Carnahan Chronicles Radio: Interview with North Florida basketball’s Romelo Banks

The University of North Florida basketball team is likely to be one of the only programs in the state taking part in the NCAA Tournament when the games tip off this week.

Among the players that helped the Ospreys earn an automatic bid by way of claiming the Atlantic Sun title is 6-foot-11 sophomore Romelo Banks, who played at both Liberty and Celebration high schools while growing up in Kissimmee, Florida.

Banks joined me on the show Saturday to talk about advancing to the NCAA Tournament, the passing of his mother at a young age to cancer and how he’s used her memory as inspiration throughout his academic and athletic career.

North Florida joined the Division I ranks just a decade ago and will play in the NCAA postseason for the first time under head coach Matthew Driscoll.

Carnahan Chronicles Radio: Bobby Cox and the MLB Hall of Fame

I was fortunate to be granted the experience of being a part of the grounds crew at Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee during Houston Astros spring training games before the start of the 2004 and 2005 seasons. There was plenty of excitement surrounding that club at the time as they would make a run at the World Series before being swept by the Chicago White Sox.

Aside from working in the trenches with some great people, I was granted front row access to be around Astros players such as Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Lance Berkman, Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte, among many others. Not to mention the random run-ins with Nolan Ryan and high-profile players and managers from opposing teams.

As a life-long supporter of the New York Mets since way back in the late 1980s, I never got too excited about the Atlanta Braves making the crosstown trek to Osceola County Stadium to play the Astros. I could do without seeing Mets-killer Chipper Jones and manager Bobby Cox. But then one afternoon Cox softened me up a bit while his team took batting practice under the bright Florida sun. I’ve never been able to see him in the same way as I once did ever since.

( – Click here to listen to J.C. talk about Bobby Cox and the MLB Hall of Fame – )

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Carnahan Coverage: Orlando City Soccer Club Wins Home Opener

If you keep up with professional soccer here in the states it’s likely that you already know about the expansion plans of Major League Soccer.

In 2015 the league will add two franchises – a brand new team in New York and USL Pro side Orlando City – to its roster of franchises.

But first, the defending champion Lions must finish out one more season in the second division. They hosted their home opener on Saturday, finishing in a 1-1 draw with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds.

– (Click here to read my recap for the Orlando Sentinel) –