King headed to Columbia College in Sonora |

King headed to Columbia College in Sonora

Carson High graduate Rafe King, one of the top basketball players in Northern Nevada the last two seasons, has decided to attend Columbia College in Sonora, Calif., in the fall.

As per California rules, Columbia College coach Rob Hoyt can only say that King has enrolled at his school. He can’t officially make any statements about King until Oct. 1

Carlos Mendeguia, who coached King the past two years, thinks it’s a good place for King to start his college career.

“It’s a great place for Rafe,” Mendeguia said. “It’s what Rafe wants. It will give him a chance to refine his game for a year or two and see what opens up after that. If nothing opens up, then he’ll just continue his education.

“It’s also close and his parents can get over and watch him play all the time.”

Mendeguia said that Hoyt wanted a shooter, so he envisions King being more of a swingman between shooting guard and small forward.

“I think he’ll probably play more of a 2 than a 3,” Mendeguia said. “The coach there likes the fact that Rafe is strong and can get to the rack, and he’s not just a perimeter shooter. He likes the fact that Rafe isn’t a one-dimensional offensive player.”


And, while we’re on the subject of basketball, Mendeguia hasn’t been able to be as active with his varsity squad as he hoped. In fact, the coach pulled out of the South Tahoe tournament, an event Carson High has attended for many years.

“We haven’t had as much commitment from the seniors,” Mendeguia said. “You don’t want to go to the Tahoe tournament (unless you are at full strength). That tournament is loaded with good teams like Bishop O’Dowd and Oakland High.

“Some of it is kids trying to get ready for football and some of it is they just have a lot of stuff (outside of sports) going on. Last year we played nine tournaments. This year we’ve only played four.”


Scott McCarron, the tournament host for the Reno-Tahoe Open, said he’s finally able to swing pain free after off-season wrist surgery in 2012. McCarron has played in five events in 2013 and has yet to make a cut.

The frustrating thing for McCarron is that he’s only been able to play once a month, and because of the frequent inactivity, he hasn’t been able to get into any sort of rhythm. He did stress that swinging pain free is the first hurdle in his recovery.

McCarron is a big reason why the RTO has been able to attract better players in recent history. He and tournament director Chris Hoff believe the field for the 15th annual event may be the strongest in history. The duo is trying to convince Davis Love III to make the trip out West.

What does McCarron tell PGA players about Reno?

“I tell them they’re coming,” McCarron said. “Once I get them there, they love it. I try to talk it up and tell them the golf course (Montreux Country Club) is great. It’s the most beautiful course we play on tour with the exception of Pebble Beach.”

McCarron also points out that it’s a great place for a family to come because of the outdoor activities that Reno and Lake Tahoe provide.

The RTO will cap a busy month of golf in the area. The American Century Championship gets under way next week, followed by the USGA Junior Amateur Championship at beautiful Martis Camp and then the RTO in late July-early August.


Empire Ranch has opened its red course to limited play. Course workers were laying new sod on the first hole on Friday afternoon.

Right now, the other two nine-hole courses aren’t as green as I hoped they would be when I visited the course last week, and that can be attributed to the heat and lack of rain.

The one thing I’ve never been able to understand is why Empire opted to go to three nine-hole courses instead of one 18-hole course. There certainly was enough land out there to put together a pretty challenging 18-hole course.