U.S. Defense Secretary Attends Military Exhibition in Colombia

first_img On April 23, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, on a visit to Colombia, attended an exhibition by Army Special Forces at Tolemaida Military Base, where the elite troops who combat illegal armed groups are trained. Panetta, accompanied by Colombian Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzón, as well as by the Andean country’s top military commanders, observed the maneuvers amid blazingly hot weather, characteristic of the area of the department of Tolima (in west-central Colombia) where the base is located. Initially, the guests observed a helicopter-borne operation and a parachute exercise, which gave way to a simulated operation to rescue kidnapping victims, in which ten commandos rappelled from a helicopter to secure an area and go on to free the hostages. Subsequently, the commandos, transported in two helicopters, performed several disembarkation maneuvers using various techniques employed when the aircraft cannot land at a location, due to circumstances such as the difficulty of the terrain. During the event, Panetta announced that the United States will authorize the sale to Colombia of ten helicopters, five Blackhawks and five civilian models, for the fight against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). After the maneuvers, and after Panetta personally congratulated the group of commandos who participated, the U.S. Defense Secretary had the opportunity to see the helicopter used in July 2008, when special commandos succeeded in freeing 15 FARC hostages without firing a shot, in what was known as Operation Checkmate. That group included, in addition to French-Colombian former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt, three U.S. contractors and 11 Colombian Military and police personnel, some of whom had been in the FARC’s power for ten years. On April 24, the defense secretary travelled to Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro, and then to Santiago de Chile. By Dialogo April 25, 2012last_img read more

Advent in Zagreb generated over half a billion kuna in spending

first_imgFor the period of the first 30 days (December 01.12-December 31.12.2017, 23) compared to last year, Advent in Zagreb recorded 110.707% (23) more arrivals and 199.752% (30) overnight stays compared to the first 2016 days of ADVENT XNUMX. stand out from the Zagreb Tourist Board.In the mentioned period, there were 36.380 domestic tourist arrivals (11% growth) and 74.327 foreign tourists (30% growth), while out of the total overnight stays, 61.078 domestic tourists (15% growth) and foreign tourists 138.674 (27% growth). Most foreign arrivals were from Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Austria, Slovenia, Germany, and overnight stays from Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Austria, Slovenia, Germany.Consumption generated exclusively by Advent in Zagreb should be higher than last year, when according to a study by the Institute of Tourism last year generated in the range of 390 to 438 million kuna, while this year it is estimated that due to the growth of overnight stays and arrivals, consumption generated by Advent amount to more than half a billion. And that is the best proof of the thesis that the organization of events is not a cost but an investment.After three consecutive years of winning the title of the best Advent in Europe, the Tourist Board pointed out that they will no longer apply. No matter what anyone thinks about the mentioned title, it is just the icing on the cake and an opportunity to promote the destination very well, and that is exactly what the Tourist Board made great use of. So, whatever others think, Advent in Zagreb is a big hit, and TZGZ took advantage of the opportunity and cashed in the title of the best Christmas destination in Europe. The figures on the growth of arrivals and overnight stays, as well as on the generated consumption, show how relevant it is, and that is where the story about the relevance of the European Best Destinations portal ends. The title of the best Christmas destination is as relevant as the Tourist Board makes it relevant, and the Tourist Board succeeded in that and branded the whole story very well, and in the end it charged.This is exactly the meaning of events, to become a motive for coming and to generate tourist consumption, which is again dispersed horizontally and vertically in several industries. And that’s it, a rounded circle.Related news:FULLING DECLARED THE BEST CONTENT AT ZAGREB ADVENTlast_img read more

Chile hospitals ensure patients do not die alone despite pandemic

first_img‘Gratitude’ “We were afraid before we got into this for several reasons: facing death, the fear of infection and an illness that had nothing to do with what we’re used to,” said Lopez, 44, as medical personnel behind her took care of the body of a man who had just died.”But the most amazing thing, which got us through it, has been the gratitude,” added the mother of three.”Such positive feedback from families, those that could come and those that sensed the patient went calmly.”Those who benefited from the unit had to abide by strict protocols and wear protective clothing.Meanwhile, the unit’s team — mostly women — have built a bond, crying together and overcoming the fear of infection through the satisfaction of passing on music, audio messages and the affection of loved ones. More than half were visited by family members and others died after a video call with those close to them.Lopez carries around a tablet with which she can pass on audio or video messages like “thank you daddy for everything, rest now,” or “dear grandad, listen to this song you love so much.”The unit is in a ward with windows that allow in natural light and the murmur of nature. It was set up amidst the panic of soaring coronavirus cases.Both Ojeda and Lopez say that after hearing about the coronavirus patients dying alone in Europe and China, the hospital management made a priority of providing staff specialized in easing pain and terminal patients.”The last week of June was the peak week, our ward was constantly full,” said a tearful Ojeda, 37.”Every death is unique and is a different experience.” Topics : This hospital has been one of the most affected in a country where more than 9,000 people have died with COVID-19 and which has seen over 340,000 cases amongst the 18 million population.For two months now, the intense work routine has pushed Ojeda and her colleague Moyra Lopez to their limits.”Before the pandemic we were used to patients dying but in their homes, surrounded by their families — very different deaths to what we are seeing with COVID,” said Lopez.Around 60 people have died in the unit set up in the Barros Luco hospital where the two doctors work.center_img ‘Patients always react’ Lopez approaches “Don Manuel” with a message from his son.They were “words of gratitude but also encouragement to rest in peace,” said Lopez, who added that it’s important not to stress patients in their final days with messages of false hope.This man’s life seems about to ebb away but just as Lopez plays the message, he moves his head and makes a noise, although without opening his eyes.”Patients, even those in a deep coma, always react; they breathe quicker, their pulse accelerates, they move; hence it confirms that hearing is the last sense that you lose before dying,” said Lopez.Part of the job sometimes involves searching for music on YouTube to play to a patient because a family member said they liked it.Two weeks ago, 94-year-old patient Enrique Boudon, who was suffering from a pneumonia brought on by COVID-19, continued to fight on despite his 10 children having already said their goodbyes.His granddaughter called the unit and told them he used to be a trumpet player in Chile’s Philharmonic Orchestra, and was a jazz fan.”We looked on the tablet, put Miles Davis on the speaker and automatically he moved his hands as if conducting an orchestra. It was very moving. Two hours later he died,” said Lopez. All over the world, people are dying alone as relatives are barred from visiting them in hospital for fear of catching and spreading the coronavirus. But not in Chile.Here, special units have been set up where family members and loved ones are able to say their goodbyes even inside public hospitals where the virus is rife.”Everyone leaves behind a family and we tried to get to know every person in the time we had,” Natalia Ojeda, a doctor specializing in palliative care at the Barros Luco hospital in Santiago, told AFP.last_img read more

How to make your home stand out from the pack

first_imgReal Estate – folder with data and pen. genericLOCAL Agent Finder CEO Matt McCann says that spring is one of the busiest selling season across Australia. He shares his tips for making a property stand out from the competition: 1 Gardening. When faced with increased competition in the market, vendors need to maximise their kerb appeal to leave a lasting impression on potential buyers. After winter, vendors should tidy the front yard by mowing the lawn, removing weeds and laying fresh grass down on any dead patches.More from news01:21Buyer demand explodes in Townsville’s 2019 flood-affected suburbs12 Sep 202001:21‘Giant surge’ in new home sales lifts Townsville property market10 Sep 2020 2 Exterior areas. Vendors can make a good first impression by giving the outside of the house a good spray with a pressure hose. Ensure fences and front porches look clean and inviting. 3 Spring clean. To make the home appear more spacious, vendors should declutter the home to showcase a neat and organised space. A real estate agent can give vendors an unbiased opinion on where to declutter, including bench tops in kitchens and bathrooms, removing all but the best artwork from walls, tidying shelves and bookcases, and clearing out any unwanted old furniture. 4 Create flow between the outdoors and indoors. As prospective buyers walk through the house they will want to feel they can enjoy the space outdoors just as much as they can indoors. Opening doors and windows will allow the fresh spring air to seep through the vendor’s home, and will also eliminate any stale winter air. By keeping internal doors open through the selling period, vendors can also improve airflow to avoid stuffiness. 5 Add a pop of colour. Colour is a great feature to use when selling, and can be powerful in influencing the buyer’s mood. A fresh coat of light-coloured paint will make spaces seem larger and can be contrasted against colourful rugs and throws. Bright, cheerful shades such as yellow, orange, green, blue and red fit the spring theme and will help to create an uplifting atmosphere – but vendors should be careful that colours don’t clash. 6 Talk to the experts. The best real estate agents will be able to help vendors adapt their home to any season. With increased competition in spring, a good agent with local knowledge and expertise will know what comparable properties are on the market and can help vendors focus on the unique aspects of their property that make it attractive to prospective buyers, helping to increase the likelihood of fetching the best price.last_img read more

Brisbane’s fixer-upper suburbs: Where to buy a renovator’s delight

first_imgNew research from Realestate.com.au reveals ‘renovation’ related properties for sale account for 12 per cent of all listings on the property site — and one of the suburbs with the most homes prime for renovation is in Ipswich. This three-bedroom, one-bathroom ‘renovator’s delight’ at 24 Esdale St, Wavell Heights, is scheduled for auction.Sadliers Crossing is among the top 10 suburbs for renovator homes in the country, with 58 per cent of listings classifying as having the potential for renovation — and you can pick up a fixer-upper in the suburb for under $300,000.Half or more of the properties for sale in Petrie Terrace and Herston also have the potential to be renovated, but you can expect to pay a bit more for their inner-city postcodes. Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:45Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:45 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenWhat is the new HomeBuilder scheme?00:46 Alycia and Nick Chapman at the Clayfield home they are about to renovate. Picture: Peter Wallis.FIXER-UPPERS are set to be in hot demand across Brisbane as homeowners seek to cash in on the renovation component of the $25,000 HomeBuilder grant.Experts say the COVID-19 lockdown has already sparked a surge in home improvements, and the federal goverment stimulus package will only fuel this demand, and push those who are considering purchasing a renovator property to buy now and start work. MORE: Live like a Wallaby: Rugby star selling up Suburb % of total listings While the HomeBuilder grant has come under fire from critics who claim the eligibility criteria is too strict, Herron Todd White director David Notley said for those who did qualify, the grant offered a significant boost and made tackling a renovation project much more enticing. This three-bedroom, one-bathroom ‘renovator’s delight’ at 32 Stephenson St, Sadliers Crossing, is for sale for $269,000 plus.“For those with the financial capacity to upgrade their home or investment, making improvements not only boosts the property’s liveability, but it can add value too,” Mr Notley said.Figures from MCG Quantity Surveyors reveal homeowners have spent more on renovations since the COVID-19 restrictions were introduced. The average spend on an established house in Queensland since March was $46,654 — up from $26,457 at the same time last year. This three-bedroom, three-bathroom ‘renovator’s delight’ at 34 Campbell St, Paddington, is scheduled for auction.Minister for Housing and Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar said this week that more than 16,500 Australians had registered their interest in the grant.To be eligible, the value of the renovation contract needs to be between $150,000 and $750,000 and the property value cannot exceed $1.5 million. But construction must be contracted to start within three months of the contract date and applicants will be subject to income caps of $125,000 for singles and $200,000 for couples. This three-bedroom, one-bathroom renovator’s delight at 55 Payne St, Auchenflower, is for sale.Brisbane couple Alycia and Nick Chapman qualify for the renovation component of the HomeBuilder package and plan to use the $25,000 to press ahead with their current project in Clayfield.“We purchased this house almost 12 months ago and always had the plan to raise and build underneath,” Mrs Chapman said. “We were just getting around to that part when COVID hit. We had the plans drawn up, but decided to put everything on pause. “So when this came out, we found out we could qualify and that’s been the driver to get us to continue with the project.” This three-bedroom, one-bathroom ‘renovator’s delight’ at 24 Belnoel St, Wavell Heights, is for sale.Mrs Chapman said she believes investing in a major renovation will pay off eventually, regardless of the market conditions.Once the renovation is finished, the couple plans to sell when the time is right and move on to another project. “I know (the HomeBuilder package) is restrictive and there’s not many people who can qualify for it, but I think it’s going to do what it’s set out to do. When we talked to our subbies and tradies, they were all happy to be able to get some work again.” This four-bedroom, two-bathroom ‘renovator’s delight’ at 32 Ardara St, Bracken Ridge, is for sale for offers over $550,000.Realestate.com.au chief economist Nerida Conisbee said it was “highly likely” the HomeBuilder scheme would increase demand for fixer-uppers, but home renovators needed to move quickly as the grant was only available for a short period of time. “Given that it usually takes a little while to buy a property, this could be a challenge,” Ms Conisbee said.“One consideration for potential renovators is the price of the property. If you are renovating an existing property it needs to be valued at less than the national price cap of $1.5 million. This will exclude many suburbs in inner Brisbane. “The other important point to remember is that investment properties are excluded. This means that you can’t buy a property to renovate to rent out.” This house at 60 Abbott St, New Farm, is the perfect blank canvas for renovators.For those looking for a potential fixer-upper in Brisbane, Mr Notley said the inner-west suburbs of Paddington, Auchenflower, Bardon and Toowong offered some of the best renovation opportunities.Mr Notley said a perennial favourite for fixer-uppers was the suburb of Petrie Terrace and neighbouring Spring Hill. “There are some raw homes on tiny lots for over $600,000, but it’s all about location here,” he said. “These suburbs are literally walking distance to the centre of town as well as entertainment and retail precincts.“And the results can be spectacular.” This two-bedroom, one-bathroom ‘renovator’s delight’ at 12 Lodge St, Toowong, is for sale for between $700,000 and $750,000.For example, a renovated four-bedroom, three-bathroom home on 228 sqm at 35 Sheriff St, Petrie Terrace sold in November 2019 for $1.19 million.Mr Notley said Wavell Heights in Brisbane’s northern middle ring also had some good options, with basic renovators in average positions fetching between $550,000 and $600,000.“But you need to be fast as they sell quickly,” Mr Notley said. “Other homes in Wavell Heights that are in quieter positions with ready access to facilitiesare fetching between $600,000 and $700,000 for a renovation prospect. “In these instances, smart renovation work will yield an end value above $1 million.” This three-bedroom, one-bathroom renovator’s delight at 40 Gould St, Herston, is for sale.Mr Notley said the work-from-home phenomena during COVID-19 was also fuelling a spike in renovations, as more people build or improve their home office spaces.He said creating a work area shut off from family spaces would become a must-have for homebuyers.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus9 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market9 hours ago“If there’s an efficient, cost-effective way to establish an office, then vendors will want to do this prior to selling,” he said. This worker’s cottage at 78 Menzies St, Petrie Terrace, is the perfect renovation project.Nick Given of Ray White New Farm is marketing the perfect renovation opportunity at 60 Abbott St, New Farm.Mr Given said it was rare for such properties to come up for sale in the sought-after suburb and he had received strong inquiry for it. “The attractive thing about a property like Abbott Street is that there’s only so many renovators left in New Farm,” Mr Given said. “This particular one is a very raw, blank canvas and a really good platform to do a great build on it.” This four-bedroom fixer-upper at 49 Callan St, Keperra is for sale.Raine & Horne executive chairman Angus Raine warned homeowners not to treat Home builder as a gift. “If you have equity in your home and the renovation adds value, then opting into Home builder makes plenty of sense,” Mr Raine said.“Typically, a new kitchen or bathroom augments a property’s appeal, while extra accommodation or a second story will also add to the capital value of your property. “With interest rates also at historic lows, the $25,000 Home builder grant will make renovating a sensible strategy for homeowners, especially if they are planning a sale any time soon.” This renovator’s delight at 87 Anzac Ave, Newtown is on the market for offers over $289,000. THE BRISBANE SUBURBS WITH MOST ‘RENOVATOR’ HOMES FOR SALE Stunning mansion has four levels of luxury 1. Sadliers Crossing 58%2. Petrie Terrace 53%3. Herston 50%4. Newtown 50%5. Grange 47%6. Mount Gravatt 45%7. Keperra 44%8. Wavell Heights 41%9. Jindalee 41%10. Camira 41% (Source: Realestate.com.au)last_img read more

Portugal books LNG cargo from Trinidad and Tobago

first_imgImage courtesy of RENREN-operated Sines LNG import terminal in Portugal is set to receive a cargo of liquefied natural gas from Trinidad & Tobago at the end of the week. The 136,600-cbm LNG carrier Galea is transporting the cargo from the Atlantic LNG project in Trinidad and Tobago’s Point Fortin.Atlantic LNG in Point Fortin, capable of producing 14.8 mtpa of LNG, is owned by BP, Shell, China’s sovereign wealth fund CIC unit Summer Soca and Trinidad’s NGC.Data from the Port of Sines shows the vessel is scheduled to dock at the Sines terminal on May 25.Sines LNG terminal, located on Portugal’s Atlantic coast, has a nominal send out capacity of 600,000 cubic meters per hour (5.26 bcm per year), with a peak capacity of 900,000 cubic meters per hour. LNG World News Stafflast_img read more

Fernandinho has high hopes for 2014

first_img The 28-year-old Brazil international got the new year off to the best possible start by scoring the opener in City’s 3-2 win at Swansea on Wednesday. City start 2014 still in contention for the Premier League, Champions League and Capital One Cup, while their FA Cup campaign kicks off at Blackburn this weekend. He added: “Luiz Felipe Scolari (the Brazil coach) has been around watching players. He has been in Portugal, in Italy. I am sure he will be here watching me and other players and that is no problem. I will keep trying to play well here.” The win over Swansea means City remain a point behind current league leaders Arsenal in what is proving a fiendishly difficult title race to call. But Citizens boss Manuel Pellegrini has no doubt his men can handle the pressure. “I think it’s impossible to be in a good team if you don’t want pressure, you must be used to playing with pressure,” he said. “I think all the other teams have the same pressure – Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United, Tottenham, Everton. “If they want to say that the pressure is on Manchester City it’s no problem for us.” There is also the small matter of Brazil hosting this summer’s World Cup finals, and former Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fernandinho knows the next 12 months could represent the high point of his career. “This was a good way to start the year, to score a goal and the team to win. I hope I can keep playing like this and the team can keep winning,” he said. “If I have success with City and Brazil this year that would be the best year of my life, of my career. “But for now I must concentrate on the games and see what happens afterwards. We just have to prepare well for each game, and be ready. I hope we can keep challenging for all four trophies.” Fernandinho has won five caps for his country but competition for places in midfield is fierce with the likes of Lucas Leiva, Ramires and Paulinho all pushing for places. The City man has helped his own cause by finding his touch in front of goal recently, scoring three in his last five appearances, although he was quick to play down any impact that may have on his Brazil hopes. “It is always good when you score goals, you help your team,” he said. “But the most important thing is the team and we showed we are a good strong team and we want to win the Premier League. “I don’t know why I am scoring more at the moment, for my three goals I was near the edge of the box and it means there is more chance to score.” Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho is hoping 2014 will be the best year of his life as he targets success with club and country. Press Associationlast_img read more

GOA received $136 million from grants in 2016

first_imgThe Guyana Olympic Association of Guyana (GOA) income for its financial year ending November 30 was reflected as being just over $139 million, and expended just over $85.5 million, reporting a surplus of $53.89 million, according to the financial statements tendered by TSD LAL & Co Chartered Accountants.As is always the case the bulk of the GOA’s income – approximately $136 million – came from grants received from the “IOC, Olympic Solidarity, the Commonwealth Games Federation, Pan American Sports Organization, the TOP Sponsorship Programme and organizing committees of Games.The grant for the Olympic Games was $12,330,532, of which $10,517,723 was expended, making up the largest piece of the $12.1 million consumed for Games/Tournaments. A $999,436 was income for scholarship awardees.Caption: GarfieldThe expenditure included $21.7 million spent on coaching/training programmes, which includes Olympic/Pan Am Training expenses, this covers monies expended on Olympic athletes Winston George, Brenessa Thompson, Aaliyah Abrams; and $470,000 going towards scholarship recipients.Under other expenses $12.72 million was towards conferences meetings, and $19.58 million towards donations, and $3 million for the upkeep of the GOA owned Michael Parris Gym located at the National Park.In several cases when it comes to getting the money GOA is expected to spend for the events and then apply for the reimbursements from the IOC and other organizations.This year’s income registers an increase from the $136, 223, 388 that the Association registered for the preceding fiscal year. That year – ending November 30, 2015 – the body had a total expenditure of $91, 857,030, for a calculated surplus of $44,366,358.The surplus for the years is registered under the Accumulated Fund, which has a balance of $258, 684, 073, as at December 1, 2016. This balance marks a 62% increase from the December 1, 2014 balance of $160,425,871.The largest sum for the grant, some $41.3 million, was from the Olympics/Pan Am Training Grant. There’s also $33.8 million received for Paso Activities.Outside of the grants, the income from other collections amounted to $2,517,981. The other collections can be broken down into interest earned ($31,096), subscription ($51,000), income from the Michael Parris Gym ($250,500) and miscellaneous receipts ($2,185,981).The Pan American Sport Organisation (PASO) provides on a yearly basis US$169,146 to the Association to assist with the organizing of its activities and US$40,000 to assist with the organization of its admin matters. The IOC provided and annual sum of US$19,980 from the TOP sponsorship programme. The latter is revenue which is generated from the commercial partnership agreements entered into with the business community and the IOC and provide support to the whole of the Olympic family.The total IOC/Olympic solidarity sum of $101, 487,600 is under the label “Other Receivables” accounted for in the Balance sheet. The amount for the IOC/Olympic Solidarity for 2015 is $76,694,426.Also not in the income and expenditure account is a deferred income of $4,253,400 from the Commonwealth Games Federation which provided an initial sum of US$21,267 to be used as training assistance for the 2018 Golden Coast Commonwealth Games, set to be held in Australia.The financial statements for the year was discussed at the GOA’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) which was held last Wednesday night at the Association’s headquarters in Liliendaal, which is still under construction.The financial statement was read by the Association’s treasurer, Garfield Wiltshire. President for the GOA is attorney-at-law, K. A. Juman-Yassin.last_img read more

NDSU looks to extend streak vs Oral Roberts

first_imgNDSU looks to extend streak vs Oral Roberts Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditOral Roberts (12-10, 5-4) vs. North Dakota State (17-7, 8-2)Scheels Center, Fargo, North Dakota; Saturday, 2 p.m. ESTBOTTOM LINE: North Dakota State looks for its fifth straight conference win against Oral Roberts. North Dakota State’s last Summit League loss came against the South Dakota State Jackrabbits 78-73 on Jan. 22. Oral Roberts took care of Denver by nine at home on Saturday. Associated Press ___For more AP college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://twitter.com/AP_Top25___This was generated by Automated Insights, http://www.automatedinsights.com/ap, using data from STATS LLC, https://www.stats.comcenter_img PLENTY OF EXPERIENCE: Senior leadership could play a big role in this game’s outcome. Tyson Ward, Vinnie Shahid and Rocky Kreuser have combined to account for 57 percent of North Dakota State’s scoring this season and 65 percent of the team’s points over its last five games. For Oral Roberts, Emmanuel Nzekwesi, Deondre Burns and Max Abmas have scored 53 percent of the team’s points this season, including 72 percent of all Golden Eagles points over their last five.RAMPING IT UP: The Bison have scored 77 points per game against Summit League opponents so far, an improvement from the 67.2 per game they managed in non-conference play.TERRIFIC TYSON: Ward has connected on 32.7 percent of the 49 3-pointers he’s attempted and has made 3 of 10 over his last five games. He’s also made 74.8 percent of his foul shots this season.WINLESS WHEN: Oral Roberts is 0-5 when scoring fewer than 67 points and 12-5 when scoring at least 67.LONG-RANGE THREAT: North Dakota State’s Shahid has attempted 163 3-pointers and connected on 36.8 percent of them, and is 8 of 22 over his last three games.DID YOU KNOW: The Oral Roberts offense has recorded a turnover on only 15.8 percent of its possessions, which is the 15th-best rate in the nation. The North Dakota State defense has forced opposing teams to turn the ball over on just 15.8 percent of all possessions (ranked 342nd among Division I teams). February 6, 2020last_img read more

MBB : Walk alone: With improved game, Walker leads resurrection of UConn program

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Battered and bruised, Kemba Walker limps into his frigid oasis. Though he visits this place nearly every day, that doesn’t make feeling the near-frozen temperatures of the cold tub against his skin any easier. The pins and needles are always there.Nonetheless, he’s come to appreciate this place. After all, it’s about the only thing keeping his body in game condition. Playing 37 minutes per game in the Big East takes its toll. Having three, four or even five bodies converge on you every time you drive the lane just makes it worse.‘I get tired a lot,’ Walker said. ‘But I can’t show it. All the time I’m with the trainer, in the cold tub. Anything I can do to get my body ready for the game.’Heading into the 2010-11 season, Walker knew it was going to be like this. He assumed the leadership position on this Connecticut team as soon as the final buzzer ended last year’s disappointing NIT season.And with seven new freshmen coming to play for head coach Jim Calhoun, Walker knew he had to be ‘that guy.’AdvertisementThis is placeholder text‘Kemba Walker is doing this because an awful lot of it is that he’s terrific,’ Calhoun said in the Big East coaches’ teleconference on Jan. 20. ‘And he’s got an incredible, competitive heart. And because he’s a great leader for our team, and he knows we need it.’What he’s doing is leading a resurrection of the UConn men’s basketball program Syracuse will face Wednesday at 7 p.m. inside Hartford’s XL Center. Almost single-handedly bringing it back from the murky depths of a recruiting scandal that tarnished the team’s reputation.Twenty games into the season, Walker has guided the Huskies to a Top 10 ranking and is pouring in more than 24 points per game. He’s hit three game-winning shots this year and is one of the frontrunners for the National Player of the Year award.It’s a role Walker knew he was going to have to play, and he accepted the challenge. Hundreds of hours in the gym working mostly on his jump shot were complemented by experience with the USA basketball team and trips to the camps run by Chris Paul, Deron Williams and LeBron James over the summer.Now, with his team in the hunt for a Big East title, it’s all paying off.‘I’m not surprised because I put in the time,’ Walker said. ‘I knew it was going to be a breakout year, and I knew it was going to have to be a breakout year for this team to be at this point.’A lasting impressionSeven seconds.That’s how long it took Lorenzo Romar to respond when asked where Kemba Walker can improve offensively. And even then, he was stumped.‘Oh, man,’ said Romar, Washington’s head coach. ‘Offensively, I don’t think he needs to improve much.’From July 20-24, Romar ran the USA Basketball Men’s Select Team. The team was composed of 20 college players, including Walker, and its sole task was to scrimmage the National Team leading up to the 2010 FIBA World Championships.Going up against the likes of Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook and Rajon Rondo, Romar said Walker was one of the few players not intimidated by the superstars.‘He had a day where, in a scrimmage, he went for about 28 points,’ said Jay Wright, Villanova’s head coach and an assistant with the Select Team, in the Big East coaches’ teleconference on Jan. 27. ‘And everybody just said, ‘Wow.’ I think everybody realized this kid is on another level.’Despite being undersized at just 6-foot-1, Walker used his speed to wreak havoc on some of the best guards in the world.And on a team that had four AP Preseason All-Americans, Walker emerged as the go-to guy for the Select Team.‘He was the one that could just go out and create,’ Romar said. ‘I thought he had the ability that, if you’re just having a tough time against a good defensive team, you can still win the game because of his ability to break down defenses.’In one scrimmage, Walker said, a trimmed-down Select Team finally beat the NBA guys later that summer in New York City. Though meaningless, it was an accomplishment that will stay with Walker forever. And his play in those two weeks will continue to be the lasting impression for the players and coaches of that Select Team.‘We needed a guard that could go against Westbrook and Rose and (Chauncey) Billups and those guys every day and give them good work,’ Wright said. ‘And he was the first guy we picked.’Youthful talentWhen the mentor struggled, the 17-year-old pupil stepped up.In the 2009 Elite Eight, Kemba Walker showed the first glimpse of what he could be down the road. With senior A.J. Price playing poorly, the freshman Walker took over and got his team to the Final Four.‘It was one of those games where I had no choice but to have a good game,’ Walker said.On the biggest stage, the kid from the Bronx had the game of his life. He matched a career high with 23 points and handled Missouri’s ’40 Minutes of Hell’ full-court press with ease. And the Huskies prevailed.‘I just kept thinking, (what) if he could do that on a consistent basis,’ former UConn forward Gavin Edwards said.‘And this year, he’s really doing it.’It was Walker’s speed that energized the Huskies against the Missouri press in the 2009 NCAA Tournament, an asset he’s had ever since he was young. An asset that, in the words of Davidson head coach Bob McKillop, likens Walker to a sports car.‘He has controlled speed,’ McKillop said. ‘He’s like a high-powered race car, like a Porsche. He’s got different gears and knows exactly when to use them.’McKillop coached Walker in the 2008 FIBA Americas U18 Championship with Team USA, when Walker averaged 13.4 points over five games and also dished out five assists on his way to tournament MVP. In the championship loss to Argentina, he netted a game-high 21.‘He was pretty darn good,’ McKillop said.‘Fruits of his labors’Flash forward from that freshman season to the present, and Gavin Edwards can’t help but chuckle. When asked how Kemba Walker’s game has changed since, he laughs at his own response.‘Kemba,’ Edwards said, ‘has obviously been working on his shot a little bit.’After UConn attempted its fewest 3-pointers and shot the lowest percentage from 3-point range in 15 years last season, the team needed to improve. More specifically, Walker needed to improve.He made only 13 3-pointers as a freshman and shot 27 percent. A year later, he made roughly three times as many triples, but the team still ranked third to last in the Big East in 3-point percentage.So between his experience with the USA Select Team and all of the guard-oriented camps, Walker was on campus in Storrs, Conn., working on his game. Hundreds of jump shots. Hours in the gym.‘I just wanted to take shots,’ Walker said. ‘Take consistent shots. It was hard, but I had no choice.’It all worked.Through 20 games this season, Walker made more 3s (40) than he did all of last season in 34 games (38). He’s hit three or more 3-pointers in six games this season — a feat he accomplished just three times in his career prior to this year.And his ability to drive the lane — the skill that’s always been his strength — has only become more dangerous. Now teams have to respect his jump shot, and they can’t pack the paint with all five defenders.‘That was the big thing that everybody tried to knock him with,’ said Jacob Pullen, a Kansas State guard and Select Team teammate. ‘He really understood how hard you have to work to be a good player.‘And right now, it’s just the fruits of his labors.’It’s labor that has yielded 15 20-point games and six 30-point games.He’s been asked to do it all for this young Huskies squad, and so far the challenge has been answered.So as unpleasant as every cold bath is following his labor during a taxing Big East battle, every game UConn wins might make the frigid water feel a bit warmer.‘He’s a terrific all-around basketball player,’ Calhoun said. ‘Who we need desperately every single night to score points for us.’mjcohe02@syr.edu Published on January 31, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Michael: mjcohe02@syr.edu | @Michael_Cohen13center_img Commentslast_img read more