The women who have played for Canada’s senior basketball team over the years have always been vocal about their love of the program, their desire to represent the country at the highest level and to serve as role models for young athletes.When Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe got around to determining her summer basketball plans, Canada won out because the 26-year-old Toronto-born forward knows what a special feeling representing the country — and winning — can be.The six-foot-two forward, who had an excellent rookie season with the New York Liberty last summer, has decided to take a year off from the WNBA to prepare to help Canada make a medal run at this summer’s world basketball championships.“It was definitely a difficult decision, one of the more difficult in my athletic career,” Raincock-Ekunwe said Tuesday morning.“It was toss-up, but in the end I decided to commit to the national team help prepare for the worlds because I think we can really do … [Read more...] about Canada’s senior women’s basketball team begins its journey toward world championships
A report from ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” revealed allegations of widespread and systemic mishandling of sexual assault allegations within the Michigan State University athletic department. Allegations against players involved in the school’s football and basketball programs are contained in the report, as well as further details regarding the employment of Larry Nassar. The report also suggested a repeated pattern of withholding documents and actively repressing allegations that involved athletes. A report from ESPN’s Paula Lavigne for “Outside the Lines” looked into allegations that Michigan State University had a history mishandling sexual assault allegations, particularly in the athletic department, and beyond the cases involving Larry Nassar. ESPN reported “a pattern of widespread denial, inaction and information suppression of such allegations by officials … [Read more...] about ESPN investigation into Michigan State’s sexual assault scandal alleges cover-ups and cases that include football and basketball programs
An 18-time NBA all-star is now also an Oscar nominee: Kobe Bryant is up for an Academy Award in the animated short category for his collaboration with artist Glen Keane and composer John Williams on “Dear Basketball.”In nominations announced early Tuesday, “Dear Basketball” won its nomination for Keane’s animation of Bryant’s “Dear Basketball” letter written in 2015, when the Lakers star announced his retirement.Keane’s illustrations follow the arc of Bryant’s letter — from little Kobe tossing rolled-up tube socks to his departure as a player at age 37. Bryant hired Williams to score the movie, which first screened during the composer’s annual summer program of movie music at the Hollywood Bowl, where Bryant made a surprise appearance.When Tim Greiving interviewed Bryant for The Times, the player-turned-film-producer recalled why he first phoned Williams before the 2008 NBA season.“What makes a John Williams … [Read more...] about Kobe Bryant is an Oscar nominee with short film ‘Dear Basketball’
MOSCOW—Russia’s going crazy for the Olympics. The 1972 Olympics.Even as the Russian team faces up to being barred from next month’s Winter Games for doping offences, audiences are flocking to see a movie about Soviet glory on the Olympic basketball court 46 years ago.Going Vertical tells the story of the Soviet Union team that won gold in 1972, becoming the first basketball team in history ever to beat the United States at the Olympics.It’s a tale of Cold War rivalry, inspiring speeches and something very familiar to Russian sports fans after recent scandals — a gold medal decided by officials. Read More: … [Read more...] about Basketball film lets Olympic fever grip Russian cinemas despite doping scandals.
The Raptors and pop culture icon Drake are extending their relationship, and basketball in the city and across Canada should benefit.As part of a new arrangement with Drake and his OVO brand, the two groups will pledge $1 million over three years to refurbish local courts and $2 million over the next five years to help Canada Basketball’s bottom line.“Welcome Toronto is about celebrating our team and our city, but also working together to give back to the community and creating a place where the youth of our city can come together to play,” Drake said in a news release issued by the team. “These same courts could also potentially shape the next generation of Canadian basketball superstars.” … [Read more...] about Drake, Raptors to debut new court, help fund local basketball with ‘Welcome Toronto’ program