<![CDATA[NBC 7 San Diego - San Diego Sports News]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/sports http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/KNSD+RSS+Feed+logo+blue.png NBC 7 San Diego http://www.nbcsandiego.comen-usWed, 27 Jul 2016 14:17:03 -0700Wed, 27 Jul 2016 14:17:03 -0700NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[In Rio, Georgia Golfers Are the Ones to Beat]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 11:41:45 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Bubby-Waston-GettyImages-580018286.jpg

Men’s Olympic golf will tee off Aug. 11 for the first time in 112 years, as a field of 60 led by three Georgia college players vies to bring home the first gold medal since the 1904 games in Saint Louis.

But amazingly, the golfer positioned at the top the Olympic rankings barely saw the golf course his senior year in college.

Although coming off a campaign that earned him an All-American Honorable Mention nod his junior year, top-ranked Olympian Bubba Watson only played in one tournament for the Georgia Bulldogs during his final amateur season in 2001.

"The only time in NCAA history that a team had five guys make third team All-American or higher was that 2001 team. That’s how good that team was. Bubba was sitting there as your sixth guy," Georgia coach Chris Haack told Augusta.com in 2013.

Watson isn’t the only Team USA golfer to play for a school in the Peach State: Seventh-ranked Patrick Reed has two Georgia universities on his resume, and Matt Kuchar, the eighth-ranked player in the Olympics, also hails from a Georgia school with a proud golf tradition. Kuchar’s Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets boast individual NCAA champions in 1927, 1934 and 2002, and the team finished as runner-up to the national champions in 1993, 2000, 2002 and 2005.

In thinking of powerhouse college athletic programs, Augusta State University isn't the first to come to mind. But if the sport is golf, and the program is in the shadow of the world's most famous golf course — Augusta National — bigger isn't necessarily better.

Golf may be Augusta State's only Division I sport, but the teams are good — the men won back-to-back national championships in 2010 and 2011, the first to do so since the Houston Cougars in 1984 and 1985, according to USA Today.

Reed made integral contributions to Augusta's teams, though not without controversy. The Jaguars' 2010 championship came at the expense of the Oklahoma State Cowboys, the team that third-ranked Olympian Rickie Fowler played for just a couple of years prior. In 2011, Augusta State beat Watson's alma mater, in-state rival Georgia, the school from which Reed had transferred for the 2009-10 school year after a checkered freshman year with the Bulldogs.

Although participating countries can send up to four golfers to Rio, Olympic golf's reboot is a purely individual competition, so players searching for extra motivation may have to rely on school spirit rather than flag-waving.

Notable international golfers to attend U.S. universities include Belgium's 23rd-ranked Thomas Pieters, who won the individual National Championship in 2012 for the Illinois Fighting Illini with a four-under 208. Team honors went to the Texas Longhorns led by American Jordan Spieth, one of the many male golfers conspicuously absent from the Rio games. South African Brandon Stone, ranked 29th, and Venezuelan Jhonattan Vegas, ranked 48th, also attended Texas.

Padraig Harrington, the 43rd-ranked competitor out of Ireland, attended Dublin Business College, which may or may not have helped him out-earn in-family rival Dan Harrington, a World Series of Poker stalwart who has career winnings in the millions of dollars.

Both Padraig and Dan Harrington are also distant cousins of former NFL quarterback Joey Harrington, who earned All-American honors with the Oregon Ducks, winners of the 2016 NCAA men’s golf champion.

Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[US Women's Basketball Team Has a Decidedly UConn Flavor]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 10:24:40 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GenoStewart-GettyImages-468853790.jpg

Coach Geno Auriemma wanted to have the best talent available to him.

So it was no coincidence that when the U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Team was constructed, those in positions of responsibility within basketball operations were able to find a five-person unit with whom Auriemma had long-standing ties.

When the team attempts to win its sixth straight Olympic gold medal in Rio, the squad will have a decidedly University of Connecticut flair. 

Five members — Sue Bird, Tina Charles, Diana Taurasi, Maya Moore and Breanna Stewart — played for Auriemma at UConn. All won titles with the Huskies. Bird, Charles and Moore each won two titles; Taurasi was a three-time National Champion while Stewart won championships in all four of her years at Storrs, Connecticut.  

"They’re on the team because they’re really good," Auriemma said at the White House in May, according to USA Today. "They’re five of the best players in the world, and no matter who is coaching, they’d be on the team. I’m just fortunate enough to be the one coaching them."

The five are significant components for their WNBA squads. Bird (12.5 points and six assists per game) and Stewart (19.2 points and 9.3 rebounds per game) play together on the Seattle Storm; Charles averages 21.4 points and 9.6 rebounds for the New York Liberty. Moore has complied a 19.4 points /5.2 rebounds/4.4 assist slash line for the the Minnesota Lynx, while Taurasi, a star for the Phoenix Mercury, is averaging 18.9 points and 4.3 assists.  

Four of the five have represented America in Olympic competition. 

The Rio Games will be the fourth Olympics for Bird and Taurasi and the second straight Olympics for Charles and Moore

Stewart is the only member of the Huskies' Olympic outfit to never participate in the games, according to her Team USA profile. It bears noting that she's 21 and was selected first overall by the Storm in April.

"Well, first of all when I saw that [U.S. Women's Basketball National Team Director Carol Callan] was calling, I had a mini heart attack. Because I'm like, 'What's going to happen? I don't know! I don't know!' And then I answered it. … When she congratulated me, I was speechless. I did not know what to say," Stewart told The Hartford Courant after the Olympic team was announced in April.

"I've had a lot of great things happen throughout my career, but when you look at this and when you look at the opportunity to be able to go to the Olympics, that was my biggest goal in basketball," she said.

"It was the highest goal that I had set for myself. … Winning a fourth national championship, getting drafted, going to the Storm, and now this." Stewart added. "It's really amazing. I can't wait to get going and see what happens."

While his most recent star is looking forward to Rio, Auriemma’s focus is twofold:

Winning gold and enjoying the Olympics.

"It's only one game, it's not best of five, it's not best of seven. You have to play great every night and all it takes is one night where the other team plays better and you come home with something less than a gold medal," Auriemma told the Courant in July. 

"The [2012 London Summer Olympics] I was so fixated on, 'We have to win the gold medal, we have to win the gold medal,' and probably didn't really experience as much as I could have throughout the rest of the tournament," he said. "Going in this time, I want to do a much better job of playing it one day at a time and taking it one day at a time."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[North Carolina, Duke Basketball Stars Join Forces in Rio]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 10:49:47 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/CoachK-GettyImages-583560292.jpg

As he picked up the phone and began punching numbers, the Team USA men's basketball coach had a feeling of uncertainty.

After all, Mike Krzyzewski had made a similar call years ago, only to hear Harrison Barnes turn down his pitch to play for the Duke University Blue Devils.

This time, Krzyzewski was offering the former University of North Carolina star a spot on the U.S. Olympic Men's Basketball team.

And this time, Barnes, freshly signed to a four-year, $94.438 million contract by the Dallas Mavericks after spending four seasons with the Golden State Warriors, agreed.

"I thought you were going to say no again," Krzyzewski told Barnes, according to the Raleigh News & Observer.

Perhaps more than agreeing to play for the all-time winningest men’s college basketball coach, it can be argued Barnes said yes to finally being teammates with Cleveland Cavaliers star Kyrie Irving.

Krzyzewski had recruited Barnes and Irving with the idea they would be the cornerstones of the Duke team beginning in 2010, but Barnes settled on the University of North Carolina Tar Heels

Barnes played 75 games spanning two seasons with the Tar Heels before opting to ply his trade in the NBA. He averaged 16.3 points per game and 5.5 rebounds for teams that reached the Elite Eight in both of his two years at Chapel Hill.

Following a loss to second-seeded Kansas in the 2012 Midwest Regional Final, Barnes announced he was leaving North Carolina for the NBA.

"Chapel Hill is a special place. Over the past two years I've enjoyed every single moment of my Tar Heel experience. The road we took to reach the Elite Eight in 2011 and again in 2012 were great team accomplishments. I am thankful to UNC fans, my teammates, and to have played for Hall of Fame Coach Roy Williams and the entire coaching staff. Now it's time for the next course of my journey," Barnes said in a statement when he, John Henson and Kendall Marshall announced their decision to opt out of North Carolina. 

Irving, meanwhile, played under Krzyzewski for all of 11 games at Duke before the Cavaliers made the point guard the first overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.

Irving suffered a toe injury in the Blue Devils’ 83-48 win over Bradley, which sidelined him until the NCAA Tournament

A few weeks after Duke’s season-ending 93-77 loss to Arizona in the the 2011 Sweet 16, Irving announced he was leaving to go pro.

"It was a great experience playing for Coach K. He taught me a lot about the game. Even when I was hurt, I learned a lot. Also a special thanks goes to the medical staff for getting me back on the court for the NCAA Tournament and my teammates for sticking with me throughout the entire year. Duke offered me an experience I could never have imagined," Irving said in a statement released by Duke.

"This was a special year for me. I love everything about Duke and I'm going to miss it. Duke has a special place in my heart. Even though I'm leaving this year, Duke will always be in my mind and my heart. I'm going to miss putting on that No. 1 jersey," he added.

A little more than five years after saying goodbye to Krzyzewski, Irving will once again be able to call him his coach.

And now he’ll be able to play with Barnes, whom he plans on reminding — along with Draymond Green and Klay Thompson — about the Golden State Warriors' seven-game loss to Irving and the Cavaliers in the NBA Finals.

"There will be a few jabs thrown," Irving told ESPN Radio’s "Mike & Mike" radio show, according to CBS Sports. "There are three Warriors on this team, and I am the current champion, so I will be throwing it in their faces."

Photo Credit: NBAE/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Upton Switches Dugouts; Blue Jays Escape Padres 7-6 In Extra]]> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 22:49:03 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/UptonJays.jpg

You know that awkward moment when you see Melvin Upton Junior wearing the other team’s jersey? 

Yeah, that happened Tuesday when the Padres traded the outfielder to the Blue Jays just hours before taking the field in Toronto.

San Diego received 19-year-old pitching prospect Hansel Rodriguez in exchange for Upton. 

The Padres will pay all but $5 million of the 22.5 million remaining on Upton’s contract.

Upton made his debut with his new team as a pinch-hitter in the 7th inning. 

He grounded into a fielder’s choice and briefly represented the go-ahead run with the game tied 4-4.

Alex Dickerson started in left field for the Padres for the third straight game and continued to settle in to the spot Upton used to patrol. 

The Poway native even connected on a towering 3-run homer in the 6th to give the Friars a 4-3 lead. 

Dickerson’s homer traveled 467 feet which is the longest this year by anyone on the team. His blast also extended San Diego’s home run streak to a franchise-record 24 games. The MLB record stands at 27.

Matt Kemp broke the tie in the top of the 12th when he followed Wil Myers’ two-out double with his 23rd jack of the year. 

The 2-run bomb made it 6-4 Padres and set the stage for what appeared to be a Padres victory.

But Carlos Villanueva allowed two hits and walked a batter to load the bases with one out. 

Andy Green called Paul Clemens to take over on the mound but he could not put out the fire and the winning run eventually scored when Devon Travis touched home on a wild pitch. Toronto escaped 7-6.

Andrew Cashner – who is also on the trading block – made the start with scouts across the majors keeping a close eye on his performance. 

There’s a good chance Cashner just made his last appearance as a Padre with the non-waiver trade deadline quickly approaching on Monday. 

He gave up homers to Josh Donaldson and Justin Smoak but only allowed three runs over six innings.

The Padres fell to 2-7 on their current 10-game road trip which comes to a close Wednesday with a matinee.  

Luis Perdomo (4-4. 6.94 ERA) opposes R.A. Dickey (7-11, 4.44 ERA) in the getaway game which starts at 9:37 AM on the west coast because of the time difference.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[MJ's Minute-Melvin Upton Jr. Thanks Fans after Padres Trade]]> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 20:12:39 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/MJsMinutePadresTradeUptonJr_1200x675_732844611573.jpg In this edition of MJ's Minute Melvin Upton Jr. thanks San Diego Padres fans on twitter after being traded to the Toronto Blue Jays, and the NFL announces new concussion rules ahead of the 2016 season. ]]> <![CDATA[Eagles' Nigel Bradham Arrested for Assaulting Miami Hotel Worker: Police]]> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 20:44:33 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Nigel+Bradham+Mug1.jpg

Philadelphia Eagles linebacker and former Florida State University star Nigel Bradham was arrested following an incident at a Miami Beach hotel.

Bradham, who plays for the Eagles but lives in South Florida during the offseason, turned himself in to Miami Beach police on Monday after allegedly assaulting a worker at the Hilton Bentley hotel last Thursday.

According to a Miami Beach Police incident report, the 26-year-old was among a group of six people who started arguing with the employee over the time it took for the worker to bring them an umbrella they had paid for. The verbal argument escalated to a physical altercation.

The worker, 50-year-old Jean Courtois, told NBC 6 he needed a drill to fix the umbrella but apparently wasn't moving fast enough for Bradham.

"I saw the drill, then I'm going to try to take the drill to come to fix the umbrella for them," Courtois said. "He say 'hey, I pay my money for me to set up for me to fix the chair for me. You don't want to fix the umbrella for me.' Then I say 'ok, I'm going to try to take care of it for you.' Then he hit me in my head."

A glass bottle was allegedly broken over Courtois' head, causing cuts and lacerations, including one to the back of his head, the incident report charges. Courtois said his nose is broken and his left eye is swollen shut as a result of the attack.

An arrest report claims Bradham "without provocation, struck the victim in the nose with a closed fist, causing the victim to fall to the ground."

The six people then fled the scene, running toward Ocean Drive and entering a vehicle before speeding away, authorities said. A phone was discovered at the scene, which was turned over to police as evidence along with a receipt showing Bradham paid for the umbrella with his credit card.

The Eagles said in a statement that the team is aware of the incident and have been in contact with Bradham and the "proper authorities."

"Due to the ongoing legal process, we will have no further comment at this time,” the Eagles added.

Cars were parked in the driveway at Bradham's home in Miramar Tuesday but no one answered the door.

Bradham was an All-ACC linebacker during his senior season at Florida State before being drafted by the Buffalo Bills in 2012. After four seasons, Bradham signed a two-year deal with the Eagles earlier this year.

It was not immediately clear if Bradham had an attorney.

Photo Credit: Miami Beach Police]]>
<![CDATA[Federer to Sit Out Olympics After Knee Injury]]> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 11:10:06 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Federer-GettyImages-545911056.jpg

Swiss tennis star Roger Federer will be sitting out the Rio Olympics and the rest of the 2016 season.

Federer, 34, announced his decision Tuesday on Facebook, citing a knee injury and a long road to recovery.

"Considering all options after consulting with my doctors and my team, I have made the very difficult decision to call an end to my 2016 season as I need more extensive rehabilitation following my knee surgery earlier this year," Federer wrote.

He said doctors instructed him to rest and heal if he wants to continue playing without further injury. Federer underwent arthroscopic knee surgery in February.

"It is tough to miss the rest of the year. However, the silver lining is that this experience has made me realize how lucky I have been throughout my career with very few injuries," Federer said, adding that he plans to return "strong, healthy and in shape to play attacking tennis in 2017."

Regarded as one of the best players in the history of tennis, Federer has won a record 17 Grand Slam titles and was ranked No. 1 in the world for years.

He fell awkwardly during the Wimbledon semifinals earlier this month, which he lost to Canada's Milos Raonic. Federer, who hasn't played since, said at the time he was unsure how seriously he had been hurt.

Photo Credit: Corbis via Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Junior Seau’s Oceanside Home for Sale for $3.2M]]> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 11:18:26 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*120/junior-seau-home-2.jpeg

The beachfront home of late San Diego Chargers icon Junior Seau is now on the market, listed for $3,199,000.

The 3,028-square-foot property – located at 604 S. The Strand in Oceanside – is where Seau died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on May 2, 2012. 

According to the listing on the website, Realtor, the house – built in 1997 – was reduced in price earlier this month, from $3,295,000 to $3,199,000. When it was originally listed earlier this year, on March 16, the house was priced at $3,495,000, but was reduced in price about two months later.

The listing says the home serves well as a vacation rental, as it boasts a picturesque ocean view. Among its features, the home has three bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, a three-car garage and a game and media room. The online listing says the home comes fully furnished.

Property records show the home was last sold on Sept. 4, 2015 for $2,256,589. Before that, the home was sold on Aug. 31, 2012 for $1,975,000 and on July 23, 2012 – nearly three months after Seau’s death – for $2,295,000. The earliest records on Realtor indicate the home was also sold on July 13, 2005 for $3.2 million.

The listing on the Realtor, Zillow and Redfin websites don’t mention that the home once belonged to Seau.

Considered to by many to be one of the greatest linebackers of all time, Seau played for the San Diego Chargers from 1990 to 2002. After his lengthy time with the Bolts, Seau played for the Miami Dolphins and the New England Patriots. Over the course of his NFL career, he played 268 games.

Seau was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in summer 2015.

His suicide, which came three years after he retired, shocked the football world and San Diego, where he is considered a hometown hero. To fans, Seau was a down-to-earth football legend with a memorable smile.

Coaches praised Seau for his work ethic, and how he’d show up in the weight room to train at 6 a.m. – long before anyone else arrived. Teammates admired his leadership and his constant energy on the gridiron. Crowds roared for his monstrous sacks, fittingly dubbing him “Junior Say-Ow.”

Seau was posthumously diagnosed with Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a form of chronic brain damage.

In January 2013, Seau’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the NFL, claiming Seau’s brain injuries were caused by violent hits he suffered while playing football. The lawsuit accused the NFL of deliberately ignoring of concealing evidence of the risks associated with traumatic brain injuries.

In September 2014, his family opted out of a proposed NFL settlement with former players of concussion-related injuries, instead choosing to continue with their wrongful death lawsuit against the league.

Seau was just 43 years old when he died.

Photo Credit: Redfin]]>
<![CDATA[Greatest College Athletes in Olympic History]]> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 09:28:42 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-635223587.jpg Throughout history, American colleges have been well represented in the Olympics. Here's a look at nine top Olympic athletes who have made schools across the country proud.

Photo Credit: Franck Seguin/Corbis/VCG/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[ Padres Trade Outfielder Melvin Upton, Jr. ]]> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 10:35:50 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-512501990.jpg

The San Diego Padres have traded outfielder Melvin Upton Jr. for Toronto Blue Jays right-handed pitcher Hansel Rodriguez and cash considerations, according to the Padres organization.

The Padres are paying all but $5 million of the $22 million left on Upton's contract, which expires after the 2017 season.

With six days left until the MLB trade deadline, other deals could be made.

Upton did not play in Monday night's game. He was held out for the second straight game despite being healthy.

After the news broke Tuesday morning, Upton commented on his love for San Diego in a Twitter post.

Padres GM A.J. Preller said he's been focused the last few days on finalizing the Upton deal. However, the team will now look at other possible trades including what kind of market (if any) develops for Matt Kemp.

As of now Andrew Cashner will make his start Tuesday night in Toronto.

Padres fans can expect this trade to give Poway native Alex Dickerson, who had six hits (two of them homers) in the last two games, a chance to really play every day and see what he can do at the Big League level.

The Padres said 19-year-old Rodriguez has a 3.06 ERA and 26 strikeouts against 11 walks in six starts, in a release sent early Tuesday.

The team is in Toronto for the franchise's first-ever trip to the city.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Golden Moment: Miracle on Ice Still Resonates 36 Years Later]]> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 08:34:40 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/212*120/rsz_ap_636060640767_1.jpg

They were kids, really. Twenty in all, from places named Scituate, Massachusetts, and White Bear Lake, Minnesota. 

Their task was to represent their country in the 1980 Winter Olympics.

What they did was author, arguably, one of the most indelible moments in American history.

For two weeks in the small resort town of Lake Placid, New York, the U.S. Olympic Men’s Hockey team galvanized a country by winning six of seven games and claiming a gold medal — beating a powerhouse Soviet Union team at the height of the Cold War. 

Following an opening round 2-2 tie of Sweden, a team composed entirely of collegiate hockey players outscored opponents 31-13 in its final six games.

With each win, though, came a reminder of a looming showdown with one of the legendary international teams. 

And so, on Feb. 22, 1980, Team USA met the Russian Red Army team at Olympic Field House in a semifinal game. 

All the Russians had done up to that point was win gold medals in the previous four Olympic games while employing a weaving, passing, puck-possession style of hockey that would redefine the way the sport would be played. 

The Russian team, populated with stars Vladislav Tretiak, Viacheslav Fetisov and Valeri Kharlamov, was widely expected to defeat an American team it had routed, 10-3, at Madison Square Garden just 12 days earlier.

Internally, though, head coach Herb Brooks relished the opportunity to once again play the Russians.

"You were born to be a player," Brooks told his team prior to the game, according to the New York Times. "You were born to be here."

Brooks' confidence that his team could compete with the Russians proved to be well-founded by the end of the first period, as the game was tied 2-2. Russian coach Victor Tikhonov then made the curious decision to replace Tretiak — at the time, the preeminent goaltender in the sport — with Vladimir Myshkin. 

Like Tretiak, Myshikn yielded two goals, the most significant of which was Mike Eruzione’s game-winner with 10 minutes remaining.

As the final seconds ticked off the clock, broadcaster Al Michaels deliriously yelled, "Do you believe in miracles?"

A label was born but the job wasn’t complete.

As such, when Brooks met with his team before the gold medal game against Finland on Feb. 24, he said if they lost, they "would take this game to their graves."

Instead, a 4-2 win clinched the gold medal, guaranteeing they would be a part of history forever.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Football in Rio: Devon Allen, Jahvid Best]]> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 08:35:32 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/split2-allen-best.jpg

By his own admission, University of Oregon football coach Mark Helfrich grows emotional when he thinks about Devon Allen.

Allen, the Ducks' sophomore wide receiver, had torn his anterior cruciate ligament in Oregon's 59-20 rout of Florida State in the 2015 Rose Bowl.

A little more than a year and a half after his freshman football season ended in Southern California, Allen will represent the United States in the 110 meter hurdles at the 2016 Summer Olympics.

"I was tearing up that night, and I get misty every time I sit down and think about it for a while because he’s such a good dude," Helfrich told the Register Guard of Eugene, Oregon. "First of all, great family, great representation of who he is, our university and now our country.

"To be represented by that kid, that’s a lot of good things happening."

Allen qualified for the Olympics by finishing first in the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in 13.03 seconds on July 9 at Hayward Field on Oregon’s campus, according to the university.

"I'm excited for him. Especially after his injury, it’s well-deserved," Oregon teammate Royce Freeman told the Register Guard. "He worked hard to accomplish that, and I really couldn’t think of anybody more deserving than that guy after his injury.” 

Allen is the only active NCAA football player to compete in the 2016 Games. But he’s not the only college football star to represent his country in Olympic competition.

Jahvid Best starred as running back at the University of California, then played two seasons with the Detroit Lions before retiring due to post-concussion symptoms. He will compete for Saint Lucia in the 100 meters.

"It's hard to describe how I feel right now," Best told the Marin, California, Independent Journal. "When I think [about] the road I have traveled to get here I get tons of emotions. A couple of years ago my lifetime dream was crushed. I was devastated, but I never stop dreaming and believing in myself. My family has instilled a lot of values that has enabled me to persevere through it all."

Best is the first NFL athlete to compete in the Summer Olympics, according to NBC Sports. Herschel Walker became the first NFLer to participate in the Olympics as a member of the U.S. bobsled team in 1992. That team finished seventh.

Allen and Best now have an opportunity to do something that eluded the epochal Walker: Win an Olympic medal. 

"This is a huge accomplishment for me, but at the same time this is just the beginning," Best told the Mercury News. "I have only been in this sport for two years professionally, and plan on being around for a long time. Above all else I'm excited to get out there and make my country and family proud."

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Golden Moment: Jesse Owens Shines in Hitler's Germany]]> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 08:53:39 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/jesse-owens-berlin.jpg

When the 1936 Summer Games kicked off in Berlin, German Chancellor Adolf Hitler wanted to use the Olympic stage to showcase his Aryan superiority philosophy. Instead, an African American kid from Ohio State stole the show.

Jesse Owens claimed four Olympic gold medals in Berlin, in the 100 meters, 200 meters, 4x100 relay and the long jump. Owens tied the world record in the 100 meters (10.3 seconds) and set world records in the 200 meters (20.7 seconds) and long jump (26 feet and 5 3/8 inches).

After Owens won his second gold medal in the long jump, Hitler left the Olympic Stadium without congratulating him for his accomplishment, according to the New York Times

Owens wasn't supposed to run in the 4x100 relay, but U.S. Olympic track coach Lawson Robertson told his team that Owens and Ralph Metcalfe would replace Marty Glickman and Sam Stoller on the 4x100 relay team, the New York Times reported in 1981. Glickman and Stoller were Jewish. 

Owens unsuccessfully lobbied for Glickman and Stoller to run, according to the Times.

"Jesse was magnificent," Glickman told the Times. "He said, 'I've had enough. I won three gold medals. Let Sammy and Marty run."

But the decision had been made: Owens was going to run. He and Ralph Metcalfe were to join Foy Draper and Frank Wykoff on the relay team.  

When the race ended, Owens earned his fourth gold medal and a place in Olympic history.

But he didn't win the idolization of his country.

Owens was unable to monetize his gold medals. Nor did he meet then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt at the White House with the rest of the American Olympic team. 

"When I came back to my native country, after all the stories about Hitler, I couldn't ride in the front of the bus," Owens told ESPN.com. "I had to go to the back door. I couldn't live where I wanted. I wasn't invited to shake hands with Hitler, but I wasn't invited to the White House to shake hands with the President, either."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Golden Moment: Michael Johnson's Double Gold]]> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 08:54:00 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/michael-johnson3.jpg

The moment has been immortalized in Olympic history. Michael Johnson, backpedaling, his arms outstretched and his mouth agape, gold sneakers — the image of a man reveling in triumph and accomplishment.

Johnson, a Baylor graduate, already claimed the title of World's Fastest Man entering the 1996 Olympics. He lived up to the nickname by winning gold in the 200 meter-sprint and 400-meter sprint, setting world records in both.

And he did so in style.

Four years after sprinting into the consciousness of fans around the world in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, Johnson was the story leading up to the Atlanta Games.

Expected to star in the 200 and 400 meters, Johnson himself played into the hype by donning gold track shoes. 

"I'm going for gold so I want the shoe to be gold," Johnson recalled in an interview with USA Track and Field in 2016.

Pressure was external and internal. Already a gold medal winner in 1992, Johnson would have been viewed as a disappointment if he did not live up to anticipation.

He quelled concerns quickly — literally and figuratively. 

On the night of July 29, in the 400 meters, Johnson won his first gold medal with a world record-setting time of 43.49 seconds. 

Three nights later, Aug. 1, Johnson earned his second gold of the Games by finishing the 200 meters in a world record time of 19.32 seconds. 

History was made. Belief was transformed into reality.

"I'm proud of being remembered as someone who changed the sport in terms of what's possible," Johnson told The Telegraph in 2012. "People thought it wasn't possible to be a champion at 200 meters and at 400 meters. What I did changed sprinting and how people looked at sprinters."

Johnson competed once more, in the 2000 Games. He won his fourth gold in the 400 meters, and was part of the 4x400 relay team that had its gold medal stripped when it was revealed that two members of the team, Antonio Pettigrew and Jerome Young, used performance-enhancing drugs.

Photo Credit: Corbis via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Meet Team USA: Athletes to Watch in Rio]]> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 08:50:20 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/3-split-athletes.jpg

Michael Phelps is a household name. In the next month, Simone Biles may become one.

Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time with 22 medals, has dominated four Olympics and come out of retirement in hopes of sweeping a fifth. It's likely to be his final Games.

Biles is on the other end of her career, but with similar expectations. The 19-year-old gymnast heads into her first Olympics with 14 world championship medals under her belt, 10 of them gold. The budding superstar is undefeated in the all-around and has been called "unbeatable" by gymnastics legend Mary Lou Retton.

Phelps and Biles are among more than 550 athletes who will represent Team USA in Rio, including 292 women, the most in Olympic history to ever compete for a single country. Of Team USA's 68 returning champions, 53 are looking to defend titles won during the 2012 London Games.

Here's a look at the American athletes to watch during the 2016 Rio Olympics.

At 31 years old, Phelps has 18 gold medals among the 22 medals he's earned in four Olympics. He set an Olympic record by taking home eight gold medals in Beijing in 2008 and is the first American swimmer to qualify for five Olympic Games.

He holds multiple world records and became the youngest male swimmer to break one at the age of 15. In August, Phelps clocked three of the year's fastest times. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Phelps will compete in the 100- and 200-meter butterfly and 200-meter individual medley.

Ryan Lochte, 31, has won 11 medals in three Olympics: five gold, three silver and three bronze. He has also taken home an impressive 62 world championship medals, including 36 gold. Lochte, who has set both individual and team world records, will compete in the 200-meter individual medley and the 4x200-meter freestyle.

Rio will mark the third Olympics for swimmer Nathan Adrian, who took home two gold medals and a silver in Beijing and London. With a time of 21.37 seconds, he holds the American record for fastest 50-meter freestyle.

Missy Franklin, the 21-year-old darling of the women's team, won four gold medals and a bronze in London. She has also taken home 17 world championship medals, including 11 gold, three silver and three bronze. Franklin, who grew up in Colorado and attended the University of California at Berkeley, will compete in the 200-meter backstroke, 200-meter freestyle and 4x200-meter freestyle.

Teammate Dana Vollmer, who has won four Olympic gold medals, will be competing in her third Games. She was back in the pool two months after giving birth to her first child last March.

Katie Ledecky, 19, will compete in her second Olympics. The Bethesda, Maryland, native won gold in London and has taken home nine world championship gold medals.

Biles may be only 19, but her 10 golds at the World Championships are the most of any female gymnast. She's one of just three women in history to win four straight all-around titles at the P&G Gymnastics Championships, according to NBC Olympics. A native of Spring, Texas, Biles has also won the most world medals in U.S. history.

The most decorated U.S. gymnast in London, teammate Aly Raisman returns to defend her titles. The Needham, Massachusetts, native took home two gold medals and one bronze and was fourth all-around. She has also won four world championship medals: two gold, one silver and one bronze.

Also competing in her second Olympics is Gabby Douglas, who won all-around gold in London at the age of 16. Douglas, a Virginia native who lives in Los Angeles, won team gold at the 2011 and 2015 world championships and took home all-around silver last year.

Olympic newcomers Madison Kocian, a 19-year-old three-time world championship gold medalist, and Laurie Hernandez, 16, round out the women's team.

Leading the men's team is 23-year-old Sam Mikulak, who will compete in his second Olympics. From Newport Beach, California, Mikulak placed fifth in team vault in London and won bronze at the 2014 world championship. He took home two two gold medals and two bronze at the 2015 Pan American Games.

Also returning for his second Olympics is Jake Dalton, a 24-year-old native of Reno, Nevada, who attended the University of Oklahoma. Dalton has won four medals in four world championships. He did not medal in London.

London alternates Alex Naddour and Chris Brooks will also compete for Team USA, along with 2012 team member Danell Leyva. Leyva replaces John Orozco, who qualified for Rio after tearing his Achilles tendon, only to injure his ACL in June and withdraw from the team.

Rio will mark the fourth Olympics for New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, the only U.S. men's basketball player in history to qualify for four Games. Anthony, 32, has won two Olympic gold medals and one bronze. He set a Team USA single-game scoring record in London with 37 points against Nigeria and took home bronze in the 2006 world championship.

Kevin Durant, 27, of the Golden State Warriors, will compete in his second Olympics. A member of the 2012 gold medal team, Durant was named MVP of the 2010 world championship game and was selected to play on that year's All-World Championship Team.

Indiana Pacers guard Paul George, 25, will compete in his first Olympics after overcoming a horrific leg injury, which caused him to miss most of the 2015 season. George's right tibia and fibula snapped on the court during the 2014 USA Basketball Showcase, stunning teammates and spectators alike. The NBA All-Star has made a full recovery and is expected to serve as a key member of the team in Rio.

The powerhouse U.S. women's basketball team includes half a dozen players from the University of Connecticut, a force to be reckoned with in the world of college basketball. Former UConn stars Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi, Maya Moore and Tina Charles will help lead the team. Joining them is recent UConn graduate and Olympic newcomer Breanna Stewart, who went to the Seattle Storm as the No. 1 WNBA draft pick in 2016.

Three-time Olympic gold medalist Tamika Catchings, 37, will also compete. The Indiana Fever forward and Duncanville, Texas, native has played in three world championships, earning two gold medals and a bronze. She's one of only nine players in history to have won an Olympic gold medal, world championship gold medal, NCAA title and WNBA championship, according to USA Basketball.

Track and Field
Champion sprinter Allyson Felix, 30, returns to compete in her fourth Olympics. The Los Angeles native has won four gold medals — three in London and one in Beijing — and two silver medals. She has also medaled 13 times in seven world championships and was named 2012 IAFF World Athlete of the Year.

Felix, who fought through an ankle injury during the Rio trials, fell a hundredth of a second shy of qualifying for the 200-meter dash — her first failure to qualify since she was 15 years old, according to NBC Sports. She will compete in the 400-meter and 4x400-meter dash.

Tianna Bartoletta, 30, will compete in the 100-meter dash and long jump. She won gold in the 4x100-meters during the 2012 London Games and has competed in six world championships, earning five gold medals and two bronze. Bartoletta also competed in 2012 for the U.S. national bobsled team alongside fellow track and field Olympian Lolo Jones. She took bronze in the 2012 bobsledding World Cup.

Devon Allen, 21, is a new face in the Olympic crowd. A wide receiver and runner at the University of Oregon, Allen has competed in three NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships and one outdoor championship. He'll run the 110-meter hurdles in Rio.

Distance runner Galen Rupp, 30, qualified for Rio by winning the U.S. Olympic marathon trials in his first ever 26.2-mile race. He competed in both Beijing and London, where he took home silver in the 10,000-meter, becoming the first American to medal in that event since 1964. The five-time USA Outdoor champion has competed in six world championships, with a top finish of fourth in 2013. 

At age 41, Meb Keflezighi is the oldest American man to run the Olympic marathon the only one to make three Olympic teams. He won the 2014 Boston Marathon and 2009 New York City Marathon and the American record for the 20-kilometer. Keflezighi has competed in two world championships.

Co-captain and midfielder Carli Lloyd, 34, hopes to clinch a third consecutive Olympic gold medal. Lloyd scored the game-winning goal in the 2008 gold-medal match against Brazil and netted both goals in Team USA's 2-1 victory over Japan in 2012. The New Jersey native has also won two world championship medals and in 2015 became the first player in team history to score in four consecutive FIFA World Cup games.

Despite concerns about the Zika virus, record-setting goalkeeper Hope Solo will join her team in Rio to compete in her third Olympic games. She won gold in both Beijing and London and served as an alternate in Athens in 2004. Solo is a FIFA World Cup Golden Glove Award winner and a member of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup All-Star Team.

Rio will be the second Olympics for 27-year-old forward Alex Morgan, who scored three goals in London, one of which sent Team USA to the gold-medal match. Morgan graduated early from the University of California at Berkeley and plays for the Orlando Pride.

Midfielder Megan Rapinoe was a toss up for Team USA after tearing her ACL last December, but recovered to qualify for her second Olympic Games. Rapinoe, 31, was a member of the U.S. women's national team when it won the World Cup in 2015 and was selected to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup All-Star Team.

The U.S. men's soccer team did not qualify to compete in Rio.

Other Sports
Beach volleyball champ Kerri Walsh-Jennings, 37, heads to Rio for her fifth Olympics without her partner of 11 years, Misty Mae-Treanor, who retired to start a family after the 2012 games. Together, the two won 21 consecutive Olympic matches and lost only one set — to Austria in 2012. Walsh-Jennings won gold in the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Games and will have the No. 3 seed in Rio with partner April Ross, whom she defeated in London.

Water polo captain Tony Azevedo will also compete in his fifth Olympics. The 34-year-old native of Brazil in 2012 became the first American men's water polo player to compete in four Olympics, along with teammate Ryan Bailey. Azevedo won a silver medal in Beijing and took gold in five Pan American Games. He has competed in eight world championships.

Dominant forces on the tennis court, sisters Serena and Venus Williams will take their talents to Rio to compete in their fourth and fifth Olympics, respectively. Together they are unstoppable, making the winningest doubles team in Olympic history. They go into the games with a perfect 15-0 doubles record and seek to tie the record for overall tennis medals — five.

Equestrian Phillip Dutton is one of only a handful of athletes in Team USA history to compete in the Olympics for a sixth time. At age 52, he is also the oldest athlete on Team USA. Dutton has won two Olympic gold medals and competed in six world championships. He moved from his native Australia to the U.S. in 1991 and became a citizen in 2006. 

The youngest member of Team USA, 16-year-old Kanak Jha, will compete in table tennis. The first-time Olympian has won multiple national titles and became the youngest ever World Cup participant in 2014.

First-time Olympic golfer Bubba Watson, has nine tournament victories under his belt, most recently the 2016 Northern Trust Open and the 2015 Travelers Championship. Watson, 37, has represented the U.S. three times in the Ryder Cup and twice in the Presidents Cup.

The women's rowing team heads to Rio with 10 consecutive world titles under its belt and a reputation for being one of the best sports teams in history, according to NBC Olympics. Leading the women's eight are third-time Olympian Eleanor Logan and second-time Olympian Meghan Musnicki, both members of the 2012 gold medal team. They're joined by coxswain Katelin Snyder, Amanda Elmore, Tessa Gobbo, Emily Regan, Lauren Schmetterling, Amanda Polk and Kerry Simmonds.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[MJ's Minute-Padres, Chargers and Rio, Oh My!]]> Mon, 25 Jul 2016 22:34:23 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-497583698.jpg In this edition of MJ's Minute the Padres play the Blue Jays in Toronto for the first time in franchise history, Bosa Watch continues as the Chargers prepare for training camp this weekend and the rookie has yet to finalize his contract, plus the women of the Olympics continue to shine ahead of the Rio games.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dickerson’s Homer Not Enough To Beat Blue Jays]]> Mon, 25 Jul 2016 20:31:24 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/ColinReaToronto.jpg

Held in check over eight innings, the Padres trailed 4-0 and were on the verge of getting shutout for the 12th time this season. 

In the franchise’s first-ever trip to Toronto, San Diego’s home run streak was also in jeopardy.

Then Padres outfielder Alex Dickerson stepped to the plate and promptly sliced the deficit in half with a towering two-run homer off of Toronto reliever Bo Schultz. 

Dickerson’s smash extended the Padres homer streak to 23 consecutive games but ultimately would be the only real damage the offense could inflict on Monday night.

Toronto held on a for 4-2 victory thanks in part to Aaron Sanchez. 

The right-hander struck out seven Padres over seven scoreless innings and limited the Padres to just three base knocks.

It was the 10th straight winning decision for Sanchez who improved to 11-1.

With the loss, the Padres fell to 2-6 on their current 10-game road trip.

Dickerson started in left field for Melvin Upton Junior, who was held out for the second straight game despite being healthy. 

Look for Upton to be traded before next Monday’s 1 pm PT trade deadline if the Padres can agree on a return that sets them up nicely for the future.

Padres starter Colin Rea was solid but not spectacular. He allowed three runs and five hits over six innings of work. 

But he was touched for two runs in the 5th inning after allowing a triple to Michael Saunders and a sacrifice fly by Troy Tulowitzki in the 4th.

Andrew Cashner is on the trade block but is listed as Tuesday’s starting pitcher. 

Barring a trade before first pitch at 4:07 pm, manager Andy Green expects Cashner to start opposite Toronto’s Marcus Stroman.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Single Game Tickets for Chargers' Home Games on Sale Soon]]> Mon, 25 Jul 2016 15:15:49 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Qualcomm-Stadium-generic.jpg

It must be about that time of year again: Football season!

This Saturday, Bolts fans can buy single-game tickets to San Diego Chargers' regular-season home games.

The tickets will go on sale to the general public Saturday, July 30 at 8 a.m. pacific time only at the Chargers ticket office at Gate C at Qualcomm Stadium. The ticket office will be open Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. It will be closed Sunday.

Fans looking to buy tickets online can do so by clicking here. The tickets go on sale starting at 1 p.m.

The Chargers kick off their first home game this season on Sunday, Sept. 18 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Chargers’ home schedule this season includes games against the Denver Broncos and fellow AFC West opponents Kansas City and Oakland. The game against the Broncos on Oct. 13 will be televised on Thursday Night Football.

The Chargers will wrap up with their last home game of the season against the Chiefs on Jan. 1, 2017.

For ticket prices and additional information, click here.

<![CDATA[Weekly San Diego Sports Preview]]> Sat, 23 Jul 2016 23:04:17 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/RIVERSYAY.jpg

Here's a look at what's coming up in San Diego sports for the week of July 25th through the 31st.

PADRES: The Friars wrap up their ten-game road trip with their first ever trip to Toronto. Monday-Wednesday they face the Blue Jays before heading home to host the Cincinnati Reds Friday-Sunday. Friday night is college night and Saturday is Padres ear buds giveaway day.

CHARGERS: We're one step closer to football season! The Chargers report to Training Camp Friday. Their first workout is Saturday at Chargers Park and it is open to the public.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[London 2012]]> Sat, 28 Jul 2012 08:04:30 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/olympic-stadium-London.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[NFL Coach Dennis Green Dies at 67: Report]]> Fri, 22 Jul 2016 09:06:02 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Dennis-Green-062716.jpg

Former NFL coach Dennis Green has died at age 67, NFL.com reported Friday.

Green lived in Carmel Mountain Ranch outside of San Diego, California and recently appeared at a public meeting discussing a controversial proposed development.

Born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Green worked under legendary 49ers coach Bill Walsh before taking a head coaching job at Stanford, according to NBC Sports.

Green earned a head coaching job in the pros at a time when there were few African-American candidates interviewed for those spots, the website reported.

He went on to lead the Minnesota Vikings beginning in 1992 and the Arizona Cardinals from 2004 to 2006.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>