Coach Alex Reu revealed the names last night before travelling to Lae with the team early this morning.He says the team will be captained by Madang FC skipper and midfielder Max Sengum and he will be assisted by another top Madang FC player, winger Vanya Malagin.He said the team is named based on commitment to training and discipline, and aims to tackle the strong Southern, Highlands and NGI sides.Mr Reu said the team is also made up of young under 20 players who have recently won the Momase Youth Tournament and some experienced MFC players.The team: Max Sengum (C), Nigel Malagin, Maskulan Pulung, Langarap Samol, Vanya Malagin (VC) Raymond Romo, Raymond Geladia, Willie Condrad, Lawrence Koi, Solomon Mapai, Alfred Nanau, Henson Topio, Sojo Mandari, Mikes Gewa, Juren Patrick, Ephraim Leo, Darren Steven, Nollen Samar, Quinten Simea, Nathen Kell.
Kvitova, then again, had to row in opposition to the present after three video games fairly placid for her in the event, in which she solely misplaced 14 video games. Sakkari compelled him loads in the primary set and took him in the tiebreaker, however the effort paid him in the subsequent two sleeves, in which the Czech, who didn’t care a lot to commit 46 unforced errors as a result of he positioned 33 winners, It was superior. She and Barty have met seven instances and the steadiness favors Petra 4-3. In 2019, he received the native elimination in the Sydney last after which in the Rod Laver Area, in the quarterfinals, and he received thrice in a row afterwards (Miami, Beijing and WTA Finals).Outcomes of the ladies’s group of the Australian Open. In a ladies’s group of the Australian Open in which there are solely 4 top-10 left, Ashleigh Barty excited the native followers along with his first victory in opposition to Alison Riske in three matches (6-3, 1-6 and 6-4 in 1h : 36). The world’s primary took revenge on the defeat it suffered in opposition to the American final yr additionally in the spherical of 16, however of Wimbledon, and he’ll face in the quarterfinals, which he arrives in Melbourne for the second time in a row, to Petra Kvitova, which traced in entrance of Maria Sakkari (6-7 (4), 6-Three and 6-2 in 2h: 12).Barty abused his well-known backhand reduce to dominate and enter later both with the cross drive or with the parallel backhand. With that persistence that characterizes him matured the American, who didn’t discover in the primary set the solutions that made him beat the aussie just a few months in the past in London. Nonetheless, in the second, it was positioned 3-Zero after breaking right into a serve by Ash and appeared that it pulled the sleeve to hold power and take a look at to sentence in the third. The wager went effectively and with a break in the fourth recreation he acquired forward and didn’t surrender anymore. Riske delivered with a double foul.
The most important aspect of sports, be it local, backyard, or international, is to ensure the safety of the participants. This mandate has become the rallying call of sport medicine associations worldwide, ever since this important branch of medicine became ‘mainstream’ in the early 1960s. Most international sporting associations now make it mandatory that teams have as part of their ‘official’ delegation, a member of the medical fraternity with proven expertise in identifying, managing, and treating injuries. However, before identifying, managing, and treating injuries to team members, the medically trained individual must first advise and implement procedures to PREVENT injuries. LACK OF KNOWLEDGE Unfortunately, whereas this fundamental requirement is strictly adhered to in some international competitions, where the medical person is identified and given an official role and responsibilities, the paucity of such individuals has allowed some organisations to appoint persons with basic medical qualifications but with an alarming lack of specific knowledge of the sport to which they have been appointed. This lack of knowledge soon becomes apparent to the technical staff assigned to the team, with the resulting (and unfortunate) sequel where medical advice is rarely sought and if obtained, studiously ignored. I have noticed this flaw/anomaly, and my investigation has led me to believe that economics seem to be the driving force behind this potentially dangerous practice. I have found that there is no sporting organisation that deliberately goes out of its way to appoint medical personnel, to fulfil rule requirements, who lack either expertise or experience in the skills required for this important aspect of team selection. The individuals who have taken the time (and sacrifice) to get trained in the basics of sport medicine, generally tend to have pressing economic needs that somehow have to be acknowledged. Therefore, because of the cost involved, teams often tend to request friends and associates with medical qualification in an unrelated field to ‘volunteer’, thus fulfilling the rule requirements of the sport. In Third-World countries where money is generally tight, this usually works, until the technical ‘expert’ in the team believes that he/she knows more than the medical appointee. This ‘stand-off’ usually occurs when a ‘star’ player is involved. I have known of cases where a key player has suffered a fractured leg during a strategic stage of a football final and the medic on duty is beseeched with instructions to “just bandage the leg. Don’t take him off. If him come off, doc, we dead!” Amazingly, this request was compounded by similar sentiments from the player himself! In football, the great Franz Beckenbauer of the then West Germany was allowed to continue playing in a crucial World Cup match with a dislocated shoulder, because “if him come off … we dead”. In the NFL recently, star quarterback Cam Newton was allowed to continue playing after suffering an obvious head injury in a game where recent lawsuits by NFL players with brain abnormalities, who were encouraged to continue playing by technical and sometimes medical personnel, are becoming more and more frequent. The recent, untimely sudden death of youngsters involved in sports in Jamaica has galvanised interest in pre-participation-evaluation by schools that have been sending team members for evaluation. But, if a star player is sent for an evaluation before a crucial game, and that evaluation detects an abnormality that needs further investigation before clearance is obtained, the star player is allowed to play, with no one taking responsibility for the obvious breech of agreed protocol. This defiance of medical advice became international news last week when it was revealed that the team physician of the Trinidad and Tobago national senior football team, Dr Terence Babwah, a member of the FIFA medical committee for over 10 years, resigned because his professional integrity and that of the team’s medical staff had been compromised by decisions leading up to the Honduras game. Dave Isaac, the team physiotherapist for the past four years, has also resigned. Dr Babwah’s resignation has brought into sharp focus the importance of medical advice to teams given by those entrusted with the awesome responsibility to PROTECT squad members from possible serious injury. The team member was the goalkeeper, Jan-Michael Williams, who, during the game, suffered a head injury and had to be substituted 10 minutes into the game. Apparently, the medical team had advised against his playing the game in the first place! It is high time that administrators of team sports in Jamaica ‘take sleep mark death’ and begin to make rules and protocols that MANDATE that the medical advice given by suitably qualified medics is followed, with serious consequences for proven defiance of their advice. Unsubstantiated rumours about medical advice being ignored in the death of children involved in sports, makes this call an urgent priority.
In this latest Impact Story profile in ASAP’s Impact: Global Poverty project, Elaine Kellman speaks with Robtel Neajai Pailey, a Mo Ibrahim Foundation Ph.D. Scholar at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, who is battling corruption in Liberia. While still a doctoral student, Robtel Neajai Pailey has emerged as a globally influential voice on poverty, corruption and related issues. In a career that already spans work as a practitioner, journalist, government staff member and academic, she has published articles or comment pieces in The New York Times, Africa Today, The Guardian and many other outlets. She has also covered news out of Africa as an assistant editor of the Washington Informer Newspaper, worked in capacity building for the Foundation for International Dignity (a refugee rights organisation), taught and developed curriculum at the Robben Island Musem in Cape Town, South Africa and the Buduburam Refugee Camp School in Ghana, and has collaborated with or consulted for a range of NGOs and philanthropic agencies.It was while working as a government aide in Liberia that Pailey became aware of allegations that Liberia’s government-administered scholarships were being sold to the highest bidder and / or given to relatives of government officials. Outraged, she formulated a transparent system of awarding scholarships to the best applicants, which has now been fully implemented by the Liberian government.In addition, Pailey has devised and written a children’s book, Gbagba which was published by www.onemoorebook.com in 2013. Exploring issues of integrity, accountability and corruption, Gbagba (loosely translated in the Bassa language as ‘trickery’) follows a few days in the life of Liberian twins, Sundaymah and Sundaygar, who leave their hometown of Buchanan to visit their aunt in Monrovia, facing tough decisions and challenges along the way.Last year, Pailey’s research on Liberia and her work to tackle corruption was formally recognised, as she was selected as one of the most influential foreign policy leaders under the age of 33 by global affairs magazine Diplomatic Courier and Young Professionals in Foreign Policy. Pailey was recognized in this list as a “shaper”: that is, someone who changes the public discourse on an aspect of foreign policy or raises awareness of a critical issue.Here, Pailey discusses with ASAP the challenges and rewards of her impact work in Liberia, as well as her future plans, and offers advice to others who may be seeking to make an impact through their research.Details on ASAP’s Impact: Global Poverty project are available at: link: http://academicsstand.org/projects/impact-global-poverty/If you would like to nominate an impact-oriented academic for an Impact Stories profile, please contact Luis Cabrera at email@example.comASAP: What made you decide to write a book like Gbagba, addressing corruption and aimed at children?RNP: I got really frustrated with all the rhetoric about fighting corruption in Liberia, and wanted to start a national conversation with children. After teaching in two of Liberia’s universities and working in policy spaces in national government, I realised that integrity must be strengthened at the earliest stages in a child’s life in order to mitigate the practice of corruption in the next generation. So, I wrote Gbagba, creating a narrative that Liberian kids could see themselves reflected in, thereby increasing their love of reading. It’s virtually impossible to expect that an 18-year-old approaching adulthood is all of a sudden going to develop scruples, especially when his/her society does not value honesty. Eight to 10-year-old children are the perfect targets because it is at this stage that they begin to form an ethical core. In writing Gbagba, I imagined myself a proverbial anti-corruption pied piper, without the instrument of doom.ASAP: What were the major challenges in getting Gbagba published?RNP: I was very fortunate in that I didn’t have hurdles publishing Gbagba. My publisher, Wayetu Moore, of One Moore Book (OMB), approached me in early 2012 about a Liberia Signature Series that she was publishing in 2013 featuring Liberian veteran writers Stephanie Horton and Patricia Jabbeh Wesley. Wayetu asked if I could be the third Signature Series author, and I jumped at the opportunity because I had already conjured up Gbagba in my head. Wayetu, a young Liberian social entrepreneur and writer based in New York, was enthusiastic about the concept of the book from the very beginning. She founded OMB in 2011 with her four siblings because they wanted to revolutionise the children’s book industry by producing stories for children from underrepresented cultures. Wayetu was the perfect ally in giving life to Gbagba. So, too, was Chase Walker, my illustrator, who had been drawing subversive cartoons for months in Frontpage Africa Newspaper, a local daily in Liberia. A self-taught graphic designer and artist, Chase provided such depth to my twin protagonists, Sundaymah and Sundaygar, that their personalities jumped off each page of the book!ASAP: What has the response to Gbagba been like in Liberia?RNP: Gbagba has received nothing but goodwill in Liberia. I’ve done readings of Gbagba followed by discussions with children in Liberia’s capital, Monrovia, and was struck by how astute they are. They understand issues of integrity better than we adults do, and are able to articulate themselves with such bright-eyed innocence. Before conducting a workshop and preview reading of Gbagba at a local elementary school in Monrovia, one girl told me, “Corruption is breaking the Ten Commandments and hurting people.” This young child understood so fundamentally the intrinsic value of accountability. This is why I wrote Gbagba, to give young children the verbal tools to question the confusing ethical codes of the adults around them. Beyond the children of Liberia, adults have also responded in kind. Most parents I come across want copies of the book in their homes, and teachers want to use it in their classrooms. In 2013, the Liberian Ministry of Education placed Gbagba on its list of supplemental texts for 3rd to 5th graders, although I am aiming to get the book in the formal curriculum for these grades. The UNESCO office in Liberia also devised a values education curriculum proposing Gbagba as a core text, and this proposal is under consideration. And most recently, the Open Society Initiative of West Africa (OSIWA) approved a grant to donate 1,500 copies of Gbagba to schools across the country. With this grant, we’ll be commissioning Luckay Buckay, one of Liberia’s premier Hip-co artists, to write and produce a Gbagba song that will be released sometime this year.ASAP: What might you say to others who may want to pursue broadly similar projects in countries like Liberia?RNP: Do your research. Countries like Liberia are not tabula rasa; they are incredibly complex with often competing realities. Understanding the local context is absolutely crucial in making positive inroads. Speak to a diverse range of stakeholders. Ask what the needs are, and try to figure out if your potential intervention is required or even desired. Too often, we conjure up grand plans that sound fantastic, but have no relevance for the contexts in which we want to work. It’s better to join forces with already existing local initiatives than to reinvent the wheel for personal aggrandizement.ASAP: How did you become involved in Liberia’s International Scholarships Scheme?RNP: My involvement was based on a conversation that I initiated with Liberia’s President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, in 2009. At the time, I worked as a mid-level aide in her office. I had been collecting news clippings from a recurring exposé in one of Liberia’s local dailies, In Profile Daily, alleging that Liberia’s bilateral, international scholarships were being sold to the highest bidder as well as given to the relatives of government officials. I approached the President concerned about the implications of this exposé, given that Liberia had major gaps in capacity in crucial areas that international scholarships could help fill, such as engineering, agriculture, and medicine. President Sirleaf noted my concern and asked me to do a formal investigation and come up with a list of recommendations, which I did. After discovering that the allegations in the exposé were true, I recommended that the government of Liberia appoint an ad-hoc scholarships committee to overhaul and reform the entire bilateral scholarships scheme, making it merit-based, transparent, and gender-balanced. The President appointed me chair of the committee, and within months we devised a bilateral scholarships policy and began vetting scholarships in a transparent manner. The first batch of scholarships under our supervision was awarded to some of the brightest young people I’ve ever met in Liberia.ASAP: What made you decide to try to reform it?RNP: I’ve been on merit-based academic scholarships in the US and UK since I was 15. My working class parents always stressed the value of hard work and scholastic achievement. They gifted me with an insatiable love of knowledge and ambition to succeed. If not for the scholarships I received from high school through my current Ph.D., I would not be where I am today. I thought it was incredibly important for the best and brightest in Liberia to have the same opportunities I had, so that they could meaningfully contribute to the country’s post-war reconstruction process upon completion of their studies.ASAP: What were the major challenges you faced in your reform effort and how did you address those?RNP: The first major challenge was gaining public confidence in the new scheme. The scholarships process had been hijacked by those with money and power for so long that the average Liberian had lost faith in it, thinking it was a foregone conclusion that you could pay your way through the system or use your political affiliations to secure awards. To address these negative public perceptions, I conducted a series of radio interviews with scholarships recipients who had gone through our new and improved system, to give people first-hand accounts of the many reforms we had made. The second major challenge was maintaining our high standards and ensuring the process was merit-based despite attempted interference from private citizens and government officials. To address this, my committee and I made it clear to anyone trying to intrude that our final decisions were final, and that only those who had passed our very rigid guidelines would be invited for interviews and written exams.ASAP: Your reforms have now been adopted by the Liberian government. What are the biggest implementation challenges that you can see remaining?RNP: The major challenges are maintaining the selection criteria and standards we set, and ensuring that those who return from studies are placed in government agencies where they can meaningfully contribute to Liberia’s development.ASAP: Based on what you have learned in your research for the book and related work, what do you think are the key challenges facing Liberia, now and in the future?RNP: Liberia’s historical and contemporary challenges are two-fold. First, we lack systems of true merit, where people are promoted or appointed (whether in school settings or in job settings) based on what they know not who they know. This leads to disincentives for personal achievement and low levels of productivity. It also fuels patronage and corruption. Our second major challenge is reconciling what I call an ‘external agenda for Liberia’—based on the whims of donors, multi-national corporations, and the UN—with a clearly defined ‘internal agenda for Liberia’—based on the aspirations of Liberians themselves. Too often, the external agenda supersedes the internal agenda, thereby fomenting domestic angst.ASAP: You have been named one of the most influential foreign policy leaders under the age of 33. What do you think that kind of visibility might be for your impact work?RNP: The award has definitely provided me with increased visibility and legitimacy to fulfill my life’s work, transforming Liberia for the better.ASAP: How do you balance your impact and commentator work with your doctoral studies?RNP: My doctoral thesis addresses the ways in which citizenship in Liberia has been reconfigured across time and space, and what implications this has for post-conflict reconstruction. My impact and commentator work are extensions of my doctoral studies and vice versa, so I don’t consider them mutually exclusive.ASAP: How has your work outside academia figured in your research?RNP: I was born in Liberia, but grew up in the U.S. because of the 14-year conflict in my country. Ever since I can remember, I’ve always had a metaphysical connection to Liberia, and have been obsessed with trying to figure out what it means to be Liberian across varying landscapes. Most of my life’s work inside and outside academia has focused on creating pockets of transformation for those who may not be able to speak truth to power, particularly in Liberia.ASAP: What are your own aims and ambitions for the future, both in your research work and your impact work?RNP: I plan to delve into a full-time writing and teaching career after completing my Ph.D., with a series of Gbagba books serving as my first major foray into book publishing. In addition to children’s books, I intend to write academic articles and books, beginning with the publication of a book version of my Ph.D. thesis. I also plan to freelance for magazines and newspapers on a range of contemporary development issues facing sub-Saharan Africa. And finally, I intend to teach qualitative research methodologies as well as English composition and literature in Liberia.ASAP: What advice would you give to a university looking to encourage academics to make an impact at an early stage of their careers?RNP: Universities should adopt SOAS’ ethos of encouraging academics to be fully engaged with the world around them, rather than just pontificating about it in the ivory tower. This can be done by placing an emphasis on evidence-based research that has policy relevance and ultimately affects practice.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
First Lady, Sandra Granger, on Monday encouraged the residents of the Millicent Greaves Memorial SeniorFirst Lady Sandra Granger gives Myrtle Fleming a piece of her birthday cake as care-givers at the Millicent Greaves Memorial Residence look onCitizens’ Residence to enjoy every new day of life and commended the care-givers at the facility for their dedication.“Each day is a gift to savour and to gather new experiences,” Mrs. Granger said, at a glowing reception hosted by the Residence in collaboration with the Guyana Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists (SDA), to reflect on its five years of existence. The reception, held under the theme, “Lest we forget” was the last in a packed three-day anniversary programme.The First Lady shared that when she was invited to speak at the function, on the topic of ‘Getting old gracefully’, she was pleased as she believes that “age gives us the serenity to let go of those things, which we cannot change”. She also noted that the Residence has been established at a location, which bears a rich influence of Seventh-Day Adventist church in a small geographic space.“The dedication, hard work and determination that went into the establishment of this residence are proof of the power of faith and the power of vision. For now we have, standing in close proximity to each other, a place of worship, a hospital and a home for our seniors… all established and run by the Seventh-Day Adventist Church,” Mrs Granger said.Meanwhile, Pastor Exton Clarke, Executive Secretary of the Guyana of Seventh-Day Adventist said plans are in train, within the next year to add another ten rooms to the facility and to hire a fulltime licensed care-giver.On her arrival at the home’s D’urban Backlands location, the First Lady was greeted with a march pass and salute from the Mocha Drum Corps and Pathfinders from both the Olivet and Carmel Seventh-Day Adventists churches. Mrs Granger then participated in a tour of the halls of residence and exchanged greetings with some of its residents, particularly exuberant 84-year-old Ms Gladys Campbell. The First Lady also participated in the 95th birthday celebrations of Ms Myrtle Fleming, the oldest resident of the home.Other attendees at the function included Pastor Hugh McKenzie, who charged the gathering to “remember to thank God for the little blessings as well as the big blessings”, Pastor Philip Bowman, former President of the Guyana Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists, who gave the Benediction, Mrs Claudette Bowman, Brother John Joseph and his wife, residents, care-givers and other special invitees.
The Guyana Police Force on Monday issued wanted bulletins for 28-year-old Yougendra Jeenarine of Lot 439 Bush Lot, Corentyne, Berbice and his 32-year-old accomplice, Kelvin Shivgobin of Belvedere, Corentyne, Berbice, in connection with the murder of two brothers, Harricharran and Premcharran Samaroo, both of Bush Lot Farm, Corentyne, on December 31, 2018.It was reported that the two men, 46-year-old Premcharran, and Harricharran, 45, were killed by bandits on Old Year’s night during the course of a robbery.About 20:30h on Old Year’s night, the duo were at their mother’s home celebrating with a cousin who was visiting from the United States when bandits pounced on them.Reports are a loud explosion was heard, which some family members dismissed as a squib, but the brothers thought it was too loud and too close and decided to investigate. As Premcharran walked from under the house, he was shot to the head and fell, dying seconds later.Harricharran, who also went to investigate, was beaten by the bandits and later succumbed to his injuries while receiving medical attention at the Port Mourant Hospital.Persons with any relevant information that will lead to the arrest of Yougendra Jeenarine and Kelvin Shivgobin are kindly asked to contact the Police on 664-0181, 623-3012, 648-2323, 333-3876, 333-2485, 333-5564, 333-2151-3, 911 or at the nearest police station.
Some of Gerri McCorkle’s strongest community service has been dedicated to building character and success for girls, so it is appropriate that Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley has named McCorkle winner of the annual Carmen Sarro Award for Improving the Status of Women Through Community Service. The award is named for Carmen Sarro, a founding member of Zonta who lost a battle with cancer after leaving a legacy of service throughout the community. McCorkle, who is a deputy sergeant with the Sheriff’s Department, received the award Saturday as the highlight of Zonta’s annual Status of Women Celebration. She was one of 12 women nominated for the award by service organizations throughout the Santa Clarita Valley and honored at the brunch program. McCorkle was nominated for the honor by Girl Scouts, where she has been a leader since 1999. She also serves as a radKIDS instructor, teaching self-empowerment and self-defense to girls across the valley between the ages of 6 and 13. McCorkle was a Girl Scout herself for 12 years and has been an adult leader for eight years. She serves on several committees that plan events to keep older girls interested in Scouting and also is a mentor to several older Girl Scouts who are working toward the Gold Award. Through her job as community liaison with the Sheriff’s Department, McCorkle has worked on many collaborative projects, not only with the Girl Scouts but also with such organizations as the Michael Hoefflin Foundation, Single Mothers Outreach, Boys and Girls Club and local schools. She recently reached out to 50 junior high-age girls through a Girl Scouts career day, encouraging them to set their goals and standards high and then work to achieve them. Before McCorkle was announced as the Carmen Sarro Award winner, Zonta introduced each of the 12 honorees and saluted the organizations that nominated them. Event co-chairs Judy Penman and Karen Maleck-Whiteley presented each with a yellow rose, the symbol of Zonta International. McCorkle received the Carmen Sarro Award from Christine Sexton, Sarro’s daughter. “We are pleased that 12 diverse organizations submitted nominees this year,” mistress of ceremonies Marla Khayat told the audience. “It is evident when going through the applications that the Santa Clarita Valley is blessed with so many giving people.” She noted that the Zonta Club of SCV has been honoring service to the community for more than 20 years and found it appropriate that the award honors Carmen Sarro, who shared her time and talents with many community organizations in addition to Zonta. The 12 outstanding women saluted at this year’s ceremony, and their nominating organizations, are Dorothy Anderson, SCV Friends of the Libraries; Colleen Shaffer, Circle of Hope; Tera McHugh, Women Entrepreneurs of Santa Clarita Valley; McCorkle; Barbara Stearns-Cochran, Daughters of the British Empire and Child and Family Center Foundation; Shelley Hann, Betty Ferguson Foundation and Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Guild; Rosie Smith, Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Auxiliary; Jill Mellady, Michael Hoefflin Foundation; Terri Lee Cadiente, The Ragdoll Restoration Foundation; Melanie Sedam, Soroptimist International of Santa Clarita Valley; Jorja Harris, Domestic Violence Center of Santa Clarita Valley; and Kelly Burke, American Association of University Women. To post your own stories and photos, log on to valleynews.com. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
VICTORIA, B.C. – The Province of British Columbia is proposing to make changes to the Province’s hunting regulations for 2020 to 2022. The deadline to provide feedback is January 17, 2020.Advertisement Proposed changes to the regulations include areas such as hunting, trapping, motor vehicle restrictions, and firearms restrictions. According to the Government, based on regional requirements and conditions, the intent of these regulation adjustments is to promote the conservation of wildlife and wildlife habitat, as well as to optimize sustainable hunting and trapping opportunities. The proposed hunting regulation changes for 2020 to 2022 are online and available for public review and feedback through the Province’s website. – Advertisement -Before officially implementing these changes, the Province is seeking public feedback on the proposed hunting regulation changes.
Sunday’s draw put the top-seeded U.S. team in Group D along with Slovenia, Italy, China and Senegal. “It’s a very competitive group,” USA Basketball executive director Jim Tooley said. “The Puerto Rican team is familiar with our style of play, we both know each other well and hopefully the result will be better this time.” TOKYO – The U.S. team, led by Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James, will face Puerto Rico at the world basketball championships in August, providing a chance to avenge its lopsided loss at the Athens Olympics. The opening game on Aug. 19 in Sapporo, Japan, will be a rematch of a 92-73 loss to Puerto Rico at the 2004 Olympics. That opening-game loss marked only the third Olympic defeat for the Americans and first since adding professional players. The United States finished with a bronze medal at the games. The 24-team 2006 FIBA Men’s World Championship will be held Aug. 19-Sept. 3. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita The United States last won gold at Toronto in 1994, and placed a disappointing sixth at the 2002 tournament in Indianapolis. Defending champion Serbia-Montenegro will play Nigeria in the opening round. Serbia-Montenegro, formerly Yugoslavia, has a record five world titles and is in Group A with Argentina, which won gold in Athens. James committed to the U.S. team Saturday. He told USA Basketball chief Jerry Colangelo that he would play at this year’s world championships and the 2008 Olympics. Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs will not be a part of the U.S. team. Philadelphia’s Allen Iverson has said he is willing to make the commitment. Colangelo is expected to announce the first batch of camp invitees by the NBA All-Star break in mid-February. The team will be coached by Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski.
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita Terrell Owens will create chaos and controversy no matter where he draws a paycheck. Manny Ramirez will whine about how miserable he is in Boston and ask to be traded, even though he earns more than $20 million a year from the Red Sox. Peyton Manning will lose a January playoff game. And the NFL officials, indisputably the most incompetent in professional sports, will flash the same awful form in the postseason that they do during the regular season, too often making ridiculous calls that make sense to no one but themselves and their Park Avenue enablers in New York, NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue and NFL Director of Officiating Mike Pereira. Indeed, in the aftermath of a wonderfully exciting and dramatic NFL weekend that found the Denver Broncos dethroning the New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers stunning the AFC’s top seed, the Indianapolis Colts, the Zebras, natch, had their usual negative impact with decisions that left one scratching his noggin in bewilderment how so-called professionals can commit such egregious transgressions. The referee of the Colts-Steelers match, a Mr. Pete Morelli, listed in the NFL’s Record & Fact Book as a graduate of St. Mary’s, owes a debt of gratitude to the Colts’ kicker Mike Vanderjagt. Oh, does he! If Vanderjagt hadn’t missed that 46-yard field goal attempt with 19 seconds remaining that gave Pittsburgh its 21-18 win, Morelli might well have been the most controversial figure in athletics this week, if not Public Enemy No. 1 in Pennsylvania, if the Steelers had gone on to lose in overtime to the Colts. I have seen so many ghastly officiating calls in the NFL across the seasons that have had a direct effect on the outcome of the proceedings, but I’m not sure I can remember one as disturbingly wrong as the one Mr. Morelli made with 5:26 remaining in the game with the Steelers in command at 21-10. Pittsburgh’s strong safety, Troy Polamalu, had made a diving interception of Manning and the game, for all intents and purposes, was over at this late juncture. As he got up to run, Polamalu fumbled the ball his knee jarred it loose from his grasp but the replay clearly showed that Polamalu was in possession as he tumbled to the turf. With nothing to lose, the Indianapolis coach, Tony Dungy, threw the red flag, signifying for the referee to review the play. And who can blame Dungy, who’s been around long enough to know the numbing capriciousness of NFL officials. I’m not sure there’s a human being alive who would have rescinded Polamalu’s interception except, of course, for the only one with the power to do so, Pete Morelli, who, implausibly, incredibly, mysteriously, did so. Was Morelli viewing things with his heart rather than his eyes? Was Morelli in desperate need of reading glasses as he peered into the replay monitor? Was Morelli a Peyton Manning devotee secretly pulling for the Colts, as Steeler linebacker Joey Porter intimated afterward? I have no idea why the guy did what he did, but no doubt his scandalous blunder ignited the Colts, as they quickly moved down field to score a touchdown and a two-point conversation to draw within a field goal of the stunned Steelers. If players can be fined for overzealous hits and if coaches can be censured for putting the public knock on officials, why shouldn’t the Zebras be held accountable for bumble-brained verdicts that embarrass their sport? The call was so bad that even Pereira on Monday acknowledged that Morelli had made a mistake. Pete Morelli never again should be allowed to work in a game of such magnitude the guy obviously doesn’t react well to pressure but, knowing the outrageous arrogance of the NFL, it won’t be surprising to me if he isn’t assigned to one of this weekend’s championship games, or even to the upcoming Super Bowl. Why, the miscalculation that Morelli made was the worst I’d seen since, well, Saturday evening in the final minute of the first half of the Denver-New England game when the Patriots’ cornerback, Asante Samuel, was assessed a pass interference penalty that gave the Broncos, trailing 3-0 at the time, a first down on the NE 1-yard line. Replays once again clearly revealed that the back judge his name is unknown erred and never should have made the call that, in essence, gave the Broncos a touchdown gift. If anything, it showed the receiver that Samuel was covering was the one doing the pushing and jostling not Samuel. But, no matter, the Broncos were on their way to their 27-14 win which they deserved because of five Patriot turnovers. What they didn’t deserve was to be aided and abetted by a bumbling official. But this isn’t exactly a new phenomenon in the NFL. When you have a bunch of guys who have 9 to 5 jobs during the week and suddenly find themselves on weekends working important NFL games in front of 80,000 passionate folk, you’re going to wind up with people like Pete Morelli who freeze up in crisis moments. As one analyzes the Sunday matchups Denver and Pittsburgh for the AFC title and Seattle and Carolina for the NFC title it appears the two favorites, the Broncos and the Seahawks, have the distinct advantages, since both will be performing in their own stadiums in front maniacal followers. But who knows what will unfold? Pete Morelli, who doesn’t even suit up for Indianapolis, almost led the Colts to an amazing comeback Sunday. It’s simply impossible to handicap a sport in which the officials, alas, too often play as prominent a role in who wins as the players. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! You scan the contemporary sporting scene, and come to the conclusion there are certainties in a landscape of unpredictability: George Steinbrenner each offseason will sign at least one high-profile, aging free agent e.g. Johnny Damon in his maddening obsession to turn his New York Yankees into a world championship team again. Shaquille O’Neal will show up at training camp terribly overweight and injure himself early in the season, a hallowed ritual with the Los Angeles Lakers that he has continued with the Miami Heat. Boxing, forever on the terminal list, will enhance its diminution by continuing to stage high profile promotions unappetizing to even the most zealous fistic patron, and does anyone with any sense of taste and perspective look forward to that pay-per-view sham match that’s been lined up between Roy Jones Jr. and Bernard Hopkins, aging former middleweight champions on losing streaks?