THE BOYS HEAD WEST!
The boys are back on the west side of town to bring you some more exciting high school basketball action. They are headed back to the West gym for as the Wolverines welcome the visiting Indians of Spirit Lake in a non-conference match-up in the second-to-last week of the regular season. This is the twelfth edition of high school basketball on KSCJ brought to you by Seaboard Triumph Foods.
We extensively covered the history of Spirit Lake in our preview of a football game last fall. If you care to read it again (or for the first time), you can check it out here.
But back to basketball.
The boys bring you the the descriptions and accounts of the game. Color commentator Brian Vakulskas and statistician/executive producer Dan Vakulskas will join play-by-play man Justin Barker to bring you all the action.
It’s been a rough week for Dan.
Dan enjoyed a three-year career playing basketball for North High School during the late 1990’s. He has been critical of the Stars over the years, specifically taking on Brant Bemus’ stewardship as activities director at times.
“Whenever I go to the North Gym now, security has been told to inform him immediately,” Dan said. “Last year against West, I went to a game and a bunch of security people came up to me right away and told me not to walk around, stay where I am. He just doesn’t want me in the building.”
Dan was arrested and charged with three counts of assault following an altercation in the stands near Bemus at the North Gym on Wednesday night.
Dan said he was particularly wounded by the team’s statement last night about the altercation and his arrest. The statement ended with, “He is a great Star and we hope he gets help soon.”
“Right there, attacking my character like that — not makin’ it about the moment but somethin’ bigger that’s wrong with me? — I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “I don’t know how you do that. I don’t.”
The incident occurred during a stoppage in play as one of the North Stars was shooting free throws in the first quarter against the visiting Council Bluffs Thomas Jefferson Yellow Jackets. A police source told ESPN that Dan had purchased a seat a few rows behind Bemus and was making comments at the Stars’ activities director, who eventually had security escort Dan from the gym.
“Well first of all I want to say I’m sorry to all the fans of the Stars, all the fans,” Dan said Thursday on ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith Radio Show. “It was just a bad scene. I love Sioux City, gave my whole heart. I walked into the North Gym, simply I was there four minutes. I was talking to people. One of the guys said someone is watching you. They have to tell Bemus anytime I walk into the North Gym. Then I’m told I have to leave. Orders you have to leave the building.”
North principal Ryan Dumkreiger came out to try to calm down Dan, who was yelling about Bemus and telling security he wasn’t going to move as they handcuffed him outside the tunnel leading to the court. At one point, Dan was on the ground surrounded by police and North High security.
According to the SCPD, Dan, 34, punched three male North Gym employees — all of whom suffered minor injuries and refused medical attention at the scene — as he was being escorted out. He was charged with three misdemeanor counts of assault, all third degree, and one count of criminal trespass, a third-degree misdemeanor.
Dan was given a desk appearance ticket and will be required to appear in front of a judge at a later date. The court date is scheduled for March, a source told ESPN.
Dan confirmed on Smith’s radio show that he spoke to his close friend Jacob Bowers on Wednesday night following the incident. Friends of Dan had reached out to Bowers in an effort to connect the two to help calm Dan down, sources told ESPN.
“It was just a conversation,” Dan said. “A couple of my guys, really good friend of mine reached out. They wanted to see what was going on. I don’t know why it is so touchy when I come to the North Gym.”
Dan played for the Stars from 1997-2000, helping them keep the starting players well-hydrated, but he has a poor relationship with the team because of his criticism of Bemus.
“I’ve been saying the same thing since ‘97 when I came to North,” Dan said on Smith’s radio show. “I ain’t critical man, you are more critical. He gets mad at the headlines, I don’t write the headlines. What am I supposed to say, they are goin’ to win 10 (games)?”
Tip-off is at 7:30, with the Knova’s Carpets Pregame Show at 7:00 on KSCJ 1360AM/94.9FM.
Pregame interview with West High head coach CoCo Cofield:
Pregame “Student Spotlight Segment brought to you by Professional Pool & Spa” interview with West High senior DeShaunte Burnside:
Woodhouse Auto Family Halftime Show interview with Damek Tomscha, North High School alum and a third baseman in the Phillies minor league system: