John Akii-Bua: Presence of Jerom Ochana As Champion Hurdler, Mentor, and Coach

Home-Training and School

John Akii was born to Lira District northern Ugandan Abako chief Rwot Yusef Lusepu Bua, in the Lango region. Akii-Bua was born into a polygynous family, his father had several wives and Akii would eventually have as many as fifty siblings. The family was semi-nomadic in social structure, Akii herded and protected cattle from predators like lions. This mode of existence inevitably required efficient herding boys to be fast on their feet, to be strong and to have stamina, and to be daring and instinctively quick to react to danger and to keep the herds from straying and getting killed and eaten by predators. Many of Africa’s greatest athletes have come from semi-nomadic and herding families. For Akii, this familial setting informally shaped his athletic abilities.

John Akii-Bua studied at Abako Primary School, thereafter in 1964 enrolled for junior high school at Aloi Ongom Secondary School in Aloi County (Robert Mugagga in ‘Akii-Bua: The Chief’s Son Who Became Athletics King’ in «Daily Monitor»: July 1, 2012). Akii’s stint at a high school education ended in the same year as a result of the death of his father Lusepu Bua which reduced the family’s ability to pay the school fees. The loss also reinforced the need for Akii-Bua to help and contribute materially to his large family. His duties included working in the family’s small general retail store.

Akii looked forward to more lucrative opportunities and at 16 traveled south to the Uganda capital Kampala to be recruited into the national police force. At this stage, Akii’s potential for athletic greatness was not noticeable. His competing in sports had not been significant, and his presence in school had been so short.

Initial Coaching: Police Recruitment and Hurdles’ Africa Record Holder Jerom Ochana

John Akii-Bua started running competitively when he was recruited into the Uganda Police force at Nsambya near Kampala hundreds of miles south of his family home. This formal window into John Akii-Bua’s athletic potential was initially shaped by the police drill which routinely started at 5:30am with physical training and three miles of cross-country running. Akii’s stretching flexibility was notable, the cause for his selection into high-hurdling. Jerom (Jerome, Jorem?) Ochana, a high-ranked police officer who was also the Uganda Police athletics coach and Africa’s 440 yard-hurdles record holder, was conveniently there to train Akii. One of the coaching ordeals involved Ochana placing a high-jump bar a couple of feet above the hurdle to shape Akii into learning to keep his head and body low.

Akii recounts the ordeal to Kenny Moore: «Can you see this scar on my forehead? Ochana… made me listen. I used to bleed a lot in our exercises, knocking the hurdles with my knees and ankles, keeping my head down» («Sports Illustrated»: ‘A Play of Light’, November 20, 1972). The police training and the coaching convenience presence of hurdling champion Jerom Ochana were likely the most significant foundation for Akii’s path to any future sports glory. Also of significance was that Ochana, just like Akii-Bua, was of the Luo-language and cultural groups of northern Uganda and beyond. This made the communication between coach and promising athlete much easier.

Regarding athletic credentials, Ochana had early in November 1962 won in the 440 yard-hurdles in 52.3 seconds at a track meet in Colombo, Ceylon. This was a tune-up for the forthcoming British Empire Commonwealth Games to be held during the last week of November in Pert, Australia. Unfortunately, in Perth, Ochana did not finish the race in the second of the two heats of the one and only round that would determine the six finalists in the 440 yard-hurdles. However, another prominent Ugandan athlete Benson Ishiepai, who had won in the first heat (52.0) would move on to the finals and win the bronze (52.3), behind Ken Roche (51.5) of Australia and Kenyan Kimaru Songok (51.9). Kimaru Songok is still recognized in Kenya as one of the early mighty and trailblazing athletics legends.

In 1964 Jerom Ochana won in 440 yard-hurdles at East and Central African Championships that were held in the city of Kisumu in Kenya, in quite an impressive 50.8 seconds. Ochana was in Tokyo for the Olympics, this time in the metric 400 meters-hurdles. On October 14, Ochana aged 29 was placed to run in the third of five first round heats that allowed for the three top finishers and next one fastest to advance to the semi-final round. Ochana was eliminated when he finished 4th in 52.4 seconds. In the end, Ochana achieved a 19th overall ranking in the 400mh at the Olympics in Tokyo. Ochana’s personal best (50.5) in the 440 yard-hurdles was attained in 1964.

Malcolm Arnold and George Odeke

John Akii-Bua, soon after winning in four police championship events in 1967, became significantly recognized and was thereafter placed under Briton Malcolm Arnold the new national coach. Malcolm Arnold is erroneously regarded as the one who introduced Akii to hurdling. Evidently, Akii’s chief influence may well have been Jerom Ochana who unfortunately has been widely forgotten and is little mentioned in the literature. And Akii proved early in his running career, that he was and all-round athlete.

Akii, would for a couple of decades, hold Uganda’s decathlon record of 6933 points set in 1971 in Kampala. Starting from the mid-1970’s, less and less attention, and fewer and fewer resources were allotted to the development of field events in Uganda. The presence of Ugandan decathlon athletes waned.

Akii was victorious in the 110 meters-hurdles finals at the East and Central African Championships (an annual event originally primarily involving track and field stars from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia) held in Kampala in 1969. With the influence of the coach Malcolm Arnold, Akii-Bua became convinced that he would reap more rewards as a 400 meters-hurdler. In the finals of the 400mh at the Commonwealth Games (Edinburgh, Scotland from July 16 to 25, 1970) Akii-Bua struggled with a back strain and hernia injury, was trailing last at the final 100 meters, but still raced in fast to come in fourth in 51.14 seconds. John Sherwood (England) was the gold medallist (50.03), Bill (William) Koskei of Uganda (but soon to return to and compete for his native Kenya) second (50.15), and Kipkemboi Charles Yego of Kenya third (50.19).

Arnold would coach Akii into being more skillful and consistent at timing the hurdles. Also, in preparation for the Olympics, Akii while wearing a weighted vest would go through a trying regimen of short- and middle-distance running repetitions with the hurdles mounted inches higher than the conventional length! Akii, also just prior to the Olympics in Munich in 1972 where he won gold while running in the tight lane one and lowered the world record to 47.82 seconds, would move down to southwestern Uganda where he would cross-country train at high-altitude in often pouring rain conditions. Even after decades, coaches and hurdlers look back to Akii’s unique training regimen with awe and interest. Malcolm Arnold’s coaching stint with the Uganda team (3-4 years) would end soon after the Olympics in Munich. Thereafter, former Uganda sprinter and now assistant coach George Odeke took over as national coach.

Conclusion

Malcolm Arnold has retained most of the credit for coaching and propelling Akii-Bua to Olympic gold. With this practice and resume he went on to successfully coach renowned hurdlers of Great Britain. Arnold had inevitably focused on Akii-Bua given that at the time he was Uganda’s top athlete and Olympic medal hope. Akii-Bua must have strongly influenced Arnold’s focus on hurdles. But did Arnold make Akii great, or did Akii make Arnold great? Perhaps it is a chicken-and-egg question. Both coach and student contributed to each other’s greatness. But home-grown Ugandan Jerom Ochana was the early and main driving force and mentor that Akii-Bua would attribute to fashioning him into a winning hurdler.

Regarding some of the levels, Akii was absent in the top-10 All-Time World Rankings of 1970. But in 1971 he became third after Ralph Mann (USA) and Jean-Claude Nallet (France). In 1972 and 1973, Akii’s leading world performances placed Akii comfortably at number 1. Akii was not as active and prominent in 1974, he missed the Commonwealth Games and he became ranked number 8. He resurfaced to number 2 in 1975, behind Alan Pascoe (Great Britain) and ahead of Jim Bolding and Ralph Mann both of the USA.

Works Cited

Moore, Kenny (November 20, 1972). «A Play of Light,» in «Sports Illustrated.»

Mugagga, Robert (July 1, 2012). «Akii-Bua: The Chief’s Son Who Became Athletics King,» in «Daily Monitor.»

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John Baker Muwanga and Oscar Joseph Nsubuga: Uganda Sibling Boxing Champions

John Baker Muwanga, one of the best regarded of Uganda’s boxing champions, was born on April 2nd 1956 in the vicinity of Kampala, growing up in Nsambya. Joseph Nsubuga, another of Uganda’s renowned former boxers, was Muwanga’s older half-brother.

Equally unique and fascinating is how Muwanga started boxing, how he progressed, and why and how he hang up his gloves. His pathway to boxing started when his half-brother Nsubuga who was born in Kenya in the early 1950’s showed up in 1963 at the family home in Nsambya while accompanied by his sister and mother. The father of the children had been employed by East African Railways and Harbors where he worked in Kenya. Muwanga was delighted to have an older brother around. Nsubuga had dabbled at boxing. Soon, Muwanga would accompany Nsubuga to the Police Boxing club in Nsambya, a few times. But Muwanga was not impressed with the sport. Also, Muwanga’s mother would soon vacate the house, taking with him Muwanga and one of his sisters to live elsewhere. He soon ended up being a pupil in Mugwanya Preparatory School (Kabojja), a boarding school; and thereafter he was transferred to the sister school St. Savio Primary School on Entebbe Road.

At Savio in 1969, Muwanga ended up fighting a bully who happened to be the son of a politically prominent person. Muwanga was expelled from school as a result. His father was very furious, and assured him that he would never amount to anything. Meanwhile brother Nsubuga was making steady boxing progress, Muwanga got the attention for just happening to be the brother–although he was put down as comparatively weak and not as tough as his boxing brother. It is here that Muwanga decided to try boxing. He was matched with play opponents, he was badly beaten and laughed at. People from northern Uganda were reputed to be good fighters, and Muwanga was discouraged from continuing with boxing on the grounds that such boxers would, «kill you for nothing.» But the taunting just made Muwanga the more determined to disprove skeptics.

Muwanga dared to enroll in the national junior championships which were held at the Nsambya Police shed. He would represent Nsambya Boxing Club. At that place and time, those days, medical tests were not up to standard and were not taken seriously. Muwanga was allowed to box. He was matched with an opponent Tilima from Naguru boxing Club. In the fight, Muwanga did not prove himself; his opponent who was much better than him did his best not to humiliate him. Tilima even pretended to be knocked down, even when he had not been hit. Muwanga writes (Personal communication, 10 June 2014):

«What a show!!! This guy tried everything not to humiliate me but failed people laughed until tears run down there cheeks. The guy even pretended to be knocked down by the air of a punch I had swung some 10 inches away from him. He got a warning for that. I lost and the crowd laughed.»

Muwanga’s associates would laugh at him because of that fight. This caused him to strive the more to become a good boxer. Early on a Sunday he decided to go to Kampala Boxing Club in Nakivubo. Muwanga writes, «I went to KBC in Nakivubo, determined to learn how to box or die» (Personal communication, 10 June 2014). The club was closed.

Muwanga returned to KBC early the next morning. There a fellow James Bond Okwaare made fun of how Muwanga had boxed. Okwaare was quickly rebuked by the national coach Erias Gabiraali. Muwanga started training there as he got to know some of the national boxers who dropped in. These inclued Ayub Kalule, Cornelius Bbosa Boza-Edwards, Mustafa Wasajja, Ben Ochan, Alex Odhiambo, Ochodomuge, and David Jackson. Even Muwanga’s brother Nsubuga would drop in. In concluding words Muwanga writes (Personal communication, 10 June 2014):

«One day I was shocked to hear that my brother was going to Scotland [Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, 1970] to represent Uganda. I could not believe, not only that other urchins from the ‘village’ were also going, to make the pie sweeter boys from the slum next door which was Katwe Kinyoro, the likes of John Opio were also in the team!!! There was justice in honest sweat, hard work and discipline… the rest is history.»

At the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, on July 18th 1970, 16 year-old Joseph Oscar Nsubuga (lightweight) was defeated by points decision by Olympian Kenneth Mwansa of Zambia in the preliminary round.

At the Commonwealth Games of 1974 held in Christchurch, 20 year-old Nsubuga now a light-welterweight defeated Philip Sapak of Papua New Guinea. This happened in the preliminary first round on January 27th when the referee halted the fight early after Nsubuga had quickly overwhelmed his opponent. However, in the quarter-finals that were held two days later, James Douglas of Scotland defeated Nsubuga by points and thereby halted Nsubuga’s quest for a medal.

Months later, in August 1974, Nsubuga, fighting as a middleweight, would win a bronze medal at the inaugural World Amateur Boxing Championships in Havana. Nsubuga had moved up to the middleweight division.

The TSC Tournament was held at the Dynamo-Sporthalle in Berlin during October 3-7, 1974. In the quarter-finals, Nsubuga fighting as a middleweight beat Zaprianov (Bulgaria) by points. But in the semi-finals he was beaten, by points, by Peter Tiepold of the German Democratic Republic. He settled for the bronze medal. here Ugandans performed remarkably well: James Odwori (flyweight) and Ayub Kalule (light-welterweight) won gold; Vitalish Bbege (welterweight) won the silver medal.

Nsubuga would debut as a professional in May 1975 whereby he moved to Finland then to Norway; he would mostly fight in Europe. Nsubuga stopped competing in 1981 after he was knocked out by famous future world champion Davey Moore. Nsubuga’s most signified fight was his spirited gladiator battle (non-title bout) with renowned Panamanian Roberto Duran on January 13th 1980 in Las Vegas. The Panamanian seemed to be tiring, but Joseph «Stoneface» Nsubuga was knocked out at the end of the fourth round. He retired from boxing in 1981 with an impressive record of 18 wins and 3 losses. Nsubuga passed away in Helsinki on May 4th 2013, aged 59.

During the 1970’s while at Namasagali College in Kamuli District in Uganda, Muwanga displayed himself as a skillful, dreaded, and popular boxer. At the amateur national level, he is said to have defeated renowned future world champion and fellow Ugandan Cornelius Boza-Edwards (Bbosa) twice. In April 1973, the annual Golden Belt Tournament took place in Bucharest. Most of the winners and silver medalists turned out to be Cubans and Romanians. It was here that Muwanga, aged 17, first participated in international competition. Here Muwanga, together with his accomplices on the Uganda team–Ayub Kalule, Vitalish Bbege, and James Odwori–all won bronze medals in Romania. Later in the same 1973, Muwanga fought for Uganda twice in two Urafiki (Kenya vs. Uganda) tournaments; he was victorious. Muwanga soon became overwhelmed when the veteran Ugandan boxing legend Alex Odhiambo, who had heretofore been so critical of the younger boxer, subsequently gave him the nod and the thumbs up!

At the local level and during training, Muwanga did fight Odwori and another famous Uganda boxer «Kabaka» Nasego several times, but he did not win. Among the Ugandans he beat were Vincent Byarugaba, and several others. Muwanga’s stint as a national amateur boxer were from 1973 to 1977 when he was also a student at Namasagali College; thereafter he attended Oslo University while he fought as a professional. Muwanga recalls that at training camp, where behavioral attitudes varied from boxer to boxer, as admired example the skillful Odwori was particularly talkative, whereas Ayub Kalule preferred action to words (Personal communication, 29 October 2015):

«… guys like Ayub Kalule… preferred action to talk, a phenomena in my opinion. James Odouri talked a mile a minute but, had the rare ability to back up whatever he said. A very rare quality. We called him ‘Kasuku’ [parrot] behind his back.»

John Muwanga, as a light-flyweight represented Uganda at the inaugural world amateur championships held in Havana in August 1974. Notably Kalule and Nsubuga here won gold and bronze, respectively. Muwanga was eliminated in the preliminary round by a points decision in favor of Bejhan Fuchedzhiyev (Bulgaria). Quite notable is the aspect that a massive six of the Uganda contingent in Havana had studied at Namasagali–one of the few schools in Uganda that embraced boxing. In addition to Muwanga, those boxers that did attend Namasagali included Nsubuga, Odwori, John Byaruhanga, Vincent Byarugaba, and Shadrack Odhiambo.

Muwanga’s national status continued to rise and at age 20 he was selected to represent Uganda at the summer Olympics in Montreal. Most African countries, twenty-eight of them, boycotted the Montreal Olympic Games of 1976 when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) refused to bar from the Olympics countries from which athletes had participated in sporting events in apartheid South Africa. The New Zealand Rugby team was then touring South Africa. Countries like China, Iraq, and Guyana also withdrew; although with China it primarily had to do with a political name recognition issue–non-recognition of «Republic of China» vs. «Peoples’ Republic of China.»

The Uganda boxers withdrawn from participation because of the boycott included Baker Muwanga (bantamweight) alongside Venostos Ochira (light-flyweight), Adroni Butambeki (flyweight), Cornelius Boza-Edwards (Bbosa) (featherweight), David Ssenyonjo (lightweight), Jones Okoth (light-welterweight), Vitalish Bbege (welterweight), and John Odhiambo (light-middleweight). Non of these pugilists had represented Uganda at the 1972 Olympics held in Munich. Vitalish Bbege had won gold at the Africa Boxing Championships held in Kampala in 1974.

Muwanga started his professional career in Norway in April 1978, and ended it in October 1982. He mostly boxed as a lightweight. All his bouts took place in Norway, aside from the final two that took place in Finland. He did not lose any of the bouts but he likely would have liked to be exposed to more intensive competition and to also box in western countries where there are more top contenders and champions. A factor was the banning of professional boxing in Norway, this officially effective from the beginning of 1981.

Muwanga ended as undefeated as a professional boxer with 15 wins, 0 losses, with 6 knockouts (Boxrec.com). He regrets to some extend that he did not flourish as much as he would have wanted to as a boxer, but at the same time he is grateful that boxing took him to places and opened to him many advantages. He writes, «… my boxing career, in my opinion was not as exciting as I wanted it to be but I’m not complaining it opened a lot of doors for me and got me into places I never thought I would see… » (Personal communication, 10 June 2014).

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UEFA Champions League 2019/2020 Intro (Team Logo Animated).



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NCAA Basketball – Top 10 NCAA Championship Games of All Time

Who can really say what those 10 are? How do you determine the best? Are they the most dramatic? The most historically significant? Those packed with the biggest stars? It all depends on your criteria. Top 10 lists are as subjective as figure-skating scores. Anyway, taking into account all the above categories, here’s one man’s point of view:

1. 1957, NORTH CAROLINA 54, KANSAS 53 (3 OTs)

Three overtimes and Wilt Chamberlain. That alone should be enough to put this game at the top of any list, but there’s more. North Carolina had played another triple-overtime game the night before, beating Michigan State in the national semifinals. Next came Kansas and the unstoppable Chamberlain.

UNC was made up of New York kids, brought to Chapel Hill by coach Frank McGuire when New York City schools de-emphasized the sport in the wake of point-shaving scandals.

With no player over 6?5?, McGuire had 5?11? Tommy Kearns jump center for the opening tap. Unbeaten NC wrapped three players and a zone around Chamberlain, who got just 13 shots, and led most of the way. But Lennie Rosenbluth, the Tar Heels’ best and biggest player, fouled out with 1:45 left in regulation and Chamberlain sparked a Kansas comeback.

Each team scored just two points in the first overtime and none in the second. (How does a team with Chamberlain score just two points in 10 crucial minutes?) Finally, with three seconds left in the third overtime, N.C.’s Joe Quigg hit two free throws that decided the outcome.

2. 1966, TEXAS WESTERN 72, KENTUCKY 65

A relatively dull and uneventful game on the surface, no title matchup has ever been as important.

Until that season, no college team had consistently started five black players. The in-vogue racist thinking was that teams needed at least one white player to provide calm and intellect.

But Texas Western’s Don Haskins, a pool-hustling pragmatist, thought that was bunk and, despite the objections of his own college president, started five African-Americans. Kentucky, meanwhile, coached by scowling Adolph Rupp, had never had a black player and wouldn’t for another few years, even after the Deep South schools in the Southeastern Conference integrated.

This perfect little morality tale, with both a compelling villain and hero, changed collegiate sports. A year later, there were no more segregated leagues and very few all-white teams. By midway through the next decade, the changes the game had sparked, would change the face of college basketball.

3. 1985, VILLANOVA 66, GEORGETOWN 64

Probably the title-game’s biggest upset. Villanova had 10 regular-season losses, was an eighth seed, and opened up the tourney on its opponent’s home court. Georgetown, meanwhile, was the overall No. 1 seed, the defending champion and making its third title-game appearance in Patrick Ewing’s four seasons.

The Hoyas’ intimidating in-your-face defense had held opponents to 39 percent shooting. But in the last title game without a shot clock or a three-point line, Villanova played miraculously.

Rollie Massimino’s Wildcats shot 79 percent, made nine of 10 in the second half and defeated John Thompson’s Hoyas, still the lowest seed ever to win the tournament.

4. 2008, KANSAS 75, MEMPHIS 68 (OT)

Any time John Calipari loses a game he should have won-no, make that any time John Calipari loses-is a great day for college basketball. And the way Memphis lost made this matchup of No. 1 seeds memorable.

Calipari’s Tigers led Kansas by nine with just 2:12 to play, but Memphis’ Achilles heel was its free-throw shooting and four late misses from the line allowed Kansas to fight back. The Jayhawks’ Mario Chalmers buried a three with two seconds remaining to force OT. Memphis was done at that point. Kansas went on to a 75-68 victory.

5. 1979, MICHIGAN STATE 75, INDIANA STATE 64

Another example where the historical significance and the identities of its key players superseded the game itself. State’s Larry Bird and Michigan State’s Magic Johnson were the two best players in college basketball, as they soon would be in the NBA. Their matchup intrigued America, even those who had never seen an NCAA Tournament game before. The stars starred, the ratings soared and March Madness was born.

6. 1983, NORTH CAROLINA STATE 54, HOUSTON 52

The last-second victory by sixth-seeded North Carolina State has grown even more dramatic in the years since their charismatic coach Jim Valvano died of cancer at age 47 ten years later.

Phi Slamma Jamma Houston, with Clyde Drexler and Hakeem Olajuwon, was a big favorite. But the lack of a shot clock allowed the Wolpack to hang with the Cougars. It was tied at 52-52 with seconds left when N.C. State’s Derek Whittenburg threw up a 30-footer.

The shot was woefully short but teammate Lorenzo Charles caught it and put the ball in as the buzzer sounded. Valvano’s reaction-running back and forth as he searched for someone to embrace-contributed to its legend.

7. 1982, NORTH CAROLINA 63, GEORGETOWN 62

A year before, Georgetown, with freshman center Patrick Ewing, seemed headed for the title everyone had virtually conceded it. Carolina, whose widely admired coach, Dean Smith, had a team filled with future NBA stars-James Worthy, Sam Perkins, and a freshman named Michael Jordan-was a huge sentimental favorite.

Jordan hit what proved to be the game-winner, a jumper from the corner that put NC up, 63-62, with 15 seconds left. Georgetown didn’t call a timeout, but with seven seconds remaining Hoyas guard Freddie Brown inexplicably passed the ball to Worthy, the bizarre turnover clinching Smith’s first title and igniting Jordan’s legend.

8. 1963 LOYOLA OF CHICAGO 60, CINCINNATI 58 (OT)

Cincinnati, which had failed to win a title during the spectacular career of Oscar Robertson, was going for a third straight NCAA title since his graduation. Little Loyola trailed by as many 15 points in the second half, but guard Jerry Harkness hit a jumper with four seconds left to force overtime.

With the score knotted at 58-58, and seconds remaining in the extra session, Harkness’ shot was tipped. But, with everyone else standing flat-footed, Loyola’s Jerry Rouse re-directed it into the basket as time expired. Loyola shot 27 percent for the game, but counterbalanced that by turning the ball over only three times.

9. 1944, UTAH 44, DARTMOUTH 42 (OT)

Utah had been invited to both the NCAA and NIT. Difficult as it is to fathom today, the latter was the bigger event then and the Utes opted to play in it. They were beaten in the first round by Rupp’s Kentucky, but before they could return home from New York, fate intervened.

An automobile accident had injured several Arkansas starters and the Razorbacks were forced to withdraw from the NCAA. The Utes were re-invited and this time accepted. They made it to the title game against Dartmouth, where the two teams traded the lead six times in the final two minutes. It went to overtime where, with three seconds remaining, a long one-hander by Herb Wilkinson gave Utah a 44-42 win and the championship.

10. 1987, INDIANA 74, SYRACUSE 73

Indiana’s Keith Smart, a junior-college transfer, scored 12 of the Hoosiers’ final 15 points including the game-winner with five seconds remaining to give Bobby Knight his third and final National Championship.

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The Tennis Championship Game – Wimbledon

If you’re a fan of the sport of Tennis, then Wimbledon trivia is going to be something that you’re very interested in. Even for people who are not fans of the sport directly know of this tournament, and recognize it as the most prestigious in Tennis. The tournament is often referred to as, The Championships, Wimbledon, as well as just being called Wimbledon.

Wimbledon is unique in that it is the only of the Grand Slam tournaments that is still played on grass. Many feel that this nod to the tradition and origins of tennis is just one of the many reasons that winning this tourney is considered the games highest honor.

An interesting piece for a Wimbledon quiz is the history of the tournament. The club it is played at was originally called the All England Croquet Club. When one of its distinguished members, Major Walter Clopton Wingfield created the game of lawn tennis, the club quickly adopted this as its flagship sport. In 1877 the club was renamed the All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis club and had the first ever Tennis championship tournament. Eventually, croquet would be left behind in name and practice (the name was later restored) as the club moved forward into the tennis age.

Wimbeldon trivia will surely mention the five main events which are the focus of the tournament. The Gentlemen’s and Ladies singles events are probably the most important tennis matches in the world, but the Gentlemen’s and Ladies Doubles are not far behind. A mixed doubles event is also part of the tournament. In addition, there are Junior events (sometimes referred to as Chimbledon), and Invitational events.

A Wimbledon quiz will show that the event is also one of the premiere social events in Britain, and has frequently been patronized by the royal family. The event is also covered extensively through radio and television coverage so those unable to attend the events can still follow the tourney.

The current singles champions of Wimbledon are Roger Federer and Serena Williams. Serena’s sister Venus was women’s champion the year before. Federer is also the tied holder of the record for the most consecutive wins at Wimbledon; he won five years in a row between 2002 and 2007. The other person that has the same record is Bjorn Borg. Federer, with his sixth win in 2009, is now only one win behind Pete Sampras for the most wins at Wimbledon in the modern tennis era.

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