Stealth Police Interceptor Ford debuted the ultimate stealth Police Interceptor concept at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show on Nov. 1st, 2010, in Las Vegas. This customized version of its all-new Police Interceptor sedan goes undercover thatâ€™s not only stylish but full of high-tech surprises.
To Our Five Finalists For The 2010 Premier Player of College Football Award
Denard Robinson, Quarterback, University of Michigan Wolverines
Jake Locker, Quarterback, University of Washington Huskies
Ricky Stanzi, Quarterback, University of Iowa Hawkeyes
Ryan Mallett, Quarterback, University of Arkansas Razorbacks
LaMichael James, Running Back, University of Oregon Ducks
Another Poll Is Now Open For You To Vote For The Best Athlete of Your Choice Vote at www.premierplayers.com and call 800-470-0250 to purchase your tickets. To purchase your tickets for The 2010 Premier Player of College Football Charitable Award Dinner at 5p.m.,January 15th, 2011, at the University of South Florida Marshall Center.
features & departments PUBLISHING CEO & PUBLISHER Carnell Moore CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Steve Wright Marc Jenkins Monique Davis Dotson Bill Renje Sam Smoot CONTRIBUTING DESIGNER Cherrielet P. Mercado For advertising information e-mail: Advertise@premierplayers.com To submit editorials & ideas e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.premierplayers.com Write to us at: P.O. Box 341064 Tampa, FL 33694-1064 Call us at: 800-470-0250 AP PHOTO CREDITS Eric Gay p5 Mary Ann Chastain Bill Haber Steve Cannon Steve Campbell John A. Bowersmith Cathleen Allison April L Brown Nick Wass Sue Ogrocki Paul Battaglia p6,7 Gerry Broome Al Goldis Charlie Riedel Fred Beckham p8,9 George Frey Sue Ogrocki Andy Blenkush Amy Sancetta Gail Burton Rick Bowmer Sue Ogrocki p12 Tom Olmscheid p13 Rick Bowmer p15 Tom Pennington p18 Reinhold Matay Xinhua, Meng Yongmin p30 Content Disclaimer & Use The opinions expressed in Premier Players Magazine and on Premier Players Online do not necessarily reflect those of the editor, publishers and or their agents. For use of any material used in Premier Players Magazine or on Premier Players Online, please contact the publisher at 813-833-3495.
24 Connecticut players pose with the trophy after winning the womenâ€™s NCAA Final Four college basketball championship game against Stanford, April 6th, 2010. The Women of UConn are at it again, this time with the most consecutive wins on the line, too.
6 November Upsets 8 Teams To Watch 15 Season To Be Bowling 16 BCS Schedule (Tear Out) 24 Moore Magic
12 Sound Off 20 Fitness 26 Travel 28 Review/Book 30 Community PREMIER PLAYERS
November Upsets Northwestern beats #13 Iowa, 21-17 Southern Mississippi beats #25 Central Florida, 31-21 Notre Dame beats #14 Utah, 28-3 #23 South Carolina takes down #22 Florida, 36-14 Southern Cal beats #18 Arizona, 24-21 #19 Texas A&M tops #8 Nebraska, 9-6 Oregon State beats #20 Southern Cal, 36-7
1) Clemson’s Jamie Harper (8) runs for a first down as North Carolina State’s Terrell Manning (35) tries to stop him during their game, Saturday, Nov. 6th, 2010, at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, S.C. Clemson beat No. 25 NC State, 14-13. 2) #6 Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy (12) walks off the field after losing 24-21 to #10 LSU in an NCAA college football game in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Nov. 6th, 2010. 3) North Carolina’s Joshua Adams extends the ball over the goal to score around the defense of #24 Florida State’s Mister Alexander in the third quarter of an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Nov. 6th, 2010 in Tallahassee, Fla. 4) Texas A&M’s Terrence Frederick (7) breaks up a pass in the end zone intended for Oklahoma’s Kenny Stills (4) during the fourth quarter of an NCAA college football game at Kyle Field in College Station, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 6th, 2010. Texas A&M beat #8 OU 33-19. 5) Texas Tech’s Eric Ward runs with the ball against Missouri during an NCAA college football game at Jones AT&T Stadium, Nov. 6th, 2010, in Lubbock, Texas. Texas Tech beat #12 Missouri, 24-17. 6) Nevada cornerback Marlon Johnson comes up for the tackle on No. 4 Boise State running back Doug Martin (22). No. 19 Nevada stopped #4 Boise State perfect season with a 34-31 upset win Nov. 26th, 2010, in Reno, Nev. 7) Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett passes during an NCAA college football game against LSU in Little Rock, Ark., Saturday, Nov. 27th, 2010. The #12 Razorbacks stunned the #5 Tigers, 31-23. 8) Maryland wide receiver Torrey Smith (82) attempts to catch a pass as he is defended by North Carolina State cornerback C.J. Wilson, right, during an NCAA college football game, Nov. 27th, 2010, in College Park, Md. Unranked Maryland beat #23 NC State, 38-31. 9) Oklahoma wide receiver Ryan Broyles, right, leaps over Oklahoma State cornerback Brodrick Brown, left, in an NCAA college football game in Stillwater, Okla., Nov. 27th, 2010. No. 13 Oklahoma beat 9th ranked Oklahoma State, 47-41. 10) Minnesota running back DeLeon Eskridge (23) goes on a 19-yard run against Iowa during an NCAA football game, Nov. 27th, 2010, in Minneapolis. Minnesota pulled out a 27-24 win against #24 ranked Iowa.
Duke, Other Top Teams To Watch During the 2010-11 Men’s NCAA Basketball Season
By Marc Jenkins
he 2010-11 Men’s NCAA Basketball season has tipped-off and now it is time to focus on which teams will make the most noise throughout the long campaign and be poised for a run down the stretch of February and March. As always there are strong favorites as well as sleepers and Cinderellas amongst the 346 schools in the 32 conferences which make up Division I; the only question is who are they? Here’s who to look for during the ’10-‘11 season. The favorites for the year have to begin with the defending National Champion Duke Blue Devils as they are returning much of the squad from ’09-’10. Duke has eight players from last season on their roster and four of them are major contributors (Kyle Singler, Nolan Smith and Mason and Miles Plumlee) along with the additions of Stephen Curry’s younger brother and Dell’s youngest son Seth Curry (transferred from Liberty last season and was ineligible) and super freshman point guard Kyle Irving. The absence of Jon Schyer could be big, however Curry and Irving definitely seem capable of filling the void. The real question for Duke is whether the Plumlee brothers can provide enough in the paint to make up for the departure of Brian Zubek. The Blue Devils are solid on both sides of the ball being ranked number one during the preseason and have kept that rank dominating opponents on their way to a 5-0 start (before publication of this issue) including an impressive blowout of the then fourth ranked Kansas State Wildcats, 82-68, on a neutral court. With this group of talented players and Coach K on the bench pulling the right strings this team could easily return to the Final Four and become the first repeat NCAA champs since the Florida Gators did it in 2006 and 2007. Despite an early loss this year already, the Michigan State Spartans are also a heavy favorite to cut down the nets following the conclusion of the season. This team is led by returning players Korie Lucious, Durrell Summers, Delvon Roe, Kalin Lucas (coming off of ACL surgery last season) and of course one of the best coaches in the land Tom Izzo (13 consecutive NCAA
tournament appearances and six Final Four trips in the past 11 seasons). He also have a few key additions coming to East Lansing such as Adreian Payne and Keith Appling (ranked 26th and 27th respectively in ESPN’s top 100 recruits for 2010). The Spartans are a tough, physical team that has the ability to fight in every game despite what the scoreboard reads. The Spartans rebounded from the upset loss to Connecticut by defeating the 11th ranked Washington Huskies, 76-71, in their next game which shows the resilience and character which this team is made of. The Big Ten is arguably the toughest conference of the 32 and Michigan State is the cream of the crop. The only question is will their grueling schedule get the best of them or will they be primed and ready to go for Izzo’s seventh Final Four appearance in the past 12 years. If Lucas can
Kansas State guard Jacob Pullen dribbles the ball up court.
Duke’s Kyle Singler pulls down a rebound. Michigan State’s Durrell Summers puts up a shot. Connecticut’s Kemba Walker goes up for a basket.
remain healthy all season, and they play as well as they did during the previous season and tourney, then it is a great possibility of seeing the Spartans and the Blue Devils in the Championship game on April 4th. Kansas State is another favorite that was on the wrong side of an early season defeat. The Wildcats were embarrassed by Duke in an essential home game (at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri). That loss should only provide fuel to their championship fire as their roster is a talented and experienced group. Senior guard Jacob Pullen is the catalyst of this team. As he goes so do they, and a lot is expected of him to lead the Wildcats back to the Elite Eight and possibly even further this time. Pullen will have some help in attempting to lead K-State deep in the tourney with the emergence of sophomore guard Rodney McGruder. McGruder is a combo guard who is similar to Pullen, but instead of them fighting for the ball, they actually complement one another. The Wildcats will have their hands
full in the Big 12 this season with Kansas, Texas, Missouri and Baylor. All of them are ranked in the Top 25 entering the year, but Kansas State should be able to reach the conference’s pinnacle. If they don’t believe that, head coach Frank Martin will help them realize it with solid preparation. Now that we have gotten the favorites out of the way, it’s time to mention a couple of teams that could be sleepers and wind up playing in the Final Four. Normally, the Connecticut Huskies aren’t surprising anyone. However, things are slightly different this go round as they are my top sleeper team to reach the Final Four. Led by junior guard Kemba Walker, the Huskies are looking great early on during the year as they have already knocked off (at the time) second ranked Michigan State and ninth ranked Kentucky in consecutive games along with sporting an undefeated record (at the time of publication). UConn catapulted themselves from unranked at the beginning of the season all the way to number nine with their impressive victories and record. Look for the Huskies to make some serious noise come tournament time and possibly play for a National Title. A couple more sleepers to keep an eye out for who have the capabilities to reach the Final Four are the Richmond Spiders, the Washington State Cougars, the Saint Mary’s Gaels and the Dayton Flyers. The season is underway and before you know it the time will come for the Madness of March to begin, happy NCAA basketball season to all. PREMIER PLAYERS
3 4 7
1) A BYU fan cheers during a game against New Mexico at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Utah, Nov. 20th, 2010. BYU beat New Mexico 40-7. 2) Oklahoma State fans AJ Batiste, left, from Springfield, Mo., and Chris Hill, right, from Dallas, cheer before Oklahoma Stateâ€™s football game against Oklahoma. Hill holds an image of Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy. 3) Rochester Lourdes Eagles wide receiver Reed Bjork (2) celebrates with fans after the Eagles defeated the Holy Family Catholic Fire 48 - 14 in the Class AAA Championship football game. 4) Ohio State fans show support for their team before they take on University of Michigan. 5) Florida State fans at an NCAA college football game against Maryland, Nov. 20th, 2010, in College Park, Md. 6) Oregon fan Max Maurer, known as duck vader. 7) Oklahoma State fans David Hahn, left, from Wichita, Kan., and Evan Kuterbach, right, from Dallas, at the game against Oklahoma, Nov. 27th, 2010.
A member of the Minnesota Gopher dance line performs during an NCAA college football game.
‘Tis The Season To Be Bowling By Steve Wright
T Oregon running back LaMichael James (21) runs the ball in for a score as Oregon State cornerback James Dockery (4) defends. James will lead the Ducks against the Auburn Tigers for the national title on January 10th, 2011.
it’s the most wonderful time of the year alright, especially if you are a college football fan! This year sees no less than 35 bowl games to be played in a little over three weeks of football filled goodness, starting with the New Mexico Bowl on December 18th and culminating in the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game on January 10th in Glendale, Arizona. The only problem with all this football is trying to work out exactly which games are the most worth watching. Thirty-five games at between three and four hours per matchup is a serious undertaking in a season where friends and family want to hijack your Bowl watching priorities. Thankfully, we here at Premier Players have analyzed, dissected, and watched hours of game film, in order to provide our faithful readers with a guide to the five can’t miss games of the season. Let the feast of football begin:
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New Mexico Bowl BYU vs. UTEP December 18, 2:00 P.M. ET uDrove Humanitarian Bowl Northern Illinois vs. Fresno State December 18, 5:30 P.M. ET New Orleans Bowl Ohio vs. Troy December 18, 9 P.M. ET Beef ‘O’ Bradys’ St. Petersburg Bowl Southern Mississippi vs. Louisville December 21, 8 P.M. ET Las Vegas Bowl Utah vs. Boise State December 22, 8 P.M. ET Poinsettia Bowl Navy vs. San Diego State December 23, 8 P.M. ET Hawaii Bowl Hawaii vs. Tulsa December 24, 8 P.M. ET Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl Florida International vs. Toledo December 26, 8:30 P.M. ET Independence Bowl Air Force vs. Georgia Tech December 27, 5 P.M. ET 16
Champs Sports Bowl West Virginia vs. NC State December 28, 6:30 P.M. ET Insight Bowl Missouri vs. Iowa December 28, 10 P.M. ET
Wisconsin vs. TCU
Military Bowl East Carolina vs. Maryland December 29, 2:30pm ET Texas Bowl Illinois vs. Baylor December 29, 6 P.M. ET Alamo Bowl Oklahoma State vs. Arizona December 29, 9:15 P.M. ET Armed Forces Bowl Army vs. SMU December 30, 12 noon ET New Era Pinstripe Bowl Kansas St. vs. Syracuse December 30, 3:20 P.M. ET Music City Bowl North Carolina vs. Tennessee December 30, 6:40 P.M. ET
Stanford vs. Virginia Tech
Tostitos BCS Title G Monday, Janu 8:30 1 Auburn Tigers
Ohio State vs. Arkansas
Game, Glendale, AZ uary 10th, 2011 P.M. ET
Connecticut vs. Oklahoma
2 Oregon Ducks
Holiday Bowl Nebraska vs. Washington December 30, 10 P.M. ET Meineke Bowl South Florida vs. Clemson December 31, Noon ET Sun Bowl Notre Dame vs. Miami December 31, 2 P.M. ET Liberty Bowl Georgia vs. UCF December 31, 3:30 P.M. ET Chick-fil-A Bowl South Carolina vs. Florida State December 31
Gator Bowl Mississippi State vs. Michigan January 1, 1:30 P.M. ET Rose Bowl Wisconsin vs. TCU January 1, 5 P.M. ET Fiesta Bowl Connecticut vs. Oklahoma January 1, 8:30 P.M. ET Orange Bowl Stanford vs. Virginia Tech January 3, 8:30 P.M. ET Sugar Bowl Ohio State vs. Arkansas January 4, 8:30 P.M.
Dallas Football Classic Northwestern vs. Texas Tech January 1, Noon ET Outback Bowl Florida vs. Penn State January 1, 1 P.M. ET Capital One Bowl Alabama vs. Michigan State January 1, 1 P.M. ET
GoDaddy.com Bowl Middle Tennessee vs. Miami (Ohio) January 6, 8 P.M. ET AT&T Cotton Bowl LSU vs. Texas A&M January 7, 8 P.M. ET Papajohns.com Bowl Pittsburgh vs. Kentucky January 8, Noon ET Kraft Bowl Nevada vs. Boston College January 9, 9 P.M. ET
continue from pg 15
AdvoCare V100 the rules of physics to roll 19 Independence Bowl yards inbounds down the sideline Air Force vs. Georgia Tech and through the end zone for December 27th a touchback. Michigan State is If rushing the ball is your co-champs of the Big Ten, but is thing then this is the bowl for the only school of the three not to you. Both Air Force and GT be invited to a BCS Bowl. Both run similar triple option attacks teams are very good, and both so this looks set to be the fastest feel they have something to prove. ball game of the season. Tech is This will be the premier Non-BCS leading the nation in rushing at a matchup of the season, and could ridiculous 327 yards per game and be something very, very special. Air Force is right behind them at Rose Bowl Game 317 per contest. The key to the Wisconsin vs. TCU game could be the health status January 1st of Yellow Jacket QB Josh Nesbitt. The Grand Daddy of Them The senior broke his arm in early All has a little extra intrigue this November against Virginia Tech year, and as a result it is hands TCU coach Gary Patterson holds the Mountain West but has vowed to suit up for the down the best BCS game outside Conference championship trophy while celebrating a bowl game. Without him, Tech of the national title clash. The 51-10 win over New Mexico. The Horned Frogs wrap somehow has become even more TCU Horned Frogs come into up another undefeated season but will not have their one dimensional. shot at the national title. TCU will take on Wisconsin this game angry that once again, in the Rose Bowl. Put it this way, with or despite a perfect season, they do without Nesbitt the over under for passes thrown in this one will not have a shot at winning the BCS National Championship be in the high single digits, and I for one am ok with that. title. This year, however, TCU at least gets to play angry Valero Alamo Bowl against a school from one of the big conferences as they meet Oklahoma State vs. Arizona Wisconsin in Pasadena with a huge point to prove. It will not December 29th be easy, as the Badgers were able to hold off Ohio State and There are always a couple of bowls that just provide Michigan State to make their first Rose Bowl appearance in nothing but sheer offense and this is one of the 2010 games that 10 years. The key will be the matchup between the pounding has all the ingredients to continue that trend. Oklahoma State Wisconsin running game, lead by John Clay and Montee Ball, was a couple of plays here and there away from being a major and the vaunted defense of TCU. If the running game can be player on the national stage this year, and their games are always stopped, then TCU will have their entertaining. Wide receiver Justin Blackmon is an absolute BCS revenge. monster and he has led the Cowboys to be first in the country Tostitos BCS National Championship Game in total offense. Arizona, for their part, loves to throw the ball Auburn vs. Oregon and is ninth in the country in passing offense. The best part for January 10th points lovers is that both teams have been somewhere between So the previous 34 contests between 68 of the finest schools inconsistent and terrible on defense all year. Get the popcorn in in the nation have all been leading up to this game between two and settle down for a good old fashioned shootout. of the three teams with zero losses on their resume at the end of Capital One Bowl the regular season. Can Cam Newton continue his improbable Alabama vs. Michigan State season and lead the Auburn Tigers to their first national title January 1st since a share in 1993? Can LaMichael James cap his spectacular The Capital One bowl selectors pulled off something of a year by leading the Oregon Ducks to their first national title coup this year as this game is much more attractive, and feels ever? Does Auburn have the defensive ability to slow down the much more high profile, than a number of the actual BCS blur offense that has torn through all comers in 2010? Will the games. Alabama, remember, was looking like going 28-0 up on SEC crown a national champion for the fifth consecutive year? Auburn in the Iron Bowl before a Mark Ingram fumble defied So many questions, itâ€™s time for some answers. 18
By Monique Davis Dotson
he regular college football season has comes to an end. We eagerly await the BCS bowl football matches. We will experience disappointment, excitement, and every emotion imagined as we await our favorite teams to play. Players, and many fans, have endured physical and mental strain throughout the season. The players will have several weeks to prepare for the opposing team. Those who almost made it to the post season will have time to nurse their physical and mental wounds. Fans will have time to rest their vocal cords before the big games. The excitement and stress is sometimes overwhelming. However, the antidote to stress is relaxation. This is the perfect time to restore the mind, body, and spirit
connection with restorative yoga. Restorative yoga poses are designed for those who are fatigue, weak, sick, injured, or stressed out from daily life. It, as well as yoga in general, helps to trigger the Parasympathetic Nervous System. The PNS is responsible for balancing the body and bringing its response system back into equilibrium. When we stimulate the PNS we are able to lower heart rate, blood pressure, improve the immune system and keep the endocrine system operating efficiently. Restorative yoga focuses on relaxation, renewal, and soothing your nervous system. Practicing restorative yoga will help you renew, heal, quiet your mind and encourage you to release deeply held tension. B.K.S. Iyengar introduced â€œpropsâ€? to help the student modify poses. Props consist of blankets, bolsters, straps, and other props to safely support the
1. Moving Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)
2. Jathara Parivartanasana Variation (Revolved Abdomen Pose Variation)
Lie on your back with your legs bent and arms by your sides. Exhale completely. On an inhalation that lasts 4 counts, lift your hips up off the floor as you raise your arms to the ceiling and then to the floor behind you, so they end up next to your ears. On a 4-count exhalation, bring your hips down and your arms back by your sides. Repeat this as many times as you like, breathing smoothly and evenly and moving with grace and sensitivity. The last time you lower your hips, lift your arms and extend them overhead next to your ears.
Draw your knees into your chest and drop them to the right as your arms open out into a T shape. Turn your face to the left. Notice what you are looking at when you turn your head. Soften the muscles around your eyes and relate to what is actually happening, let go of frustration, anxiety, and stress. Stay here for 5 breaths, then release your arms, bring your knees back to center, and lower both feet to the floor.
body in various postures. Props allow the body to move towards a state of balance, provide support, and be conducive to total relaxation. Restorative yoga poses move the spine in all directions, putting into practice the ancient yoga idea that a healthy spine promotes well being. Incorporating restorative yoga will benefit players, as they need to focus and heal their physical bodies. Fans will find restorative yoga as equally beneficial when game day excitement causes tension. Players and fans alike will have a healthy stress reducer in restorative yoga. Add these healthy restorative poses from Yoga Journal into your daily activity. Namaste & Go Team Go!!
4. Parighasana (Gate Pose) From Down Dog, lower your knees to the floor and slowly roll up, vertebra by vertebra, so you end standing on your knees. Extend your left leg out to the side in line with your right knee. On an inhalation, reach your arms out to the sides. As you exhale, slowly lean to the left, sliding the back of your left hand down your left leg. This arm placement allows for complete external rotation of the left arm, a perfect support for the function of the heart and lungs. Reach the right arm overhead. Donâ€™t stress about it, stay with your breath and the feelings in your body. Place a blanket under your knee if you feel any type of strain. Remain here for 3 to 5 breaths.
5. Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Pose)
3. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog) From your position lying on the floor, roll all the way to the right and move into Downward-Facing Dog: Come onto your hands and knees, tuck your toes under, and very slowly straighten your legs and lift your hips toward the sky. To maintain the relaxation effect in the brain, allow your head to dangle as you move into the pose. If you want to try Down Dog as a restorative pose, place a block or bolster under your forehead. Hold for 5 breaths.
From Parighasana, bring your torso and arms back by your sides. On an exhalation, bring your knees together, sit down on your heels, and then shift your buttocks to the floor to the left of your feet. Swing your legs around in front of you and straighten them, coming into Dandasana (Staff Pose). Engage your legs firmly and invite the backs of the thighs to make contact with the floor, a powerful technique for grounding and calming the nerves. With a long spine and open chest, walk your hands forward and hold on to your legs wherever you can reach. Then exhale and fold forward. To do a restorative version of this pose, place a block or blanket under your forehead and allow the upper back to round. Acknowledge how you feel, center your thoughts, breathe, and stay here for as long as you like. PREMIER PLAYERS
Moore Magic For UConn As The Win Streak Continues
By Marc Jenkins
omination in sports can only be defined in one way; to control the major aspects and factors in a single game or season of games in a manner which results in a lopsided or impressive decision. The Women’s UConn Huskies basketball team is and has been the epitome of sports dominance during the opening decade and change of the 21st century. Since entering this millennium the Huskies have won six National Championships, been to eight Final Fours, 10 Elite Eights and produced three undefeated seasons (including back-to-back ones in 2008-09 and 2009-10). This season the Lady Huskies are picking up right where the program has left off over the past 11 plus seasons, continuing to dominate. UConn just recorded their 86th consecutive victory and have been atop of the AP Top 25 poll for a record 47 consecutive weeks, which are both streaks that don’t have an evident ending appearing anytime soon. Head Coach Geno Auriemma has turned a program completely around that had just one winning season in the 11 prior to his arrival (1985-86) to winning seven National titles since. Auriemma has racked up a 738-122 record since the ’85-’86 season with an amazing 354 of those victories coming since the start of the ’99-’00 season. The Lady Huskies have began the 2010-11 season in search of a three-peat and off to an 8-0 start (at the time of publication) including a tough contest in a rematch of last season’s National #34 Kelly F
Semi-final game (and a possible preview for this season’s National Title Game) versus Baylor in which they would eke out a 65-64 victory. That is the closest that any opponent has come so far during the ’10-’11 campaign as the Lady Huskies are averaging 83.4 points scored per game and just allowing 44.0 points per game (1st in NCAA). The Lady Huskies are led by the top player in the country, senior forward Maya Moore who is well on her way to putting together another season worthy of being named the Naismith Player of the Year again. She is averaging 23.4 points, 7.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 2.3 steals and 1.3 blocks per game, filling up the stat sheet in every major category. Moore has also recorded two major milestones this season as well grabbing her 1,000 career rebound while at Connecticut and then followed that up a few games later by breaking the record for most total career points in school history (breaking former teammate’s Tina Charles record of 2,346 points) after scoring 17 points against Sacred Heart University to bring her total to 2,355. Barring injury at the conclusion of the season Moore will own the top three scoring seasons in Lady Huskies’ history. Moore is receiving ample help in the form of junior guard Tiffany Hayes and freshman guard Bria Hartley. Hayes has improved during this her third season at Connecticut averaging 16.0 points, 5.8 rebounds and four assists per game in the r
fan #31 Ste
#23 Maya Moore, Forward
absence of fellow junior backcourt mate Caroline Doty who will miss the entire season due to a torn ACL in her left knee. Doty’s absence has also allowed the freshman Hartley to get more playing time and shine in it as she has put up 13.5 points, 3.1 assists and 2.9 rebounds per game en route to possibly competing for Big East Freshman of the Year honors. The trio of Moore, Hayes and Hartley, along with some excellent role players including sophomore guard Kelly Faris and freshman guard Samarie Walker, should lead them as far as they went last season. The only unknown is will they get there unblemished as they have in the previous two seasons? With coach Auriemma calling the shots he should be able to guide the team through whatever presents itself to this talented group of basketball players. They definitely have some tough games ahead of them on their schedule including at Stanford (in a rematch of last season’s National Championship Game), at St. John’s, at North Carolina, at West Virginia and at Georgetown. All of those teams are ranked in the AP top 25 and each one is on the road which should truly show what this year’s version of the Lady Huskies are all about. The Lady Huskies are once again displaying their dominance during the opening month of the season and it doesn’t seem as if anyone will impede the progress that they are attempting to make. Their destiny is to become the first team to win three consecutive National Titles since the Pat Summit and Chamique Holdsclaw-led 1995-96 – 1997-98 Tennessee Lady Vols. Those Lady Vols teams lost a combined 14 games during that three year stretch. If the Huskies can continue running the table then the Maya Moore/Geno Auriemma Lady Huskies could go down as the greatest group ever to play women’s NCAA basketball during a three year stretch. #11 Sam
#14 Bria Har
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Excerpt from A Chosen Bullet: A broken manâ€™s triumph through faith and sports By Bill Renje
lease God—don’t let me go out like this. The to the next. I started smoking pot recreationally as a freshman thought raced through my head as I feared death in high school and had long since graduated to harder as well while gasping for air. A bullet from a 9mm gun had just ripped as more dangerous drugs. Now, almost a month shy of my through my neck, severing my spinal cord and deflating my right eighteenth birthday, I was a failure, an underachiever, left with lung before finding its final resting place. This is where my story the “what ifs” and the “would’ve, should’ve, could’ve” just like so begins—the early morning hours of June 17th, 1989. many of those teams I followed growing up… A friend of mine and I had left a party to pick up some drugs A Chosen Bullet is the story of what my passion as a sports on a well-known drug corner on 135th Street, south of Kedzie in fan and an athlete has taught me in life and the struggles this Robbins, Illinois. We noticed a drug raid underway as we pulled passion helped me to overcome from the day a 9mm bullet into the lot with me driving. In a scene that could have appeared ripped through my neck from five feet away. My life has been on the TV show COPS, we saw guys we assumed to be drug contrasted by deep darkness and then glorious light, characterized dealers lined up facedown by overcoming through on the ground with their perseverance, stained hands behind their heads. by first underachieving Jail not seeming like a very and then finally good option, my buddy experiencing success nervously said “Get out of that few will ever here” and I agreed. And know. With the then, out of the shadows, support of my family came a plain-clothes, and eventually my undercover police officer. deep-abiding Christian On foot, he approached faith providing my the driver’s side of my car foundation, these with his gun drawn, telling values and lessons me in no uncertain terms intertwined with my to get out of the car. As thirty-three year journey I drove past him, ignoring as a Chicago fan to take his order, I heard the me from tragedy to sound of a loud firecracker triumph. All the while, going off, only it wasn’t a my lifelong experiences Bill & Amy Renje firecracker but a gunshot, of rooting for the and in an instant my life changed forever. The driver’s side teams of my youth and studying my hometown heroes has helped window shattered and a split second later my body went numb— mold and shape me to become the person I am today: from everything seemed to silently go into slow motion as I knew in a bottomed-out permanently paralyzed teenager to a two-time that moment I was paralyzed. I moved my arm to reassure myself Paralympic gold medalist, a very happily married man, a blessed that my arms still worked, but the rest of my body felt frozen. father of three children, and a successful businessman. As I regained my breath in the ambulance, I realized I Being a Chicago fan includes all the elements of real life: wasn’t going to die. I allowed myself to drift in and out of exhilaration but more often frustration, victory but more often consciousness and eventually fell asleep. In the emergency room, defeat, triumph but too often tragedy. Being a Chicago fan has the nurse told me that they were going to call my parents. “Please taught me all about being accountable, overcoming adversity don’t,” I begged them. The last thing I wanted was for my mom through hard work, struggles, and seizing the moment, as well as and dad to be awoken in the middle of the night by that dreaded the pitfalls unfilled potential. We too often focus on the negative call. Seemingly only seconds later, they arrived. There lay their in sports and, to be sure, there’s no shortage to the dark side firstborn son—broken, paralyzed, beaten down, and at what truly of athletics. A Chosen Bullet, however, is a story about lessons was “rock bottom.” learned from tough life experiences as well as teachable moments Over the course of the next few days in intensive care, all I as told from my life’s perspective about the men and teams had was time to think how much I had underachieved up to this I’ve watched, studied, and emulated throughout my life and the stage of my young life. I had just graduated high school, yet influence they’ve had on me. lacked direction with a focus largely on going from one party Visit Bill Renje at his website: www.achosenbullet.com PREMIER PLAYERS
community Howard Dominates on the Court and in the Community By Sam Smoot
Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard (12) shoots over Toronto Raptors’ Reggie Evans (30) and Andrea Bargnani. Dwight Howard, right, of NBA’s Orlando Magic, claps hands with children on the Great Wall in Beijing, China.
hen most people think of NBA center Dwight Howard, they probably think of his dominance in the paint, his humorous commercials, or how he practically flew for a moment at the 2008 All-Star Slam Dunk competition while wearing his superman cape. His towering height and ability to block any basketball that comes near the rim may seem intimidating, but he has proved to be one of the most generous players in the NBA. In 2009, Howard was a finalist for the Jefferson Award for Public Service due to his involvement with the Dwight D. Howard Foundation. The foundation was founded in 2004 to encourage youths to strive for excellence in everything they do. Howard motivates children to focus in school by rewarding their hard work with scholarships and grants. Not only does the Dwight D. Howard Foundation recognize the importance of education, but it also puts an emphasis on family values. The foundation works hard to improve family relationships by teaching children and adults how to contribute to their community. Howard also hosted the Howard & Howard Father/Son Basketball Camp with a goal to “bridge the gap” between fathers who do not live or consistently stay in contact with their sons. The camp, along with the Howard & Howard Girls Basketball Camp, also teaches lessons of camaraderie and sportsmanship. The Dwight D. Howard Foundation works with Orlando Youths in foster care to maximize their opportunities in life. Howard will be celebrating this holiday season with Orlando teens in foster care at his Christmas Holiday Event. In August 2010, Howard launched The Dwight Howard Fund to help children who were victims of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. The DHF is designed to help the children overcome the trauma with nutrition, education and sports. Dwight Howard is a role model to the children that he mentors. To join Howard in his efforts, you can visit www.dwight-howard.com or www. dwighthowardfund.org.
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