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Tuesday, April 20, 2004 - Page updated at 12:00 A.M.
High School Sports
By Craig Smith
Rainier Beach basketball star C.J. Giles met with the new University of Miami coach yesterday at the high school and asked for his release from his scholarship.
Rainier Beach coach Mike Bethea, who was at the meeting, described it as cordial but said the point was made that "C.J. doesn't feel comfortable going 3,500 miles to play for someone he doesn't know."
Giles, his father and Bethea met with Frank Haith for nearly two hours.
Haith, a Texas assistant the past three seasons, was hired by Miami last week to succeed Perry Clark, who was fired after back-to-back losing seasons.
Haith told The Miami Herald after the meeting, "We met for a long time. Now I have to report to Paul Dee (athletic director). I don't think it's appropriate for me to comment publicly before I speak to Paul Dee."
Giles had asked to be released from his letter of intent three days after Clark was fired last month. At that time, Dee said he wouldn't consider releasing Giles until a new coach was hired and had a chance to meet with Giles. Dee has not allowed football players who signed a letter of intent, then changed their minds, to go elsewhere.
Giles' last tie to Miami was severed last week when assistant Kurtis Townsend, who had recruited him, wasn't retained by Haith.
Several schools, including Washington, are interested in Giles. The list is known to include Arizona, Kansas, Duke, UCLA and Georgia Tech.
"All the big guns," said Bethea.
Giles is a 6-foot-11 all-state center who averaged 17 points, 12 rebounds and 6 blocks for the Vikings' Class 3A state runner-up team.
"He's going to have to make sure he has a replacement for C.J.," Bethea said.
Akiyama invited to Olympic trials
Newport junior Leilani Akiyama, a two-time state wrestling qualifier and a U.S. Olympic team hopeful in judo, will throw out the first pitch at Safeco Field today when the Mariners face Oakland at 7:05 p.m.
Akiyama, 17, won two national titles last month, placing first in the 52-kilogram division of the USA Judo High School National Championships in Miami, and first in the 118-pound division of the United States Girls Wrestling Association National Championships in Michigan.
She is one of five women in her weight class invited to the U.S. Olympic Team Trials this summer in San Jose, Calif., according to her coach and stepfather, John Holm.
Tickets for the 2004 Emerald City Kickoff Classic are on sale at the Bellevue High School Activities Office between 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. daily.
The Sept. 4 event at Seahawks Stadium features five high-school football games, including a much-anticipated clash between Bellevue, the three-time defending Class 3A state champion, and national power De La Salle of Concord, Calif.
Tickets for the all-day event are $15 for adults, and $10 for students and seniors (age 62 and over). Fans also can purchase a $20 reserved seat in designated sections.
Matt Peterson of The Times staff contributed to this report.
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