Herrera happy to stay in Bilbao

first_img Press Association David Moyes’ side were still being linked with Herrera right up until the close of the transfer window but no move was forthcoming. Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Herrera insisted he had not had talks with United, but admitted the English side might have struggled to turn his head anyway. He said: “Obviously when United make an offer for you it’s very flattering and I’m very grateful, but I’m very happy with Athletic. “I didn’t pass a medical as has been said. Athletic have made things clear in an honest way from the start. “In the first place the club have to pay the clause, which is 36 million euros for me, and then attract me more than Athletic do, which is very difficult. “It’s totally false that an agreement was reached with me. To talk with me they would’ve had to pay the clause.” Asked if he felt let down at all by United, Herrera said: “Not at all. How am I going to feel mistreated when a club of the level of United make a formal offer? “I’m grateful for that and also because Athletic have not wanted to negotiate, as that shows how they value their players. Herrera broke his silence on Wednesday over the transfer saga which saw United’s late bid to sign the 24-year-old before the transfer window closed end in failure and a degree of farce on Monday night. United saw an initial offer for Herrera rejected by Athletic last week with the Basque club’s president Josu Urrutia insisting they would not negotiate for their players and that if the Red Devils wanted their man they would have to pay the release clause in his contract of around £30.75million. Ander Herrera is flattered by the interest shown in him by Manchester United but admits it would have been difficult for the Barclays Premier League champions to have enticed him away from Athletic Bilbao had negotiations over a proposed move got that far. “It makes me proud that one of the leading clubs in the world are interested in me. “It shows that I’m doing things well.” The farce of the proposed transfer came on Monday night when reports emerged that three people said to be representing the Red Devils had turned up at the Spanish league headquarters, seemingly to meet the clause in the former Real Zaragoza player’s contract. The trio left an hour later, apparently unable to complete the paperwork required to finalise the deal. However, it then transpired that United, who dealt directly with Athletic, knew nothing of the trio’s existence. When asked about that, Herrera said: “They were nothing to do with me, you’ll have to ask them. They don’t represent me nor do I know who they are.” Herrera, who insists he has been calm and relaxed since the events of Monday night, also feels he has conducted himself correctly throughout the matter. He said: “My behaviour has been good, I’ve never pressured the club and I’ve not asked to go. I’m very relaxed with the way I’ve done things. And the club have been faithful and honest with what they’ve transmitted. “I was staying quiet because it wasn’t planned for me to go out at a press conference and because there was an important game against Real Madrid (on Sunday). I like to show my face, not talk through Twitter.” Looking to the future, which on Wednesday saw Athletic players train for the first time at the new San Mames stadium, Herrera said: “I started the season with Athletic and I’m thinking of finishing it with them. We have a marvellous stadium which is going to be full. I’m in a special place. “I’m going to continue showing the performances with Athletic that I have done since the first day I arrived. “Two years ago I played in two finals (Europa League and Copa del Rey). There’s nothing nicer than this. I hope that with the effort that the club have made we can be regular participants in European competition and we don’t have to be jealous of anybody.” last_img read more

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Faugheen tests Champion credentials

first_imgRuby Walsh believes Faugheen will have to improve on what he’s shown so far to confirm himself a live Champion Hurdle contender in the William Hill Christmas Hurdle on Friday. Put in as third favourite behind Faugheen and Fighting Fifth winner Irving, Morgan is well aware of the task his charge faces. He said: “We’re just hoping the rain holds off. “It was the right decision not to run him in the Ladbroke. “I spoke to Nicky on Saturday evening and Barry (Geraghty) had told him that the ground was dead and tacky, which wouldn’t have suited him at all. “If the rain does hold off all we’ve got to worry about then is Faugheen! “It’s great for the sport that the Champion Hurdle favourite is coming over, and very good for Kempton. “Punters want to see these good horses running and I hope we’re adding a bit of interest.” “You’d think he’d a good bit straighter and improved for his run at Ascot, but he’ll have to be. “Irving was very good in the Fighting Fifth. He has good course-and-distance form around Kempton and Faugheen will have to be a good bit more forward than he was at Ascot to beat Irving. It’s his backyard. “Irving will be a tough nut to crack, but if we have aspirations of Faugheen being a Champion Hurdle horse then in order to beat The New One, Hurricane Fly and Jezki down the line he will have to account for Irving. “I think his jumping will improve the more experience he gets. I’ll be hoping he’ll be a bit slicker again at Kempton “His schooling at home has been good and his work has been good. We’re happy with him and very much looking forward to Friday.” Owner Matt Morgan believes the right decision was made to skip Ascot on Saturday with Sign Of A Victory and instead have a crack at the unbeaten Faugheen. The Nicky Henderson-trained five-year-old laughed at the handicapper upon his return to action this season, winning a valuable Ascot prize on the bridle from stablemate and subsequent scorer Dawalan. He had been kept back to run in The Ladbroke at the weekend but connections decided to skip the handicap and go straight for a Grade One once rain turned the ground soft. Faugheen takes an unblemished record to Kempton, which included victory in the Neptune Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham and over two miles at the Punchestown Festival. and returned t action with victory at Ascot. “He won the Grade One novice over two miles at Punchestown last year. I don’t see dropping down in trip will be an issue,” the jockey told Racing UK. Press Associationlast_img read more

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Gattuso’s Job on Line after Loss to Betis

first_imgAC Milan boss Gennaro Gattuso accepts his job should be debated after they produced a “terrible, embarrassing performance” against Real Betis.Milan are 12th in Serie A after a 1-0 injury-time defeat by Inter Milan and followed that with a 2-1 Europa League home defeat to the Spanish side.“It’s only right that my position is under discussion,” Gattuso, 40, said. “It’s difficult for a coach to sleep after a performance like this, one of the worst.”Gattuso, a former midfielder with Milan and Italy, has been in charge of the club – who have not won a major trophy in seven years – since November 2017.Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport said his job was not in immediate danger, but that Milan’s next three games are crucial.“I’m worried, disappointed and angry, especially with myself,” he said. “I do not think about my situation, I’m thinking about how to solve this problem.“I’m the first person responsible for this situation; I’m bound by the results. I train a great club and it is right for me to take responsibility.“I have to understand who has the right mentality. In some moments we applied nothing which we had prepared. There is too much fear of making mistakes.“It’s not a question of formations – the team has lost its identity. This performance baffles me. Probably my staff and I were not clear enough, otherwise, we cannot explain this performance. The defeat does not hurt as much as the performance.“We did not play as AC Milan do. Right now what leaves me more worried is the fragility and the mentality. We must understand why the light suddenly turned off.”Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

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USC matriarch remembered for generosity

first_imgVirginia Ramo, USC alumna and Board of Trustees member, died Aug. 19 of natural causes. She was 93.Famous at USC for her enthusiastic philanthropy, Ramo and her husband Simon donated and fundraised more than $310 million over a 40-year period for the USC Flora L. Thornton School of Music.Although Ramo graduated with a bachelor’s degree in education in 1937, she had a lifelong passion for music — she played the saxophone in a women’s orchestra while at USC and throughout her life referred to Thornton as “her” school.The Ramos gave $1 million to build the Virginia Ramo Hall of Music, dedicated in 1974. Last year, Ramo gave money to renovate a practice room in Booth Memorial Hall, which has been renamed performance facility Simon Ramo Recital Hall.Thornton Dean Robert Cutietta said Ramo truly exemplified a committed member of the Trojan Family.By funding two of the most important buildings in the music school, Ramo Hall and Ramo Recital Hall, Cutietta said Ramo provided students with the specific facilities they needed.“She stayed very dedicated and very involved, both through her donations and her time,” Cutietta said. “She has a very real and concrete impact on what the students do here every day.”Ramo’s distinguishing characteristics were her attention to detail and willingness to act as a liaison between Thornton and the greater Los Angeles community, Cutietta said.“Virginia would give me advice and she would take the time to make sure that everything was always taken care of and that important introductions were made,” Cutietta said.Ramo and her husband endowed the Ramo Music Faculty Award in 1971, which provides one Thornton School of Music faculty member each May with $10,000 to support professional development.“The Ramo Award is considered to be the most prestigious faculty award in the Thornton School of Music,” said Dorothy Ditmer, director of personnel for Thornton. “She was so interested in what was going on with faculty and students.”Larry Livingston, who served as the Thornton dean from 1986 to 2002, said when he first met Ramo in 1985, he was deeply impressed with her role as a passionate and loyal friend of the school.“She was one of the most important figures in the entire exterior part of the university,” Livingston said. “This is a significant loss because she was a historical figure in the evolution of the university.”Ramo and her husband were also passionate about contributing to the Keck School of Medicine, Cutietta said. She extended her support to programs ranging from annual giving to medical research at her alma mater.In 1999, the Keck School of Medicine’s Board of Overseers saw its first year under the guidance of the Ramos, who served as the Board’s inaugural co-chairs.“Mrs. Ramo’s contributions as a member of the Keck School of Medicine of USC’s Board of Overseers are invaluable,” Keck Dean Carmen A. Puliafito wrote in an email. “Her impact on the Keck School of Medicine and USC will not be forgotten.”Ramo also served as the USC Board of Trustees vice chairman from 1986 to 1991.A fundraising campaign she co-chaired for the university’s centennial raised $309 million between 1976 and 1980 — a university record at the time, the Los Angeles Times said.Ramo received the Presidential Medallion, the university’s highest award, in 2002, the USC Thornton School of Music’s Founders Award and numerous other university accolades.Ramo is survived by her husband, two sons and four grandchildren.Memorial services for Ramo will be held on campus later this fall.last_img read more

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Notes, quotes from Champs Sports Bowl

first_imgClay on whether or not he will leave for the NFL:“No, and that’s definite. I’m coming back. I’ve been telling you this whole year that we got an explosive offense. The sky is the limit. I’m missing Mickey and Garrett. But, you know, just like you saw today, Lance stepped up. We got Scott coming back. All the wide receivers coming back. Sky is the limit for this offense. I’m not going to miss any opportunity to be a part of this again.”Bielema on the meaning of the win:“Sometimes you got to go through a few scars to get to where you want to be. Those guys went through that. Our biggest leaders throughout the entire winter conditioning, summer conditioning, and this fall. And to get to this game, I let Jaevery (McFadden) talk to the team last night. He had every reason in the world to think about other things, all he wanted to do was have another win this football team. It’s great. It’s special.”Tolzien on the statement made in beating Miami:“Up to this game we had won the games we were supposed to win, but there wasn’t a big win, per se, against a ranked opponent, you know, just a real like exclamation point really. I thought this game kind of provided that for us.”Clay on if he still plans to repay his offensive line:“Oh yeah, I keep my word. Yeah, I’m going to take them out to eat. We’re probably going to have to hit an all you can eat buffet because you know, our linemen like to eat. So, I’ll take them there.”John Moffitt on if he thought Miami wore down in the game:“Yeah, I do. I do. You know, we were starting to run pretty basic things. Once things get basic at the end — run right and run left — it’s a sign to me that we’re starting to wear them down and what we’re doing is starting to work.”Brad Nortman on his punting:“I took a step in the right direction as far as my pooch punting is concerned. It was nice to take some time off between games and I finally got my pooch punts down and today I just made a great step forward for that.”O’Brien Schofield on the win:“To go out my senior year with a 10-win season, especially beating Miami — you know, a lot of people doubted us, saying we’re only going to win four games this year and we topped it off with 10 — it means so much to me and this program. I’m looking forward to seeing great things in the future from these guys.”Jay Valai on what the 10-win season means:“It’s a stepping stone to the future of our program. And it really means to me what the seniors have done to reestablish Wisconsin football — O.B., (Chris) Maragos, Dan Moore, Garrett (Graham) and the rest of them — they just helped us out so much and their senior leadership really changed the program.” Team Notes– With their 20-14 win over Miami, the Badgers improved to 11-10 all-time in bowl games, including a 4-1 mark in bowl games played at night.– By downing Miami, the Badgers improved to 10-3 on the season to finish with at least 10 wins for just the sixth time in school history, and the first time since going 12-1 in 2006.Offensive Notes– John Clay’s two rushing touchdowns are tied for the third-most in UW bowl history and the most since Ron Dayne scored four times in the 1999 Rose Bowl.– Clay ran for 121 yards, giving him 1,517 on the season. He is the seventh player in UW history to rush for at least 1,500 yards in a season.– Tight end Lance Kendricks had a career-high 128 receiving yards, becoming just the third UW receiver to go over the 100-yard receiving mark in a bowl game.– Kendricks’ seven catches are tied for second-most in school history in a bowl game. Only Pat Richter, who had 11 receptions in the 1963 Rose Bowl, had more.– With 19 completions today, quarterback Scott Tolzien now has 211 on the season. He is the first quarterback in Wisconsin history to complete at least 200 passes in a season.Defensive Notes– The Badgers held Miami’s offense, which entered the game ranked 36th nationally in total offense (at 412.5 yards per game), to 249 total yards.– The Hurricanes also were limited to just 61 rushing yards on 23 attempts, well below their season average of 144.4 yards per game.Special Teams Notes– With 40 kickoff return yards, David Gilreath became UW’s all-time leader in career kickoff return yards with 2,366, passing Brandon Williams (2,349 yards).Quotes from the locker roomlast_img read more

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Syracuse men’s lacrosse heads to Georgia for ACC tournament as sport booms in area

first_img“(Banks) started one of the more prolific club teams in the country,” SU head coach John Desko said. “And as a result, he was somewhat of a Johnny Appleseed in the Georgia area.”The ties that Syracuse has in Georgia run deeper than just about any other college program and Banks is at the forefront of the movement. He’s also the vice president of the Blaze, the team that former Orange players Kevin Rice, Henry Schoonmaker and Nicky Galasso play for.Desko said when he recruits players from nontraditional places, it usually takes a year or two to get used to playing in SU’s schemes. Starting junior midfielder Sergio Salcido, from Florida, is an example the head coach points to. But freshman attack Nate Solomon, from Alpharetta, Georgia, who previously played for Banks, has three goals and two assists in very limited playing time this season.“It’s been growing and growing, getting better and better,” Desko said of the quality of youth lacrosse in Georgia, “and Solomon’s a result of that growth.”When Banks moved to Georgia nine years ago, this wasn’t his original plan. But he noticed the community was energetic about lacrosse and the level of coaching wasn’t as good as it could be.In order to push the region into an even more prominent position on the lacrosse recruiting map, Banks realized the area needed to attract teams to play near Atlanta. So LB3 started hosting the Cobb County Classic. Then Banks “worked my tail off” to attract the Blaze.Last year alone, 27 players involved with the LB3 lacrosse program went on to play in college.“Once players see lacrosse played at the highest level,” Banks said, “suddenly they want to be just like those guys.” Related Stories Syracuse men’s lacrosse roundtable: SU’s strategy for UNC, which player needs to step up and the goalie situationSyracuse’s man-up unit is having its best season in the last 35 years UPDATED: April 26, 2016 at 11:38 a.m.Just before his team took the makeshift lacrosse field at Citizens Bank Park, the Philadelphia Phillies home stadium, Liam Banks confronted one of his friends. Banks was coaching his club team, LB3 Atlanta, and his friend was coaching NXT, a top club in Philadelphia and the host of the event.“‘Please don’t embarrass me, I let you guys into this,’” Banks recalled his friend saying about three years ago.But a travel lacrosse team from Atlanta beating up on one from a traditional hotbed like Philadelphia was still an unusual thought.LB3’s opponent, St. Augustine Prep, scored the first goal. LB3 scored the next 16.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSyracuse assistant coach Kevin Donahue walked up to Banks after the game, the LB3 coach said. He complimented the LB3 players’ stick skills and lacrosse IQ. Banks, who played at SU for Donahue in the early 2000s, realized that was a turning point.“It was at that moment that I knew that all that hard work and things behind the scenes were starting to pay off,” Banks said, “and I knew we had something special down here.”Banks, who is also the chief executive officer of LB3, is one of the most influential people in lacrosse’s expansion into Georgia. He moved to the Peach State from Philadelphia nine years ago and has helped Atlanta become one of the fastest growing hotbeds for the sport.On Friday, No. 4 seed Syracuse (8-4, 2-2 Atlantic Coast) will take on top-seeded North Carolina (8-5, 3-1) in the first round of the ACC tournament on Friday at 6 p.m. and the game will take place in Kennesaw, Georgia, at Fifth Third Bank Stadium.It’s where Major League Lacrosse’s Atlanta Blaze played its inaugural game on Saturday, where the Orange played in the first- and second-ever Cobb County Classic and where national powerhouses Duke and Denver met earlier this season in the third-ever annual event hosted by LB3.RELATED STORIES:Men’s lacrosse beat writers discuss three questions surrounding SUSyracuse’s man-up unit is having its best season in 35 years Fifteen years ago, Jeff Wilks moved to Atlanta and eventually became a coach in the LB3 club. He had played lacrosse while growing up in Massachusetts but didn’t continue as a student at Syracuse. After moving to Atlanta, he met Banks and helped LB3 flourish.Back in 2001, there were only about eight programs in existence, Wilks said. Now, there are well over 100. And as more and more former players and coaches started living the area, the game became more and more popular.“‘If this game was around when I was growing up,’” Wilks recalled parents telling him, “‘I would have played it.’”The moment that Wilks points to when he realized lacrosse had made significant progress in Atlanta is when he was walking through a Dick’s Sporting Goods in 2009.Wilks saw SU midfielder Josh Amidon on a poster for STX lacrosse sticks, he said. It was only a small section in the store, but it had a lasting effect.“I was like, ‘Holy cow, they’re selling lacrosse sticks in Dick’s in Georgia.’”Seven years later, the lacrosse section in Dick’s is as large as ever. And with the ACC tournament coming to Kennesaw starting on Friday, the rising hotbed is the stage for the nation’s best conference.Atlanta still has a long way to go, in talent and in history, to match places like Baltimore, central New York and Long Island. But for the time being, Atlanta’s lacrosse scene is growing fast and furious.“It’s coming faster than people think,” Banks said. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on April 26, 2016 at 1:11 am Contact Paul: pmschwed@syr.edu | @pschweds Matt Hankin | Design Editorlast_img read more

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Badgers fail to contain Sullinger, go cold from outside

first_imgWith Ohio State coming to town, Wisconsin knew its biggest priority would be shutting down All-American forward Jared Sullinger.But that didn’t happen, as the No. 20 Badgers (18-6, 7-4) frequently allowed Sullinger to get the ball in comfortable position in the paint during Saturday afternoon’s 58-52 loss to the No. 3 Buckeyes (20-3, 8-2) at the Kohl Center. Sullinger finished with 24 points on 8-of-16 shooting and also pulled down 10 rebounds for his 10th double-double of the season.Forward Jared Berggren, listed at 6-foot-10, 235 pounds, guarded the 6-foot-9, 280-pound Sullinger for much of the first half, in which Sullinger scored 16 of Ohio State’s 28 points. In the second half, the combination of forward Mike Bruesewitz and guard/forward Ryan Evans was used more frequently in an attempt to limit Sullinger from getting the ball in the paint.“Well, I just wanted people who wanted to move their feet and not allow a pass to enter the post,” head coach Bo Ryan said of using Bruesewitz and Evans on Sullinger. “That was an easy decision. How many post touches did he have after that”?Trailing 28-24 at halftime, Wisconsin’s biggest deficit came at the 12:23 mark in the second half following a pair of Sullinger free throws. Berggren played the first seven minutes of the second half, went to the bench for two minutes and then returned at the 10:16 mark. He subbed out at the 7:39 mark and did not return for the remainder of the game, finishing with 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting, three rebounds and two blocks.“At the start of the game, I didn’t do a good job of limiting [Sullinger’s] touches,” Berggren said. “I let him get a couple easy ones early and that set the tone from there. A great player like him, once he gets a little bit of confidence, he’s hard to stop. A lot of it came early on, I let him get going and I’ve got to take a little blame for myself for that one.”Only two other players scored in double-digits for the Buckeyes – forward Deshaun Thomas with 16 points and guard William Buford scored 11 – as the majority of the OSU offense ran through Sullinger. Although the switch to Evans and Bruesewitz was noticeable, Ryan denied any intentional shift in Wisconsin’s game plan.“I’m not going to sell out any particular players or anything, but if anybody thinks that’s what we said we’re going to do coming into that game, then you weren’t at practices watching what was going on,” Ryan said.“We did not play him differently by assignment, by scouting report or anything else. It’s about execution. Some of those teams that doubled him paid – big time. It’s tough to say that we changed what we were doing. The instructions were the same.”Badgers stubbornly inefficient from outsideWisconsin was also consistent with its game plan on the offensive end Saturday afternoon.Despite shooting 2-for-14 from 3-point range in the first half, the Badgers attempted 13 more in the second and made just three. Ultimately, UW finished 5-for-27 (18.5 percent) from behind the arc, stunningly poor for a team that entered the weekend third in the Big Ten in three-point shooting at 36.6 percent.Although they didn’t fall often, Ryan said he liked the looks Wisconsin got from outside.“I thought they shut off stuff going to the rim, and so then you’ve got to go to what’s next, and that’s either kick across or kick out,” he said. “I liked the looks.”Just as the Badgers’ overall offense was balanced – four players scored in double figures – so was their tendency to shoot away from deep. Bruesewitz, who finished third with 11 points, was 1-for-6 from outside. Berggren was 2-for-6 from outside, and point guard Jordan Taylor was 1-for-4. Evans led UW in scoring with 14 points and was 0-2 from outside.“Everybody was getting open looks, we’ve got to knock them down,” Bruesewitz said. “We did a good job moving the ball, Jordan did a great job putting us in position. They were trying to take away him off of ball screens, he did a good job of getting rid of the ball when he needed to.”On Wisconsin’s first possession alone, the Badgers attempted two three-pointers as Berggren missed from deep and Evans corralled the offensive rebound. Taylor nailed a trey to give the Badgers a 3-2 lead, and then Berggren sunk another on their next possession. That three-pointer came at the 17:53 mark, and it was the last UW made in the first half.In the second, the Badgers missed their first three three-point attempts before Berggren made one with 15:35 left. That made the score 32-31 in favor of Ohio State, and it was the closest Wisconsin would come to the lead until 3:46, when a three by Bruesewitz narrowed the Buckeyes’ lead to 51-50.The bucket appeared to give Wisconsin legitimate momentum heading into the game’s final minutes as the Kohl Center was once again electrified, but the Badgers didn’t score until Taylor converted a layup with 43 seconds remaining.“I don’t know if it was an inability, I think we just – especially early in the first half – we missed Berggren and Ryan and myself, other guys in the post a little bit,” Bruesewitz said. “I think we needed to look inside a little bit, especially since our threes weren’t falling for us.”last_img read more

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Netball: Encouraging Young Girls Into Sports in Lagos State.

first_imgExcerpts from his interview are as follows:“It’s a massive step because we’ve got the BNB girls over the last couple of years trying to bring netball back into Lagos State so this is a massive step forward. You saw the school girls that came-the kid thing. What we are trying to do at the Lagos State Sports Commission is to encourage more girls to go into sports and in doing that we looked at netball and we felt that would attract them more than football or one of the other sports because it’s gender specific.Guys don’t play netball only girls play netball so they are not going to be competing with the guys for space and again it’s not a rough sport, easy to learn, in terms of equipment easy, cheap as well so we feel it’s something they would be attracted to. We get more ladies in sport give them a lot more attention and we would be getting a lot more kids off the street.The Ghanaians have been playing and I hear every school plays netball in Ghana so obviously they’ve got a pathway, that’s why they’ve got a very good team. So hopefully in the near future we get every girl school to play netball in Lagos and we get a very good team that can challenge the Ghanaians at least put us on a level par and then we can have school championships, we can have clubs and hopefully grow fantastic netball in Lagos and in the country”. “Deji Tinubu Netball” Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Sports, Deji Tinubu, has described netball as a way of encouraging more girls into sports in Lagos State.He said this during an interview with busybuddiesng.com at the West African Netball Clubs’ Fest which took place at the Molade Okoya Hall, Teslim Balogun Stadium. He stated that the Lagos State Sports Commission is looking for avenues to encourage more girls into sports and have chosen to work with netball because of its gender sensitivity towards girls.In addition, he described netball as an easy to learn sport, not rough, cheap in terms of equipment and also described it as a means of getting kids off the streets. He further described the event as a massive step in a bid to bring back netball to Lagos State and said it wouldn’t be a onetime thing.He hopes in the near future every girls’ school in the state would have a netball team that can compete against each other in school championships, and this would transcend into clubs at different levels to produce a State team that can challenge or at least put the state on a level par with the Ghanaians who encourage every school girl to play netball.In conclusion he also hopes that the successful execution of plans to promote netball in the state, would motivate other states to follow en-suite. The event which was organised by the Lagos State Sports Commission in conjunction with the Bringing Netball Back (BNB) Lagos team was a friendly match between the BNB Lagos based team and the Golden Maidens of Accra. It also had in attendance Hellen Manufor of the Nigerian Netball Federation, and school girls from various public schools within the state. read more

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Heisler: Lakers no longer even do no-brainers, like tanking and Jerry West

first_imgWith the third-worst at No. 28 where the Lakers finished, they just dropped to 46.9 percent.Worse, their No. 1 in 2019 pick is also at greater risk. If they keep this year’s lottery pick, they owe Orlando only a pair of second-rounders (2017 and 2018) to complete the Dwight Howard trade.If they lose this year’s lottery pick, the Magic get their unprotected No. 1 in 2019.Teams with less motivation tanked for all they were worth. The Suns, who will keep their lottery pick whether it’s in the top three or not, shut down Eric Bledsoe on March 15, played their kids who are even younger than the young Lakers—if just as promising or more so–saw Devin Booker go for 70 points in Boston and still lost that game and 14 of their last 16.Luke Walton looked like he was trying, as when he benched a healthy D’Angelo Russell after he scored 28 against Memphis for the next game against the Spurs, but couldn’t keep the Lakers from going on that winning streak with an 8.9 percent better chance of keeping two No. 1s — both potentially in the lottery — at stake.The fans got it if the Lakers didn’t. After the Lakers beat the Spurs, Thomas Robinson told our Mark Medina that fans got on him on Twitter for damaging their chances in the lottery.If Magic has zero experience with tanking, they have been prone to this kind of managerial passivity right along.I hated seeing GM Mitch Kupchak take the rap for working closely with Jim Buss when he had no choice in the matter. Nevertheless, four-square as Mitch was, gaming the system wasn’t something he did naturally, as in the 2013-14 season when the Lakers, 18-25 at the All-Star break, played it straight the rest of the way with Mike D’Antoni coaching for his job, coming in sixth-worst at 27-55 when a bottom-three finish might have gotten them Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker or Joel Embiid instead of Julius Randle.If Magic lacks Mitch’s experience, he’s a decisive guy who’s not above gaming the system or turning it into a cocked hat if it gives the Lakers an edge.This wasn’t merely about an edge. With a thin-enough chance at 55.8 percent, this was all-important. All Lakerdom will feel their agony if their 46.9 percent chance doesn’t come in at the May 16 lottery.These days the Lakers don’t even do no-brainers, like inviting Jerry West back in a consultant’s role like the one he has with the Warriors. A Lakers insider told me it’s not happening … even though the Lakers are aware West would love to be asked back.The reason cited isn’t much different than what Jim Buss felt: They don’t think they need West.A) They’re wrong, and B) even if they’re right, they could only gain by having West in the conversation.It remains to be seen just what the Lakers will do. In any case, between now and May 16, they had all better start praying.Mark Heisler has written an NBA column since 1991 and was honored with the Naismith Hall of Fame’s Curt Gowdy Award in 2006. His column is published Sundays in Southern California News Group print editions. For years I welcomed the end of the regular season with a prayer:Thank heavens that’s over!Of course, that was before the Lakers were through at this point, now in their fourth straight year out of the playoffs, and counting.There’s a new NBA narrative locally in which the regular season is discounted for both teams. As everyone knows, the Clippers’ season means nothing and the playoffs everything — which is actually true for all teams but a special curse for them, obliged as they are to compete on turf the Lakers have taken possession of in perpetuity. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersLaker seasons now mean nothing, either. It’s all about the lottery … assuming they keep their pick … which is now — oops! — less than a 50 percent shot.Losing the pick would mean having gained next to nothing (they have the Rockets’ No. 1 at No. 28) after another grisly year of developing the young players who are so precious to them, even if none is yet a star.The question for Lakers fans is no longer whether Lonzo Ball will be Magic Johnson’s Magic … but if Magic is magical enough to beat their diminished odds in the lottery.The real question is how the Lakers blew it down the stretch with Phoenix two games ahead of them in the standings, zooming past the Suns with an inopportune five-game winning streak in April.With the second-worst record at No. 29, the Lakers would have had a 55.8 percent chance of drawing a top-three pick, which they wouldn’t have to convey to Philadelphia.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

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Hunters lead 18-16 by half-time

first_imgHunters scored three tries through Atte Bina, Adex Wera and Benjamin Hetra. All tries were converted by captain Noel Zeming.The visitors were the first to score through Dave Faamita 4-0 after an unsuccessful conversion.Devils scored again and just under 10 minutes they extended their lead 10-0 after a successful conversion by Todd Murphy.Another try for Devils came six minutes later followed by an unsuccessful conversion 16-0.Hunters fought back to score their first try 16 minutes to half-time through Bina 16-6.Wera, playing his 50th game tonight, was the next to score for Hunters 16-12.Hetra levelled the score 4 minutes to half time 16-16 and a conversion by Zeming has resulted in Hunters leading 18-16 at half-time.Second half is underway.More to come.last_img

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