Covington a natural born leader


first_imgCovington plays just 15.1 minutes per game for the Badgers, but coaches and teammates know how valuable she is to UW’s success.[/media-credit]When a player has served as a captain in two of her three years of play, it becomes clear that the player is a respected team leader.Such is the case with Wisconsin women’s basketball forward Anya Covington, who has seen extra playing time recently in the absence of senior Tara Steinbauer. Although not usually the first name in the box score, Covington, who has acted as a captain during both her sophomore and junior years, is the epitome of a leader both on and off the hardwood.“She’s always been a leader, she’s a natural born leader,” head coach Lisa Stone said. “She is really living the life of a leader … confident, mature. You think about people that have grown into maturation, she’s had it. She’s coming into her own as a basketball player, but as a human being, she’s special.”Although Covington has certainly made an impact on the court, her achievements off the court are equally impressive. A member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, the Student-Athletes Equally Supporting others and a representative on the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Issues Committee, it comes as no surprise that the junior has been voted a captain by her teammates two of her first three years.It is difficult to find a better example of a well-rounded and active student-athlete than Covington, but the Edwardsville, Ill. native has always felt comfortable in the spotlight.“I just have a heart for student-athletes and our issues that we’re going through, and just furthering our opportunities,” Covington said. “I’ve been doing it since middle school, and all these committees and boards and stuff, so it’s just natural to do it now.”Covington manages to handle all these activities not as a player who rides the bench, but rather one who serves a key role for the Badgers. Appearing in every game this season, the forward has been the third and often used post option behind seniors Lin Zastrow and Steinbauer all year.However, since Steinbauer suffered a career-ending ACL tear in the closing weeks of the season, Covington has started Wisconsin’s last two games. Forced to fill Steinbauer’s tremendous presence on the court during the most important weeks of the season, Covington’s play in the Big Ten Tournament could play a crucial role in the team’s success. “Anya’s done a really good job stepping in, and we really need her to step in big time now,” Stone said. “We’re planning on playing four games in four days, and her ability to step in and help out and stay fresh and stay out of foul trouble is going to be huge for us.”A physical player who known for her strong presence in the paint, Covington’s ability to collect rebounds may be the most valuable aspect of her game. Co-leading the Badgers in rebounds in a tough loss of Ohio State Sunday, the junior averages just under four rebounds per game in only 15.1 minutes per contest.With three career double-doubles, including one this season, Covington has proved that she has the ability on both sides of the glass to be a reliable post player. Earning valuable experience in her first two years, coaches and players insist that there is no better player to step in for Steinbauer at this crucial point in the season.“She’s been here for the last three years ready to play,” senior guard Emily Neal said. “…It was really sad for Tara, but it’s a great opportunity for Anya to come in, and she was definitely ready for it.”The junior forward could probably serve a starting role for other Big Ten teams, but UW’s depth and talent at the forward positions have kept Covington coming off the bench. Averaging 4.1 points per game this season and 5.1 points per game last season, Covington’s scoring has been restrained by her playing time.Shooting nearly 50 percent from the field over her career, the junior doesn’t look at herself as a backup to Zastrow and Steinbauer. In a way that exudes the team-first approach of the Badgers, Covington sees herself as working together with the senior standouts rather than acting as a backup to them.“I was told my freshman year I had to come here and pay my dues, so I mean that’s basically what’s going on,” Covington said. “It’s [Zastrow and Steinbauer’s] senior year, one of them goes down, I just step in. I don’t look at it as playing under their shadow. We’ve been playing together for the past three years, and it’s been fun.”Wisconsin’s three leading scorers this year in Zastrow, Steinbauer and Alyssa Karel are all seniors, but there is no question who will primarily fill the void left by those players. Equipped with the character and confidence that every coach looks in their players, no word seems to better describe Covington than “leader.”“It’s going to be tough next year with Lin and Tara both gone, but at the same time [Covington] has shown that she’s ready to step up,” Neal said.last_img read more

How the Buccaneers became Tom Brady’s best fit in his quest to win a Super Bowl without the Patriots


first_imgMORE: Why Tom Brady is joining the BuccaneersThe Bucs weren’t the obvious choice when it became apparent Brady could leave New England. But they reportedly were willing to give him the most bucks — potentially $30 million per season over two years, according to NFL Media — on top of selling him on the winning potential of a team that finished 7-9 last season.As with most moves in NFL free agency, a familiar face helped make the deal possible for Brady — Bucs general manager Jason Licht, who once served as Patriots director of.player personnel under Bill Belichick. Licht was intent on working with Brady again, so much so that he gave Brady a $7 million raise despite his coming off a down season at age 42.The next layer was a respected coach with whom Brady could mesh as well as he did with Belichick. That’s Bruce Arians, who is exactly the same age (67) with the same confidence in his own football philosophies and zero tolerance for players not doing their jobs.MORE: Fantasy analysis of Brady to Bucs (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/db/ab/bruce-arians-09222019-getty-ftr_1l3v9t5bwygz816pznd9v2hgsj.jpg?t=-349703496&w=500&quality=80 (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/27/74/tom-brady-021220-getty-ftrjpg_u82zfrkhip2c1j8ik5xe3uvvx.jpg?t=989915864&w=500&quality=80 Tom Brady to Tampa Bay will soon be a reality.Hours after the greatest NFL quarterback of all time officially parted ways with the Patriots, reports indicate the 42-year-old has made his long-awaited NFL free agency decision to join the Buccaneers. When digging deeper into the Bucs, it was clear that of all the QB-needy teams, they offered the best resume with the most upside. It doesn’t hurt that they are in the NFC, which just crowned an unpredictable big-turnaround champion in the 49ers last season.There was some talk of Brady fitting in a place such as Los Angeles with the Chargers, Las Vegas with the Raiders and even Nashville with the Titans. But in the end, throughout his career, his favorite landing spot has been the Super Bowl.Guess where Super Bowl 55 will be played: In Tampa. Outside of New England, for Brady, the Bucs represented both the extended journey and the destination no other team could match. (SN Illustration) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/1b/7d/tom-brady-bucs-031720-getty-ftr_174e708jcyg8q141y3obmutxvi.png?t=-352271920&w=500&quality=80 The bonus is that Arians is offensive-minded, a QB guru at heart who has worked to get the best out of Ben Roethlisberger, Andrew Luck, Carson Palmer and, yes, despite those interceptions, Jameis Winston. Both Arians and his offensive coordinator protege Byron Leftwich will be malleable to adjust their offense to Brady’s strengths and style. At only 40 and as a former NFL QB, Leftwich can be more of a peer to Brady, much like Josh McDaniels was in New England.While Brady saw the cupboard go bare in New England with tight end Rob Gronkowski retiring and makeshift wide receivers beyond Julian Edelman, Tampa Bay is fully stocked for his convenience. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are now the best staring duo in the league, and the potential re-signing of Breshard Perriman — even without the crazy wild card of bringing in Antonio Brown — might give the Bucs the best trio, too. That’s before getting to the fact the Bucs have not one, but two Gronk-light receiving tight ends in O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate.The Bucs did see Winston throw for 5,109 yards and 33 TDs last season. But he had 30 interceptions to lead the league, while Brady, even in a grind of a season physically, had only eight. Arians likes his QBs flinging it in the downfield passing game. Brady likes to be efficient in his distribution of the ball all over the field. With the receiving personnel the Bucs have, including some strong after-the-catch skills, they can find a happy medium of enough big plays with much fewer big mistakes. The Bucs’ defense was No. 1 against the run in a vast improvement last year. The key now is re-signing Ndamukong Suh. Their pass rush got going in the first year of Todd Bowles’ 3-4 scheme, with Shaquil Barrett (19.5 sacks) leading the league and Jason Pierre-Paul rejuvenated. Both of those players will be back. As the season progressed, the Bucs found more answers in the secondary to back that up.During his last season with the Patriots, Brady was supported by the No. 1 total defense in the NFL. The Buccaneers finished 15th, but that was an amazing improvement from being a terrible No. 27 the season before. The arrow is pointing up for Bowles’ defense to push into the top 10.You can bet Brady, beyond hearing the money the Bucs were willing to pay him, made sure Tampa Bay was the best possible place for him to try to win a championship apart from Belichick and the Patriots.MORE: Patriots among losers of NFL free agency The Bucs have more to do on offense. They must get better at right tackle and right guard, but they’re better than you think at left tackle through center. Brady will make the protection look better regardless with his ability to shuffle in the pocket and get the ball out quickly instead of holding it and looking for the deep shot. Regardless, the Bucs should aim to land a dominant edge blocker in the first round of the draft.The Buccaneers ranked only 24th in rushing offense last year. But the Patriots were only a few notches better at No. 18. If the Bucs don’t replace Ronald Jones as the power back, too, they at least need a strong pass-catching back from either the rest of free agency or in the draft. At this point, no one will be surprised if Melvin Gordon is sharing the backfield with Brady soon.When the Bucs make a big short-term “all in” move like signing Brady, with their ample salary cap space, their next move is doing everything they can to support their big investment with smart smaller ones tailored to the QB.last_img read more

‘No Mass Dismissal Plan at LPRC’


first_imgThe Managing Director of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Corporation (LPRC), T. Nelson Williams II, has categorically denied rumors that his corporation was contemplating dismissing several employees, among them those who were sent home as non-essential staff in wake of the Ebola epidemic.Appearing before the Senate Committee on Lands, Mines, Energy, Mineral Resources and Environment yesterday, Mr. Williams disclosed that on the contrary, the employees were sent home as a means of helping to decongest and ensure the health, safety and clean environment of the LPRC facilities during the Ebola epidemic.He described the layoff reports as rumors, saying there is no intention of senior management or the Board of Trustees of the LPRC to down-size.Said Mr. Williams, “Our employees are at home resting because we decided to decongest the Terminal because of the Ebola epidemic. At no time did we insinuate or disseminate information that we were terminating or down-sizing people at the LPRC.”  He further informed the Committee chaired by Grand Kru County Senior Senator Cletus Segbe Wotorson, that with Ebola retreating from the country, leading to Liberia being declared Ebola-free sometime soon, the Corporation is looking forward to having its employees return, post-Ebola.He said management was in constant communication with those on leave, making sure that they are well and that they continue to adhere to the preventive measures and respond to awareness in their communities.“We are hoping that they will be returning not later than January.  Meanwhile, they are still taking pay. The only people that will be leaving permanently in January are six of our employees who will be honorably retired after 25 years of service and having reached the age of 65 years. The additional 175 employees will be returning; there will be no mass dismissal at LPRC,” MD Williams declared. The LPRC boss informed the Committee that his corporation has a total workforce of 283 employees, and a contract staff of 200.  He explained that most of the people currently at home are contract staff.Responding to questions on the national fuel security and progress on the expansion work at the LPRC, Mr. Williams said that at this point, the facilities of LPRC are 100 percent full and that there are also vessels enroute. He emphasized that there have been no gaps in supply of petroleum products into the country.“In our plan B, we have contacts with Offshore Lome, just in case there is an issue in Ivory Coast.  By this arrangement, we will continue to receive supplies from other parts of the world. I think we are fine for this year; and going into 2015, we do have fuel security.”   On the expansion work at the LPRC, Mr. Williams said the expansion project for the Kru Storage Terminal, which is located at the Freeport of Monrovia, is about 85 percent completed, and will be finished by the end of December. He said the facility will be used to import heavy fuel oil (HFO), and that by the first quarter of 2015 the new facility will allow those in the business of using heavy fuel oil for their operations to import.The major clients for the usage of that oil is the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC). This oil is about 50 percent the cost in diesel fuel, and will also cut the cost of tariff for customers that use LEC and will bring relief for the end users of LEC current.Mr. Williams further indicated that the number of Liberian importers of petroleum products into the country will reach 73 percent by 2016 from the current 58, recalling that when he took over at LPRC, Liberian importers accounted for only 30 percent.The only reason why the LPRC has not increased the number of Liberian importers is because the corporation does not have the capacity.Also appearing yesterday was the Minister of Lands, Mines and Energy, Patrick Sendolo who briefed the committee on the impact of the Ebola epidemic on the Hydro Project, and the electricity distribution and situation report on the southeast.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

All I want for Christmas is a striker, says Redknapp


first_imgQPR manager Harry Redknapp knows exactly what he wants for Christmas – some options up front.The Hoops have scored 21 goals in 19 Premier League games so far this season to leave Redknapp bemoaning his lack of alternatives in the final third.Following the 0-0 home draw with Crystal Palace, he said: “I’ve got only two strikers and it’s hard. I’ve got Bobby [Zamora] and Charlie [Austin]. It would be lovely to be able to change it with 20 minutes to go and add a bit of pace to give sides a different problem, but we haven’t got anyone.“How do you do it [bring someone in in January]? You’re looking for loans, but who’s going to loan you a good striker in January? Who’s going to give you two proper strikers to play in the Premier League? It’s very difficult to find one, let alone two. To find one you need a miracle…”last_img read more