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The African basketball championship: Unique and entertaining

first_imgMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’ OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Learning about the ‘Ring of Fire’ Break new ground Senegal’s supporters drum during an AfroBasket match between Senegal against South Africa at Marius Ndiaye stadium in Dakar, Senegal, Friday, Sept. 8, 2017. The African basketball championship may lack star power, even electrical power on occasion. But with national pride at stake, it almost always entertains. AfroBasket, which tipped off Friday in Senegal and Tunisia, can’t be compared to a glitzy event like the NCAA tournament. Senegal’s aging national stadium in the capital Dakar, for example, has no air conditioning. A recent women’s AfroBasket game in Mali was paused because of a power cut. (AP Photo/ Ken Maguire)DAKAR, Senegal — The African basketball championship may lack star power — even electrical power on occasion. But with national pride at stake, it almost always entertains.AfroBasket, which tipped off Friday in Senegal and Tunisia, can’t be compared to a glitzy event like the NCAA tournament. Senegal’s aging national stadium in the capital Dakar, for example, has no air conditioning. A recent women’s AfroBasket game in Mali was paused because of a power cut.ADVERTISEMENT Winning start It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. 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AfroBasket also provides a qualification path to FIBA’s world championship in 2019 and the 2020 Olympics.Top players sometimes opt out because of scheduling conflicts and, especially, their national federations’ unwillingness to pay for insurance. Other NBA players not coming are Cameroonians Joel Embiid, Luc Mbah a Moute, and Pascal Siakam, as well as Congo’s Bismack Biyombo and Emmanuel Mudiay.The delayed tournament also makes it hard for Africans in American schools. Angolan Bruno Fernando, identified by FIBA as Bruno “Fernandes,” has begun his freshman year at the University of Maryland.Still, NBA and other scouts are expected, so players like 25-year-old Ndour, now a free agent, can help themselves as they help their teams. Carlos Morais of Angola was invited to the Raptors’ training camp after earning MVP honors at the 2013 African championship.Silvio De Sousa, who has committed to Kansas for 2018, is suiting up for Angola.Joe Lopez, president of the SEED Academy, said many participants play professionally, “but you have two or three that will be discovered.” He pointed to SEED student Privat Koyamba, 19, of Central African Republic.“This will be for him a golden opportunity to showcase his talent,” said Lopez, who was the starting center on Senegal’s victorious team in 1978.SEED is an international NGO in Senegal that trains promising young players with a goal to build future leaders.Reggie Moore, born and raised in California and a naturalized Angolan, said AfroBasket play is “very physical” but he wasn’t worried about the lack of air conditioning.“It’s not a big deal. We’re used to it,” said Moore, a 6-foot-7 power forward and Oral Roberts University alum. International basketball federation FIBA turned to Senegal and Tunisia as emergency co-hosts of this men’s championship just two months ago because Republic of Congo backed out, as did replacement host Angola. The 16-team tournament was pushed back to September, too close to training camps for many Africans who play in the NBA.Tunisia hosted in August 2015, two months after 38 people were killed in a terrorist attack at a beach resort. As a precaution, games were moved to Rades, outside the capital Tunis.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smogThe tournament still carries on, as it has done since 1962.“They always end up finding a way, and it always ends up being a great tournament, so we must find a way to improve it, to get more out of it,” said Masai Ujiri, a Nigerian who is president of the NBA’s Toronto Raptors. “I’ve played in that tournament. I’ve coached in it. It’s an unbelievable feeling. There’s a remarkable atmosphere. I wish more people knew about it.” Despite Africa’s basketball potential, Ujiri warns that mismanagement threatens to stall progress. Uriji said governments must take responsibility for neglected stadiums and subpar sports programs. Leaks in the Dakar stadium’s roof were patched up 48 hours before the tournament. It’s the rainy season here.“We’re (Africa) moving forward in technology, we’re moving forward in banking, we’re moving forward in real estate,” Uriji said. “While these things are getting better, sports are being left behind. How is that possible?”The NBA has seen opportunity in Africa and has an academy outside Dakar to train the continent’s top young players. The NBA has put on exhibition games in South Africa and says a regular-season game is coming to Africa at some point.Ujiri said it’s also a good sign that Africans — like him — are earning jobs in leadership positions, including coaching and scouting.“I see that as growth of the game that’s going to help get kids playing at a younger age,” he said.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View comments End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend Arenas are abuzz with drumming, dancing, and flag waving. Boisterous Senegalese supporters packed Marius Ndiaye Stadium on Friday hours before their team took the floor, a floor that was freshly painted just three days earlier.Even referees seem to feel it. In a March qualifier, a Malian player sank a game-tying 3-pointer at the buzzer against Senegal, pulled off his jersey and sprinted toward fans as if he had scored a goal at the soccer World Cup. No technical foul.Wearing national colors is serious business for players, some of whom have grandparents who lived under colonial oppression.“I take pride in it,” said Senegal’s Maurice Ndour, who played for the New York Knicks last season. “It will be my first time playing in Senegal in front of the home crowd. It’s huge.”South Africa’s Chris Gabriel, center front, launches a hook shot over Senegal’s Gorgui Dieng during AfroBasket tournament at Marius Ndiaye stadium in Dakar, Senegal, Friday, Sept. 8, 2017. The African basketball championship may lack star power, even electrical power on occasion. But with national pride at stake, it almost always entertains. AfroBasket, which tipped off Friday in Senegal and Tunisia, can’t be compared to a glitzy event like the NCAA tournament. Senegal’s aging national stadium in the capital Dakar, for example, has no air conditioning. A recent women’s AfroBasket game in Mali was paused because of a power cut. (AP Photo/ Ken Maguire)Senegal, with Minnesota Timberwolves big man Gorgui Dieng on board, will be under pressure to win the title, something it hasn’t done since 1997. Angola is the 11-time African champion and hasn’t missed the final since 1997. Nigeria captured its first title at the last AfroBasket in 2015.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp excited to meet ‘character’ Neil Warnock

first_imgWarnock said on Friday of the challenge for his men at Anfield: “It’s massive. It’s virtually impossible for any team in the current game.”When that was then put to Klopp at his pre-match press conference, the Reds manager laughed and said: “I am really looking forward to meeting him. I heard a lot about him, and he’s obviously vocal-wise very talented.“It will be a big pleasure to meet him – not sure during the 90 minutes, but before and after I’m sure.“It would be so cool if that’s the truth, but it’s not and they will try everything. Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? Klopp is looking forward to meeting Warnock Liverpool are currently unbeaten and second in the Premier League, level on points with leaders Manchester City, and on Wednesday they beat Red Star Belgrade 4-0 at Anfield in the Champions League.Cardiff, meanwhile, are 17th with five points from nine games, having secured their first win of the season last weekend when they beat Fulham 4-2 at home. REVEALED gameday cracker tense Green reveals how he confronted Sarri after Chelsea’s 6-0 defeat at Man City huge blow Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT REVEALED Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp stressed his excitement to meet Neil Warnock on Saturday when Cardiff travel to Anfield.The Reds boss described Warnock as a ‘character’ and laughed off his suggestion that the Bluebirds face a ‘virtually impossible’ task this weekend. Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury Klopp’s Liverpool are level with Manchester City on points at the top of the Premier League table center_img Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card shining LATEST PREMIER LEAGUE NEWS no dice Man United transfer news live: Haaland ‘wants a change’, two players off in January Cardiff earned their first win of the season against Fulham last Saturday Premier League Team of the Season so far, including Liverpool and Leicester stars 3 “He is one of the most experienced managers in the world of football, and so successful in the past –it’s unbelievable.“We are aware of the quality of Cardiff. Cardiff and Neil Warnock are famous for the way he plays. Last week gave them for sure a big boost, 100 per cent, but before that they were not bad.“They deserve all our respect and they will get it.” 3 deals 3 Klopp added of Warnock: “He looks like a character, a very, very emotional and lively person.“I watched a lot of the final period of the Championship last year, and it was impressive how they did it (got promoted).“From all the big English active managers, he’s the last one I have to meet. I’m looking forward to it.”last_img read more

Care providers clash at hearing on proposed hospice center

first_imgA public hearing Tuesday on granting a certificate of need for what would be Clark County’s second inpatient hospice center drew a crowd of 100, mostly employees of two hospice providers at odds over the need for the proposed facility.The hearing focused on whether there is enough demand for inpatient hospice care to justify the construction of a 15-bed inpatient hospice center at 3100 NE 136th Circle in Salmon Creek. The project is proposed by Community Home Health & Hospice.CHHH claims that its existing client base will fill the beds.PeaceHealth Southwest, owner of Ray Hickey Hospice House, now the county’s only hospice center, opposes the project because it claims the second facility isn’t needed. Ray Hickey has 20 beds at 2112 E. Mill Plain Blvd. in the Central Park neighborhood near Clark College. A second center could cause the financial ruin of both hospice centers given lack of demand for inpatient services, PeaceHealth Southwest administrators said.Some speakers from the health industry and Clark County residents said palliative care is trending toward at-home care. That will slow or decrease demand for inpatient services despite the burgeoning senior population.Sonjia Hauser, Ray Hickey clinical manager, said there is room for CHHH clients at the existing facility. (Ray Hickey and CHHH have a contract in which Ray Hickey provides hospice beds to CHHH on a space-available basis.)last_img read more