Monthly Archives: February 2020

After borrowing uniforms, Troy Howard unified basketball raising money to buy their own

Fundraising efforts for uniforms are underway for the Troy Howard Middle School unified basketball team, now in its second year of play, as the start of the season approaches.

During its inaugural season in 2019, the young Lions had to borrow uniforms to play its slate of unified basketball games.

Now, the Lions are seeking to raise $2,500 to purchase uniforms of its own.

The team has 21 players on its roster representing Troy Howard and Northport’s Edna Drinkwater School, with nine of those being partner players.

The school intends on purchasing 22 reversible uniforms for the program that will allow the team to simply turn the uniform inside-out for its home and away contests. These uniforms will remain with the program for future seasons until they need to be replaced.

Additionally, the players will receive warm up jerseys with their names on the back that they will keep at the end of the season — a tradition at Troy Howard for its non-unified basketball teams.

Unified basketball has grown in popularity across the state at the high school level, and is beginning to grow at the middle school level. Locally, there are varsity unified basketball teams at Belfast, Oceanside, Camden Hills, Medomak Valley and Mount View.

The sport partners students with developmental disabilities (Unified Student Athlete) with students without developmental disabilities (Unified Student Partners) to train, compete, and represent their school, a press release about the sport noted in 2015. Unified Sports, the release continued, impacts all kinds of students and helps promote physical activity, teamwork, sportsmanship, and social inclusion.

“Unified basketball is such a wonderful program and has a great impact on all the players and fans,” said Troy Howard assistant principal and athletic director Alta Seekins.

During its inaugural season last year, many partner players were mostly unaware of what they were signing up for when deciding to join the unified basketball team, but they were willing to participate and help out, Seekins noted.

“I’m so pleased that not only did all of the partners still at THMS enthusiastically rejoin this year, but several of the partners that moved on to the high school are playing on the BAHS unified team,” said Seekins. “The relationships built between the players has carried on throughout the year and the special olympians feel more a part of the whole school community and have established positive peer relationships. It’s common to see ‘high fives’ and greetings as students move throughout the school.”

The middle school unified basketball season will include four contests, as well as an exhibition contest.

The season will begin with an exhibition contest against the unified basketball team from Belfast Area High School on Thursday, Feb. 27 at THMS at 3:30 p.m.

The exhibition contest will serve as a fundraiser, with donations being accepted at the door, for the Susan Black Scholarship Fund.

The late Susan Black, a long time Belfast educator and supporter of unified athletics and the Special Olympics, will be honored at the game. All money raised through concessions and donations will go to the fund.

In non-exhibition play, Troy Howard will open the regular season Wednesday, March 11 at home against Ellsworth at 4 p.m. for its lone home game.

The remainder of the season will see the Lions hit the road to challenge Nokomis (March 17), Brewer (March 26) and Ellsworth (April 6).

Michigan State Spartans To Wear 2000 Throwback Unifroms

The Michigan State basketball program will wear throwback uniforms against Maryland on Saturday (6 p.m. on ESPN) to commemorate its most recent national championship.

Aside from the Nike swoosh and the patch in honor of Zachary “Smoothie” Winston — the late brother of guard Cassius Winston — the throwback uniforms are an exact replica of what the Spartans wore during their 89-76 win over Florida in the 2000 NCAA Tournament final.

Originally designed by Reebok, the asymmetrical uniforms feature Michigan State’s arched banner wordmark across the chest and a Greek key pattern for trim. The jersey uses an ornate number font, while the shorts prominently display the Spartan logo on one side and the Block “S” inside a contrasting panel on the other.

Michigan State, interestingly enough, is one of a handful of schools with a national championship to its name that is forced to wear a silver tab on the back collar of its jersey rather than a gold tab. That’s because the latter is only reserved for those schools who won a title while outfitted by Nike, and both of the Spartans’ championships (1979 and 2000) predate that relationship.

The program has six Final Four appearances since then, though, hence the silver tab.

Three 49ers are among the best-selling NFL jerseys of 2019

And you can probably guess which three

The NFL Players Association released an updated list of the top 50 players

Not that they were flying under the radar recently, but the San Francisco 49ers have the whole country’s attention now that they’re in Super Bowl LIV (albeit as underdogs). The Niners have looked dominant all season and are full of stars, too: Four players were voted to the Pro Bowl and another eight were chosen as alternates. The only real way to judge an NFL player’s star quality, however, is by how many fans buy his jersey.

OK, so that’s not true, but it’s a lazy, hot-take way to introduce this fact: Three 49ers stars are among the top 30 NFL players in terms of jersey and merchandise sales, according to the NFL Players Association. If you’re an avid Niners fan, you can probably guess who they are.

15. Jimmy Garoppolo

22. George Kittle

29. Nick Bosa

It’s no surprise that the Niners’ dashing quarterback ranks among the top 20, as dashing quarterbacks tend to be quite popular. Kittle is a two-time Pro Bowlers who wears shirts featuring his shirtless teammate, and Nick Bosa was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. All of this checks out.

If you’ve somehow made it this far into the season without any of their jerseys, your wallet is probably thanking you. But now’s a decent time to pick one up, too, as you’ll get the Super Bowl LIV commemorative patch on jerseys, and you can tell people you were a fan before the 49ers won their sixth Super Bowl (assuming that happens).

The Niners’ opponent in the Super Bowl, the Kansas City Chiefs, have only two players among the top 50 in terms of jersey and merch sales. But one of those players is Patrick Mahomes, who ranks No. 1 on that list. Chiefs tight tend Travis Kelce came in at No. 35. Here’s the rest of the top 10, just for kicks:

  1. Patrick Mahomes
  2. Tom Brady
  3. Ezekiel Elliott
  4. Baker Mayfield
  5. Odell Beckham, Jr.
  6. Khalil Mack
  7. Aaron Rodgers
  8. Dak Prescott
  9. Saquon Barkley
  10. JuJu Smith-Schuster

Of course, you can already get 49ers NFC Champions gear, too—or you can wait to see if they win the Super Bowl. It’s your money, so you do you.