Sergio Garcia Joins Seve Ballesteros On Nine PGA Tour Victories With Win At Byron Nelson

1463958330786Sergio Garcia picked up his ninth career PGA Tour victory by outdueling Brooks Koepka in a playoff at the AT&T Byron Nelson on Sunday.

Garcia downed Koepka on the first playoff hole, the par-4 18th, by taping in for his par. Koepka’s drive went out of bounds, and his approach to the green was well short. After he chipped on and two-putted for double-bogey, Garcia made his short par putt to win.

Koepka entered the final round with a two-shot lead over playing partner Jordan Spieth and led Garcia by three. Garcia shot a 2-under 68 Sunday to take the lead in the clubhouse at 15-under, and the pair went to a playoff after Koepka’s 17-foot birdie try for the win on the 72nd hole didn’t fall.

Despite being just two shots off the lead to begin the day, Spieth never got it going in his home state. Spieth shot a four-over 74 with six bogeys and two birdies. He dropped to T18.

Sergio García Fernández (born 9 January 1980) is a professional golfer from Spain who plays on both the PGA Tour and the European Tour. He has won over 20 international tournaments, including The Players Championship in 2008.

García has spent much of his career in the top 10 of the Official World Golf Ranking (over 300 weeks between 2000 and 2009). He reached a career high ranking of 2nd after winning the HSBC Champions tournament in November 2008, and has achieved post-tax career earnings of more than $28 million. As a player, he is particularly noted for his strong iron play and accuracy. To date he has not won any of golf’s major championships, despite a number of near misses. He has finished a runner-up on four occasions, twice at The Open Championship and twice at the PGA Championship, with a further six top five finishes without breaking through. Garcia is the highest-earning golfer on the PGA Tour without a major championship win, with career earnings of over $41 million.


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Africans Make Their Mark In FA Cup Finals

1626019_full-lndWhen Crystal Palace beat Watford 2-1 in the semi-final of the FA Cup in late April, four African players were in action for the Eagles. If they get a chance to parade their skills in Saturday’s FA Cup final against Manchester United at Wembley, their appearance will continue a long tradition for the continent in the final of the world’s oldest competition.

The first African players to feature in the FA Cup final were South Africans, like Bill Perry, who starred in the so-called “Matthews final” of 1953, when a 38-year-old Stanley Matthews won his only FA Cup winners medal. It was the Johannesburg-born Perry who scored the winning goal for Blackpool in their 4-3 victory against Bolton Wanderers. In 1966, Albert ‘Hurry Hurry’ Johanneson became the first black player to appear in an FA Cup final, and although the South African was on the losing side as Leeds lost 2-1 to Liverpool, Johanneson blazed the way for many an exciting talent.

Since then the number of African players who have collected FA Cup final medals reads like a who’s who of African footballers in England, with the Toure brothers, FIFA Ballon d’Or winner George Weah, Didier Drogba, Nigerians Daniel Amokachi, Nwankwo Kanu and John Obi Mikel, as well as Ghanaian Michael Essien famous for making the proud walk to the Royal Box.

Tragedy and triumph
Although African goalkeepers in England have been few and far between, Zimbabwean international Bruce Grobbelaar was a highly successful exception, making an unlikely leap to Liverpool. He ultimately had a tremendous career that spanned over 600 games, six league titles, three FA Cup winners’ medals and a winners medal from the UEFA European Cup. “I still remember watching the 1973 FA Cup final,” Grobbelaar remembered to “I was only 15 at the time. Jim Montgomery pulled off a world-class double save to prevent Leeds from scoring and Sunderland went on to create one of the huge FA Cup upsets by winning 1-0.”

In the 1986 final against Everton, Grobbelaar himself pulled off a save that is still remembered and talked about to this day. “That is probably my most memorable FA Cup final moment. Graeme Sharp headed the ball toward goal, and I had to run across half of my box before tipping it over. Sharp thought it was in. And from there, we went on to win 3-1.”

But Grobbelaar’s FA Cup memories will always be accompanied by sadness, as he played in the 1989 semi-final match that led to the Hillsborough Stadium disaster in which 96 Liverpool fans lost their lives. “It was tough to go on after that, but what made the difference is that Kenny Dalglish, who was our manager at the time, made us go and visit the families of the bereaved. We counselled them and, in turn, we counselled ourselves.

“After beating Nottingham Forrest, we qualified for the final and it was fitting that it was again against local rivals Everton, as the whole city was grieving. We won 3-2.”

Mr. FA Cup
Few players have dominated the FA Cup final as much as Côte d’Ivoire striker Didier Drogba, who not only has four winning medals in his trophy cabinet but also has the distinction of scoring in all four of those finals – twice the only goal of the game.

In the 2010 final, when Drogba’s 59th-minute goal against Portsmouth gave Chelsea a 1-0 victory, the striker was one of nine Africans to tread the hallowed Wembley turf. One of them was Nwankwo Kanu, who has his own part in FA Cup final history.

Two years earlier the Nigerian striker became an instant Portsmouth hero as he helped the club to only their second-ever FA Cup victory, coming 69 years after their first. Kanu scored the winning goal against Cardiff and picked up his third FA Cup medal, having earlier twice won with Arsenal. “The FA Cup has always been a big thing for me. I grew up watching it on TV and every team wants to win the FA Cup. To make the final is something special.”

Kanu says winning the cup with Arsenal and Portsmouth were very different experiences. “With Arsenal, we just had to win a cup that season. We were so strong. But with Pompey it was different. When we started, we certainly did not see ourselves in the final and winning it. But once we won the quarter-finals and then the semi-finals, I knew that we would definitely have to win it. And then we did, and it was a special one for Portsmouth and the players. Because it is an old tradition, people in England really appreciate the FA Cup.”

For Crystal Palace midfielders Yannick Bolasie (Congo DR), Bakary Sako (Mali), Senegalese defender Pape Souare, as well as Togo international striker Emmanuel Adebayor, Saturday’s final against the Red Devils provides them with an opportunity to write yet another chapter in the glorious FA Cup final history of African footballers.

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Kumar Sangakkara, ICC Hails Retiring Cricket Player As “A Legend Of The Game”

In 2007, Sangakkara became the first player to make scores of 150 or more in four successive Test matches, and in February 2014, he became just the second player (after Graham Gooch) to score a triple century and a century in the same Test.The Chief Executive of the International Cricket Council (ICC) David Richardson has paid tribute to former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara, who retired from international cricket today.

Sangakkara was one of the leading cricketers in world cricket for the last 15 years during which played in 134 Tests (scoring 12,400 runs, 182 catches (131 catches as a wicket-keeper) as well as 20 stumpings), 404 ODIs (14,234 runs, 402 catches (383 as wicket-keeper) and 99 stumpings) and 56 T20Is (1,382 runs, 26 catches as wicket-keeper and 20 stumpings). He also led Sri Lanka in 15 Tests, 45 ODIs and 22 ODIs. One of his finest hours came when he inspired Sri Lanka to the final of the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2011.

Sangakkara was selected in the ICC Test Team of the year on seven occasions – 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014 and was won the prestigious Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for the ICC Cricketer of the Year, as well as the Test Player of the Year, in Colombo in 2012. He was also named ICC ODI Player of the Year in 2011 and 2013.

In 2007, he became the first player to make scores of 150 or more in four successive Test matches, and in February 2014, he became just the second player (after Graham Gooch) to score a triple century and a century in the same Test.

Congratulating Sangakkara on a highly successful career, Mr Richardson said: “Kumar Sangakkara will rightly go down as one of cricket’s greatest-ever players and ambassadors. Across an illustrious career, he maintained levels of excellence whether batting, keeping wickets or leading by example.

“By scoring a total of 28,016 runs across all three formats, he puts himself in the higher echelons of players to ever grace the game. But he also made a considerable contribution off the field and carried the weight of expectation of a passionate Sri Lanka supporting public, as he did his batting, with great class.

“The high esteem in which he is also held by his peers is emphasised by the fact that he was invited to deliver the prestigious 2011 MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture at Lord’s, becoming the first active player to do so. Kumar was also a valued member of the ICC Cricket Committee from 2007 to 2015.

“In stepping off the field of play for the last time we wish Kumar and his family well and thank him for his enormous contribution to the game.”
Kumar “Sanga” Chokshanada Sangakkara (Sinhalese: කුමාර සංගක්කාර; born 27 October 1977) is a former Sri Lankan cricketer and captain of the Sri Lankan national team. Widely regarded as one of the world’s most influential greatest cricketers,[1][2] Sangakkara has forged many formidable partnerships with long time team mate and friend, Mahela Jayawardene and holds numerous batting records in the modern era across all formats of the game. He is second to Sachin Tendulkar in terms of most international runs with 28,016.

A left-handed top-order batsman, he is also a record-breaking wicket-keeper, although he no longer kept wickets at the end of his Test career. Currently, he is the second-highest run-scorer in ODI cricket and the fifth-highest run scorer in Test cricket.

Sangakkara is described as one of the “most polished and prudent of batsmen” in cricket. Along with AB de Villiers, he has dominated the number one spot in the ICC Test batting rankings between 2005 and 2015. On 12 August 2015, Sangakkara was placed at number 5 in the ICC Test rankings.

Sangakkara was a key member of the team that won the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 and was part of the team that made the final of the 2007 Cricket World Cup, 2011 Cricket World Cup, 2009 ICC World Twenty20 and 2012 ICC World Twenty20. He won the Man of the Match award in the final of the 2014 ICC World Twenty20, where he helped the team win their first title.

He was the youngest person and the first active international player to deliver the MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture, which was widely praised by the cricketing community for its outspoken nature.

In terms of number of innings required, Sangakkara is the fastest batsman to reach 8,000, 9,000, 11,000 and 12,000 runs in Test cricket. He is also joint fastest to 10,000.  He won the ICC Cricketer of the Year in 2012, Test Cricketer of the Year in 2012, and ODI Cricketer of the Year multiple times in 2011 and 2013.  He has also won the LG People’s Choice Award twice, in 2011 and 2012. Sangakkara has regularly featured in the World Test XI and World ODI XI, appearing six times and three times in them, respectively. He was selected as Leading Cricketer in the World in the 2015 edition of Wisden.

He was named the Wisden Leading Cricketer in the World in 2011 and 2015.  He is one of two players to have won this award twice, along with Indian opener Virender Sehwag, who won the award in 2008 and 2009.

On 29 January 2015, Sangakkara became Sri Lanka’s highest ever ODI run scorer, surpassing the previous record of 13,430 runs held by Sanath Jayasuriya. In the same match, he also broke the record for ODI wicketkeeping dismissals, breaking the previous record of 472 held by Adam Gilchrist.

Sangakkara born to Kumari Surangana and Swarnakumara Sangakkara, an attorney-at-law at Matale, Sri Lanka in 1977. His parents settled in Kandy, where he grew up in his childhood. Sangakkara received his primary and secondary education at Trinity College, Kandy, an independent elite private boys’ school situated in the central highlands of Sri Lanka. He has two sisters: Thushari and Saranga, and an elder brother: Vemindra, all who have made national level achievements during their school-life. Sangakkara too started playing a number of sports: badminton, tennis, swimming, table tennis and cricket at the junior school. He was able to win national colours for badminton and tennis at his younger age. The then principal of the Trinity College, Leonard de Alwis, advised his mother to encourage Sangakkara to concentrate on cricket.

His parents hid Tamil families during the Black July riots in 1983.

He represented his school’s under-13 cricket XI under coach Upananda Jayasundera. Berty Wijesinghe coached Sangakkara for under-15, under-17, under-19 and first XI squads.  He was awarded The Trinity Lion, the most prestigious prize awarded to a Trinity sportsman, for his exceptional batting and wicket-keeping skills in the 1996 season, at the age of 19.  Sangakkara was selected to represent Sri Lanka A cricket team at a tour to South Africa in 1998–99. His knock of unbeaten 156 against Zimbabwe A team at a one-day match,  helped him secure a place at the Sri Lankan national cricket team later that year.

Sanga was the Senior Prefect (Head Boy) of school, he did his Advanced Level examination in the Arts stream in 1996. He was also awarded the highest honour of Trinity College, the Ryde Gold Medal, for the best all-round student in his year. Following his father, who is a lawyer in Kandy, he entered the Law Faculty of the University of Colombo, but was unable to finish his degree due to cricket tours. Sangakkara was a chorister and played the violin during his school-days. He was cited as an inspiration to continue his higher education by Bangladeshi captain Mushfiqur Rahim, upon receiving his master’s degree.

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Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura Appointed FIFA Secretary General


Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura has been elected as secretary general of FIFA

The FIFA Council today appointed Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura of Senegal as FIFA Secretary General (SG). Ms Samoura is a 21-year veteran of United Nations programmes who is currently the UN’s Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Nigeria. The announcement was made by FIFA President Gianni Infantino at the 66th FIFA Congress in Mexico City.

“Fatma is a woman with international experience and vision who has worked on some of the most challenging issues of our time,” President Infantino said. “She has a proven ability to build and lead teams, and improve the way organisations perform. Importantly for FIFA, she also understands that transparency and accountability are at the heart of any well-run and responsible organisation.”

As required under FIFA statutes, Ms Samoura will undergo an eligibility check administered by the independent Review Committee, per Article 37 of the FIFA Statutes. Ms Samoura will assume the role of FIFA Secretary General before mid-June.

President Infantino praised Ms Samoura’s integrity, and said the Council was particularly impressed with her operational experience, as well as her expertise in governance and working in multi-cultural environments. He said her expertise will complement the long-standing and deep knowledge of world football within the FIFA leadership team and administration.

“It is essential for FIFA to incorporate fresh perspectives – from outside the traditional pool of football executives – as we continue to restore and rebuild our organisation,” President Infantino said. “No one exemplifies what we need more than Fatma does, and we are thrilled that she has joined our team.”  Since starting her UN career as a senior logistics officer with the World Food Programme in Rome in 1995, Ms Samoura has served as country representative or director in six countries: Republic of Djibouti, Cameroon, Chad, Guinea, Madagascar and Nigeria. She speaks French (her mother tongue), English, Spanish and Italian.

“Today is a wonderful day for me, and I am honoured to take on the role of FIFA’s Secretary General,” Ms Samoura said. “I believe this role is a perfect fit for my skills and experience – strategic, high impact team building in international settings – which I will use to help grow the game of football all over the world.

“I also look forward to bringing my experience in governance and compliance to bear on the important reform work that is already underway at FIFA. FIFA is taking a fresh approach to its work – and I am eager to play a role in making that approach as effective and lasting as possible.”

In her current UN role in Nigeria, Ms Samoura has wide-ranging responsibilities including budgeting, human resources, and procurement, among others. She coordinates the activities of approximately 2,000 staff members, and monitors and evaluates the security, political and socio-economic situation and trends in Africa’s most populous country.

Prior to joining the UN, Ms Samoura spent eight years in the private sector, working in the fertiliser trading sector for Senchim, a subsidiary of Industries Chimiques du Senegal. Her areas of responsibility included product export and import programmes, tenders, and the establishment of a national distribution network.

Ms Samoura earned her Masters Degree in English and Spanish at the University of Lyon; and a Post-Masters Degree in international relations/international trade from the Institut d’Etudes Supérieures Spécialisées (IECS)- Strasbourg-France.


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Skylar Diggins Is A Mega Sports Star, A Beautiful Personality, The WNBA’S Standard Of Excellence, On and Off The Court

3wnba_g_diggins_400wnba_2k14__skylar_diggins_by_no_look_pass-d6ojlr0Skylar Kierra Diggins (born August 2, 1990) is an American professional basketball player for the Dallas Wings of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). She was drafted 3rd overall by the Tulsa Shock in the 2013 WNBA draft. In high school, she was the National Gatorade Player of the Year, the Gatorade Female Athlete of the Year, and a McDonald’s All-American. Diggins played point guard for Notre Dame, where she led Notre Dame to three consecutive Final Fours and two consecutive NCAA championship appearances. She finished her Notre Dame career ranked first in points and steals, second in assists, and as a two-time winner of the Nancy Lieberman Award as the top point guard in the nation, while leading her team to a record of 130–20.

Diggins was born in South Bend, Indiana. She is the daughter of Tige Diggins and Renee Scott and step-daughter of Sarah Diggins and Maurice Scott. Diggins has three younger brothers Tige, Destyn, and Maurice and one younger sister Hanneaf. She also grew up playing softball.

Diggins attended Washington High School in South Bend, Indiana. Diggins was a four-year starter and three-year team captain at Washington High School, where the Panthers had a combined record of 102–7.  In her freshman year, she averaged 20.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, 5.4 assists. 3.6 steals, and 1.2 blocks. As a sophomore she averaged 24.4 points, 4.9 rebounds, 6.1 assists, and 4.7 steals. During her junior year she averaged a state-best 29.5 points, in addition to 7.6 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 3.9 steals, and 1.7 blocks. As a senior, she averaged a state-best 29 points per game, along with 6.3 rebounds, 6.2 assists, 5.4 steals and 2.2 blocked shots. She tallied fourteen 30-point games in 26 games played, and narrowly missed a rare quadruple-double in the ’08–09 season opener vs. LaPorte, finishing with 28 points, 12 assists, 12 steals and nine rebounds. Diggins finished her career with 2,790 points, the third-highest girls’ scoring total in Indiana history for an average of 25.9 points per game. She scored at least 700 points in each of her final three seasons, which ranks as three of the top 23 single-season scoring marks in state history. She holds school records in all major statistical categories with 620 rebounds, 601 assists, 475 steals and 161 blocks.

During her time there, Diggins led the Panthers to state championship games, including Washington’s title-winning season of 2007. Diggins was named to the all-state first team in 2007, 2008, and 2009. In addition to basketball, she participated in volleyball and did well academically, earning High Academic Honors as a senior, and being a member of National Honor Society. Diggins was a two-time Gatorade Indiana Girls Basketball Player of the Year.  Diggins was named a WBCA All-American, and was a McDonald’s All-American selection.  She participated in the 2009 WBCA High School All-America Game, where she scored 24 points.   In the March 30, 2009, issue of Sports Illustrated, she was part of its Faces in the Crowd segment. Diggins chose Notre Dame over Stanford, but was able to make friends with Stanford alum Candice Wiggins after visiting the university.

As a freshman, Diggins became the fourth Indiana native to join the Irish roster in 2009–10, along with fellow South Bend-area guard (and co-captain) Melissa Lechlitner, Indianapolis guard Ashley Barlow (and co-captain) and Valparaiso forward Becca Bruszewski. In addition, she was one of three Miss Basketball honorees on the ’09-10 Notre Dame roster, along with Lindsay Schrader (Illinois 2005) and Kellie Watson (Michigan 2008). Diggins played and started in 30 of ND’s 35 games. She led the team in scoring (13.8 ppg.), steals (2.6 spg.) and assists (tied – 3.2 apg.), while ranking third on the squad in three-point percentage (.350) and free throw percentage (.782). She tallied a team-high 24 double-digit scoring games, including seven 20-point outings, and set Notre Dame freshman records for steals (90), free throws made (111), free throws attempted (142) and minutes played (1,028), while ranking among the top five among Fighting Irish freshman for points (3rd – 484), scoring average (tied/4th – 13.8 ppg.), field goals made (3rd – 169), field goals attempted (3rd – 385), three-point field goals made (4th – 35), three-point attempts (5th – 100), three-point percentage (5th – .350), assists (3rd – 112), steals per game (2nd – 2.6 spg.), games started (tied/2nd – 30), games played (2nd – 35) and minutes per game (5th – 29.4). Diggins had a team-high eight “5–5–5” games (including all three NCAA tournament games) and at least one steal in 33 of 35 games (16 outings with 3+ steals, including all six postseason games). She is the fourth Notre Dame player to score 400 points as a freshman (most since Beth Morgan tallied 518 points in 1993–94, the last time a Notre Dame rookie led team in scoring), and was the first Notre Dame freshman with 100 assists in a debut season since Mollie Peirick in 1994–95.

Diggins rose to national prominence in her sophomore year, finishing the regular season first on the team in assists per game (4.8 average), while placing second in scoring (14.4) and third in steals (1.9). She scored in double figures 30 times, including eight 20-point outings, and notched at least five assists in 21 games. Diggins continued her stellar play in the NCAA tournament, leading the Irish to the second championship game appearance in school history, ten years after Notre Dame captured the national title in 2001. In the regional final, they beat Tennessee (fourth-ranked team in the country) by a score of 73–59. Diggins scored a then-season-high 24 points in the game, and was named the Most Outstanding Player of the 2011 NCAA Dayton Regional. Diggins went over the 1,000-point mark for her career, becoming just the second Notre Dame women’s basketball player to reach that milestone before the end of her sophomore season. In the semifinal game, the Notre Dame point guard led her team to victory over heavily favored UConn (the number-one team in the country) with 28 points (her highest single-game total on the season), 4 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals.  Diggins also made all six of her free-throw attempts. Notre Dame was victorious in its third Final Four appearance ever, defeating the two-time defending champion Huskies by a score of 72–63. However, the Fighting Irish lost to the Texas A&M Aggies in the final game of the 2011 women’s basketball tournament, by a score of 76–70. In the losing effort, Diggins finished with 23 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 steals. She made 8 of 9 free-throws in the game, including two with 40.7 seconds remaining. But the sophomore struggled from beyond the arc, sinking only 1-of-5 three-point attempts. Diggins also committed 6 turnovers, the last one ending Notre Dame’s chances for good as the game clock wound down. As the Associated Press reported, “Diggins, fighting back tears, said the Irish couldn’t handle A&M’s pressure. ‘We turned it over too much. I don’t know if it was nerves or what,’ she said. ‘We just didn’t handle the pressure.'”

For her excellence on the court, Diggins was selected by the Associated Press as a 2011 Third Team All-American,  and she was also honored as one of ten members of the 2011 State Farm Coaches All-America Team. She joined Baylor‘s Brittney Griner as one of only two sophomores honored, and was just the third Irish women’s basketball player to earn the award, joining Ruth Riley (2001) and Jacqueline Batteast (2005).

Diggins started all 39 games, averaging career-high 16.8 points, 5.7 assists and 2.6 steals per game and became the first Fighting Irish player and just the fourth NCAA Division I player in the past decade (since 2001–02) to register 600 points, 200 assists and 100 steals in a single season. She set a school record with 102 steals, while her 222 assists were third-most on the Notre Dame single-season list, and her 657 points ranked fourth on the school’s single-season chart. She was the only player to be ranked in the top five in the Big East in three of five major statistical categories, leading in both assists (5.7 apg. – 16th in nation) and steals (2.6 spg. – 55th in nation), and fourth in scoring (16.8 ppg. – 70th in nation). She also posted a conference-best 2.16 assist-turnover ratio (10th in nation), and ranked among the top 10 in the Big East in free throw percentage (9th – .786) and field goal percentage (tied-10th – .500; 35th in nation).

Following the end of the regular season, Diggins was named a unanimous selection to the Big East All-First team, was awarded the Big East Player of the Year, and was a Consensus first team All-American. During the postseason, she made history in the NCAA Raleigh Regional final against No. 5 Maryland with 22 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds to tally the first triple-double in Notre Dame postseason history. Notre Dame met UConn for a second straight year in the Final Four, with the Irish again coming out victorious, winning 83–75 in overtime. The Irish would go on to lose in the finals to Baylor. Diggins was named the Nancy Lieberman Point Guard of the Year, the first Notre Dame player to win the award.

In her final year, Diggins had the best season of her college career. She started in all 37 games, averaging a career-high 17.1 ppg, 6.1 apg, 3.5 rpg. and 3.1 spg., with three double-doubles and one triple-double. She set a school record with 114 steals, while a career-high 225 assists were third-most for one season in program history. Diggins scored in double figures 33 times, including 12 20-point games (both team highs), and posted a team-best 10 “5–5–5” games this season (at least 5 in three of five major statistical categories) She led the Big East and ranked 19th in the nation in assists, and was also third in the Big East and 18th nationally in steals. In the Big East, she was fourth in free throw percentage (.814) and scoring, fifth in assist/turnover ratio (1.67) and sixth in three-point percentage (.362). At the end of the regular season, Diggins was a unanimous selection to the Big East first team, was awarded the Big East Player of the Year, and was a Consensus first team All-American for the second straight season.

In the Big East Tournament, Diggins was named to the All-Tournament team after leading the Irish to their Big East championship game victory, defeating the UConn Huskies, as she had 12 points, 6 assists, 5 steals and 3 rebounds, and came up with decisive steal with eight seconds left in a tie game, then weaved through three Connecticut defenders before passing off to Natalie Achonwa for a game-winning layup with 1.8 seconds remaining. In the NCAA Tournament, Notre Dame earned a 2 seed as Diggins led them easily over Tennessee-Martin, Kansas, and won the Norfolk Regional final defeating No. 5 Duke as Diggins was named the Norfolk Regional Most Outstanding Player.

Her college career came to an end in the 2013 NCAA women’s basketball final four to Big East rival and eventual champion the University of Connecticut, who Notre Dame had met up with and defeated in the two previous Final Fours. Diggins was named the Nancy Lieberman Point Guard of the Year for the second straight year.

She is one of only six NCAA Division I players since 1999–2000 to compile 2,000 points/500 rebounds/500 assists/300 steals in her career—others were Alana Beard (Duke), Shenise Johnson (Miami-Fla.), Leilani Mitchell (Idaho/Utah), Maya Moore (Connecticut) and Courtney Vandersloot (Gonzaga). She is the only Notre Dame basketball player (either gender) to amass 2,000 points/500 rebounds/500 assists/300 steals in her career. Diggins finished her career as the all-time Notre Dame leading scorer with 2,357 points. She also holds Notre Dame career records for points, steals, free throws made, free throws attempted, games started, minutes played, double-figure scoring games and triple-doubles. She is ranked second in school history for career assists, field goals made, field goals attempted and games played. Diggins is the only Notre Dame player to earn the Nancy Lieberman Award (nation’s top point guard) and one of only three players in the award’s history to claim the honor twice.


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Alvin Gentry, THE GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS ASSOCIATE HEAD COACH OF THE 2015 NBA CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM, THE 1988 NCAA DIVISION 1 BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP ASSISTANT COACH OF KANSAS, Former Appalachian State University men’s Basketball Player and Currently New Orleans Pelicans Head Coach, Alvin Gentry, Was Inducted Into The Boys & Girls Club Alumni Hall Of Fame On Wednesday

OOQKLFODNRPTPBK.20150617184636alvin-gentryIn honor of his lifetime involvement, Appalachian State University men’s basketball alumnus and current New Orleans Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry was inducted into the Boys & Girls Club Hall of Fame on Wednesday night.

Originally from Shelby, N.C., Gentry is the first alumnus of the Boys & Girls Club of Cleveland County to receive the honor.

At Wednesday’s induction ceremony, Gentry said, “Most of us have been affiliated with the Boys & Girls Club in some way and the word we kind of keep using here is ‘safehouse’. To me that’s what it’s always been. It’s a place you can go and you feel comfortable there. In my case, it’s where you learn to play basketball, but not even just the basketball part and playing, it teaches you about discipline, teamwork and a lot of little things that have very little to do with basketball, but just life in general.”

Gentry added, “This is as big of an honor that I could ever receive. It really is. As far as, it means so much just from a life lessons stand point. This is a great honor. We have to continue to work, this is a very important organization and we have to help along the next generation of youth.”

After attending Shelby High School, Gentry played four seasons at Appalachian State for both Press Maravich and Bobby Cremins from 1973-1977. As a four-year letterwinner, Gentry averaged 6.0 points and 2.0 rebounds per game with a .493 shooting percentage.

Last season, Gentry became the first Appalachian State alumnus to win an NBA championship as a player or a coach when the Golden State Warriors ousted the Cleveland Cavaliers in six games in the NBA Finals. Before taking the position with the Pelicans, Gentry served as the associate head coach on Steve Kerr’s staff for Golden State.

Despite last season’s championship being Gentry’s first in 27 seasons in the NBA, it was the second title of his coaching career, as he was an assistant coach under Larry Brown at Kansas when the Jayhawks won the 1988 NCAA title.

Gentry was hired as the Pelicans’ head coach on May 31, 2015. New Orleans is the fifth NBA franchise Gentry has led as head coach. He served as head coach of the Miami Heat in 1994-95, the Detroit Pistons from 1997-2000, the Los Angeles Clippers from 2000-2002 and then had his longest tenure with the Phoenix Suns from 2008-2013.

He won a career-high 54 games with the Suns during the 2009-10 season, which culminated in a Western Conference Finals appearance.

Early and Personal Life:

Gentry was born in Shelby, North Carolina, where he grew up and attended Shelby High School. His first cousin is former NC State and NBA star David Thompson.

Gentry played college basketball at Appalachian State University, where he was a point guard under Press Maravich and Bobby Cremins. In 1978 he spent one year as a graduate assistant at the University of Colorado. After one year working in private business, he returned to the bench when he received his first full-time collegiate assistant coaching job at Baylor University under Jim Haller in 1980. After one year at Baylor, Gentry returned to the University of Colorado as an assistant coach from 1981-1986 under Tom Apke. From 1986-1989, Gentry served as an assistant at the University of Kansas under Larry Brown, where they won the 1988 NCAA National Championship.

Gentry and his wife Suzanne have two sons. He also has one daughter from a previous marriage.

In 1989 he began his NBA coaching career as an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs under Larry Brown. It was in San Antonio that Gentry met his future/current wife, Suzanne Harris. They have two children, Ryan and Jack.

Gentry joined Gregg Popovich, R. C. Buford, and Ed Manning as part of Larry Brown’s assistant coaching staff for the Spurs when Brown left Kansas before the 1988–89 NBA season.

After two seasons in San Antonio, Gentry left to become an assistant for the Los Angeles Clippers beginning in the 1990–91 season. For the 1991 season Gentry joined Kevin Loughery‘s staff as an assistant coach for the Miami Heat, where he coached for three seasons. He then moved to Detroit following the 1994–95 season where he served as an assistant for two and a half seasons before being named head coach late in the 1997–98 season.

Gentry returned to San Antonio as head assistant coach following the 1999–2000 season, where he was reunited with former co-assistants Gregg Popovich (the Spurs head coach and vice president of basketball operations) and R.C. Buford (the Spurs General Manager). But that assignment was brief, as Gentry accepted the head coaching position for the Los Angeles Clippers weeks after taking the San Antonio job. He did a solid job with the Clippers his first two years, leading them to 31 wins and 39 wins respectively in those two seasons. Those seasons were marked by the solid play of youngsters, such as Darius Miles, Elton Brand and Lamar Odom. In Gentry’s third season, however, the team regressed (despite the addition of Andre Miller), and Gentry was fired in February 2003.

Gentry later became an assistant coach for the Phoenix Suns for six years, serving under head coaches Mike D’Antoni and Terry Porter. When Porter was fired in his first season as head coach, Alvin Gentry took over on an interim basis. He was named Suns’ head coach for the 2009-2010 season. Gentry’s record in his first year as head coach during the 2009-2010 season was 54 wins, a career high, against 28 losses. The Suns advanced to the Western Conference Finals and lost to the Lakers in six games. He became the fifth head coach in franchise history to lead his team to a Western Conference Finals berth in his first full season.  Gentry figured out how to blend the two styles of D’Antoni and Porter. Comparing his coaching to D’Antoni, Gentry said “We are not seven seconds or less. We’re 12 seconds or under. We don’t take a lot of really quick shots. We don’t play with that breakneck pace. We play with a rhythm.” Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich remarked “One thing about Phoenix is they are better defensively than in the past. They’re much more active, much more committed, they’ve taken responsibility to a much more significant degree than ever before.

On January 18, 2013, Gentry mutually parted ways with the Phoenix Suns. In July 2013, he returned to the Clippers organization, taking the title of associate head coach, making him Doc Rivers’ lead assistant.

After one season with the Clippers, Gentry signed a three-year contract as associate head coach for the Golden State Warriors, working under new head coach Steve Kerr.

On May 18, 2015, the New Orleans Pelicans were granted permission by the Warriors to interview Gentry for their head coaching vacancy.[8] He signed with the Pelicans on May 30, prior to the start of the 2015 NBA Finals, but was to remain with Golden State until the series was completed. The Warriors won the NBA Championship after they defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in six games to give Gentry his first NBA championship.


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Serena Williams embodies style, power, beauty and courage. Currently ranked #1, Serena has overcome insurmountable odds to win 21 career Grand Slams. Not only is she remarkable at tennis, her success with endeavors outside of the sport include film, television, fashion and philanthropy. Her tennis ability combined with her off-court activity makes her one of the most recognizable names and faces in the world–an icon.

Serena was born September 26, 1981 in Saginaw, Michigan, to Richard and Oracene Williams. While still an infant, the family moved to Compton, California where she began playing tennis at the age of four. At nine, Serena and her family moved to West Palm Beach, Florida. Since that time, she has become one of the most dominant figures in tennis.

A year for the records, Serena has won four grand slams; Wimbledon, the French Open, the Australian Open, and the 2014 US Open, a feat affectionately known as the “Serena Slam.”

She has won a title in all four Grand Slam tournaments. She has won 66 singles championships, 22 doubles championships, and was also Gold-Medalist at the 2000 (doubles), 2008 (doubles), and 2012 (singles and doubles) Olympics.

Off the court, fashion and acting are Serena’s passions. Serena’s acting credits include an appearance on “Drop Dead Diva”; a role as an ex-gangster on Showtime’s “Street Time”; and a leading role on an episode of Lifetime’s “The Division.” Serena has also lent her vocal talents to “The Simpsons” and Disney’s “Higgleytown Heroes.” She was also featured among 10 individuals named “Fashion Trendsetters” by Vogue Magazine on a VH1/Vogue Television Special. Serena has used her fashion savvy to create her own clothing label, Aneres, which has been featured in In Style Magazine. You can also find Serena on HSN where her Serena Williams Signature Statement collection is featured. Her most recent line premiered at New York Fashion Week on September 9, 2014. In 2011, Serena’s passion for nails came to fruition when she partnered with OPI to create her Glam Slam Series, an assortment of colors inspired by the tennis and fashion icon.

The Serena Williams Fund focuses on creating equal access to education and assisting victims of senseless community violence. To that end, The Serena Williams Fund partners with organizations and leaders doing great work to positively impact communities and the lives of other human beings both nationally and globally. This has included building schools in Kenya, serving as a UNICEF Global Ambassador, Creating the Serena Scholars to help deserving students with unmet financial need in the US attend college, partnering with the Equal Justice Initiative to raise funds and awareness for the great work they do to name a few.

Serena splits her time between Palm Beach, Florida and Los Angeles, California with her Yorkshire terrier, Chip.


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MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIVERSITY QUARTERBACK. MR. RAYNE DAKOTA “DAK” PRESCOTT IS THE FIRST QUARTERBACK PICKED BY THE DALLAS COWBOYS SINCE THE 2009 SEASON, NOTE: In December 2014, Prescott earned his undergraduate degree in educational psychology before receiving his master’s degree in workforce leadership only a year later.

dak-prescott Dak-Prescott- dakRayne Dakota “Dak” Prescott  (born July 29, 1993) is an American football quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the Mississippi State Bulldogs, where he was the starting quarterback from 20132015, and holds all school passing records.

Prescott attended Haughton High School in Haughton, Louisiana. As a senior he completed 159 of 258 passes for 2,860 yards and 39 touchdowns. He also rushed for 951 yards on 90 attempts with 17 touchdowns.

Prescott started the 2013 season and again as the backup to Russell, but took over as the starter when Russell suffered a concussion. He played in 11 games, completing 156 of 267 passes for 1,940 yards with 10 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He also ran for 829 yards on 134 carries with 13 touchdowns. He was the MVP of the 2013 Liberty Bowl after leading the Bulldogs to a 44–7 win over the Rice Owls.  His 2013 season performance ranks seventh in passing yards (1,940), tied for fifth in rushing touchdowns (13), and fourth in total yards (2,769) and total touchdowns (23). Following the season he was named to the 2013 SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll.

In his first season as a full time starter Prescott led the Bulldogs to a 10-2 regular season record, its first number 1 ranking in program history, and led them to the Orange Bowl. During the 2014 season Prescott broke 10 school-records including: single season passing yards (3,449), total yards of total offense (4,435), passing touchdowns (27), and total touchdowns (41). Additionally his 14 rushing touchdowns is tied for fourth in school history. Prescott also garnered several accolades throughout and following the season. He was named the Manning Award Player of Week 5 times (vs. UAB, at LSU, vs. Texas A&M, vs. Auburn; vs. Vanderbilt), the 2014 SEC Offensive Player of Week 3 times (at LSU; vs. Auburn; vs. Vanderbilt), the Athlon Sports, Davey O’Brien, Maxwell Award Player of Week two times each (at LSU, vs. A&M), and was the 24/7 Sports National Offensive Player of Week (at LSU). He was named a 2014 Honorable Mention All-American by, was named to the 2014 First-Team All-SEC team by the AP, Coaches, and and was on the 2014 SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll. He won the Conerly Trophy, was a finalist for the Maxwell Award, the Davey O’Brien award, the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm award, and the Manning Award. He also finished eighth in the 2014 Heisman Trophy voting and received two first place votes.

Prior to the 2015 season he was named a 2015 National Player of the Year Candidate, was selected to 2 Preseason All-American teams (Athlon Sports & Phil Steele) and was chosen First Team Preseason All-SEC by the media. During the 2015 season he became the fourth player in FBS history to pass for 60 touchdowns and rush for 40 touchdowns in a career, joining Dan LeFevour of Central Michigan, Tim Tebow of Florida and Colin Kaepernick of Nevada. His 2,411 rushing yards places him third in all-time rushing yards by a quarterback in SEC history behind Tebow and Matt Jones of Arkansas.  He ranks 4th in SEC history with 107 total touchdowns responsible for (passing, rushing, and receiving)[ and 5th in total yards (rushing and passing) with 11,153.  His streak of 288 consecutive pass attempts without throwing an interception is the longest in school history and the third longest SEC history. In the Bulldogs’ 2015 contest against Arkansas he set the school single game record and tied the SEC single game record for touchdowns responsible for with 7 (5 passing 2 rushing) and set a new school record for touchdown passes in a single game.  He was named the AutoNation National Offensive Player of the Week by the Football Writers Association of America, the Davey O’Brien Award National Quarterback of the Week, a Manning Award Star of the Week by the Allstate Sugar Bowl and the SEC offensive player of the week following his performance in the Bulldogs’ victory over Kentucky; a game in which he passed for 348 yards and 3 touchdowns to go along with 117 yards and 3 scores on the ground. The six touchdowns in a single contest tied the school record set by Jackie Parker in 1952 and Prescott became the first player in school history to throw for over 300 yards and rush for over 100 yards in the same game. This was the fourth time that he has been named SEC Offensive Player of the Week, the most in program history.  Prescott received further national recognition by being placed on several national award watch lists including being named a finalist for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, a semifinalist for both the Maxwell Award and the Davey O’Brien Award, placed on the watch list for the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award, the Manning Award,the Wuerffel Trophy, and the Senior Bowl, and won the Senior CLASS Award.  For the season he passed for 3,793 yards, 29 passing touchdowns and 10 rushing touchdowns.

Prescott was drafted in the 4th round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys and will be expected to compete to be the backup to Tony Romo.

He is the son of Nathaniel and Peggy Prescott and has two older brothers, Tad and Jace and an older sister Natalie Prescott-Smith and older brother Elliott Prescott from Mr. Prescott’s previous marriage. Jace was an offensive lineman at Northwestern State. His mother died of colon cancer in November 2013.

10 things to know about new Cowboys QB Dak Prescott, including his master’s degree and his Cowboys fandom.

1. He holds 38 school records at Mississippi State

2. His mom died of cancer during his sophomore season

3. He’s been on the cover of Sports Illustrated — twice

4. He grew up a Cowboys fan

5. Even though Tony Romo tested his faith

6. He was randomly attacked during Spring Break 2014

7. He enjoys fishing

8. His real first name is Rayne

9. He earned two degrees from MSU

10. The trait he feels he shares with Tony Romo

  • Single game record for passing yards in the Orange bowl with 453
  • Single game record for passing attempts in the Orange bowl with 51
  • Single game record for passing completions in the Orange Bowl with 33
  • Single game record for passing yards in the Belk Bowl with 380
  • Single game record for total yards in the Belk Bowl with 427
  • Single game record for touchdown passes in the Belk Bowl with 4
  • Most passing TDs in a bowl game in school history with 4 in the 2015 Belk Bowl
  • Highest single season passing efficiency with 151.72 in 2014
  • Highest passing completion percentage in a single season with 66.2% in 2015
  • Most touchdowns responsible for in a single season with 41 in 2014
  • Most total yards in a single season with 4,435 in 2014




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bridgeman_bucksbest_111031_10JUNIOR BRIDGEMANbridgeman02_md-01JB

Former Milwaukee Bucks player Ulysses “Junior” Bridgeman, who became one of the largest restaurant franchise operators in the country after retiring from the NBA in 1987, is in the process of divesting his restaurant holdings and has become a new bottler for the Coca-Cola system.

Bridgeman turned a purchase of five Wendy’s franchises in Milwaukee into 240 Wendy’s nationwide (the second largest portfolio in the chain’s franchisee network) and 125 Chili’s, according to Restaurant Business Online.

Today those restaurants, which bring in more than $1.5 million of annual sales apiece, are at the heart of a 240-store portfolio—making Bridgeman’s private company, Bridgeman Foods, America’s second-largest Wendy’s franchise owner. (Bridgeman won’t discuss his profits.) He also owns 125 Chili’s restaurants, 45 Fannie May Chocolate stores, and scads of other retail franchises, most of them clustered in the upper Midwest, between corporate headquarters in Milwaukee and Louisville. His employee roster numbers 9,000 people. Estimates of his net worth range from $450 million to $600 million.

Bridgeman has signed a letter of intent to acquire territory from the Coca-Cola Co. in Missouri, Illinois, Kansas and Nebraska, including the cities of St. Louis and Kansas City. Bridgeman also will acquire a production facility in Lenexa, Kan. Justin Bridgeman, one of Junior Bridgeman’s sons, will lead the company with his father.

Ulysses Lee “Junior” Bridgeman (born September 17, 1953) is a retired American basketball player.

Born in East Chicago, Indiana, Bridgeman was a member of the 1971 East Chicago Washington High School Senators basketball team, which went undefeated (29-0) and won the Indiana state high school basketball championship. Among his teammates were his brother Sam, Pete Trgovich (who played at UCLA) and Tim Stoddard (N.C. State), who would go on to have success as a Major League Baseball pitcher.

A 6’5″ guard/forward from the University of Louisville, Bridgeman was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in 1975 and immediately traded with Brian Winters, David Meyers and Elmore Smith to the Milwaukee Bucks for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Bridgeman went on to have a solid 12-year NBA career, spent mostly with the Bucks, and he scored 11,517 total points. Although he was a sixth man for most of his career, he averaged double figures in scoring for nine consecutive seasons. He played in 711 games for the Bucks, still the most in franchise history, although he started only 105 times. His #2 jersey was retired by the Bucks franchise in 1988.

Also, The Former 6th Man Of The Year Award Winning Professional Basketball Player, “Junior Bridgeman”, has become the first existing Wendy’s franchisee to acquire company-owned locations in the quick-service brand’s recently announced 425-unit refranchising effort.

Bridgeman, one of the restaurant industry’s most established athlete franchisees, bought 30 Wendy’s units in the St. Louis market through BB St. Louis Inc., a partnership between Bridgeman and Chauncey Billups, a point guard for the Detroit Pistons and a 16-year veteran of the National Basketball Association. The deal marks Billups’ first foray into the restaurant industry.

The acquisition increases the total number of Wendy’s restaurants that Bridgeman operates to 196. He also operates more than 100 locations of Chili’s and several dozen Fazoli’s units. The latest deal with Wendy’s includes 29 existing units and one location under construction.Dublin, Ohio-based The Wendy’s Co. disclosed that the acquisition includes a development plan for more new locations in the market and a requirement to remodel some of the units in Wendy’s new “Image Activation” prototype design.

“We are expanding our relationship with successful, well-capitalized franchisees with strong operating credentials and a commitment to our Image Activation reimaging program,” chief executive Emil Brolick said in a statement. “We have enjoyed a longstanding relationship with Junior Bridgeman, and he is an exceptional person, an excellent operator and very committed to building a people culture. In addition, we are eager to welcome Chauncey to the Wendy’s family.”

Bridgeman said in a statement that he and Billups were excited about their new partnership. “We have a tremendous opportunity in the St. Louis market,” he said, “and our goal is to build upon the positive momentum and growth that the Wendy’s brand is currently experiencing.”

For every player like Billups, though, there are several more who end up going broke within five years of retirement—tales that break Bridgeman’s heart. “Unless you grew up in a family where someone owned a business or you sat around the kitchen table talking about the business page—which 99.9% of the players didn’t—you have no idea what $10,000 or $100,000 can do or how long it really lasts,” he says.

Bridgeman is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. Bridgeman has an estimated net worth of over $400 million dollars as a result of his great decision making abilities, and his tireless work ethic. He was also elected to the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999.



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