"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" - - - - 2/11/12
Aleca Hughes, a senior forward on the Yale women’s ice hockey team, has been named one of five finalists for the 2012 BNY Mellon Wealth Management Hockey Humanitarian Award. Aleca is now a two-time finalist and has been inspired by her former teammate Mandi Schwartz (1988-2011)--whose battle with cancer led Hughes to start a number of initiatives including the Mandi Schwartz Foundation. Hughes started the Foundation to help keep Mandi's legacy of helping others alive. In addition, Aleca has been very instrumental in the "White Out for Mandi"--a fundraiser game that has been held at Ingalls Rink each of the past two years while raising more than $40,000. The winner of the 2012 BNY Mellon Wealth Management Hockey Humanitarian Award will be introduced in a ceremony on Friday, April 6th as part of the 2012 NCAA Frozen Four in Tampa, Florida. Having interviewed this special young lady in the past, I can attest to Ms. Hughes' caring nature and immense thoughtfulness. Best of luck, Aleca, and thanks once again for your tremendous humanitarian efforts.........TRIVIA QUESTION: The 1992-'93 Milwaukee Bucks were led in scoring by a guard who enjoyed a ten-year run in the NBA and probably played the best basketball of his career during that season. Can you name this former "colorful" player? Answer to follow..........Sandy Wickman Mason and Thayer Redman have been selected as the Doc McInerney High School Coaches of the Year by the Connecticut Sports Writers’ Alliance. Mason led Granby Memorial to its third straight state championship this past fall and sixth state crown overall in her nine years. Redman guided the Manchester boys track and field team to its first state title since World War II. This duo will be honored at the 71st annual Gold Key Dinner on April 29 at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington. Tickets to this event can be purchased by contacting either CSWA President George Albano of The Norwalk Hour at Truckin114@aol.com or Vice President/Dinner Chairman Bob Ehalt of The New Haven Register at Ehalt.Bob@sbcglobal.net ..........This week in sports history, February 14, 1992: Speed skater Bonnie Blair becomes the first American woman to win three gold medals in Winter Olympics competition--claiming victory in the 1,000 meter final in Albertville, France. The 27-year-old from Illinois had won gold in the 500 meters four days before; she also captured the 500 meter gold medal in Calgary back in 1988. On this particular day, Blair clocked a time of 1:21.90; that was just .02 seconds better than the runner-up--China's Ye Qiaobo..........I used to think that watching former NBA player George Gervin glide up and down the basketball court was the ultimate thing of beauty. That all changed the other day when I saw a picture of actress Sofia Vergara decked out in a fuchsia, strapless gown at the SAG Awards in L.A. My goodness..........Reader David Kramer chimed in on the recent HBO special done on Joe Namath: "During the program, they remarked how you could hear a 'whoooosh' when Namath threw a pass--and they even played several examples. And, according to lore, Joe Willie threw lots of passes--both on AND off the field."..........Answer to trivia question: THEODORE "BLUE" EDWARDS--who averaged 16.9 ppg for a Mike Dunleavy-led team that finished a disappointing 28-54. FYI, Edwards supposedly TURNED blue while choking as a baby--thus the "colorful" nickname..........Scenario: University of New Haven AD Debbie Chin marries former tennis champion Michael Chang, divorces, then walks down the aisle with New England Patriots DB Patrick Chung. She then goes by the full married name of Debbie Chin Chang Chung (say THAT ten times fast!)..........Happy birthday wishes go out to former NBA player (not the former Doobie Brother) Michael McDonald--who blows out 43 candles on February 13th. A 6'10" center who attended the University of New Orleans, McDonald is among that fraternity of players who appeared in just ONE NBA game--playing only four minutes during the '97-'98 season with the Charlotte Hornets. He never attempted a field goal; however, he's listed in the record books as snagging ONE rebound, turning the ball over twice, and picking up one personal foul. Hey, they all can't be Larry Johnson, right? Best wishes, Michael..........Finally, condolences go out to the family of legendary boxing trainer Angelo Dundee--who passed away recently in Florida at the age of 90. Dundee was best-known for working with boxing champ Muhammad Ali for the majority of his career--including the legendary fights with "Smokin'" Joe Frazier. Dundee was a master motivator but an incredibly SMART man, too. He'd often change his fighter's strategy during a fight--depending on the opponent's style. Altogether, Dundee trained 15 world champions--including great names like Carmen Basilio, Sugar Ray Leonard, and George Foreman. And he was well-liked, too--universally respected in a sport sometimes not known for having a bevy of "good guys" gracing boxing rings. Dundee was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1992 following a career that spanned six decades. Angelo Dundee is survived by a son, Jim, and a daughter--Terri Dundee Coughlin. Thanks for the memories, Angelo; you truly were a champion in your own right. May you rest in peace.