Las Vegas Sun

June 24, 2018

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Mike Grimala

UNLV beat writer

Mike covered high school and college sports for The Boston Globe and ESPN.com before moving to Las Vegas in 2012 to cover UNLV athletics for RunRebs.com. Mike is a Massachusetts native, a graduate of Northeastern University and a fan of all Boston sports teams (though he’s not as obnoxious about it as you’d imagine).

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Story Archive

Aces top Liberty, 88-78, win second straight
Friday, June 22, 2018
A’ja Wilson didn’t play the best game of her young career on Friday, but in true superstar fashion she made the big plays down the stretch ...
UNLV hires Joe Esposito as men's basketball special assistant
Friday, June 22, 2018
UNLV announced another offseason addition to its men's basketball staff on Friday, when Joe Esposito was named special assistant to the head coach ...
Former Runnin' Rebel Brandon McCoy goes undrafted
Thursday, June 21, 2018
Brandon McCoy came to UNLV with a plan to play one season of college basketball, then move on to the NBA. That one-and-done blueprint took a slight detour on Thursday, however, when the former Rebel did not hear his name called in the NBA Draft ...
Troy Brown drafted in first round by Washington Wizards
Thursday, June 21, 2018
Troy Brown became the fourth Las Vegas native chosen in the NBA draft in the last five years when the Washington Wizards made him the No. 15 overall pick in Thursday's draft. Brown, a 6-foot-7 guard, is the third first-rounder from Las Vegas in that span, joining ...
How the Golden Knights’ fans answered every question thrown their way
Thursday, June 21, 2018
No hockey background? No problem.
'My dream all along': Troy Brown set to be Las Vegas' latest NBA first-round pick
Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Las Vegas is in the process of cultivating a reputation as a hotbed for basketball prospects, and Troy Brown may be the next local to plant the city’s flag in the NBA. The former Centennial phenom is set to hear his name called during Thursday night’s NBA Draft, and ...
Vegas Play of the Day: Astros vs. Rays
Monday, June 18, 2018
Here’s the latest installment of the Play of the Day, which uses odds from the South Point. Our four sports writers started with ...
Taurasi teaches Aces a lesson in Mercury win
Sunday, June 17, 2018
The Las Vegas Aces hope Sunday’s loss to the Phoenix Mercury was a glimpse into the future. Rookie center A’ja Wilson scored 21 points and once again looked the part of a burgeoning star, but Mercury guard Diana Taurasi showed what being a current superstar is ...
Las Vegas Aces upping the professional sports ante
Friday, June 15, 2018
From coach Bill Laimbeer to star player A'ja Wilson, this team offers plenty of reasons to catch a game.
Vegas Play of the Day: Astros at Athletics
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Here’s the latest installment of the Play of the Day, which uses odds from the South Point. Our four sports writers started with ...
Mountain West releases basketball schedules for 2018-19
Monday, June 11, 2018
The Mountain West announced its men’s basketball schedules today, and UNLV will have some difficult hurdles to clear. The Rebels will play conference favorites UNR and ...
Las Vegas basketball prospect Jalen Hill making a name for himself
Monday, June 11, 2018
Jalen Hill says he doesn’t mind flying under the radar, but he sure has a funny way of showing it. The 6-foot-6 Clark swingman has been underrated by recruiting services for years now, despite possessing the kind of athleticism and all-around game that should ...
Aces fall to 1-6 with home loss to Atlanta Dream
Friday, June 8, 2018
Rookie center A’ja Wilson notched her fifth consecutive game scoring at least 20 points, but it wasn’t enough today, as the Atlanta Dream defeated the Las Vegas Aces, 87-83. Playing in front of a matinee crowd at ...
Vegas Play of the Day: Golden Knights at Capitals
Monday, June 4, 2018
Here’s the latest installment of the Play of the Day, which uses odds from the South Point. Our four sports writers started with ...
Desiree Reed-Francois navigates eventful first year as UNLV athletic director
Monday, June 4, 2018
When Desiree Reed-Francois took over as UNLV’s director of athletics on June 1 last year, she made it clear her top priority was to listen and learn. Reed-Francois wanted to take some time to ...
UNLV's Brandon McCoy shows his skills in NBA Draft workout
Sunday, June 3, 2018
Brandon McCoy knew there would be more than 100 scouts, general managers and assorted league personnel in the gym when he worked out for NBA teams at Impact Sports in Las Vegas on Thursday. What he didn’t know was that the entire UNLV coaching staff would ...
A'ja Wilson scores 26 to deliver Aces' first win
Friday, June 1, 2018
A’ja Wilson had never lost three games in a row in her entire life until last week, when her Las Vegas Aces fell to 0-3 on the season with a home loss to the Seattle Storm. The streak extended to four on Thursday, when the Aces lost at Seattle. Wilson wasn’t going to let ...
UNLV hoops set to play home-and-home with Cincinnati
Thursday, May 31, 2018
UNLV and Cincinnati are reportedly set to play a home-and-home series for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons — assuming the Bearcats don’t back out at the last minute ...
Vegas Play of the Day: White Sox at Indians
Tuesday, May 29, 2018
Here’s the latest installment of the Play of the Day, which uses odds from the South Point. Our four sports writers started with ...
Analysis: Freshman Bryce Hamilton projects as immediate scoring threat for UNLV
Tuesday, May 29, 2018
Bryce Hamilton is the most highly-regarded of UNLV's three signees in the Class of 2018. A 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Pasadena, Calif., Hamilton averaged 24.4 points per game while leading his high school team to a berth in the California state championship game ...

Aces fall to Seattle in home opener, 105-98
Sunday, May 27, 2018
Thanks to the Golden Knights’ galvanizing Stanley Cup run, the local fans know what a legit professional franchise is supposed to look like when done right. So even if the Aces can’t match the Knights’ magical first season in terms of wins and losses ...
Wilson shines but Aces drop second straight to open WNBA season
Tuesday, May 22, 2018
When the Las Vegas Aces made A’Ja Wilson the No. 1 overall pick in last month’s WNBA Draft (and the first pick in franchise history), the hope was that the 6-foot-4 star from South Carolina would someday be able to match up against the league’s elite, such as ...
Vegas Play of the Day: Cavaliers vs. Celtics
Monday, May 21, 2018
Here’s the latest installment of the Play of the Day, which uses odds from the South Point. Our four sports writers started with ...
Las Vegas basketball prodigies Strawther, Hardy embrace budding rivalry
Monday, May 21, 2018
The two are finalists for the Rising Star (top underclassman) award at the Sun Standout Awards, the Sun's annual high school sports awards show on ...
Aces fall at Connecticut in WNBA opener, 101-65
Sunday, May 20, 2018
The Las Vegas Aces aren’t technically an expansion team, but after finishing in last place in the WNBA’s Western Conference in each of the last three years (under the guise of the San Antonio Stars), it is a franchise building from the ground up. And that’s what the Aces ...
18 questions for Aces' first season in Las Vegas
Saturday, May 19, 2018
With the Las Vegas Aces’ season set to tip off on Sunday against the Connecticut Sun, let’s answer some questions about how the campaign will shake out for the WNBA’s ...
Vegas Play of the Day: Warriors at Rockets
Monday, May 14, 2018
Here’s the latest installment of the Play of the Day, which uses odds from the South Point. Our four sports writers started with ...
How UNLV was the right fit for NFL coach Anthony Lynn to earn a degree
Sunday, May 13, 2018
UNLV has had its share of famous alumni through the years, producing rock stars, professional athletes, music moguls, politicians, comedians and celebrity chefs. But few students ...
UNLV golfer prepares for the NCAA Championships — and his pro career
Thursday, May 10, 2018
Shintaro Ban fired a final-round 65 (seven under par) to run away with the MWC title by a record nine-stroke margin and cement himself as the latest in a long line of accomplished UNLV golfers
Vegas Play of the Day: Warriors vs. Pelicans
Tuesday, May 8, 2018
Here’s the latest installment of the Play of the Day, which uses odds from the South Point. Our four sports writers started with ...
New UNLV commit Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua has come a long way in a short time
Tuesday, May 8, 2018
Like every young boy who grows up in Cameroon, Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua’s first love was soccer. Unfortunately for Tchamwa Tchatchoua, by the time he ...
A'ja Wilson scores 20 as Aces open with exhibition win
Sunday, May 6, 2018
A’ja Wilson’s first “welcome to the pros” moment came at the start of the second quarter, when head coach Bill Laimbeer told his prized 6-foot-5 rookie to sub back into the Las Vegas Aces’ exhibition opener. Wilson dutifully headed for ...
Former UNLV star Brooke Johnson determined to make cut with WNBA's Aces
Friday, May 4, 2018
No one was more excited than Brooke Johnson to learn that the WNBA was relocating to Las Vegas. Johnson, a 6-foot guard, was in the middle of her senior year at UNLV when the news broke that the Aces were coming. She was thrilled, and that was before ...
Las Vegan has gotten serious mileage out of a one-time hobby
Thursday, May 3, 2018
Christina Vergara Aleshire remembers training for her first marathon. It wasn’t exactly a high-tech affair.
Noah Robotham will bring shooting, IQ to Rebels' point guard position in 2018-19
Saturday, April 28, 2018
With Jordan Johnson graduating, point-guard play will be crucial for the Rebels next season, and that’s why the team has high internal expectations for senior Noah Robotham ...
Vegas Play of the Day: Rockets at Timberwolves
Monday, April 23, 2018
Here’s the latest installment of the Play of the Day, which uses odds from the South Point. Our four sports writers started with ...
UNLV making recruiting push for top 2019 wing Christian Brown
Monday, April 23, 2018
If it’s spring, it means Marvin Menzies is recruiting. After bringing a talented classes in 2017 and 2018, the UNLV coach is back on the road ...
Why this Las Vegas basketball player is skipping college for LaVar Ball's pro league
Sunday, April 22, 2018
Jerrell Springer is a professional basketball player. Well, technically, he hasn’t received his first paycheck yet. But the 19-year-old Las Vegas native can call himself a pro, as he beat out hundreds of players at an open tryout in Houston last week to earn a spot in ...
Five takeaways for UNLV football after spring practice
Friday, April 20, 2018
How a team looks in spring football is not always an accurate predictor of the following season. There are too many variables. The practices take place five months before the real games begin, the concepts tend to be more basic, and, especially in UNLV’s case ...
Vegas Play of the Day: Warriors at Spurs
Thursday, April 19, 2018
Here’s the latest installment of the Play of the Day, which uses odds from the South Point. Our four sports writers started with ...
Vegas Play of the Day: Warriors vs. Spurs
Monday, April 16, 2018
Here’s the latest installment of the Play of the Day, which uses odds from the South Point. Our four sports writers started with ...
Rogers, offense look sharp in UNLV spring game
Sunday, April 15, 2018
The UNLV football team may not be in mid-season form, but the Rebels were still very recognizable during Saturday’s spring showcase. Five weeks of spring practice came to a close with a full-contact live scrimmage in front of fans at Peter Johann Memorial Field, and ...
Brandon Presley emerges from spring practice as playmaker for UNLV football
Friday, April 13, 2018
If there’s one UNLV football player poised to take a star turn at Saturday’s spring showcase, it’s junior wide receiver Brandon Presley. There are a bunch of reasons why Presley figures to be the breakout performer at the scrimmage. Some of it is circumstantial ...
Aces select A'ja Wilson with No. 1 pick in WNBA draft
Thursday, April 12, 2018
There was no drama at the top of the 2018 WNBA draft, as the Las Vegas Aces used the No. 1 overall selection to take South Carolina superstar A’ja Wilson. Wilson was the consensus No. 1 pick for a reason. As a senior at South Carolina last year, the 6-foot-5 forward ...
Bill Laimbeer says first pick in WNBA draft will be 'very easy'
Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Bill Laimbeer will surely be faced with some tough decisions as he attempts to lead the Las Vegas Aces to the top of the WNBA over the next few years, but what to do with the No. 1 pick in Thursday’s draft wasn’t one of them. “Wasn’t,” as in, past tense. The decision ...
Preston Laird named interim assistant coach for UNLV hoops
Tuesday, April 10, 2018
One day after news broke that assistant coach Rob Jeter would be leaving UNLV for a similar position at Minnesota, the Rebels have filled that vacancy on the bench. For now ...
Assistant basketball coach Rob Jeter leaving UNLV for Minnesota
Monday, April 9, 2018
Offseasons are rarely quiet for UNLV men’s basketball and this year is no exception, with recruiting, transfers, draft declarations and a vacant presidency all on the front burner. And as of Monday, the Rebels can add a coaching search to that list. According to reports ...
UNLV football focusing on final week of spring practice
Sunday, April 8, 2018
With just three practices remaining before the team’s annual spring showcase next weekend, the Rebels are getting serious about making every session count. On Saturday, that meant 45 minutes of 11-on-11 football, in full pads with live tackling and a crew of ...
Vegas Play of the Day: Cavaliers at 76ers
Friday, April 6, 2018
Here’s the latest installment of the Play of the Day, which uses odds from the South Point. Our four sports writers started with ...
Rebels' QB Kenyon Oblad gaining early experience in spring practice
Wednesday, April 4, 2018
Kenyon Oblad's transition to college is going well. He arrived at UNLV in January, and in the past few months he's gotten acclimated to life as a freshman. He's living on campus, where he says the food is better than expected, and he's getting used to the structure of ...

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