On Monday coaching legend Larry Brown was announced as the head coach of the 2017 USA East Coast basketball team for its tour through Spain, and that’s big news for a couple Notre Dame men’s basketball players, as rising junior Rex Pflueger and soon-to-be 5th-year senior Austin Torres will be playing for that team this summer.
The team is a collection of college players that gets to tour abroad, playing various national teams to experience what it’s like to play professional basketball. Pflueger and Torres will join 10 other players for training camp in early August before heading to Madrid to play the national teams of Japan, Venezuela, Mexico, and Senegal.
Former players on this same team include current players Matt Farrell and Martinas “Bird Whisperer” Geben, as well as former Irish double-double machine Jack Cooley.
5 Irish Track Athletes Prepare to Compete at the NCAA Championships
The Notre Dame track and field team will be represented by 5 different athletes in Eugene over the next 4 days, all looking to win the first Notre Dame outdoor track and field title since Molly Seidel won the 10,000m in 2015.
Representing the Irish include:
- Senior Nate Richartz in men’s pole vault (his second career appearance in the NCAA Championships)
- Graduate student Danielle Aragon and junior Jessica Harris will both compete in the 1,500m after setting back-to-back school records in the event in the NCAA Quarterfinals
- Sophomore Anna Rohrer will compete in the 10,000m, having recorded the fastest time in the world in 2017 at the Stanford Invitational, setting the ACC and Notre Dame records
- Sophomore Matthew Birzer will compete in the high jump after finishing 4th in the regional meet in that event
The NCAA championships will be shown on the various channels of ESPN, and you can catch the Irish competing at the below times:
Wednesday, June 7:
8 p.m. ET Nate Richartz Men's Pole Vault Final
Thursday, June 8:
7:46 p.m. Jessica Harris Women's 1,500m Semifinal
7:46 p.m. Danielle Aragon Women's 1,500m Semifinal
10:08 p.m. Anna Rohrer Women's 10,000m Final
Friday, June 9:
6 p.m. Matthew Birzer Men's High Jump Final
Saturday, June 10:
6:41 p.m. Harris & Aragon Women's 1,500m Final
2018 College Football Hall of Fame Ballot Includes 3 Former Fighting Irish Players
The ballot for the College Football Hall of Fame class of 2018 was released, and there are three former Notre Dame players on it: Rocket Ismail, Mark Bavaro, and Aaron Taylor.
The craziest inclusion here is Ismail, and not because he doesn’t belong, but rather because it’s shocking he hasn’t been inducted into the Hall yet.
Ismail left a year early for professional football, but the three years he spent in South Bend were electric, as he was a two-time 1st Team All-American, Heisman runner-up in 1990 (and let’s just make this clear now - he deserved it over Ty Detmer, you guys), and helped lead ND to a national championship in 1988 and to two additional Orange Bowls, including one in 1991 where he had the greatest game-winning, championship-clinching punt return of all-time, but had it erased by an extremely questionable call.
Bavaro, meanwhile, is one of two ND tight ends in the program’s history to be named a 1st Team All-American, and he still sits in the top 10 among Irish tight ends for receptions (55) and receiving yards (771).
Taylor was a two-time 1st Team All-American offensive tackle, and won the 1993 Lombardi Award in his senior season, helping lead the Irish to their 4th straight major bowl (Orange, Sugar, Cotton, Cotton).
The class will be announced on January 8th, 2018, and inducted in December of next year.
Last But Not Least: WHITE STEVE HAS AN NBA WORKOUT
I think we all know Steve “White Steve” Vasturia will likely not play in the NBA next season, despite his incredible leaping ability.
If there were one team to potentially take a flyer through free agency on a fundamentally flawless, high-character, tough-as-nails guy who can shoot, wouldn’t it be the team that lives by the mantra “Trust the Process”?
I’m not saying it will happen, but you never know. White Steve HAS been known to come through in the clutch, in case you weren’t aware...
WHITE BOY STEVE COMING IN THE CLUTCH!!!— Torii Hunter Jr. (@THunterJr) January 29, 2015