Mesut Ozil’s resurgence under Mikel Arteta means the German playmaker is almost certain to see out his Arsenal contract up to 2021. Want away Arsenal ace Mesut Ozil The 31-year-old’s £350,000 -a-week wages have not deterred interest from outside Europe, with MLS side DC United reportedly keen. But Ozil is enjoying life again since Arteta replaced Unai Emery as boss last month.Advertisement Loading… Promoted Content2020 Tattoo Trends: Here’s What You’ll See This Year11 Most Immersive Game To Play On Your Table Top5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme Parks6 Natural History Museums That Are Really, Really Good15 Photos Of Amazingly Beautiful Mutations7 Black Hole Facts That Will Change Your View Of The UniverseThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read MoreWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?Which Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?8 Things That Will Happen If An Asteroid Hits Earth8 Weird Facts About Coffee That Will Surprise YouA Hurricane Can Be As Powerful As 10 Atomic Bombs And it is thought the ex-Real Madrid midfielder is keen to continue at the top in Europe. Read Also:Ozil has been unlucky – Arteta The Washington Post’s Steven Goff reported that DC United were in London this week but the USA club now think Ozil is out of reach until at least January next year. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享
Promoted Content6 Ridiculous Health Myths That Are Actually TrueBirds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For ThemWhy Go Veg? 7 Reasons To Do ThisThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read More2020 Tattoo Trends: Here’s What You’ll See This Year10 Risky Jobs Some Women Do7 Universities Where Getting An Education Costs A Hefty PennyWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?Couples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable Way10 Places On Our Planet Where The Most People LiveSuper Recognizable Outfits That Actors Wore In The Famous MoviesThe Untold Truth Of Sasha Obama Loading… FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Joseph Ashinze remains the most colourful and enterprising goalscorer in the history of Nigerian football because of his trickery and precision style in front of goal. He was one of the players who raised the flag of the defunct Lagos, Stationery Stores Football Club darling team-high during his prime. He was a fast-mover and uncanny striker. Ashinze was so good that he won the local league Highest Scorer award thrice in 1987, 1988 and 1989. The achievement made former Super Eagles coaches look for him to play for the national team. But his dream of wearing the national colours during the 1994 FIFA World Cup in USA was dashed by a re-occurring injury.In this interview, with GBOLAHAN DADA, he reveals everything about himself and his career to Sportinglife.ng.In the beginning:I was born in Lagos fifty-something years ago. I grew up inside Lagos Island. I’m a real Lagosian. ‘Omo Eko ni mi’. All my life is about playing football. I started early enough with the support of my parents who decided to settle here from Ibusa in Delta State. Playing around the suburb of ‘Isale Eko’, I found the strength and the encouragement to forge ahead in spite of numerous challenges.Lagos is like a home to me because I was born and nurtured on Lagos Island and Ebute Metta (West) now called Apapa Road. I was so excited about it.Ambassador of grassroots football: In the early part of my life as a teenager, I knew that I would make a career in football and I pursued it vigorously with everything within me to succeed. I used to move from one football arena to another. From Campos Square, Lafiaji, Ebute Metta to Mushin Olosha and other parts of Lagos where ‘felele’ set football is played. I started the journey with the late Mudashiru Lawal. Playing football was the only language we understood. The more we played, the more we understood the language of the game. Naturally, I was just flowing in the game and goal-scoring later became a habit.At St. Paul Primary school, Apapa Road, where I met Nigeria legend, Godwin Odiye, I exhibited my skills before furthering my education at Eko Boys High School.Natural striker:I want to bless God for giving me such a remarkable ability to make a mark in my generation. Goal-scoring always came naturally. No goalkeeper could stop me if I was determined to score. I worked very hard to get to that level because my football career started from the grassroots. No coach discovered me. It is God who gave me the strength and sense of purpose to discover myself and I worked towards attaining the height.Football then and now:During my active days, footballers played football with passion and raw energy. There were more skillful and determined players around but now, footballers are lazy and more money-conscious. In those days even without the cash, footballers loved the game than anything. For example, Stationery Stores recruited quality players without adequate sign-on fees. The players just wanted to play for clubs to launch themselves to stardom.Considering the security situation in the country now, and the standard of the players we have, fans don’t enjoy football entertainment any longer. In those days, fans came to stadiums even for the sake of the players. They entered the stadium because they wanted to see a particular player in action. They were so crazy about watching good football and the players also liked to entertain the crowd and give them the value for their hard-earned money. It was a give and take policy. But these days it is no longer so. Politics has destroyed football. As for the clubs, how do you expect good results when you are owing a player a backlog of salaries. Some players are playing without sign-on fees. It is discouraging and a bad omen for Nigerian football.Don’t forget that the economy was not too bad then. As a footballer I earned more than a bank manager then. Time is everything. Some future players may still earn more than players playing now. So I have no regrets. I have achieved whatever I wanted as a player.Playing as a professional player:I was fortunate to exhibit my talent for two Eastern teams, Iwuanyanwu Nationale of Owerri and Rangers International of Enugu. I made my name from the two clubs as the only player to have won the Top Scorer award in Nigeria’s top flight back-to-back in 1987,1988 and 1989 after my short stint with Stationery Stores.In 1987, I scored nine goals while with the Stationery Stores to emerge the leading scorer that season before moving to Rangers to re-enact the magic by scoring 11 goals to top the chart. A year later, I moved to Iwuanyanwu Nationale (now Heartland) and scored ten goals after taking my chance with the departure of the striking duo of Mike Obiku and Uwakwe Eke that season before I eventually travelled out on greener pasturesLove for Stationery Stores:It still remains the same Super Stores for life. This is a club every aspiring footballer should play for. Without much resources, you are always happy and motivated. The atmosphere was great. The fans were wonderful. They are never-say-die fans who would do anything to keep the club going. The supporters were absolutely great, tasking themselves to cheer-up the team. Stationery Stores is a joyful and wonderful family. There was no dull moment for us. Every day was carnival-like for the team. I cannot describe the mentality behind the team.Stores is still a household name in football because many successful players passed through the institution.It did not take me much time to blend and adapt to the system because I was also part of the system. Immediately I saw most of my childhood friends, I was motivated to prove my worth. Everybody wanted to see that boy in action and I thank God I did not disappoint the fans and everybody was happy with Ashinze.This, however, led to my invitation into the national team under the late coach Paul Hamilton. I was at my best then but not able to shine in Eagles. The Eagles’ coaches preferred the late Rashidi Yekini and Samson Siasia ahead of me but that was not my problem. When I discovered that I needed to seek greener pastures abroad to add value to my career, I later moved out of the country to play in Portugal and Cyprus. My professional stint was not as easy as I thought but I managed to achieve something for myselfPlayers like Haruna Ilerika, Yomi Peters, Wakilu Oyenuga, Peter Rufai, Abdul Sule, Abiodun Obafemi, Ike Shorunmu, James Tombiri, Ganiyu Ajide, Olumide Banjo, Audu Ibrahim, Richmond Gbontir, Tarila Okorowanta, Arthur Moses, Yisa Alabi, Benjamin James, Godwin Obinyan, Collins Ebitimi, Taiwo Oloyode, and Peter Obanor etc also made their impacts felt at the club.I can never forget my relationship with coach Kashimawo Laloko and the late Austin Ofoukwu, for his gentility on and off the pitch. He was a very good, caring and loving coach.Stores’ national league match against Iwuanyanwu Nationale in 1987 still remains the most memorable match in my career. I scored the only goal of the match to give Stores the three maximum points.Any regrets?:The only regret I had and I’m still nursing is my inability to play at the highest level of my career in the 1994 FIFA World Cup. I was doing very well in Cyprus and suddenly, I was injured and the injury kept me out of the national team forever. I was not myself throughout that year because I knew I was supposed to play in that team. It was a shattered dream and I never recovered from the shock.A knee injury I had in Europe in 1995 eventually led to my retirement, as I was forced to quit the game due to the injury.Encouraging his children:None of my children is into football. I tried all I could to encourage them to toe my path but they refused. None showed interest in the game. It is unfortunate that I cannot force them against their will. I had to close that chapter.Remember Ogedegbe and Raymond King:There are two goalkeepers I can not forget. The late Best Ogedegbe and Ramoni Oba popularly called Raymond King. Both keepers had paid their dues before their death. They made great impacts for their respective clubs and country.Ogedegbe was in goal for the IICC Shooting Stars in 1976 when they made history as the first Nigerian club side to win a continental trophy by beating Tonnerre Kalala of Cameroon at the final of the African Winners Cup. The late Ogedegbe also manned the goal post for Nigeria’s senior national soccer team, then known as the Green Eagles, when they won the African Cup of Nations for the first time in 1980.King played school football across the south-west states and was among the Flying Eagles squad of the 1979/80. He made his name playing for the Shooting Stars of Ibadan and was in goal during the 1984 CAF African Cup of Champions where his team finished as runners-up to Zamalek of Egypt. King later left Shooting Stars and joined the defunct Abiola Babes of Abeokuta with whom he won the 1987 FA Cup title.Cherish Leon Balogun:Balogun is one of the most intelligent defenders I have seen among Nigerian players. His positioning and ability to read and avert danger are wonderful. He has been coping very well with English football since he moved from Germany.Brighton and Hove Albions will appreciate him better and as a former striker, I see him as a good potential in Super Eagles defence.Effects of coronavirus:Apart from paralysing sports generally across the world, coronavirus pandemic has had far-reaching consequences beyond the spread of the disease and efforts to contain it. Now that the pandemic has spread its tentacles around the globe, concerns have shifted from supply-side manufacturing issues to decreased business in the services sector.Supply shortages are expected to affect a number of sectors due to panic buying, increased usage of goods to fight the pandemic, and disruption to factories and logistics. It has also led to hike in price of commodities, with many areas witnessing panic buying and consequent shortages of food and other essential grocery items, especially the technology industry. Somebody has described it as a third world war because it touches every human endeavour.We pray that it should end now for the world to be at peace.BusinessPeople always like to know what I am doing for a living and I am not ashamed to say that I am into the automobile business. I sell cars of different choices. Any good car you can think of is available in my place around Ikeja.read also:read also:Osimhen is future of Nigerian football – IghaloGoalscorer award controversy:I will like to clear the air about the three awards I won from the national league. I actually won three awards within three years. In 1987 with Stationery Stores, 1988 with Rangers International and 1989 with Iwuanyanwu Nationale now (heartland) but lack of record by the Nigeria Football Association, (NFA) under the late Secretary-General, Patrick Okpomo, denied me the opportunity of getting the three awards the day they wanted to present it to me at Eko Le Meridien Hotel in Lagos.These three legends of Sports journalism, Mr Paul Bassey, Mr Larry Izamoje(formerly Echiejile) and Abdulmumini Alao were at the ceremony that day because I went there with my facts but they later appealed to me to accept the two awards of 1987 and 1988 like that. So they were not two as widely reported. It wasn’t anybody’s fault but the NFA.
JEFFERSON, S.D. – Park Jefferson Speedway will open its 2017 racing season on Saturday, April 8 with Salute to Jimmy Cole Night.Popular racer Cole is fighting cancer and this night will see Park Jefferson donate $1 from every ticket to his recovery fund.This night will also be the kickoff to the 2017 IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing season and thanks to fan donations, the IMCA Modified winner will earn $1,255 along with a berth of the Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot.Second place in the Modified feature pays $555. Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMods, IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars and IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks will run for $355 to win and the Mach-1 Sport Compacts for $155 to win.Anyone interested in contributing to the opening night purse can contact promoter Rod Olson at 712 267-3278. Spectator admission will be $12 for adults, $5 for seniors 70 and over and $2 for students ages 6-16. Pit passes will be $30.The “fab five” will race the first 2 weeks before being joined by the Championship Sprint Cars on April 22.On Friday April 7, Park Jefferson will host a season opening test and tune for any drivers who wish to attend in any class of cars that will compete during the 2017 season. Cost is $10 per car and pit passes are $10. The grandstand will be open.Gates open both days at 5 p.m. For more information go to www.parkjeff.com, call 712 202-5540 or email email@example.com.
Having won the Barclays Premier League in such amazing circumstances last year, City have returned to earth with a bump this term. Saturday’s shock FA Cup final defeat to Wigan proved to be the final straw for the City hierarchy, who on Monday night called time on Mancini’s three-and-a-half-year reign at the Etihad Stadium. The Italian’s sacking meant former assistant Kidd took charge of Tuesday night’s clash with Reading – a match City won 2-0 courtesy of strikes by Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko, and Kidd said: “What has gone on in the last 24 hours was a shock to the staff, and before the game I would have just taken the result, to get the three points and take second place.” He added: “It’s all credit to the players – they are the ones who have had to put up with stuff off the pitch. I am pleased for them because it would have been a travesty if we hadn’t finished second. “I was asked to take charge for two games, and, being a Manchester lad, I couldn’t say no. I wouldn’t have been able to walk down Market Street if I had. “You’d have to ask the players how they feel. We appreciate the fans, and they were disappointed, and we were disappointed, on Saturday. What you’ve seen is a combination of a couple of things, but I think it was a relief because it has been a tough 48 hours.” As well as the perfect response to losing Mancini, Tuesday night was a welcome return to winning ways after the disappointment of losing at Wembley. “To be honest, the three points was the most important thing,” Kidd said. “When you get to this stage of the season it’s not about performances, but getting results and it was on my mind that we needed to seal that second spot in the league. “That’s the least we could do, and the staff, the fans and the players did it for the club. I was pleased with the way the players acknowledged the fans, but those players really appreciated it. “There were 1,300 of them at Reading, disappointed after Wembley, but they turned out and you could hear them. The players and the backroom staff have been terrific.” Caretaker manager Brian Kidd heaped praise on Manchester City’s players after they secured victory that guaranteed second place less than 24 hours after Roberto Mancini was sacked. Press Association
There was a large travelling contingent in the new all-seater record 26,851 attendance at Carrow Road, and Pulis called on those fans to be in full voice again when the Irons travel to SE25. “I thought the Palace support was absolutely brilliant on Saturday, as they have been all season, and we will need them,” said Pulis. “It is very important that they pick the baton up, which they have. I can’t fault them one bit.” Former Stoke boss Pulis continued: “I think Selhurst Park is (intimidating). The times I have watched the games this year, the crowd have been wonderful. “If we can turn the volume up a little bit more for the West Ham game, then that will help the players. “That is about us giving them something to cheer about as well, like we did at Norwich.” Pulis added: “You can take seven teams who are miles away from where we are at the moment and then you are hoping and praying that you pick points up against the rest. “So week by week, you have got to approach every game in a positive manner.” Pulis was animated on the Carrow Road touchline, and is clearly relishing his return to the game since leaving Stoke at the end of last season. “I am football mad,” said the 55-year-old. “Sometimes you do need a break and you need to be out of it, but everything about the Premier League is wonderful, even when you get beat.” Pulis feels he will be able to get his ideas across to the Palace players sooner rather than later, but intends to bring in some quality additions where needed when the transfer window opens in January. “They are a group who have worked really hard and have taken everything on board, although there were areas and situations against Norwich where we need to improve,” Pulis said. “We have to bring one or two players in, that is important. I think everyone understands that, and I think the group would be the first to be pleased with that.” Ireland defender Damien Delaney is confident the group will have no problem buying into what Pulis is trying to achieve. “Everyone knows him. You take the manager as he is. He is big on set pieces and they can get overlooked in the Premier League,” he said. “I think 60-70 per cent of our goals conceded have come from set pieces. I think he has recognised that so we have spent the week working on set plays, both attacking and defending. “He has also worked on keeping morale up, but I think morale’s been good this season.” Delaney added: “I firmly believe that we can get out of this. “Possibly we deserved a point at Norwich, but we didn’t score and they did, but the positive is that the energy, the hunger and the enthusiasm were there. “If we can replicate that type of performance on Tuesday night and Saturday, then we will be okay.” Press Association Manager Tony Pulis has called on the Crystal Palace faithful to crank up the volume at Selhurst Park as his side battle to stay in the Barclays Premier League – starting against West Ham on Tuesday night. The Eagles lost 1-0 at Norwich on Saturday in what was Pulis’ first match in charge since being appointed just ahead of the win at Hull last weekend. Despite the defeat, which sent them back to the bottom of the table as Sunderland picked up a point at Aston Villa, Pulis feels there were plenty of positives on which to build a successful survival battle.
The former West Ham boss has endured a number of spats with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, and also received a two-match ban for pushing linesman Peter Kirkup two years ago. “I have never had a fight,” Van Gaal added. “I only use my voice – never my hands or something like that.” The omens are looking good for United ahead of Friday’s match against Pardew’s men. Since the Premier League began, United have won 19, draw two and lost one of their 22 matches played on Boxing Day. Another victory would keep them just about in touch with leaders Chelsea, who are 10 points above them in the standings. Given that the Blues have lost just once this campaign, it would take an almighty effort from United to catch Jose Mourinho’s men, but Van Gaal is not convinced the Londoners have the title sewn up just yet. “In the Netherlands and also in Germany, you have the Christmas champions but that doesn’t mean you will be champion in May or June,” Van Gaal said. After finishing seventh under David Moyes last term, United have set Van Gaal the target of a top-four finish this year, but the former Bayern Munich manager is aiming even higher. “Our goal is still to be champions at the end of the season,” he said. “In a football world, number one is the most important thing. “But it’s not always easy. “That’s why the board have said that our goal is within the first four places but still, with my players and all the staff, we are trying to achieve more than they expect from us.” With four games coming up in 10 days, Van Gaal is sure to rotate his squad in order to try to keep pace with Chelsea and second-placed Manchester City. Adnan Januzaj is one player who should appear at some point. The Belgian enjoyed a successful breakthrough year under Moyes last term, but has started just four games this season. Van Gaal refused to discuss rumours that United could let the 19-year-old go out on loan when the transfer window opens on January 1. “I can’t discuss that with you,” Van Gaal said at his pre-match press conference. “You are not the CEO (chief executive, Ed Woodward).” Unlike his contemporaries – and one of his most famous predecessors, Sir Alex Ferguson – the Manchester United boss prefers to relay messages to his players through his assistant Ryan Giggs, who can regularly be seen on the edge of the technical area at Old Trafford. Not once has Van Gaal appeared on the touchline, home or away, this season. That has come as something of a surprise to United fans, but the Dutchman insists it would be a waste of time if he ranted at his team from the side of the pitch. “I don’t see any influence from me when I am there shouting,” he said. “They are not understanding you. “With the fans in the Premier League shouting so much, they can’t understand you. “That’s why I’m always on the bench. You have trained them to read the game by themselves all week. “It is much more important that they are more involved with the game, that they make their own decisions. It is like a child – you educate them.” Van Gaal’s Boxing Day opponent, Newcastle’s Alan Pardew, is one of the most vocal managers from the touchline in the top flight. Pardew’s passion has boiled over into anger at times, which has been costly for the Magpies boss. Last season he was banned for seven matches for headbutting Hull’s David Meyler just two months after he was warned about his conduct following a foul-mouthed pitch-side tirade towards Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini. Louis van Gaal believes other Barclays Premier League managers are wasting their time by shouting and bawling at their players from the touchline. Press Association
COUNTY Championship leaders Middlesex controlled day one of their penultimate match against struggling Lancashire, while nearest challengers Yorkshire struggled at home to Somerset.Sam Robson made 77, Nick Gubbins 69, Nick Compton 56 and Dawid Malan was 49 not out when bad light ended play six overs early with Middlesex on 258-3.Meanwhile, Yorkshire were bowled out for 145 by third-placed Somerset.Lancashire, battling relegation, opted to field but bowled poorly.In grey conditions at Old Trafford and on a surface that offered movement throughout, the home side struggled with their control of length.New-ball pair Kyle Jarvis and Tom Bailey did make things difficult for Robson and Gubbins early in the morning but, after that, both openers played attractive cover drives in a stand of 127.Gubbins miscued a hook off Bailey to be caught at short mid-wicket before Robson edged spinner Simon Kerrigan to slip.But Kerrigan struggled for the most of the day, serving up a mixture of long hops and full tosses and leaking almost four runs an over.He was punished by Compton in particular, who regularly worked the ball through mid-wicket and danced to hit one six over long-on.Compton offered one tough chance down the leg side to Jos Buttler, who was untidy with the gloves in his first red-ball cricket since October 2015.Compton was bowled by Jarvis, the pick of the Lancashire attack, with the second new ball but Malan remains in the company of Stevie Eskinazi, with Middlesex well placed to post a huge first-innings score.If they win and Somerset beat Yorkshire, Middlesex – who began this round of matches with a one-point lead at the top of the table – will probably only need a draw in their final match against the Tykes to secure a first Championship title since 1993.Lancashire, meanwhile, may need to win their final match against Warwickshire to stay up.(BBC Sport)
England wins the opener of World Cup 2019.Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer were the stars of the day. West Indies will play Pakistan in the next game. New Delhi: Ben Stokes made an immediate impact in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 with his brilliant all-round show. His 89 helped England reach a score in excess of 300 for the first time against South Africa in World Cups. He took a brilliant catch to dismiss Andile Phehlukwayo and took two wickets as England registered a brilliant 104-run win against South Africa at The Oval. Stokes was given good support from Jason Roy, Eoin Morgan and Joe Root who smashed fifties and were well backed up by the bowlers. Jofra Archer, who has been earmarked for great things, gave a glimpse of his supreme talent by bowling with pace and hostility to take 3/27 as England made a big statement in the tournament opener.South Africa inserted England in and the hosts started disastrously with the in-form Jonny Bairstow dismissed for a golden duck. Faf du Plessis bucked the World Cup trend by bringing on a spinner to bowl the first over. Imran Tahir wrote down the record against his name, and only two balls later he was seen celebrating in the fashion he does after getting Bairstow caught by Quinton de Kock.That brought Joe Root to the crease, who along with Jason Roy hammered the opposition bowlers all-around the ground to string a partnership of 106 runs together. The right-handers ensured to not allow Proteas to take the game away from them as they set the pace with regular boundaries and smart running between the wickets. England breached the 100-run mark in the 18th over, but they suffered a double blow almost immediately after. Roy (54) fell to a short ball from Andile Phehlukwayo while Root (51) perished to Kagiso Rabada caught at point.Eoin Morgan and all-rounder Ben Stokes kept England’s momentum going with another hundred-run stand. With two left-handers at the crease, du Plessis used Markram and JP Duminy’s off-breaks to try and tie them down, but they fell short by some margin as the duo was able to show their class. In the course of his knock, Morgan became the first England player to score 7000 ODI runs. Stokes, on the other hand, started calmly but opened up at the right time, hitting Dwaine Pretorius for three fours in the 36th over and bringing up his fifty. The partnerships were looking good and du Plessis brought back Tahir, who didn’t disappoint his captain and had Morgan caught by Aiden Markram at long on for 57.South Africa realised the need to cut down the pace to the batsmen in order to make strokeplay difficult. Lungi Ngidi, who had leaked runs until then, came back for a much stronger third spell. He used cutters to good effect and was rewarded with the big wicket of Jos Buttler, who inside edged a pull onto his stumps. Ngidi picked three crucial wickets in his quota of 10 overs and turned out to be the most successful bowler for South Africa.Stokes was the glue that held the second half of the innings together, but even he could not freely find the boundary as South Africa employed the slower ball regularly. In the end, England finished with their highest score in World Cups against South Africa.In the chase, South Africa was off to a cautious start as both Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock saw the initial overs of Chris Woakes and Jofra Archer before opening their arms. Archer bowled a short of a length delivery and Amla got hit on the helmet. Post this, he walked back to the pavilion, which led Markram to join Quinton de Kock.The duo was looking good at the start but Markram couldn’t continue for long and got a thick nip which went straight to the slip fielder, who didn’t do any mistake. South Africa continued to lose wickets and also their grip on the game. Quinton de Kock was the lone survivor, who gave some hopes to the Proteas. However, once he departed in the 23rd over, South Africa never recovered. The wickets kept tumbling for the team, and eventually, they fell short by 104 runs. In the end, the World Cup has got off to perfect start, with England showing their home dominance. highlights For all the Latest Sports News News, ICC World Cup News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.
After a rough beginning, Nigel Hayes turned himself and his team around in route to a fourth consecutive sweet 16, capping his senior season with a game-winning shot and earning the title of the Badger Herald’s Male Athlete of the Year.Throughout the year, Nigel Hayes became one of the biggest question marks for the Badgers, struggling to find his jumper and proving to be a liability at the line. As the season wore on, Wisconsin fans longed for the player they saw in the second half of the 2015-16 season when he led a young team to the Sweet 16, or the sophomore who stole the show on the Badger’s run to the NCAA championship.Yes it was clear, Hayes no longer had the supporting cast of guys like Kaminsky, Gasser and Decker. But if his college career up until this point was any indication, the senior from Toledo, Ohio was more than ready to take the reins.Hayes: In ‘one-and-done’ era, Nigel Hayes’ return isn’t so simpleThere is no doubt Nigel Hayes’ decision to return for his senior season was one the best outcomes for the Read…As his final season in Wisconsin began, expectations peaked for a team whose leaders (Hayes and Koenig), have never lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament. With a talented group of young players including sophomore Ethan Happ who burst onto the scene in his freshman campaign, Hayes and company were poised to continue the streak of success deep into the playoffs.Living up to those expectations, the Badgers jumped out to one of their best starts in program history with a record of 22-3. With the team rolling behind the play of Ethan Happ and Bronson Koenig, Hayes struggled to find that elite talent we’ve known for three years.The biggest wakeup call came at the end of the season when Wisconsin lost five of their last seven, and a team built on success and consistency couldn’t find either. With the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments knocking at their door, the Badgers were scrambling for answers, and where better to look than Nigel Hayes.Despite Hayes’ struggles from the line, 59 percent, the Toledo native was not settling for a late season collapse to cap off his historic career.Men’s basketball: Experts see potential NBA futures for Hayes, KoenigWhile Nigel Hayes garnered most of the preseason attention regarding a future basketball career in the NBA, Bronson Koenig quietly Read…Like most great college and professional players, Hayes turned it on when it mattered the most. After falling to the Michigan Wolverines in the Big Ten Championship game, the Badgers had their confidence back, and a chip on their shoulder after being named an eight seed in the NCAA Tournament.Similar to past years, the tournament was where Hayes came alive. After breezing by Virgina Tech, the Badgers faced off against the No. 1 overall seed Villanova in just the second round. After a turbulent season from the line and the field, Hayes shot over 50 percent from the field against the Wildcats, scoring 19 points including a Jordan-esque baseline fake to seal the deal against the top seed.Top five sports moments this semesterThe University of Wisconsin Athletic Department had a lot to celebrate this semester, even if none of those involved a Read…The Villanova game, like Hayes’ season, was a rollercoaster. A run here, a slump there, but in the end the veteran proved his worth, cementing his legacy in Wisconsin basketball.Along with a career shot to take down a one seed, here’s a list of some of Hayes’ notable achievements in his final year as a Badger, making him our Male Athlete of the Year.2017 NCAA Tournament All-East Region Team• 2017 Wooden Award Midseason Top-25• 2017 Player of the Year watch lists (Lute Olsen and Naismith)• 2017 Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Watch List• 2017 Big Ten All-Tournament Team• 2017 Third-Team All-Big Ten• 2017 Preseason Big Ten Player of the Year• 2017 Senior CLASS Award Final 10• 2017 NABC Division 1 All-District Second Team[UPDATE] Hayes blows up Twitter with #BlackLivesMatter discussionFor six hours Thursday evening, University of Wisconsin star basketball forward Nigel Hayes tweeted 44 times supporting the Black Lives Read…
Katie Chin | Daily TrojanThis past week, Whittingham moved into the fourth position in all-time career digs at USC and is expected to move into third before she graduates.“She is a walk-on and she is setting records,” head coach Mick Haley said. “That is pretty darn special.”Whittingham is an inspiration to all walk-on athletes of what they can accomplish through hard work and perseverance. On top of that, she is also a leading force on the court for her teammates as her experience, her attitude and her presence on the court are something they have come to rely on.“She is such a calming force and is never freaking out,” freshman outside hitter Khalia Lanier said. “You just have to look to the veterans on the court and she keeps me in check.”Being chosen as captain is not something that Whittingham takes lightly either. Part of her impact on the court is through the younger players that have the chance to learn from her. However, she also feels as if she is constantly learning from them too, while helping to continue to build the legacy of USC’s program.“I really pride myself in being a calming force out there,” Whittingham said. “Any way that I can help others and that they can help me in return is something that is really important.”This season, Haley and the team had a taste of what it will be like without her, as she suffered an injury to her right knee that kept her off the court for a week. While a week is a small period of time in the grand scheme of injuries, not having the staple of their defense was felt by everyone.“There is no question it is a big difference not having Taylor out there,” Haley said. “If Taylor could have been playing with us against UCLA and Washington, we feel like we would have had a much better match in each of those situations and possibly could have won.“We want to have her in there even if it is one-legged,” Haley said, laughing.Her time out of the games was not much easier on Whittingham, as she always wants to be on the court making a difference. She had a lot of praise for the strength coaches helping her to get back so quickly — with a lot of rehab and icing — but also lauded her teammates for adjusting to her abrupt absence.“It was hard being on the sidelines, just wanting to contribute and help my team,” Whittingham said. “It was definitely a quick change and something they didn’t expect, but I think they did a great job when I wasn’t out there.”Her drive to make a difference is one of the many reasons she has been named a candidate for the 2016 Senior CLASS Award — an award for NCAA Division I senior athletes who excel both on and off the court in the community, the classroom, their character and competition. Whittingham is the fourth candidate from USC to be nominated and the last since All-American libero Natalie Hagglund in 2013.Whittingham’s list of accomplishments in her time at USC is impressive given the countless hours she puts into the gym and school at the same time. She has a 3.00 cumulative GPA in both her major, communication, and minor, consumer behavior, has led the Pac-12 in digs in both the 2014 and 2015 season and is a three-time Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week winner.Off the court, she has participated in service projects at the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital and served as a counselor for USC’s annual inner-city outreach program. She was also a counselor for the Girl Scouts program in 2014-2015 and even found time to go to China with the Pac-12 All-Star Team in the summer of 2016 to put on free volleyball clinics.With all she has done for both the women’s volleyball team and the school itself, Whittingham has certainly established a legacy at USC. Whittingham’s influence and leadership are things that will stay with this team even after she is gone.