UNLV PLAYER WHO HOPS INTO BRAWL GETTING PROPS FOR SUPPORTING HER TEAMMATES
Video of an injured UNLV women’s basketball player who hopped across the court to join her teammates in a brawl on one leg has gone viral.
A fight broke out in the UNLV Utah State women's basketball game. pic.twitter.com/JzwutY8A9n
— Tyler Bischoff (@Bischoff_Tyler) January 8, 2017
The player, identified as former starting point guard Nikki Wheatley, left the bench with other teammates when the fight erupted late in the third quarter of the UNLV-Utah State game at Cox Pavillion. (See the video on my Twitter feed)
Wheatley’s commitment to her teammates lit up the Internet. Tweets and website comments ranged from “Nikki Wheatley can play on my team any day” to “bad ass” and “talk about a true teammate!”
It was a full-on fracas, with bodies flying. It reportedly started when UNLV’s 6-foot-4 Katie Powell appeared to intentionally bump Utah State’s 6-foot-2 Antoina Robinson, who responded with a shove. Then they started trading punches, which will likely lead to suspensions.
Yahoo Sports put it this way:
“A not-so-friendly shoulder bump quickly turned into a shove. Punches came next, and before you knew it, the whole team was on the floor and both benches were right in the thick of it. Fortunately, though, it was broken up fairly quickly.
“The MVP of the entire scenario undoubtedly goes to the UNLV player in the gray warm-up shirt. Almost everyone made their way to the scene of the crime off the bench, but she did so on what appeared to be a bum right leg. She hopped her way the entire (width) of the floor on just one foot. Talk about a true teammate!”
Four players from each team were ejected. UNLV won 55-53 in overtime.
The 5-foot-5 Wheatley is seen furiously hopping toward the scrum.
Wheatley had helped sparked the Rebels to a 9-1 season start before suffering a season-ending torn meniscus in her right knee on Dec. 19 against Oregon State.
A junior, Wheatley was a standout at Bonita High School in La Verne, California.
It’s not the first time a brawl broke out between UNLV and Utah State basketball teams.
UNLV’s national championship men’s team got into it during the 1990 season.
REMEMBERING DEBBIE REYNOLDS
Donna Ziegler West posted this remembrance of Debbie Reynolds on Facebook after the iconic entertainer died Dec. 28, a day after her daughter, Carrie Fisher died.
“During my tenure at Nevada DMV I met and assisted many celebrities. When I was the supervisor of the drivers license office on Sahara my staff told me Debbie Reynolds was in line,” wrote Ziegler West.
“I went to the lobby and sure enough Debbie Reynolds in a pink jogging suit and little Keds was standing in line.
“I asked her if I could make her comfortable in my office and assist her. She said ‘No thank you. I'm having a good time standing here talking to people.’
“She is one of the very few VIPs who ever did that. And I have always loved meeting her that way. Her kindness and grace will be missed.”
THE SCENE AND HEARD
Christian Pollock, general manager at Picasso restaurant at Bellagio, came upon an epic sighting while vacationing in his hometown of Carmel, California during the holidays.
There was 87-year-old actor Clint Eastwood shopping at a Whole Foods. Eastwood, who was mayor of Carmel in 1986 and 1987, was grand marshall of Carmel’s 100th anniversary celebration and rode in a horse-drawn buggy dressed as a cowboy from his role in "The Man With No Name."
Shane Smith, chief executive officer of Vice Media, was back at Prime Steakhouse at Bellagio last week, sending the staff into its highest alert mode.
The tattooed, big-tipping Smith is known for his extreme generosity – a surefire first ballot inductee to the Gratuity Hall of Fall, if there was such a thing.
A couple years ago Smith showed up at Prime with a party of 20 and dropped about $300,000 for dinner. The tab included six bottles of Domaine de la Romanee (about $40,000 per bottle.) He reportedly left a tip in the $50,000 range.
This time he shelled out about $100,000.
At 1OAK nightclub (Mirage) on Saturday: reality show star Blac Chyna served as celebrity host, her first public appearance since giving birth Nov. 10 to her and Rob Kardashian’s daughter.
At La Cave (Wynn) on Friday: Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals, after appearing on a CES panel.
That towering man seen walking through the Bellagio on Friday was George Bell, who once held the title of the tallest man in the United States. The former Norfolk (Va.) sheriff’s deputy and ex-Harlem Globetrotter was attending the Canon USA fundraiser for The Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Also there: John Walsh, Richard Burgi, Olympian Willie Gault, former New York Giants head coach Jim Fassel, Danny Masterson of “That 70’s Show,” Robert Hays of “Airplane,” “Professor of Antiquities” Doc Phineas, and Joe Regabuto of “Murphy Brown.”
THE PUNCH LINE
“Turns out the Mormon Tabernacle Choice is scheduled to perform (at the presidential inauguration) but a choir member resigned because she didn’t want to perform for Trump. Now the choir needs to fill that empty spot with a Mormon who has free time and can sing – Trump has a job for Mitt Romney after all!” – Stephen Colbert, CBS talk-show host.