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Golding, Slessinger Reflect On Friendship, Careers After Securing 100th Wins

first_imgFRISCO, Texas – While their home arenas are nearly 700 miles apart, Abilene Christian men’s basketball coach Joe Golding and New Orleans’ lead man Mark Slessinger were just an hour away from each other when the two clinched the 100th win of their respective tenures.“It was really humbling,” Slessinger said. “My radio guy came and told me, and it caught me off guard. It’s been amazing to see all the hard work that went in to get to this point.”On Jan. 9, the Wildcats traveled to Lake Charles, La., to face McNeese while the Privateers went the opposite direction across the Sabine River to take on Lamar. Both teams came away with a crucial road win to improve to 2-1 in league play.“Honestly, I didn’t even know it was my 100th win until I was walking to the bus and [Voice of the Wildcats] Grant Boone found me and told me,” Golding said. “I was excited about it, but I was more excited to beat McNeese.”Although they were not the first coaches to reach 100 wins at a Southland Conference institution – actually the 12th and the 13th – it marked the first time that two coaches reached the milestone on the same day, much less in the same season.“We’ve known each other for years and both have amazing stories,” Slessinger said. “We’ve gone on a little different paths, but we have a good friendship and so much respect for each other. We talked on the phone and texted after on the bus, giving each other a hard time.”The duo, who both served as assistant coaches in the Southland before their head coaching days, were hired within three weeks of each other in the summer of 2011. Golding, a point guard for ACU from 1994-98, returned to his alma mater in 2005 and spent three seasons as the top assistant to Jason Copeland.“Not many people get to go back to the university they played for and get a chance to coach,” Golding said. “I’m very fortunate and lucky for that. The university and the town of Abilene really raised me. It’s a special place to me. I take a lot of pride in trying to turn this program around.”Prior to taking the job at New Orleans, Slessinger spent 11 years as an assistant coach under legendary coach Mike McConathy, who boasts the second-most wins by a Southland Conference coach (291).Congrats to @CoachSless on becoming the third in program history to reach ?? wins #504OurCity pic.twitter.com/fKH6W0hKQ5— Privateers Men’s ?? (@PrivateersMBB) January 10, 2019 Amongst the Wildcats’ nine upperclassmen are guards Jaylen Franklin and Payten Ricks, who through four Southland Conference games, rank third in the Southland Conference in points (80) and assists per game (5.0), respectively. While Golding claims he wasn’t allowed to shoot, he averaged a team-best 4.2 assists per game over his career and takes a lot of pride in coaching the position today.“I played guard here and I’ve got a lot of respect for those guys,” Golding said. “I’m probably harder on them than the bigs. The biggest key for us has been how unselfish they’ve been. We made a switch in our offense over the past few years and those guys have embraced it and bought in.”Golding and Co. wrap up the third week of conference play when they host Northwestern State at 6 p.m. Saturday, while Slessinger and his Privateers hit the road for a 5 p.m. contest against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, which can be seen on ESPN3. “I learned more than I have time to talk about,” Slessinger said. “How to run a program and keep things in perspective. How to make a program sustainable. A lot of people can have a flash in the pan, but the goal is to sustain it for years. I got an incredible blueprint from him.”Following each of their first years on the job, both schools accepted bids to join the Southland for the 2013-14 season. “Mark’s been a great friend of mine through this,” Golding said. “He got his program going quicker than us. When he made the NCAA tournament, that gave our staff hope that we could do it here. I’ve got the utmost respect for Mark.”For the Wildcats, it closed the book on a 40-year residence in the Lone Star Conference and marked a reunion with the league it helped found in 1963.“Going through that transition was the hardest thing a bunch of us had ever done in our lives,” Golding said. “When I got here, all I wanted to do was win games like any young coach, but I figured out quick that it was going to be a long road. It’s been challenging but very rewarding.”For the Privateers, it was a turning point as the athletic department contemplated dropping from Division I to Division III as the school dealt with declining enrollment, budget cuts and insufficient fundraising after Hurricane Katrina.“We had to be relentlessly positive,” Slessinger said. “It wasn’t a job for someone that wasn’t tough minded. I’ve seen a lot of hard work coming to fruition. It all goes back to that mindset of being relentlessly positive.” It was not an ideal situation for Slessinger to inherit as the department’s struggles left him with three players and one assistant. Negative press sprouting from NCAA sanctions further scared off potential recruits and assistants.Fast forward five seasons to 2016-17, when he guided New Orleans to its first 20-win season and first conference tournament title in 20 years, when now-Lamar head coach Tic Price was at the helm of the Privateers.“It was wonderful,” Slessinger said. “It was a great culmination of a lot of hard work and sacrifice by the student-athletes and staff. It was really rewarding to get that once-in-a-lifetime experience and bring joy and pride back to the city.”While Slessinger is no stranger to the conference tournament with four trips over the last four seasons, Abilene Christian is off to a good start in pursuit of a coveted trip to Katy after just missing out on a tiebreaker last season, their first year of postseason eligibility.“We don’t even know what door to go through to get in to the Merrell Center,” Golding joked. “We’re just trying to live day-by-day, trust the process, get better each day and see where it heads. We thought we were in a pretty good position last year, but we lost some tough games down the stretch.”Both coaches are now in their eighth seasons and seeing the payoff of their models of consistency as Abilene Christian and New Orleans are 4-1 through the first two weeks of league action.“We haven’t lost a player in three years,” Golding said. “We’ve done it all with high school guys and tried to develop them both as basketball players and as men. There’s some coaching involved with it, but it’s really about the players.”ACU beat McNeese 73-72 Wednesday night, giving head coach @CoachGoldingACU his 100th career victory. Congrats, Coach! #GoWildcats pic.twitter.com/qeBL2PcgHD— ACU Mens Basketball (@ACU_MBB) January 10, 2019last_img read more

Los Angeles Sparks a win away from repeating as WNBA champs

first_imgLos Angeles Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike looks toward the scoreboard after receiving treatment for a cut on the face during the second half against the Minnesota Lynx in Game 3 of the WNBA basketball finals, Friday, Sept. 29, 2017, in Los Angeles. The Sparks won 75-64. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Sparks star Nneka Ogwumike was sporting a clear bandage under her eye Saturday. It wasn’t hiding the five stitches she received after Minnesota Lynx center Sylvia Fowles used her arm to attempt track down a rebound in the fourth quarter in Game 3 of the WNBA Finals.Ogwumike was quick to say Fowles didn’t do it intentionally.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES “I saw it happening and it was like a fumble and when she went to get it she kind of flung her arm,” Ogwumike said. “It just kind of split the skin. But I think AB (Alana Beard) came up with the rebound.”It’s easy for the Sparks to find silver linings. They dominated the boards en route to beating the Lynx 75-64 in Game 3 on Friday and they’re now one win away from hoisting the WNBA Finals championship trophy Sunday at Staples Center.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smogThe Sparks have plenty of experience given that they won last year and can become the first team since 2002 to win back-to-back titles.“I think we have players that are competitors. We have players that know the way we want to play,” Candace Parker said. “Look, I can tolerate just losing in terms of us beating beat, them beating us. We want to make sure it’s what they’re doing and not what we’re doing in a game like this. We have to take care of what we can control. In ‘Jojo Rabbit,’ Comedy and Drama Collide MOST READ Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Redemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie Thompson DAY6 is for everybodycenter_img Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene Mos Burger to open in Manila; teases with a pop-up OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Asked if she had a one-on-one talk with all of her players, Reeve simply said “no.”While the Sparks had a balanced offense, the Lynx backcourt struggled as Seimone Augustus and Lindsay Whalen were both scoreless.“I’ve got to be more aggressive,” Augustus said. “I’ve got to get the ball. I can’t shoot air. Our offense was very stagnant. Didn’t execute the way we wanted to, so it created a lot of one-on-one situations for everything. Forces Sylvia to have to score with two people guarding her. Forces Maya to have to take contested shots. When we are efficiently flowing in our offense, I feel like no team can guard us. I wasn’t able to get as many touches because of how out of sync we were.”Reeve’s challenge to the starters was well taken.“Everything she says we know,” Moore said. “She’s very straightforward about telling us how it is. We as leaders have to continue to embrace that and do our best to improve and make changes and adjustments here and there to make sure we don’t have issues we cause ourselves.”The Sparks believe they will play well in a closeout situation.“I think we’re a different team, even from the semifinals,” Ogwumike said. “We’ve learned a lot along the way. We have experience, I guess you could say, in closing games out. Throughout the season, coach (Brian Agler) talks about winning each series. You play everybody three times and Dallas four times. I think we won every series with the exception of Dallas. We tied that series.“With that, that’s the mindset we have going in to this game. Just doing what we have to do to win this game. Everyone is pretty focused on that.” View comments Video games in the Olympics? Here’s how it might work “We can control how hard we rebound and how hard we play defensively, how we move offensively, the pace with which we play. That’s what’s important in this game, keeping both eyes on the journey.”The Sparks could envision hoisting that trophy with their fans — there was a sellout crowd of 13,500 Friday in Game 3 — and how nice that would feel. Last year, the Sparks won in Minnesota.The Lynx face elimination but can force a Game 5 in Minnesota on Wednesday with a win. They were in a similar situation last year and forced a fifth game.Fowles said she and Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve had a one-on-one conversation Saturday morning.“I think for the most part we respond well when our backs are against the wall,” Fowles said. “I don’t like those back-up-against-the-wall type of situations. Unfortunately, that’s where we are at this point. You just have to keep fighting and battling and take what comes, that’s Game 4. If we want to stay alive in this thing we have to make sure we’re energized and into what’s going on.”ADVERTISEMENT How to help the Taal evacueeslast_img read more

PULL THE OTTER ONE – CREATURE SPOTTED TRYING TO GET INTO DONEGAL PLAY-CENTRE

first_imgThe otter was spotted in the middle of Bundoran trying to get into a children’s Play-centre!They are notoriously shy creatures who are rarely spotted in the wild – nevermind off a town’s busy Main Street.But Ollie the Otter didn’t mind the fuss today as he made an appearance in Bundoran.Ollie was spotted trying to get into Dizzy’s Den children’s playcentre just after 10am. Anna Marie Murray, the owner of the centre which is located at Bundoran Retail Park, said she was shocked to see the creature outside her premises.“He was outside and it looked like he was trying to get in. It was one of the strangest things I have ever seen.“Unfortunately we have a strict no animals policy,” she laughed.Anna Marie said Ollie just wandered off after a while and she hopes he made his way into fields behind their centre and back to a nearby river.   PULL THE OTTER ONE – CREATURE SPOTTED TRYING TO GET INTO DONEGAL PLAY-CENTRE was last modified: April 22nd, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:bundoranDizzy’s Den playcentredonegalotterlast_img read more