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Archive for April 14th, 2020

Chip Ganassi Racing fires driver Kyle Larson after racial slur during iRacing event

 

Coming into the 2020 season, Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Chevrolet for Chip Ganassi Racing, was set to be a free agent after the 2020 season and the most sought-after driver on the market. But now all of that hype is out the window due to a slip of the tongue that has angered NASCAR officials, his employer, rival drivers, sponsors and fans.

The 27-yer-old Larson, was fired by owner Chip Ganassi on Tuesday, a day after he was suspended by it for saying the “N” word during Sunday Night’s iRacing event that was broadcast on NASCAR’s website and heard by all drivers and fans listening to the race.

Kyle Larson

Monday morning the fallout from Larson’s usage of the word started immediately. CGR suspended him without pay. Then NASCAR immediately followed that up saying that Larson had to complete sensitivity training to be reinstated  if and when real racing resumed.

NASCAR STATEMENT ON KYLE LARSON:

NASCAR has made diversity and inclusion a priority and will not tolerate the type of language used by Kyle Larson during Sunday’s iRacing event. Our Member Conduct Guidelines are clear in this regard, and we will enforce these guidelines to maintain an inclusive environment for our entire industry and fan base.

But the gavel fell Monday afternoon when Larson’s two biggest sponsors on his car, McDonald’s and Credit One, decided to distance themselves completely from him and terminated all contracts. It takes millions of dollars to operate a car to run 36 races and without your two biggest, a team just can’t go forward.

“After much consideration, Chip Ganassi Racing has determined that it will end its relationship with driver Kyle Larson,” the team said in a statement. “As we said before, the comments that Kyle made were both offensive and unacceptable, especially given the values of our organization. As we continued to evaluate the situation with all the relevant parties, it became obvious that this was the only appropriate course of action to take.”

Even after the firing, the snowball effect kept rolling.  Chevrolet also terminated its agreement with him. Larson has driven Chevys in his entire Cup career and was a candidate to replace the retiring Jimmie Johnson in the #48 Lowes Chevrolet.

With so many of the “name” drivers like Johnson retiring from the sport, the Japanese-American was counted on being one of NASCAR’s poster boys for the future. But that is all gone as sponsor will be very hesitant to trust him to represent their brand. His maternal grandparents spent time in a Japanese internment camp. Larson became the first participant of NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity initiative to win a Cup Series race when he drove to victory in 2016.

An Elk Grove, California native, Larson entered the Cup Series full-time in 2014 and has won six races over the past four-plus seasons. He’s finished in the top 10 of the points standings in each of the last four seasons and was seventh in the standings through the first four races of 2020.

 

 

 

 

 

Rutgers Women’s assistant basketball coach Nadine Domond named to Connecticut Basketball Hall of Fame

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (April 14, 2020) – Rutgers women’s basketball assistant coach Nadine Domond will be inducted into the Connecticut Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in September, honoring her historic high school performance playing for Bridgeport
Central and her career as a professional athlete and college coach.

Nadine Domond

Domond will be entering her fifth year on the Scarlet Knights’ coaching staff. She has been at the forefront of Rutgers’ recent recruiting success, including the signing of No. 6 overall prospect (according to ESPN) Diamond Johnson and contributing to the No. 1 ranked 2020 recruiting class in the Big Ten and No. 8 nationally.

“I’m honored,” Domond said. “I’m going in with some special people. This is an amazing group of the best basketball people. I remember playing against some of them in high school. I’m just honored and appreciative of my peers for recognizing my contributions to the game.”

Her basketball success story began at Bridgeport Central in Connecticut, which posted a 27-0 record in 1993-94 and won the Class LL state title with a four-point victory over Shelton. Domond, a 5-foot-9 guard, averaged 23.6 points, 10.8 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 6.4 steals per game as a senior. She scored a career-high 56 points in a game against Norwalk and was honored as the Gatorade Connecticut Player of the Year. A four-time all-state selection, she finished her career with 2,302 points, 921 rebounds, 476 assists and 472 steals.

She went on to play her college ball at Iowa, where Domond played in three NCAA tournaments and took the Hawkeyes to the Sweet 16 in 1996. She was a Second Team All-Big Ten honoree in 1998. She was chosen 19th overall by the New York Liberty in the 1996 WNBA Draft and played extensively overseas in France, Poland and Israel.

The 33rd Annual Connecticut Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony has been postponed to September 30th at Cascade Banquet Facility in Hamden. Ticket information may be obtained from Tina Gonyea [203] 927-6581 or tlghoop@aol.com.

The Connecticut Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame was the first organization of its kind in the country. It was created in 1987 by five professional and personal friends who strongly felt the need to honor outstanding basketball players, coaches, officials, and advocates. The Hall of Fame honors those who have contributed to the enhancement of women’s basketball in Connecticut — either through participation, through service, through support, or through achievement. The 2020 Connecticut Women’s Basketball Hall of Famers exemplify the finest achievements in Connecticut.

2020 Connecticut Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame Inductees
Nadine Domond, high school player, Bridgeport Central
Ellen M. Geraghty, high school player, Gilbert
Ron Hanson, high school coach, Ellington
Brian Hurlock, honorary inductee, East Windsor
Margaret E. Tieman, referee, IAABO Board No. 7
Jaclyn Daigneault, college player, Amherst
Queen Edwards-Smith, college player Quinnipiac

Follow Rutgers women’s basketball on Twitter and Instagram (@RutgersWBB) for all of the latest news and updates. The team is also on Facebook (www.facebook.com/RutgersWBB). For all Rutgers Athletics news follow us on Twitter(@RUAthletics), Instagram (@RUAthletics), Snapchat (@RUAthletics) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/RutgersAthletics). For additional updates, please download the Gameday App.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Matt Choquette; RUTGERS ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS

Dayton’s Grant & Toppin honored as AP Coach & Player of the Year

 

Anthony Grant and Obi Toppin discussing game situation (Dayton Media Relations)

This Is Just The Second Time In 40 Years The Same School Has Both The AP Coach & Player

 

ASSOCIATED PRESS – The University of Dayton men’s basketball program swept the major awards in college basketball that were presented by the Associated Press.  Flyer head coach Anthony Grant was named National Coach of the Year, and redshirt sophomore forward Obi Toppin was the pick for Player of the Year.

This is just the second time in the last 40 seasons the Coach and Player of the Year came from the same school, and just the 11th time since both awards were presented starting in 1967.  The previous coach/player combos are a more than impressive list.

•    1967 — UCLA’s John Wooden and Lew Alcindor
•    1968 — Houston’s Guy Lewis and Elvin Hayes
•    1969 – UCLA’s John Wooden and Lew Alcindor
•    1972 — UCLA’s John Wooden and Bill Walton
•    1973 — UCLA’s John Wooden and Bill Walton
•    1976 – Indiana’s Bob Knight and Scott May
•    1979 – Indiana State’s Bill Hodges and Larry Bird
•    1980 – DePaul’s Ray Meyer and Mark Aguirre
•    2004 – Saint Joseph’s Phil Martelli and Jameer Nelson

Grant had already been named Men’s College Coach of the Year by The Sporting News and CBSsports.com.

Dayton went 29-2 this year, setting UD’s record for wins in a season despite not having the benefit of post-season play.  Both of UD’s losses were in overtime on neutral courts to teams expected to be in the NCAA tournament field – No. 1-ranked Kansas and Colorado.

The Flyers earned a No. 3 ranking in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches polls.  After being picked to finish third in the Atlantic 10 Conference’s preseason poll, UD was the first team to go 18-0 in the conference in 35 years.

Dayton finished 2019-20 on a 20-game win streak, the longest active winning streak in Division I.  The 20-game streak matches the longest in the same season in Flyer basketball history, matching the 20-gamer in 1951-52.

In the modern era of UD basketball (Post-World War II), Grant is just the second Dayton grad to coach the Flyers. The first was his coach, College BB Hall of Famer Don Donoher (1964-89).

Toppin is Dayton’s first consensus All-American.

Toppin finished the year averaging 20.0 points and 7.5 rebounds a game, and shooting .633 (245-387) from the field, .390 (32-82) from 3-pt. range and .702 (99-141) from the line.  According to Synergy Basketball, Toppin led the nation with 1.20 points per possession while he was on the floor.

He was the only player in the country who averaged 20.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and shot over 60% from the field.  He also had the best field goal percentage in the last five years of any Division I player who averaged 20 points a game.

Toppin led the A-10 in FG% (.633, 245-387), and was second in scoring (20.0).  He was the only player in the conference to be listed in both the top ten in FG% and 3-pt. FG% (8th, .390, 32-82).  He was also fifth nationally in field goal percentage, even though he took more than double the number of three-pointers the rest of the top 10 combined.

The athletic high Flyer also led the nation in dunks (107).

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Doug Hauschild; COURTESY DAYTON MEDIA RELATIONS

 

Flyers Power Forward Obi Toppin earns First Team All-American by NABC

Obi Toppin shoots a jumper over Fordham players (courtesy Dayton Media Relations)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – University of Dayton redshirt sophomore Obi Toppin was named a 2020 First Team Division I All-American by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC).  Toppin was joined on the team by Udoka Azubuike of Kansas, Luka Garza of Iowa, Markus Howard of Marquette and Payton Pritchard of Oregon.

The NABC Division I All-America team is selected and voted on by member coaches of the NABC in Division I.

A 6-foot-9 forward from Brooklyn, Toppin had already been named First Team All-American by The Sporting News, Associated Press and USBWA.  The Associated Press, Sporting News, USBWA and NABC All-America teams are the four teams used to determine the NCAA’s consensus All-America teams.

Toppin was one of three unanimous Consensus All-Americans, along with Garza and Powell.

He has been selected the College Basketball Player of the Year by The Athletic, USA Today, CBSsports.com, NBC Sports and Rivals.  Sports Illustrated announced its Top 50 College Basketball Players for the 2019-20 season this week, and Toppin’s uniform number matched his ranking – “1.”  (It is worth noting that Toppin’s teammate and roommate, point guard Jalen Crutcher, was number 34 in the same ranking. Crutcher and Toppin were also both named First Team NABC All-District 4.)

Toppin finished the year averaging 20.0 points and 7.5 rebounds a game, and shooting .633 (245-387) from the field, .390 (32-82) from 3-pt. range and .702 (99-141) from the line.  According to Synergy Basketball, Toppin led the nation with 1.20 points per possession while he was on the floor.

He was the only player in the country who averaged 20.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and shot over 60% from the field.  He also had the best field goal percentage in the last five years of any Division I player who averaged 20 points a game.

Toppin led the A-10 in FG% (.633, 245-387), and was second in scoring (20.0).  He was the only player in the conference to be listed in both the top ten in FG% and 3-pt. FG% (8th, .390, 32-82).  He was also fifth nationally in field goal percentage, even though he took more than double the number of three-pointers the rest of the top 10 combined.

The athletic high Flyer also led the nation in dunks (107).

Toppin lifted the Flyers to a 29-2 record, setting the most wins in school history even though UD did not get a chance to play any post-season games.  Dayton ended the year ranked third in the nation and will carry a 20-game win streak into 2020-21, the longest active streak in Division I.  UD won its third A-10 regular season championship in the last five years, but this season went undefeated (18-0) for the first time.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Doug Hauschild; COURTESY DAYTON MEDIA RELATIONS

UD Flyers’ Toppin named First Team All-American by USBWA

Obi Toppin dunks vs Fordham (Dayton Media Relations)

INDIANAPOLIS – University of Dayton redshirt sophomore Obi Toppin was named a First Team All-American by the United States Basketball Writers (USBWA).  Toppin was joined by senior guards Markus Howard of Marquette and Myles Powell of Seton Hall, senior center Udoka Azubuike of Kansas and junior center Luka Garza of Iowa.  Toppin was the only sophomore.

The USBWA All-America team is based on voting from its national membership of 900-plus. The USBWA has selected All-All-America teams since the 1956-57 season, its founding year.

A 6-foot-9 forward from Brooklyn, Toppin has already been named First Team All-American by The Sporting News and the Associated Press.  The Associated Press, Sporting News and USBWA All-America teams are three of the four teams used to determine the NCAA’s consensus All-America teams.

He has already been selected the College Basketball Player of the Year by The Athletic, USA Today, CBSsports.com, NBC Sports and Rivals.  Sports Illustrated announced its Top 50 College Basketball Players for the 2019-20 season last week, and Toppin’s uniform number matched his ranking – “1.”  (It is worth noting that Toppin’s teammate and roommate, point guard Jalen Crutcher, was number 34 in the same ranking.)

Toppin is a finalist for the Atlanta Tip-Off Club’s Citizen Naismith Trophy, is on the national ballot for the Los Angeles Athletic Club’s John R. Wooden Award, and is on the watch lists for the USBWA’s Oscar Robertson Trophy and the Basketball Hall of Fame’s Karl Malone Award.

Toppin finished the year averaging 20.0 points and 7.5 rebounds a game, and shooting .633 (245-387) from the field, .390 (32-82) from 3-pt. range and .702 (99-141) from the line.  According to Synergy Basketball, Toppin led the nation with 1.20 points per possession while he was on the floor.

He was the only player in the country who is averaging 20.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and shot over 60% from the field.  He also had the best field goal percentage in the last five years of any Division I player who averaged 20 points a game.

Toppin led the A-10 in FG% (.633, 245-387), and was second in scoring (20.0).  He was the only player in the conference to be listed in both the top ten in FG% and 3-pt. FG% (8th, .390, 32-82).  He was also fifth nationally in field goal percentage, even though he took more than double the number of three-pointers the rest of the top 10 combined.

The athletic high Flyer also led the nation in dunks (107).

Toppin lifted the Flyers to a 29-2 record, setting the most wins in school history even though UD did not get a chance to play any post-season games.  Dayton ended the year ranked third in the nation and will carry a 20-game win streak into 2020-21, the longest active streak in Division I.  UD won its third A-10 regular season championship in the last five years, but this season went undefeated (18-0) for the first time.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Doug Hauschild; COURTESY DAYTON MEDIA RELATIONS

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