BOSTON – The scouting report said nothing about hitting contested 3-pointers after dribble-handoffs. It certainly shed no light on high-arching floaters over lanky-armed power forwards.So by the time Ohio State guard Lenzelle Smith Jr., who averages 6.1 points per game, finished putting on a scoring clinic, Syracuse assistant coach Gerry McNamara anointed him the difference maker.‘That was the difference,’ McNamara said. ‘The difference was down the stretch, I thought we had some good defensive possessions and they hit tough shots. Smith hits a last-second 3, he hits a floater on the baseline – he made some difficult, tough shots.’Smith finished with 18 points Saturday, including three 3-pointers to propel Ohio State to the Final Four with a 77-70 win over Syracuse in the Elite Eight. Seventy-five percent of his field goals came from beyond the 3-point line, and he shot 7-of-9 from the free-throw line to help carry the offense in the second half.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textMinutes into the game, though, it appeared Smith’s role would be diminished after an inadvertent elbow to the face left him gushing blood along the baseline. He received three stitches above his right eye, which later became four after a revised sewing job following the game’s conclusion, and returned to the floor.‘He was a little out of it the first half after getting hit and getting those stitches,’ Ohio State guard Aaron Craft said. ‘But he did a great job at halftime of kind of regrouping and sticking together, and he knocked down some big shots for us.’Syracuse forward C.J. Fair said the scouting report on Smith indicated he could make open shots. Before Saturday’s game, he had scored in double figures only four times since Jan. 29.But he built off his aggressiveness from the Buckeyes’ Sweet 16 win over Cincinnati on Thursday to attack the rim as well as knock down contested shots.When Smith knocked down a big 3 from the right corner with 11:46 remaining in the game to put OSU up 50-44, head coach Thad Matta laughed on the sideline. He would find out later that Smith’s vision was impaired slightly from the hit to the head.In the locker room after the game, Smith said he was in a considerable amount of pain despite the smile stretched across his face. Eighteen points on the biggest stage resulting in a trip to the Final Four should be the perfect medicine.‘It was a blessing, I was blessed,’ Smith said. ‘I came and played with the glory of God and shot with confidence. He was with me tonight.’Waiters struggles offensively in potential last game with SyracuseDion Waiters did not want to look up at the swarm. He avoided it as long as he could.Towel draped over his face, Waiters kept his head down as the media filed into the Syracuse locker room. Waiters sat by his locker, then got up and walked around. He found a seat next to assistant coach Gerry McNamara.The towel was still there.Finally, as he was getting ready to depart, with a little more than two minutes left in media availability, Waiters addressed the swarm.‘I didn’t want to go out like this, and I’m pretty sure everyone else didn’t want to go out like this,’ Waiters said. ‘It don’t feel right. It don’t feel right.’The guard earned Big East Sixth Man of the Year honors and became Syracuse’s best offensive threat this season, but he had an off night in the Orange’s loss to the Buckeyes. In what could be his final game in a Syracuse uniform if he decides to go pro, he failed to ever find his rhythm, scoring nine points on just 2-of-8 shooting. He also battled foul trouble, eventually fouling out with 21 seconds left, and sat for those final seconds with, what else, a towel over his head.Waiters was disheveled after the game, a stark contrast from his normal confident self.‘I love these guys to death, man, and without them, I wouldn’t even know what to do,’ he said. ‘So I’m sad that it had to end like this and we had a great year.’On Thursday, Waiters sparked a first-half run when he took the floor in the Sweet 16 against Wisconsin. His superlative play from the first three NCAA Tournament games stayed hidden against the Buckeyes.He seemed to force things that weren’t there against a smart Ohio State defense. With Syracuse trailing 15-13, Waiters, who scored five points in his first seven minutes of play, tried to drive and decided to pick-and-pop from the left wing.But the shot fell well short. It turned out to be his only 3-point attempt of the night.Late in the game, with 4:19 left, Waiters entered for Scoop Jardine. After the game, head coach Jim Boeheim said Waiters has been SU’s best offensive player this season, and that’s why he was in the game.He was not Syracuse’s best offensive player Saturday.Waiters ran up the court with the ball with less than two minutes to play, but he lost control of his dribble as he drove inside the arc. The ball flew too far in front of him. As he tried to save it, he stepped on the line.He did finish a conventional three-point play with 37 seconds to go, bringing SU within 70-67, but he fouled out shortly thereafter.The first question Waiters faced after the game pertained to whether he would be back next season.So did the second question.Waiters declined to give a yes or a no.Said Waiters: ‘I’m going to wait, sit down with my family and I’ll make my decision then.’email@example.com@syr.edu Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments Published on March 24, 2012 at 12:00 pm
Special Olympics Nigeria, an affiliate of Special Olympics International, has scheduled its 2018 National Games that coincides with the 50thÂ anniversary of the global movement to kick off on Sunday 10thÂ June at Teslim Balogun Stadium Surulere, Lagos.At a press briefing in Lagos yesterday to announce programmes for the National Games, Chairman of Board Special Olympics Nigeria, Victor Osibodu, said that theevent which holds every four years as its tradition with the Olympic Games will have 240 athletes from 14 states in attendance. Tagged â€œCreate Inclusive Communitiesâ€, it will give participants comprising of 240 athletes from 14 states of the federation a unique opportunity to be part of an inspiring yet impactful experience.Athletes are expected to compete in six-Olympic-type sports featuring Badminton, Football, Basketball, Table Tennis, and Athletics for a chance to represent Nigeria at the 2019 Special Olympics Games in Abu Dhabi.According to the Chairman: â€œIt was quite amazing for us at Special Olympics Nigeria because this year marks the 50thÂ anniversary of Special Olympics as a global organisation since 1968. Our unified soccer team will represent Nigeria and Africa at a Unified Soccer Cup holding July 17thÂ to 21stÂ 2018 in Chicago, USA.â€He also expressed his appreciation to the Lagos State Government, The Lagos State Sports Commission, Coca-Cola Nigeria, Vigeo Holdings, Max International, Print Studios, ExxonMobil, Channels Television, Nikky Taurus, Kings Breakfast, Sightique Ophthalmic Laboratory, and The Temple Management who are sponsors of this yearâ€™s event for their continuous support.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
The Nigerian squash scene will come alive with exciting masterstrokes as top ranking players warm up for the year-ending O’Trafford PSA National Closed Satellite Squash Tournament scheduled to stroke off from December 19 – 22 at the 81 Division Army Officers Mess, Outer in Marina, Lagos.Already, on-line registration of players by the Nigeria Squash Federation (NSF), has commenced on its website – rankedin.com. The registration will close on December 12, barely a week to the start of the tournament.The President of the NSF, Boye Oyerinde is optimistic that tournament will boost the morale of players in the local circuit, who have been craving for quality competition in the domestic squash calendar. Boye Oyerinde “This tournament will surely be a befitting end to a very vibrant season for squash in 2018,” an elated Oyerinde said.On the part of the host, Chairman of O’Trafford Club, Remi Adeseun, said the only squash club in the country is fully ready for the tournament with well refurbished squash courts that will bring out the best of squash action from enterprising players.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
First Published: 30th August, 2020 22:17 IST COMMENT WATCH US LIVE Last Updated: 30th August, 2020 22:17 IST Hamilton Wins Belgian GP, Now 2 Behind Schumacher’s Record Lewis Hamilton led from start to finish at the Belgian Grand Prix to clinch his 89th career win and move two behind Michael Schumacher’s Formula One record on Sunday. FOLLOW US Written By SUBSCRIBE TO US LIVE TV Associated Press Television News Lewis Hamilton led from start to finish at the Belgian Grand Prix to clinch his 89th career win and move two behind Michael Schumacher’s Formula One record on Sunday.The world champion was untroubled from pole position, beating his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas by eight seconds and finishing 15 seconds ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo was fourth and grabbed an extra point for the fastest lap.Hamilton’s fifth win from seven races also extended his championship lead over Verstappen to 47 points with Bottas drifting back in third. Hamilton is odds-on to win a seventh title to tie Schumacher’s record.Schumacher won five of those F1 titles consecutively during a glorious era for Ferrari, but the proud Italian team is struggling badly now. Sebastian Vettel finished 13th and Charles Leclerc 14th.They are not able to get anywhere close to Hamilton in terms of speed, let along challenge him.Having secured a record-extending 93rd career pole, which he dedicated to American actor Chadwick Boseman , Hamilton made a clean start and Bottas was unable to exert pressure on the long straight up to Turn 2.Early into the 44-lap race, Williams driver George Russell and Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi crashed heavily but were both unharmed.McLaren driver Carlos Sainz Jr. failed to start because of an exhaust failure.A minute’s silence was held before the race in memory of French driver Anthoine Hubert, who died here last year following a horrific crash during an F2 race.F1 driver Pierre Gasly, who was close friends with Hubert, and other drivers gathered solemnly around a picture of Hubert on the grid. His racing helmet was placed on a stand.(Image Credit: AP)
UEFA Europa League (UEL) campaigners Atalanta have moved into the top 10 on the Italian Serie A table after they defeated hapless Benevento 1-0 at home.Atalanta dominated the game but couldn’t find a way through until in-form striker Bryan Crisante broke the deadlock for the home side to take the three maximum points at stake.The victory condemns Benevento to a 14th defeat in 14 league games meaning that the club stay rooted to the bottom of the table with 0 point and a goal difference of -28 in addition to the fact that they are 10 points away from safety.On the other hand, Atalanta leapfrog Fiorentina and Torino into 10th place (19 points) as a result of the slim win.Related
Belgium completed a remarkable revival as they came from the World Cup abyss and beat Japan to reach the quarter-finals.Roberto Martinez’s side were trailing 2-0 when he brought on Marouane Fellaini and Nacer Chadli in the 65th minute, and Fellaini scored the equaliser before Chadli netted a 94th-minute winner.They now face Brazil in the last eight on Friday.Japan looked on their way to a famous win in Rostov after Genki Haraguchi ran onto Gaku Shibasaki’s long ball, which Jan Vertonghen should have cut out, to open the scoring.Takashi Inui’s 25-yard strike made it 2-0 and looked set to take the Asian side to their first ever quarter-finals.Belgium’s Premier League stars – their golden generation – had put in a disappointing performance and Martinez turned to the oft-ridiculed Fellaini and West Brom winger Chadli in his hour of need. Their fortunes changed after that as Vertonghen scored a looping header to get them back into the game.Fellaini then headed in Hazard’s cross to level before Chadli converted Thomas Meunier’s pass to finish off a flowing move and help the Red Devils avoid being the latest victims of a World Cup of shocks.
(Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/ba/55/jimmy-garoppolo-110419-getty-ftrjpg_1tt8iwg55oen013kxl4jimvvq8.jpg?t=943670502&w=500&quality=80 (SN/Getty) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/21/da/daniel-jones-081219-getty-ftr_1jw8084qw8tjm1po4bqv7t7wgq.jpg?t=-2032714868&w=500&quality=80 Ranking NFL quarterbacks has never been more difficult. The league has never seen so many good passers (and runners) at the position as it has in 2019, from rising young stars to accomplished veterans with plenty of above-average players in between.Because our preseason rankings weren’t enough, we will keep doing weekly updates based on the natural fluctuation of football’s most important position. NFL quarterback power rankings Week 111. Russell Wilson, Seahawks (last week: 1)Leave it to Wilson to throw a rare interception in overtime but rebound with a big run to put his team back in position to win, anyway, without his best wide receiver. After the instant-classic win over the 49ers was mostly about his relentless dazzle, it’s him and everyone else for MVP.2. Lamar Jackson, Ravens (4)Jackson’s MVP case is strangely being hurt by how well the Ravens’ defense is playing well again at the moment. He’s headed for at least offensive player of the year with the QB rushing record. He did beat Wilson head-to-head, however, and taking a few more big QB duels just might allow him to clip Wilson at the tape.3. Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs (3)Mahomes went back to raising his game after his knee injury to try to carry the team more as reigning MVP with the defense letting Kansas City down in every way and the running game fighting through inconsistent personnel. It’s clear they need all of his very best down the stretch to return to the playoffs.4. Deshaun Watson, Texans (2)Watson can build his case behind Wilson and Jackson by outshining the latter on the same field in Baltimore. He should have his full complement of healthy receivers with whom to go to work. Watch out if Watson can deliver against a high degree of difficulty vs. a deep defensive backfield.5. Dak Prescott, Cowboys (7)Prescott had the Hail Mary interception against the Vikings, but he would have never been put in that position had Dallas allowed him to relentlessly throw the ball with the game on the line before that drive. More a red-hot Dak, less Zeke is the key for the Cowboys to not blow their playoff chances.NFL POWER RANKINGSPatriots pass 49ers; Ravens, Packers, Vikings head north for Week 116. Aaron Rodgers, Packers (5)Rodgers had another TD-less game in Week 10 at home against the Panthers but he’s still rating (102.7) right around his NFL record career efficiency (102.7). He kind of has a point when saying Aaron Jones, based on the success of the Packers’ running game, deserves more MVP talk than he does.7. Tom Brady, Patriots (8)Brady had a bye to reevaluate some limitations in the Patriots’ offense based on a shaky power running game and compressed passing game. He should come out throwing heavy into short-to-intermediate routes with now co go-to guys Julian Edelman and Mohamed Sanu. They need his GOAT-ness to keep up the momentum toward another Super Bowl after their first loss.8. Carson Wentz, Eagles (9)Wentz has played much better than his numbers would indicate because his mental toughness and hard-nosed athleticism have pushed the Eagles back in the playoff race, playing well off more dedication to the running game to compensate for having no deep passing game.9. Drew Brees, Saints (6)Brees was roughed up a bit against the Falcons and had his worst outing of the season, two weeks removed from returning his thumb injury. The Saints are still more about the defense and the running game, so when those aren’t working, Brees can only do so much with a thin receiving corps and a still banged-up Alvin Kamara. He really needs a get-well game against the Bucs’ depleted secondary.10. Kirk Cousins, Vikings (11)Cousins came through in a big game on the road against the Cowboys, protecting the ball and finishing drives with the efficiency he’s shown all season playing of the running and receiving of Dalvin Cook. His career-best 112.0 rating is spectacular. (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/72/3/russell-wilson-101719-getty-ftrjpg_1f7xqxlaeut6d1bzp0zzhlqrjs.jpg?t=-641329627&w=500&quality=80 Haskins has to be better after getting prepped to start the rest of the season during the bye, right? It starts with connecting well his fellow former Buckeyes wide receiver Terry McLaurin against a bad Jets secondary behind the blitz.32. Ryan Finley, Bengals (31)Finley looked very much like a rookie thrown into the fire in a bad supporting offense with his immediate big mistakes against the Ravens. Cincinnati should proceed with its plans (hopefully) to target a QB with the first overall draft pick. Week 11 brings a few more changes as our rankings continue to mirror the QB top-heavy MVP race. The most dynamic of the young dual threats enjoy a strong week, while at least one overpaid traditional pocket passer takes a tumble.From the best to the worst current starters for every team, let the debate continue.WEEK 11 NFL PICKS: Against the spread | Straight up 11. Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers (12)Garoppolo didn’t keep the Niners undefeated when Wilson outlasted him last Monday night, but he was doing his best while missing his two best pass-catchers (George Kittle and Emmanuel Sanders) and running game down a man (Matt Breida). There’s no question he’s rising at the right time with equally big matchups around the corner.12. Matt Ryan, Falcons (13)Ryan had more of a grinding game in the upset win over the Saints, but now he has to deal with lesser checkdown and downfield support with Devonta Freeman and Austin Hooper on the shelf. It’s been a lost season for his team but Ryan has hung in there and can help the Falcons finish strong with Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley.13. Derek Carr, Raiders (14)The Raiders are running the ball well with Josh Jacobs and have surprisingly made some big plays on defense. But Carr’s ability to protect the ball and distribute at such a high level shows in his 70.8 completion rate, 7.8 yards per attempt and easy career-best 104.4 rating.14. Jacoby Brissett, Colts (15)The Colts should be thrilled to have him back for the Jaguars. Their system was good enough to look OK with Brian Hoyer, but they had to appreciate Brissett’s grittiness and more careful control of the ball a lot more after losing two games late without him. He has to fight to play well to ensure a trip to the playoffs with the team having a lot of injury issues around him.15. Kyler Murray, Cardinals (17)Murray put together two great games in a row for the first time in his NFL career. They were both losses, but he put the Cardinals in position to win with his spreading the ball all over the field, where young speedsters Christian Kirk and Andy Isabella being on the field together has made a difference for his fine rookie development under Kliff Kingsbury.NFL BACKUP QB QUIZ:Can you name your favorite team’s second-stringer?16. Jameis Winston, Buccaneers (19)Winston is inching toward locking up his next big contract in Tampa Bay. He keeps backing up Bruce Arians on his improved overall play as a downfield passer. There were more interceptions against the Cardinals, but it’s more about the passes he’s been able to make with an elite receiving corps. He also keeps picking good spots to run.17. Baker Mayfield, Browns (21)Mayfield turned in a great game on Thursday night, his best of the season while in rhythm with all of his receivers short and deep against a tough Steelers pressure defense. It was a game resembling what we expected to see a lot more of in Year 2. He still has plenty of time to end on a rookie-like high with some great matchups ahead.18. Philip Rivers, Chargers (18)Rivers had the interception meltdown against the Raiders in what’s been his worst season under Anthony Lynn. He will need to play his best game of the sason — a throwback to ’18 —against the Chiefs, by far, to save the Chargers’ playoff chances.19. Kyle Allen, Panthers (23)Allen had some turnover troubles against the Packers’ tough pass defense in the snow at Lambeau, but there was a command to his game, perhaps feeling like he can keep this job longer than just the rest of the season with Cam Newton down. He’s really making good use of his weapons beyond Christian McCaffrey.20. Ryan Tannehill, Titans (24)Tannehill has gone 3-1 as Tennessee’s starter while re-energizing the offense with both his best downfield passing in a while and fearless running. He’s really feeling it in their scheme the way Marcus Mariota should have. The Titans should really think about re-signing him now. 21. Daniel Jones, Giants (25)Jones was sneakily great against the Jets’ weak pass defense, save for not seeing an incoming Jamal Adams to strip him of the ball and take it to the house. Darius Slayton and “Danny Dimes” looks like a money combination for many years.22. Jared Goff, Rams (16)His offensive line is in pieces and his receiving corps really misses Brandin Cooks’ ability to stretch the field. But better quarterbacks with his level of his salary tend to overcome those issues and lift the team, not further sink the team. The system QB knock won’t be shaken, and the Bears won’t help.23. Josh Allen, Bills (22)Allen has been good for fantasy football because of his ability to run in touchdowns, but everyone can see his passing hasn’t improved too much from his rookie season despite better wide receivers and a special rookie back and tight end. If the Bills don’t hold on for the playoffs, it would be because of him.24. Nick Foles, Jaguars (20)We don’t know what to expect from Foles coming back from his broken collarbone because this passing game showed a ton of life with the mobile and fearless rookie Gardner Minshew. There’s no question Foles has to play well in a must-win game against the Colts or the Minshew whispers will be heard louder.25. Sam Darnold, Jets (28)Darnold put some ghosts to bed against the crosstown Giants but his play was still not all that clean or pretty. The Jets’ offensive line and play-calling haven’t been great in relation to his receivers, from Le’Veon Bell to Robby Anderson, but it’s been overall a washout of a sophomore season.NFL MOCK DRAFT 2020: Which four QBs go in the first round?26. Mason Rudolph, Steelers (27)Rudolph had his first really rough game as a second-year quarterback with his offensive line crumbling and his top running back and wide receiver hurting again. The four-interception game probably had been coming with a negative game script, and unfortunately, he’ll now need to focus on recovering from the ugly Myles Garrett incident before Week 12.27. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Dolphins (26)Fitzpatrick doesn’t look pretty running or passing but he’s definitely been a very good leader for Miami. The Dolphins respond well on both sides of the ball to his calming, grizzled presence. They’re clearly not tanking and could end up with Tua Tagovailoa, anyway.28. Mitchell Trubisky, Bears (29)Trubisky saw the Bears get into a hole against the Lions and despite mostly ineffectiveness, he dug deep to get them out of it with some clutch plays. But now the matchup raises greatly in difficulty at the Rams on Sunday night.29. Brandon Allen, Broncos (30)Allen, before the bye, threw a couple of nice TD passes to Courtland Sutton and Noah Fant in an impressive, gritty performance taking over for Joe Flacco against the Browns. He draws a tough spot on the road at the Vikings with healthier rookie Drew Lock looming.30. Jeff Driskel, Lions (not ranked)Driskel will be filling in again for Matthew Stafford, who unfortunately is dealing with back fractures during his best overall season. Driskel was a gamer against a tough Bears defense on short notice, but there was the expected big drop off and things don’t get easier at home against the Cowboys.31. Dwayne Haskins, Redskins (32)
“He used to do this over exaggerated throw,” Law said. “First of all, I knew the play. I was like, ‘You know David Givens ain’t gonna run by nobody. You know I’m gonna sit on that.’ He stood out there. He did a short motion. The only thing that he’s gonna do on that one is come up, he’s gonna do a quick out, or try to do an out and up. Tom Brady, he gets the snap, he exaggerated a throw to the opposite side and tried to come back on me with the out. As soon as I saw that, he didn’t take his hand off the ball. I was like, ‘You gotta take the ball out of your hand to throw it.’ And it happens real fast.”That was such a fake pump, I just stopped in my tracks. I said, ‘I’m going all the way. If you get me on a double move, you get me, but I’ve seen this before.’ I said, ‘If you would’ve got me, I probably would’ve caught David Givens’ ass anyway.'”You couldn’t fool Law with Mai Tais, and you couldn’t fool him with pump fakes. That man was truly a shutdown corner. “Once you get over to the Pro Bowl, you’re on the same team. Peyton tried to get you drunk and then try to dig into your brain,” Law said. “‘What did you see? Why did you do this? It’s on me!’ He tried to feed you all these damn Mai Tais. He wanted to keep feeding you all those, and then he wanted to come at you and butter you up and ask you what you see and this and that.”We asked Ty Law about when he picked off Tom Brady…but FIRST he told a different story…”Peyton would try to get you…once you get over to the Pro Bowl, you’re on the same team Peyton try to get you drunk and then try to dig into your brain…he feed you these mai tais…” pic.twitter.com/ytboUR3urN— Dale & Keefe (@DaleKeefeWEEI) April 1, 2020MORE: Tom Brady, Peyton Manning to join Tiger Woods-Phil Mickelson rematchUnfortunately for Manning, who earned a spot on the Pro Bowl roster 14 times in his career, he couldn’t break Law. It was a wise decision by Law considering he would have had to answer to Patriots coach Bill Belichick during his prime years.”I was like, ‘Peyton, I ain’t falling for that s—,'” Law said. “I tell him right there.”Speaking of the Patriots, Law also detailed how he managed to pick off former New England quarterback Tom Brady (“former” still sounds weird) when he switched teams later in his career. Law told WEEI he played with Brady long enough to learn his tendencies, so he managed to capitalize on a golden opportunity.Side note: Former Pats wide receiver David Givens might not want to hear this next part. If Peyton Manning calls an audible at the bar and switches from beers to Mai Tais, just know you’re in trouble.During his playing career, the five-time MVP attempted to get other NFL stars lost in the sauce at the Pro Bowl so they would reveal game strategies, according to Ty Law. The Hall of Fame defensive back explained Manning’s process in an interview with WEEI.
Image Courtesy: IANSAdvertisement ty3rNBA Finals | Brooklyn VscmcqWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre E3qwc( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) 3szznlWould you ever consider trying this?😱r3tCan your students do this? 🌚j17Roller skating! Powered by Firework Assessing risk is a pretty tough task in sports, even in cricket, taking decision under a critical point in a match can completely change the outcome of the game. Every great name in the gentleman’s game have been famous for taking such risks in some point of their career, which has often rewarded them in the long run. Former Team India stalwart Rahul Dravid, who is revered for the calm and composed attitude he maintained on the 22 yards, spoke about one important decision back during his academic days that was very impactful for his career.Advertisement Image Courtesy: IANSOn Sunday, Dravid teamed up with retired Indian badminton icon and former world no. 1 Prakash Padukone and Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra for the talk show ‘Staying Ahead of the Curve – The Power of Trust’ organised by the Padukone – Dravid Centre For Sports Excellence located in Bengaluru.Joined by the host Mr. Nandan Kamath, the three icons of the Indian sporting fraternity had discussion on various topics ranging from the current novel Coronavirus pandemic to how the lock down might affect the performance and fitness of sportspersons.Advertisement Speaking about the precautionary measures that are necessary during the ongoing virus crisis, the trio were asked about the importance of ‘risk assessment’ in sports. Dravid, who was famous for his defensive and sound approach towards cricket, spoke on how critical decisions impact on a player’s career.“There are certain stages in your career when you need to be able to take certain risks, take certain decisions that probably go against the grain of conventional thinking, if you really want to be a successful sportsman,” Dravid said during the live session.Advertisement Recalling his academic years, there was a certain point of time when Dravid was up against a critical decision to make.He continued, “I got out of 10th standard with an opportunity to get into any of the engineering colleges in Bangalore. They had good cricket teams at that time as well and quite keen to get me to join one of them.”However, the young Dravid took the risk of opting for commerce instead of engineering, so he could invest more time in cricket.“I kinda realised that I would not be able to pursue sports seriously or to the level that I wanted to if I picked up engineering, it would have been a lot more complicated for me at least personally. So, I went with commerce,” the 47 year old added.If you like reading about MMA, make sure you check out MMAIndia.com Also follow India’s biggest arm wrestling tournament at ProPanja.comAlso read-Virat Kohli reveals origins of his ‘maniac’ mentality to fellow skipper Sunil ChhetriDale Steyn reveals umpire Ian Gould’s fear for his safety influenced decision to give Tendulkar not out Advertisement
When asked about the violence aspect he shakes it off.”It’s a sport. We’re not here to kill each other. Tell me that a six minute boxing match this weekend is going to do more damage than my buddies partying tonight.”In the bathroom of the restaurant I ask Rudkoski how he’s feeling, curious if his calm demeanor is hiding a nest of butterflies. After all, it is his first fight.”I feel good,” he says. “I’ve definitely got a bit of the nervous feeling but that’s just because I’m competitive. I get nervous before a chess match. It’s good. It keeps you sharp.”Rudkoski prepares to enter the ring The second annual Cranbrook Eagles Boxing Club’s Charity Challenge is held in, where else, the Eagles Hall — a legion-like room filled with enough chairs and banquet tables to seat over 200 people.At one end volunteers are putting the finishing touches on the raised ring while at the other a stuffed Golden Eagle in a glass case presides over the action. Near the taxidermy watcher Rudkoski sits as Pineiro wraps his hands.The wrap is done in silent ceremony. A curt nod of approval from Rudkoski is all that is given after the completion of each fist followed by a mock hit into his palm. Satisfied coach and fighter rise along with the anticipation.Now people are filing in. Now the bell rings. Now the fights begin. The “thwack, thwack” of gloves on flesh is mirrored by fighters warming up in corners and alcoves around the room hitting pads with coaches.There is no animosity here. No intimidation or verbal aggression. Only a sense of a show, in this case put on to raise money for families in need. At the first Charity Challenge they had hoped to raise $5,000. Instead they raised $20,000.Fighters dressed in blue and red move through the crowd either in anxious, pre-fight wanderings or in post-fight glory. Even the defeated seem content, showing little signs of disappointment. After every battle there is a hug of recognition.”Respect is given all around,” Bockner tells me,” because everyone knows how hard it is.”Rudkoski is scheduled to fight tenth. His opponent, a tall, broad-shouldered man named Tyler Crew from the Southpaw Boxing Gym in Calgary, is dressed in blue trunks and sports a Mohawk.Somewhere between the seventh and eighth fight they disappear to the basement to warm up. Pads are pummeled as the final words of advice are given.”Be fast, be relaxed,” Pineiro tells him. “Basic stuff. It’s gonna be good.”Seventy-five seconds later the boxing match is over As the bell rings, Rudkoski moves almost gracefully from the red corner. The pace is different than most of the previous fights. There is no rush. They both seem to say, there is time. And then the blows begin to land.A gasp escapes from the crowd as Rudkoski lands a bone crushing shot on Crew’s shoulder, missing his head by inches. The next one finds its mark, Crew’s head snapping back as he stumbles into the corner. Rudkoski hesitates and in that moment the referee steps in, ushering Crew to the corner as blood streams down the left side of his face.The doctor is summoned and after two white medical pads are turned crimson he shakes his head. Seventy-five seconds after the opening bell the fight is stopped due to a technical knock out by injury. Rudkoski looks almost disappointed. The bubble of anticipation has burst and his record is officially 1-0.Great first fight, but now it’s time to train for the next oneOutside the car rain hammers down with tropical intensity, inside the victorious fighter once again appears calm.”It’s funny,” he says, “you do all that paperwork, you train for months and drive all that way and then it’s over in 75 seconds.” As with most things in life, there is an ebb and flow to boxing. Moments of intense, adrenaline-fueled action are interspersed among long periods of training, waiting and anticipating.Unlike other sports there is no season or pre-season. There are no playoffs and no World Series. There is only the fight. And again, like life, it is often over before you fully realized it had begun.”Great job and have a good weekend,” Pineiro says as Rudkoski goes his separate way, “I’ll see you Monday.”A days rest is all he will get before the work begins anew. There will be no coddling or ego stroking, no time off to relish his achievement and none is expected.With the next fight already on the horizon the coach will ask for everything the fighter has and the fighter will oblige. By Louis BocknerMore than 200 people recently flocked to the Eagles Hall in Cranbrook to take in the second annual Eagles Boxing Club’s Charity Challenge.Nelson boxer Jacob Rudkoski was one of the fighters on the card, jumping into the ring for the first time.Louis Bockner was one of the 200 fight fans watching with anticipation as Rudkoski realizes his dream to box in a sanctioned event and writes this account of the Nelson Boxing Club inaugural taste of the sport.My first memories of Jacob Rudkoski are found on baseball diamonds and are preferable to the ones that came after on football fields. I consider myself lucky to have escaped the meetings of our rival high schools unscathed and now, after watching his performance as a boxer, I am forever indebted to John “Jack” Broughton who, in 1743, created weight divisions, ensuring Rudkoski and I will never be re-united in the ring.Rudkoski joined coach Jesse Pineiro and assistant coach Peter Bockner at the Nelson Boxing Club in May after several years of training as a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter, a move instigated by a desire to refine his skills.Unlike MMA, which combines multiple fighting disciplines, he feels boxing allows him to focus on one aspect while leaving the kickboxing, wrestling jiu jitsu and muay thai in their respective fields. Now, six months later, we’re somewhere between Yahk and Cranbrook on our way to his first fight.The talk in the car centers on boxing — this fighter versus that fighter, the match ahead and the training behind. As the Nelson club’s only heavyweight he rarely finds anyone on par to spar with, a fact he believes has made him a better fighter.”Even training in MMA I rarely met guys my size,” he says. “It makes you work on speed, it makes you faster.”The Weigh InIn the basement banquet room of Cranbrook’s Sandman Hotel he strips to his underwear for the weigh in. Tipping the scale to a modest 102.1 kilograms he carries his weight lightly on legs like telephone poles. Even his head is big with a heavy-set brow and his hands resemble toaster ovens.As the room fills with people — fighters, coaches, mothers, fathers and more — glances dart around the room, hoping to discern prospective opponents. All Pineiro or Rudkoski know about his man is that he’s from Calgary and is about 100 kilograms.This narrows the field considerably as most of the fighters sitting in the lineup to see the doctor are in their teens or younger; a sign that boxing is still alive in Canada despite competition from the ever popular Ultimate Fighting Championship and major sports like soccer and hockey. Some are lanky, some are round, some are silent, some are laughing and some look simply scared.As the doctor shines his flashlight in the pupils of a young man with a “Lethbridge Boxing Club” T-shirt the voice of Bill Watson, one of the Cranbrook Eagles Boxing Club coaches, cuts through the murmurs.”Can I have everyone’s attention?” he asks. “If you’re fighting in the blue corner you get changed and ready in the basement. If you’re in the red corner there’s a cube truck in the parking lot.”Cornerman and Trainer, Jesse Pineiro ‘At dinner the advice from coach to fighter begins to flow.”What I really want you to do is keep your hands up and finish with the left,” Pineiro says. “Do it religiously. That left brings you back defensively.”Use your punches. Nice and long and remember, keep your left up.”Although Pineiro’s amateur career record (10-5) is “kind of underwhelming” he carries with him a wealth of knowledge acquired through sparring with, and learning from, world-class fighters and coaches all over the world.In the early 2000’s he brought that knowledge back to his hometown of Nelson — a city whose once vibrant boxing community was all but extinct.”In Nelson we’re building it from nothing,” Pineiro says. “[People] have no idea about boxing and they have little interest.”A point he and fighters like Rudkoski are hoping to change.”It’s a good thing to get into,” says Rudkoski. “It’s character building.”