Sports

Riding with SLAM Magazine at NBA All-Star weekend

By Andrew Donlan and John Alfes
Medill Reports

South Tryon Street buzzed on a summery, mid-February afternoon in Charlotte, as basketball fans from around the country swarmed a Sprinter van enveloped in vibrant magazine covers at the epicenter of the basketball universe — NBA All-Star weekend.

The van was placed strategically near Charlotte’s Mint Museum, which was paying homage to Nike’s Jordan brand in an atrium  exhibit of larger-than-life graphics. The basketball staple has prevailed sans uncertainty for more than three decades. Outside, another basketball brand — the iconic SLAM Magazine — put new methods of doing business to the test, led by ambitious workers determined to propel the publication forward in its third decade, too. Continue reading

Road Warriors: Inside Northwestern baseball’s rigorous travel schedule

By Andre Toran and Ben Friedl
Medill Reports

The Northwestern University baseball team has traveled 3,500 miles over the first five weekends of the 2019 season. Now, add that to the pre-existing rigors of being a full-time student athlete on the collegiate level; the art of balancing competing priorities. What takes precedent?

Here’s an inside look at the Wildcats brutal out-of-conference travel schedule, and peek into the life of a collegiate athlete: the ups, the downs, the shortcomings, the triumph.

Let’s take a ride.

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Overseas experience propels Brazilian Gulin to Chicago tennis spotlight

By Fernando Shan
Medill Reports

International tennis teens are seeking out the U.S. tennis scene and college recruiters have an “A” list of players they want – players such as Georgia Gulin.

Gulin, a 19-year-old Brazilian standout, is a sophomore athlete on the women’s tennis team at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her career covers several tennis academy experiences, including two prestigious tennis camps, the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, and the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy in France, before attending college in California. Gulin spent her freshman year at Long Beach State University prior to transferring to Chicago last year.
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Heading toward basketball stardom – One step at a time

By Louis Ricard
Medill Reports

As a shooting guard for the French national team, Louis Lesmond has seen it all. Competing for European championships, flying all over the continent, the 17-year-old entered the National Institute of Sport, Expertise, and Performance in Paris last year, hoping to become a professional and follow his parents footsteps.

He never thought he’d be playing for Evanston Township High School a year later, starting his life all over again on another continent. Continue reading

Glencoe-native transfers home to play tennis for Northwestern

By Neel Madhavan
Medill Reports

When she was 8-years old, Carol Finke played her first tennis tournament in an event hosted by Northwestern University. Since then, she’s dreamed of playing for the Wildcats.

The Glencoe-native caught the eye of Northwestern women’s tennis head coach Claire Pollard at a young age.

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Freshman Focus: Meet the 2018-19 rookies of Northwestern baseball

By Andre Toran
Medill Reports

March 7 – Episode two of Freshman Focus brings you freshman IF/OF Shawn Goosenberg. The California native talks about his commitment to Northwestern University, baseball and his decision to become a Wildcat.

Goosenberg felt he fit within Northwestern’s culture and loves the opportunities the university offers for student athletes to succeed beyond athletics once they graduate.

Northwestern Head Baseball Coach Spencer Allen emphasizes how valuable a grab Goosenberg is for the freshman class, raving about the player’s instincts and versatility.

Photo at top: Northwestern’s Shawn Goosenberg (left) lines up his defense in a matchup with Georgia Tech. (Carolyn Katz/Carolyn Katz Photography)

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Your old cell phone could become the medals for 2020 Tokyo Olympics

By Cyan Zhong
Medill Reports

If you live in Japan, you might have a chance to see top athletes all over the world wear your old phones on their necks next summer.

Well, not quite, but close. The Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games has been collecting used electronics all over Japan, including old cellphones and home appliances. The plan is to extract the metal and make – you guessed it – Olympic medals.

A Japanese factory is melting the electronics to extract the metal within. (Ⓒ Tanaka Kikinzoku Kogyo).

“The Medal Project,” as the committee calls it, is a big part of sustainability innovations ahead of the games. Kicked off in April 2017, the project is now near the finish line – March marks the last month of collection, said Tatsuo Ogura, senior manager of international communications for the committee.

“When we started this project in 2017, we expected it to finish in two years,” Ogura said. “We are on the right track and we almost met with the goal.”

The committee fulfilled the 2,700-kilogram goal of bronze collection last June. In October, it met 93.7 percent of the target for salvaging gold and 85.4 percent for silver, Ogura said.

A total of 1,500 municipalities across Japan are involved in the medal project, and they put the signature yellow donation boxes at post offices or street corners for citizens to donate their used devices, Ogura said. They can also donate at 2,400 NTT DOCOMO stores nationwide, Japan’s predominant mobile phone operator.

“We believe that, by supporting schemes like the medal project which encourage participation by the public, we can draw attention to the importance of recycling and help realize an environmentally friendly and sustainable society,” a NTT Docomo representative said in an email.  

The yellow donation box allows people all over Japan to donate their used electronic devices. Many athletes are on board with the project and signed their names to back the cause. (Cyan Zhong/Medill Reports)

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Even with new players, Clippers’ offensive system gives team edge

By Neel Madhavan
Medill Reports

Prior to the start of the season, most preseason predictions had the Los Angeles Clippers in the bottom-half of the NBA, outside the playoff picture.

Now at the All-Star break with 23 games left in the season, the Clippers are sitting in the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, with a one-game lead on the Sacramento Kings and just one game behind the Utah Jazz and San Antonio Spurs in the sixth and seventh spots, respectively.

Head coach Doc Rivers and the Clippers’ offensive system have a lot to do with that.

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LA Kings return home with 4-3 shootout loss to Canucks

By Neel Madhavan
Medill Reports

Returning to Staples Center for the first time since Jan. 21, the Los Angeles Kings hoped to give their notoriously faithful fans something to cheer about.

However, Elias Pettersson and the Vancouver Canucks had other plans.

Both Pettersson and Adam Gaudette tallied a goal and an assist to hand the Kings a 4-3 shootout loss on Feb. 14.

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Big Ten preview: Four teams expected to vie for conference title in women’s tennis

By Neel Madhavan
Medill Reports

With Big Ten Conference play officially underway, Northwestern University women’s tennis keeps the focus on the same goal this season that they do every year: to win the conference championship.

“That’s a big goal for us, but we can’t really think about that every match,” said junior Julie Byrne. “We just have to compete hard and the result will take care of itself. It’s going to be like that for the next two months, so we can’t get ahead of ourselves because the Big Ten is very strong this year.”

Based on past successes, Northwestern is widely viewed as the preeminent program in the Big Ten. The Wildcats have won 15 Big Ten regular season championships, including 11 straight from 1999-2009, and have made 29 NCAA tournament appearances, both are tops in the conference.

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