It was good to see Charlotte complete the season sweep of Richmond Wednesday night as I was watching from afar. I started a two-week break from basketball to cover Speedweeks in Daytona Beach, Fla., leading up to the Feb. 18 Daytona 500. I will return to the 49ers beat for the Feb. 21 game at Duquesne and finish out the season. In the meantime, I will continue to keep an eye on the team and recruiting.
Even here in the world of NASCAR there are plenty of Charlotte 49ers connections. Senior walk-on Travis Gordon from the basketball team spent the past two summers interning at Hendrick Motorsports and hopes to work there fulltime after he completes his MBA. Also, some of my best friends on the road during the NASCAR season -- Josh Snider and David Hovis -- are UNC Charlotte graduates. Both are also good friends of NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr., whose sister, Kelley, graduated from UNCC.
Some of my friends in NASCAR find it odd I would work two beats that seem so different -- college basketball and NASCAR. I find the change in sports refreshing.
In some other 49ers news:
* Charlotte 49ers women’s soccer coach Jon Lipsitz received 14 commitments to the team for the 2007 season, to add to 16 returning letter-winners and 10 returning starters. Among the commitments were two players ranked among the top 100 by Soccer Buzz magazine. They are: Katie Davies, a 5-foot-4 defender at Xenia High in Ohio and member of the U.S. National Pool; and Samantha Huecker, a 5-7 midfielder at Oldham County High in Kentucky. She is a two-time state player of the year and also a member of the U.S. National Pool.
* Sabrina Gregory, a junior guard on the Charlotte women's basketball team, was named to the first team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District III team. She has a 3.75 grade point average and majors in math.