Kobe Bryant dies at 41

first_imgBryant was a five-time NBA champion in a career that began in 1996 straight out of a high school and lasted until his retirement in 2016.He also was a two-time Olympic gold medalist, helping spark the US squad of NBA stars to titles in 2008 at Beijing and 2012 at London.Bryant bowed out of the NBA in 2016, scoring 60 points in his final appearance before his adoring fans at the Staples Center.It was a fairytale farewell to a sporting career which had begun two decades earlier.The son of former NBA player Joe “Jellybean” Bryant, the Lakers legend was born in Philadelphia in 1978 while his father played for the 76ers.The elder Bryant played from 1984 to 1991 in Italy, giving young Kobe a global worldview as he grew up dreaming of following his dad into the NBA.When his father retired as a player, the family moved back to the Philadelphia area and Kobe began his star turn at Lower Merion High School, where his jersey number 33 was retired.He decided at age 17 to jump directly from the prep ranks to the NBA, only the sixth player and first guard to make such a leap.Bryant was selected 13th overall by the Charlotte Hornets in the 1996 NBA Draft but they were picking for the Lakers in a deal made before the draft.At 18, Bryant became, at the time, the youngest player or starter in an NBA game and the youngest winner of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest.In 1998, he became the youngest NBA All-Star starter. In a 1999 campaign shortened by a labor dispute, Bryant started every game for the Lakers and signed a six-year deal worth $70 million.As the Michael Jordan era ended in Chicago, Bulls coach Phil Jackson wound up joining the Lakers and with sharpshooter Bryant joining dominating inside force Shaquille O’Neal, the Lakers captured three NBA crowns in a row from 2000-2002, returning the team to glory days unseen since 1988.He remained with the franchise for the remainder of his career, successfully branching out into the entertainment industry following his retirement.In 2018, he won an Oscar for his animated short film “Dear Basketball”, a love letter to the sport which brought him fame and fortune.Share on: WhatsApp Pages: 1 2 5x NBA Champion2x Finals MVP1x NBA Most Valuable Player 18x NBA All-Star4x NBA All-Star Game MVP11x All-NBA First Team2x All-NBA Second Team2x All-NBA Third Team9x NBA All-Defensive First Team2x NBA Scoring Champion2x Olympic Gold MedalistLos Angeles, United States | AFP |  NBA legend Kobe Bryant died Sunday when a helicopter crashed and burst into flames in foggy conditions in suburban Los Angeles, leaving five people dead, US media reported on Sunday.Los Angeles County Sheriff’s officials said there were no survivors from the morning crash on a rugged hillside in Calabasas, west of Los Angeles.The helicopter was described as a Sikorsky S-76, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer said.TMZ was the first US outlet to report that Bryant was among the fatalities. The NBA icon’s death was later confirmed by ESPN, CNN and the Los Angeles Times citing unidentified sources.TMZ reported that Bryant’s wife, Vanessa was not among those on board the helicopter.Early reports of Bryant’s death sent shockwaves throughout the world, with fellow stars and celebrities expressing disbelief at the news.“I’m stunned,” wrote Hall-of-Fame NBA star Scottie Pippen. “Words can’t even come close to describing it. Just an incredibly sad and tragic day.”“This can’t be true,” Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic wrote on Twitter. “No please.”Tennis great Martina Navratilova added: “Gone much too soon, how devastating to hear of his passing, he gave joy to so many for so long – deep condolences to his family, his friends, his Laker family. RIP Kobe.”At the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles, dozens of shocked fans gathered to pay tribute to the star.The crash came only hours after the 41-year-old former Los Angeles Lakers icon was passed by current Lakers star LeBron James for third on the all-time NBA scoring list in a Saturday game at Philadelphia.Bryant’s final post on social media had been a tweet congratulating James on surpassing him.“Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames,” Bryant wrote. “Much respect my brother #33644”.– Five-time champion –last_img read more

Gloucestershire glee after back-to-back Women’s County Finals victories

first_img Tags: Buckinghamshire, Gloucestershire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Surrey, Yorkshire 19 Sep 2019 Gloucestershire glee after back-to-back Women’s County Finals victories Gloucestershire maintained their grip on the Women’s County Finals when they won this year’s championship at Delamere Forest with a day to spare.The reigning champions beat Norfolk, Surrey and Lincolnshire on the first three days of the annual round robin competition and they went on to retain the title when they defeated nearest challengers Yorkshire 5 ½ – 3 ½ in a tense deciding match.The victory took Gloucestershire’s total to eight points which leaves them with an unassailable four point lead over Yorkshire and Lincolnshire with one round of matches to go. Surrey and Buckinghamshire have three points each while Norfolk have two.Gloucestershire’s victory extends an impressive run that started back in 2016 when they claimed their first ever title at Waterlooville. They lost narrowly to Yorkshire at Felixstowe Ferry in 2017 but then won 12 months ago at Royal North Devon before making it three wins in the last four years in bright sunshine in Cheshire.Yorkshire needed to win against Gloucestershire to have any chance of catching the leaders but their task was made more difficult when they lost the morning foursomes 2 ½ – ½.Ffion Tynan and Issy Hopkins got the ball rolling for Gloucestershire when they beat Nicola Slater and Hannah Holden 4 & 2 and Alex Saunders and Sam Round extended their advantage with a 4&3 victory over Lily Hirst and Evie Cooke before Deb Henery and Melissa Wood gave Yorkshire a lifeline when they came from behind to halve with Claudia Ovens and Ebonie Lewis.The singles also started brightly for Yorkshire when Hirst beat Hopkins 3 & 2 in the top match but consecutive victories for Bethan Popel and Tynan put Gloucestershire in the ascendancy again before Wood and Norton responded for Yorkshire with wins over Lewis and Round. Saunders took the final singles for the champions with a 3 & 2 win over Cooke.A thrilled Gloucestershire captain Su Mallon couldn’t hide her delight after another exciting day of golf and heaped praise on her players. She said: “I’m so, so proud of them all.“They just give it their all – they just love this County Finals week and come together as a team. When one is down they pick each other up.“To win three out of the last four years is incredible – and we’re one of the smallest counties.“We have lost funding but we do our very best to bring through talent. We start from our juniors and once they get a handicap of under 12 we bring them into our training programme and they go through the system into the second team and then progress.“They have been exposed to competition right the way through and they all get the same training and that’s where this incredible bond comes from.“They have all grown up with each other since the age of eight.“We have two of the team who are not yet 18 – they can sniff the champagne in the trophy rather than drink it!“The county is so proud, but this is also for the South West. We don’t just do this for Gloucestershire and I’ve had good luck messages from all over the region asking us to bring it back.“Gloucestershire will be dead chuffed to win it back-to-back and now I have the nice problem of how to get the huge trophy into my car for the trip home!”In the first match on the course Lincolnshire earned a narrow 5-4 win over Norfolk helped in no small measure by the battling Billy-Jo Smith who was four down with four to play against Eve Neild in the singles. However, she escaped with a halved match helped by hitting a three-wood to three-feet at the par-5 final hole.The match was close right from the start with the two teams sharing the foursomes 1 ½ – 1 ½ before Lincolnshire squeezed home with victories from India Clyburn, Tilly Garfoot and Meg Illingworth in the singles. Abigail O’Riordan and Tiffany Mills were the winners for Norfolk.The third match featuring Buckinghamshire and Surrey ended in a 4 ½ – 4 ½ draw after Buckinghamshire’s Daisy Kennedy beat Surrey’s Olivia Horsfield by one hole in the final singles on the course.Surrey claimed a 2-1 lead after the foursomes but Buckinghamshire pegged them back with singles victories from Amelia Curtis, Rosie Bee Kim and Kennedy plus a halve from Grace Rigby-Walden against Nicola Taylor. Lottie Woad and Rafiah Banday were Surrey’s winners in the top two singles.The final day sees champions Gloucestershire take on Buckinghamshire, Yorkshire play Lincolnshire and Surrey are up against Norfolk.Photograph credit: LeaderboardView the full table of results here.last_img read more

Riverhounds clinch playoff berth with 3-2 win over VSI Tampa Bay at Highmark Stadium

first_imgRaise over $15,000 for Cystic Fibrosis FoundationPittsburgh—On a beautiful Sunday afternoon in Station Square, the Pittsburgh Riverhounds defeated VSI Tampa Bay 3-2 and clinched a berth in the USL PRO playoffs. In a critical match-up for a ticket into the post-season, the Riverhounds and Tampa Bay didn’t disappoint the sold-out crowd, as five goals were scored in the second half to deliver an exciting atmosphere at Highmark Stadium.  With goals from Jose Angulo, Rob Vincent, and Darren Amoo, along with a “Jersey off the Back” raffle, the Riverhounds also raised over $15,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.With both, the Riverhounds and Tampa Bay playing two matches over the weekend, the tempo in the first half was extremely slow.  Carrying tired legs into the match, along with a temperature near ninety, both sides were scoreless at the half.Coming out of the break with playoffs on the mind, the Riverhounds would strike first in the 53rd minute when Angulo converted from the penalty stripe.  Driving down the right flank with speed, Mike Seamon would travel over sixty yards on the break.  Cutting inside the penalty area to hold off his marker, Seamon would attempt a cross for Angulo, but his service struck the arm of Josh Rife at the near post.  The referee awarded the Riverhounds a penalty kick and Angulo stepped up to score the game’s first goal.Seven minutes later, second-half substitute Stefan Lundberg took a page out of Seamon’s book and drove down the left flank with speed.  Waiting for his teammates to join him in the attack, Lundberg found defender Mike Green in the left corner.  Green played a ball back for Alfonso Motagalvan at the edge of the penalty area.  Motagalvan set the ball back for Vincent racing into the attack.  Taking a touch to prepare his body, Vincent rifled a shot that tucked just inside the left upright to put the Riverhounds up two goals.The Riverhounds counter-attacked well on the night, and their third goal came on a combination between multiple players inside their own defensive third.  Following the combination, Motagalvan found Angulo all alone on the right flank with a ball over the top. Traveling with speed towards Tampa Bay’s goal, Angulo slotted a ball towards the penalty spot for Amoo. Taking a first-time shot with his favorite left foot, Amoo passed the ball past goalkeeper Alex Horwarth to provide the Riverhounds with a three-goal lead in the 68th minute.VSI Tampa Bay recorded their first goal of the night one minute after Amoo’s goal.  Mauricio Salles found Cheyne Roberts overlapping into the right corner.  Roberts delivered a cross towards the middle of the penalty area for Chad Burt.  Taking a first-time shot on frame, Burt’s close range shot was blocked by Hunter Gilstrap, but his save was not cleared.  Following up his shot, Burt’s second chance effort would find the back of the net.Tampa Bay would cut the lead to one goal with ten minutes remaining in the match.  Receiving a dangerous set piece on right flank, Salles would deliver a cross for Andryy Budnyy at the penalty spot.  Rising up in the crowd, Budnyy’s header would deflect off of a Riverhounds Andrew Marshall and at his feet.  Taking a touch out of pressure, Budnyy would pass the ball around Gilstrap for the game’s final goal.The Riverhounds return to USL PRO action next Wednesday in North Carolina.  The Pittsburgh side will meet the Wilmington Hammerheads at 7:30 p.m. in Legion Stadium.  Tampa Bay returns to the Sunshine State next Thursday to match-up with Charlotte Eagles.  The match is slated for a 7:30 p.m. start at Plant City Stadium.last_img read more

India overtakes Australia as most successful chasing side in T20 history

first_imgImage Courtesy: BCCI/AFPAdvertisement z0nNBA Finals | Brooklyn VsbfroWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre E5jc( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) bWould you ever consider trying this?😱sq7xCan your students do this? 🌚b67Roller skating! Powered by Firework After the defeat against Bangladesh in the first day of the T20 series last Sunday, team India has successfully defeated their opponents yesterday with an 8 wicket domination at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, and has set a record for the most T20 wins as the chasing side clocking at 41, swiftly getting past previous record holders Australia with 40 wins.Advertisement Image Courtesy: BCCI/AFPAfter failing to defend the score in the last match, skipper Rohit Sharma chose to field after winning the toss, as the Tigers ended their innings with 153 runs for 6 wickets in Rajkot. Yuzvendra Chahal secured two wickets, and Deepak Chahar and Washington Sundar each had one.Rohit Sharma, playing as a stand-in captain to replace Virat Kohli, came as opener along with Shikhar Dhawan, and scored a blistering 85 off 43 balls, with 6 fours and 6 sixes. He was also named man of the match.Advertisement However, facing Aminul Islam in the 13th over, the 32 year old’s mid wicket pull landed in the hands of substitute Mohammad Mithun Ali. His opening partner Dhawan was also bowled out by Aminul in the 11th over.K.L Rahul and Shreyas Iyer ended India’s innings with 8 and 24 runs respectively, ending the chase in the 16th over.Advertisement India’s 41st victory as chasers is out of 61 matches, compared to the Aussies’ 40 out of 69.With both teams now tied 1-1, the third and final match of the series will be played next Sunday at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur. Advertisementlast_img read more

Ready, Set, Go! Third Graders Cycle To Their New School In…

first_imgBy John Burton |FAIR HAVEN – It was a welcoming, inspiring sight, and one that Fair Haven residents have come to look forward to as an annual tradition as young school-age children made their way, mostly on two wheels, to the next stage of their educational life.On Friday, third graders from the Viola L. Sickles School, the district’s primary school on Willow Street, took part in the time-honored tradition known as Transition Day.On this day in June, the students boarded their bikes, accompanied by some Sickles School officials and even police officers on bicycles, and made their way from the primary school to the Knollwood School, 224 Hance Road, which houses the public school district’s fourth to eighth grades.The day has become a celebration of that grade’s advancement and moving on to another school building. The students on their bikes were cheered by Sickles’ younger students, teachers and other school staffers. And along the route to Knollwood, parents and family and community members lined the street, offering cheers, displaying signs and chalk etchings of encouragement on the asphalt roadway, laying the path for the traveling group.“It’s definitely a rite of passage,” said Amy Romano, Knollwood principal, “taking that next big step in their lives.”Romano said she planned her “nice principal talk,” explaining to the approximately 112 kids who will be entering the building in September what is in store for them. What is in store for them, she said, is the possibility of an education in a bigger facility with more students and “more opportunities and programs available to them.”Sean McNeil, the public school district’s superintendent of schools, wearing his warm weather light blueseersucker suit and donning a safety helmet, led the group on his bicycle. McNeil also saw the event as “a nice way to highlight safe bike culture,” encouraging children to use all precautions when riding.Fair Haven has a long history of being a bicycle-centric community, as many, maybe even most, school-age children regularly ride to school, weather permitting. And at less than 2 square-miles, it’s commonplace to see families using their bicycles on weekends and afternoons, making their way around the community.“It speaks to what Fair Haven is. It’s how you live here,” observed Mayor Benjamin Lucarelli, noting the prevailing small-town sensibility that continues to draw families here.And it drew a video crew here on Transition Day. A group working with the state Department of Transportation and with the Rutgers University New Jersey Safe Routes to School Resource Center saw this tradition as the perfect example of how a community can adapt to create the opportunity for sustainable, livable communities that provide safe environments for bicycle use or walking.During portions of school days, Fair Haven closes off a section of 3rd Street to provide a safe route for children traveling to and from the school facilities. “To me, it shows what’s possible, to connect with a community,” said Ranjit Walia, with Civic Eye Collaborative, an urban planning and multimedia studio working on the video.“It is something that we’re encouraging. It’s inspiring,” added Trish Sanchez from the safe resource center. “And it’s not hard to do,” she continued, believing the video, which will be available on the center’s website, will encourage other communities to take these kinds of steps to make communities more pedestrian and cyclist-friendly. “To me, it’s a case of what’s possible,” she said.Sanchez said the groups have been doing videos on communities around the state, showing different initiatives that are being adopted to improve the quality of life.Police Chief Joseph McGovern said his wife recalled Transition Day back when she was a student at Sickles going back to the early 1980s. But when it actually started is “lost to history,” Lucarelli acknowledged. But it will be something that is likely to continue, he maintained. Because, he said, “Times may change but standards remain.”This article was first published in the June 15-June 22, 2017 print edition of The Two River Times.last_img read more

Fireworks Display Supports Riverview’s Future

first_img“We’re blessed to have this beautiful view that our patients, in their most vulnerable time, are able to get lost in. They can take a step back, take in the serene environment and put themselves in the right frame of mind for their journey to recovery. We firmly believe the environment plays a vital role in the healing process,” O’Brien said. Kelli O’Brien, Riverview’s chief hospital executive, said the event aided a recent remodel of the medical center’s oncology pavilion, which overlooks the serene river setting and assists patients in healing their minds and their ailments. Guests have access to a variety of food options, including popular food trucks, as well as inflatable rides and games, not to mention a front row seat to the fireworks show. Entrance to the event serves as a donation to the Meridian Health Foundation’s Giving Heals campaign, which supports Riverview Medical Center’s ongoing initiatives to strengthen oncology services, improve clinical outcomes, enhance the patient experience and broaden clinical research and academic programs. This event is one of many that has contributed to the more than $95 million raised by the foundation in support of Hackensack Meridian Health medical centers in Monmouth, Ocean and Middlesex counties. And on July 3, after the sun sets, the river will once again reflect River view’s mission to care for the community when the spectacular lights of the seventh annual Family Fireworks on The Navesink, a major fundraiser at the DiPiero home near the Oceanic Bridge, are reflected off the water. “It’s a joy to host this event every year,” said event chair and Riverview Medical Center Foundation trustee Hilary DiPiero. “It has continued to grow and attract new community members, many of whom leave with a commitment to support Riverview Medical Center. We hope that this year’s event will be even more successful than those of previous years.” O’Brien added that without fundraisers like the forthcoming fireworks extravaganza, additions like the oncology pavilion and new technology would not be available to medical center personnel. The display has consistently delivered on its promise to light up the night sky for all within view, including the 400 guests who attended an exclusive viewing party hosted by the DiPieros last summer. The people behind Riverview Medical Center, where picture windows have been maximized in its new cancer center, believe the calm views of the Navesink can inspire serenity and healing. “It’s because of the community’s support with events like this that we’re able to do what we do best,” O’Brien said. “We’ve been on the river for 90 years, and every step of the way it’s the community’s support that has helped us prepare for the future and endure.” The beautiful NavesinkRiver can be so many thingsto different people. Reservations for the event are required. For additional information about sponsorship opportunities, or to purchase tickets, please call Michelle Casserly at 732-751-5112 or visit hackensackmeridianhealth.org/rmcfireworks. As always, donations tosupport foundation events aregratefully accepted.last_img read more