- Created on 16 April 2013
The Atlanta Dream selected Penn State University guard Alex Bentley with the No. 13 overall pick in the 2013 WNBA Draft on Monday night, and took University of Georgia guard/forward Anne Marie Armstrong with the 31st pick.
The 5'7" Bentley is a three-time First-Team All-Big Ten selection and a two-time member of the league's All-Defensive team. She became just the fourth player in Big Ten history to amass at least 1,500 points, 500 assists and 300 steals, joining a group that includes WNBA vets Katie Smith and Tamara Moore.
Bentley averaged more than 14 points per game in each of her final three seasons at Penn State, finishing her career with 1,786 points scored, which is eighth in program history. She also finished her career ranked second in school history in steals (325) and tied for sixth in assists (567).
As a senior, Bentley was named one of seven finalists for the Lieberman Award, given to the nation's top Division I point guard, after averaging 14.1 points, 3.5 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 3.4 steals per game, leading the Big Ten and ranking sixth nationally in steals. She was also the recipient of the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award, presented by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame to the nation's outstanding female collegian 5'8"-and-under who excels athletically and academically. She also led the league in steals as a junior en route to earning honorable mention All-American honors.
"I'm very excited to join the Dream and to help them reach their goals," said Bentley. "I wasn't expecting to have the opportunity to play for such a great team. It will be an honor to play alongside Angel McCoughtry and the rest of their players. It's ironic that I'm going to the Dream, because I've been saying that this whole experience has been like a dream to me. I've been dreaming about having this opportunity since I was a little girl.
"I hope to be able to just be who I am as a player. I like to get up and down the court, and I like playing defense. I'm very competitive, and offensively I can distribute the basketball and look to get my teammates open shots, but I can score as well."
Armstrong, a 6'3" native of Norcross, Ga., helped Georgia reach the Elite Eight this season, averaging 7.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists. She became the 34th player in Georgia history to score 1,000 career points, and finished her career with 1,015 points.
As a junior, she earned first team All-Southeastern Conference honors by the league's coaches after averaging 11.5 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.0 assists. She also was a two-time Miss Georgia Basketball who helped Wesleyan School win three states titles in basketball, three in volleyball and four in track and field (three individual, one team).
The two-time Eastern Conference Champion Atlanta Dream will tip off its sixth season in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) on May 25 at Philips Arena.
- Created on 16 April 2013
Georgia seniors Jasmine Hassell, Jasmine James and Anne Marie Armstrong were chosen in Monday night's WNBA Draft.
Hassell was taken in the second round by the Indiana Fever, while James and Armstrong were tabbed in the third round by Seattle and Atlanta, respectively.
"As a coach, it always makes you feel good to see players grow and mature," head coach Andy Landers said. "It makes you feel even better when you see them reach their goals and objectives. J.J., Anne Marie, and 'Jas' all aspired to play at the next level and now they'll have that opportunity."
All told, 16 Georgia players have been taken in the WNBA Draft over the past 13 years. That tally includes eight first-round selections.
Hassell, a 6-foot-2, forward from Lebanon, Tenn., was named first-team All-SEC by league coaches and second-team All-SEC in balloting of the Associated Press this season. She averaged a team-best 12.7 points per game and 6.2 rebounds per game. Hassell also ranked No. 14 in the nation in field goal percentage, connecting on 53.1 percent of her shots from the floor.
"It's something I've dreamed about since I was a little kid and now my dream has come true," Hassell said. "I've dreamed about it, but I didn't know if in a million years if it would come true. It's just a blessing from God. You're just sitting there waiting and then all of a sudden your name pops up and you think 'Is that really my name that just came up?' I wouldn't be where I am today without the help of the coaching staff here at Georgia and so many people who have helped me since I was a little kid. So many people helped develop and motivate me, and I'm just so very, very thankful for all of them."
James, a 5-9, guard from Memphis, Tenn., averaged 11.0 points per game as a senior and led the Lady Bulldogs in assists for the third consecutive season. She finished her career ranked among UGA's career leaders in five different statistical categories – No. 18 in points (1,434), No. 7 in assists (433), No. 7 in games started (123), No. 8 in steals (260) and No. 8 in FG attempts (1,428).
"It's a dream I've had ever since I was a little kid," James said. "You think about it and dream about it when you're little and now 14-15 years later, you hear your named called. I'm excited about the opportunity to go to training camp. Just to be a part of the WNBA is a great accomplishment and is really special to me."
Armstrong, a 6-foot-3, guard/forward from Norcross, Ga., was a consensus first-team All-SEC performer as a junior who was slowed for much of her senior campaign by a high ankle sprain. In stats for SEC games during her junior season, Armstrong ranked among the league's top-10 leaders in nine of 13 categories kept.
"Growing up, I think it's anyone's dream who plays basketball to be able to play in college," Armstrong said. "At the top of those dreams would be the opportunity to play professionally. To be drafted by my hometown team is something I don't think I could have fathomed. My dreams really are coming true. Just to have a chance to try out and make the team in Atlanta, where I've grown up my entire life and most of my family lives, is very exciting."
James, Hassell and Armstrong became the Lady Bulldogs' 32nd, 33rd and 34th 1,000-point career scorers. They also became only the second trio of classmates to reach the millennium mark in the history of Georgia Basketball.
Georgia finished the 2012-13 campaign with a 28-7 record overall and a 12-4 mark in SEC play. The Lady Bulldogs ranked No. 10 in the final edition of the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll after advancing to the "Elite Eight" round of the NCAA Tournament.
- Created on 15 April 2013
The Atlanta Hawks penultimate game of the regular season, and the team's final home game, against the Toronto Raptors at Philips Arena on Tuesday night has been moved from 7:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET and will now be televised by TNT. It will be the first of two games airing on the network that night.
The change was made because the game between the Indiana Pacers and Boston Celtics was canceled in light of the bombing that took place at the Boston Marathon on Monday afternoon. The Hawks were originally slated to play only on local television.
Tuesday's game between the Celtics and Pacers is of no consequence to the standings as both teams have made the playoffs and already are locked into their seedlings, so the NBA canceled the game outright.
"Out of respect to all those who have been impacted by the tragic events today in Boston, including members of the extended Celtics family, the Boston Celtics and the NBA have decided to cancel the game scheduled for Tuesday, April 16, between the Boston Celtics and the Indiana Pacers," read a statement on the Boston Celtic's website.
The statement went on to say, "The game will not be rescheduled. Instructions for any fans holding tickets to the game will be provided on Celtics.com after 3 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16."
The team had earlier sent out condolences to those affected by the bombing.
"Our sincere sympathies go out to all those affected by this senseless tragedy," the statement read. "The entire Celtics organization would like to acknowledge the heroic efforts of the brave civilian, police, fire and medical personnel responding today in the City of Boston."
TNT will now air the Toronto at Atlanta game at 8 p.m. immediately followed by the Portland Trailblazers at the LA Clippers at 10:30 p.m.
The New England Patriots also released a statement Monday night, saying their "thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims and all who were injured by the bombings.
"Due to the tragic events, the Patriots have respectfully postponed their pre-draft press conference that was scheduled at Gillette Stadium on Tuesday, April 16. We plan to reschedule the press conference later this week."
With just two games remaining, the Hawks need a victory to hold off Chicago for the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Bulls hold the tie-breaker over Atlanta, though, having won two of the three meetings. The Hawks finish the season in New York against the Knicks, a team that has already locked up the East's number two seed.
The Hawks will face fourth-place Brooklyn if they finish fifth, and Central Division champion Indiana should they fall to sixth. They've split their four games with each club.
National TV schedule for April 16:
Local Eastern Network
Toronto at Atlanta 8:00 PM 8:00 PM TNT
Portland at L.A. Clippers 7:30 PM 10:30 PM TNT
Notice of the updated NBA schedule was sent out April 15 at 9:34 p.m. ET
- Created on 16 April 2013
The Atlanta Braves will celebrate the achievements and accomplishments of Jackie Robinson Tuesday in their game against the Kansas City Royals at Turner Field at 7 p.m.
Major League Baseball began its celebration of Robinson on Monday, in honor of the legendary infielder's first game in the majors, but the Braves did not have a game scheduled.
Braves and Royals players, and the teams' on-field staff, will wear Robinson's No. 42 to honor Robinson's life and contributions to the game.
Every year on April 15, the anniversary of Robinson's breaking the color barrier in 1947 at Brooklyn's Ebbets Field, the baseball world spends a day to reinforce the importance of Robinson’s legacy and his importance and impact in baseball and throughout professional sports.
In his first season, Robinson won the newly created Rookie of the Year Award, hitting .297 and stealing 29 bases, which led all of Major League Baseball.
In 1997, under the direction of Commissioner Bud Selig, Robinson's No. 42 was retired across all of Major League Baseball in an unprecedented tribute, MLB.com adds.
Click here to access the Braves website and to view a video of Braves players discussing what Jackie Robinson has meant in their lives. The video will be found in the upper right-hand corner of the homepage and will start automatically.
- Created on 15 April 2013
The Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) released its seeding and pairings for the 2013 SIAC Softball Championships, which will take place Thursday, April 18 through Saturday, April 20, at Gerald Matthews Sports Complex (1935 McDonough Road, Hampton, Ga., 30228).
The defending 2012 SIAC Softball Champions, Miles College, enter the tournament as the #1 seed from the Western Division, while Albany State University enters as the top seeded team from the East Division.
The Lady Bears finished the regular season with a 25-18 record overall and 22-2 record against SIAC opponents to claim the West Division title. The East Division Champions Albany State wrapped up the regular season also with a 22-2 record, while finishing the regular season 29-23 overall.
Both teams received first round byes in the opening round along with the #2 seed from the West Division, Stillman College, (21-17, 19-7 SIAC), and Claflin University, (27-13, 16-6), the #2 seed in the East Division.
Opening round games on Thursday will feature #4E Fort Valley State v. #5W LeMoyne-Owen College and #3W Kentucky State University v. #6E Paine College at 10 am, as well as #4W Tuskegee University v. #5E Benedict College and #3E Clark Atlanta University v. #6W Lane College at noon. Winners of the opening round games will advance to take on one of the top four seeds with the other teams moving to the loser's bracket.