Reising takes sixth at state meet

Posted on 21 May 2015 by L.Moore

By Gary Curreri

Pompano Beach High School senior Andrew Reising is hoping to extend his pole vaulting career into college.

The 18-year-old Pompano Beach resident won the Broward County Athletic Association Championship this year as he tied his personal best effort with a 14-ft. jump. Reising plans on attending the University of South Florida and was waiting on their coaching staff to offer a spot on the team.

Reising took second in the districts and regionals en route to a sixth place finish in the Class 2A state track and field meet at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. His 13 ft., 6 in. jump at state was just short of his personal best.

I did cross country and I liked it so I went out for track,” said Reising, who has competed in track and field since the sixth grade. “I just saw them doing (pole vault) when I was running around the track and wanted to try it. I did it one day and I liked it.

I don’t like running events as much so I got bored and pole vault was always the next thing to perfect in a jump,” added Reising, who spent the first two high school years at Western High School before transferring to Pompano Beach for his last two years.”

A sixth place finish was satisfactory to Reising.

I am happy with it,” Reising said. “I was able to jump 14 both years. It would be pretty awesome to compete in college.

Admittedly, the first two years of pole vaulting were difficult.

It was kind of rough because I didn’t have a coach,” Reising said. “The swimming coach would show up like once or twice a week, and I didn’t have good poles so it was rough. I still did good.”

Reising said his pole vaulting career took off in his sophomore year. He believes he could have done better this year.

In my sophomore year, I thought how practical it would be when I got 13-6,” Reising said. “After the first week or two, I was pretty good and got past the fear.”

Reising said he jumped 8-ft. his first time as an eighth grade middle school competitor and, after a few weeks of practice, was able to get 9-6 at the state meet.

Winning the BCAA meet was a pretty cool feeling,” Reising said. “I tied my PR from the year before. I went into the meet feeling good, and the weather was good and everything just turned out perfect.”

Pompano Junior Lifeguard program nears

The Pompano Beach Junior Lifeguard Summer Camp is coming up in a few weeks.

It is a unique aquatic experience for boys and girls ages 9 to 17 and will be held from Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to noon. There will be three sessions in addition to a competition camp.

Session One is slated from June 8 to June 19. Two is June 22 to July 3. Three is July 13 to July 24. The competition camp will be from July 27 to July 31, and all sessions have a maximum capacity of 125 athletes.

Costs are $150 for Pompano Beach residents and $200 for non-residents. Junior Lifeguards returning from the previous year are not required to test, while new applicants must try out and be able to complete a 150-yd. swim, tread water and swim under water for 5 yds. while holding their breath.

There are two testing days remaining: This Saturday (May 23) from 4:30 to 6 p.m. and the following Saturday (May 30) at the same time. Registration and testing is held at the Pompano Beach Aquatics Center.

For more information, contact

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FLICKS: The 100 Year Old Man who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared & Mad Max: Fury Road

Posted on 21 May 2015 by L.Moore

By Dave Montalbano

There is a fine line between comedy and tragedy. George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road walks that tightrope in a big summer blockbuster release. However, this balance between comedy/ tragedy is never more evident than in The 100 Year Old Man who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared, a Swedish film which opens tomorrow.

Opening with a picturesque cabin in the snow, the title character lets his kitty cat outside. When the cat does not return, the old man goes outside and sees that his only companion has been brutally killed by a fox.

It is a shocking scene; however, the tone abruptly shifts when the old man gets even with the fox.

Just imagine the Old Man getting dynamite from Wile E. Coyote’s ACME explosive kit.

It has been 30 years this summer since Mel Gibson’s last Mad Max movie, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, co-starring Tina Turner and Angelo Rossitto. While Gibson’s fortunes rose and crashed, there was always talk about continuing the Mad Max series. During the hiatus, writer/director George Miller wrote two Mad Max scripts with Mel Gibson in mind, but the actor aged himself out of the story.

Thomas Hardy does an excellent job stepping into Gibson’s shoes. Like Godzilla’s reveal last summer, George Miller takes his time letting the audience get used to the new Mad Max. By the time Mad Max takes command, the audience accepts the new mad man.

Max is not the maddest one in Fury Road, there is an assortment of crazies in this popcorn-eating flick. The most monstrous mad man is Immortan Jone (Hugh Keays-Byrne – who was “Toecutter Joe” in the original Mad Max), the supreme ruler who tells his dehydrated minions that “water is a luxury.” When the one-armed Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) hijacks a war machine that was on a gas run, the chase is on.

Mad Max: Fury Road is basically a continuing car chase in a post apocalyptic world of a despot society. What elevates these Mad Max movies is George Miller’s attention to detail. In this dystopian world of limited resources, Max uses ingenuity to keep carburetors cool in the Australian desert. He also manages to capture a society that is missing things like radio, television, Internet and wireless communication.

Both Mad Max: Fury Road and The 100 Year Old Man who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared provide thought provoking entertainment for the summer heat.

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CLERGY CORNER: A double portion

Posted on 21 May 2015 by L.Moore

In The Torah, we learn the laws of Shmittah, where we are commanded to let the land rest from all the hard work it has done in providing for us.

So we are told we should not plant, we should not harvest, nor should we prune during the sabbatical year.

Many of you might remember the story from earlier in the Torah where the Manna falls from the heavens and The Children of Israel are told to gather enough manna each day for that day only. But when Friday came along, they were told to gather a double portion. That extra portion was to be kept aside for the Sabbath and Israel was told that that portion would not rot … it would stay fresh and delicious.

Well, I don’t know about you, but if I had to depend on food magically falling from the sky, I would wonder — what if no food comes tomorrow? I had better consider gathering extra so that I will have in case nothing is delivered on the morrow. But somehow, the brunt of the people had the faith in G-d. Those who didn’t wound up finding that the extra food they had gathered had rotted away quickly.

In the Shmittah year, I know that I would be prone to ask the same question that we find in The Torah itself, “Should you ask, ‘What are we to eat in the 7th year, if we can’t sow or gather our crops.’”

And G-d responds, “I will put my blessing for you in the 6th year, so that it will produce enough for three years.” (Lev. 25:20-21)

How similar to the story of the Manna.

It even brings to mind the story of Joseph in Egypt when he knows there is a famine coming and advises Pharaoh to store enough grain and wheat so there is plenty of food during that time of need. In simple terms, he plans in advance.

I will soon be 61 years of age. I know to many of you that sounds like I am a young whippersnapper, but it just so happens that I am in the midst of planning for my future retirement. Fortunately, I have been putting aside an extra portion for years, building toward those Goldenah Yoren (Golden Years).

Many of you are already retired. Some of you are planning for that time … not just for a Sabbatical Year, but for years of retirement.

May we all be wise enough to gather those extra portions, to invest them wisely, to have enough to cover not just our basic needs, but enough to share special times with those we love whether it be in going to the theatre, to dine, to travel, to dance, or whatever trips your fancy.

That is my prayer for each of you today: may you have enough for all your needs, and don’t forget to gather an extra portion so that you can enjoy the rest of your years doing things you love to do, and may you have someone beside you who you love to share those joys with … and, while you are at it, why not save a little extra for those who were not as wise in gathering enough for themselves and their families.

Shalom my friends,

Rabbi Craig H. Ezring

Rabbi Ezring is the Spiritual Leader of Temple Beth Israel of Deerfield Beach (201 S. Military Tr., Deerfield Beach, FL 33442). Regular Shabbat services are open to everyone on Saturday mornings from 9 to 11:30 a.m.

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FLICKS: The D Train and Tangerines

Posted on 14 May 2015 by L.Moore

By Dave Montalbano

When the original Poltergeist was released in the summer of 1982, I was disturbed by one scene.

It wasn’t the scene where the man ripped his face off or when the corpses attacked JoBeth Williams in the pool, but the scene when a child caught their parents smoking a joint.

A national film columnist claimed the scene was “charming.” I was concerned about the pot smoking parents being a poor role model.

Hollywood did clean up act and actually supported First Lady Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” campaign. Perceptions changed when candidate Bill Clinton talked about smoking marijuana — but not “inhaling.” Thirty years later, recreational drug usage has become status quo in popular culture.

This perception is evident in Jack Black’s new movie, The D Train. Black portrays Dan Landsman, chairman of his high school reunion committee. Despite being married with a teenage boy, Landsman is not very well liked by his committee members. When spotting his classmate Oliver Lawless (James Marsden) in an exotic television commercial, Landsman decides to recruit the seemingly successful movie star.

Oliver and Dan hit it off, do drugs, meet movie stars and have a one night stand with each other.

After recruiting Oliver, Dan returns, the conquering hero. Yet, Dan feels conflicted about cheating on his wife with another man; but still enjoys the limelight of being the reunion king.

Having played the same role for over a decade, Jack Black makes some punch lines work with his unique facial expressions, much like Jack Benny would do when he would look at the audience and slap his face. However, this film lacks empathy from the very beginning and this film cannot be saved by facial expressions. The D Train is a train wreck.

For more serious fare, Tangerines opens tomorrow at the Living Room Theater on the FAU Campus. Nominated for Best Foreign Language motion picture, this film explores the 1992 conflict between two former satellite nations of the former Soviet Union.

Amidst the conflict, a farmer attempts to grow tangerines. Two opposing and injured soldiers end up on the farmer’s doorstep. Despite vows to kill each other, the two warriors use their recovery time to consider new perspectives about the bucolic world they are now living in.

With Mad Max: Fury Road and Pitch Perfect 2 opening this weekend, Tangerines is a vacation from the ordinary film.

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CLERGY CORNER: Pastor Tony Guadagnino to stand down, for now

Posted on 14 May 2015 by L.Moore

I will not be able to continue to write articles for the Observer any longer — between the Sheriff’s office and my church, I just don’t have the time anymore.

I will miss writing the articles. Thank you again for allowing me to be a part of the Observer Family the last few years. I enjoyed it all.

I appreciate all you do for me. You are always a great help.

-Pastor Tony Guadagnino

Christian Love Fellowship Church

Equipping God’s People”

Pastor Tony, you have become an MVP with our newspaper. Because of you, we have ObserverTV.

-Jim Lusk, Observer Vice President

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Everything’s Coming Up Rosen

Posted on 14 May 2015 by L.Moore

By Emily Rosen

l’ll bet you have seen one or more of the hundreds of movies that address issues concerning mental illness. To name just a few: Psycho, A Streetcar Named Desire, Ordinary People, Rainman, Gilbert Grape, American Beauty, Black Swan, The Soloist, We Need To Talk About Kevin, Silver Lining Playbook.

Each addresses a different diagnostic malfunction of the many that attack our population, just as physical diseases are the scurge of mankind.

I’ll bet you never heard of NAMI – (National Alliance on Mental Illness). Each year, millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental health condition. During the month of May, NAMI, in conjunction with other mental health advocates, is bringing awareness to mental illness.

Each year, their supporters fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for equal care.

Who doesn’t know someone with any of the following conditions: bi-polar, clinical depression, schizophrenia, autism, ADHD, mental retardation, dementia, OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), Agoraphobia, PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), anxiety and panic attacks, insomnia, and too many more to list.

These are not conditions that are treatable with a simple toss of a “Get over it” approach that belies any understanding of the pain and suffering experienced by victims and families. And, yet, the added burden of social stigma has not been eradicated, despite every effort to educate the public to the practical need for parity in funding, research and treatment for both mental and physical anomalies, as well as the compassionate need for the same kind of empathy for mental patients as we give to cancer patients.

Here are some facts: 1 in 5 adults experiences a mental health condition every year. 1 in 20 lives with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. In addition to the person directly experiencing a mental illness, family, friends and communities are also affected.

When we think about cancer, heart disease or diabetes, we don’t wait years to treat them. We start before Stage 4. We begin with prevention. We don’t ignore them. So why don’t we do the same for individuals who are dealing with potentially serious mental illness?

Perhaps because people may not realize that their symptoms are being caused by a mental health condition or they feel ashamed to pursue help because of the stigma associated with mental illness. It’s up to all of us to know the signs and to take action so that mental illnesses can be caught early and treated. People can and do recover and reclaim their lives.

One way to see if you or a loved one may be experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition is to take a screening. Visit to take a quick, confidential screening for a variety of mental health conditions including anxiety, depression, mood disorders or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

There are many treatment options, ranging from talk therapy to medication to peer support, and, although it may take time for a person to find the right treatment or combination of treatments that work best for them, the results can be life-changing.

For more information about what you should know and what you can do at each stage, visit And get information from local low cost facilities, like

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Bengals win county flag football championship

Posted on 07 May 2015 by L.Moore

sports050715By Gary Curreri

It didn’t take long for Pompano Beach Middle School to flex its muscle in the Broward County Middle School boys’ flag football championship game against Plantation Middle School recently.

Just 10 plays into the game, the Bengals were able to put the game away early as it scored on its first three possessions to take a 20-0 lead. It held off a late charge by Plantation and hung on for a 20-13 win.

Pompano Middle School boys flag football coach Khristopher Ramsey said some players quit the team during the season and the rest remained a “family” and stuck it out.

The most gratifying thing is to see the kid win in life, so if we can win a championship here, it’s awesome, but I think my coaching job is not complete until I see those kids move on and move forward in their lives,” Ramsey said. “We felt confident. We planned on coming out here today and winning this game.”

The Bengals (9-2) held Plantation on its first drive and scored on its second play from scrimmage on a 16-yard scoring run by Jervon Williams for a 6-0 lead.

Plantation Middle School quarterback Benjamin Hernandez was intercepted on the next play from scrimmage by Jerico Wilson and his 15-yard return set up a 2-yard scoring run by Keven Walker. LaDarius Queen caught the 2-point conversion pass from tournament MVP James Wallace for a 14-0 advantage. Wallace, 15, of Pompano Beach, said winning was important for the players.

We were looking forward to winning everything,” said Wallace, an eighth-grader. “We just had to play as a team and execute the plays we needed to execute and we would come out with the victory.”

Pompano Beach Middle School stretched the cushion to 20-0 on a 30-yard TD scamper by first-year player Sean Martin, of Pompano Beach, midway through the first quarter.

I didn’t think we would be playing for the title,” said Martin, 15, of Pompano Beach. He is also an eighth-grader and this was his first year playing flag football. “I knew we had it in us to play for the championship. I wasn’t sure we’d make it all of the way.”

Plantation Middle School (9-2-1) cut the deficit to 20-7 on a 25-yard interception return for a TD by David McFadden and a conversion pass from Hernandez to Daniel Carter. The Patriots cut the lead to 20-13 on a 31-yard scoring toss from Hernandez to McFadden with 1:30 remaining in the game, but could get no closer.

Pompano Beach Middle School won four consecutive county titles in flag football from 2003-06 before the sport was among the sports trimmed by Broward County because of budget cuts.

Martin said the team’s two late losses helped the team focus for the playoffs.

Losing the last game of the regular season to Crystal Lake was a good lesson,” Martin said. “It showed that winning all of our games didn’t mean nothing. We had to play as a team and not argue with each other and stuff like that.”

Pompano Middle School eighth grader Keavan Walker said teams around the county doubted the Bengals’ ability.

It is a big opportunity to play for a county championship,” said the Pompano Beach eighth grader. “You have other schools and people think that a school from Pompano couldn’t make it like this, so it is an opportunity for us to have a team and make it here. We learned from the losses. We learned we had to play as a team.”

Walker said the school will put a picture up on the gym wall for winning the county title.

This is great!” Walker said. “We can take it back to our school. It is a huge accomplishment because they haven’t won this in seven years. Now, we can come back and see our picture up there and everything.”

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FLICKS: Felix and Meira, Avengers: Age of Ultron

Posted on 07 May 2015 by L.Moore

By Dave Montalbano

One of the stereotypes about comic book fans is how lonely individuals come out of the woodwork for a comic book movie like Avengers: Age of Ultron.

With a domestic gross of $191 million, lonely individuals found unity at local movie theaters this past weekend.

Slightly down the evolutionary box office chain is Felix and Meira, which opens this weekend in limited South Florida cinemas.

This is a quiet motion picture about two lonely people who find each other (without the virtue of comic books).

Felix (Martin Dubreuil) is grieving the loss of his father. Meira (Hadas Yaron) is a new mother who is trapped in a loveless marriage to a Hassidic man. Living for years in the same Montreal neighborhood, Felix and Meira meet for the first time as adults.

As Felix and Meira grow and learn about themselves, their friendship becomes more passionate. Traveling from Brooklyn, New York to Venice, Italy, the two develop a deeper connection by finding new interests in things like dancing and blues music.

Will Felix and Meira’s relationship prosper? Stay tuned to the last frame of film and draw your own conclusion.

The conclusion of Avengers: Age of Ultron is solid, but open-ended enough to carry the Marvel supehero comic book franchise through 2019. With nine previous motion pictures produced since 2008, the wisdom of each of these Marvel films is the self-contained storyline of each motion picture. It just enhances one’s viewing pleasure if one is more familiar with Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Captain America’s (Chris Evans) personal motivations.

After a successful raid on Baron Stucker’s castle, the Avengers party in Manhattan. The science bros. (Iron Man & Hulk) skip out of the festivities to experiment with Loki’s scepter and create an artificial intelligence that names itself Ultron (James Spader). Ultron assumes command of Iron Man’s technology and decides the best course to achieve peace in our time is to exterminate the human race.

With echoes of classic mad scientists like Dr. Frankenstein (Iron Man) and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Hulk), Avengers: Age of Ultron strives to be a darker version of the original Avengers movie from three years ago. That is why this new film is not as much fun as the previous incarnation. In terms of antagonists, Ultron lacks the charisma of Loki and this film misses the clear moment when good defeats evil.

In the following weeks, the big budgeted Tommorowland and Mad Max: Fury Road are on deck to knock Avengers: Age of Ultron off the box office throne. However, don’t ignore smaller marketed movies like Felix and Meira, Iris and D Train.

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CLERGY CORNER: Here comes the shun

Posted on 07 May 2015 by L.Moore

When I was a young lad, one of the members of my father’s congregation, owned a poultry plant and I used to dread going there. Now, you might think it was because of the chickens being slaughtered or the odor in the place … or, perhaps, because the place was so cold you felt like you were living in Syracuse in the midst of a frosty winter’s day.

But none of this had anything to do with my dread. So, what made me dislike going there so much? Let me tell you, and I am ashamed to admit it. There was an employee there who had a very disfigured face. Back then, I had enough trouble being in the same room with someone who wore a brace on their legs or who had an amputation, so you can imagine how terrified I was of looking at this particular person’s misshapen and discolored features.

How on earth did I go from having trouble with that to working in health centers where, over the years, I have come across just about every one of those things, plus many more? That’s a good question. And I think it had to do with a recent Parsha we read in the Synagogue about a skin condition that many English Translations refer to as Leprosy (Not the leprosy we think of today.)

My parent’s got me to see that I was treating this person as a leper. I refused not only to have contact with him, but I refused to even look at him. Thank G-d my parents taught me, and believe me, it was no easy lesson to learn that, while I kept calling him that poor person, he was not so poor after all. He was very content with his life and grateful for what he had, which included a good job, a loving wife and children, etc. (I guess he wouldn’t fare too well on the computer dating sites many use today; in fact, he would be shunned).

And then, there are those of you who have experienced taking a fall. The reason I bring up a fall has to do with the cuts, gashes, breaks, black and blue marks and shiners that come from the fall. When such things happen, I have seen individuals deal with it in two very different ways. The positive one is the one who doesn’t let their black eye keep them from going out and being with others; but then there are those who are so vain that they hide in their room or in their home until the bruising goes away and they look like themselves again.

The problem is that, during the time, they have closed themselves off from others. They have done what used to be done to lepers; they have excluded them from the community and, sadly, in the case of these people who are bruised from a fall, they wind up doing the same thing to themselves. They close themselves off from everyone and, in doing so, they turn themselves into lepers.

I recently dealt with another scenario in which a person can feel like a leper. The lady [a man] was with for the past few years broke things off with him and would not be the way she used to be with him. The warmth was gone, the regular calls, the time together and he felt so much like a leper that he wondered if he would ever know love again.

My friends, I am a romantic. I believe in love. G-d does not shun us; but some of us make ourselves feel like spiritual lepers by shunning G-d. And some make themselves lepers by avoiding the love of another. Let G-d in and don’t just let yourself be loved … return that love tenfold.

Shalom my friends,

Rabbi Craig H. Ezring

Rabbi Ezring is the Spiritual Leader of Temple Beth Israel of Deerfield Beach (201 S. Military Tr., Deerfield Beach, FL 33442). Regular Shabbat services are open to everyone on Saturday mornings from 9

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Moroney named top swimmer in state; headed to UVA

Posted on 30 April 2015 by L.Moore

sports043015By Gary Curreri

Deerfield Beach’s Megan Moroney is looking forward to the next chapter of her career.

The 17-year-old senior at St. Andrew’s School in Boca Raton, who was recently named the Florida High School Dairy Association’s Female Swimmer of the Year, captured 13 state high school championships during the past four seasons.

This is such a great honor,” said Moroney, who won seven individual titles including four consecutive in the 100-yd. butterfly and three championships in the 200-yd. freestyle. She was also on three relays. “It’s definitely a great note to end my high school swimming on.”

Moroney, the top-ranked recruit in Florida and 16th overall nationally, is headed to the University of Virginia after signing her national letter of intent in the fall.

I loved everything about it,” Moroney said. “The campus, the coaches, the team, the academics …. it was exactly everything I could want in a school.”

She also considered Stanford and Duke. She said knowing where she was going helped take some of the pressure off her for her senior year.

It was a tough decision,” said Moroney, whose winning time in the 200-yd. freestyle (1:45.89) was the fastest time in the state in all four classifications. “Every school I was looking at was a really great school. I knew Virginia gave me the best combination of everything. I felt that would be where I would be.

One thing I liked about Virginia was they had a lot of help with the academics,” Moroney said. “They have tutors on hand whenever you need one. People are always checking on you to make sure your grades are good. They won’t let you do poorly.”

Moroney has also already qualified for the 2016 Olympic trials in the 100, 200 and 400 freestyles. She was one of the youngest swimmers in the 100-meter backstroke at the 2012 Olympic trials in Omaha, NE.

It was kind of hard to expect a best time at such a huge event with so much pressure,” said Moroney, who started attending St. Andrew’s in the sixth grade. She swam on the club team in the fourth grade after beginning her swim career for the Boca Barracudas Y team in the recreational league. “That was probably the scariest moment of my life and, looking out at an arena pool, it was cool, but it was totally scary. I was a lot younger, so I really wasn’t surprised that I didn’t do as well.”

St. Andrew’s School swim coach Sid Cassidy called Moroney Palm Beach County’s most dominant swimmer ever.

In addition to everything she accomplished in the pool, she has remained true to herself,” said Cassidy, who began coaching Moroney as a sixth grader. “She leads a well-balanced family life and is a top student at St. Andrew’s School.”

She was rightly recruited by every one of this nation’s top collegiate swimming programs and has selected the University of Virginia as her next stop on her journey,” Cassidy added. “No doubt the coaching staff in Charlottesville has to be smiling over the acquisition of this Golden Girl from Palm Beach County. We may never see another one quite like her.”

Stone named All-State

Zion Lutheran School senior Keith Stone was recently named to the Florida Association of Basketball Coaches and Source Hoops Class 2A All-State team.

The 6-ft., 8-in., 240-lb. forward, who recently signed his national letter of intent with the University of Florida, averaged 24 points, 10 rebounds and four assists for the Lions. Stone committed to play for the Gators two days after his official visit last October.

It is close to home,” Stone said of his college choice. “My whole family loves them. Coach Billy (Donovan) is a Hall of Fame coach. He runs NBA style plays and that works for me.”

The four-year starter helped the Lions (20-8) advance to the Class 2A regional semifinals where it fell to Grandview Prep, 88-80.

Stone said he improved in his ball handling and stretching the defense in the last couple of years at the school and the four-star prospect was rated as the No. 97 player in the nation and 11th in the state of Florida, according to 247 Sports.

No. 1, he’s very selfless, so nothing’s ever been about himself,” Zion Lutheran coach John Guion said. “He’s a great passer and a great shooter. He has a solid post game, and he’s got a great perimeter game as well. His game will translate well to the next level.”

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