The much awaited 2015 African Cup of Nations draw was held Wednesday night with the Black Stars of Ghana being drawn in arguably the ‘Group of Death’ of the competition that takes place in January.Former Black Stars captain Stephen Appiah has admitted the challenge ahead of the senior national team in Equatorial Guinea with respect to their group adversaries but claims the Black Stars can qualify.The former player of the senior national team told Ghanasoccernet.com:“Let’s not kid ourselves this is a very tough group, Can we make it? Yes. We have to be prepared for it from the first game against Senegal.“We have three finals already at the group stage. Ghana have what it takes to beat any country in the world on our day but we all have to start serious work now.“Time is against us but let’s dig deep and we will qualify.” The Black Stars of Ghana will play Senegal, South Africa and Algeria in the group stages of the 2015 African Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea.
A person familiar with the situation says the Sixers have made Brand their new general manager, replacing Bryan Colangelo. Colangelo resigned in June as the 76ers’ president of basketball operations after what an investigation concluded was “careless and in some instances reckless” sharing of sensitive team information on Twitter.The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Tuesday because the move had not been officially announced. Brand is expected to be introduced at a news conference on Thursday.Brand had worked for the Sixers as vice president of operations and also served as the general manager of the Delaware Blue Coats, the 76ers’ G League affiliate.Brand was the No. 1 pick of the 1999 draft by the Chicago Bulls and played two stints with the Sixers.Sixers coach Brett Brown had served as Philadelphia’s interim GM and said earlier Tuesday he wasn’t interested in holding both jobs. Brown pledged the Sixers would name a general manager before the season started.“This is not something that interests me. I do not believe in the role that I have as a head coach that it’s tenable,” Brown said. “We will have, to the best of my knowledge, a general manager appointed, announced by the start of the season. And it’s not me. It was never going to be.”Hours later, the Sixers had their guy.Brand played in 1,058 career games over 18 seasons with the Bulls, the Los Angeles Clippers, Dallas, Atlanta and the Sixers. He posted career averages of 16 points, nine rebounds, two assists and two blocks per game. A two-time All-Star and the 2000 rookie of the year, Brand was also the recipient of the 2005-06 Joe Dumars Trophy, presented each season to the player who exemplifies the ideals of sportsmanship on the court.The person familiar with the decisions also said Ned Cohen will remain assistant general manager and Marc Eversley will stay as senior vice president of player personnel. They both interviewed for the GM job. Alex Rucker was promoted to executive vice president of basketball operations.The Sixers won 52 games last season and beat Miami in the first round of the playoffs before they were eliminated in the conference semifinals by Boston. Under Brown’s watch, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons have blossomed into two of the top young players in the league.The Sixers were rocked when an independent review found that Colangelo’s wife, Barbara Bottini, operated four Twitter accounts it investigated, and she admitted using private information to criticize the Sixers and rival colleagues.Colangelo and his predecessor Sam Hinkie, who hired Brown, had the final say in player personnel decisions. Brown said he was looking “for a partner” in personnel moves with the new GM.“I do have a voice. I’ve always had a voice here,” Brown said. “I think as the head coach, it should be that, to a point. I get the role of the general manager.”Brown said losing Colangelo was a “game-changer” but said his absence or lack of a general manager had nothing to do with the Sixers striking out in their bid to land LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, a lower-tier free agent — or anyone beyond a couple of modest pickups such as Wilson Chandler.“I think we would all be naive to think free agents choose a basketball program because of a general manager,” Brown said. “They come because of Joel and Ben. And I hope the coach has got a little bit to do with it.”He added: “The general manager situation had zero to do with us not being able to acquire one of those talents.”Brown, who took the 76ers from 10 wins to the third seed in the Eastern Conference in just two seasons, agreed in May to a three-year contract extension that runs through the 2021-2022 season.___More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/tag/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Elton Brand is in charge of the Philadelphia 76ers. In this March 23, 2016, file photo, Philadelphia 76ers forward Elton Brand stands during the second half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)
Like us at https://www.facebook.com/pages/New-Pittsburgh-Courier/143866755628836?ref=hlFollow @NewPghCourier on Twitter https://twitter.com/NewPghCourier JAMES CONNER has rushed for 453 yards in six games as the Steelers’ feature running back, an average of 4.4 yards per rush, with seven touchdowns. (AP PHOTO):10—Last week in this column you got the Class of 2018 Hall of Fame Inductees. The second and third group to go into the Great Hall are legends of the game. Len Gallo – West, Ray Hooper – South Hills, Frank Batista – West, Ralph McDaniel – Peabody and the legendary Irwin twins…Terry and Jerry. And, the champions that make the champions…the coaches of the city! Pat Carmack – Langley, Howard Bullard – Allderdice, and Joe Zeglowitch – Brashear and Oliver. (The final categories next week):09—Speaking of “The Great Hall”… Here’s some information I know you don’t know…I didn’t know…but, I am glad I know now! Good brother Jerome C. Wilson, a very proud South High Alumnus from the class of ’78, reminds us all that on a cold Saturday in 1977 the South High School Orioles put an old school beatdown on the Westinghouse…not so bullish…Bulldogs. As a matter of fact, it was a 22–0…run home…tell your mamma whoopin. The team and the coaches just celebrated the 40-year anniversary of the game. Well, as they say, every dog has its day…or not!!! You can lock this into your City League history book, that day the ‘House did fall. (“Romey-Rome”…We Good?):08—Another week has gone by when Lev Bell said he was coming back to the Steelers and yet another no-show. I know you know how I feel about the subject so here’s your “Top 5” inside the “Top 10” as to why Bell gets an Uber or Zipcar out of town. #5 – There’s no “I” in Team…Offseason and preseason, get all the money the law allows. But when the season starts…all hands on deck. #4 – James Conner has more than earned the spot…190-plus running and receiving works for me. #3 – The offensive line is clicking now with this rhythm. Leave it alone. #2 – you forget Conner is second only to Dorsett at Pitt. Trust me he’s the real deal; and, he runs people over! #1 – Loyalty means something, shouldn’t it? Conner’s here, Bell isn’t…:07—BTW, while you were busy watching the offense get its act together, you didn’t see the defense putting the pieces of the puzzle together. Remember “The O” will come and go but defense wins championships!:06—The Lakers came up short in their home-opener against the Rockets, Oct. 20. OK, yes, short and sweet…I – am – now – officially a LeBron man — he’s – a — Laker. I’m – a – Laker – man – that’s – how – it — works! Now shutup about it please! And this just in – losing to the Rockets 124–115 in the opener ain’t so bad.:05—Dodgers and Red Sox got it started for World Series bragging rights on Tuesday, Oct. 23. I am a Yankee man after the Pirates’ tent folded, but I think Dodger Blue pitching gets this done in seven. If the Dodgers win, it’ll be their first World Series win since ’88.:04—Your Pitt Panther football team comes off their bye week to take on the Duke Blue Devils in a Saturday, Oct. 27, 3 p.m. home kickoff. This is an important game that could help put Pitt in the bowl conversation. I think Pitt wins.:03—Hail to Pitt a little more. The No. 6 ranked Pitt women’s volleyball team got set for a 2017 do-over with #21 ranked Louisville, and they beat them! I know you had no idea. Don’t thank me, that’s what I am here for.:02—Congratulations and continued success to all the little league football programs in the area, with the exception of one bad situation, a great season had by all. To you volunteer coaches and volunteers, what you do matters. You may not see all the benefits now, but you’ve planted a seed for life.:01—Your wait is over! Champions Live Sports and Entertainment Talk Show premieres Thursday, Nov. 1, at the Savoy Restaurant. Doors open at 5:30 – show starts at 6:30 till 7:30, free parking, free admission, eating and drinking required, VIPs and sports celebs every week, 50/50 and prizes, streamed live on YouTube and Facebook, premiere guests feature the 2018 City League Hall of Fame Class – 412-628-4856 for info.:00—GAME OVER.
Jemele Hill John N. Mitchell, Philadelphia Tribune Staff WriterThe stories that came up on Monday when I Googled the name of award-winning journalist Jemele Hill did not surprise me.I searched Hill’s name because I wanted to see how far conservative pundits would go in an effort to contort the words from her recent opinion piece for The Atlantic into something nonsensical and fallacious.Hill, now a staff writer for The Atlantic, saw her star ascend in September 2017 when she infamously called President Donald Trump a white supremacist on Twitter. At the time, Hill was a co-host on ESPN’s Sportscenter, the sports network’s most high-profile show.She has since become a favorite target of the right.Hill argued that now is the time for elite Black athletes, who make hundreds of millions of dollars for predominantly white colleges and universities, to begin attending historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).Her position is that the billions of dollars in television money and other sizable financial windfalls that predominantly white colleges and universities reap by having Black athletes, such as Zion Williamson and Kyler Murray, the top selections in this year’s NBA and NFL drafts, respectively, would eventually find their way to Black schools if athletes such as these opted to attend them. And she’s right. Sports fans will want to watch the very best athletes, and television networks will find them wherever they attend college.The struggles of HBCUs are well documented. They are fighting daily for their existence. The reasons for this are manifold and in many cases institutional.HBCU graduates don’t have as much money to give because they’re not earning as much as their white counterparts.Pay gaps continue to widen between African Americans and whites, and the disparity is most acute when factoring in a college education. According to research by the Economic Policy Institute, Black college graduates earned 13% less per hour than their white counterparts in 1979 and 22% less per hour in 2015.Hill’s premise is rooted in what minority communities have understood for years — that when the American Dream, as it frequently does, is not working out for the vast majority of the members of marginalized communities, changes must be made. And what could be more American than using the natural resources of one’s community — in this case the athletic gifts of young African-American student athletes — to strengthen the financial health of HBCUs?Still, FOX News’ Tucker Carlson, whose show “Tucker Carlson Tonight” has lost advertisers due to its often unpalatably racist nature, offered up the ridiculous notion that Hill was advocating for the resegregation of higher education.Carlson literally told University of Maryland professor Jason Nichols that the “triumph over segregation was held up as comparable to storming the beaches at Normandy.”He might be right, but it is disingenuous of him to cloak Hill’s suggestion that elite Black athletes opting to attend HBCUs would be an effort by Blacks to resegregate. More realistically, it is a typical right-wing talking point that comes from the same playbook that also tells African Americans that a “victim mentality” and the “Democratic plantation” are bigger problems than actual racism and a bigoted commander in chief.If handfuls of African-American blue-chip athletes decide they are going to go to Howard University or North Carolina A&T, it will not be an indication that the sky is falling or that the status quo is no more. And it certainly won’t be evidence that there is some desire among Blacks who did experience what life was like before Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka have an urge to do so.But something radical must happen to help struggling HBCUs in need of money, resources and revenue streams that presently aren’t getting it done.Hill’s idea could begin changing this in small increments. And what better group for this to begin with than members of Generation Z?John N. Mitchell has worked as a journalist for more than a quarter century. He can be reached at [email protected] and Tweet at @freejohnmitchel.https://www.phillytrib.com/commentary/johnmitchell/mitchell-attack-on-hill-is-typical-right-wing-talking-points/article_a3f6926a-d4b2-59cd-b792-afe904e19a7d.html