Month: August 2020

Federal Prosecutors on Prince Andrew: “Hand Andy Over”

first_imgFederal prosecutors in New York want to question Prince Andrew under oath as they continue their criminal investigation into sex trafficking charges against late financier Jeffrey Epstein. The Prince, who was a long time friend of Epstein, has been accused by one woman of sexual abuse when she was 17-years old. The feds have made a formal request to the British government to interview Prince Andrew who says the allegations are untrue.Prince Andrew has not been forthcoming with the US prosecutors and refuses to speak with them. So now they are forcing his hand.He may have to go to a magistrate’s court in the UK to make a statement possibly not under oath.The 66-year-old Epstein died by suicide last summer while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.Prosecutors say Epstein preyed on dozens of underage girls in New York and Florida. Netflix has released a new documentary called “Filthy Rich” about Epstein’s exploits especially in South Florida.Also a new book has just been released, “Prince Andrew: Epstein and the Monarchy” by Nigel Cawthorne.last_img read more

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Carris Trophy winner Flanagan in England boys’ team

first_img29 Jul 2016 Carris Trophy winner Flanagan in England boys’ team Carris Trophy champion Angus Flanagan and the championship’s U16 trophy winner, Michael Gilbert, are in the England team for the Boys’ Home Internationals next week. Other new caps at this level are Oliver Clarke of Lancashire, Alex Fitzpatrick of Yorkshire and Harry Goddard of Hertfordshire. They’ll be joined by the six players who represented England in the European boys’ team championship: Toby Briggs of Norfolk, Callum Farr of Northamptonshire; John Gough of Berkshire, Matty Lamb of Northumberland; Daniel O’Loughlin of Nottinghamshire; and Charlie Strickland of Sussex. The 11-strong team will take on the challenge of teams from Wales, Scotland and Ireland at Ballyliffin, Ireland, from Tuesday to Thursday, 2-4 August. The players: Toby Briggs, 16, (Dunston Hall) was in England’s winning Nations Cup team at the U18 Carris Trophy,  third in the McEvoy Trophy, sixth in the Fairhaven Trophies and 13th in the German boys’ open. Oliver Clarke, 18, (Hillside) was runner-up in the Northern boys’ county qualifier, fifth in the Fairhaven Trophies, eighth in the Hampshire Salver and played all four rounds of the Brabazon Trophy. Callum Farr, 17, (Priors Hall) tied fourth in the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters, shared seventh place in the Peter McEvoy Trophy and helped Northamptonshire reach the Boys’ County Finals last year and this. Alex Fitzpatrick, 17 (Hallamshire) tied third in the Carris Trophy and was fourth in the Northern boys’ county qualifier. He was third in the 2015 Italian U16 boys’ championship. Angus Flanagan, 17 (St George’s Hill) won the Carris Trophy – the English U18 boys’ open stroke play – at Hunstanton last week. He was fifth in the South East boys’ county qualifier and 11th at the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters. (Image © Leaderboard Photography) Michael Gilbert, 16, (Chelmsford) won the U16 Hazards Salver at the Carris, was runner-up in the U16 McGregor Trophy and won the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters. Harry Goddard, 16, (Hanbury Manor) tied third in the McGregor Trophy, won the South East group junior championship and had top 10s in the European Young Masters and the Fairhaven Trophies. John Gough, 17, (Stoke Park) reached the last 16 of the French boys’ international and was 11th in the Peter McEvoy Trophy. He was runner up in the 2015 Telegraph Junior Championship. Matty Lamb, 18, (Hexham) was fifth in the Carris Trophy where he also won the Malcolm Reid Salver for the best aggregate score in the Carris and Peter McEvoy Trophies and was part of England’s winning Nations Cup team. He was fourth in the McEvoy. Dan O’Loughlin, 18, (Ruddington Grange) was fourth in both the German boys’ open and the Fairhaven Trophies and tied ninth in the Peter McEvoy Trophy. He represented England in last year’s Thunderbird international in the USA. Charlie Strickland, 17 (Ham Manor) reached the quarter finals of the English Amateur Championship, was fourth in both the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters and the Berkhamsted Trophy. He was eight in the South of England open amateurlast_img read more

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Andy leads the Captains’ final by one

first_img9 Aug 2016 Andy leads the Captains’ final by one Leicestershire’s Andy Vernon holds the halfway lead in the England Golf Captains’ Final – after returning to the event for the first time since back surgery three years ago.Vernon, from Stapleford Park, scored 38 points in today’s first round on the Blue course at Frilford Heath Golf Club in Oxfordshire.He’s a point ahead of Martin Tate (Blackburn), while Alan Richardson (Scarborough North Cliff) and Chris Wise (Holtye) both scored 36 points.They’re among 60 players from all over the country who qualified for the 36-hole hole final through six regional events for members of the England Golf Captains’ programme.Their championship is being played as part of England Golf Week which brings over 500 competitors to Frilford Heath to take part in a series of finals during the five-day celebration of handicap golf.Vernon was Stapleford Park club captain in 2006 and is playing in his fourth final, but his first since 20011, when he finished runner-up. “I had back surgery three years ago so I haven’t played any of these until this year when I qualified at Collingtree Park,” he said.He played off five before his operations but is now a 10-handicapper and said: “This is one of my best rounds since I had surgery and the first time I have played under my handicap this year.”Chasing him is Martin Tate, who was Blackburn club captain in 2012 and is playing in his second final. The seven-handicapper had a great back nine, coming home with 23 points.Meanwhile Chris Wise, who was Holtye captain for two years between 2005/07, got off to a storming start with 22 points on his front nine. “Then I only scored five points in five holes before coming back again,” he said.Click here for full scoresClick here for more information on the England Golf Captains’ programmelast_img read more

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Farr’s great fight comes up just short

first_img4 Mar 2019 Farr’s great fight comes up just short Tags: elite golf, England squads, performance England’s Callum Farr put up a tremendous fight in the final of the Spanish Men’s Amateur Championship before eventually losing on the 35th hole at Las Colinas, Alicante.Farr, who was hoping to keep the trophy in English hands after Billy McKenzie’s 2018 victory, went down 2/1 to Koen Kouwenaar from The Netherlands.It was a remarkable achievement for the 20-year-old England A Squad player who had a nightmare start to the final.The first hole was halved, but then Farr (Northamptonshire County) lost the next five in a row. He managed to get a couple back, but Kouwenaar won 17 and 18 to go in to lunch five ahead.Farr dropped another hole behind on the 21st but won the 23rd and 26th to get back to four down. The next six holes were halved before he could claw back more of the deficit, winning the 33rd and 34th, to trail by two with two to play. However his comeback finished on the 35th.Earlier in the championship Farr had the distinction of knocking out the last Spanish player in the event, defeating Alvaro Mueller-Baumgart 2/1 in the semi-finals.Meanwhile, another A Squad player, Ben Hutchinson (Howley Hall), reached the quarter-finals. England Men’s Squad players Ben Jones (Northamptonshire County) and Bailey Gill (Lindrick) made the final 16, losing respectively on the 20th and 18th.Click here for full scoresImage © Leaderboard Photographylast_img read more

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Rice and Smith enter Hall of Fame

first_imgby Barry WilnerAssociated Press Writer CANTON, Ohio (AP)—Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith can stop the chase now.Linked as the NFL’s leading receiver and rusher, two of the greatest players football has seen, entered the Hall of Fame Aug. 7. Both admitted their destinies are fulfilled.“This is finally it,” Rice said. “There are no more routes to run, no more touchdowns to score, no more records to set. That young boy from Mississippi has finally stopped running. Looking as fit as any current All-Pro, Rice admits he made one major mistake during that unparalleled career. “My single regret about my career is I never took the time to enjoy it,” he said. “I was always working.“I was afraid to fail. The fear of failure is the engine that has driven me my entire life. The reason they never caught me from behind is because I ran scared. People always are surprised how insecure I was. The doubts, the struggles, is who I am. I wonder if I would have been as successful without them.”Rice was successful from Day 1 in the NFL, rising from the obscurity of Mississippi Valley State to win three Super Bowls and change the game forever. He was humbled by the conclusion Saturday night.“I can honestly say this is the greatest team I have ever belonged to,” Rice said.Smith began choking up during a one-minute standing ovation as he stepped to the microphone as the final inductee. He immediately praised Walter Payton, the man he surpassed as rushing king, and recognized the two other Hall of Fame members of the Cowboys’ Triplets, Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin.And he broke down when saluting his former fullback, Daryl Johnston. “You took care of me as if you were taking care of your little brother,” Smith said through wet eyes.Smith rushed for 18,355 yards, with 164 touchdowns, 11 seasons with 1,000 or more yards on the ground, and 78 games with 100 yards rushing. Smith made the hall in his first year of eligibility and won three Super Bowls, taking MVP honors in the 1994 game.“When I go into the hall today, I am not going in alone,” Smith said. “I am carrying my grandfather, I’m carrying my father and I’m carrying my son along with me because I bear all their names. Now I can say to my dad and my son, EJ, our name will be forever enshrined in the history of football.”While Rice and Smith were immediate selections for the hall, LeBeau finally was inducted after a 32-year wait.“Man, this really is a great day to be alive,” said LeBeau, elected by the senior committee.LeBeau was chosen for his 14-year career as a cornerback with the Detroit Lions, in which he had 62 interceptions, still eighth overall. He’s best known as an assistant coach, the mastermind of the zone blitz. Currently the defensive coordinator of the Pittsburgh Steelers, LeBeau singled out his players who sat in a corner of Fawcett Stadium.“I am being inducted as a player and believe me that makes me most proud,” said LeBeau, at 73 the oldest coordinator in the NFL. “I did that for 14 years. but for the last 38 years I have been a football coach.“They are here,” he added, pointing to the Steelers, who he helped win two Super Bowls in the last five seasons. “That’s just about the highest compliment ever paid to me in my life.“I wouldn’t want to be here without you: offense, defense and special teams.”The players stood in applause and fans in the crowd whirled Terrible Towels in tribute.He was immediately followed on the stage by Randle, who as an undrafted defensive tackle with the Vikings and Seahawks accumulated 137½ sacks in 14 seasons, most for anyone at that position.Randle made six straight All-Pro teams (1993-98) and was chosen for seven Pro Bowls. He had a league-high 15½ sacks in 1997. “I am so humbled by this incredible honor which I never thought was possible. I’m a small-town kid whose dream came true.”Grimm was called the “Head Hog” by former Redskins offensive line coach Joe Bugel. From 1981-91, Grimm led the Hogs and helped the Redskins win three Super Bowls. He is the first member of that memorable line to make the hall.“It’s a privilege to play in the NFL,” said Grimm, now the assistant head coach of the Arizona Cardinals. “ It’s an honor to be selected here in Canton.He called the Hogs “a group of guys that grew together, worked together, rose families together” and said he would have their names embroidered on the inside of his gold Hall of Fame jacket.Jackson, one of the most versatile linebackers in league history, is the first New Orleans Saints player to be enshrined. Jackson made six Pro Bowls with a combination of strong run defense and a tenacity that led to 128 sacks. He helped turn New Orleans from ’Aints to a division winner for the first time (1991), and finished his career with the 49ers, winning a Super Bowl in January 1995.“I think I deserve to be up here,” Jackson said. “Football always has been my life. I see that in these guys up here (onstage), how they carried themselves. They set the standard.”Little was a star running back for the Denver Broncos from 1967-75 despite being the only offensive threat on the team. He had to wait nearly three decades since becoming eligible before getting elected. One of football’s most dynamic runners during his career, Little also was a dangerous punt and kickoff returner. In a relatively short career, he had 12,157 all-purpose yards and scored 54 touchdowns. “There are no words to describe the joy of experiencing this chapter, the highest honor…everything else pales.”In a powerful induction speech, he also encouraged people to say “Yes I can” throughout their lives and noted he had “given the best I’ve got.” CLASS OF 2010—The 2010 Pro Football Hall of Fame class. From left: Emmitt Smith, Dick LeBeau, Russ Grimm, John Randle, Rickey Jackson, Jerry Rice and Floyd Little after enshrinement ceremonies at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio Aug. 7. LEGENDARY DUO—Jerry Rice, left, and Emmitt Smith share a moment after being elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Feb. 6.  On Aug. 7, they were inducted together in Canton, Ohio. “Let me stand here and catch my breath.”An hour later, Smith tried to hold back his tears as he reflected on his unequaled career.“Most people only dream,” Smith said. “I not only had my childhood dream, I did everything I could to fulfill it.“You know what, I am now the all-time leading rusher. ‘Wow. What an honor.”Rice was the man who took away everyone’s breath during an incredible 20 years and was one of seven NFL greats to enter the shrine as the Class of 2010. It is one of the strongest groups ever inducted, also including John Randle, Dick LeBeau, Rickey Jackson, Russ Grimm and Floyd Little.Rice holds every important pass-catching record as the game breaker in the West Coast offense for the San Francisco 49ers. In becoming the top target in the pro game’s most dangerous scheme, he established marks that might never be broken.Rice caught 1,549 passes, more than 400 beyond anyone else. He gained 22,895 yards, more than 7,600 ahead of second place. He scored 208 touchdowns, easily shattering the previous record. He made 10 All-Pro teams, was chosen for 13 Pro Bowls, and made receptions in an almost-unimaginable 274 consecutive games.Yet, he says, at 47, “I still believe in my heart I could play today.”last_img read more

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Magic, MJ and more: 5 great NBA Finals finishes

first_imgHOLD THE POSE, MICHAEL: Jordan scripted the perfect ending to his Bulls’ career with a jumper, holding the pose as the ball fell through the net to give Chicago an 87-86 lead over the Utah Jazz with 5.2 seconds left in Game 6 of the 1998 finals. Did Jordan get away with pushing off on Bryon Russell, as the beaten defender would always maintain? Maybe. But when you’re a six-time NBA Finals MVP, you might get away with a bit more. “What a finish!” coach Phil Jackson screamed as he hugged Jordan after the buzzer. Sure was. by Brian MahoneyMIAMI (AP) — Tony Parker’s shot to clinch Game 1 wasn’t pretty, but it quickly took its place among some of the great NBA Finals finishes.From Michael Jordan’s last basket with Chicago to Magic Johnson’s baby hook in Boston, some of the game’s biggest stars have saved their best for last.Parker’s banked-in bucket and Jordan’s finals farewell both came with the same time on the clock — 5.2 seconds. Here’s a look at some of the memorable moments in the NBA’s championship round. PARKER’S KITCHEN SINK SHOT: With the Spurs clinging to a two-point lead late in Game 1 against the Heat on Thursday, Parker needed every trick in his bag to pull off his remarkable shot-clock beater. He zipped past Chris Bosh and eluded a swipe from Dwyane Wade before running into LeBron James near the baseline. After losing the handle, Parker regained control of the ball, only to slip as he tried to turn the corner on James. He fell to his knee, but didn’t panic even as the shot clock ticked toward zero. Parker stood back up, leaned under James and released the shot a split-second before the buzzer sounded. James even got a hand on it, but the ball banked high off the glass, hit the rim twice and fell through. “Tony did everything wrong and did everything right in the same possession,” James said. PUT IT IN DIRK’S (INJURED) HAND: Down 1-0 and losing big late in Game 2 of the 2011 finals against Miami, the Dallas Mavericks made a big fourth-quarter rally behind Dirk Nowitzki, who was playing with a torn tendon on the middle finger of his left hand. Nowitzki ignored the pain to score the Mavs’ final nine points, making his last two baskets with that injured hand, including the go-ahead lefty layup with 3.6 seconds left in a 95-93 victory. Dallas would win the series in six games, with Nowitzki the finals MVP. MAGIC HOOKS THE LAKERS A VICTORY: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had the sky hook, but it was teammate Magic Johnson’s baby hook with 2 seconds left that gave the Lakers a 3-1 lead in the 1987 finals over the rival Boston Celtics. With the Lakers trailing by one, Johnson drove to his right into the paint, lofting a hook shot over Kevin McHale as Robert Parish and Larry Bird tried to help contest for a 107-106 lead. The Lakers couldn’t relax until Bird missed at the buzzer, and they would eventually close out their longtime rivals at home in Game 6. WHOA, NELLIE!: OK, there was more than a minute left, but Don Nelson’s shot was about as crazy as Parker’s. With the Celtics protecting a one-point lead over the Lakers in Game 7 of the 1969 finals, the ball was batted away from John Havlicek and went right to Nelson at the foul line. He quickly fired a jumper that hit the back of the rim, bounced straight up in the air, and eventually fell to put the Celtics up 105-102 with 1:15 to go. Boston hung on for a 108-106 victory, its last of 11 titles in 13 years with Bill Russell. San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker (9) makes the final shot of the game against the Miami Heat during the second half of Game 1 of the NBA Finals basketball game, Thursday, June 6, 2013 in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)last_img read more

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At the Finish Line: Pens, Deacon Jones, LeBron

first_imgPenguins right wing Jarome Iginla (12) goes up and over Boston Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) as they battle for the puck during the second overtime period in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals in the Stanley Cup playoffs in Boston, June 5. The Bruins beat the Penguins 2-1 in 2OT on a Patrice Bergeron goal. That set off a celebration in Boston — the first for the Bruins at home after they won the first two games of the series in Pittsburgh 3-0 and 6-1. It is the first time all season that Pittsburgh has lost three consecutive games. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)by Bill Neal• The passing of the now late great Deacon Jones is not only the loss of a true and original legend, but an innovator as well.  Not only did he create the vicious and brutal head slap, but he also named what we now know as “the Sack.”• When MLB brings the hammer down on A-Rod and the other alleged offenders, they will still be about 100 short of all PED’s offenders.• Elgin Baylor, Connie “The Hawk” Hawkins, Julius “Dr. J.” Irving, Michael Jordan, Kobe “Black Momba” Bryant and now LeBron “King James” James.  The greatest of all time…will come again!• Hearts certainly go out to the family of Monica Murphy, the mother of five killed in a car accident by former NBA star Mookie Blaylock in Clayton County Georgia.  So far, tests indicate that Blaylock had no drugs or alcohol in his system and apparently suffered a seizure of some sort and it may be just a tragic accident.• I don’t know much about hockey. In fact, I don’t know anything about hockey. However, I do know this: no team has ever come back from 0-3 to win the Eastern Conference Title!last_img read more

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Chamique Holdsclaw rebounds, free from ‘mental prison’

first_imgFormer WNBA star and Olympic gold medalist Chamique Holdsclaw instructs students during a youth basketball clinic in Hendersonville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Chamique Holdsclaw is getting her life back in order after being trapped in what felt like a “mental prison” following her arrest last November.The former WNBA star, Olympic gold medalist and Tennessee All-American was treated for depression until being diagnosed with bipolar 2 disorder after breaking the car windows of WNBA player Jennifer Lacy with a bat and firing a shot into the vehicle. Lacy told police she was Holdsclaw’s ex-girlfriend.Holdsclaw pleaded guilty in June to aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and other charges resulting in three years’ probation and a $3,000 fine.“It’s been like a mental prison because it was real uncharacteristic of me,” Holdsclaw said Tuesday while sitting on the floor of the gym at Beech High School after helping host a youth basketball camp with another former Lady Vol, Brittany Jackson. “It was real uncharacteristic of me and everybody judging me from every different angle.”But Holdsclaw said her attorneys helped her work with a forensic psychologist who combed through her medical records dating back to 2002 when she was diagnosed with clinical depression and worked with a psychiatrist. Holdsclaw said they realized that while she has signs of depression she really had bipolar 2 disorder with high levels of irritability and impulsiveness, which is challenging to diagnose.“I was angry,” Holdsclaw said. “I’m like, ‘Come on.’ I’ve been going through this pretty much since I was a young kid. I’ve been on medications trying different things since 2002, and you tell me it takes a situation like this for people to really look at it and get the right medications.”She’s not angry anymore.Jackson, who runs her own basketball academy with camps nationwide, recently worked with the four-time All-American at a camp near Chattanooga, Tenn. On Tuesday Holdsclaw helped run boys and girls through a variety of drills at the camp outside Nashville before posing for photos with campers and parents afterward. She also signed lots of autographs.“Hopefully, this is just the beginning of many more” camps, Jackson said.A relaxed Holdsclaw seems up for the challenge. She smiled as she talked at ease about her problems after making the 4-hour drive from Atlanta to help with the two-day camp.Following the arrest, Holdsclaw had to deal with the courts and legal system for the first time in her life. She spent a night in jail and later woke up several times in a cold sweat. She even wore an ankle bracelet for a few months monitoring her travel, which prompted her to ask for private searches when going through security at airports. She even had to check in from the parking lot before attending a Lady Vols’ game at South Carolina last winter in her first public appearance after the arrest.Holdsclaw said she was welcomed by a “sea of orange” with fans telling her they were praying for her.“I hate that this situation occurred,” Holdsclaw said. “I feel like I’ve hurt my family and also the victim’s family, but it’s been a great thing in helping me move forward. Now I’m on the right medication. I’ve been able to get the right treatment, and it’s really improved my quality of life night and day.”Holdsclaw now takes the antidepressant medication Wellbutrin each morning after it was previously prescribed for night-time use. She’s also in therapy once a week, even using the phone when traveling. Holdsclaw said it’s all part of keeping to a schedule necessary for someone dealing with bipolar 2 disorder.She runs an average of 32 miles a week, works with her foundation and travels to promote awareness of mental health issues. She still plays basketball a few times each week, and a couple of European teams have reached out to her agent. For now, she’s fine with not playing basketball.“I knew that I had to take care of myself,” Holdsclaw said. “That’s my first priority right now, even though I love the game.”last_img read more

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On A Roll: Pitt beats Wake Forest 80-65 to stay unbeaten in ACC

first_imgPittsburgh’s Talib Zanna, left, goes over Wake Forest’s Travis McKie for a dunk in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)PITTSBURGH (AP) — The last time Pittsburgh started its conference schedule with three consecutive wins was its 2010-11 season as a member of the Big East. The Panthers did it again by beating Wake Forest Saturday 80-65, but this time it was in Pitt’s first season as a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference.The 2010-11 year saw the Panthers attain a No. 1 ranking and a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament where they were upset by Butler in the Round of 32. Butler advanced to the National Championship game that season.Three years later, Pitt (15-1, 3-0 ACC) is yet to crack the Top 25 but has started its season nearly perfect behind the leadership of seniors Lamar Patterson and Talib Zanna.“I think we aren’t getting the respect we should,” Zanna said. “We’ve just got to keep playing hard and keep winning.”Zanna recorded his fifth double-double of the season with 16 points and 12 rebounds. The center from Kaduna, Nigeria shot 5 of 8 from the field and blocked four shots while defending the bruising Devin Thomas.“I think we, me and Lamar, need to step it up from now on,” Zanna said. “This is conference play, this is really important to us, it’s our last year.”Patterson, who has drawn rave reviews from multiple opposing coaches, left a similar impression on Wake Forest head coach Jeff Bzdelik.“I’m not saying he’s the elite player in the league but he certainly is one of the elite players in the league,” Bzdelik said. “I think he’s very under-the-radar in terms of how good he is.”“They have a great leader who can score in a variety of ways. He’s tough and gritty and experienced.”Patterson’s game Saturday was quite above the proverbial radar as he led all scorers with 27 points, his sixth 20-point game of the season. Patterson made 10 of 17 field goals and also recorded six assists and five rebounds.Behind Patterson and Zanna, the Panthers are playing what Patterson calls “Pitt basketball.” Or, unselfish, hard-nosed basketball.“A lot of the leadership comes from Lamar and Talib,” sophomore point guard James Robinson said. “They are our senior leaders. While both are scoring a lot, they are two of the most unselfish players.”“Both of them are passers and that creates more open shots. The other teams know that they are capable passers.”Patterson leads the team in assists at 4.5 per game, while head coach Jamie Dixon says Zanna has made an adjustment to his game that’s created more space for Pitt’s offense to work effectively this season.“It seems that teams are digging down whenever we go in the post to him,” Dixon said. “He needs to pass out of it first, and once they start staying tighter to their man, he can look to go attack the rim.”Behind the example set by Zanna defending ball screens, Dixon said the Panthers were able to hold Wake Forest’s scoring threats on the perimeter to below-average games.“Talib and the big guys especially did a good job of that,” Dixon said. “That really set the tone for us in the game.”Just as the seniors set the tone, they have also done so for this entire season where the Panthers feature five returning players but also six new ones.“We are just playing Pitt basketball right now,” Patterson said. “We want to grind teams out and see if they can last throughout the whole 40 minutes with us. So far we are going well but we have a lot of games left.”last_img read more

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Ali, Brown reunite years after Ali’s legal fight

first_imgBack Row, from left, John Wooten, Jim Brown, Bill Russell, and Bobby Mitchell stand behind Muhammad Ali before the start of the Ali Humanitarian Awards ceremony Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014 at the Louisville Mariott Downtown in Louisville, Ky. The four were participants of the ‘Ali Summit’ in 1967, and Brown will be receiving the Ali Humanitarian Lifetime Achievement Award. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Muhammad Ali was on the ropes for refusing induction into the Army, and Jim Brown wanted to help. But first, the NFL great wanted to hear the boxing champion’s reasons for not answering the call to military service during the Vietnam War.So Brown led a group of prominent Black athletes who hit Ali with a flurry of questions during a two-hour meeting in Cleveland in June 1967. Ali didn’t duck the questions and stuck to his principles, citing his religious beliefs in refusing to join the military.The dozen athletes, including Bill Russell and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, emerged from the meeting to publicly support Ali at a time when the champ was one of the country’s most polarizing figures.“People got the answers that they wanted,” Brown recalled Saturday.Nearly 50 years after the meeting, now known as the “Ali Summit,” several participants including Brown and Russell were at Ali’s side again Saturday night in the boxing champ’s hometown. Brown received a lifetime humanitarian achievement award bearing Ali’s name.While posing for photos with the 72-year-old Ali, Brown leaned over and whispered to the seated former heavyweight champion. Later, Brown said he told Ali: “You’re the greatest of all time.”The lineup of Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award winners included Academy Award-winning actress Susan Sarandon and Grammy Award-winning hip-hop artist Common. Other award winners included a half-dozen young adults from around the world honored for their humanitarian roles.But much of the spotlight was on that meeting decades ago in Cleveland when Ali, was at his most vulnerable, and how the group of athletes joined Ali’s corner in the fight of the champ’s life. Several participants met at the Muhammad Ali Center a few hours before the awards event Saturday night. Ali, who is battling Parkinson’s disease, met the group shortly before the awards show at a downtown hotel.“No one had really sat down and listened to him and given him the respect of having him tell his point of view,” Brown said in recalling the 1967 meeting.Former NFL player John Wooten, another meeting participant, said Ali’s questioners “came at him with everything.” The man known for his brashness in the ring was humble when explaining his reasons, he said.It was enough to win over another participant, former NFL player Bobby Mitchell.“I came there ready to try to talk him into going into the service,” Mitchell said Saturday. “I actually felt that way. He whipped my behind pretty quick, because he can talk. But when it was all over, I felt good about walking out of there saying, ‘We back him.’”Ali was stripped of his world heavyweight boxing title in 1967 while in his prime and was convicted of draft evasion. Ali found himself embroiled in a legal fight that ended in 1971, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in his favor.Ali regained the heavyweight title in 1974, defeating George Foreman in the “Rumble in the Jungle.” A year later, he outlasted Joe Frazier in the epic “Thrilla in Manila” bout. Ali’s last title came in 1978 when he defeated Leon Spinks.Long before Ali became an icon, the meeting’s participants were taking a risk by throwing their support behind him.“It was the United States government that we were dealing with,” Brown said Saturday. “Careers were at stake. And everybody that showed up at that meeting put all of that on the line. That was heavyweight stuff.”Russell, who pulled up a decades-old photo of himself and Ali on his smartphone, said the legal battle came down to citizenship rights. Russell had known Ali for years and never doubted his sincerity when citing his reasons for refusing military service. Russell said the legal fight transformed Ali.“He became a hero to a lot of young folks in this country, black and white,” the basketball great said. “Because what he was talking about was citizenship. And my citizenship, or Jim’s … is not a gift from other citizens. It’s a right of birth.”Brown, an outspoken civil-rights advocate who remains active in efforts to stem violence, improve education and uplift neighborhoods, said he didn’t want to compare the role of athletes today and in his era.“I’m here to motivate as many people as I can in this country to take a look at the violence … and the inferior education that a lot of our kids are getting,” he said.Former NFL star Ray Lewis, who joined the players from a previous generation Saturday, said Ali’s principles still resonate with young people today.“He did stand for something, and that something changed generations of young men, realizing that we all have a true freedom, a true opportunity to do what you’re going to do, say what you’re going to say,” he said. “And if you believe strongly in something, truthfully in your heart, follow it.”last_img read more

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