Charles Wang to sell New York Islanders to Jon Ledecky – ESPN New York

Charles Wang to sell New York Islanders to Jon Ledecky - ESPN New York

Charles Wang has an agreement in place to eventually transfer ownership of the New York Islanders to a group led by former Washington Capitals co-owner Jon Ledecky, it was announced Tuesday.

Ledecky and London-based investor Scott Malkin reached a deal to purchase a “substantial minority interest” in the team, pending league approval by the NHL board of governors, with the stipulation that the group would take over majority ownership in two years.

[+] EnlargeJohn Ledecky

AP Images/Pablo Martinez MonsivaisJon Ledecky, who sold his minority ownership in the Capitals to current owner Ted Leonsis in 2001, has an agreement in place to become majority owner of the Islanders after the 2015-16 season.

Wang would continue as the majority shareholder during that time.

A source told ESPN.com that the vote by the board of governors would likely happen in December.

“We are pleased to have the opportunity to become partners in the New York Islanders with Charles and to pursue our shared dream of winning a fifth Stanley Cup for the greatest fans in the NHL,” Ledecky said in a statement.

The Islanders, founded in 1972, will play their final season at the antiquated Nassau Coliseum before they move to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center in 2015. The team signed a 25-year lease with the Barclays Center in 2012.

“I’m thrilled that Jon and Scott have agreed to join me as we start the Islanders’ final year at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum,” Wang said in a team-issued press release. “I look forward to a long and successful partnership.”

The Islanders, who have missed the playoffs in six of the last seven seasons, have hemorrhaged money in recent years. Talk of a potential sale began in the spring, with hedge fund manager Andrew Barroway in talks to buy the team.

Those talks fell through, however, in a negotiation process that turned nasty when Wang allegedly pulled out at the last minute of an already brokered agreement. Barroway recently filed suit in Manhattan Supreme Court against Wang for reneging on the deal.

Now it appears that Ledecky and Malkin will swoop in to take over the failing franchise and its long-suffering fan base.

Ledecky will become owner of his second NHL team, having previously sold his minority ownership in the Caps to current owner Ted Leonsis in 2001.

via Charles Wang to sell New York Islanders to Jon Ledecky – ESPN New York.

Nicole Watase- University of Oregon Marcus Mariota’s Girlfriend bio, wiki, photos

Is it possible to know your soul mate at the early age of 19? Sorry ladies, it seems 19-year-old Samoan QB Marcus Mariota is very much head over heals with his girlfriend, and how could he not! She is gorgeous and has done some modeling. Last year during an interview he revealed she is “the one” saying:

I love her to death. She’s here now and I’m happy she’s here. She’s the one, after the Washington State game, I was pretty sore, and she helped work out the kinks,”

Her name? Miss Nicole Watase, she has been his high school sweetheart Watase, is a recent graduate of Sacred Hearts, just started her freshman year at Oregon last year.

She is the daughter of a former MidWeek employee, Karen Watase who is confident her daughter has also found someone special in the talented player saying,

“Marcus took Nicole to his junior prom, and they’ve pretty much been together ever since,”

They sure have this this classic, sweet storybook tale going on, get this, Nicole’s mother also revealed during Marcus’ senior year he was the quarterback and she was cheerleading for Sacred Hearts, which cheers for Saint Louis. See her cheering video below, shaking it!

Nicole played soccer when she was younger and wrestled in high school! She was part of Premier Models and Talent which is Hawaii’s elite full service agency, representing the top models and actors statewide. Known for our fast professional service and the best new faces, Premier also offers production, stylists, photographers, and casting facilities.

nicole watase

According to her profile she is 5FT 3 IN, brown aye and hair color, waist size 23 in, hips size 34 in and bust 32 in. She has experience doing print and commercial work.

When her boyfriend was asked if her presence in Eugene be a distraction?

“Nothing distracts Marcus. He has focus like you wouldn’t believe.”

And it appears so, now a year later Nicole might become the girl of a Heisman Trophy winner winner!

- See more at: http://fabwags.com/nicole-watase-university-of-oregon-marcus-mariotas-girlfriend/#sthash.rHulfxmg.dpuf

via Nicole Watase- University of Oregon Marcus Mariota’s Girlfriend bio, wiki, photos.

Dennis Yan (2 goals, 2 assists) and U.S. Under-18 Select Team Tops Russia, 7-4, in Hlinka Cup

BRECLAV, CZECH REPUBLIC — The U.S. Under-18 Select Team defeated Russia, 7-4, in its second game of the 2014 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup. Beginning late in the second period, the U.S. scored four straight goals to capture the win. Team USA’s Brock Boeser (Burnsville, Minn.) tallied a hat trick and Dennis Yan (Ann Arbor, Mich.) notched two goals.

“This was an important match for us. Our goal is to get the championship, so we needed a win today,” said Derek Plante, head coach of the U.S. Under-18 Select Team. “This is a short tournament, so we have to keep getting better really quickly. Russia has a great team, but we had many power plays, which helped us a lot.”

The first period was fairly even, but Russia struck first at 6:51.

However, the U.S. answered with the equalizer two minutes later when Thomas Novak (River Falls, Wis.) carried the puck low into the slot, passed back to his trailer, Yan, and Yan fired a one-timer past Nikita Kolesnikov.

Not even a minute later, Russia climbed back atop the scoreboard. Late in the period, Russians converted a five-on-three power play to increase its lead, 3-1.

After Team USA cleared its zone, a speedy Yan chased the puck and beat the hesitant goalie with a quick wrist shot to pull Team USA within one goal in the final second of the opening frame.

At 1:27 of the second period, the U.S. took advantage of Russia’s passive defense, allowing Boeser to net his first goal of the game with help from Novak and Yan.

Team USA sustained offensive pressure but took a penalty, resulting in Russia retaking the lead, 4-3, thanks to a power-play goal at 13:43.

Twenty seconds later, Russia committed an infraction and USA scored on the ensuing power play. Boeser put a behind-the-net pass in the top corner for his second goal of the game and pulled the U.S. even with the Russians.

Five minutes into the third period, the U.S. scored its second of four straight goals. Grant Gabriele(Brighton, Mich.) shot a laser from the blue line, which the goaltender never saw, and gave Team USA its first lead of the game, 5-4.

Again on the power play, the U.S. climbed to a 6-4 lead. Boeser grabbed a loose puck lying in front of the net and tapped it in to complete his hat trick.

With 2:42 left in the game, Erik Foley (Mansfield, Mass.) sealed the victory by putting the puck in the top corner on a two-on-one rush for the 7-4 final.

The U.S. Under-18 Select Team continues tournament action tomorrow (Wednesday, Aug. 13) at 9:30 a.m. ET against Finland for a spot in the semifinal round of the Hlinka Memorial Cup. Stayed tuned to USAHockey.com for complete Team USA Hlinka coverage and complete game recaps. Play-by-play for every tournament game is available at eurolivescores.com.

Notes: Yan led all scorers with four points (2-2) today … Boeser (3-0) and Novak (0-3) notched three points apiece … Boeser, Novak and Yan are in the top 10 for tournament scoring. Yan (2-3) and Boeser (4-0) are one and two, respectively.

via U.S. Under-18 Select Team Tops Russia, 7-4, in Hlinka Cup | USA Hockey National.

UC Riverside basketball player Chris Tang delayed in China

UC Riverside basketball players have returned to campus for summer school and workouts, but guard Chris Tang won’t arrive until next month, Coach Dennis Cutts said.

The highly touted guard out of Lianyungang, Jiangsu, China, was expected for the summer but technical problems caused a global backlog of visa applications, causing Tang to be delayed and miss the cutoff date for summer school. Alexander Larsson, a 6-9 player from Sodertalje, Sweden, was delayed for several days, but finally arrived. UCR’s third international player, Robert Boezeman, a 6-7 forward from the Netherlands, also is in summer school, Cutts said.

Tang, who is in China, is expected on campus when the team meets on Sept. 15.

Players are in summer school sessions, but only allowed two hours per week of on-court time. They’re also allowed to lift weights. Cutts said he doesn’t expect Tang’s absence to impact his development with his new team.

“There’s a little bit of transitioning for (the new players), but he’s been over here for three years,” Cutts said.

Tang played for three years in the United States, most recently at Oak Hill Academy in Virginia. He also has international experience, playing for the Under-18 team of the Canarias Basketball Academy where he averaged 15.5 points and shot 44 percent from 3-point range.

via AREA COLLEGES: UCR basketball player delayed in China – Press Enterprise.

AUDL: Darren Wu named 2014 Breakout Player

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Darren Wu made a name for himself in the Riptide’s Week 8 matchup against the San Jose Spiders, when the 19-year-old Vancouver native scored 6 goals on 25 catches in Vancouver’s hard fought 25 – 26 loss. He maintained his composure against San Jose’s talent-stacked roster, and his knack for making big plays kept his team close against the best in the West and won Wu fans league wide. ESPN3 announcers Evan Lepler and Chuck Kindred gushed over Wu—the duo had the phrase “unbelievable sky from Darren Wu” on repeat by the end of the game—and noted he came out of nowhere to become arguably the best player on the field.

But for Riptide fans and observers of Vancouver’s ultimate scene, Wu’s breakout season was hardly unexpected. What was surprising was how quickly Wu picked up the sport (he’s been playing less than a year) and how well his natural athleticism matched ultimate’s demands. Wu didn’t know ultimate existed until he went to his high school team’s tryouts—the first time he caught a disc, he used his now-notorious hops to sky his soon-to-be coach. Wu started playing the sport with a single directive: run fast, catch the disc, and score.

“I was never taught to throw,” he said. “My job was to use my speed to help our team win, or boost morale by making a big play or getting a break from the other team.”

On the Riptide, Wu became a key part of the team’s O-line and the favorite target of Derek Fenton, the AUDL assists leader in 2014. The two connected on 17 goals, and Wu racked up 39 goals altogether. Wu spent much of the season in the AUDL top ten goals scored, in the company of ultimate vets like San Jose’s Beau Kittredge and Chicago’s AJ Nelson. Yet, despite his many highlight-worthy catches and his sudden ascendance in the professional ranks, Wu keeps his focus on what’s next.

“There’s not one great play from this season that I remember because I’m always looking to improve myself,” Wu said. “I want to play the best I can and outrun every player. Making big plays is good, but being able to make that deep cut and burn them deep is better.”

With one of the league’s youngest rosters, Vancouver finished in third place in the tough West division. And with Wu on the O line, they’re only going to get better.

via The AUDL.

Jeremy Lin press conference with Lakers: Lin Excited for New Beginning

Lin Excited for New Beginning

by twong
Lakers.com Contributor

The Lakers had been trying to acquire point guard Jeremy Lin for four years. On Thursday, it became a reality.

“(Jeremy) came to Los Angeles a week ago for his physical and we had a chance to visit in my office,” Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak said. “The first thing I said to him when he sat down in my office was: “The third time is the charm.”

Lin spent the last two years as a member of the Rockets before the Lakers acquiredthe Harvard product, along with a future first-round pick and a 2015 second-round pick in exchange for the rights to Sergei Lischchuk. With L.A. having enough cap space, they were able to absorb his salary, while also maintaining cap flexibility for the future as Lin’s contract expires at the end of the season.

”I’m really excited to be a part of this organization and I’m seeing this as a new start, a fresh start,” Lin said.

After going undrafted in the 2010 NBA Draft, Lin had a strong showing at summer league with the Dallas Mavericks. Kupchak stated the Lakers offered him a contract, but so did the Golden State Warriors.

“We were negotiating with his representatives to bring him to Laker camp,” Kupchak said. “There was guaranteed money involved and it came to a point where it was the same as the Warriors. Jeremy, because of his roots in the Bay Area, chose the Warriors. So we missed out on him four years ago.”

When the Warriors waived Lin on the first day of training camp when the lockout was lifted for the 2011-12 season, the Lakers put in a claim. But based on record, the Houston Rockets were awarded the 6-foot-3 guard. He was, however, waived again before the season started on Christmas Day.

The Knicks then claimed the Harvard product off waivers. Injuries to a number of guards ahead of him on the depth chart opened up an opportunity for Lin, leading to the brief turnaround of a team that had lost 11 of 13 games.

The Beginning

Lin emerged on the NBA scene as a member of the New York Knicks with a 25-point, seven-assist performance off the bench against the then New Jersey Nets on Feb. 4, 2012.

Linsanity, as many people soon called it, was born.

Over his next five games – all starts – Lin tallied 136 points, the most by a player since the 1976 ABA-NBA merger. He recorded at least 20 points and seven assists in each of those contests as well, becoming the only player to do so since at least 1970. He guided that Knicks team to seven straight wins, mainly in the absence of Carmelo Anthony.

Perhaps his best game during that stretch came against the Lakers on a Friday night at Madison Square Garden when Lin dropped a career-high 38 points, plus seven assists.

Background
During his senior year of high school, Lin led Palo Alto High to a 32-1 record and an upset of nationally ranked Mater Dei in the state title game.

Despite being named Northern California Division II Player of the Year, Lin did not receive a single athletic scholarship to play basketball at the collegiate level.

He instead attended Harvard University where he was named All-Ivy League Second Team during his sophomore season. The following year, Lin was the only NCAA Division I basketball player who ranked in the top 10 in his conference for points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, field-goal percentage, free-throw percentage and three-point field goal percentage.

By the time his career was finished, Lin was the first player in the history of the Ivy League to record at least 1,450 points, 450 rebounds, 400 assists and 200 steals.

#IvyLeague
Speaking of the Ivy League …

Since 1979-80, there have been just 13 others players besides Lin hailing from the Ivy League to suit up in the NBA.

The list includes: 
Jerome Allen 
James Blackwell 
Ira Bowman 
Corky Calhoun 
Chris Dudley 
Jeff Foote 
Steve Goodrich 
Butch Graves 
Armond Hill 
Matt Maloney 
Walter Palmer 
Tony Price 
Brian Taylor

According to Basketball-Reference.com, Lin is one of four players who attended Harvard who have played in the NBA. The others are Wyndol Gray (1946-48, Boston Celtics), Saul Mariaschin (1947-48, Boston Celtics) and Ed Smith (1953-54, New York Knicks).

Floor General
Lin excelled in the pick and roll orchestrating Mike D’Antoni’s offense in New York. In particular, he showed a knack for attacking and getting to the rim.

“My brand of basketball is attacking on the go, playmaking, I am a 0-100 player and I like to stay at 100,” Lin said. “I’m learning to have more composure and be more under control, but at the same time, be very aggressive. If you watch a Chris Paul or Tony Parker is they are always attacking but they are always under control.”

In a brief sample size with New York – 35 games – and during his first full season with Houston in 2012-13, Lin attempted nearly 40 percent of his field goals in the restricted area. That figure dipped to 34 percent last season, but his efficiency from the three-point line increased as he shot a career-high 35.8 percent.

In fact, Lin’s efficiency from beyond the arc has gone up each season.

2010-11: 20.0 percent 
2011-12: 32.0 percent 
2012-13: 33.9 percent 
2013-14: 35.8 percent

“I think when I look back on not just this past year, but maybe the past two years, I think I’ve learned and grown a lot as a person and a basketball player,” Lin said.

Purple and Gold Everywhere
According to a 2010 census, Asians make up nearly 14 percent of the population in Los Angeles, but is one of the fastest growing ethnic groups.

And Lin is very well aware of how the fans will react when he suits up for his first game inside STAPLES Center. The unwavering support from the Asian community is something he welcomes.

“I’m no stranger to large Asian populations,” Lin said. “I’ve always said and I will always be grateful for their support, and I know how die-hard the fans can be and how supportive and enthusiastic they can be. That’s one thing I always appreciate is through the ups and the downs is the support of the Asian community.

While Lin was in Asia the last couple weeks, he also realized the magnitude of the Lakers global brand.

“It’s huge,” Lin said. “First, Kobe is an idol in Asia, obviously. Everything was red Rockets when I was first there. I came back, took my physical and everything was yellow. That was one thing I noticed. I was like: ‘Wow, that was fast.’”

A Fresh Start

For the 6-foot-3 guard from Northern California, the Linsanity era has been his defining mark during his brief four-year NBA career.

But he maintains he doesn’t want to recreate that moment, or live in the past. Rather he sees this opportunity with the Lakers to develop and grow into a more complete basketball player.

”My first year in Houston really taught me that,” Lin said. “I put a lot of pressure on myself to be that player. Now, my goal is I’m not trying to be a player from the past. I’m trying to make history again. It’s not so much me trying to be something that happened beforehand. I’m looking to the future and trying to be a much better and bigger player than I was ever before.”

Despite a trying 2013-14 season for the Lakers, Lin is well aware of the expectations for Lakers fans. But playing in New York, in Houston and going through various stops in his career has prepared him. And he wholly embraces what he knows he can do as a player.

“I feel the least amount of pressure on my shoulders now than I ever have,” he said. “One thing I try to do is not let my circumstances dictate the pressure as a player. I don’t think I play well when I do put a lot of pressure on myself from an outside standpoint. I know what I want to accomplish as a player and what the right way to play is and as long as I do that, I can hold my head up high and be proud of myself.”

via Lin Excited for New Beginning | Los Angeles Lakers.

China’s Zou Shiming on course for world title, says Freddie Roach

China’s Zou Shiming played a bit part in the new Transformers movie, but Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach thinks his protégé is very close to playing his biggest role yet – champion of the world.

The American trainer is convinced the two-time Olympic champion can go all the way to the International Boxing Federation (IBF) flyweight title after the mainlander survived 10 rounds to outpoint remarkably tough Colombian Luis de la Rosa (23-4-1,13 KOs) in Saturday’s Champions of Gold.

Zou Shiming at the Venetian Macau. The 33-year-old Chinese boxer is being fast-tracked to have a shot at a world title.Photo: Unus Alladin

By winning his fifth straight pro fight (5-0-0, 1 KO), Roach believes Zou has a genuine shot at superstardom having already landed his first professional belt, the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) international flyweight title – one tier below a world title – by unanimous decision.

Roach had said the 33-year-old Guizhou native was being fast-tracked towards a title fight because of his advancing age and if he performed well in this bout, the Zou team would eye a world title fight in November. Zou’s performance had his team nodding in approval.

“We did 10 hard rounds tonight. It wasn’t perfect but we are going closer and closer all the time. I think we will be there pretty soon [a world title fight]. His [Zou] right hand was great and his power was a bit better. He was throwing more combinations. That’s what I want to see,” said Roach.

China’s Zou Shiming’s physical conditioning has improved thanks in large part to his trainer, Freddie Roach (right). Photo: Unus Alladin

“The pace was good and he’s been sitting down on his punches a bit more.”

Zou is being lined up to possibly challenge IBF flyweight world champion Amnat Ruenroeng, of Thailand, on the undercard of Manny Pacquiao’s fight against American Chris Algieri on November 23 in Macau.

Saturday’s pulsating contest had the 8,000-strong crowd on its feet. De La Rosa suffered an accidental headbutt in the fifth round and was struggling to contain the bleeding.

This is one small victory and I am sure there are many challenges along the road. The game plan was to win round by round
ZOU SHIMING

“This is one small victory and I am sure there are many challenges along the road. The game plan was to win round by round. After going through 10 rounds, I am more confident of going to 12 rounds [title fight], so it’s a big step for me,” said Zou, who was wearing his trademark gold trunks and gold boots.

“I have been thinking of the world title ever since day one. I have faith in my team and my training staff. They have been very effective.

“I’m very confident I will be ready for a world title. I am very happy with my physical conditioning. There’s been a big difference from amateur boxing to professional boxing. You have to put more power into your punching,” he said.

Asked what Zou was trying to prove trading a flurry of punches and risking getting knocked out at the end of the fight, the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Games champion, said: “I didn’t want to leave the ring with any energy. I planned for 10 rounds, so I was going to deliver for 10 rounds.”

via China’s Zou Shiming on course for world title, says Freddie Roach | South China Morning Post.