Fans attending Eastern Kentucky University’s home basketball games this week are invited to take part in the fifth annual Colonel Holiday Toy Drive.
The drive, operated by the EKU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and the Salvation Army, opened Monday at the Alumni Coliseum ticket office. Donations of new, unwrapped toys will be accepted from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily through Friday.
Wednesday night, when the EKU men (6-2) play host to Ohio Valley (1-4) at 7 p.m., fans who donate to the Toy Drive will gain free admission.
Friday, when the EKU women (4-4) meet Davis & Elkins at 6 p.m., donations will earn free admission.
Bluegrass tinge to USATF annual meeting
Award winners at the USA Track & Field annual meeting in Indianapolis include several Kentucky connections.
Sprinter Tyson Gay (Lafayette High School/Univ. of Arkansas) received both the Jesse Owens and Harrison Dillard awards. World-champion long-jumper Dwight Phillips (Univ. of Kentucky) took the Jim Thorpe Award.
Gay, the World Championships silver medalist at 100 meters, equaled or bettered his own American record three times in 2009. Other finalists for the award were Phillips, Christian Cantwell, Kerron Clement, Trey Hardee, Bernard Lagat and LaShawn Merritt.
USATF’s chairman and president, Stephanie Hightower (Louisville Stuart H.S./Ohio State), commended the board of directors who, over the last 11 months, have developed a ”comprehensive strategic plan.”
Also, five new members were inducted into the National Track & Field Hall of Fame — four-time Olympian Joetta Clark Diggs; Olympic long jump gold-medalists Randy Williams and Willie Steele; Olympic gold-medalist 400-meter hurdler Andre Phillips; and one of the all-time coaching greats, Dr. Ken Foreman.
Updating Charley Taylor’s recovery
Long-time Lexington Legends pitching coach Charley Taylor’s post-surgery cancer treatment is running ahead of the schedule that was posted on this blog Tuesday.
He already has returned to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston for chemotherapy. All indications are that his recovery is going well five weeks after the surgery.
Here’s hoping Charley is back tutoring young pitchers soon on a bullpen mound.
Lyles, Clemens honored by Astros
RHP Jordan Lyles, who went 7-11 with a 3.24 ERA for the Legends last season, is Pitcher of the Year in the Houston Astros organization.
Lyles, who turned 19 in October, ranked fourth in minor-league baseball and set a Legends record by striking out 167. He fanned 10 or more batters in four games and walked only 38 over 144 2/3 innings. The Astros landed Lyles with a 2008 supplemental first-round draft pick (38th overall).
Former Legend 3B Koby Clemens is Offensive Player of the Year in the Astros organization.
Clemens, now a catcher, hit .345 with 22 homers and 121 RBI for the Lancaster JetHawks of the High-A California League.