The Latest: Jets donate to United Way; Giants close team HQ

first_imgThe Athletics Association’s statement comes a day after the International Olympic Committee set itself a four-week deadline to decide on a delay.Athletics Association president Christian Taylor and vice president Emma Coburn say “we’re imploring the IOC to announce the postponement of Tokyo 2020 Olympics much sooner than in four weeks’ time.”Taylor is a long jumper and Coburn is a runner. Both competed for the United States at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.The group says more than 4,000 athletes have responded to a survey it conducted, with a large majority favoring postponement.Dina Asher-Smith, the world champion in the 200 meters, has also called for a quicker decision by the IOC. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___The New York Jets and their owners, the Johnson family, have made a $1 million joint donation to multiple United Way agencies in the New York/New Jersey area to help deal with the coronavirus outbreak. Krueger spoke to Buffalo-area reporters during a conference call Monday, 12 days after the NHL postponed its season because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Sabres were waiting to play a game in Montreal on March 12 when the league announced its decision. The team then flew home.The first-year Sabres coach and the players remained in Buffalo through the weekend in anticipation that teams would eventually be allowed to hold practices. He booked a flight to Switzerland once the NHL pushed back its timeline from a two-week break to 45 days.Krueger keeps in touch with players and team management by text, and says he has no knowledge of any Sabres testing positive for COVID-19.The Sabres had 13 games remaining and had fallen out of playoff contention.Krueger believes there is still much to be gained for the Sabres to continue playing, but adds he’ll abide by whatever decision the NHL reaches on whether to resume the regular season. As for the possibility of the NHL holding its playoffs in the summer and awarding the Stanley Cup as late as September, Krueger said “there’s nothing that I cannot imagine as an option.”___The president of the Portuguese Olympic Committee says he hopes the Tokyo Games are postponed.José Manuel Constantino says “the most reasonable thing is for the IOC, the Tokyo organizing committee, the Tokyo government and the Japanese authorities to find a consensual solution to allow the Tokyo Games to take place on another date.”Constantino was speaking to Rádio Observador. The team announced Monday that contributions will support the United Way of New York City’s COVID-19 Community Fund, the United Way of Northern New Jersey’s ALICE Recovery Fund and the United Way of Long Island’s United Together: A Response Fund for COVID-19.New York City is quickly becoming a hot spot for the new coronavirus, and Mayor Bill de Blasio says hospitals are 10 days away from running out of basic supplies. More than 12,000 people have tested positive in the city, and almost 100 have died.The UWNYC Covid-19 Community Fund allows the agency to quickly deploy resources to community-based organizations that are offering emergency relief to families and individuals in need. The ALICE Recovery Fund is a crisis recovery fund that will address needs of households that struggled to afford the basics even before the pandemic. United Together: A Response Fund for COVID-19 will also help meet the basic needs of families affected by the public health emergency. ___The New York Giants have closed their team headquarters in the Meadowlands because of the coronavirus. The Norwegian federation previously had said the Tokyo Olympics should only to take place once the coronavirus outbreak “is under firm control” worldwide.The Canadian Olympic Committee has said it will not be sending athletes to the Olympics unless the games are postponed by a year. Australia says it was advising its athletes to prepare for an Olympics in 2021.___Basketball governing body FIBA is telling players around the world to stay inside.FIBA president Hamane Niang and secretary general Andreas Zagklis says that in “no circumstance should our passion to play basketball surpass the importance of following the instructions of the public authorities” when it comes to helping ensure public health. The Olympic Games are due to begin in Tokyo from July 24.___UEFA has formally postponed the Champions League final scheduled to be played on May 30 in Istanbul.UEFA says no decision has been made finding a new date, amid a shutdown of European soccer due to the coronavirus pandemic that has no end in sight. Only four teams advanced to the Champions League quarterfinals before the remaining Round of 16 games scheduled on March 17-18 were postponed. Fatih Terim announced on Twitter on Monday that he was “in safe hands in hospital” and asked fans not to worry.The 66-year-old Terim had called for the postponement of Turkey’s league games after the country continued games without spectators even after most other leagues in Europe stopped. The league games were halted on Friday.Earlier, Galatasaray’s deputy president Abdurrahman Albayrak also tested positive for the virus.___The Carolina Hurricanes will temporarily close offices at PNC Arena beginning Tuesday so employees in hockey and business operations can work remotely due to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus. The 45,000-seat stadium that was built for the 1950 World Cup is expected to have more than 200 beds and should be ready in 10 days. Construction began on Saturday.___The president of the Norwegian Olympic Committee is recommending that athletes from the country are not sent to the Tokyo Games if they take place as scheduled.Berit Kjøll says “it will not be possible to carry out a Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in July as planned” because of the growing coronavirus outbreak.Kjøll says she respects the IOC’s request to “come up with a well thought-out and good plan for when the games can be completed.” Chiefs general manager Brett Veach also said he will donate an unspecified number of meals to local food pantries.___Germany wants the Olympic Games postponed until next year at the earliest due to the coronavirus outbreak.German Olympic Sport Federation president Alfons Hörmann tells news agency dpa he would have liked a clearer stance from the IOC, one day after the governing body said it would make a final decision on postponement within four weeks.“We would have liked a clear statement now that the games definitely won’t take place on the scheduled dates and that discussions on alternative dates were being held,” Hörmann says. “We would prefer a postponement until next year at least.” Canada’s Olympic champion Eric Lamaze, the all-time money leader at Spruce Meadows, and international riders such as American Kent Farrington, Britain’s Scott Brash and Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat compete there.“These are such trying times and truly without precedent,” Spruce Meadows President and CEO Linda Southern-Heathcott said Monday in a statement.Spruce Meadows planned to offer $6 million in prize money in 2020. September’s Masters has not been canceled.___The manager of Turkish soccer club Galatasaray says he has tested positive for the new coronavirus. The latest postponement means there will be no Formula One races until the middle of June at the earliest.The race at the Baku City Circuit was scheduled for June 7.The first seven races of the Formula One season had already either been postponed or canceled.___A group representing track and field athletes has called for the Tokyo Olympics to be postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak. AOC chief executive Matt Carroll says Australia has athletes based overseas and training in central locations around the country.“With travel and other restrictions this becomes an untenable situation,” Carroll said.The Canadian Olympic Committee earlier said it won’t send athletes to the Tokyo Games unless they are postponed for a year, becoming the first country to threaten such a move in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.The committee sent out a statement Sunday evening saying it was willing to help the IOC search for alternatives, but that it was not safe for athletes, “their families and the broader Canadian community for athletes to continue training for these games.”The IOC says it is considering all options. The Tokyo Games are scheduled to start July 24. UEFA says the Europa League final, due on May 27 in Gdansk, Poland, and the Women’s Champions League final, scheduled for May 24 in Vienna, Austria, are also postponed.___South Carolina men’s basketball coach Frank Martin isn’t sure athletes from winter sports should get another year of eligibility despite missing the sport’s premiere event, the NCAA Tournament.Martin said Monday that only a small percentage of college seniors are included in the sports’ postseason tournaments. He says the vast majority completed their seasons before conference tournaments and other postseason events were canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.Martin’s Gamecocks had their opening game of the SEC Tournament called off two weeks ago. The Giants announced Monday they closed the Quest Diagnostics Training Center after business on Friday. Ten days earlier they had ordered most of the team’s personnel to work remotely from home. Now everyone will.Security will continue to guard the building. The Giants took their coaches and scouts off the road on March 13 and halted all business travel.___The acclaimed equestrian summer tournament at Spruce Meadows in Canada has been canceled because of COVID-19.Four tournaments over five weeks were to start June 4 . The event annually draws dozens of international and domestic riders and horses, and thousands of spectators, to the facility near Calgary, Alberta.center_img March 23, 2020 He says “I hope the games are postponed.”Constantino’s comments come a day after the IOC said it was considering a postponement and would make a final decision within four weeks.Constantino says Portugal’s Olympic team is not prepared at the moment, adding “some athletes found alternative ways to prepare themselves, but others don’t have the conditions to do so.”___Pacaembu Stadium in São Paulo is being turned into an open-air hospital to help fight the coronavirus outbreak. The IOC says it will make a decision within four weeks and the Russian Olympic Committee endorsed that plan by calling for “complete support.”The ROC says “we view as unacceptable any attempts to bring pressure on the organizations in charge responsible of staging the games and to force them to take rash decisions.”Canada has said it will boycott the Tokyo Olympics unless they are postponed and Australia has called for athletes to prepare for a 2021 event.Russia was faced with sending a neutral team to the Tokyo Olympics under sanctions from the World Anti-Doping Agency. But those measures can’t be implemented until there’s a ruling from the Court of Arbitration for Sport, where hearings have been delayed by the coronavirus outbreak. It’s unclear whether CAS could still rule before the Tokyo Olympics are scheduled to start July 24.___ The NCAA is expected to vote on granting eligibility for athletes affected by COVID-19 on March 30.Martin says he’s struggling with giving another full season to players simply because they missed out on the championship phase of college basketball’s year. He says: “I get that’s a hard decision and a decision that eventually has to be made.”___Cleveland Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam are pledging $1.5 million to relief funds in Ohio combating the coronavirus pandemic.The team announced that the Haslams have earmarked $1 million to the Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund and $500,000 to the Columbus Foundation’s Emergency Response Fund. The Haslams also own the Columbus Crew in the Major Soccer League.Their gift follows contributions by Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, who donated $50,000 to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank and defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi’s donation of 100,000 meals to the food bank.___Buffalo Sabres coach Ralph Krueger is trying to remain patient while biding his time back home in Switzerland and hoping the NHL’s regular season will resume eventually.Krueger says he’s “still hanging on to the possibility,” and adds he’s been trying “not to let my brain go there until that plug is actually pulled on us.” Associated Press The Latest: Jets donate to United Way; Giants close team HQ The British sprinter writes on Twitter “does this mean that athletes face up to another FOUR weeks of finding ways to fit in training – whilst potentially putting ourselves, coaches, support staff and loved ones at risk just to find out they were going to be postponed anyway.”___The Australian Olympic Committee has advised its athletes to prepare for an Olympics in 2021.Ian Chesterman, Australia’s team leader for Tokyo, says “it’s clear the games can’t be held in July.”“Our athletes have been magnificent in their positive attitude to training and preparing, but the stress and uncertainty has been extremely challenging for them,” Chesterman said in a statement released Monday by the Australian Olympic Committee. ___Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says a postponement of the Tokyo Olympics would be unavoidable if the games cannot be held in a complete way because of the coronavirus impact.He was commenting on the International Olympic Committee plan to examine the situation over the next few weeks and make a decision, which could include a postponement.Abe, speaking at a parliamentary session, ruled out the possibility of a cancellation.Whether Tokyo can hold the Olympics as planned from July 24 has been a major international concern as the COVID-19 pandemic has spread globally. The Spanish soccer federation and the Spanish league say the suspension of professional soccer in the country will continue until government officials “consider that they can be resumed without creating any health risk.”The soccer competitions had been initially suspended for two weeks, but on Sunday the government said the country’s state of emergency would likely be extended, meaning the entire nation may have to remain in lockdown until at least April 11.Spanish authorities say more than 33,000 people have been infected with the coronavirus in the country, with 2,182 deaths.___The Azerbaijan Grand Prix has been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak. In a statement Monday, team president and general manager Don Waddell says the team will continue to operate “as normally as possible given the circumstances.”The team also announced there will be a blood drive Thursday at the arena in partnership with UNC REX Healthcare, WakeMed and The Blood Connection. Precautions will include asking donors to wait in their cars to allow for social distancing, spacing donor chairs “as far apart as possible” and encouraging donors to make an appointment.___The Kansas City Chiefs are matching the charitable work of their players, announcing that the organization will donate a number of meals equal to the number players donate to food pantries in the metropolitan area.The challenge began when wide receiver Tyreek Hill donated 6,000 meals to Harvesters and challenged his teammates to do the same. Tight end Travis Kelce upped him by donating 12,000 and 15 weeks’ worth of food for Operation Breakthrough, which distributes supplies to children in poverty. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes answered with 15,000 meals and $100,000, and safety Tyrann Mathieu drove the total to more than 100,000 by donating another 30,000 meals. FIBA says it plans to make decisions soon about the Basketball Champions League, the Basketball Champions League Americas and the Basketball Africa League — as well as all suspended international competitions.FIBA also is monitoring the Olympic developments as the world begins bracing for — and in some cases, advocating for — a postponement of this year’s Tokyo Games. Since qualifying is not yet completed, FIBA says “there is a growing need for answers to be provided quickly.”Niang and Zagklis added that “we will not ask our players to go somewhere, where we would not send our own children.”___Russia has backed the International Olympic Committee’s approach of taking time to consider postponing the Tokyo Games and condemned the body’s critics. ____More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6last_img read more

Elijah Thomas boosts Clemson with versatility in third season

first_imgElijah Thomas positioned himself atop the 3-point arc with his feet pointed toward the rim. Standing at 6-foot-9, ESPN ranked him as the eighth best center in his recruiting class. Back at Lancaster (Texas) High School, Thomas’ head coach Ferrin Douglas said no one could guard Thomas down low. But, in Lancaster’s state title game, Thomas stood behind the 3-point line and swished the jumper. “When you’re a basketball player and you don’t allow yourself under a position,” Thomas said, ”You’re able to put so many player’s aspects into your game, and that’s what makes me versatile.”Pacing Clemson (10-4, 0-1 Atlantic Coast) in rebounds per game (7.4), blocks per game (1.6) and tied for second in points per game (13.6), Thomas doesn’t like to think of himself in one position. The senior has established himself as a potent, multi-tooled force in the paint. His effective field goal percentage of 67.3 ranks 36th in the nation, and it will lead the Tigers into the Carrier Dome on Wednesday night to play Syracuse (10-4, 1-0).Thomas began his career at Texas A&M in 2015. Thomas had struggled with health in the preseason with a foot injury and concussion, according to a CBS Sports report. That December, after playing just eight games, Thomas knew he needed a change. Before the transfer, he averaged 3.8 points and 2.5 rebounds in just 9.9 minutes per game. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWhen Thomas looked at Clemson, he saw a rising program that could utilize his multifaceted talent. He joined the team for the 2016-17 season when he made nine starts. But by the next season, Thomas blossomed. On Nov. 16 against Ohio last season, he recorded 17 points and 15 rebounds — the first Clemson player to hit 15 and 15 in nine years. About a week later, on Nov. 24, he posted 26 points and 16 rebounds against Texas Southern. In that game Thomas made 10 field goals, showing his prowess for shooting. The once-recruited center is listed now as a forward.“It was a chance I took, and I love it here,” Thomas said.In January of last year, Thomas was thrust into a larger role when senior big man Donte Grantham suffered a season-ending knee injury. Grantham was a premier source of points (14.2), rebounds (6.9) and blocks (0.9). Thomas’ minutes per game increased two minutes to 26 per game to help cover all those areas.Thomas adapted and finished the season averaging 25 minutes per game with 10.7 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. His 2.3 blocks per game earned him ACC All-Defensive Team honors. The Tigers made a run to the Sweet 16 with Thomas in the middle.When Thomas faced off against Syracuse last March, he found success, tallying 18 points and six rebounds. He went 5-for-5 from the field. Despite being smaller than 7-foot-2 Paschal Chukwu and 6-foot-10 Bourama Sidibe, Thomas dominated the matchup. Chukwu tallied just two points (both on free throws) and Sidibe didn’t score.“He gives us a really good inside and outside balance,” Tim Bourret, Clemson’s 40-year radio broadcaster said. “He’s a guy every night that’s capable of getting a double-double if he can stay out of foul trouble.”Foul trouble has often been a problem with Thomas’ post play. In Clemson’s 14 games, the undersized big totaled four or more fouls in half of them. But Bourret said Thomas has the chance to become a top-10 Clemson big man, placed among Tree Rollins, Elden Campbell, Larry Nance Sr., and Horace Grant. Thomas has distinguished himself through his play style, the same versatility that has brought him to the ACC. Douglas, who also coached former NBA all-star Chris Bosh in high school, knew Thomas was different as a freshman in high school. Something that allows Thomas to play the way he does is his ability to shoot with both hands. Douglas remembers his surprise when he found out Thomas was a natural righty, having seen him take the majority of his shots left-handed. He could shoot just as well with the right.“Eli can play all five positions,” Douglas said. “He’s special, man.” Comments Published on January 8, 2019 at 5:07 pm Contact Eric: estorms@syr.edu Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Andy Wright – Sky Bet – The increasing influence of player props

first_img Premier League looks to broadcast every behind-closed-door fixture August 28, 2020 StumbleUpon EFL announces that all non-Sky Sports fixtures will be available to stream August 27, 2020 Share Related Articles Submit Share David Lampitt, Sportradar: F1 presents betting’s most sizeable opportunity August 14, 2020 Team and players statistics are playing an increasingly integral role within the global sports wagering sphere, with the changing role of fans and the rising need for a deeper level of data seemingly having a direct knock-on effect.With a major change being undertaken in recent years, sports analytics firm Opta are one of the driving forces behind sports data going from being a relatively niche offering, to being widely available and utilised across various broadcasts and in media outlets.One such example is Sky Betting and Gaming (SB&G), with the firm striving to offer player style betting markets both pre-match and in-play.Andy Wright, Head of Sports at SB&G, has been addressing what drove this decision, processes involved and the overall product offering: “At Sky, like everyone else, we are trying to find exciting innovative markets that will appeal to the younger audience, and really step away from the homogenised betting product, that I think, football particularly, has fallen into the trap of.“I think over the last few years we have all moved away from that, and really player props was always the next step, we needed the mainstream media to really get involved here, the likes of Opta and Sky Sports, we had conversations with them probably 18 months ago, trying to understand what they were going to do to continue with the success of Monday Night Football.“I think with the rise of that available data and putting it into people’s minds, in the narrative of a sporting event, then customers will start to be interested in the product.“All these new ideas will only really stick if customers actually want them, we as operators can put ideas in front of customers but really they need to be driving these things forward, with request a bets and the like.“Really it was a combination of mainstream media picking these things up, us having the spectrum of data to be able to price them, by offering them in play and being able to offer these more short term markets.”“We are trying to find exciting innovative markets that will appeal to the younger audience”Before adding what customer reaction has been like through the early stages, and when the realisation came that this was something that could work: “Around this time last year we had a semi-launch night at a pub in Leeds, when this was at a conceptual stage.“It was Barcelona vs Juventus in the Champions League and actually the penny dropped, I was a bit cynical previous to the night, because we gave a load of free bets and beers away and everyone was getting all excited.“But whenever anything happened in that game, whether it be (Leonardo) Bonucci making a tackle or whoever would make a pass, and there’s a cheer from one corner of the pub or the next corner of the pub, we started to think ‘hang on, there’s something in this.’“So, we sort of ran with it from there really. “More recently customers are interested, a certain type of customer are interested, and you can’t hide away from the fact we have had plenty of negative sentiment around it.“There’s been a couple of high profile examples of their being a cross, but in the customer’s eyes because they have £200 on it they think it was a shot on target, but it wasn’t a shot it was an attempted cross.“So again, lots of learning can come from this, I think between Sky Bet and Opta we have to work through a few operational issues, I think OptaJoe got a bit of a kicking on twitter from some unhappy Sky Bet customers.“So there’s appetite, but its baby steps with this.”The nature of offering such markets would always require a process of ironing out the kinks and dealing with disgruntled punters, with points of view about whether something was a cross or shot being heightened when there’s money riding on it.Wright is quick to point to complete transparency with customers regarding such issues, being upfront with terms and conditions and explaining that ultimately any decision made by Opta is final.“That’s the challenge in itself, that these markets aren’t mature, and there’s loads of data available”With plenty of challenges and opportunities encapsulated what is the future from a product point of view? What markets should be offered in the future? And how are customers engaged, to ensure that they have all relevant data available to make an educated bet? Wright addressed these varying issues: “It is about content, it is about customers being able to see that (Mohamed) Salah had X number of shots on target for the last seven weeks running, why is this 6/1 or 4/1?“And hopefully that will just introduce it to more and more customers. “From a marketing point of view, we have had more success with some of the markets we are offering compared to others, we thought offsides was going to be incredibly popular when we first went live with it, but it actually just turned out to be a terrible price. “But that’s the challenge in itself, that these markets aren’t mature, and there’s loads of data available but teaching traders an algorithm about which parts of that big data are important can become very difficult, and there’s a lot of back testing going on.“But with regards to new markets, I think that the World Cup will be of interest, where we will have certain matches that will have players people will recognise, but not perhaps teams that people recognise, and therefore these kinds of player props can take more of a starring role in that.”Wright was speaking alongside Shane Gannon, SVP of Perform Betting, and Duncan Alexander, Opta Chief Analyst, at the recent Betting on Football conference at Stamford Bridge. Forming part of the Betting on Innovation track, their panel was titled ‘Opta and Sky Bet’s blueprint for player props perfection.’last_img read more