Hey sports fans, I want to talk about the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury. What used to be one of the most dreaded injuries that could befall a professional sports player has in recent years been viewed as considerably less serious than it used to be. Athletes are returning faster than ever from this debilitating injury. Example: Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson who, the year before last, suffered a catastrophic ACL/MCL injury but returned for an MVP season the next year. So why doesn’t the Adrian Peterson effect carry over to basketball? NBA players seem tentative at best regarding the issue of returning from injury, Kobe Bryant notwithstanding. Derrick Rose, who tore his ACL in the 2011-12 playoffs, effectively eliminated the #1 seeded Bulls from contention. Rajon Rondo has been hinting at returning early but the Celtics might opt to keep him out until he’s completely healthy. What do you think sports fans? Why aren’t basketball players rushing back onto the court like football players to the field? We’ll talk about this and of course NCAA sports when Slugtalk returns to KZSC Fridays from 5-6 pm this fall.
Winter is not only a time for hot cocoa and new year’s resolutions – it is a time for NBA basketball.
The city of Santa Cruz is taking the NBA D-League by storm this winter with the Santa Cruz Warriors performing far beyond expectations and making league history. Currently, the SC Warriors are number one in the West Division with a record of 9-4. After winning their first game in the history of Santa Cruz before a sellout crowd, defeating the Bakersfield Jam 93-88, the Warriors were off to a great start to the NBA D-League Season.
In addition to their outstanding victories, Santa Cruz Warriors guard Travis Leslie has been named NBA Development League Player of the Month of January for games played in November and December. The first honor of the 2012-2013 season is also the first of Leslie’s NBA D-League career. On January 7th, the NBA D-League announced that Leslie will compete in the Showcase slam dunk competition on Wednesday.
For updates, statistics, and schedules of the Santa Cruz Warriors visit www.nba.com/dleague/santacruz.
Keep tuned in to Slug Talk every Friday from 5-6pm to hear all the latest news.
Athletic competition is over at the 2012 Summer Olympics with the University of California well represented amongst the elite athletes in London. A contingent of nearly 100 UC affiliated student and alumni athletes, coaches, trainers, doctors and staff are proudly representing the United States and other nations from around the globe. From badminton to taekwondo, UC athletes and staff are key participants in at this summer’s world competition. It comes to no surprise that UC Berkeley and UCLA have two of the largest groups from the California University system however UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, UC Davis, UC San Diego, UC Riverside and UCSF are all being represented in London. What’s the missing link in this extraordinary group of UC schools? UC Santa Cruz of course. Although most of the UC schools represented in the Olympics are currently Division I teams UCSC athletics are definitely worthy despite a Division III ranking in the NCAA. So maybe 2012 wasn’t “The Year of the Banana Slug” but that doesn’t mean that 2016 can’t be. Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro will host the next Summer Olympics with probably even more UC athletes participating. Just imagine 6 foot 10 UCSC graduate Thomas Davidson on the men’s volleyball team or maybe standout Santa Cruz freshman Sarah Mackey leading a women’s basketball team to Olympic gold. As for now, keep up the good work Team USA and of course GO SLUGS!!!!!
What separates an average athlete from an Olympic gold medalist? A few extra hours spent in the gym or on the track? Maybe a supportive family and coaching staff? However, for British Heavyweight Champion Audley Harrison, in order to successfully win the gold medal in the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, he had to overcome a lifetime of obstacles such as being raised in a broken home, getting expelled from two schools and serving time in a young offenders institution.
Recently I had the honor of interviewing the British heavyweight champion, and Harrison shared his story about starting his amateur boxing career at 19, winning a gold medal at the 2000 Summer Olympics and attempting to make a 2012 Redemption. Harrison says, “When you look at my story it’s about resilience, redemption, overcoming adversity and finding a way to get it done no matter what. A majority of the time in my career I have always been able to find the sunshine.”
After receiving a gold medal at the Olympics, Harrison went on to win national titles and major championships across the globe, despite his tumultuous past. Ten years after starting his amateur career in London, England, Harrison led Team Britain to an Olympic gold in the heavyweight division at the 2000 Summer Olympics. Harrison’s victory put Britain back on the map for boxing, as they had not won an Olympic gold for 32 years prior to Harrison’s win.
Although Harrison’s career hit many highs and lows after his gold medal victory in Sydney, today, the Olympic British boxing team can attribute their success to a man who got plenty of stick in boxing circles. Tony Jeffries (member of triumphant British boxing team in Bejing) said, “It is thanks to Audley that Pricey (David Price), me, and the 2012 generation of boxers were able to get such good support for the toughest two weeks of our sporting lives.” More than 9 million has been invested in amateur boxing in the lead-up to London. It was Harrison who opened the cash tap for performance director Robert McCracken’s squad of seven men and three women in the Olympics.
Harrison’s accomplishments not only account to the success he has produced from winning a gold medal, but he also tops the charts for the heavyweight division with over 30 victories across the globe. With fame and fortune, comes brutal criticism and negativity from the social media and the public; however, Harrison does not pay any attention to the words of others but rather focuses on himself and his own journey. Harrison remarks, “Ultimately, the pathway that I am walking is my own and it is a path not walked by anyone else before. I am living the life in the realtime. It is not a boxing journey, but a life journey.”
Today, 12 years after winning the gold medal in Sydney, Harrison is ready for a 2012 Redemption and renewal of his professional boxing career. On October 13th, Harrison will take on British heavyweight champion and 2008 Bronze Olympic Beijing medalist, David Price, in “The Battle of the Olympians” at Liverpool’s Echo Arena. Harrison’s 2012 Redemption can be attributed to the complete 360 he has made and the “perfect” life he now leads: “My whole life now is perfect…and the last thing I need to fix is my career and that’s what’s going to happen on October 13th.”
From a troubled child to a heavyweight champion, Audley Harrison represents a true athlete who has overcome adversity in order to succeed: “I have always looked on the bright side of life. Having a positive attitude, you can find your way out of no where.”
Tune in to Slug Talk on KZSC in the fall to hear a live interview with Harrison after “The Battle of the Olympians.”
Spring is here, and with that the crisp green grass of the 2012 MLB season. Last year the St. Louis Cardinals made the improbable run to win one of the most exciting World Series ever. The Card’s defeated the tough-luck Texas Rangers, who have won the AL Pennant the last two seasons.
This season is full of questions: How will the extra wildcard affect pennant races and the trade deadline? Will expanded replay be good for the game? How will the top three prospects – Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, and Matt Moore – perform in their rookie seasons? Will the Athletics’ Cuban import Yoenis Cespedes win the A.L. ROY, or will it be the Rangers’ Yu Darvish from Japan? Who will win the N.L. ROY? Could it be the Padres’ Yonder Alonso, or the D’Back’s Trevor Bauer?
All these questions will be answered in the coming months as the season progresses. Stay tuned to Slugtalk, Fridays 5-6 PM, to catch baseball discussions as well as other sports.
^^^Yoenis Cespedes’ first Cactus League homerun (at the 0:25 mark).
The 2011-2012 NBA season has started, providing eye-popping athleticism and excitement!
No players have stood out more than Small Foward LeBron James of the Miami Heat, and Small Forward Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Both James and Durant are ranked number 1 and 2 in scoring, respectively, and both players have led their squads to 5-0 records.
Kevin Durant started his MVP profile with a game winning 3-pointer to defeat the defending champion Dallas Mavericks.
Statistically, LeBron has a slight edge on Durant. However, keep in mind that the sample size is only 5 games.
LeBron is averaging 29.6 points, 7.8 rebounds, 6.6 assists, 2.4 steals, and 1.2 blocks. Not to mention, he’s shooting 59.8% from the field and 80.9% from the charity stripe.
Durant is averaging 27.4 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.2 steals, and 1.0 blocks. He is shooting 54.7% from the field, 80% from the line, and is hitting 2.2 3-pointers a game.
LeBron has more offensive weapons surrounding him, playing alongside Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Kevin Durant plays with PG Russell Westbrook and 6th man James Harden, but it is obvious Durant is the main scoring threat.
LeBron has two MVP awards to his name (2008-2009 and 2009-2010). Those awards were with the Cleveland Caveliers, and he is still looking to nab an MVP for his talents in South Beach.
Kevin Durant has won back to back scoring titles since the 2009-2010 season (becoming the youngest scoring champion ever), but has no MVP to his name.
Last season’s MVP was Derrick Rose, who averaged 25.0 PPG and emerged as the most prolific scorer for the Bulls since the days of MJ. It is interesting to note that these three players were all top picks in the NBA draft. LeBron was 1st overall in 2003, Kevin Durant was 2nd overall in 2007 (Greg Oden anybody?), and Derrick Rose was the 1st pick of the 2008 draft.
There’s lots of season left to play, but who will win the MVP this year?
All this and more on Slugtalk, Wednesdays 7-8 PM, only on the GREAT 88, KZSC.
LeBron dunks on Gerald Henderson’s head (video below).