UM Sports Trivia | June 25

By CHRIS WALTERSKIRCHEN

Both the UM Men’s and Women’s basketball said Good-Bye to important players leaving their respective program, but two of the toughest farewells this year come in June, as two basketball assistants to have played an part  in the success of UM basketball. Annette Whitaker Rocheleau was first as player for the Lady Griz and then a mainstay of Robin Selvig. One of the first fan favorites of Lady Griz fans, Annette had her best scoring as a player on her 22nd birthday as she dropped in 21 points in a win at Stanford.

Freddie Owens has just spent four seasons with Wayne Tinkle’s staff but in those four seasons won 93 games and three trips to the NCAA Tournament, the 93 wins is the most in a four year span in Grizzly basketball history. Owens leaves to take a position on Craig Robinson’s staff at Oregon State, a team the Griz split with in recent years.

The pathway from Missoula to Corvallis, Oregon is a well-traveled one in basketball, Leroy Washington left Blaine Taylor’s staff in 1996 to join the staff at OSU. And before taking on the job as head coach at Missoula’s Sentinel High School, Karen Deden spent time on the Women’s coaching staff in Corvallis.

Until about a month ago nobody in sports had heard of the surname “Puig.” Over the last 4 weeks Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig has been on a tear, hitting 7 home runs in his first 20 games and sporting a .425 batting average over that span. Now the Tennis World has been “Puiged” as Monica Puig pulled a first round upset of Wimbledon Fifth seed Sara Errani. Yasiel Puig cost the Dodgers plenty as they had to pay Cuban officials a hefty sum to get the potential to come to Las Angeles. Monica Puig grew up in Puerto Rico and is named for tennis Great Monica Seles.

The Missoula Osprey are trying to buck a trend by making the Pioneer League play-offs. You see in 2000 and 2007 Missoula was coming off a league title but missed the post-season, and coming off of the 2012 league title the O’s are hoping to do better this season.

I have been attending American Legion baseball games for nearly half a century. One of the most memorable events I witness occurred 20 years ago this week. Just Johnny Vander Meer has thrown back to back no-Hitters in the majors but in the summer of 1993 Missoula’s Mike Kleckner pulled off the feat for the Missoula Mavericks. On June 26, Kleckner walked one and struck out 13 in a win over the Boise Gems. Four Days later Kleckner struck out 12, with a hit batter and one base on balls, in holding Bellevue Honda of Seattle without a hit.

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Chris Walterskirchen has been an observer of Montana sports for nearly half a century. A Kalispell native, Chris has worked in various capacities for professional and college sports organization of at various times: ranging from announcing and statistical work to the concessions and even a stint as a costumedmascot.

Chris has academic degrees in communications and elementary education. His style of sports trivia involves more than just who won and who lost, but also focuses on the obscure or human side of sports. In this blog you will learn things like the Grizzly football team has won 210 games over the 19 seasons since they have had Monte as their mascot or that UNLV is the only school that both the Griz and Lady Griz have both faced in the NCAA basketball tournament

When not following sports Chris enjoys taking care of animals of all kinds (a peacock rescue?) and reading to pre-schoolers.