens Athletics,” Hendrick said in a school news release. “I want to thank Cherie specifically for the time she spent with me in this process, and I am thrilled she has placed her faith in me to lead Queens Baseball into the future. My family and I cannot wait to make Charlotte home!”

The Royals finished 17-38 overall and 9-21 in league play this past spring in their first as a NCAA Division I school

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pro soccer

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

(7-7-7 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 (T 0-0)
July 5 at New York City FC (T 1-1)
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

Charlotte 6, Jacksonville 0: A trio of Jumbo Shrimp pitchers combined to shutout the Knights and make a hard-luck loser of former South Point High standout Garrett Davila (5 2/3 innings, 6 hits, 5 runs, 4 earned). The 4th game of the 6-game series is at 7:04 p.m. on Friday night at Charlotte’s Truist Field.

Here is the full Charlotte Knights’ 2023 schedule:

Overall record: 36-47
First half record: 35-40
Second half record: 1-7

-First half
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 (3-3)

-Second half
June 28-July 3 at Norfolk (1-4)
July 4-9 Jacksonville (0-3)
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

Spire City 6, Gastonia 4: The host Ghost Hounds scored 4 in the bottom of the first inning and held off a Honey Hunters’ comeback. On Friday, Gastonia plays at High Point in a “winner take all” first half South Division championship game.

Here is the full Gastonia Honey Hunters’ 2023 schedule:

Overall record: 41-21
First half record: 41-21
Second half record: 0-0

-First half
April (3-0)
28 Spire City (W 10-4)
29 Spire City (W 8-6)
30 Spire City (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 Spire City (W 2-1 in 10)
10 Spire City (W 10-0)
11 Spire City (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 Spire City (W 6-0)
24 at Spire City (W 8-5)
25 at Spire City (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 (19-8)
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 Spire City (W 5-4)
10 at Spire City (W 12-7)
11 at Spire City (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)
22 at Lancaster (L 2-6)
24 at Staten Island (W 12-3)
25 at Staten Island (L 2-7)
27 High Point (W 8-3)
28 High Point (W 7-3)
29 High Point (L 1-11)
30 So. Maryland (W 15-0)

July (2-3)
1 So. Maryland (L 6-7)
1 So. Maryland (W 8-7)
2 So. Maryland (W 3-2 in 10)
4 at Spire City (L 3-4)
5 at Spire City (L 8-18)
6 at Spire City (L 4-6)
7 at High Point
-Second half
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

August
1 High Point
2 High Point
3 High Point
4 Lexington
5 Lexington
6 Lexington
8 Spire City
9 Spire City
10 Spire City
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 Spire City
30 Spire City
31 Spire City

September
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:

(Preseason)
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 (Ross Chastain)
Jul 2 NASCAR Cup Series at Chicago, Chicago IL (Shane van Gisbergen)
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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Radio appearance

Richard Walker, founder and writer of www.CarolinasSportsHub.com, will be a guest on “The QCB Show” on Friday from 4-6 p.m. on 94.7 FM Fox Sports CLT. Among the topics to be discussed is college football and the Hornets’ big signing of LaMelo Ball.