Middle School Basketball Players Stand Up Against Bullying

  • The Arena
  • Dante A. Ciampaglia
  • March 12, 2015, 3:17 PM

middle school basketball bullyingWe hear way too many stories about kids being bullied. So it’s nice to see a story where young people — and in this case athletes — stand up to it.

Earlier this week, TMJ4 in Wisconsin reported that during a middle school basketball game in Kenosha, Lincoln Middle School cheerleader Desiree Andrews (who has Down Syndrome) was being bullied from the stands. What the bullies didn’t know, though, was that she had backup.
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Vezina-Favorite Pekka Rinne Has the Predators Thinking Stanley Cup

pekka rinne nashville predators prime time

On October 23, the Nashville Predators and the Chicago Blackhawks battled for divisional supremacy. That these rivals were the only two teams left without a regulation loss in the NHL was just half surprising. While many pundits had picked the Blackhawks to win this season's Stanley Cup, few had picked the Predators to even make the playoffs because their success depended so much on whether one player, goalie Pekka Rinne, was on his game.
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Annual SABR Analytics Conference Begins Thursday

sabr analytics conference previewFor the third straight year, I'm heading to Phoenix, Arizona, to cover the annual SABR Analytics Conference. The three-day event begins Thursday and is packed with all sorts of cool panels, player appearances, and presentations.

As someone who loves baseball, statistics, and the history of the game, I really look forward it. There's always something new in the world of sabermetrics, like the SABR Defensive Index (SDI), which was developed in 2013 to help determine the Rawlings Platinum Glove winners. And getting together with other die-hard fans to talk about it all is really fun. 

Even if you're just a causal fan, chances are you've heard of advanced sabermetics like  (wins above replacement) and BABIP (batting average on balls in play). But you might not know about SABR, the organization behind the stats.
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Maxwell Surprenant

Talking with Matt Tavares, Author of “Growing Up Pedro”

growing up pedro matt tavares

A couple weeks ago, author Matt Tavares was in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to celebrate the release of his new book, Growing Up Pedro.

The children’s picture book describes how soon-to-be Hall of Fame pitcher Pedro Martinez and his brother Ramon grew up in the Dominican Republic. It follows how Ramon was drafted into the MLB, followed a few years later by Pedro. More than a book about baseball, it is a story about brotherhood, determination, overcoming obstacles, and dreams come true.

Growing Up Pedro is full of beautiful watercolor illustrations that help tell the story. Tavares both wrote and illustrated the book, and he talked with SI Kids about the process.
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Will Foster

Bulls Star Jimmy Butler: Breakfast is Grrrrreat!

jimmy butler chicago bulls kelloggs

Bulls All-Star shooting guard and small forward Jimmy Butler visited a Chicago high school last Wednesday to talk about the importance of breakfast — and have a little fun on the court.

The event was part of Kellogg’s Give a Child Breakfast initiative, which aims to fight childhood hunger. According to a recent study, nearly one in five kids nationwide struggle with hunger and may go without breakfast every day. 
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Biggest Story of NHL Trade Deadline: A Hockey Player's Daughter's Letter

  • Puckhead
  • Lauren Shute
  • March 6, 2015, 6:46 PM

jordan and jordyn leopold

Jordyn Leopold is thrilled that she’ll be able to watch her dad, NHL defenseman Jordan Leopold, play for their hometown team the Minnesota Wild. But the 10-year-old (soon to be 11) is most excited simply to have him back at the dinner table for their favorite meal of steak and rice. 

“I was so excited when my mom told me [he would be coming home], I couldn’t even wait,” Jordyn says. “I couldn’t believe it.” 
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Matt Collins

Coaching is a Family Business at Valparaiso

bryce drew valparaiso

The Valparaiso men’s basketball team is fighting for a berth in the NCAA tournament for the second time in three years, and a familiar family name is calling the shots for the Crusaders. 

Earlier this week, Bryce Drew was honored as Horizon League Coach of the Year. This weekend, he hopes to help his team clinch the league title, which would earn the Crusaders a spot in the Big Dance. 

Bryce is following in the footsteps of his beloved and successful father. Homer Drew led the school to the tournament seven times over his 22-year career at Valparaiso.

This year’s Crusaders clinched the Horizon League regular season title, exceeding preseason expectations that they would finish fourth. Bryce Drew’s lineup includes league Defensive Player of the Year Vashil Fernandez, Sixth Man of the Year Jubril Adekoya, and first-team all-conference forward Alec Peters. They look to take the next step in the league tournament, which they are hosting for the second time in three years.
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