Neal, Marshall, ‘Automatic O’ headline Basketball Hall of Fame class

first_img JOHN MARSHALL and wife Tatanise Marshall DAVID YOUNG, JOHN SARANDREA COURIER SPORTS COLUMNIST BILL NEAL, second from left, with Moe Barr, Steve Tarantino and Herb Sendek. (Photos by Courier photographer Dayna Delgado)Pittsburgh Basketball Club holds induction ceremonyThis past Saturday, Feb. 3, despite the very cold and overcast Pittsburgh weather outside, within the walls of the Chartiers Country Club in Robinson Township, there was vibrant sunshine everywhere.John Giammarco, Director of the Pittsburgh Basketball Club Hall of Fame sports banquet, said the Hall of Fame was established to carry on the memories of athletes and other sports notables, male and female, who have brought lasting fame and recognition through their athletic achievements.Newly-elected Hall-of-Famer, Courier Sports Columnist Bill Neal, had a lot of people to thank. Penn Hills born-and-bred, Neal has craved out a unique place for himself. When he talks, especially about sports, people listen. Neal, the founder and creator of Champion Enterprises and the Connie Hawkins Basketball League, has received several awards. He said that his giving nature was instilled in him by his parents early in his childhood and has spent his life trying to improve the quality of life for youth in Allegheny County with a special emphasis towards low-income and disadvantaged youth.“I owe everything in my professional career to Connie Hawkins. Our league was ranked in the top 10 in the country,” said Neal. “In 1979, we had Maurice Lucas, Jeep Kelly, Sonny Lewis, Bill Varner, Kenny Durrett, Kirk Bruce, Gary Nelson, John Marshall, Bill Clarke, Sam Clancey, Doug Arnold, Karen Hall, Jennifer Bruce, Ricky Coleman, B.B. Flenory and Bruce Atkins—all playing in the league.”“Basketball is a phenomenal, intense game, which transforms lives while connecting people from all gender, racial, global and economic levels,” said coach Karen Hall, a 2017 PBC Hall-of-Famer. “Basketball has given one the opportunity to complete, coach and to meet some pretty special people.”During the ceremony, the ground might have moved a bit, because the great Jonathan Marshall walked in the room. Intimidation is always a factor in basketball and the former Clairton High School star was best known because of his physical intimidation. “I am really a nice guy,” said Marshall. “But you better not come down the lane when I was on the court.”Oscar Jackson is the latest in a line of great Duquesne University basketball players to make the Hall, joining Flenory, Ron Stevenson, Moe Barr, Gina Naccarato and Gary and Barry Nelson.In 1970, when Beaver Falls won its first WPIAL and state titles, Jackson was the star of the team. He once scored 52 points in a game and was named first-team all-state.“The greatest high school basketball team of all-time was the 1971 state champion Schenley team that featured Rickey Coleman, Jeep Kelly, and Maurice Lucas. And in 1970, we beat them in the state semi-finals,” said Jackson. “I have so many fond memories. I’m so happy with all the experiences I had and basketball made me the person I am.”Oscar Jackson, who was nicknamed “Automatic O,” went on to play college basketball at Duquesne.The list of athletes, coaches and officials being inducted were: Moon and Notre Dame basketball player Keith Tower; Langley and Duquesne basketball player Ron Stevenson; Penn Hills and Duquesne basketball player Moe Barr; Beaver Falls and Duquesne basketball player Oscar Jackson; New Brighton and Robert Morris basketball player Gabe Jackson; Ringgold and Pitt basketball player Scott Nedrow; Clairton and Penn State Jonathan Marshall; Laurel Highlands and Virginia Gus Gerard; New Castle and Xavier basketball player David Young; St. Monica (CA) and Pitt basketball and player Jason Matthews.The 2017 PBC Hall of Fame Contributors Class include: Robert Morris University Game Announcer Chris Schovlin; Bob Bozzuto, North Allegheny Athletic Director; John Jenkins, Game Official; and Bill Neal, Connie Hawkins Summer League Director.The Luke Blanock Courage Awardees were: Hampton High School, Isaac DeGregorio; and Dom Giallonardo of Mount Pleasant. GABE JACKSON, JOHN GIAMMARCO, HENRY JACKSONcenter_img JOHN GIAMMARCO, CHRIS SHOVLIN JASON MATTHEWS, with daughter Taylor Matthews and John Giammarco Like us at @NewPghCourier on Twitter read more

Bidding with the best

first_imgBy KATHRYN BERMINGHAM THE Victorian Livestock Exchange hosts many talented auctioneers, but it isn’t often that a world champion passes…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img

Award-winning season for Nelson’s Mitchell Popadynetz

first_imgThis has been a historical season for the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack men’s soccer program and for Nelson Minor Soccer grad Mitchell Popadynetz.The team continues to blaze ‘uncharted’ territory as it secured its first Canada West playoff spot, won its first Canada West post season match and now has been rewarded with its first Canada West player of the year and having the most players ever named to the league all-star teams.As well Popadynetz, who played for Nelson Youth Soccer before going on to refine his skills on the Lower Mainland, earned player of the year and first team Canada West all-star honours. The Nelson, BC native (4th year, midfielder) led the team offensively with seven goals and 10 assists with 17 points.   He was tied for first in the Canada West in total points and led the league in assists.“The award is very well deserved for Mitch,” said WolfPack head coach John Antulov during the fall.“Not only this season but over the last three years. We knew we were getting a special player when came to us from UBC. We knew what he could bring to the program. It is finally all coming together for him. He is not only an offensive guy. He has taken to everything we talked about on the defensive side of the ball and has become an excellent all-around player.  For us, to have him hitting his stride this year was huge. “We have surrounded him with good players so that has added to his skill set and what he can bring to the team. Overall, it has been a fantastic thing for our program. Great leader, great person and I am very happy for him.”Popadynetz becomes the second WolfPack athlete ever to be named a Canada West athlete of the year. Volleyball player Iuliia Pakhomenko (Donetsk, Ukraine) was named the Canada West women’s volleyball player of the year in 2015-16.last_img read more

Town Clerk to take action against PPP Councillor – Mayor

first_imgCity Hall’s hidden bank accountsMayor of Georgetown Patricia Chase Green has signalled that the Town Clerk will be taking “necessary” actions against People’s Progressive Party Councillor Bishram Kuppen for stirring up allegations of corruption and four hidden bank accounts.PPP Councillor Bishram KuppenChase Green stated that Council has expressed its annoyance about Kuppen’s claims that there were four hidden bank accounts at City Hall. At the first statutory meeting, Kuppen had revealed that he had perused a report and found the discrepancy of four hidden accounts. He related that when he questioned the City Treasurer on the matter, he confirmed the existence of the accounts.He stated that the City Treasurer blurted out that there were additional accounts but whenever he pushed for it to be entered into the reconciliation of the financial statement it was pushed aside.“I am not aware that there are any hidden accounts. There are special accounts for salaries and special projects but there are no hidden accounts. I’m here and I have nothing to hide at City Hall,” she said in a telephoneMayor Patricia Chase Greeninterview.She indicated that the law gives provision for the Council to have special accounts, asserting that neither the Mayor nor the Town Clerk handles the purse strings.Recently, the Council has been accused of shrouding corruption and not being accountable, thus prompting calls for an audit to be conducted into the financial affairs of the Mayor and City Council, since there has not been any audit reports submitted for the past 10 years.According to the Municipal and District Councils Act, within four months of the close of the financial year, the City Treasurer is required to prepare and submit to the auditor, financial statements for that year for audit. If the treasurer fails to comply, he/she will be guilty of an offence. It has been over a decade that the M&CC – dominated by the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), a main partner in the governing coalition – has failed to make any public presentation of its financial position.Former Auditor General Anand Goolsarran had insisted that 10 years of arrears in terms of financial reporting and auditing was not only a “disturbing trend” but also showed that the Council had no interest in bringing the accounts to order.He stated that as of August 2013, the last set of audited accounts of the Council was for 2004 and the Audit Office had received financial statements for the years 2005 and 2007. There is no evidence to suggest that any financial statements were produced for 2006.However, Chase Green stated that she will not deter any auditor from probing the financial affairs of the Council.She affirmed that Kuppen has shown “disrespect” to the Council by making statements without any evidence. “The Councillor must apologise to Council and the Town Clerk. He is making allegations and he has no evidence to prove what he is saying,” she said.When Guyana Times had first approached Mayor Chase Green on the issue and questioned her on where the accounts were, she had laughed and said “they are at a bank”.However, shortly after she redirected the question to her Town Clerk.But, when attempts were made to contact Town Clerk Royston King, the newspaper was told that he could not pronounce on the issue. In fact, this publication was told that authorities within the Council were warned not to communicate to the media on this particular matter.last_img read more

Street dwellers to be relocated, receive counselling – NTFC

first_imgThe National Task Force Commission (NTFC) is hoping to work with the relevant stakeholders to have street dwellers documented and assessed by professionals with the aim of relocating them.The NTFC is also seeking to provide street dwellers with counselling and therapy, and begin a process of rehabilitation. This exercise will commence by the last quarter of this year.Vagrants occupying the pavement at the Parliament.NTFC Chairman, retired Major General Joseph Singh, has said the National Committee has already begun work, and has been evaluating persons living on the streets to determine whether they are placed into shelters or drug rehabilitation centres.“To the extent of persons living on the streets, whether they are street dwellers or mentally challenged… The National Committee did some pilot work with trained therapists and psychiatrists from the Ministry of (Public) Health, to determine what type of therapy and welfare management would be appropriate for the categories,” Singh told journalists on Friday.According to Singh, it is a norm for persons to be taken off the streets, but they manage to find themselves back there in a matter of hours.“Persons, in the past, have been removed from the pavement, taken to the night shelters, cleaned up, and given all that they need; but the next day they are back on the very pavements. If you visit some of those persons, you will see that that is there home,” he said.He said there are some homeless persons who are intelligent, while there are others who prefer to be homeless even though they have families.He said that now that the Hugo Chavez Centre in Berbice is up and running, the NTFC would be working closely with the Social Protection Ministry to see how many persons could be relocated there, along with the Phoenix House which deals particularly with drug rehabilitation.Singh opined that homelessness is caused by many factors. “It has to do with the migration of a significant number of persons and people left here in the care of others. So the whole structure of the society needs to be retooled — restore that caring for the neighbour,” he said.He said many relatives are willing to take their family members back into the home, but it was found that those persons refuse to stay in the home.Meanwhile, regarding the project, Singh said the task force is currently getting together the relevant professionals to get the work started. He said a lot of pre- planning has to be done.The project will be based in Georgetown, and it is hoped that the experiences of this pilot project would inform future projects elsewhere.The issue of street dwellers has long plagued Guyana, and has received attention from many organisations over time. Earlier this year, the Georgetown Mayor and City Council (M&CC) announced that it was collaborating with the Anglican Diocese of Guyana to provide assistance to street dwellers and vagrants. It is unclear what has become of that plan.Vagrancy comes under the responsibility of the Ministry of Social Protection, though there is scope for collaboration with other agencies.Back in 2015, then Minister of Social Protection (MSP), Volda Lawrence, had announced that the MSP would be working with a welfare committee to evaluate and possibly reintegrate the homeless into society.The committee comprised persons from the Ministry of Social Protection, Public Health, Public Security, Agriculture, and the Mayor and City Council.When speaking on the issue in 2015, Minister Lawrence had stated that there must be an evaluation, because you have various persons out there. You have the addicted, the mentally challenged, the homeless, and persons who see it as an economic means.She had also acknowledged that there are those who use begging as a means to earn an income, even sending their children to beg. Saying that a programme has to be put in place to educate those individuals, Lawrence had pledged the Government’s support in tackling vagrancy. It is not clear what fruit this collaboration has borne, since begging and destitution, including among juveniles, remain fairly prevalent in the city.last_img read more

‘Curse’ of KPL Awards strikes yet again!

first_imgThe ‘curse’ of the annual Footballer of the Year Awards (FOYA) Awards has struck again this season, throwing aspersions to the integrity of the nomination process and on a wider perspective, fuelling the assertion the KPL is over-hyped.Since the domestic topflight was remodelled and awards introduced in 2008, veteran striker, John Baraza, 38, is the only recipient who has matched being named the KPL Player of the Year with substance.Gor Mahia goalkeeper, Boniface Oluoch formerly of Tusker and defender David ‘Calabar’ Owino managed to win awards at the glittering FOYA Gala twice in a row before going on to make headway in the game to join Baraza in the small list of those who have escaped from the ‘curse’.Oluoch was crowned the 2011 and 12 shot –stopper of the Year, whilst Owino was named the Best defender in 2013 and 14 before departing for Zambian, side Zesco United where he has managed to flourish.The inaugural FOYA Player of the Year winner, Francis Ouma (Mathare United/2008), George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo (Gor Mahia/2010), Kevin Kimani (Mathare United/2011), Ugandan Dan Sserunkuma (Gor Mahia/2012), Jacob Keli (KCB/2013) and the latest victim of the ‘jinx’ Ekaliani Ndolo (Sofapaka/2014) have failed to replicate top form in the subsequent season.The midfielder who was the rave last year, bagging the Midfielder of the Year Award is struggling to start in Sam Timbe’s first XI, with only a goal to his name thus far, 18 games into the season.Coaches have not been spared from the ‘hex’ with last season’s surprise top tactacian, Mike Mururi of Chemelil Sugar, facing the chop after a torrid sequence of eight games without victory with the club only a place above the relegation zone.He continues an astonishing nightmare run for recipients of the Coach of the Year award who have not gone on to complete an entire season in the campaign after their moment of glory.Club chairman, Robert Nyakundi told Capital Sport Mururi’s fate will be decided on Monday, just less than 24 hours after Team Manager, Meshack Muyonga was sacked following their latest 5-1 mauling to Tusker FC on Sunday.“We have not fired Mururi, he is still our coach, you can’t fire someone for losing the match but we will meet on Monday to decide what to do because we are not happy with the performance of the team,” Nyakundi declared giving the beleaguered former club captain what should a short reprieve.His keeper, Jairus Adira, who was also controversially named the Goal Keeper of the Year, has soaked in 25 goals between the Chemelil sticks, with all talk of making national team Harambee Stars a distant memory.-Traces of the ‘curse’-Ekaliani Ndolo with the FOYA Player of the Year and Midfielder of the Year Awards. PHOTO/File“When you are put on the spotlight everyone will be watching on you. I’m there now and I hope to even do better in the coming season. I know where I have come from and where I’m heading, it won’t be easy maintaining consistency but I will try my best.“Football has become a full time paying job so if an offer comes and my club agrees I will go but for now I have six months left in my contract,” Ndolo said last year after being crowned KPL’s best but like those before him, he would rather return the gong to rediscover his touch that put him on the cusp of the national team.At least, Ndolo did not move to foreign competition when he was the hottest property with his predecessors, Odhiambo, Kimani and Sserunkuma who ditched the KPL in the glow of their victories were forced to return after failing to replicate.KPL standards have been put in question by the continued failure of its stars to make head away once they are out of the cuckoo nest.Promising Odhiambo, who was spotted while playing for Thur Gem High School in the Kenya Secondary School Ball Games, was voted Young Player of the year on his debut KPL season at Gor in 2009 before bagging the top award in 2010.He left the country for Denmark where he turned out for top fight side Randers FC for one season (2011-12) before joining Tanzanian side Azam FC for the 2012-13 campaign, failing to dazzle defences with the wizardly that had some here to brand him ‘Kenya’s Messi’ in glowing comparisons with the Argentine superstar.Odhiambo returned to the KPL in January 2013 with his tail in between his legs after mutually terminating his contract with Azam to sign a six-month deal with Nairobi City Stars and after the contract elapsed, he signed with Armenian club Shirak FC but only stayed for six months before returning for his old stomping ground, K’Ogalo in 2014 where he remains a bit part player.Kimani hightailed to Belgian’s third Division Bocholter (2012-2013) before moving to Greece for a half a season to feature for second tier side, APO Fostiras Tavros FC in the immediate aftermath of his KPL recognition.After a spell without playing, he returned quietly back to the KPL in 2014 after signing for Tusker FC where he re-united with his former coach at Mathare United, Francis Kimanzi.Former Gor talisman Sserunkuma, a feared goal poacher in the land failed to bench fellow Ugandan Emmanuel Okwi at Tanzanian Vodacom PL giants Simba and five months into a two-year deal, he parted company with his new side in May and his mooted return to K’Ogalo during the June transfer window fell through.The man who led from the front as Gor claimed back-to-back KPL titles could not force his way back to the side that had exhausted their quota of seven foreign players as his fall from grace continues.Keli did not escape either, his goals drying up in 2014 after joining dream club AFC Leopards having found the net more than anyone else in the previous season in KCB colours. He scored only eight in a season he came in for stick among the Ingwe faithful.“After winning the Golden Boot and the Best Player in the domestic league, there is nothing more I can win here because I have already achieved, I only have to be very careful and patient.“It’s all about playing time and it’s not that the previous winners have disappeared, I usually chat with Kevin Kimani and George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo. They are playing where they are and earning money it’s just that we don’t get information of how they are doing,” Keli, who recently joined Zambia side, Nkana FC said at his crowning moment in 2013.-Coaches jinx-Inaugural Coach of the Year winner, Robert Matano was shown the door only three months after leading Sofapaka to their first title on their KPL debut in 2009 with Ugandan Sam Ssimbwa brought in to take his place.His successor in 2010, Benjamin Nyangweso (Ulinzi Stars) was demoted after another three months after helping the Militarymen win their fourth title. He was briefly re-instated before being officially fired in 2012 to be succeeded by Salim Ali.Sammy Omollo, the next man in the queue, was the next causality but at least he lasted eight months only to be replaced by Matano who went on to lead the Brewers to snatch the title from Gor on the final day of the 2012 season for back-to-back victories.Croatian, Zdravko Logarusic, the only foreign manager to have bagged the accolade in 2012 when he led Gor to GOtv Shield title and second in the league, parted ways with the champions’ mid-season.He then watched as his successor, Scot Bobby Williamson, finally broke the 18-year wait for the crown as Gor fans went into frenzy.Abdallah Juma, the 2013 winner did not last past three months after KCB failed to win a single game in nine at the start of the following season.KPL Players of the Year2008- Francis Ouma2009- John Baraza2010- George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo2011- Kevin Kimani2012-Dan Sserunkuma2013- Jacob Keli2014- Ekhaliani NdoloKPL Coaches of the Year2009- Robert Matano2010- Benjamin Nyangweso2011- Sammy Omollo2012- Zradvko Lofarusic2013- Abdallah Juma2014- Mike Mururi 0Shares0000Under fire Chemelil Sugar head coach, Mike Mururi, shouts instructions during their 5-1 mauling by Tusker last weekend. PHOTO/Raymond MakhayaNAIROBI, July 13 – Every sportsman’s dream is to be feted and when one is named the best, it means he or she has surpassed all others in excellence, achievement, quality and skills.In football, the most popular sport in the world, players and coaches who are voted the best go on to raise their standards but in the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) being named the finest has turned into a poisoned chalice. 0Shares0000(Visited 4 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Clinton basks in L.A. beam

first_imgWESTWOOD – Using a UCLA preschool as a backdrop for one of her education proposals, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton on Wednesday picked up the formal endorsement of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in her run for president. Clinton – with a beaming Villaraigosa by her side at the Kreiger Center preschool at the University of California, Los Angeles – said the endorsement is important to her campaign both in California, with its Feb. 5 primary election, and around the country, with the growing Latino influence in elections. “To receive the endorsement of the mayor – someone I have admired for a long time – is important,” Clinton said. “He is an honest optimist and a practical visionary. That is the kind of president I want to be.” Villaraigosa, who had informally announced his support for Clinton on Tuesday, said he believed the New York senator is the best qualified to lead the nation out of the Iraq war and back on track. “Next year the American people will make what I believe is the most important electoral decision of our lifetime,” he said. “We will choose whether to perpetuate the disastrous policies of the last six years that brought us war and division, debt and diminished expectations, or whether we will choose a new course and a brighter path.” Among Clinton’s proposals is a $10 billion effort to provide a preschool education to all children beginning at the age of 4, Villaraigosa said. His endorsement of Clinton comes more than seven months before the Iowa caucuses, which mark the start of the formal process to choose the presidential nominees, and eight months before the California primary, which is looming larger in terms of its significance. (213) 978-0390 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Premier League title contenders have bid accepted for England star

first_img Demarai Gray 1 Leicester City have had a bid accepted for Birmingham City’s 19-year-old winger Demarai Gray, talkSPORT understands.The price is believed to be £3.5m and Gray was withdrawn from Blues’ squad for the Championship match against Brentford today.Gray has made 72 Football League appearances for Birmingham and has represented England at under-19, under-19 and under-20 levels.last_img

Sheffield Wednesday boost as midfield man signs on

first_img1 Former Aston Villa and Crystal Palace midfielder Barry Bannan has committed his future to Sheffield Wednesday.Bannan, a product of the Villa academy, played 64 times in the Premier League before he left for Crystal Palace on a permanent deal in 2013.He spent time on loan at Bolton but he landed at Wednesday during the summer, signing an initial one-year deal, and has gone to rack up 19 league outings for the club.And his impressive performances have earned the Scotland international a new contract, with Wednesday moving quickly to tie him down for another three-and-a-half years at Hillsborough. Barry Bannan last_img read more

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