David Thompson (basketball)
David O'Neil Thompson is an American retired professional basketball player. He played with the Denver Nuggets of both the American Basketball Association and National Basketball Association, as well as the Seattle SuperSonics of the NBA, he was a star in college for North Carolina State, leading the Wolfpack to its first NCAA championship in 1974. Thompson is one of the six players to score 70 or more points in an NBA game. Thompson was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1996. Thompson attended Crest Senior High School and he played for the school's Varsity Basketball team for four years, he starred in the North Carolina Coaches Association's East-West All-Star Basketball Game in 1971. Thompson is a first cousin of both growing up in Shelby, North Carolina. Thompson led North Carolina State University to an undefeated season in 1973, but the Wolfpack was banned from post-season play that year due to NCAA rules violations involving the recruiting of Thompson, he led the Wolfpack to a 30-1 season and the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship in 1974.
In the semifinal game NCSU defeated the reigning national champions, the University of California, Los Angeles Bruins in double overtime. In the championship game they won over Marquette 76-64, his nickname was "Skywalker" because of his incredible vertical leap. The alley-oop pass, now a staple of today's high-flying, above-the-rim game, was "invented" by Thompson and his NC State teammate Monte Towe, first used as an integral part of the offense by NC State coach Norm Sloan to take advantage of Thompson's leaping ability. NC State's game against the nationally 4th-ranked University of Maryland Terrapins in the 1974 ACC Tournament finale, in an era in which only conference champions were invited to the NCAA Tournament, is considered one of the best college basketball games of all time. Thompson and teammate Tommy Burleson led the #1-ranked Wolfpack to a 103-100 win in overtime. Thompson and the Wolfpack would go on to win the national championship that year. Maryland's exclusion from the NCAA Tournament due to the loss, despite their high national ranking, would lead to the expansion of the NCAA Tournament the next season to include teams other than the league champions.
Thompson is considered one of the greatest players in the history of the Atlantic Coast Conference, among such talents as Michael Jordan, Ralph Sampson, Tim Duncan, Christian Laettner and Len Bias. Thompson played basketball. In 1975, playing his final home game at NC State against UNC-Charlotte, late in the second half Thompson on a breakaway received a long pass from a teammate, resulting in the first and only dunk of his collegiate career, a goal, promptly disallowed by technical foul. Head coach Norm Sloan removed Thompson to thunderous applause; the ACC's most exciting player, who had performed for three years without executing the game's most exciting act, thus passed into history. Michael Jordan, who grew up in Wilmington, North Carolina, said that Thompson was his basketball role model as a young man. At some of the basketball camps that Jordan ran, Jordan would tell the campers, "He was the guy I looked up to when I was your age." For this reason, Thompson was asked by Jordan in 2009 to introduce him to the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Thompson's 44 remains the only number NC State retired in men's basketball. It was retired at his last home game. Thompson was the No. 1 draft pick of both the American Basketball Association and the National Basketball Association in the 1975 drafts of both leagues. He signed with the ABA's Denver Nuggets. Explaining his choice between the establishment NBA and the ABA—which offered less real money —Thompson said when he met with the Hawks, the organization had seemed uninterested, to the point of treating him to a meal at McDonald's. Thompson told the Denver Nuggets he wanted his friend and point guard at N. C. State Monte Towe to have a chance to play in the NBA, Denver drafted the 5"7"Towe and signed him to a 2-year contract. Thompson and Julius Erving were the finalists in the first Slam-Dunk Competition, held at the 1976 ABA All-Star Game at McNichols Sports Arena in Denver; the competition organizers had arranged the seedings to assure a final round pairing these two dynamic players. Erving won with the first foul-line dunk, to this day the standard for leaping and dunking prowess.
Thompson, performed more difficult dunks in warmups, but not in the competition itself—including a dunk called the "cradle the baby" whereby he cradled the ball in the crook of his arm, raised it above the rim, punched it through. Thompson won the MVP of the 1976 ABA All-Star Game, as a prize, he received a credenza television set. After the ABA–NBA merger in 1976, Thompson continued with the Nuggets through the 1981–82 season, after which he was traded on June 17, 1982 to the Seattle SuperSonics. Thompson made the NBA All-Star Game four seasons, reached his peak in 1978 season. On April 9, 1978, the last day of the regular NBA season, Thompson scored 73 points against the Detroit Pistons in an effort to win the NBA scoring title, he led the Denver Nuggets to the NBA playoffs, but they lost to the eventual Western Conference champion Seattle SuperSonics. After the 1978 season, Thompson signed a record-breaking contract for $4 million over five-years; that amount was more than any basketball play
Jeff Mullins (basketball)
Jeffrey Vincent Mullins is an American retired basketball player and coach. He played college basketball with the Duke Blue Devils and in the National Basketball Association with the St. Louis Hawks and Golden State Warriors. Mullins served as the head basketball coach at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte from 1985 to 1996. Mullins, a native of Lexington, was a talented 6'4" forward in high school. After graduation, he attended Duke University from 1960 through 1964, where he averaged 21.9 points per game for his career. His #44 Duke jersey was retired in 1994. In 2002, Mullins was named to the ACC 50th Anniversary men's basketball team as one of the fifty greatest players in Atlantic Coast Conference history. Mullins was a member of the United States Olympic basketball team that won the gold at the 1964 Summer Olympics. Mullins was taken by the St. Louis Hawks in the first round of the 1964 NBA draft. After two lackluster seasons with the Hawks he moved to the Golden State Warriors where he enjoyed the best seasons of his career and was selected as an NBA All-Star three times – in 1969, 1970, 1971.
He helped the Warriors to the 1975 NBA championship. Upon his retirement in 1976 he had amassed a total of 13,017 points for a twelve-year career average of 16.2 points per game. In 1985, Mullins was hired as the head men's basketball coach and athletic director at UNC Charlotte; the program had struggled since making the NCAA Final Four in 1977, in three years Mullins took the 49ers back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since their 1977 run. His 182 victories over eleven seasons stood as a school record until Bobby Lutz, Mullins' former assistant coach, surpassed that total in 2008. During Mullins' tenure, the 49ers played in three conferences: the Sun Belt, the Metro Conference, Conference USA. Jeff Mullins' statistics at Duke NBA Statistics for Jeff Mullins
Louis Brian Piccolo was a professional American football player, a running back for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League for four years. He died at age 26 from embryonal cell carcinoma, an aggressive form of germ cell testicular cancer, first diagnosed after it had spread to his chest cavity. Piccolo was the subject of the 1971 TV movie Brian's Song, with a remake TV movie filmed in 2001, he was portrayed in the original film by Sean Maher in the 2001 remake. Born in Pittsfield, Piccolo was the youngest of three sons of Joseph and Irene Piccolo; the family moved south to Fort Lauderdale, when Piccolo was three, due to his parents' concerns for his brother Don's health. Piccolo and his brothers were athletes, he was a star running back on his high school football team although he considered baseball his primary sport, he graduated from the former Central Catholic High School in Fort Lauderdale in 1961. Piccolo played college football at Wake Forest in North Carolina, he led the nation in rushing and scoring during his senior season in 1964, was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year, yet went unselected in the both the AFL and NFL drafts.
In the balloting for the Heisman Trophy won by John Huarte of Notre Dame, Piccolo was tenth, just ahead of Joe Namath of Alabama and future teammate Gale Sayers of Kansas. A season earlier in 1963, Darryl Hill of the University of Maryland was the first and only African-American football player in the ACC. According to Lee Corso, a Maryland assistant coach at that time, Wake Forest had "the worst atmosphere" of any campus the Maryland football team visited. Piccolo went over to the Maryland bench, walked Hill over to the area in front of the student section and put his arm around him, silencing the crowd. Following his spectacular senior season Piccolo married his high school sweetheart, Joy Murrath, on December 26, 1964, they had three daughters: Lori and Kristi. Because he was not selected in the 1965 NFL draft or AFL draft, Piccolo tried out for the Chicago Bears as a free agent, he made the team for the 1965 season, but only on the taxi squad, meaning he could practice but not suit up for games.
In 1966, he made the main roster but his playing time was on special teams. In 1967 he got more playing time backing up superstar starting tailback Gale Sayers, which increased after Sayers' knee injury in November 1968. Piccolo's biggest statistical year was 1968, during which he posted career bests with 450 yards on 123 carries, two touchdowns, 28 receptions for 291 yards. In 1969, Piccolo was moved up to starting fullback, with Sayers returning as tailback, placing the two in the same backfield on offense. Players at that time were still segregated by race for hotel-room assignments. At the suggestion of the Bears' captain, the policy was changed and each player was reassigned by position, so that wide receivers would room together, quarterbacks would room together, etc. Running back was the only position on the 1969 Bears with one black and one white player and Piccolo, respectively; the Bears were in the worst record in their history. Piccolo had earned a place in the starting lineup as an undersized fullback.
Their first win came in the eighth game on November 9, a 38–7 home win over struggling Pittsburgh and Piccolo opened the scoring at Wrigley Field with a 25-yard touchdown reception. The next week in Atlanta, he scored a fourth quarter touchdown on a one-yard run, voluntarily removed himself from the game, something he had never done, raising great concern among his teammates and coaches. Breathing while playing had become difficult for him, so when the team returned to Chicago he was promptly sent for a medical examination and diagnosed with embryonal cell carcinoma. Soon after initial surgery at Sloan-Kettering in New York City to remove the tumor, he underwent a second procedure in April 1970 to remove his left lung and pectoral muscle. Bothered by chest pain afterward, he was re-admitted to the hospital in early June and doctors determined the cancer had spread to other organs his liver, he died in the early morning of June 16 at the age of 26. The month before Piccolo's death, Gale Sayers was accepting the George S. Halas Award for Most Courageous Player and told the crowd that they had selected the wrong person for the award.
He said, "I love Brian Piccolo, I'd like all of you to love him, too. Tonight, when you hit your knees to pray, please ask God to love him, too."Sayers and Dick Butkus were among the six Bears teammates who served as pallbearers at Piccolo's funeral at Christ the King Catholic Church in Chicago on June 19. He was buried at Saint Mary Catholic Cemetery in Illinois. In 1972, Brian Piccolo Middle School 53 opened in Queens, New York on Nameoke Street in Far Rockaway; the school name was chosen by students after the first airing of Brian's Song. The football jersey that belonged to Brian Piccolo, displayed in the lobby has been missing since the school was renovated in the late 1990s. In August 1973, Orr Middle School, located on the West Side of Chicago on Keeler Avenue, was renamed after Piccolo to the Brian Piccolo Specialty School. In 1980, students at Wake Forest, Piccolo's alma mater, began the Brian Piccolo Cancer Fund Drive in his memory, they raised money for the Comprehensive Cancer Center at the Bowman Gray Medical Center of Wake Forest University.
In addition, the Brian Piccolo Student Volunteer Program was established to provide undergraduates with an opportunity to
US Open (tennis)
The United States Open Tennis Championships is a hard court tennis tournament. The tournament is the modern version of one of the oldest tennis championships in the world, the U. S. National Championship, for which men's singles was first played in 1881. Since 1987, the US Open has been chronologically the fourth and final Grand Slam tournament of the year; the other three, in chronological order, are the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon. The US Open starts on the last Monday of August and continues for two weeks, with the middle weekend coinciding with the U. S. Labor Day holiday; the tournament consists of five primary championships: men's and women's singles, men's and women's doubles, mixed doubles. The tournament includes events for senior and wheelchair players. Since 1978, the tournament has been played on acrylic hard courts at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, New York City; the US Open is owned and organized by the United States Tennis Association, a non-profit organization, the chairperson of the US Open is Katrina Adams.
Revenue from ticket sales and television contracts are used to develop tennis in the United States. The US Open is the only Grand Slam tournament that employs tiebreakers in every set of a singles match. For the other three Grand Slam events, there are special scoring methods for a match that reaches 6–6 in the last possible set: in the French Open, the decisive set continues until a player takes a two-game lead, in Australia, an extended tiebreaker to 10 points is played, at Wimbledon, a tiebreaker is played only if the game score reaches 12–12; as with the US Open, those events use tiebreakers to decide the other sets. The US Open is the only Grand Slam tournament with 16 qualifiers in the women's singles draw; the tournament was first held in August 1881 on grass courts at the Newport Casino in Newport, Rhode Island. That year, only clubs that were members of the United States National Lawn Tennis Association were permitted to enter. Richard Sears won the men's singles at this tournament, the first of his seven consecutive singles titles.
From 1884 through 1911, the tournament used a challenge system whereby the defending champion automatically qualified for the next year's final, where he would play the winner of the all-comers tournament. In 1915, the national championship was relocated to the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills, New York City; the effort to relocate it to New York City began as early as 1911 when a group of tennis players, headed by New Yorker Karl Behr, started working on it. In the first years of the U. S. National Championship, only men competed and the tournament was known as the U. S. National Singles Championships for Men. In 1887, six years after the men's nationals were first held, the first U. S. Women's National Singles Championship was held at the Philadelphia Cricket Club; the winner was 17-year-old Philadelphian Ellen Hansell. This was followed by the introduction of the U. S. Women's National Doubles Championship in 1899 and the U. S. Mixed Doubles Championship in 1892; the women's tournament used a challenge system from 1888 through 1918, except in 1917.
Between 1890 and 1906, sectional tournaments were held in the east and the west of the country to determine the best two doubles teams, which competed in a play-off for the right to compete against the defending champions in the challenge round. In early 1915, a group of about 100 tennis players signed a petition in favor of moving the tournament, they argued that most tennis clubs and fans were located in the New York City area and that it would therefore be beneficial for the development of the sport to host the national championship there. This view was opposed by another group of players that included eight former national singles champions; this contentious issue was brought to a vote at the annual USNLTA meeting on February 5, 1915, with 128 votes in favor of and 119 against relocation. From 1921 through 1923, the tournament was played at the Germantown Cricket Club in Philadelphia, it returned to the West Side Tennis Club in 1924 following completion of the 14,000-seat Forest Hills Stadium.
Although many regarded it as a major championship, the International Lawn Tennis Federation designated it as one of the world's major tournaments commencing in 1924. At the 1922 U. S. National Championships, the draw seeded players for the first time to prevent the leading players from playing each other in the early rounds; the open era began in 1968 when professional tennis players were allowed to compete for the first time at the Grand Slam tournament held at the West Side Tennis Club. The previous U. S. National Championships had been limited to amateur players. Except for mixed doubles, all events at the 1968 national tournament were open to professionals; that year, 96 men and 63 women entered, prize money totaled US$100,000. In 1970, the US Open became the first Grand Slam tournament to use a tiebreaker to decide a set that reached a 6–6 score in games. From 1970 through 1974, the US Open used a best-of-nine-point sudden-death tiebreaker before moving to the International Tennis Federation's best-of-twelve points system.
In 1973, the US Open became the first Grand Slam tournament to award equal prize money to men and women, with that year's singles champions, John Newcombe and Margaret Court, receiving US$25,000 each. Beginning in 1975, the tournament was played on clay courts instead of grass, floodlights allowed matches to be played at night. In 1978, the tournament moved from the West Side Tennis Club to the larger and newly constructed USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, three miles to the north; the tournam
Larry Miller (basketball player)
Lawrence James Miller is a retired American basketball player. As the All-American star of his Catasauqua High School team, Miller scored 46 of his team's 66 points and grabbed 20 rebounds in a 66-62 win over Steelton High in the 1964 Pennsylvania state playoffs at the Hershey Arena. A 6 ft 4 in guard/forward born in Allentown, Miller played at the University of North Carolina during the 1960s, he earned ACC Men's Basketball Player of the Year honors in 1966 and 1967. In 2002, Miller was named to the ACC 50th Anniversary men's basketball team as one of the fifty greatest players in Atlantic Coast Conference history. Miller never played in that league. From 1968 to 1975, he played professionally in the American Basketball Association as a member of the Los Angeles Stars, Carolina Cougars, San Diego Conquistadors, Virginia Squires, Utah Stars, he averaged 13.6 points per game in his career and set the ABA record of 67 points in a game on March 18, 1972. Since his retirement, he works in real estate construction.
Ralph Lee Sampson Jr. is an American retired basketball player. He is a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. A 7-foot-4 phenom, three-time College Player of the Year, first selection in the 1983 NBA draft, Sampson brought heavy expectations with him to the National Basketball Association; the NBA Rookie of the Year, Sampson averaged 20.7 points and 10.9 rebounds for his first three seasons with the Houston Rockets before injuries began to take their toll. Three knee surgeries he retired as a four-time All-Star, an NBA Rookie of the Year, an NBA All-Star Game MVP. One of his many career highlights was a buzzer-beating shot to dethrone the Los Angeles Lakers as Western Conference champions in 1986, derailing their hopes for coveted back-to-back NBA titles, sending the Rockets to their second NBA Finals in the team's history. Sampson was 6 ft 7 in tall by the ninth grade, reaching 7-foot-1 in high school in Harrisonburg, Virginia, he averaged nearly 30 points, 19 rebounds, 7 blocked shots as a senior, at Harrisonburg High, leading the team to state AA basketball championships in 1978 and 1979.
His senior year he lost the high school player of the year award to another talented center, Sam Bowie. However, he did get a form of revenge against Bowie, outplaying him in the Capital Classic, getting 23 points and 21 rebounds with 4 blocks in a game styled "Battle of the Giants". Sampson was arguably the most recruited college basketball prospect of his generation and appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated six times in a span of less than four years. Playing center for the University of Virginia, he led the Cavaliers to an NIT title in 1980, an NCAA Final Four appearance in 1981 and an NCAA Elite Eight appearance in 1983, he earned three Naismith Awards as the National Player of the Year, only the second athlete to do so, a pair of Wooden Awards. Sampson considered declaring for the 1982 NBA draft; the San Diego Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers would flip a coin to determine who would draft first overall, but the deadline for Sampson to make himself available came before the scheduled coin flip.
Rather than risk playing for the Clippers, Sampson stayed in school. With his size and agility Sampson was expected to score like Wilt Chamberlain and win championships like Bill Russell when he reached the National Basketball Association; the Houston Rockets picked him first overall in the 1983 NBA draft. As a rookie, he averaged 21.0 points and 11.1 rebounds, played in the All-Star Game, won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award. The Rockets managed only a 29–53 record in 1983–84, which qualified them to pick first in the 1984 NBA draft. Houston selected fellow center Hakeem Olajuwon out of the University of Houston. Many observers criticized the Rockets' choice, believing the two 7-footers would not be effective playing together, while others thought the combination could be overpowering. Sampson, playing a new style of power forward, had new expectations placed upon him. At the time, Dallas Mavericks Coach Dick Motta said, "That front line, when history is written, when they've grown up, might be the best assembled on one team.
Ever." Houston guard John Lucas said of Sampson's move to forward, "He'll revolutionize the game."In 1984–85 the Rockets improved by 19 games to 48–34 and made the playoffs for the first time in three seasons. Sampson had his best individual campaign, averaging 22.1 points and 10.4 rebounds and earning a berth on the All-NBA Second Team. He and Olajuwon both played in the 1985 NBA All-Star Game, Sampson, after scoring 24 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, earned the game's MVP Award. On March 5, 1985, in a loss against the Denver Nuggets, Sampson recorded 30 points, 15 rebounds, 8 assists and 5 steals and was the first player in NBA history to record at least 30 points, 15 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 steals since the league started recording steals; the next season Houston won the Midwest Division with a 51–31 record. In the playoffs, the Rockets swept the Sacramento Kings, but faced a stiffer challenge against Alex English and the Denver Nuggets in the Conference Semi-Finals winning the series 4–2, with the sixth and deciding game going to double overtime.
Against the defending champion Lakers in the Conference Finals, the Rockets were ready to knock off their rivals who had the best of them during the season. The Rockets lost game 1, but the Rockets fought back, winning four straight to take the series four games to one. In Game 5 of that series, Sampson provided one of the most memorable moments in NBA Playoff history. With the score tied at 112, Olajuwon having earlier been ejected, with only one second remaining on the clock, Sampson took an inbounds pass and launched a twisting turnaround jumper that sailed through the hoop at the buzzer, giving the Rockets a 114-112 victory and a shocking series upset. In the NBA Finals the Rockets faced the Boston Celtics. Boston sportswriters were not happy about not getting revenge against the Lakers who had beaten the Celtics in the Finals the year before, but the matchup was interesting with the young front court challenging the old guard of the Celtics. During the season at the Boston Garden, the Rockets were playing the Celtics well until Sampson suffered a jarring fall on his back.
At the start of the Finals, Sampson found himself in foul trouble early in Game 1 as Boston went up 2-0 going back to Houston. The Rockets won a close Game 3 under the leader
Renata Voráčová is a professional Czech tennis player. Voráčová has won 12 WTA doubles titles, as well as 15 singles and 56 doubles titles on the ITF tour in her career. On 11 October 2010, she reached her best singles ranking of world number 74. On 7 August 2017, she peaked at world number 31 in the doubles rankings; as a junior, Voráčová reached a career-high ranking of world number 4 in singles and number 3 in doubles. One of the highlights of her junior tennis career was winning the 2001 French Open doubles title with Petra Cetkovská. At the 2017 Wimbledon Championships, Voráčová made the second week of a Grand Slam for the first time in her career with partner Makoto Ninomiya reaching the semi-finals of the ladies' doubles, they lost 6 -- 7, 6 -- 4, 7 -- 9 to Monica Niculescu. Due to her surprise run, Voráčová reached a new career high ranking of 32 on July 17, 2017 after 17 years on the WTA Tour. Renata Voráčová at the Women's Tennis Association Renata Voráčová at the International Tennis Federation