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22.09.2018 09:37
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INDIANAPOLIS -- Tamika Catchings cherished every precious moment Sunday -- from hearing her favorite National Anthem singer right through her farewell speech.In between, fans, teammates and former players serenaded her with the same chorus: Thanks for the memories.Yes, on a day the Indiana Fever blew past beat Dallas 83-60 for the teams most lopsided win of the season, the score didnt really matter. One of the best and most beloved stars in WNBA history was about to say goodbye to her adopted hometown.I remember thinking after getting hurt my senior year at Tennessee, thinking nobody is going to want me. Ive got a broken wheel, and who goes to the store to buy something thats broken? Catchings told the fans after the game. But thank you, thank you.Yes, she started preparing for this moment in February 2015 after signing her final contract.But the rousing send-off still teetered between heart-felt thoughts, trips down memory lane, job proposals and even a comedy routine.Throughout the more than one-hour ceremony, Catchings, who declined gifts during her farewell tour, collected a few Sunday: A new Lexus, a framed USA Basketball jersey surrounded by team photos she competed on, two chairs and a specially designed Hoodie from Nike, a painting of her in a shooting stance and a custom-made poster with the word relentless above her photo.The one she appreciated most might have been the $100,000 check from Pacers Sports & Entertainment to her Catch The Stars Foundation.Fans had plenty of chances to cheer Sunday.But when she departed for the final time, with 1:33 left to play, the fans gave Catchings a prolonged ovation as she walked toward the bench, hugged her replacement and everyone on the bench. Former coach Lin Dunn was caught wiping away tears.Back in 2001, what we didnt know then but what we do know now is that we got the crown jewel of the WNBA, Fever chief operating officer Kelly Krauskopf said.It was a special day for everyone.Fever players wore new white shooting T-shirts to honor Catchings. Fans wore different white T-shirts, with the hashtag 24Forever emblazoned across the chest. Coach Stephanie White, who is bound for Vanderbilt after this season, even participated by wearing a nifty all-white outfit and the shooting shirt underneath her jacket.And the crowd was full of familiar faces.Friends and family came in from out of town. Former teammates such as Tully Bevilaqua and Katie Douglass came back, too. Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird and Olympic gold medalist Paul George sat together, and Reggie Miller returned to the venue where his own farewell ceremony took place during the spring of 2005.Like Millers farewell that day, anything Catchings did on the court -- make a basket, draw a foul, grab a rebound -- drew a loud cheers.During timeouts, a kaleidoscope of memorable moments played on the video board. So the four-time Olympic gold medalist, who carved out her own niche in Indianas long, illustrious basketball history, couldnt disappoint the fans.She didnt. Catchings scored eight points in the first quarter, finished with 16 and added seven more rebounds to the WNBAs career record. Not bad for a 37-year-old star.When the postgame ceremony began, the emotions really flowed.She is unwavering in her passion, her love, her beliefs, longtime teammate Briann January said. This is the same woman who cracks herself up with corny jokes and Shirley Temples. People like you dont come along often Catch. I love you to death and everything youve done for me. Twenty-four forever.White shared similar sentiments as she fought back tears.Tamika, I was lucky to be your teammat4e, Im honored to be your friend, White said, pausing. I am so proud, so proud of who you are and we thank you for gracing us with your presence every day and making us better people.The 10-time All-Star and five-time WNBA defensive player of the year finishes her career with 457 games played, second on the career scoring list (7,382) and as the career leader in free throws made (2,004), steals (1,074) and rebounds (3,316).Catchings will play at least one more home game -- Wednesday night against Phoenix -- but that didnt take away from all that she was being honored for Sunday.I think of all the tears Ive shed after losses, I think of all the tears Ive shed after wins, I think of all the tears that Ive shed during the hard work and when you give that much, my tears have already been shed, she said. Ive lived here longer than I have literally anywhere my whole entire life, so this is home, and Im so thankful that this journey ends here today on this court. .35 million, one-year contract that avoided salary arbitration. Plouffe batted .254 with 14 home runs and 52 RBIs in 477 at-bats last season, his second as a regular in the lineup. . On June 12, just as the sun sets on the magnificent historical city of Sao Paulo the inventors, innovators and purveyors of “joga bonitowill” open their campaign. The opponent, Croatia and all its football might and will. As opposites do attract we are set for a corker of an opener. . Here are his mid-season NBA awards. MVP: (KEVIN DURANT-Thunder) - Has been sensational this season and more importantly, the most consistent player in the league. Considering that his team has been without star guard Russell Westbrook and with the free agent departure of sharpshooter Kevin Martin, hes had to carry the majority of the load to not only keep his team afloat but more importantly, at an elite level. . -- Gus Malzahn finally had his day in Fayetteville. . Despite dominating possession, Schalke needed an own goal from Nicolas Hoefler for the breakthrough a minute before the interval. The Freiburg midfielder misjudged Jefferson Farfans corner and bundled the ball into his own net. Keaton Jennings prolific form last summer has earned him his first experience with England Lions but, even as he relishes his opportunities at the Loughborough national performance centre, he is wrestling with the dilemma of whether to abandon his career with crisis-ridden Durham. On one hand lies his natural sense of loyalty, on the other the notion that an England career is not too far away. He has some agonising ahead.Jennings has held several exploratory conversations with Durham about the possibility of captaining them in at least one limited-overs format, with Paul Collingwood, at 41, retaining the role in the Championship. There have been a couple of discussions about captaincy but nothing has been decided - not from Collys point of view either - but there have been discussions, he said.Jennings freely admits that his future remains uncertain following the enforced relegation of Durham to Division Two of the Championship, and the issue of points deductions, by the ECB as punishment for the bailout they required from central funds to avoid bankruptcy. Strict financial controls over forthcoming years question whether they can remain able to compete.It was a wholly different world when Jennings signed a four-year contract and he is adamant that the changed circumstances, in which Durham have also been reconstituted as a community interest company under the chairmanship of Sir Ian Botham, leave him entitled to leave should he so wish. The exact nature of that escape route has not yet been revealed.I was slightly worried when I signed the contract about players staying but at the time I had to make a call and put my head on the block, Jennings admitted. It has been a long summer and I have a lot of thinking to do over the next two or three weeks and a lot of conversations to have.Warwickshire and Yorkshire will be among a clutch of counties monitoring the situation, but they may have to wait a while longer. Jennings, preparing for a Lions trip to Dubai, has other matters on his mind.At the moment I am really excited to be here with the Lions and I really want to focus on that first. It is the first time I have been involved with the ECB in any format and mostly I am trying to enjoy the next couple of weeks. At the end of the day everything is open. I am not saying I would like to leave because I love Durham and I love the guys at Durham.It is a challenging time for him. Much as England seek to plan their international pathway, Jennings, who came close to selection for the Test tour to India - a surfeit of left-handers did not help his cause - has suddenly sprung to prominence, much as have Ben Duckett and Haseeb Hameed, whose international careers are already underway. Duckett has emerged, too, from Division Two of the Championship. Does Jennings think he could do that? Youd better ask the selectors, he said.Strikingly, Jennings negotiated his contract without the help of an agent, which makes him a rare individual in modern-day professional sport, especially as a player with realistic international ambitions.At first meeting he is a genial sort, not immediately recognisable as the son of Ray Jennings, a former South Africa wicketkeeper who gained a reputation as a hard disciplinarian during his coaching years. Clearly, though, he has a similar appetite for self-sufficiency and between them father and son negotiated the contract that might yet hold the key to his future. He has no regrets.I learned quite a lot about myself during the process. It was interesting to call up people and have some hard conversations: in terms of who is the coach going to be, who are the senior players going to be, what role would I play?If I had given that job to an agent I wouldnt have learned as much about myself and made the contacts and friends that I have made. It has been an interesting year in a lot of respects but at the time it was the right call definitely.I have had a few friends and members of the family say we think you are a little bit crazy but I enjoy being hands on. I think my Dad enjoyed it as well. It gave him a little hobby.News of Durhams plight broke in early October when he was back in South Africa, labouring through an accounting exam for which he knew, due to the daily grind of the county circuit, he was not remotely prepared.It was the day I walked into an auditing exam. Id walked into it having not finished my coursework - during the cricket season you tend to run out of time - and I think I failed the exam which didnt help but thats life. Then I walked out of the exam to the news. It is sad what has happened but at the end of the day the guys have got to face the facts I suppose and come back from there.As players we didnt have too much of an idea about the extent of what was going on. I suppose there were the previous years financial statements we could have looked at but I dont think we realised the extent it was at. At the end of the day I am not experienced enough to sit down and analyse those statements but those are the sanctions that have been given and unfortunately that is what we have to live with.During the season there was no talk. TThere were fears that it was not as financially stable as being said but at the end of the day we didnt think we werent going to get paid or the club was going to deteriorate as quickly as the media had perceived.dddddddddddd From a players point of view we thought that everything was alright. When you are in the changing room it was a bit of a bubble and you end up caught within your 15 guys and that is your bubble.Jennings is quick to give much of the credit for keeping spirits high while rumours swirled to Collingwood, who along with the head of the academy and former coach, Geoff Cook, has become symbolic of the good things in Durham cricket while mismanagement has happened all around them and the general economic difficulties pervading the northeast have done their worstCollingwood is a huge influence in terms of social aspects, of vision and of drive, Jennings said. At 40 years old now - he will be 41 next year - he is one of the hardest trainers. After a days play he goes in the gym and he sets a standard of what is expected of you as a professional but then he will go away from cricket and really enjoy his time as well and educate the guys away from cricket about how they got that balance.There is no sense that Jennings is now holding Durham to ransom over the captaincy that Collingwood has fulfilled with such vigour. He recoils at the notion. No, not at all. I have never been a guy to put a club under the pump, to say if you dont give me the captaincy I am going to leave. That is not who I am. For me whatever is right for the team must happen. If it is right for a team that I will captain I will captain. If it is not right then I am more than happy to play a supporting role.In his early years at Durham, watching Jennings bat could be a taxing duty. He was a stilted left-hander, wary of stroke, concentrating largely on survival, especially on the demanding pitches at Chester-le-Street. Last summer, though, something clicked. It was more than just the natural progression of a career. His 1548 Championship runs, with seven centuries, spoke of higher ambitions. His improvement had its roots in some prolonged self-analysis when he questioned whether his cricketing obsession was becoming self-destructive.It was a special year for a lot of respects, he said. I suppose it was down to a slight change of mindset. I had been chatting to my uncle, who was a sports psychologist, over the winter and he went through a process of trying to help be more positive and on the back of that finding happiness and thinking Am I really happy playing cricket or am I happy doing something else? I am generally too attention-to-detail for my own good sometimes.I sat down with my dad and got a bit of happiness outside cricket and I think off the back of that it kind of helped me out. I put a bit more energy into my studies - I am studying financial accounting - although I have deferred it another year and I will finish in 2018.Then within that I did a bit of coaching, spent a little time with my niece and nephew so outside of cricket I had a bit of balance in my life instead of just being all-out cricket: gym, train, go to the ground. I played a bit of golf, enjoyed a beer and I suppose had good downtime with family.Which neatly introduces the topic of his father. When he was coach of South Africa, Jennings was once called by the Telegraph this rabid disciplinarian with his bristling moustache. His perfectionism was taken as read, his demands high, his honesty searing. His son, eager to build a cricketing career, looks on it all with equanimity.My girlfriend says we have been watered down through the generations, he laughed. My dad is very - harsh is the wrong word - he is very stern, he is very firm. He is a huge professional and this is how he puts food on the table for the family.He tells a story of his fathers playing career when, as a wicketkeeper, he grew his own grass at the Wanderers. He used to bring in his own grass seed and grow it to practice on because he knew if he dived on the grass that was there he would hurt his arms. So he grew his own grass and told the guys not to cut it. He knew exactly how he wanted it.Jennings senior, 62 now, his moustache bristling in shades of grey, coaches cricket at Dainfern College, a private co-educational school in Northern Johannesburg. The family lives on a golf estate about 2km from the school. Most days, Ray drives his golf buggy up the road and runs the cricket for 5 to 18-year-olds in the afternoon. Keaton tries to help out when he visits.He has taught me the discipline and hard work aspect of anything in my life. I have never shied away from hard work or doing the hard graft at the right time. He is a character like that - he built his own garden. There was a big unlevelled piece of land where the house is built and he carried in chest-high stones and built this little garden the way he wanted it. He is a hard-working man and very disciplined and I suppose that is what I have taken from him. Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys China Stitched Jerseys China Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Store Youth NFL Jerseys Cheap Wholesale Nike NFL Jerseys Discount NFL Jerseys Wholesale NFL Camo Jerseys Wholesale NFL White Jerseys Wholesale NFL Camo Jerseys White NFL Jerseys Cheap Camo China NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Jerseys NFL China ' ' '

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