College Sports

Former Blue Eagles hoops star McNeal set to turn pro

Former Clover basketball standout Tyronne McNeal is attempting to give the professional game a try.

The 7-foot McNeal, who spent the past two years at Miami Dade College, has signed a pro contract with the Halifax Rainmen of the Premier Basketball League and is in preseason camp with the team.

The Rainmen, based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, opened preseason camp Tuesday and will begin regular-season play next month.

McNeal averaged 12 points and 6 rebounds a game while shooting 54 percent from the floor as a freshman for the Miami Dade Sharks.

After sitting out last season, the 250-pound McNeal signed a letter of intent to attend UNC Wilmington but decided to take his talent to the pro circuits.

The Rainmen formerly played in the American Basketball Association, but announced last March they were leaving the ABA. The Rainmen play their home games in the 10,595-seat Halifax Metro Centre.

• THE CITADEL: Bulldogs quarterback Bart Blanchard (Northwestern) turned in a strong 2008 season, the first as the starting quarterback for the military institution.

A 6-2, 200-pound sophomore, Blanchard started 11 of the Bulldogs' 12 games, putting up good numbers and setting a school record for total offense yardage. Blanchard passed for 2,436 yards and rushed for 173 more, giving him 2,609 yards of total offense. That surpassed the old single-season mark of 2,436 set by Duane Lawson last season, according to the school's record book.

Blanchard completed 205-of-345 passes with 19 touchdowns and 11 interceptions for 2,436 yards and a 59.4 completion percentage.

Blanchard, who was third in the Southern Conference in passing efficiency at 130.5, would have added to his season statistics but was injured after the Bulldogs' second offensive series in the season's final game, a 70-19 loss to No. 3 Florida.

• N.C. STATE: Former Northwestern volleyball standout Jana Angel is getting some notoriety in downtown Raleigh, N.C.

An action shot of Angel, a 6-3 sophomore middle blocker, spiking the ball over the net for a kill adorns a Raleigh billboard. The billboard, sponsored by ABC (Alcoholic Beverage Control), brings attention to the problem of drinking and driving with the words, "Drinking & Driving Can Kill."

Angel is the daughter of David and Jan Angel of Rock Hill.

• USC UPSTATE: Freshman forward Chalmers Rogers (Fort Mill) has seen action in all six Spartan basketball games this season.

The 6-7, 215-pound Rogers has averaged 1.2 points and 1.3 rebounds a game.

As a junior at Fort Mill, Rogers led the Yellow Jackets to a 25-4 record and the State AAAA championship.

Rogers' grandfather, Chal Port, is the former baseball coach at The Citadel.

The Spartans are 0-6 overall and 0-2 in the Atlantic Sun Conference. But coach Eddie Payne's team has played some tough competition, including Georgia, Notre Dame, South Carolina and Duquesne. The Spartans' next game, Dec. 14, is a road game at Boston College.

• WESTERN CAROLINA: Lady Catamounts forward Kristen Feemster (Clover) is continuing her consistent play with the start of her junior season.

The 6-0 Feemster is averaging 4.0 points and 2.4 rebounds a game in the Lady Cats' first six games.

Feemster, whose father, Carl Feemster, played collegially at Winthrop, played in all 34 Lady Catamount game a year ago. She also wrote a blog for the NCAA's Double-A Zone during the 2007-2008 season.

Feemster, who was named to last year's Southern Conference Winter Academic All-Conference team, also did a blog on the team's trip last month to Bozeman, Mont., to play Montana State.