| 8.8°C Dublin

Slam dunk threat for basketball sensation

IN a case making waves in the USA, a 15-year-old basketball prodigy, Jeremy Jones, has been revealed to be a 22-year-old college dropout called Guerdwitch Montimiere. The 6'5", 220-pound Jones, who was described by his principal as having a face that was thick "like, well, like a full grown man" failed to arouse suspicion when he showed up at Permian High, claiming to be an orphan from Haiti.

Unfortunately for Jones, he was recognised at a basketball competition by coaches in his former high school in Florida. The young man eventually conceded that he was in fact who they said he was. He now faces charges of faking his identity, providing a false birth certificate and, on a far more serious note, statutory rape.

He is being charged with sleeping with his 15-year-old girlfriend who at the time was under the impression that he was also a teenager. He could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted; however, one person nonplussed by the issue is the girl's mother. When asked if she was concerned about the age difference, she replied: "Actually, not really that much. He was polite, sweet and respectful, a hell of a lot better than most of the trash around here"

* * * * *

With the status of home challengers at an unprecedented high, all that remains is decent weather to guarantee a highly successful Irish Open, presented by Discover Ireland, on the Killeen Course at Killarney, starting on Thursday. Memories remain fresh of a sparkling event last year, when England's Ross Fisher resisted a spirited rally from Pádraig Harrington to capture the title.

Timing, which is so critical in the execution of a golf shot, is equally important in the staging of leading events. And the organisers couldn't have wished for better than to have Darren Clarke, as the newly-crowned British Open champion, heading a home quartet completed by three-time Major winner Harrington, reigning US Open champion Rory McIlroy, and the man he succeeded, Graeme McDowell.

* * * * *

RTE are looking for clubs to volunteer to sit in the audience for a sports quiz show called (we kid you not) Put 'Em Under Pressure which will see two teams of famous sports stars and pundits go head to head.

The rallying call from the Audience Researcher aims to get "sports teams, clubs and supporters' groups on board from right around the country." And adds that they want clubs to "give their own representation by wearing their club or team colours, crests, sporting attire etc."

Sounds like a cross between A Question of Sport and Winning Streak. We don't know the make-up of the teams, but going on past form we're prepared to speculate that the following celebrities will be involved: Micheál ó Muircheartaigh, Bernard Dunne, a former soldier in Jack's Army, a gratuitous female and any one of a number of down-on-their-luck Montrose employees we are unable to name for legal reasons.

If you were looking for an excuse to go out on Sunday evenings in September, when this "entertaining and fun" show is due to be aired, now you have one.

* * * * *

SO Steve Williams has lost respect for Tiger Woods? Not surprising, really. After all, how could you have respect for someone who treated his family like that?

But wait, Tiger's indiscretions are not the reason for Williams' anger. It seems that the former world No 1's former caddie was able to maintain his respect for his boss, or at least keep his feelings to himself, as long as he was still employed by him. Now that the cheques have dried up, New Zealand's once highest-paid 'sportsperson' is positively bursting with indignation.

Nice one Steve. What price loyalty, eh?

* * * * *

TICKET prices have been slashed for next weekend's Dublin Super Cup, but we can't help feeling that the organisers are missing the point . Sales weren't poor just because the prices were too high.

Sales were poor primarily because the public aren't interested in paying good money for poor quality entertainment. You can dress it up however you like, but a pre-season friendly is still a pre-season friendly.

Patrick McEllin, Dermot Gilleece and Fergus McDonnell


Sunday Indo Sport