All posts by gregorymelo2019

Adam Silver on NBA’s role in equality and inclusion

By Greg Melo
Medill Reports

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The elephant in the room during All-Star weekend was the “bumps in the road” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver acknowledged during his annual news conference: North Carolina’s recent history regarding LGBTQ rights and its impact on staging the event.

The heart of Silver’s opening statement detailed what it took for the NBA to feel comfortable hosting its showcase event in Charlotte two years after it was originally scheduled to be here. After Charlotte had been awarded the 2017 All-Star game, the North Carolina state legislature passed a bill known as HB2, which, among other things, required that citizens go to the bathroom of their assigned birth sex. The legislation created a sense of panic in the LGBTQ community and in 2016 the NBA switched the site of the 2017 All-Star game to New Orleans. The so-called “Bathroom Bill” was eventually repealed, thanks in part to the pressure put on North Carolina by corporate entities like the NBA, NCAA, and PayPal. Silver credited the efforts of Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan and team president Fred Whitfield as well.
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Ben Simmons at home among the stars

By Greg Melo
Medill Reports

CHARLOTTE, N.C.– Ben Simmons had no issues with fitting in when it came to the scrum of reporters around him on Friday morning.

The second-year Rising Star and first-time All-Star looked like he belonged, joking with some of the reporters who threw some off-the-wall questions at him, and thoughtfully responding to the questions about basketball, his brand, and his hopes to use the Rising Stars Challenge stage to influence the league.

“It’s just another platform and opportunity for us to come out here and show what we can do.” Simmons said. “I love being a part of the World team. I love coming to an event like this and playing with guys from all over.”
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Ramblers look to block the outside noise as they finish off tough 5 game stretch

Greg Melo
Medill Reports

 In college sports, conference play is king. And for a young Loyola women’s basketball team,  Missouri Valley conference games have presented a mix of ups and downs.

After a weekend split against Illinois State and Bradley, Loyola finds itself tied for the fifth spot in the Valley. With the top 6 seeds getting a bye in the conference tournament in March, the Ramblers appear to be in prime position.

Yet the true test will come this weekend, when they face off against two of the top three teams in the Valley: the University of Northern Iowa and Drake University – a team that has only lost one conference game since 2016. Third-year coach Kate Achter faces the challenge of keeping a relatively inexperienced squad on the level. Continue reading

Missouri Valley Conference women’s basketball season in review

Greg Melo
Medill Reports

As the calendar flipped from 2018 to 2019, Missouri Valley Conference games officially kicked into full gear with teams  jockeying for position in lieu of March’s tournament in Quad Cities in Moline. With conference play in full swing, here is a look at the current state of the MVC standings and what each team’s outlook is as we move into February.

All stats and records are provided courtesy of  Missouri Valley Conference. Continue reading Missouri Valley Conference women’s basketball season in review

Loyola Ramblers edge out the Evansville Purple Aces 61-56

Greg Melo
Medill Reports

With the final score landing a little too close for comfort, the Loyola Ramblers defeated the Evansville Purple Aces 61-56 to capture their second win in Missouri Valley Conference play.

With 22 seconds remaining in the game, it looked like it might be all over. Loyola guard Ellie Rice had just sunk a pair of free throws that pushed the Ramblers to a 59-50 lead. But Evansville had no plans to give it up. 

Purple Aces guard Kerri Gasper converted a 3-point play with 19.8 seconds to go. Then, following a Ramblers turnover, she cut her team’s deficit in half to 59-56  with a 3-point shot and two seconds left. But the Ramblers were able to squash the late rally, as forward Abby O’Connor iced the game with a pair of free throws before time expired. Continue reading