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Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013: Brocton football player seriously injured in game

   Leading off today: Brocton football player Damon Janes was listed in critical condition Sunday at Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo after being injured Friday in a varsity high school football game against Portville.

   Janes, 16, a junior running back, took a helmet-to-helmet hit during the third quarter and was carried from the field by stretcher, at which time the remainder of the game was called off, Dunkirk's The Observer reported.

   Students have been meeting at the high school throughout the weekend and have been asked to wear green clothes and ribbons on Monday, Time Warner Cable's news channel reported. Messages of support have been appearing on Twitter with a #PrayForDamon hashtag.

   Forgone conclusion? File this one under the heading of "good news, bad news," courtesy of in-the-know basketball blogger Adam Zagoria.

   The good news is that the latest in New York City's long line of elite basketball guards has apparently improved his game quite a bit of late. That comes from no less a source than Tom Konchalski, the best basketball talent evaluator in the business.

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   I think hes one of the top five guards in the nation," Konchalski told Zagoria in reference to Isaiah Whitehead. "I really think hes had a very good summer. Hes improved tremendously. He worked purposely on his game. Hes become a very, very good shooter thanks to [his trainer] Jason Hernandez and hes a guy who can really pass.

   Whitehead was first-team all-state as a junior last winter at Abraham Lincoln and is the subject of a recruiting battle among major Division I programs, with the latest gossip being that St. John's may be climbing the list of preferred suitors. He stopped by Seton Hall over the weekend and still has the likes of Arizona, Louisville, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Syracuse and UCLA on his list.

   Now, the bad news: Konchalski also said that he thinks Whitehead has all but clinched his spot on the football site

McDonald's All-America team.

   That list, which determines the rosters for the country's best-known high school basketball all-star game, doesn't come out until February. But to hear Konchalski tell it -- and you have to remember that he is one of the best-informed people in all of schoolboy basketball -- the upcoming high school season scarcely means anything with respect to determining who makes the cut.

   That's really a shame because, by extension, it seems to indicate that decisions may have already been made (informally or otherwise) and some players right on the cut line have no chance regardless of how well they play this winter.

   The word on the tweet: As long as we're on the subject of basketball, this is a good time for a reminder about the 32nd annual Basketball Coaches Association of New York fall clinic. It's scheduled for Oct. 4-5 at SUNY Cortland.

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