A Friend of Unfair Park who knows of my, um, interest (sure, why not?) in the American Basketball Association's return to the DFW sends along this profile of Isaiah "J.R." Rider, who, I'll be damned, is set to make his return to pro ball with the North Texas Fresh outta Fort Worth. (As you may recall, Fresh owner Jay Bowdy and I exchanged a few pleasantries over the name of his franchise back in July.)
It's been a bumpy ride for Rider since he last played pro ball for the Pistons in '01 -- as Yahoo Sports's Marc Spears sums up, the former Timberwolves hot-shot and one-time slam-dunk contest winner's résumé now includes "several arrests and a 3½-month stay in jail," so it's ABA or nothing at this point. Says Rider, "I still have it in me. I still have something left in the tank. It's still in my blood. My juices still flow." Guess we'll see when the Fresh roll out the ball ... at the Keller ISD's Central High School.
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North Texas's home opener is November 22 against the Houston Somethingornother. The Fresh's game against the Dallas Generals -- which has its own ex-pro baller, journeyman Anthony "Pig" Miller -- is scheduled for December 5 at the Fair Park Coliseum. Interested, but only if Ed Monix is still available.