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There’s no doubt that I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to watch some amazing athletes here in Union County. The longer I’ve worked in this area, the more I’ve learned about some of the greats from the county, as well as watching the up and coming make names for themselves.
It’s for this reason that I’ll step away from local high school sports this week to highlight what some native Union Countians are doing right now at the professional level.
I played basketball growing up (stop laughing), and the WNBA is a league that I followed religiously in its opening seasons.
When I transferred to Ole Miss in 2006, I witnessed the Lady Rebels’ great run in the NCAA Tournament, led by All-American Armintie Price. Little did I know at the time that Price was from right here in Union County, which makes it even cooler to see her at the professional level. I also took time to speak to Price last season, as she is an assistant coach for the Lady Rebs during her offseason.
Everyone knows she had a great start with the Chicago Sky, being named Rookie of the Year in 2007, and there’s no doubt Price is fitting in comfortably now with the Atlanta Dream, who are currently playing the Seattle Storm for the WNBA championship.
As I write this, the Dream are currently down 0-2 in the best of five series and hosted game three last night. Price averaged 4.9 points per game during the regular season, and is currently averaging 5.8 a game in the playoffs.
Another athlete who is helping his team in their playoff hunt is Eli Whiteside of the San Francisco Giants.
This is a name I’ve heard constantly throughout the last year and a half, and for good reasons. Whiteside is currently batting .232 with four home runs for the Giants, who are .5 game back of San Diego in the National League West and .5 game behind Atlanta in the Wild Card race.
Keeping with baseball, I recently ran a press release on former Urchin Chase Porch who was named the Rookie of the Year for the American Association. Porch and his Pensacola Pelicans recently fell in the South Divisional Championship Series, 3-2, to the Shreveport-Bossier Captains, and Porch finished the season with 40 RBI and a .286 batting average.
I’m sure there are many more people I could mention here, but these are among the more notable as of lately.
Union County has a great history in several different sports, and it’s great to see that these athletes are giving the youth something to look up to and strive for in their careers.