Press Box: Arizona assistant takes over Ball State basketball team

The SportsXchange

James Whitford is the new men's basketball coach at Ball State. Whitford, an assistant to Sean Miller at Arizona, replaces Billy Taylor, who was fired March 14 after six seasons.

The school will introduce the 41-year-old Whitford on Wednesday.

"We are thrilled to add James Whitford to the Ball State family as our new men's basketball head coach," Ball State athletic director Bill Scholl said. "In a very talented pool of candidates, James separated himself from the pack based on the success he has experienced at multiple institutions and the vision he has for Ball State basketball."

Whitford had been on Miller's staff at Arizona for four years, the past two as associate head coach. He has been with Miller for eight seasons, dating back to Miller's days guiding Xavier.

Whitford helped Arizona to an average of 27 wins per season in his final three years in Tucson, including a 30-win campaign in 2010-11 that featured a Pac-10 Conference championship and an appearance in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.

Taylor was 84-99 in six seasons at Ball State. He was hired in 2007 amid alleged racial turmoil at the school.

NFL

The Seattle Seahawks are not interested in acquiring Tim Tebow, according to the Seattle Times.

Since trading backup Matt Flynn to the Oakland Raiders last week, the Seahawks have been searching for a backup to Russell Wilson.

The team added Josh Portis and is interested in Seneca Wallace and Tyler Thigpen. The Times also mentioned Brady Quinn and Matt Leinart as possibilities.

With Seattle using the zone-read option more, running quarterbacks have an appeal. That is why the Seahawks are interested in bringing Wallace back four years after trading him to the Cleveland Browns. They also want to take a look at Thigpen, who was the Buffalo Bills' backup quarterback last year.

But despite Tebow's running ability, Seattle is reportedly not interested. He is scheduled to make $2 million with the New York Jets this season. While the Seahawks did reportedly inquire about him, they decided not to follow up.

Seattle is also considering looking at former first round draft picks Quinn and Leinart. Quinn was a backup for the Kansas City Chiefs last year while Leinart was with the Raiders. The Seahawks previously pursued Leinart after the 2011 lockout.

NBA

San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker is out for Saturday's game against the Atlanta Hawks with a sore neck, the Spurs announced.

Parker played just 25 minutes on Thursday against the Oklahoma City Thunder with an apparent leg injury as he was seen limping.

"I saw him come across half court actually limping at one time, so that's when we pulled him," Spurs coach Greg Popovich told reporters after the game. "I said 'Tony, you've got to stop, so we can figure out what it is.' He just couldn't go.

"My feeling is tendinitis, something in his shins or whatever, from the way it looked on the court, but I don't know."

However, the team now says Parker has a sore neck.

Parker, 30, is averaging 20.6 points and 7.5 assists in 63 games this season. He has missed 13 games this season heading into Saturday, and recently came back from a severely sprained ankle.

---Bernard King will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2013, according to multiple reports on Saturday.

An official announcement is scheduled to be made Monday during the Final Four in Atlanta.

"He deserves it," New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony told ESPN New York. "It's about time. He deserved it a long time ago."

King starred for the Knicks during his 15-year NBA career. He and Anthony are the only Knicks to score 40 or more points in three straight games. Anthony joined King on Friday.

King, who has been nominated for the Hall of Fame six times, averaged 22.5 points for his career.

The four-time All-Star spent four seasons with the Knicks. He led the league in scoring at 32.9 points per game in 1984-85. He started his career with the New Jersey Nets in 1977. He also played for the Utah Jazz, Golden State Warriors and Washington Bullets. His finished his career with New Jersey in 1993.

The Class of 2013 also includes Louisville coach Rick Pitino, former UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian, nine-time NBA All-Star Gary Payton, former Houston coach Guy Lewis and former NBA and Olympic star Spencer Haywood, according to multiple reports.

The induction ceremonies are in September.
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