1 Jan
2021

Figure skating champion Michelle Kwan commencement speaker at Southern Vermont College

first_imgMichelle Kwan, the most decorated figure skater in US history (five World Championships, nine US National titles, two Olympic medals), who is also an author and US diplomatic envoy, will add doctor to her already impressive resume, when she receives an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at Southern Vermont College’s 83rd Commencement Exercises on Saturday, May 8. Kwan, a California native, will also address the graduating class as its commencement speaker. Named the nation’s first Public Diplomacy Envoy for the U.S. State Department in 2006, Kwan travels widely to speak with youth across the globe about America, its culture and values, and the life lessons learned through sports. She is currently a graduate student at Tufts University’s Fletcher School of International Affairs.For more than a decade, Kwan dominated the figure skating world, winning a record 43 titles. In the nearly 100-year history of U.S. figure skating, no American man or woman has won more world titles, national titles or Olympic medals. The author of two books, Michelle Kwan: Heart of a Champion (1997) and The Winning Attitude! (1999), Kwan’s undergraduate education and degree at the University of Denver (2008) focused on international studies, a topic she continues in her graduate work. In her current role as a Public Diplomacy Envoy, she travels throughout the world to meet and speak with young people about leadership and to engage them in dialogue on social and educational issues.“I am honored to be invited to attend and participate in Commencement Exercises at Southern Vermont College,” said Kwan. “Education has and always will be a very important part of my life. I look forward to speaking to the graduating class, sharing some of my life experiences with them and congratulating them for their own academic accomplishments and success.”“I am delighted that Michelle will address our graduates and receive an Honorary Degree,” said SVC President Karen Gross. “She is the embodiment of someone who has worked hard to pursue a dream, someone who is not afraid to fall down, get back up, and strive for excellence at each and every turn. Her personal story is compelling and inspiring for our graduates, as they enter the next chapter in their lives.”Kwan has earned numerous awards and honors including: the 2007 Billie Jean King Contribution Award and 1998 Sportswoman of the Year Award from the Women’s Sports Foundation; 2003 U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) Sportswoman of the Year; the prestigious 2001 Sullivan Award as the top amateur athlete in America; 2002 and 2003 Kids’ Choice Award and the 2002 Teen Choice Award as America’s favorite female athlete. She has worked at both the state and national level to encourage physical fitness among youth.Michelle Kwan follows recent SVC Commencement speakers and honorary degree recipients author Andre Dubus III, who wrote the novel turned film, House of Sand and Fog; Awarding winning journalist Christine Dugas; now at USA Today; and ESPN sports commentator Sean McDonough.Founded in 1926, Southern Vermont College offers a career-enhancing, liberal arts education with 22 academic degree programs for approximately 500 students. Southern Vermont College recognizes the importance of educating students for the workplace of the twenty-first century and for lives as successful leaders in their communities. SVC’s intercollegiate athletics teams are part of the New England Collegiate Conference. The College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.Source: Southern Vermont College. 3.25.2010###last_img read more

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16 Sep
2020

Turning pro is worth the wait

first_imgFor college athletes, making it to the pros is the dream, and for a vast majority of them, it’s a dream that can’t wait one or two years.Playing out all four years of eligibility is considered a stigma for NBA teams, who back away from an older prospect who needed more time to develop. Conversely, players feel the push from family, friends and agents to enter the draft and start earning a paycheck as soon as possible.Granted, out of the 60 players selected in the 2016 NBA Draft in Brooklyn last Thursday, a quarter of them were seniors. But a record 30 underclassmen, including USC’s Nikola Jovanovic and Julian Jacobs, went undrafted.That number is way too high, considering the NCAA altered its rules this year to give underclassmen more flexibility and time to choose to stay in school. In prior years, student-athletes had to declare for the draft in April before the draft combine in May. But now, players have until a week after the combine and can work out with one NBA team before making a decision, as long as they don’t hire an agent. This allows them to gauge interest and likelihood that they will be selected and for them to remain in school if the feedback is unsatisfactory.For a prospect, an invite to the combine means they are on teams’ radar. Only two of the college players drafted this year did not receive an invite. Still, the rule change did not deter many eager NBA hopefuls. Neither Jacobs nor Jovanovic received an invite, but Jacobs had already hired an agent and Jovanovic went ahead and hired an agent anyway, even after being snubbed for the combine.Jovanovic didn’t appear on many mock drafts, and being from Serbia, may receive some interest overseas. Jacobs was projected by some as a late second round selection, but went uncalled and could be bound for the D-League. Both juniors last season with a year of college eligibility left, we can only imagine what next year’s team would have looked like with the full squad returning and how much both of them would have improved with one more year to develop.There certainly would have been no shame in that. USC, a team on the up-and-up after a breakthrough season in which it made its first NCAA tournament appearance in five years, seemed primed to return all its starters and key bench players and make a deeper run in 2017. But a slew of underclassmen either transferred or graduated early, and Jacobs and Jovanovic, who could have bolstered their draft status with another year of development and being leaders on a team that experts had in the top-20 nationally in preseason rankings, decided to take a gamble.It’s a gamble that did not pay off for anyone. The Trojans will likely slip out of the Top 25 in future rankings and have to adjust to life without two of their top players, while Jacobs and Jovanovic face an uphill climb to stepping foot in the NBA.To be fair, every prospect’s situation is different. Some need the money immediately to support their families. Others may feel like they’re ready and don’t want to risk a major injury in college, or they’re happy with playing in the D-League or overseas if they’re not selected.But it’s also fair to say the majority of undrafted underclassmen would benefit from another year to develop, improve and potentially have a breakthrough, not to mention graduating and earning a valuable college degree.Contrary to popular opinion, staying all four years — especially for players who aren’t hotshot prospects — should not be a scarlet letter. I have no issue with guys like Ben Simmons or Anthony Davis who go “one-and-done” in college in order to maximize their career value. But those talents are few and far between, and it’s not like there is zero track record of four-year players having success in the pros.Draymond Green, who spent four years at Michigan State, immediately comes to mind. The 35th overall pick in 2012, Green exceeded expectations when he made the All-Star team last season. His versatility and high basketball IQ is apparent, and can be partially attributed to staying in school and gaining valuable experience and development before turning pro. He’s not alone – Tim Duncan, Damian Lillard, Chandler Parsons and David West are just some other four-year players who have seen tremendous success in the NBA.It’s entirely possible that Jacobs and Jovanovic would not have been drafted next year, either. Nonetheless, I would sleep better at night knowing that I took full advantage of the scholarship I was given, maxed out all the development and experience I could get at the college level, received my diploma and entered the draft as the best player and person I could possibly be. But, as someone whose NBA dreams died a long time ago in my local YMCA league, that’s easy for me to say. Others with more realistic dreams have no time to waste, even just one more year.Eric He is a rising sophomore majoring in print and digital journalism. His column,  “Grinding Gears,” runs Wednesdays.last_img read more

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28 Aug
2020

Nigeria FA expects 35-man Provisional List from Keshi

first_imgThe technical committee of the Nigeria Football Federation will today meet with Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi over the provisional list of the Nigerian squad for the Brazil 2014 World Cup.The much anticipated meeting will see Keshi defending his list of invited players for the Super Eagles pre-World Cup camp. The technical committee members are also to assure the coach on their support for the World Cup campaign.From Left: National Team Goalkeeper Trainer, Ike Shorunmu; Assistant Coach, Daniel Amokachi, and Super Eagles Chief Coach, Stephen Keshi during a media parley in AbujaKeshi’s list has been shrouded in controversy over his non-inclusion of Villarreal of Spain striker Ikechukwu Uche but has the likes of Stoke City’s Osaze Odemwingie and Chinedu Ogbuke Obasi of Shalke O4 who has just started playing after a long injury lay-off.The meeting today, Sports Vanguard gathered, will not be the last before the team leaves for England to meet Scotland in another pre-World Cup friendly. NFF first Vice-President, Chief Mike Umeh said the Executive Board will still meet to ratify whatever decisions reached at the meeting between the technical committee and the chief coach, Keshi.Umeh said, “the board will meet with the technical committee and the coach to harmonise whatever decisions reached at Tuesday’s meeting.”He disclosed that the board’s duty is to see how to enhance the team’s performance at the World Cup.Umeh said the board meeting will come up soon. “We have no time to waste. In fact, I am leaving for Abuja tomorrow(today) as we are expected to meet after the technical committee meeting,” Umeh said.The NFF Vice President said Nigeria would perform well, despite the statement by coach of Group F opponent, Bosnia Herzegovina that Nigeria and Iran will not qualify for the second round of the World Cup. “That is his wish. You can’t stop people from saying whatever they want to say. We are not worried about the statements or boasting remarks of opponents but working hard to ensure the team does well.”On what the NFF is doing to ensure the team prepares well for the Mundial, Umeh said, “since we qualified for the tournament, we have not stopped preparing. Remember we had a match recently with Mexico. We are continuing preparations with another match against Scotland soon. We are ready.”– See more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2014/04/35-man-provisional-list-nation-waits-keshi/#sthash.VkfSNlrS.dpuflast_img read more

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