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Hosting the Grande Depart of 2017 Tour de France

Tour De France is only cycling tournament where you get to see in action the best road bikes and best cyclists and this year It’s going to take place in Dusseldorf.

Finally, tour organizers ASO have confirmed that Dusseldorf is going to be the host of Grand Depart for the Tour De France of 2017. The last time when Germany hosted the Grand Depart was in 1987 in Berlin and this year will mark the fourth time when the Tour is being started from Germany.

Dusseldorf was confirmed as the host city by the ASO and other details of the opening stages of 2017 were revealed to the public in a press conference at Paris and Dusseldorf on January 14. Originally, Dusseldorf was planning to bid a tender for the Grand Depart of the Tour for 2018 but once London pulled out of the hosting, Dusseldorf planned to host the Tour sooner.

The council of Dusseldorf voted in early November to formally enter the hosting for 2017’s Tour and were finally chosen by the ASO for the Grand Depart of 2017 Tour.

This hosting is a great way for Germany to establish harmonious relations with the Tour de France and will be remembered as an important achievement in this country’s history. In the late 1900s, Jan Ullrich and Telekom’s success resulted in increased cycling but due to the increased scandals in the Tours of 2006 and 2007, this sports suffered a tremendous setback in the country and its popularity decreased drastically.

After that disastrous effect, there were many tries to recover but only after the rise of Tony Martin, Marcel Kittel and John Degenkolb, this year the national broadcaster ARD will finally show the Tour de France live after 7 years.

The Tour director Christian Prudhomme was found to say that it is definitely the period where Germany is getting back to its love of cycling. He also said that there was a period when Germany was crazy in love with cycling and then arrived a period when it disliked cycling intently but now, after a few years, it is going to find a balance between the two emotions.

This confirmation of Dusseldorf hosting the Tour De France for 2017 came just after a few days of ASO announcing that it is going to withdraw its events, which includes the Tour De France, from the WorldTour in 2017. This announcement was made in a protest against the new rules and regulations set by UCI for the sport.

5 Coaches to watch out for this NFL Season

If you’re an NFL fan there’s good news. The games are about to commence. Well yes, it’s just preseason to get everyone warmed up but these games can often set the tone for the upcoming season and thus are crucial and coach play the most important role. This season like other will have 32 coaches and some are about to come under heavy scrutiny as the season progresses so today we take a look at 5 coaches to watch out for this season.

Jason Garrett

jason garrett

One coach that’s going to really feel the heat this is season the Dallas Cowboys coach but expect him to come out fighting. He’s been in charge for almost half a dozen seasons but has made it to the playoffs only once and was scrutinized heavily as an attack coordinator.

Yes, there have been questions about his tactics and management skills this is not the year he finally proves his worth.

Gus Bradley

gus bradley

It had been long since we last saw the Jacksonville Jaguars live up to their potential but last season they finally seemed to arrive at the big stage with the likes of Blake Bortles coming to the fore and with along with the new signing can really turn it up a notch this season.

This will be his 4th season in charge and with 5 wins under his belt last season he’ll definitely want to start off exactly where they left.

Mike McCoy

Mike McCoy

Yes the San Diego Charger was phenomenal in his first season in charge and were totally deserving of their playoff victory but since then they were quite a disappointment and most fans have been wondering where Joey Bosa is so far. Is he showing up?

There have also been talks of a change of stadium. McCoy would be hoping such issues are sorted and his team regains the form of the previous years.

Jim Fisher

jim fisher

Yes, Fisher won the Super Bowl with Tennessee Titans almost 17 years back but for the 4 years he’s been with the Rams there hasn’t been much to cheer for him. In fact, it’s gotten way worse than he’d have hoped. His last winning record was in 2008 and playoff victory came in 03-04.

Progress is slower than the fans would have hoped and a bad start to the season or poor preseason is going to be trouble.

Marvin Lewis

marvin lewis

Should a person who hasn’t won a single playoff game for 13 years now be in charge of a team? Well, that’s the question Cincinnati Bengals owner would be wondering come to the start of the new season.

While the team has done well to make the playoffs more often than not it’s hard to see him continue further without a playoff win under his belt.

Have your say on the head coaches this season through the comment section below.

Top 5 highlights from the Rio Olympics yet

The Olympics started with a bang with the opening ceremony on the 5th of August and so far the Tournament hasn’t disappointed yet and the usual suspects USA and China are top of the medal chart once again but there’s still a lot of ups and downs yet to come and medals tell only half the story. So today we decided to take a look at the 5 best and worst highlights from the Olympics so far.

The opening day surprise

While the opening ceremony was much widely appreciated all around one particular person caught the eye and it was Pita Nikolas, Tonga’s flag bearer. This taekwondo athlete walked the path in a mat skirt with the body covered in oil and some couldn’t get their eye so off.

It got him about 1000-2000 Instagram followers in a flash and twitter went gaga over it and millions would be hoping to see him in action soon.tonga

Aquaman is for real

If you’re looking for a superhero this Olympics he’s probably in the pool. Yes, you’ve guessed it right we are talking about the one and only Phelps here. The flag bearer for the USA this year his top-notch performances this year have once again caused a stir.

After notching up is the 19th medal in the 4×100 meter freestyle relay he’s now added a further 2 recently in the 200m butterfly and 4×200 meter freestyle relay.  With a couple more events yet to take place expect that medal count to go up further.

Jun 30, 2016; Omaha, NE, USA; Michael Phelps swims during the Men's 200 Meter Individual Medley semi-finals in the U.S. Olympic swimming team trials at CenturyLink Center. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

The odd tattoo

If you’ve been wondering what’s wrong with the odd Olympic ring on Phelps’s back there’s no reason for alarm. No, it’s not bad ink work and neither a tattoo gone wrong. In fact, the ring symbolizes an age-old Chinese healing therapy. You can read more about it here.

michael phelps tattoo

The heartbreak

One of the biggest heartbreaks was seeing French athlete Samir Ait Said break his leg after messing up his landing after a good vault performance and to further rub salt into the wound the stretcher carrying him was dropped to the ground by the medics.

But like most top-notch athletes you can expect to see him back in action as soon as he recovers and also sent a message to fans using social media.vault

The sexist comments

The 400-meter record was broken by a Hungarian swimmer name Katinka Hosszu which came as a huge surprise to many and comments made by a news report claiming that her husband was the main reason behind the unexpected and amazing feat set Twitterati into action once again with many calling the reporter a sexist.  He’s so far defended his decision but moving on, don’t forget to catch Katinka in the other events. Here’s a glimpse of her record-breaking swim.

What moment has so far caught your eye so far? Don’t forget to comment or email us.

Everything you need to know about the men’s basketball team at Rio Olympics

Aug 11, 2012; London, United Kingdom; USA forward Kevin Love (11) and forward LeBron James (6) and guard Kevin Durant (5) celebrate after winning the gold in the men's basketball final against Spain in the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The new NBA season gets underway in October but we are sure the die-hard fans are finding it hard to wait that long but guess what you don’t have to either with the Olympics commencing early in August you’ll have the chance to witness some of the best stars in action in their country’s colors and the USA are once again favorites to grab the gold. Here’s all that you need to know about the team.

In the Past

Let’s begin with some insight into the past years. There’s a reason the USA team are top-seeded and clearly are no strangers to the huge expectation and pressure placed on their shoulders and are on 17 game winning streak. The USA has won gold 14 times out of the 17 Olympics and in 1988 and 2004 they won bronze.

They are expected to continue the stellar record this year too. One of the worst incidents in their history came in the 1972 Olympics. You can read all about it here. This loss ended a 63 game winning streak.

usa basketball

Tournament Format

To get into the elimination phase the USA will have to rally past China, France, Australia, Serbia, and Venezuela. Remaining 6 teams are part of group B. Only 4 teams will qualify from each group. In the next round, winners will be awarded 3 points while loser only 1 and stats such as point difference and scored will be used in case of a tie. The team consists of 12 players in total and there are some big names in there which we’ll talk about later.

Schedule & Expectations

The USA team begin their gold medal defense on 6th August against China who is expected to be the toughest opponents in the group. They end the group stages with a match against France. The next round begins on 17th August with the final being held on 21st. Like I mentioned above the expectations are once again high and anything short of gold could be a disappointment. So if you’re in for a bet I guess it’s an obvious choice.

Training Routine

Since the NBA season ended just a few months back you’d expect most players to be in good condition. They have had few warm-up matches to get the rhythm and coordination right. Apart from that cardio and weight sessions on treadmills, Concept2 rowers etc. have been regularly conducted to maintain strength and overall fitness.

training

Players to keep an eye on

Well the US team is the most star-studded lineup with players such as Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony etc all part of the lineup. Even the Spanish squad has a few big names this year like Pau Gasol etc. Other players, you’d like to keep an eye on are Mark Ginobili of Argentina etc. The women’s team too is expected to come back with gold so don’t miss out on them in action.

Let us know who you think is going to shine at the Rio Olympics this year in Basketball.

Crimson Tide Tops Fordham Rams in High Scoring Encounter, 94-86

The Crimson Tide of Harvard, on the strength of excellent shooting, defeated Fordham, 94-86

~~Crimson Tide Tops Fordham Rams in High-Scoring Encounter, 94-86
Howard Goldin

Bronx NY—Despite most college students being far away from their classrooms during the winter holiday recess, the Rose Hill Gym on the Bronx campus of Fordham University was sold-out on Saturday afternoon for the encounter between the Fordham Rams (7-5) and the Crimson Tide of Harvard (11-1).

Harvard, not nationally ranked in the top 25 at the time of the game, is one of only 21 NCAA Division I basketball squads with fewer than two defeats. Harvard’s high level of accuracy from the floor, 56.8%, ensured it would not lose its second contest of the season in the Bronx.

Leads changed hands four times and the score was knotted five times in the tightly contested opening 11 minutes. With Fordham ahead, 25-23, at 8:47, the visitors began a scoring run that lasted five minutes and altered the eventual outcome of the game. Harvard scored 15 unanswered points that gave them a 13 point advantage, 38-25, with 3:50 remaining in the first half. The visitors lead, 43-32, at the half.

Although Harvard retained a double-digit lead during the first eight minutes of the second stanza, a late surge paced by outstanding freshman Jon Severe, cut the Fordham deficit to single figures for the final four minutes of the contest. Severe, the leading scorer in the Atlantic-10, only netted one of five shots in the first half but became a heat-seeking missile in the second as he sunk 10 of his 14 attempts from the floor to close with 29 points.

The Rams’ effort was high as they shot 58.8% in the second half, but according to Fordham head coach Tom Pecora, “Harvard did a wonderful job of weathering the storm when we got as close as six.”

Harvard coach Tommy Amaker expressed high praise for the Fordham scoring leader, “He’s as good a scorer as we’ve played all season; he’s a scorer, not just a shooter.”

Tom Pecora, although fully aware of the abilities of the young man he recruited, also pointed out how Severe’s inexperience affects his play, “He has to come out of the gate aggressively. I think he let defense affect him offensively. It’s a learning curve for freshmen no matter how good they are. He has to get old.”

Fordham’s Brandon Frazier led the scoring with 31. The senior now has scored 1,304 points, which moves him to 14th place in career points at the university.

Harvard had six scorers in double figures. Both coaches recognized how it positively affected the outcome. Pecora said, “They have great team balance.”

Amaker explained, “I was so pleased with the balance we showed, 24 assists, incredibly unselfish. That’s the key for our team, balance.”

The Rams head to the road for their next two contests. They will return to the Bronx on January 11 to host Richmond.

St. John’s women edges Aggies in final seconds

Aliyyah Handford moved through the middle of the court unimpeded to sink a layup her 11th basket of the game leading the St. John’s women to a win in the opening game of the Maggie Dixon Classic at Madison Square Garden…

St. John’s Edges Aggies at MSG 72-70, on a Tie-breaking Basket with Two Seconds Remaining

Howard Goldin

New York, NY—The opening game of the 8th annual Maggie Dixon Classic was a fascinating battle between the St. John’s Red Storm (6-4) and the Texas a& M Aggies (7-4) that was not decided until the final two seconds. With the game tied for the sixth time of the afternoon, sophomore Aliyyah Handford moved through the middle of the court unimpeded to sink a layup, her 11th basket of the game. Although the veteran coach of the Aggies a member of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, believed she walked with the basketball, he felt his team and not the referees deserved the blame. The courtly Southern gentleman remarked, “We let her split us like we did all game.”

The Red Storm and #24 ranked Aggies had never previously met. The setting, Madison Square Garden, and the occasion, the Maggie Dixon Classic, added the importance and the pressure on the teams.

The visitors led by five, 7-2, at 17:29, which turned out to be their largest lead of the contest. A tie at 20, at 8:39, the fourth of the game, was broken by seven unanswered points by the Red Storm. Handford’s final four points of the half gave her team a 33-30 advantage at the half. She scored more than half of her team’s points (18) during the half. The back and forth nature of the half was reflected by the 12 lead changes and the four ties.

The second half was quite competitive, but the Red Storm never fell behind. The Aggies came as close as one point behind but did not know the score until 42 seconds were left to play. After the Johnnies edged ahead, the contest was tied for the six and final time with 29 seconds on the clock. Handford’s unimpeded basket clinched the victory with two ticks left on the clock.

The heroine led all scorers with 27 points. She remarked after the contest concluded, “I just came out and played hard and my teammates helped me a lot just getting up the floor.”

Blair was very critical of his team’s play, “We got outplayed the last 35 minutes of the ball game…The mistakes we’re making against the zone defense-it’s just poor decisions…They [St. John’s] shot 61% in the second half.”

Red Storm coach John Tartamella discussed answers the game gave him regarding questions he had regarding his team, “The way we were able to stay ahead or come back, finish the game, answer their runs, convert at the end of the game from the free throw line.”

Yankees salvage finale of tough series in Toronto

By Anthony Locicero – New York Sports Examiner Reporter – @anthonylocic on Twitter

The New York Yankees entered their series with the Toronto Blue Jays with a chance to make up ground in the American League East. A sweep by the Bombers would dethrone the Blue Jays from the top of the standings. While Toronto has been the better club this season, it was swept by the Yankees June 17-19 in the Bronx.

The Jays followed that up with a 14-9 win in the opener against the Cincinnati Reds, before dropping the next two. The Yankees kept the momentum going, knocking off the Baltimore Orioles, 5-3, in the opener of that series, but dropped the next two by a combined score of 14-1.

The trip to Toronto wasn’t pleasant for the Bombers, who managed to only take one from the Blue Jays – the third and final game.

 

GAME 1 – Monday, June 23rd

I’m willing to believe – for the time being – this was just a hiccup for Chase Whitley, who was tagged for 11 hits and eight earned runs in just 3.1 innings.

(The rookie right-hander threw five innings of five-hit, two-run ball in his previous outing, which was against Toronto.)

That awful start put his club in a hole – down 7-0 after two innings – it could not climb out of. New York continued to struggle to hit with runners in scoring position, going 2-for-8 on the night.

GAME 2 – Tuesday, June 24th

This one was extremely painful to watch. It was the kind of game where you turn the TV off in frustration if you’re a Yankee fan. (“They’re gonna lose,” my fiancée, who I was watching the game with, said in the middle of the ninth after the Yankees stranded runners in the top half of the inning.)

Even first baseman Mark Teixeira said it was an “ugly game to watch.”

David Phelps regressed – he gave up eight hits and six earned runs over five innings, though he did strike out seven.

New York scored some runs from some unlikely sources – home runs by Brian Roberts (his third of the season) and Derek Jeter (his second).

So, along with a RBI single by Jacoby Ellsbury and a throwing error that allowed the Yankee center fielder to score, New York went from down 6-0 to tied 6-6 only to lose the game on a Jose Reyes double and a throwing error by Yangervis Solarte on a Melky Cabrera bunt.

The Yankees did pretty well against Toronto starter Mark Buehrle, who has reinvented himself this season.  The Bombers touched the veteran up for eight hits and four earned runs.

GAME 3 – Wednesday, June 25th

New York snapped its four-game losing streak, winning 5-3, despite going 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position. The Yankees had just enough offense and the bullpen turned in a strong performance to seal the deal.

Hiroki Kuroda (6.1 IP, 8H, 3ER) pitched a gritty game. Outside of Masahiro Tanaka, Yankees starters average less than six innings per start. So, Kuroda had to really grind, as he threw 102 pitches.

“I thought he threw the ball pretty good,” said Yankee manager Joe Girardi.

Reliever Matt Thornton recorded a very important seventh inning out. The veteran came on with two outs and runners on first and second. The Jays executed a double steal with slugger Adam Lind at the plate. But Thornton got Lind to ground out to end the threat.

Girardi called on closer David Robertson, who hadn’t pitched in a week, for a five-out save, which he recorded successfully with just 22 pitches. It was Robertson’s 18th save of the season, as he struck out three and didn’t allow a hit or run.

“When I was out there, I wasn’t thinking about anything but just… let’s attack. Let’s get outs … I made enough quality pitches to get myself out of it,” he said.

TAKEAWAYS

Mark Teixeira is showing his power stroke, with two long balls this series. He now has 14 on the year. His three RBI upped his season total to 39. Those two homers were the only hits of the series, however. Tex has four home runs and 12 RBI in his last 13 games.

Jacoby Ellsbury (5-for-12) had two RBI this series, giving him 33 for the year.

The bullpen had a terrific series: 9.1 innings, six hits, one unearned run.

Over his last eight games, Robertson has a 0.00 ERA, has converted all six of his save chances while allowing just three hits in 8.1 innings. He’s walked just two in that span while fanning 15. The closer is actually striking out more batters per nine innings than strikeout machine Dellin Betances.

The Yankees are 23-12 (.657 win percentage) in games decided by two runs or less.

Hiroki Kuroda is now 5-5 with a 4.23 earned run average. He’s 1-2 with a 3.52 ERA this month.

New York is still in third place, with a 40-37 record. It sits 2.5 games out of first place and a half game out of second.

UP NEXT is a three-game set with rival Boston (35-43, fourth place).

Mets reserve Bobby Abreu bids adieu

Mets reserve Bobby Abreu bids adieu

By Steven Simineri

The afternoon following Derek Jeter’s magical Bronx goodbye, one of his countless former teammates announced his plans to also ride into the sunset at seasons end. In an understated press conference that stood in stark contrast to the pomp and circumstance of Jeter’s retirement tour, 40-year-old Mets reserve outfielder Bobby Abreu said that Sunday’s season finale against his first team, the Houston Astros, would be his last.

“I feel happy with my career,” said Abreu, who originally signed with Houston as a 16-year old back in 1990. “I’m blessed. We all create goals in our lives. And to me, as a baseball player, I created all my goals and I met all those goals.”

Mets manager Terry Collins, who served as Abreu’s first Major League manager when he debuted with the Astros in 1996, penciled him into the lineup one last time Sunday afternoon and Abreu bid goodbye to the big leagues with a fifth-inning single that sparked the decisive rally, ending perhaps one of the more underappreciated careers in recent memory.

“He was probably a little bit underappreciated. But when it’s all said and done, I think the numbers are going to speak up for themselves,” Collins, said while seated beside Abreu for his announcement on Friday.

Abreu is certainly no Hall of Famer, but he’s a candidate for the Hall of Very Good. He ranks in the top 100 in baseball history in the following: On-base percentage (78th), runs (79th), doubles (21st), RBI (87th), walks (20th), steals (73rd), total bases (85th), extra-base hits (58th) and times on base (46th). He’s 103rd in hits, too.

Of the 318 Venezuelan-born players to have appeared in the big leagues and only Omar Vizquel (2,877) and Hall of Famer Luis Aparicio (2,677) have more career hits than his 2,470. His 288 home runs rank fourth and his 1,363 RBIs are good for third. Ever a patient hitter, his career on-base percentage is a stellar .395 and throughout his career, he averaged 4.28 pitches per plate appearance while the league average was 3.77.

He won a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger and was baseball’s active leader in doubles and walks. His 60 career Wins Above Replacement rank 119th in history, ahead of guys such as Vladimir Guerrero, Ichiro Suzuki, and Sammy Sosa. He is also one of only four players in major league history with 200 homers, 1,200 walks, and 400 steals. The others are Barry Bonds, Rickey Henderson, and Joe Morgan.

Furthermore, Abreu is one of just five players to leave the game with a .395 OBP, 400 stolen bases, 500 doubles and 2,400 hits. The other four are Bonds, Henderson, Ty Cobb and Tris Speaker. In the long history of baseball, there have only been eight seasons in which a player recorded 40+2B, 20+HRs, 100+BB and 20+ SB. Abreu owns four of those seasons. Also, his twelve seasons of 20+2B, 10+HR, and 20+SB is more than anybody to play the game. His former teammate Jimmy Rollins just garnered his eleventh such season, which tied Bonds for the second most all-time.

In 1997 the Astros could only protect 15 players when Major League Baseball held an expansion

draft for the Diamondbacks and the Devil Rays. The choice came down to Abreu or Richard Hidalgo, another product of the Venezuelan pipeline. The team protected Hidalgo and Tampa took Abreu in the draft, and then flipped him to the Phillies for shortstop Kevin Stocker. After emerging as a star with the Phillies in the early 2000s, he went on to stints with the Yankees, Angels, and Dodgers before taking a year off in 2013.

In an attempt to make a return to the big leagues he returned to winter ball in his native Venezuela, where he caught the attention of former Mets hitting coach Dave Hudgens. He eventually went to spring training with the Phillies, but after getting cut the veteran outfielder signed a minor league deal with the Mets in March and arrived at Triple-A Las Vegas. There, Abreu served as a mentor for some of the Mets young players, a role he fully embraced during his short stint in Flushing.

“These young guys are special,” Abreu said over the weekend. “The New York Mets have a big future. Even at 40 years old, they made me feel young.”

Collins and the Mets have credited Abreu with mentoring several of their young Latin players, in particular, center fielder Juan Lagares and infielder Wilmer Flores. Abreu was in the majors from April 22 until Aug. 4 this season. The Mets released him six days later, but he re-signed with the club, returned to the 51s and general manager Sandy Alderson rewarded him with a second call-up as rosters expanded, in part because he believed Abreu’s plate approach set a strong example for his teammates.

Abreu’s playing days actually are not completely over. He said he plans to play a handful of games in winter ball in his native Venezuela for fans in his home country before hanging up his cleats for good. After that, he will surely have a hitting-coach job awaiting him somewhere, but not before he settles several business ventures outside the game.

During his short stay in Queens, he was used almost exclusively as a pinch hitter, but he was just thankful for the opportunity to complete his comeback and go out on his own terms — wearing a big league uniform.

“To retire with a uniform, I think this is something very important,” Abreu said following Sunday’s 8-3 victory. “When you play the game and you have a long career, you want to just do it on the field.”

Comment: Steviebklyn414@aol.com

Fordham women hoopsters win 7th straight

Fordham University women’s basketball team won their 7th straight game over Illinois State. Their 8-2 start to the season was last accomplished in 1988-89.

Fordham U. Women Hoopsters Win 7th Straight

Howard Goldin

Bronx, NY—On Sunday afternoon at the Rose Hill Gym in the Bronx, the Fordham Rams women’s basketball team (8-2) won its seventh straight contest with a completely one-sided victory over the Illinois State Redbirds (1-6). The 8-2 season start was last reached by the Rams in the 1988-89 season.

The game began competitively with the visitors leading 4-3 at 17:49. Whether the 1,000 mile trip east during bad weather or the Fordham defense was most responsible for the shutdown of the Redbirds cannot be totally discerned, but the Redbirds’ offense was stopped at that point. The Rams scored the next 28 points to take a 31-4 advantage. The half concluded with the Rams leading, 34-6.

The Redbirds missed their final 21 shots from the floor during the first half. The first half statistics exhibited a complete lack of competition between the two squads. Fordham outscored Illinois State 20-2 in the paint; the Redbirds did not score any points off turnovers, after offensive rebounds, and on fast breaks, while the Rams scored 13, 9 and 4 respectively. The Redbirds shot a rare and abysmal 7.7% (2 for 26) from the floor.

Fordham’s classy and experienced, 28 years as a college coach, head coach Stephanie Gaitley had no desire to embarrass or humiliate college student-athletes or their institution by running up the score in the second half needlessly. To avoid this situation from happening she sat her starters and gave her reserves additional time on the court. All seven non-injured reserves played.

Fordham’s starting five were on the court for a total of 83 minutes in the first half, but only for 56 minutes in the second. Fordham reserves saw action for 17 minutes in the opening period, but 44 in the second half. Thus, then there was no large differential in stats during the second half including the score.

The visitors outscored the Rams by one point, 26-25, to put the final score of the Rams victory to 57-32.

The two teams met on Sunday for the first time. They had one common opponent this season, #12 ranked Penn State. Although both lost to Penn State, the Redbirds lost by 12 and the Rams by 17. Obviously, the result of a game is determined by how two teams match-up against one another at a specific time.

The Redbirds remain on the East Coast for a game at Princeton before returning home. The Rams travel to the West Bronx on November 21 to face the Manhattan Jaspers in the next Battle of the Bronx.

Former NYC PSAL Player of the Year Halil Kanacevic Voted A-10 Tournament MVP

Former NYC PSAL Player of the Year Halil Kanacevic Voted A-10 Tournament MVP

Howard Goldin

Brooklyn, NY—The St. Joseph’s Hawks (24-9) defeated the VCU Rams (26-8), 65-61, in a very competitive final in front of 8.886 fans at the Barclays Center in which the score had been knotted eight times. Thus, the Hawks became an automatic entry into the NCAA Tournament. The Hawks are returning to the national tournament for the first time since 2008.

Three members of each of the two finalists were voted onto the A-10 All-Tournament Team, but only one, Halil Kanacevic of the Hawks, was awarded MVP honors.

The 6-8 senior was born in Staten Island, not that far from the Barclays Center. He attended Curtiss High School in his native borough. His achievements during his senior year made it unforgettable for him. He averaged a double-double, 18 points and 12 rebounds per game. He contributed mightily to compiling a school mark of 28 wins and the PSAL title. His efforts earned him the Staten Island PSAL, Class A Player of the Year.

As a freshman at Hofstra, the New Yorker started seven of his 33 game appearances. He averaged 8.6 points and 7.6 rebounds. His performances resulted in his being named to the CAA All-Rookie Team.

Kanacevic transferred to St. Joseph’s after the season ended and was required to sit out the 2010-11 season.

He played in all 34 games in his first season with the Hawks and accomplished eight double-doubles. In the following year, Kanacevic missed several games due to the death of a favorite uncle in Europe and several others because of a regrettable incident of unsportsmanlike conduct.

Kanacevic changed his jersey # from 21 to 45 to honor his uncle who died at the age of 45 and displayed his versatility as a senior by leading the Hawks in rebounds (8.7) and assists (4.4) while averaging double figures in points (10.4).

He was especially effective in the Atlantic-10 Championship Tournament this past weekend. In the semi-final against St. Bonaventure, Kanacevic scored 26 points and grabbed 17 boards. The outspoken forward downgraded the importance of those numbers, “I had a good scoring game and rebounding today, numbers-wise, but I really don’t care about it. I really never base my game on numbers. It’s my floor game for the team.”

He played an all-around superior game in the final, 11 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocked shots. Opposing Coach Shaka Smart of VCU recognized his value to his team, “He’s very, very versatile. He’s really rebounding at a high level. He did a nice job finding guys. The best thing about him is making passes.”

On the previous day, Coach Martelli of the Hawks said of the senior, “On a team full of great teammates, he’s the best teammate.” He also praised his ability to feed his teammates, “Halil is the best low-post passer and he’s the best low-post distributor.” These are reasons why Martelli has called him the “most indispensable player” on the team.

His college totals are; 1,139 points, 1,021 rebounds, 401b assists and 213 blocks. He also completed his degree requirements in December.