| 03.18.2018

Sports Briefs


Former NBA player added as director of player personnel

The Idaho men’s basketball team has added a new director of player personnel with former NBA player Milt Palacio. Palacio, who played his collegiate career at Colorado State, spent six years in the NBA and another six years playing in Europe. Idaho coach Don Verlin was an assistant coach on the staff when Palacio was with Colorado State. 

“I’ve stayed in touch with Milt throughout the years since he played for us at Colorado State,” Verlin said. “We’ve kept that relationship. He called and was deciding if he was going to play one more season or get into coaching, and it just happened to work out that I had an opening on my staff and it worked out perfectly.”

Palacio’s role with the team will be helping mentor the players while also helping with academics. In addition to that, Palacio will be assisting Verlin with breaking down film and game preparation.

“He’ll do a number of things, but probably most importantly is mentoring our young guys,” Verlin said. “Because it’s a non-coaching position, his impact will be more off the court. Teaching kids first and foremost about taking care of academics, and helping guys with the finer points of the game of basketball from a mental standpoint.”

Idaho grad Tom Purvis named new voice for women’s basketball

Learfield Sports announced Tuesday that the new voice for the women’s basketball team will be Idaho grad Tom Purvis. Purvis replaces Madison McCord as the play-by-play announcer for the team.

Purvis was the first sports director for University of Idaho’s KUOI-FM 89.3 and handled play-by-play duties for football and men’s and women’s basketball for two years. Most recently, he worked as a sports reporter and anchor for KFBB-TV, the ABC/Fox Affiliate in Great Falls, Mont.

“It’s an exciting time for Vandal women’s basketball,” Purvis said. “The program did something last year that they haven’t done since 1985, in winning a conference championship and being a part of the NCAA tournament. Essentially the entire team is back this year, and it’s a privilege to be a part of that.”

The team won the WAC Championship last year and made it to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1985.

“I’m extremely excited and grateful for the opportunity to return to my alma mater and call Vandals women’s basketball,” Purvis said. “To be back at my alma mater as a play-by-play broadcaster is pretty special.”

Women’s Vandal tennis secure four wins on day one of the ITA Regional Tournament

Idaho women’s tennis started the ITA Regional Championship off right with two singles wins and two doubles wins. Senior Almudena Sanz won a three-setter, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, over Denver’s Sonja Radosevic and senior Victoria Lozano won 6-0, 6-1 over Colorado State’s Natalie Heffron in singles play.

As for the double’s side, both of Idaho’s doubles pairings advanced out of the first round. Lozano and Sanz teamed up for an 8-4 win in their match while, the team of freshman Galina Bykova and senior Bety Flores won by the same score.

“It was a good first day of matches,” Idaho coach Myriam Sopel said. “The girls played very well in doubles and put up a great fight in singles. We fell short in a couple singles matches, but I am very happy with the effort and the energy from all the girls.”

The tournament began on Wednesday with a 111-player singles player competing for the title. That was down to 64 after the opening round and then was dwindled to 32 by Thursday morning. The doubles side started out with 52 teams competing for the title.

“This tournament is a great test for us to compare ourselves to all the good teams in the region,” Sopel said. “It’s great to be able to play in Vegas because we are a better team outside. Every match will be tough, but we have demonstrated a great mental toughness and we know we have the level to beat any team on a given day. I look forward to our upcoming matches.”

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