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White Sox fan Frank Kaminsky throws out first pitch at Cell

NBA first-round draft picks, as well as other athletes and celebrities routinely pass through U.S. Cellular Field and throw out a ceremonial first pitch. But for lifelong Sox fan Frank Kaminsky, his visit with family and friends was something else.

“Absolutely,” Kaminsky said before the Sox played host to the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night. “My grandparents’ house was two, three blocks away from here so I’m very familiar with it.”

Sitting in the Sox dugout and wearing a Sox jersey, Kaminsky later took some batting practice swings on the field. The Lisle native and Sun-Times all-state star from Benet Academy, Wisconsin basketball star, Naismith Award winner and first-round draft pick of the Charlotte Hornets grew up in a Sox family.

“The saying was, ‘We have two favorite teams in the MLB, the White Sox and whoever is playing the Cubs,’ ” Kaminsky said. “That gives you an idea of how much we love this team.”

And possibly an idea on how difficult life could be for Mary Kaminsky, his mother and a Cubs fan. “My dad wasn’t having any of that in the house,” Kaminsky said.

Kaminsky’s family at one time owned season tickets in left field. For Tuesday’s game, the group had a suite but Frank Sr. was planning to spend an inning in the suite and then find a seat in left field for most of the game.

“We’ve been coming to games forever,” Kaminsky said.

The Michael Jordan-owned Hornets selected the 7-foot Kaminsky ninth overall. Kaminsky had Jordan posters all over his bedroom walls. “Space Jam” was his favorite move as a little kid.”

“It’s unbelievable,” Kaminsky said of the Jordan tie. “It’s something I’m still struggling to put into words. I can’t wait to meet him and really get to work in Charlotte.”