Saturday links

NOBODY WILL CONFUSE Willie Bloomquist with Babe Ruth, but the Diamondbacks’ utility player and Port Orchard native made a sick kid’s wish come try earlier this week when he hit a home run during Wednesday’s game in Phoenix. 

GONZAGA’S STEVEN GRAY, the Bainbridge grad from Irondale, was dubbed one of the biggest sleepers in the country by some early during his senior season. The 6-foot-4 guard isn’t projected to be among the players drafted next week. Here’s a report on Gray by NBAdraft.net, which rates him the 86th best prospect overall. And here’s a mock draft that has Washington’s State’s Klay Thompson going 12th overall, one spot ahead of BYU’s Jimmer Fredette. UW’s Isaiah Thomas isn’t projected to go in the either the first or second round in this draft. Considering the impact Dallas’ diminutive J.J. Barea had during the Mavericks’ championship run, I think Thomas will wind up on somebody’s roster for the 2011-12 NBA season.

WE’RE ONE MONTH away from the U.S. Junior Amateur, which starts July 18 at Gold Mountain’s Olympic Course. Jimmy Liu of Smithtown, N.Y., will be there to defend the title he won as a 14-year-old. Gold Mountain’s hosting a Junior Am sectional qualifier on Tuesday. Seventy-three players will be vying for four spots in a 36-hole test on the Olympic Course. The tournament is open to players who have not reached their 18th birthday by July 23, 2011. Justin Spieth, who won the 2010 Junior Am in 2010, is exempt. He turns 18 on July 27. The Dallas native made the cut at the last two PGA Tour Byron Nelson Classics.

READ OF THE DAY: Jane Leavy’s story on ESPN.com about her father, who took up golf after he realized he was going blind.

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