Aug. 19, 2010
NACOGDOCHES, Texas -
The start of the fall competition season is still a few days away for current Lumberjack and Ladyjack athletes. But a pair of former 'Jacks found their way into the spotlight via television appearances on Wednesday night.
Former men's basketball standout Nick Shaw was featured on the most recent episode of "Pros vs. Joes" on Spike TV, and former football star Tim Knicky made a cameo on the HBO documentary series "Hard Knocks." Both episodes premiered Wednesday during the same one-hour time slot.
At SFA Shaw set a program record for the Division I era by starting 64 consecutive games over a two-year career that featured consecutive Southland Conference titles and the program's first-ever trip to the NCAA Championships. In Wednesday's program, he was teamed with two other ex-college players in a series of challenges against retired NBA veterans Brent Barry, Isaiah "J.R." Rider and Hakeem Olajuwon.
Shaw and his team of "Joes" competed against the Pros in a trio of skills competitions that included a rebounding drill, a one-on-one drill and a shooting drill. For each challenge the Joes won, they earned a three-point edge in the show's finale, a three-on-three half-court game against the Pros with a $10,000 prize on the line. Shaw was a linchpin for the Joes, pulling down the first rebound in the opening challenge and scoring the final two buckets -- the first against Olajuwon and the second against Rider -- to win the one-on-one challenge. The performance helped send his team into the finale with a six-point advantage.
Shaw helped the Joes to a strong start in the half-court game, drilling a long jumper over Barry to give his squad an 8-1 advantage. But the Joes could find no answer for Olajuwon, who scored nine straight points during one stretch to get the Pros back into the game. The Pros were able to take a late lead and held a tenuous one-point edge with seconds to play, but the Joes went a combined 0-for-4 at the foul line down the stretch and wound up losing by five.
As Spike was airing Shaw's efforts on the court, Knicky made his cable television debut on HBO. The former All-American defensive end signed a free-agent deal with the Green Bay Packers early in the summer but was later released. The New York Jets -- the subject of this season's "Hard Knocks" NFL training camp documentary -- extended him a tryout offer in early August.
In episode two on Wednesday, Knicky was featured early during a segment on new players replacing training camp roster casualties. The footage and commentary focused on the fact that newcomers have to catch on quickly to stay with the team. Knicky's first appearance came as he signed his agreement with the team. The next scene featured Knicky correctly answering assignment questions posed by his position coach in what appeared to be his first practice session. Later in the program, he was shown briefly getting some one-on-one coaching from head coach Rex Ryan.
The climax of Wednesday's episode was the Jets' preseason opener against the New York Giants. Statistics listed at NewYorkJets.com do not show Knicky as having played in the contest, but, as of Wednesday night, he was still listed on the team's active roster.
Wednesday's episode of "Hard Knocks" will re-air multiple times during the next week. New episodes run Wednesdays at 9 p.m. Central.
-- SFA --