FOLLOWING the demolition of their boxing gym, resulting from the devastating fire at the Camp Street prison, the Guyana Prison Service (GPS) yesterday received a quantity of boxing gear from the Ministry of Social Cohesion’s Department of Sport and the National Sports Commission (NSC).At the Prison Service’s Sports Bar on Camp and Bent Streets, officials from the Prison Services joined Director of Sport Christopher Jones, as well as Minister of Social Cohesion, Dr George Norton, at the handing-over of the equipment.“It’s good that the government can take this approach to persons incarcerated in the prison system,” Dr Norton said, adding, “I say this because we have to give the opportunity to those persons to adapt healthier lifestyles and to make better use of their lives. I congratulate the prison service for their recent graduation ceremony where several inmates were successful. The rehabilitation, the reorientation and the changes in values are important.”“We (Ministry of Social Cohesion) will not be left behind; we know there are many sportsmen out there who were inmates and we would be happy if we could help them to continue in their respective discipline. However there is something special about boxing. It is in boxing that Guyana landed the only Olympic medal, albeit bronze,” noted the minister who also holds the responsibility for sports.The boxing equipment that were handed over to the Guyana Prison Services.Gladwin Samuels, Director of Prisons, called the donation “timely” and reflected on the Republican Gym’s victory over the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) at the National championships.According to Samuels, “It would be a shame for the gym to just go down the drain,” as the Prison Director stated his dissatisfaction at seeing inmate Jason ‘AK 47’ Barker unable to defend his Caribbean title this year in St Lucia, after the gym was destroyed by fire.“I would like to thank Minister Norton and his team for items that have been donated today (Thursday). I also want to urge the public and private sectors to help us. We’ve seen change through boxing. Sometimes you have bad inmates, we put them in the ring and over time we see wholesale changes,” said Samuels.”Meanwhile, Jones told the gathering of prison officials and media that the NSC stands ready and willing to help the Guyana Prison Service in its efforts to rehabilitate the country’s incarcerated athletes.
Kevin HagstromHaving endured 27 roars by the Nittany Lions for every Penn State first down during last Saturday’s football game, I began sifting through the worst chants or in-game sound bites in sports. One of the first that popped up is close to home: “First-and-10 Wisconsin.” As mind-numbing as repeating exactly what the PA announcer said is, at least it’s well-known. The chant I’m about to throw out on a whim, however, makes sense to no more than a handful of people. Plus, it’s a good thing that it doesn’t go down on the field. We’re not talking about practice; we’re talking about the School of Practical Science of Toronto University’s chant. Never heard of it? Well, duh. No one else has either, which is why the chant is so ridiculous — “Who are we? Can’t you guess? We are from the S.P.S.!”Now who in his right mind comes up with a chant that means little without explanation? And no, I can’t guess.The School of Practical Science may be good at math and applied sciences but by golly, it sure doesn’t know how to communicate ideas in a clear and concise manner; it’s asking for trouble by formulating the chant into several questions followed by a vague acronym. It’s like saying to Michigan running back Mike Hart after talking to him once, “Remember me? I’m Kevin.” He isn’t going to know what’s going on or who I am. Nor will he care. “Why have a cheer? It doesn’t make sense. Can you believe it? S.P.S. is quite dense.”Ben VoelkelIn the vast world of sports arenas, certain characteristics and traditions stand out and eventually become synonymous with the team and arena. What would an Oakland Raiders game be without the Black Hole or a Detroit Red Wings game without octopi on the ice after a hat trick?The same goes for in-game sound bites and chants. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Raymond James Stadium is known for the pirate ship that fires a cannon after the home team scores a touchdown. What would a Minnesota Vikings game at the Metrodome be without the god-awful, obnoxious Viking horn noise? A little easier on the ears possibly, but it would still be missing that something. And even a little closer to home, a Badger football Saturday without “Eat shit, fuck you” echoing off the walls of Kellner Hall and Camp Randall’s upper deck would mean an unusual PG-13 atmosphere.But just because it is tradition, doesn’t mean it’s good. As bad as the Vikings horn is, that pales in comparison to the worst chant at a sports event.That distinction goes to DE-TROIT BASKET-BALL.No, caps lock didn’t stick. The chant, a creation of Pistons’ public address announcer John Mason, might be OK if it wasn’t repeated seemingly every time the Pistons take control of the ball. Opposing team’s center dribbles the ball off his foot and out of bounds one minute into the game: DE-TROIT BASKET-BALL. Chauncy Billups gets swatted, but the ball goes out of bounds, and the Pistons keep it: DE-TROIT BASKET-BALL. The home team gets the ball to start the third quarter: DE-TROIT BASKET-BALL. It’s not just the repetition that makes it worst, but the painful, arrogant tone in which it’s done. DE-TROIT BASKET-BALL. COU-NT I-T!
“We felt good about adding players that will star in their roles around A.D. and LeBron,” he said. “The guys that we had all lined up are all going to come in and play their part and we feel just as good about our opportunity to compete for a championship now.”While Davis seemed averse to considering load management (the practice of deliberate, healthy resting) – “I’m gonna play,” he said at one point – Vogel said the decisions will be handled by the team’s medical staff led by Dr. Judy Seto. James struggled with injuries last season for the first time in his career, and Vogel said Seto and her staff are likely to have discussions about the practice with James and Davis – “I am going to fall in line with that,” he said.Vogel talked about a few players specifically on next year’s roster, calling Kyle Kuzma a “maximum-effort guy” who is already polished on the scoring end and he believes can escalate his game defensively to become another standout alongside James and Davis.He also expressed optimism about adding DeMarcus Cousins: Citing his own experience with Paul George after he shattered his leg in 2014, he believes the second year after an injury (Cousins ruptured his Achilles in January of 2018) can be when a player regains his prior stature. While the Lakers have noted that Cousins appears to be svelte and in good shape, Vogel said they’ll be patient. But he agreed with Pelinka that if Cousins can approach his All-Star caliber form of the past, it could raise the team’s ceiling.“This is the year that I think he hopefully starts to really regain his form,” Vogel said. “If he does, then we have one of the most powerful, dominant players in the game.”Vogel said his staff will soon be finalized, and on Sunday, ESPN reported that former Cavaliers and Raptors assistant Phil Handy – a coach with a sterling reputation for talent development – is being hired as an assistant. The Lakers will also have Jason Kidd, Lionel Hollins and Miles Simon on staff next season.Vogel said while it’s unusual for a team with no continuity to talk openly about winning a title, he’s not surprised – or intimidated. He doesn’t expect it to be a smooth journey all the way through, but he thinks the Lakers have the potential to get there.“There’s going to be a lot of bumps in the road,” he said. “Hopefully as the season goes on, you continue to work to build that chemistry and come playoff time, hopefully, you’re coming together at the right time. If this level of talent comes together and learns to play with each other, and play selflessly and work hard on the defensive end, the sky is the limit.” Anthony Davis might have forgotten where he was for a moment as he described his ideal position. He’d rather play power forward than center – he’s made that much clear.Then he turned to his left, and a toothy, sheepish smile formed as he extended a long arm to his new coach, Frank Vogel.“If it comes down to it coach, and you need to play the five,” he said, “then I’ll play the five.”The talent is assembled, and the Lakers are expecting big things from a veteran-laden roster led by Davis and LeBron James. On Saturday during Davis’ introduction, the word “championship” was tossed about liberally – the high standards are no secret for the coming season. Vogel was influenced by James’ Miami teams, with whom he sparred twice in the Eastern Conference finals. He started evolving during his two-year tenure in Orlando, he said.“It’s a simple concept, put shooters around elite offensive talents and you are going to be pretty good because your guys are either going to score or they’re going to find shooters on the weak side,” he said. “That’s the way our roster has been set up and built and we got an army of guys on that weak side that can punish either with the three or making plays off the bounce.”Vogel echoed an earlier sentiment from Rob Pelinka: Though the team had hoped to land Kawhi Leonard in free agency, they had done advance work to protect themselves from Leonard’s eventual decision to join the Clippers. Vogel said he had been comfortable with either scenario and the way the roster worked out, he thought Pelinka and the front office had done well to assemble a competent cast for James and Davis relatively late into free agency.Related Articles AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersThe man in charge of putting all the pieces together, the 46-year-old head coach hired during a chaotic month of May, now faces the season well-stocked with proven players. And the roster the Lakers have put together reflects the style Vogel expects to play come October, which he outlined in a session with the media on Saturday following Davis’ introduction.In a way, Vogel, whose own introductory press conference was overshadowed by Magic Johnson-related turmoil, is still waiting to show the NBA how he’s evolved.“It’s not so much how I believe it should be played; It’s just the way I coach,” he said. “For instance, my Pacers teams (wanted to) pound it in the post. Because that was the personality we had. We wanted to play through big (Roy) Hibbert and David West, and we didn’t have the kind of 3-point shooting that teams are playing with nowadays. You see the benefits; you see how it shifts, and like anything, you measure whether that makes sense for your club or your style of play.”This Lakers team won’t resemble his Pacers teams of the past very much, Vogel suggested.With a 304-291 career record, Vogel’s calling card in both Indiana and Orlando has been as a defensive-minded coach who played with less tempo on the offensive end. The New Jersey native says the past few seasons have changed his approach to offense, and he’s more eager to create spacing for shooters. The Lakers’ heavy investment into guards – the team has seven on its 14-man roster, many of whom have overlapping skillsets – reflected how Vogel will likely want to play, surrounding James and Davis with shooters sprawled along the perimeter. 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