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April 2014
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7th Annual Buckeye Cruise for Cancer raised $1.5 million


Cruise, in its seventh year, has topped $4 million raised for cancer research

COLUMBUS, OhioRaising funds for cancer research is the goal of the Buckeye Cruise for Cancer. The seventh such voyage was completed after a four-day-and-five-night excursion to Grand Cayman Island, and this year’s cruise has raised a record amount so far: approximately $1.5 million for the Urban & Shelley Meyer Fund for Cancer Research and The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute.

The Buckeye Cruise for Cancer, organized by Lisa Cisco and Chris Quinn of Travel Partners in Dublin and hosted in the past by Chris Spielman and his late wife, Stefanie, and now by Urban and Shelley Meyer, has raised upward of $4 million for cancer research.

“I can’t thank Lisa and her team enough, and the hundreds of volunteers who work so hard and are so dedicated to making this cruise such a rewarding experience,” Meyer said. “The cruise would not be possible without the nonstop work of her team and the volunteers. They are always eager to assist…always eager to go.

“And I also send special thanks to the many former Buckeyes like Archie Griffin, Kirk Herbstreit, Eddie George, Joey Galloway and A.J. Hawk, the great medical doctors from the James who take part and the legions of fans from Buckeye Nation who generously donate.”

Cisco says everyone associated with the cruise understands the seriousness of raising cancer awareness, yet knows how to have fun working for this cause.

“Everyone gets what this cruise is all about,” Cisco said. “Coach Meyer and his family and the former athletes are engaged, are accommodating and they are simply the best of the best with regard to being great hosts.

“And our fans on board – truly some of the best supporters for The Ohio State University – have such passion and they want this cruise to succeed at raising funds. I’m not sure there is another school that could fill an entire ship with such a significant and loyal fan base that wants to be a part of such a good cause.”

More than 2,300 Ohio State fans take over an entire ocean liner – Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas – each year for a Buckeye splash that is totally unique. Entertainment and activities include live music (The Swon Brothers; finalists last year on “The Voice”), comedy and magic acts, game shows, contests, auctions, autograph sessions and simply hanging out with as many as 30 former Buckeye greats. Plus Brutus, alumni cheerleaders and the alumni band always have a presence on deck.

Herbstreit is one of numerous former stars who have been on all seven cruises, and the ship is always filled with the greats from Ohio State, including this year James Laurinaitis, Malcolm Jenkins, Mike Brewster, Jake Ballard, Bobby Carpenter, Dustin Fox, Tom Cousineau, Craig Krenzel, Anthony Schlegel, William White, Robert Smith, Bob Brudzinski, Todd Boeckman, Justin Zwick and Dane Sanzenbacher, and from the hardwood, Scoonie Penn and J.J. Sullinger. And two new to the cruise this year: captains John Simon and Zach Boren from the undefeated 2012 team.

The stars on the cruise aren’t just from athletics, either. A handful of doctors from The James are typically on board, including this year, Dr. Michael A. Galigiuri, MD, the director of The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Hawk, honored with a highlight video on the cruise for becoming the Green Bay Packers’ all-time leading tackler, has said he likes being part of such a good cause.

“We’re helping people out,” Hawk, one of the many NFL Buckeyes who have been on multiple cruises, has said previously about the cruises. “All 2,500 people on this cruise are helping people out for many years to come by coming on this cruise and by donating money and donating time.”

Griffin, also honored with a video on this cruise for being named the Rose Bowl’s All-Century Player, has previously recognized those on board with words from his coach: Woody Hayes.

“You’re paying forward. And I have got to tell you: I think that is very, very special. I really do.”

Dates for the 2015 Buckeye Cruise for Cancer are expected to be announced in late March.


Klara Zakopalova among tournament winners in 2014 on WTA TOUR

Klara Zakopalova (2013 photo by Christian Mesiano via wikipedia commons)

Florianopolis, Brazil
February 24-March 1, 2014

Results – Saturday, March 1, 2014
Singles – Final
(3) Klara Zakopalova (CZE) d. (2) Garbiñe Muguruza (ESP) 46 75 60

Doubles – Final (played Friday)
(3) Medina Garrigues/Shvedova (ESP/KAZ) d. Schiavone/Soler-Espinosa (ITA/ESP) 76(1) 26 103 (Match TB)

Final Facts
- Zakopalova wins her third WTA title, but her first in more than eight years (her first two both came in 2005, at ‘s-Hertogenbosch in June and Portoroz in September) and first since changing her name to Zakopalova (formerly Koukalova, she married Czech soccer player Jan Zakopal on June 6, 2006).
- Zakopalova was 64 52 down against Muguruza in the final but won 11 straight games from there.
- Zakopalova is now 3-12 in WTA finals (she had lost six WTA finals in a row coming into this one).
- Zakopalova was one of several big WTA stars celebrating birthdays this past week (also Li Na, Jelena Jankovic, Eugenie Bouchard and Flavia Pennetta).
- Muguruza is now 1-1 in WTA finals (she beat Zakopalova for the Hobart title earlier this year).
- Medina Garrigues and Shvedova win their second WTA doubles title together, having won this title a year ago – Medina Garrigues now has 22 WTA doubles titles to her name, Shvedova 10.

Final Quotes
Zakopalova: “I was losing the whole match, but anything can happen in a final. Winning this title is just incredible – I really have no more words for it. I’ll be celebrating this for sure on the plane!”

Shvedova: “It’s our second time in Florianopolis and second time we’re leaving with the trophy – it’s very cool. Last year this tournament helped us decide to team up this year, because we agreed to play the whole year. We really like playing together and off the court we are good friends as well.”

Medina Garrigues: “The last few years we played a couple of tournaments, we won here last year and in Charleston we made the finals. It’s going well. We’re playing Indian Wells and Miami next.”


Arkansas freshman Jessica Jackson earns All-SEC honors in Women’s Basketball

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – University of Arkansas freshman Jessica Jackson earned selection to the All-Southeastern Conference Second-Team and the All-SEC Freshman Team.

“We are very proud if Jess and her accomplishments this season,” Arkansas head coach Tom Collen said. “She is a special young lady and very deserving. She chose her home state school over a lot of top-10 programs and all Arkansans should be proud that she has chosen to lead us forward both this season and in the future.”

Jessica Jackson


To say that Jackson has been impactful to the @RazorbackWBB team is an understatement.  The Jacksonville, Ark., native leads the team in scoring with 16.0 points-per-game, blocks with 43, rebounds with 5.9 rebounds-per-game, an .804 free throw percentage and 170 total boards and three-point field goals.  She is second for the Razorbacks in minutes played with 866 minutes on the year.

Jackson’s numbers are equally impressive in the conference-only games where she again leads Arkansas with 16.9 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 22 blocks, 28 three-pointers made and an .849 free throw percentage.  Jackson has posted 25 of 29 games in double digit scoring including 16 of the last 20 with 13 or more points.

She has scored 20 or more points six times this year and has a career-best 31 points in a regular season win over Ole Miss.  Jackson ranks seventh in the SEC and is the highest ranking freshman in the league in scoring.  She has had four double-doubles and is a three-time SEC Freshman of the Week selection.

– || On Twitter @ArkRazorbacks || –


Razorbacks’ Women’s Basketball player Joey Bailey named to SEC Community Service Team

FAYETTEVILLE – University of Arkansas redshirt sophomore Joey Bailey was named to the SEC Community Service the league office announced recently.

In addition to classes and being a member of the University of Arkansas women’s basketball team, the forward also serves as the vice president of the Arkansas Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). An active member on campus a few of Baileys service projects include raising funds and helping elementary school kids pick out toys for “Shop with SAAC,” volunteering with Razorback for a Day and taking kids on tours of Bud Walton Arena and the Academic Center, attending FCA, attending a birthday party for team fan with cerebral palsy.

The native of Gunter, Texas, has also been active in the community of Northwest Arkansas and has given back to a number of causes and public events. She participated in the Sweat Hawgs program which aims to get elementary students to play at least 30 minutes a day, spoke to Farmington school during lock in on “Motivation,” read books to kids at Holcombe Elementary, volunteered at Butterfield Elementary Fall Carnival and played with local school kids for MLK Day. Bailey participated with teammates in First Thursday on the Square, attended special Olympics softball game, handed out candy on the square for Halloween and delivered groceries to families in need for Thanksgiving. Bailey also has helped raise money and wrap presents for “Adopt a Family” for Christmas, went Christmas caroling at the Home-Style Assisted Living Center in Springdale, Ark., served ice cream and visited seniors at Butterfield Senior Center and delivered Christmas baskets to Seniors at Center Street Church of Christ.

Joey Bailey

As a redshirt freshman, Bailey played in 20 games averaging 9.2 minutes per contest.  She scored a career-best seven points and tied her career-best with five rebounds in a road win at Ole Miss, hitting a career-best three field goals and tying her career-best with one three-pointer. As a freshman, Bailey played in eight games before an injury sidelined her for the remainder of the season.

Bailey joined the Razorbacks from Gunter, Texas, where she was a four-year starter and four-sport athlete for the Tigers. In her final season, Bailey earned her second set of all-state honors in basketball and volleyball, her four TABC All-Regional selection for hoops and averaged 21.6 ppg and 10.0 rpg. Bailey was a McDonald’s All-America nominee as a senior and finished her prep career with numerous highlights that included more than 2,000 career points. A four-year starter in basketball, Bailey’s earned three District 11-2A most valuable player honors, two District 14-2A Freshman of the Year honors in hoops and softball, two All-Texomal and Player of the Year honors and a pair of first-team selections.

Bailey’s success extended into the classroom where she was a multiple-year selection to the District 11-2A Academic team for both volleyball and basketball.  The student council president as a senior, Bailey was a member of Beta Club, the National English Honor Society and GHS Homecoming Queen as a senior.

For more information on Arkansas women’s basketball, follow @RazorbackWBB on Twitter.

– || On Twitter @ArkRazorbacks || –


Arkansas’ Portis named to USBWA All-District Team

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Arkansas freshman Bobby Portis has followed his pair of SEC postseason honors with a spot on the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) All-District VII team, based on voting from its national membership of 900-plus.

Portis was the lone freshman on the All-District VII squad, extending Arkansas’ streak to 11 straight years with a player honored by the USBWA. Portis and Kentucky’s Julius Randle were the only two freshmen from the SEC to make any of the nine All-District teams.

Just a few hours prior, Portis was named to the All-SEC second team and the SEC All-Freshman team. Portis is just the sixth freshman in program history to earn All-SEC honors. During his standout rookie campaign, Portis also collected three SEC Player of the Week accolades, which equaled the record previously set by current Houston Rocket Patrick Beverley in 2007.

Bobby Portis


One of Portis’ weekly honors came on the heels of breaking the Arkansas freshman scoring record with 35 points against Alabama on Feb. 5 at Bud Walton Arena, dethroning current Director of Student-Athlete Development Scotty Thurman. The 35-point night was the most by a Razorback since 2002, and the third-most points scored by an SEC player this season. Portis accounted for 29 of the team’s first 35 points, while also adding nine rebounds and a season-best six blocks.

Portis enters the SEC Tournament averaging 12.4 points and 6.6 rebounds, ranking second and first on the team, respectively. The 6-foot-10 forward has reached double figures in 20 games with a team-best three doubles and is the only Razorback to start all 31 games. Portis ranks 10th in the SEC in rebounding and tied for fifth in blocks (1.6), while also showcasing his all-round skill with 46 assists and 35 steals.

The first Arkansas signee since 2004, and the 13th overall, to play in the McDonald’s All-American game, Portis has lived up to the hype and has a chance to become the first freshman in program history to lead the team in scoring and rebounding in the same season. Portis also needs just 12 rebounds to break the freshman record of 211 set by Marshawn Powell in 2010.

Portis was joined on the USBWA All-District VII team by Jaye Crockett (Texas Tech), Jonathan Holmes (Texas), Cory Jefferson (Baylor), Shawn Long (Louisiana-Lafayette), Aaric Murray (Texas Southern), Nic Moore (SMU), Johnny O’Bryant (LSU), Jacob Parker (Stephen F. Austin) and Cameron Ridley (Texas).

– || On Twitter @ArkRazorbacks || –


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