Family ties led the Wesson brothers to Ohio State

first_img Published on November 28, 2018 at 11:04 am Contact Anthony: amdabbun@syr.edu After each Ohio State home basketball game, Keith and Stephanie Wesson wait for their two sons in Section 124 of Value City Arena. They’re not alone, though. Andre and Kaleb have at least 20 family members and friends waiting for them post game. Through high school and in college, the Wesson parents have traveled to every home and away game, and the extended family all have home season tickets to follow. “At the end of every game everyone gravitates to us,” Keith said. “Some people call it the Wesson box.”The ability to play in front of grandparents, cousins, uncles, aunts and close friends drove Keith to Ohio State in 1982. 31 years after their father graduated from OSU, both Wesson brothers are now starters for the Buckeyes. They’ll play in front of their family in the “Wesson box” Wednesday night for No. 16 Ohio State (6-0) as the Buckeyes host Syracuse (3-2). Andre is now in his third year at Ohio State, Kaleb is in his second. Both have seen a career-high 24.2 minutes per game in 2018.“Growing up in Columbus, all you hear about is Ohio State,” Wesson said. “You hear about all the games, you go to the games, you’re on campus a lot.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textKaleb and Andre have played basketball together since they were six years old, at the North YMCA in Columbus. For years, Keith said people tried to separate them. Kaleb’s 6-foot-9 size and ability led to interest from national AAU programs while Andre didn’t initially receive the same recognition.“We never allowed people to separate them,” Keith said.  “If both of them couldn’t play for a team, neither of them could. That was my call.”They attended the same AAU tournaments as members of the Mustang Ballers until Kaleb’s freshman year of high school, when they switched to the All Ohio Red team in the Nike Elite Young Basketball League. The Wesson brothers trained multiple times a week together with Renny Tyson at the Intense Basketball Training Academy, also in Columbus. Even after starting college, Keith said that they still train with Tyson over the summer.Whether it was video games or basketball, the two dueled almost daily. When they weren’t playing one-on-one in the driveway of their Westerville home, they were indoors, playing NBA 2K or Madden.“When they were young, my wife and I thought they were going to kill each other,” Keith said. Eventually, the fighting turned into encouragement as teammates. Andre said that Kaleb is his “biggest supporter.” Courtesy of Ohio State AthleticsIn Andre’s junior and Kaleb’s sophomore year at Westerville South High School, they came up one game short of the state championship. Playing on the Ohio State hardwood in front of 10,664 people, it was the biggest crowd they had played in front of. Huber Heights’ Wayne High School defeated the Wessons and Westerville South, 65-57. It was just the second loss of Westerville’s season.Kaleb received an offer from Ohio State near the end of his sophomore year. His father urged him to at least visit other schools. But Kaleb didn’t bother. He only wanted to be a Buckeye.“A lot of people think it was a package deal but it was not,” Keith said. “We always talked about how it would be nice to play together in college though.”At that point, Andre was ending his junior year and hadn’t received as much attention from the high-major Division I schools. His senior year, everything changed. Butler, Texas, Richmond and Xavier showed interest. But in April, then-Ohio State head coach Thad Matta offered. He could play alongside his brother at his father’s alma mater. Even when Matta left after Andre’s freshman year, current Buckeyes’ head coach Chris Holtmann had recruited Andre from his Butler days and developed a close relationship with him then.“Once I got my Ohio State offer, he definitely was pushing me,” Andre said of Kaleb. “He was a big part of the process.”The ensuing season, their final year together in high school, Westerville South returned to the state championship. Same arena and even bigger crowd of 13,722. This time, the Wesson brothers aided Westerville South to the state title in a 57-55 win against Lima Senior. “The biggest thing we learned is that the lights can’t be too big,” Andre said. “Some of the lights got to us, and our senior year we had everyone back and won it.”Less than one month after scoring 14 points in the state championship win, Andre committed to Ohio State. On the court, the Wesson brothers complement each other well. Off the court, they couldn’t be more different.Kaleb is a 6-9 forward with a well-developed post game. He’s able to both score and pass out of the post efficiently, Westerville South head coach Ed Calo said. Andre, a 6-foot-6 wing, guarded all five positions in high school and now can guard four spots in college.“They are night and day. Sometimes it’s hard to believe they grew up in the same household,” Keith said. “Kaleb will talk to anybody, he wants to be on the go, very outgoing. Andre is the opposite, he’s very reserved. He doesn’t open up to just anybody.”Wednesday night, when the Wesson brothers take the court, Andre will see his parents in section 124. They’re a constant reminder of the most valuable lesson he said he’s learned at Ohio State.“You need other people,” Andre said. “You can’t do anything by yourself to be good or be successful.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Liverpool leave it late again to beat Southampton

first_imgShare on: WhatsApp That was also the Irishman’s 50th Premier League goal and he should have had 51 shortly after when he failed to connect with another dangerous Bertrand cross and Virgil van Dijk nearly turned the ball into his own net against his old club.Keita has failed to live up to expectations since his £53 million move from RB Leipzig last summer, but the Senegalese could hardly have picked a better moment to score his first goal for the club nine minutes before the break.Southampton were left angry that Salah was not flagged offside in the build-up, but the ball eventually fell for Trent Alexander-Arnold and his in-swinging cross was met too powerfully with his head by Keita for Gunn to keep out.Liverpool had far more control of the game after the break, but had to wait until 10 minutes from time for the crucial goal and it came on the counter-attack from a Southampton corner.Salah latched onto Henderson’s headed pass and ran from inside his own half before curling in his first goal in nine games from just outside the box.Henderson had been left on the bench from the start by Klopp, but the Liverpool captain made his presence felt as a substitute as he then burst into the box to finish off Roberto Firmino’s low cross to seal a vital three points. Southampton, United Kingdom | AFP | Liverpool needed more late goals to move top of the Premier League once more as Mohamed Salah and Jordan Henderson struck in the final 10 minutes to earn a 3-1 victory at Southampton on Friday.Jurgen Klopp’s men had to come from behind at St. Mary’s after Shane Long’s early opener.However, Naby Keita’s first goal for the club brought the visitors level before Salah and Henderson’s strikes took Liverpool two points clear of Manchester City, who still have a game in hand.The league leaders also needed late goals to beat Fulham and Tottenham in their last two games, but they refuse to give up the chase of a City side eyeing history with a quadruple of trophies.Southampton started the evening just five points above the relegation zone at the other end of the table, but had won their past two games as part of a general upturn in form since Ralph Hasenhuttl took charge in December.And the hosts looked more like the side going for the title in the early stages as they went in front on nine minutes.Ryan Bertrand’s cross picked out the run of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg into the box and his flick-on looped over Andy Robertson for Long to control and score just his fourth goal in his last 50 Premier League appearances.center_img Mohammed Salah scores for Liverpoollast_img read more

Tenants lecture teacher landlord

first_imgA university real estate instructor got a lecture from his Echo Park tenants who are facing eviction because the landlord wants to opt out of a federal subsidy program and raise rents. Some three dozen Morton Avenue tenants boarded a bus and rode to the University of California, Los Angeles, where business school instructor Eric Sussman was teaching a class Tuesday. Wearing bright red T-shirts and hoisting signs telling Sussman he should be ashamed, the tenants marched toward their landlord’s class clutching a piggy bank. They also had a letter asking UCLA’s chancellor to review Sussman’s business practices. Campus police wouldn’t allow the demonstrators inside the classroom. A short time later, Sussman went outside to chants of “Shame on you!” He reluctantly accepted the pig, and students later dropped coins into it. Sussman and his partners want out of the federally subsidized Section 8 program, which partially pays the rent for 22 families in the Morton Gardens complex. The government’s fair market calculations are up to $1,000 less than what the units can fetch on the open market. Some tenants, Sussman said, are paying $1,200 for two- and three-bedroom apartments that are worth more than $2,000. Last year, Sussman served eviction notices on the Section 8 tenants, but tenant advocates say the city’s tough eviction rules prevent the poor from being tossed out and a federal lawsuit was filed. The tenants can stay until a judge issues a decision. A ruling is expected in August. Sussman was targeted to “send a message to all landlords,” said Larry Gross, executive director of the Coalition for Economic Survival. “I love this place I live,” said Debora Barrientos, a 43-year-old single mother who lives at the complex. Sussman said he thought it was inappropriate for the tenants to attempt to “harass and intimidate me,” adding that government must do more to provide affordable housing.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more