Thursday, January 18, 2018

12 Of Team USA’s Brightest Stars Headline Laureus World Sports Award Nominees

By Karen Price
January 17, 2018

The names of Team USA athletes are found all over this year’s list of nominees for the Laureus World Sports Awards, particularly in the category of sportswoman of the year.

Four of the six nominees for the award are U.S. Olympic medalists who continue to dominate in their respective sports. They are: sprinter Allyson Felix, swimmer Katie Ledecky, tennis player Serena Williams and alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin. They are joined on the list by track athlete Caster Semenya from South Africa, and tennis player GarbiƱe Muguruza of Spain.

Also nominated are swimmer Caeleb Dressel for breakthrough of the year, track star Justin Gatlin for comeback of the year and multi-sport Paralympian Oksana Masters for sportsperson of the year with a disability.

Additionally, Olympians Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala and Klay Thompson were nominated in the team category along with the 2016-17 Golden State Warriors team that won the NBA title, as was 2016 Olympic rugby player Nate Ebner with the New England Patriots.

Williams, who has four Olympic gold medals, was nominated for a record 11th time since the awards’ inception in 2000 and, should she win, would be the first woman to be honored five times. She won her 23rd Grand Slam title in 2017 with her seventh Australian Open victory before sitting out the remainder of the season to give birth to her first child.

Nine-time Olympic medalist Felix won two golds and one bronze medal at the world championships, bringing her career total to 16 and becoming the most decorated athlete ever at the world championships.

Six-time Olympic medalist Ledecky won five golds and one silver medal at the 2017 swimming world championships, and Olympic gold medalist Shiffrin won her fourth world cup slalom title and first overall world cup title, plus her third straight world championship gold in slalom and first silver in giant slalom.

Dressel, who won two gold medals in his 2016 Olympic debut, became the first swimmer to win three gold medals in one day at the world championships and finished the meet with a record-tying seven gold medals total.

Gatlin, a three-time Olympian and five-time medalist, won gold in the 100-meter at the world championships, beating Usain Bolt in the process.

Three-time Paralympian Masters won five world championship medals in cross-country skiing and biathlon, including four golds, in addition to 17 medals, 10 of them gold, during the world cup season.

The nominees are voted on by members of the Laureus World Sports Academy and winners will be announced on Feb. 27.

Ohio State legend Katie Smith selected as Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame finalist

Former Ohio State shooting guard Katie Smith is a three-time Olympic gold medalist and set the record for points scored by either a man or woman in the Big Ten during her four-season collegiate career from 1992 to 1996. Credit: Courtesy of Ohio State Athletics

By Colin Hass-Hill
January 17, 2018

One of the greatest players in Ohio State women’s basketball history, Katie Smith was selected as one of 10 finalists for the 2018 Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.

The three-time Olympic gold medalist set the record for points scored by either a man or woman in the Big Ten during her four-season collegiate career from 1992 to 1996. Smith was honored as the Big Ten Player of the Year her senior year. In her freshman season, she powered her team to a conference title and NCAA championship appearance.

Smith played 15 season in the WNBA and two professionally for the Columbus Quest from 1996 to 1997. When she retired in 2013, she was the all-time women’s professional basketball leading scorer with 7,885 points. Smith was voted one of the 20 best and most-influential players in WNBA history in 2016. After her playing career ended, she was hired as an assistant coach by the New York Liberty. She became the team’s head coach Oct. 16.

“She’s totally deserving of that honor and she should be inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame,” Ohio State women’s basketball head coach Kevin McGuff said. “She’s an unbelievable player. She was an unbelievable player here. She’s a great coach now. I can’t wait to see all her success with the New York Liberty.”

Smith was inducted into Ohio State’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 2001.
McGuff said she frequently makes trips to Columbus continues to stay in touch with the program.

“I love the fact she comes around a lot, she stays connected to the program, which I love,” McGuff said. “She’s a great role model to the current players.”

The 2018 Basketball Hall of Fame finalists were announced were Jan. 11. Inductees will be announced the night of Feb. 12 during the Louisville-Connecticut game.

The class of 2018 will be introduced during the Final Four in Columbus, meaning Smith might have a homecoming if inducted.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Former NIACC standout Yanda selected to NJCAA football hall of fame

January 17, 2018
By Whitney Blakemore

Former NIACC all-American offensive lineman Marshal Yanda has been selected to the NJCAA Football Hall of Fame.

Yanda, who played at NIACC in 2003-04, joins former Ellsworth standout Andre Tippett and Lackawanna College (Pa.) coach Mark Duda in the 2018 class.

Yanda, a current member of the Baltimore Ravens, was an honorable mention NJCAA all-American in the 2004 season under coach Dave Gillespie.

After NIACC, Yanda played two years at the University of Iowa earning second-team all-Big Ten honors as a senior.

Yanda was drafted in the third round (86th overall pick) by the Ravens in the 2007 NFL Draft.

Yanda has been selected to the Pro Bowl six times (2011-16). He's a two-time first-team all-pro selection (2014-15) and three-time second-team all-pro selection (2011, 2012, 2016).

Yanda won a Super Bowl ring with the Ravens when the they topped the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII.

Yanda, who attended high school in Anamosa, and his wife Shannon have three children- Graham, Libby, and Logan.

Yanda is the third NIACC football player to be selected to the NJCAA football hall of fame. MarTay Jenkins was selected in 2011 and Shawn Harper was selected in 1995.

Tippett, who played at Ellsworth in 1978, played at Iowa and then played for the New England Patriots from 1982-93. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2008. He was a member of the NFL's all-decade team of the 1980s.

Duda was a four-time Northeastern Football Conference coach of the year. He is currently the NJCAA active leader in career wins.

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