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The Casual Awards: Kenner League

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You didn't think we'd let an entire summer go by without serving you with a Kenner League version of The Casual Awards, did you?  It's been awhile since we took this feature out for a drive, so please bear with us as we attempt to tickle your fancy (note: that was a deliberate attempt at an English idiom to pay homage to the riots in London and cross off "use the word 'idiom' in Casual Awards feature in August" from my bucket list).  Away we go...   


LegoLand in San Diego, California.  How about that?

The Chris Wright Heart of a Champion Award:
Chris Wright!  Oh we thought ol' #4 was done taking over this space but CW made a triumphant return to Georgetown and played his tail off in Kenner play every time.  The hand looked good, he was slashing to the hoop like he was back in the day and hopefully he'll catch on with a team overseas like Austin Freeman.  Maybe they can even go to Italy together like our friends from Jersey Shore!  Honorable mention: Jabril Trawick.  Jabril's play has been well-documented, but it was his toughness and spunk over the summer that gained our attention.  Is Jabril a threat to have a Casual Award named after him? #timewilltell

More Awards after The Jump:

Prop Joe Award for Comical Summer League Overcoaching:
Is there even a question? Coach Rodney Turner, this one's for you. Who are you, Pat Riley? Ranging from calling timeouts 30 seconds into the game to a guaranteed T each game, this award is henceforth dubbed 'The Rodney' and will be given to him until someone coaches a game wearing a suit, which I wouldn't put past Coach Turner next summer.

Jack Nicholson Award:
Sitting courtside - check. Knows the game - check. But sorry, OldHoya, SleepyHoya, and the rest of the big money folks, this one goes to none other than former Hoya Jessie Sapp! If you haven't watched KD blow up for 66 at the Rucker, you aren't a basketball fan, but to refresh your memory: (fast forward to around :48). Not only is Jessie going nuts but he gets a shout out from Bill Simmons as 'I told you guy'.

Stay Locked Out Award:
As an aside, the sheer amount of chatter Durant's performance in that game has garnered has been been ridiculous.  KD hits five threes in Jeremy Hazzell's face in Harlem and it's the greatest thing since twitter?  When Austin Freeman served that on Hazzell in Newark it was called a Wednesday night.  Gimme a break.

Jay Cutler Award for Calling It Off:
For those scoring at home, the Kenner League is a great way to get some summer run but we've now got Tyler Adams on crutches, Moses out for the season, and Nate Lubick watching the finals from the bench. The training staff has plenty of work for the next few years.  Also highly unlikely Cutler pulls someone as solid as Kristin Cavallari, but I applaud his effort to take advantage of his chance to plow through about 100 replicas of her in an attempt to do so.


Toast.  via

Shake Shack Award for Top New Burger:
Well, the Snack Shack at Kenner League, of course. The hot dogs have been the stuff of legends but this summer, but we felt the need to branch out and picked up a couple nice cheeseburgers. Shockingly good and after 24 hours, we can confirm that there was no e coli on them. We think.  Strongly recommend that they branch out next year and carry some of the Crab flavored Utz chips - those things are kosher for my jews out there and more addictive than crack.  AND I WOULD KNOW. 

Charlie Sheen Winning Award for the Joke that Must End:
Kenner League Hot Dogs Jokes. Luckily they have a year to lie fallow and somehow, come July in McDonough, they always seems to keep their zest. And I'm not only talking about the unsold hot dogs from the championship game that they preserving until the start of next Kenner League season. #winning

The Hashtag Award for Twitter Excellence:
THE GLOBAL PHENOMENON has been tearing it up on the twittertubes this offseason, but we can't even hold a candle to what our man GlideHoyas is doing.  Not only has Glide eclipsed the 22,000 tweets mark, he is single-handedly reinventing the twitter language, with hashtags and the ubiquitous @ sign being tossed in front of and in back of nearly everything.  If you ain't following the G-Man on twitter, you're blowing it.  Don't believe me?  Check out this marvel:

@TeamTurnerBball - Wow!#KennerLeague #Champs @Hoya2Pacer Byron Mouton Isaiah Swan Darian Townes #Arkansas #Class

Tim Gunn Award for Casual Fashion:
Though this summer saw plenty of wacky shoes, Jeff Green takes the cake for wearing some blinding neon yellow kicks and performing in them.  Incidentally, Tim Gunn has me rethinking the pocket handkerchief. 

Amy Winehouse Gone Too Soon Award:
Moses Ayegba.  After a freshman season beset by a ridiculous nine game suspension, Moses was looking good this summer and primed for a sophomore breakout before a devastating ACL injury has ruined his season.  Hoyas fans may never see what Moses is capable of given big minutes, and that's a damn shame - much like Amy Winehouse's tragic and senseless death. Honorable mention: Friday Night Lights.

There Is No 'I' in Team Award::
This one is for all of the freshmen.  Trawick, Otto Porter, Greg Whittington, Mikael Hopkins and Tyler Adams all gave Hoyas fans a reason for optimism this summer and hopefully can carry their play into the regular season.  Damn tough decision to pick the best of the lot but if we had to pick just one, it would be Jabril, who plays with an edge and really competes. Otto is a virtual lock to be the best player out of the class but with the game on the line in the Final, he wasn't ready. Jabril didn't score the winning buckets either, but he'll put his nose down, attacks the rim and is good for at least one jaw dropping move per game.

The Domestic Terrorist Award:
Congrats to the head of Standard & Poor's, whoever you are (too lazy to look it up). Thanks for downgrading the country's credit rating for no reason and setting off a shitstorm of downside that cost people tons of money.  Your rating agency is not a pioneer, it is a joke, and if Moody's doesn't launch a 'We Believe in America" ad campaign to finally destroy S&P forever, then well, it sucks too.  Also, you, the rioters in London. You also are not cool. I TOLD YOU.   

Vee Sanford & Jerrelle Benimon Award
Yes, we'll also provide a cynical award and we've seen it happen plenty of times now - JT3 will go out and get the best talent (Casual Note: we support this).  The Kenner Final provided a great example of how this doesn't always work out because we've now got Aaron Bowen and Greg Whittington taking shots at each other. Hopefully things will smooth out as the year progresses but our early assessment is that Bowen will quickly be overshadowed by the new kids.

Living the Kenner Dream for a Lifetime Award:
There are many natural barriers for the elderly at Kenner League: back-splitting bleachers, baggy shorts everywhere and food not made for the vulnerable. But that didn't stop two regular Kenner League patrons who brought in lawn chairs, a copious amount of pillows and, yes, an oxygen tank. We can all only aspire to such fulfilling twilight years.

The Best Place to Cope with Unemployment Award:
McDonough Arena during Kenner, just ask former U.S. soccer coach Bob Bradley.

Unless he was trying to off himself by consuming the hot dogs...


Casual Pulitzer for Prize for Documentation:


The layers of meaning here... Jeff and Jonathan Wallace reuniting (Roy would stop by later but cameo only in the stands not the on the court) with The Tombs on the court behind the great Hoya leaders.  And of course there's Otto Porter at the stripe because of a Kenner League special: the illegal defense. It's also a relic because Tyler Adams and Moses Ayegba may never again be healthy at the same time.

The Pippa Middleton Show-Stealer Award:
The first weekend of Kenner League fell on the long 4th of July weekend, the Hoyas I was anticipating most (Otto and Hollis Thompson) were out of town, and no one in their right mind would spend two full days in the gym instead of barbequing but one man single handedly salvaged the weekend - and proceeded to win the hearts and minds of anyone within a seven degrees of a Kenner attendee: Jabril Trawick.  He averaged 19.5 points the first weekend, went to the foul line nearly ten times a game and through down powerful two handed dunks all while playing every possession with a scowl. Runner-up to Greg Whittington, who capped off a summer of slowly unveiling a new reasons to think he'll challenge for minutes by putting himself front and center of conversation by getting into a shoving match with Aaron Bowen.


Hello, lads! via

The Delusional Optimism about a Wrecking Ball Point Guard Award:
To all us Hoya fans who were at various points of the last bemoaning the the head-down wrecking ball play of Chris Wright and are now enamored with Jabril Trawick. There's a reason you can love his otherworldly aggressiveness without dwelling on some inevitable ghastly turnover numbers, and that is because of Markel Starks. If we were entering the year with a platoon of Jabril and Jason Clark at point guard, the Hoyas would be almost as thin at the one as the five. Markel doesn't move fans with the same excitement as Jabril does, but he clearly has a grasp of the game and the offense (and a nice rapport with our last remaining big, Henry Sims). If he doesn't provide a much needed steady hand to an overhauled Hoyas team, it will be a looong season.

The How The Hell Does Pitbull Have The Clout To Get All of Those A-Listers To Be In His Music Videos Award:

Today We're All "Wilbraham & Monson Titans" Award:
Everyone in Hoya nation has been clamoring for a big lineup -- and if you meant tall beanpoles with outlandish wingspans, you got your wish!  Some have tried to stay optimistic about our vulnerable interior defense by saying it's a weak year of Big East big men -- but wait the basketball gods might not be content with depleting the League's entire core of centers.  According to CBS college hoops guy Jeff Borzello: "I've heard two things lately: that [Andre Drummond will] go to Wilbraham & Monson, or that he'll pay his way to UConn and play this fall."  He'll pay his way to UConn.  You betcha!  

One Shining Moment Award:
Mikael Hopkins' tip to seal The Tombs' victory over Team Turner. Perhaps more than any moment, Hopkins' heroic second effort transcended the summer league blase. Complete with grainy video footage and about as good a roar as a Kenner League crowd can muster, it felt like a real victory.

The JT3 Award for Program Building:
JT3. It helps that the NBA can't put one foot in front of the other, but this summer at Kenner League had all the signs of a healthy program. The entire core of the Final Four team made appearances in McDonough and our two most successful NBA players, Jeff Green and Greg Monroe personally took it upon themselves to challenge the young freshman group that has us buzzing with excitement. The successes of the past didn't seem so distant and a bright future did not feel to far away either.


We come back to school to play in the Kenner league! via

The Downside to JT3 Award for Program Building
The Tombs lost three games this summer -- and each time it was at the hands of Jeff Green. First, he killed the Tombs with awful shooting and a low percentage shot at the buzzer, dominated every freshman multiple times and, finally deciding on a team, decided that it should win KL.  Honorable mention: Tyler Adams injured his leg after clashing with Greg Monroe for a rebound.  Thanks for everything, Greg.  

Gratuitous pic of Olivia Wilde:
Oh, to be that hammock.

The Georgetown Hoyas are a nationally ranked powerhouse.

China is NeXt.