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September 16, 2020 | |Post a Comment

first_imgJordan Rezendes brought the ball up the court with Massachusetts-Dartmouth down by four and just over 36 seconds to go against Plymouth State earlier this season.UMass-Dartmouth head coach Brian Baptiste wanted the ball in Rezendes’ hands with the game on the line. The NCAA Division III leading scorer already had 24 points in the game. As he crossed half court and got closer to the 3-point line, he was triple-teamed. He created a sliver of space and shot a 3-pointer. It missed, and the Corsairs went on to lose the game.“I should have gave it up and I shot it and it just missed,” Rezendes said.It’s not typical of Rezendes to make mistakes late in the game. The senior has taken UMass-Dartmouth by storm ever since he joined the program two seasons ago. He’s fourth in the nation in assists to go with his 30.1 points per game. He’s set the single-game records for points and made 3s in a game. He’s blown by the previous single-season scoring record and he managed to join the 1,000-point club in his limited time at the school.All this success seemed fleeting at one point. The talented basketball product from Wareham (Massachusetts) High School struggled in the classroom, which thwarted any chance of him continuing to play basketball after his senior season. Now, after several years of maturing and overcoming challenges both on and off the court, he’s finally blossomed into player he knew he could be.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textRezendes’ academic shortcomings prevented him from going on to be a scholarship player at a Division II level, something both he and his coaches thought was possible. Instead, he had to put basketball on the shelf and focus on his schoolwork.“I ended up going to a community school, and that’s the last thing I thought I would do,” Rezendes said.When he transferred from Dean to Massachusetts Bay community college after one year, some of his credits were lost. What he wanted to be a quick two-year stopgap ended up being a three and a half year process to get his associates degree.Steve Faniel, now the head varsity basketball coach at Wareham after coaching JV, has seen many of his former players struggle after high school because they neglected their studies while basking in their athletic success.“It’s about earning keys, it’s about getting a certain amount of keys so you can open any doors,” Faniel said. “(Early on he didn’t) necessarily have the keys to open all the doors that he’s capable of opening because he didn’t mature until the later days.”Rezendes matured in his sophomore year, his first at MassBay. The effort he devoted off the court was picking up steam and matching the talent on it.Because Rezendes sat out of basketball for so long, a lot of his scholarship offers were gone. In August 2014, he made the last minute decision to enroll at Massachusetts-Dartmouth, as Baptiste already knew him from his days at Wareham.“Jordan contacted me, and I sat down with him,” Baptiste said, “and I just told him ‘We’d love to have you here’ and the next thing you know he was enrolled.”After a successful season last year, Rezendes was faced with a new and much more serious off-court issue. Around Thanksgiving, his 17-year-old brother Trey Miranda was hospitalized with brain cancer. Miranda’s father isn’t in the picture and Rezendes has always played a balancing act between big brother and father figure. Nearly every day, he drove back and forth from practice to the hospital in Boston.“It makes you work and want to make it somewhere in life and basketball,” Rezendes said.After the Plymouth St. game, the Corsairs were tied and had the last possession in another close game against Husson. Once again Rezendes brought the ball up the court. Once again he got triple-teamed as he got closer to the 3-point line. This time, he dished it off. The ball eventually found an open teammate, who hit a game winning 3 as the buzzer sounded.Rezendes has made a name for himself by breaking scoring records. But it’s giving to others and sacrificing the spotlight that has flipped the script on his life and career.“I’m just proud of him that even though he had a tough road,” Faniel said, “he didn’t give up.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on February 22, 2016 at 10:02 pm Contact Tomer: tdlanger@syr.edu | @tomer_langerlast_img read more

September 16, 2020 | |Post a Comment

first_imgWisconsin men’s basketball head coach Greg Gard affirmed his belief that a big part of the team’s success has been an improvement in players’ cohesive play and understanding concepts better — especially when it comes to the younger members of the team.With Wisconsin (19-10 Overall, 11-5 Big Ten) scheduled to play Minnesota (8-20) Wednesday in Minneapolis, Gard took a moment Monday to reflect on what helped Wisconsin reach this point in the season, and how he plans to move the team forward.Gard placed his focus on the team’s evolution as a whole, rather than just zoning in on one player. He addressed a few key advancements that have made the biggest difference in overall play.“I think we’ve gotten better offensively. I found some great clips where we moved the ball well last night,” Gard said. “Defensively I found great clips where we really exchanged well in dribble penetration attempts. We also exchanged ball screens at the right time. There was three or four that we made mistakes with ball screens, where we got caught too high on the screener, and they threw over the top of us.”The team might not be perfect yet, but Gard is clearly paying close attention to mistakes that were made and deciding how to effectively repair them.Despite the obvious upward trend in Wisconsin’s play, Gard is still hesitant to look as far as the upcoming tournaments. Rather, he prefers a different approach when it comes to continuing the team’s success. Gard and the rest of the Badgers maintain the mindset of taking things one day, and one practice at a time.“That’s the mindset we’ve taken all year. I don’t even really let them jump ahead even to the game yet,” Gard said. “It’s about today, and the first hour it will be how we can get better ourselves. A lot of today’s practice will be individual improvement and some team things as well, and also making sure that we’re staying healthy. If we need to rest a few guys here or there we’ll do that and be smart about that.”In terms of future strategies, Gard’s approach is relatively the same.“I think at this point in time in the year, you have to be careful. We’re not going to reinvent the wheel,” he said. “Nothing miraculous is going to be discovered in today’s practice other than where we can sharpen up, get better in areas and a lot of that will be visual with the video.”So far, Gard’s one-day-at-a-time mindset and attention to detail has been working in the Badgers’ favor.last_img read more

August 4, 2020 | |Post a Comment

first_imgBy Muriel J. Smith RED BANK – They may not all be out there in Santa outfits anymore, but the volunteers and employees of the Salvation Army Red Kettle campaign are as diligent as ever in striving to meet this year’s goal of raising $100,000 to support Christmas programs and services throughout the entire year.This year’s Red Kettle Drive was launched by the Red Bank Corps two weeks ago, and kettles can be found at various locations throughout the Monmouth County areas, according to Lt. Brennen Hinzman, Commanding Officer of Red Bank Corps.“The work done here throughout the year cannot be done without your contri- butions this season,” Hinzman said. Staffing the kettles are either an employee or a volunteer, ringing a bell and engaging the shoppers, Hinzman explained. He noted there are individuals and groups who enjoy standing kettles every year and faithfully help the Salvation Army to meet that year’s monetary goal.For both employees and volunteers, the Corps workers can opt for wearing a Santa outfit or identifying themselves in plain clothes wearing the apron or pin synonymous with the Salvation Army. Bell Ringers also can be as individualized as they’d like, within the limits of the places where they are standing. Which means, there might be a bell ringer dancing to a boombox she’s carrying or dancing in front of his Red Kettle tripod, or, like the volunteers in Little Silver, wearing their Santa outfits because they like that the best. “Every area is different,” said Jesabel Cruz, office manager and caseworker in the Salvation Army office at 180 Newman Springs Road.“We love our volunteers because they are committed and give of their time,” the Corps commander said, adding, “but we also enjoy being able to provide temporary seasonal employment, giving people the opportunity to earn some much needed income. Many of the workers have their confidence restored, as they are entrusted with a duty that gives back to their own communities.”One such worker is the newest employee for the Red Bank unit, Joseph Kuca, who can usually be found in front of the ACME store in Lincroft, except on Wednesdays. Kuca wrote a letter to the Salvation Army this Thanksgiving, thanking them for giving him the emotional lift he needed at a difficult time in his life, and praising the Salvation Army members for “allowing me to be a part of your family.”Kuca thanked the Army for resupplying his pantry and said until that time, “I couldn’t remember when I’d had eggs last. You too touched my heart with your kindness.” Kuca thanked every individual member of the Army who welcomed him with warmth, compassion and respect when he came for assistance, and told them “your collective humanity made all the difference to me at a time when I was at my lowest. It buoyed me … up to go forward and to face the storm with renewed courage. As your nineteenth century poster proclaimed, ‘A man may be down, but he’s never out!’ ”Kuca was quick to spread the good will he himself had received by joining the Red Kettle Drive. But even here, he went on, doing the work for the drive “has been truly the single most rewarding experience that I have ever known, truly. The positive response of the public, their sharing of stories of positive, life altering, life affirming experiences, realized through contact with the Salvation Army, in their lives, is most heartening. It warms my heart.”Kuca concluded that while he may never become a soldier in the corps, “but I have always been, and ever shall be, a most devoted advocate and Camp Follower of the Salvation Army. You folks truly change lives!”Marylynn Richner couldn’t agree more. The Red Bank resident has been a bell ringer for more than 50 years, star ting with her mother almost immediately after joining the Army. Practicing Baptists, Richner and her mother picked up her sister who was attending a Salvation Army service, and were so moved by the service Richner immediately wanted to join the Army. She’s been a soldier ever since.Always in Monmouth Mall, placidly sitting in her Salvation Army uniform just outside the mall entrance to Macy’s, Richner says she does the work every year because “I like to do the Lord’s work and He’s given me the strength to do it here.That’s a good enough reason for continuing.”The charming little lady with the soft voice and quick smile is at her post six hours a day, five days a week and loves it. “In fact,” she adds, “I can’t see anything I don’t like about it.” Sometimes, only a few people may come to drop coins or bills in her red kettle; other days she might be saying thank you and “God Bless You” to a 100 or more.Always ready to help someone in need, Richner said she’s also trained at the senior building where she lives to respond to emergencies such as floods or other disasters, assisting the fire or police department. Retired from the McCormick Company in Freehold since the plant closed many years ago, she loves her bell ringing job the most because “I’m able to help families in need.”Last year, over 1,500 people received assistance from the Red Bank Army’s food program, 650 households received holiday assistance for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and more than 500 children received Christmas gifts, which usually including apparel and footwear, from the Angel Tree Tag Program. Additional services included various children’s programs, social services and more than 400 meals provided through the Corps’ Bread of Life Community Kitchen. Funds raised during the Red Kettle Campaign are used to sustain the programs and services throughout the year.The Red Kettle drive started in the 19th century, when Capt. Joseph McFee launched it in San Francisco to provide Christmas dinner for the destitute. Since then it has evolved into one of the most recognizable and important charitable campaigns in the country.The Salvation Army itself is an evangelical part of the Christian Church established in England in 1865, and has been supporting those in need in this country for the past 130 years. The services of the Army ranged from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance to the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, as well as clothing and shelter for the homeless and opportunities for the underprivileged. Eighty-two cents of every dollar the Salvation Army spends supports these services in 5,000 communities across the country.last_img read more

August 2, 2020 | |Post a Comment

first_imgARCADIA, Calif. (March 17, 2016)–Graded stakes winning Toews On Ice heads a field of seven sophomores in Santa Anita’s $75,000 San Pedro Stakes at six furlongs on Sunday. (Originally scheduled for this past Friday, March 11, the San Pedro was cancelled due to heavy rain and re-drawn this morning).TOEWS ON ICE: Trained by Bob Baffert and named for Chicago Blackhawks star center and captain, Jonathan Toews (pronounced TAVES), Toews On Ice was an impressive winner of the Grade III, seven furlong Bob Hope Stakes three starts back on Nov. 14 at Del Mar, but he comes off a disappointing sixth place finish as the 3-5 favorite in the one mile Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn Park Jan. 18.Owned by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, Toews On Ice, who is Triple Crown nominated, was a close second to his highly regarded stablemate Mor Spirit two starts back in the Grade I Los Alamitos Futurity on Dec. 19. A Kentucky-bred colt by Archarcharch, Toews On Ice has pressed or been on the early lead in all seven of his starts, resulting in three wins and earnings of $245,700.DENMAN’S CALL: Trained by Doug O’Neill, this Kentucky-bred gelding by Northern Afleet has done little wrong in two starts. A stylish 3 ¾ length first-out maiden special weight winner going 5 ½ furlongs here on Jan. 9, Denman’s Call hugged the rail en route to an impressive third place finish behind top Derby contender Nyquist in the Grade II, seven furlong San Vicente Stakes on Feb. 15–an effort that earned him a lofty 94 Beyer Speed figure. Owned by Gilman Racing, Westside Rentals.com or W.C. Racing, Inc., Denman’s Call is also Triple Crown nominated and could use a win in the San Pedro as a springboard to the Derby trail.THE SAN PEDRO STAKES FIELD IN POST POSITION ORDER WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTSRACE 8  Approximate post time, 4:05 p.m. PTMt Veeder – Rafael Bejarano – 120He’s a Tiger – Edwin Maldonado – 120Iron Rob – Stewart Elliot – 120Boldly True – Drayden Van Dyke – 120Denman’s Call – Flavien Prat – 120Toews On Ice – Victor Espinoza – 124Gold Rush Dancer – Gary Stevens – 120last_img read more