September 19

Haiti striker Nazon signs for Wolves in `dream’ move

first_imgWOLVERHAMPTON, England, (CMC) – Talented Haiti striker Duckens Nazon has been snapped up by English Championship outfit Wolverhampton Wanderers until the end of the season, the Molineux club announced last Friday.The 22-year-old impressed during a training stint here in recent weeks and has been rewarded with a contract which has the option of an additional year.“Duckens is a player we have seen in the Copa America and also playing in France,” sporting director Kevin Thelwell said.“He has some interesting qualities. Strikers are hard to come by and when you find someone who has pace and power, and wants to develop and learn and grow, sometimes you take that opportunity and take a chance on itNow Duckens has signed an initial short term deal, he has to prove he is capable of playing in England and playing at this level and hopefully he will come through.”Nazon has impressed for Haiti at international level, scoring three goals in CONCACAF qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia and netting twice during the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup.Most recently, he turned out for Kerala Blasters in the Indian Super League, scoring twice in 12 appearances.Nazon described signing with Wolves as a dream come true.“It is a very good feeling to sign for Wolverhampton Wanderers. It has always been my dream to play in England and to get this opportunity is truly rewarding for me and my family,” he said.“I vow to do my best for this club and ensure we push hard to get promotion to the English Premier League.”He added: “I’m very happy, it’s an amazing thing for me. I’ve played in India for three months and now I’ve come back to fulfil my dream of playing in England. Wolves is a very big club in this country. I’m so happy.“The atmosphere around the club is very good, all of the guys have been very welcoming towards me.“It has been easy for me to settle in so far, everyone has made me feel very comfortable. The training ground is great, there is everything that you’d need to perform well.”Nazon will not go straight into first team contention but will instead get his first opportunity with the club’s Under-23s.Wolves lie 16th in the Championship on 32 points – eight points above the drop zonelast_img read more

September 16

Syracuse sweeps ACC Player of the Week honors

first_img Published on March 26, 2018 at 4:25 pm Contact Matt: mdliberm@syr.edu Facebook Twitter Google+ No. 10 Syracuse (4-3, 2-0 Atlantic Coast) swept Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Week honors.Brendan Bomberry earned offensive player of the week after scoring four goals against then-No. 3 Duke on Saturday. Two of those goals came within the final five minutes, as SU staged a comeback win down in Durham.Nick Mellen earned defense honors after holding the nation’s top scorer, Justin Guterding, to just two points on one goal and one assist. The Duke star had been averaging over six points per game.The honors come after the Orange moved up five spots in the Inside Lacrosse rankings following the 15-14 win.Both players will look to keep it rolling this Saturday when the Orange hosts No. 7 Notre Dame (5-2, 0-0) at the Carrier Dome.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text Commentslast_img read more

August 29

Stranded Ghanaian footballers in India beg for repatriation

first_imgMore than 30 Ghanaian footballers are stranded all over India, with no means of livelihood or a way back home, Citi Sports checks have revealed.The players, including former Hearts of Oak star, Richard Quarshiga, are scattered all over India from Kolkata, and Kerala, to Mumbai and New Delhi.Richard Hanson is in Dimapur, a city in Nagaland, India that is approximately 2,289 kilometres from the capital New Dehli. It will take 39 hours to drive to New Dehli from Nagaland. With each passing day, the Dansoman native is getting frustrated.Hanson had arrived in Nagaland early this year as coach-cum-player for Nagaland Rising Star Academy on a six-month contract.His plan was to prove himself and move elsewhere, but the coronavirus pandemic has turned his world upside down. “Good morning, Mr President. Please, we are footballers in India. We came for trials. I would like you to help us through your power to return.“We can’t even pay our rent and even to eat is very difficult in this time of Covid-19. Please help us to return home. Thank you,” Richard tweeted in response to a post from the official account of Nana Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana.Richard wasn’t speaking only for himself. He is the voice of about 30-odd Ghanaian players who had arrived here with dreams of a career in football, but are now stuck with almost nothing. “It’s becoming increasingly difficult. I don’t have anything. No money and I have to survive by eating rice all the time,” Richard said.Forson Kojo Obeng is counting the days when he will return home to his family. He had packed his bags and carried little money in the hope that he would, given a chance, impress a few clubs in India. He knocked on some doors, but before the door opened, Covid-19 had engulfed the nation. “We are three of us in a room here in Kolkata. Whatever little money we had brought from home is over. Now we cannot even afford to pay rent of Rs 9,500 and then we have to take care of our food too. We don’t know what to do,” said Forson.The Ghanaian footballers, most of them doing duty for lower-ranked clubs and who normally get paid on per-match basis while playing in non-recognised tournaments, had got in touch with the Consulate of Ghana. They were told that a flight is available but $1200 (approx. Rs 90,000) per person was simply too much to pay. Besides, there were additional quarantine charges too. “We want to move out of India. Cases of coronavirus are on the rise. Our rent and eating is a big problem,” said Richard.For Stephen Kwasi Mensa, getting home is now a matter of life and death. The Ghanaian defender was doing well with Thrissur-based Jaya Bakery in the lucrative Sevens circuit. He was paid Rs 3,000 per game, if his team won there would be a bonus of Rs 1000. But for the last four months, Mensa is bed-ridden with what the team manager says is a “critical condition.”“I have informed his family but it’s important that he gets home. With international flights yet to resume, we are all in a fix,” said club manager Rafeeq P B.Since the 26-year-old defender has not played, Jaya Bakery is not obliged to pay. Yet, Rafeeq, other club officials and even the All Kerala Sevens Football Association have been digging deep into their pockets to pay the Rs 25,000 that is needed to tide over the crisis every month.Professional footballers have been helped by their respective clubs with lodging and boarding during the hour of crisis.However, those who landed here hoping to make the cut have been left to fend for themselves.Earlier this month, the Ghana Football Association in collaboration with the government of Ghana repatriated 21 Ghanaian footballers who were caught in a similar ordeal in Ethiopia.Hanson and his colleagues hope by telling their story, help will soon come their way. Source: Fentuo Tahiru Fentuo, with additional notes from Times of Indialast_img read more

August 14

LeBron James: Sporting News NBA Athlete of the Decade

first_imgPlenty of bold statements have been made about LeBron James over the past decade. He can spark discussion unlike any figure in recent NBA history, whether it’s coaches, teammates, rivals or blathering TV analysts doing the talking.But the most pertinent statement as it relates to this particular exercise comes from Amy Schumer, who wrote James into her 2015 comedy “Trainwreck.” James plays a (very cheap) version of himself alongside “Saturday Night Live” alum Bill Hader, and he steals the scene just about every time he’s on screen. There is something poetic about James eventually passing the baton to a kid who idolized him growing up. It speaks to both James’ impressive longevity and Doncic’s unrivaled ability for a player of his age.”You never know who you can inspire along your path,” James told ESPN’s Doris Burke after that victory over the Mavs. “And you hope that you can inspire the next generation. And for me, by me playing the game the right way, always getting my teammates involved and playing for the purity of the game, I was able to inspire a kid that wasn’t even in America. And that’s pretty special.”Obviously we see what he is capable of doing. His ability to make plays, not only for himself, for his teammates, the rebounding, just play for the pure love of the game. It’s a beautiful thing to watch.” “I wrote LeBron’s name into the script because he was the only basketball player I knew,” Schumer said.Whether for his off-court exploits or on-court accomplishments, LeBron James is known everywhere, and he had the single biggest impact on his sport of any athlete during the 2010s. There was only one option for Sporting News’ NBA Athlete of the Decade.SN’s ATHLETES OF THE DECADENFL | NBA | MLB | NHL | College football | College basketball | Men’s soccer | Women’s soccer | Men’s boxing | Women’s boxing | Men’s MMA | Women’s MMAAfter infamously announcing during 2010’s much-maligned “The Decision” special that he would be taking his talents to South Beach, James captured two championships over four seasons with the Heat, beginning a run of eight consecutive trips to the NBA Finals. That streak, a perfectly balanced four and four with Miami and Cleveland, put him in a category that had been reserved for Celtics players from the 1950s and ’60s, including Hall of Famer Bill Russell.His finest moment, however, occurred on the other side of the country in Oakland, Calif., when LeBron’s Cavaliers clawed their way back from a 3-1 deficit against the mighty Warriors and won the 2016 NBA title. Game 7 of that series will always be remembered for James’ iconic block of Andre Iguodala, a highlight difficult to comprehend years later.And yet, despite all his basketball accomplishments, James may have changed the business of the NBA more than anything. That ill-fated “Decision” helped turn the league into a year-round spectacle and opened the door for athletes to control their images and how to disperse the messages they wished to send to the public. His use of specific contract lengths in free agency offered him maximum flexibility and pressured front offices to continue improving the roster around him. He didn’t wait to team up with other stars and chase a ring in his final seasons like those before him — James left Cleveland for Miami, then Miami for Cleveland, then Cleveland for Los Angeles while still in his prime.The irony in all of that? Others utilized his strategy to stop him. Kevin Durant joined the Warriors and bested James’ Cavs two years in a row. Kyrie Irving demanded his way out of Cleveland and James’ shadow. Kawhi Leonard left Toronto after winning a championship and Finals MVP to form a juggernaut with Paul George in LA and fight with James for Staples Center supremacy. MORE: SN’s NBA All-Decade teamLeBron created the blueprint to reach the peak of hoops existence, and others followed it and pushed him back down the mountain.James isn’t done just yet, though. In Year 17 with Anthony Davis by his side — the result of a trade request announced by James’ agent and longtime friend Rich Paul — James is playing at an MVP-level and defying the typical aging curve. He is breaking new ground with the Lakers, on pace to lead the league in assists for the first time in his career. He has a real shot to capture a fourth title, and maybe more.But even if he never wears another Finals patch on his jersey, James’ legacy is secure, a legacy that he largely built in the 2010s. This league is an incredibly tangled web, but start at any key point, and it’s not hard to trace your way back to one man.If you didn’t know anything else about basketball this past decade, you knew LeBron.By the numbers3 NBA championships3 NBA Finals MVP awards4 NBA MVP awards15 All-NBA selections15 All-Star selections6 All-Defensive selections33,000-plus career points (fourth all time)*6,911 career playoff points (most all time)8,900-plus career assists (10th all time)*87 career triple-doubles (fifth all time)*27.6 player efficiency rating (second all time)**As of publish dateWhat they’re saying:”LeBron is one of the best players now and his intelligent combination of team leadership, brawny layups, dominating rebounding and surgical passing is elevating the game to its next level. Just as Michael Jordan, Jerry West, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and others did.” — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar”It’s just beautiful to watch him play. It’s just fun how he rallies everybody. He’s like a magnet and everybody, it’s just beautiful to see him think three or four plays ahead. … When you play with someone great every day, that makes you better.” — Magic Johnson”No one has ever before seen a player quite like LeBron. He’s a five-tool player, fundamentally sound and able to do practically anything on the court. As the NBA continues to evolve, I think he is the model other players ought to emulate. … I also admire him for continuing to improve his command of the game and his basketball IQ, year after year, instead of coasting on his athleticism.” — Oscar Robertson”He’s been able to dominate this era. … In my lifetime, I’ve never seen this. And I’ve played against Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, played against Michael Jordan. I don’t think any of us have ever seen anything like what we’re witnessing.” — Isiah Thomas”He’s one of the all-time greats. If he doesn’t slow down, like I said before, he’s going to end up one or two [on the all-time scoring list].” — Dirk Nowitzki”[LeBron] has already put himself on that Mount Rushmore. He’s proven to be the greatest player of this generation. I don’t like getting into comparisons and who’s the GOAT and who’s the best. I think it’s stupid. I think it’s impossible to do. I just know that he’s doing some amazing things.” — Grant HillThe next decade belongs to: Luka Doncic, guard, Mavericks”You’re a bad motherf—er.”Those were James’ words to Doncic after the Lakers defeated the Mavericks in one of the most entertaining games of the 2019-20 NBA season. There isn’t a bigger stamp of approval than that.At just 20 years old, Doncic has already worked his way into the MVP conversation by nearly averaging a triple-double and regularly posting lines only Michael Jordan and Oscar Robertson can match. The Slovenian wunderkind hits deep 3-pointers off the dribble like James Harden and passes with flair like “Pistol” Pete Maravich.Most importantly, he isn’t filling the box score with empty stats — he is helping the Mavericks win. Dallas should earn a postseason berth in 2020 following a three-year playoff drought, and with the right team around Doncic, the Mavs could quickly become an annual contender.last_img read more