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Winnipeg Free Press Newspaper Archive: June 3, 2006 - Page 60

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   Winnipeg Free Press (Newspaper) - June 3, 2006, Winnipeg, Manitoba                                 D4 BASKETBALL WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, SATURDAY, JUNE 3, 2006 Only 15 Minutes From The Mint! 878- 2172 lgcgolf@ mts. net www. lorettegolf. ca New to Lorette Golf Course - Daniel Silva Golf Academy Daniel is a multiple winning European PGA Tour Pro Lower Your Scores... Guaranteed , with Professionally Fit Clubs Come and see Jacques Lavack and Hub Blanchette, Manitoba’s best known and respected Custom Club Fitters with over 35 years experience in improving your game! 2400 McPHILLIPS ST. 633- 8833 www. gauthierautogroup. com SHORT TERM LEASE RETURN EXCLUSIVE!! 2005 CADILLAC ESCALADE Fully equipped Low mileage, factory warranty. Call for more details. $ 46,996 TOURNAMENT PRIZES HEADWEAR 2630 PORTAGE AVE. • 837- 5854 # 1 GOLF STORE IN MANITOBA FOR SERVICE & PRICE Locally Owned & Operated HOURS: Mon.- Fri. 9- 6, Sat. 9: 30- 5: 30, Sun. 12- 5 RECEIVE 1 0 % OFF YOUR BILL & RECEIVE A CADDY SHED GIFT PACKAGE ALL HATS & VISORS Titleist, Nike, Callaway Now $ 1 9 00 Summer Sale Best Price, Best Service In Town CONNECTING WITH WINNIPEGGERS Winnipeg is the newspaper reading capital of Canada, according to the 2003 Newspaper Audience Databank survey. And the Winnipeg Free Press is Winnipeg’s # 1 newspaper, by far. The Free Press is read by 77% of Winnipeg adults at least once a week. Strength in Numbers The Winnipeg Free Press is read by 46% of Winnipeg adults every Sunday. That’s # 1 in Canada among major newspapers. By Tim Reynolds MIAMI — A year ago, the Miami Heat simply weren’t good enough. Shaquille O’Neal knew it. Dwyane Wade knew it. So Pat Riley fixed it. And now, the Heat are headed to the NBA Finals for the first time. O’Neal had 28 points and 16 rebounds and Wade — who spent part of his day in a hospital battling dehydration and flu- like symptoms — added 14 points as the Heat ended the Detroit Pistons’ twoyear reign as Eastern Conference champions with an 95- 78 win yesterday. Jason Williams, one of Riley’s prized off- season additions, came up huge with Wade lagging in Game 6, scoring 21 points on 10- for- 12 shooting. The Heat now await either Dallas or Phoenix in the Finals, which start Thursday. The party started early. Wade walked off with 1: 45 left, right index finger raised before he slapped Riley’s hand. And after the final second ticked off, white streamers fell from the ceiling as the Heat players waved championship caps and T- shirts. Soon, though, O’Neal issued an expected warning: “ We’re not done.” Richard Hamilton had 33 points for Detroit, which finished the regular season with an NBA- best 64- 18 record and came in confident after ending Miami’s season here a year ago in Game 7 — in part because Wade and O’Neal were battling injury. Wade clearly wasn’t at his best yesterday. O’Neal was. Hence, the difference. He made 12 of 14 shots, making sure this chance wouldn’t slip away. Wade was 1- for- 6 with four points in the first half. Didn’t matter. O’Neal and Williams more than carried the early scoring load, helping stake Miami to an 47- 36 lead at intermission. O’Neal was 9- for- 11 from the field for 19 points in the opening two quarters. And Williams — who was 13- for- 30 from the floor in the first five games — was 5- for- 5 in the half, the last of those a pullup with 4: 14 left that gave Miami a 38- 27 lead. And really, the outcome was never in doubt. The Pistons were within 10 midway through the third quarter, when Wade — who missed the first 2 1/ 2 minutes of the second half and remained in the locker- room — finally started to roll. He had 10 points in the quarter, hitting his last four shots — including a jumper with one second left for a 72- 53 lead, as the sellout crowd began going delirious, the realization that the franchise’s 18- year- itch was about to be scratched. Hamilton and the Pistons made one more run, his jumper with 6: 24 left getting Detroit within 80- 67. He made a steal 17 seconds later, but O’Neal blocked his layup — then followed with a dunk on the other end, as Wade pumped his fist and Riley clapped knowingly. — Associated Press By Chris Cariou A DAM WEDLAKE has the name, but he doesn’t have the game. The newly appointed executive director of Basketball Manitoba chuckles and admits he was never much of a player of the game he grew up loving as a gym rat at St. John’s High School, where his dad, Bill, and uncle, Ross, became basketball icons as students, athletes, teachers and coaches. While Adam’s game is basketball, his strength within the game is off the court not on it. He says he obviously received the sport administrator’s genes from his dad, Bill, the longtime University of Winnipeg Wesmen coach and now the U of W’s athletic director, and not the playing ability of Bill’s brother Ross, a former national team member. Both are in the Manitoba Basketball Hall of Fame. “ They definitely planted the seed,” Adam said of his dad and uncle. “ Sharing that last name... people may think that I’ve got this big thing to live up to, but I see myself as very lucky. I think it’s a plus to have that legacy and I’m superproud of my dad, my uncle, my family.” Adam has been the architect of the massively successful Winnipeg Minor Basketball Association, an idea brought about nine years ago by Mike Ruta, a Winnipeg father who wouldn’t accept that his daughter, then 10, had no place to play the game. Wedlake, technical director of Basketball Manitoba at the time, listened. What began in 1997 as a league involving a few community clubs has erupted into a citywide circuit that had 6,000 kids playing on 580 teams this year. Wedlake estimates about 20,000 different players have come and gone in the league in its nine years. Taking the reins of Basketball Manitoba on June 1 is another challenge altogether. “ The two jobs are very similar, but the Basketball Manitoba job is definitely a wider scope of the game,” said Wedlake, whose replacement at the WMBA hadn’t been named. “ It’s getting more involved with school basketball, coach development, referee development, provincial team programs.” Wedlake wants to use the growth of the WMBA as a catalyst to help expand the game at all levels and in every way. He calls the WMBA the biggest revolution ever in Winnipeg basketball. Coaches at the junior high school and senior high school levels report that young players who’ve played in the WMBA have significantly more skills and experience. “ But I think the biggest picture Basketball Manitoba can play is just with the exposure of the game,” he said. “ If you want to get your kid involved in hockey or soccer now, what do you do? You go to your community centre. I want that mentality to be ingrained into the next generation of people, that it will be the same with basketball, too. I want people to get their kids hooked young and build it from there.” Another goal, he said, is to keep athletes involved in the game after they’ve finished playing in high school or in the WMBA. All about Adam Age: 32 Family: Wife Nola, daughters Emma, 4, Mary, 2. Favourite NBA Team: Utah Jazz. Favourite NBA Player : Karl ( The Mailman) Malone. Greatest Athletic Achievement: As a Grade 11 post, warming the bench beside coach ( and uncle) Ross Wedlake and passing out the water as his Kildonan East team won the 1990 Manitoba High Schools Athletic Association boys’ basketball title. Goals for Basketball Manitoba . Continue to develop the Winnipeg Minor Basketball Association and use it as a model for expanding the game. . Support the development of club teams at the youth level. . Promote the game more effectively to the media and the general public. . Retain more post- education athletes and direct them into senior leagues, coaching or officiating. . Improve Manitoba’s performance at the national level; don’t be happy with middle of the pack. . Keep the ‘ Manitoba’ in Basketball Manitoba — develop the game outside Winnipeg. . Adopt a standard set of rules and stick by them: either FIBA, NCAA or U. S. high school. ‘ I think the biggest picture Basketball Manitoba can play is just with the exposure of the game’ — Adam Wedlake PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Basketball Manitoba’s Adam Wedlake is seeking to increase the sport’s visibility and participation level. New hoops czar no Steve Nash Basketball runs in Wedlake clan but his strength is off the court . chris. cariou@ freepress. mb. ca HEAT 95 PISTONS 78 Heat end Pistons’ reign in East Team’s 18- year itch finally scratched WILFREDO LEE / ASSOCIATED PRESS Shaquille O’Neal puts up a shot over Pistons’ Ben Wallace last night.  

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