COLLEGE BASKETBALL

WSU men earn 2018-19 NABC Team Academic Excellence Award

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Winona State University men’s basketball team has been honored with the Team Academic Excellence Award, presented annually by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC). The award recognizes outstanding academic achievement by a team with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better for the 2018-19 season.

“We are very proud that our program received this recognition from the NABC again this year,” said head coach Todd Eisner. “Our players do a fantastic job of balancing their responsibilities of being both a student and an athlete. For our team to achieve this honor all four years that we have been at WSU is something we are very proud of.”

The Warriors have been recognized with the NABC’s Team Academic Excellence Award in each of Eisner’s four seasons at the helm at Winona State.

Winona State University is one of just three NSIC men’s basketball programs to earn the award in 2018-19.

In order to receive the NABC Team Academic Excellence Award, institutions in the NCAA, NAIA and NJCAA must count the grade point averages of all men’s student-athletes who competed during the 2018-19 campaign.

WOMEN’S SOCCER

US women’s team could play at Allianz Field in September

ST. PAUL — The World Cup champion U.S. women’s national team could make a stop at Allianz Field on its upcoming “Victory Tour.”

Minnesota United, which operates Allianz Field, has placed a bid for the Sept. 3 game and is negotiating with the U.S. Soccer Federation, two sources shared Friday with the Pioneer Press. An announcement could come next week.

After topping Netherlands 2-0 in the Women’s World Cup final in France last Sunday, the USWNT has announced the first stop on its tour. They will play Ireland at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., on Aug. 3. This is where they won the 1999 World Cup and Brandi Chastain famously celebrated her winning penalty kick by whipping off her shirt to reveal her sports bra.

U.S. Soccer said the next four matches of their upcoming “Victory Tour” will be on Aug. 29, Sept. 3, Oct. 3 and Oct. 6 at venues around the country. It said details will be announced later. It’s unclear how many of the players on the championship team will be part of the tour.

Since winning their fourth championship in Lyon, France, the USWNT has enjoyed a ticker-tape parade in New York and has been honored at the ESPY awards in Los Angeles.

Allianz Field, which opened this year in St. Paul’s Midway neighborhood, hosted the U.S. men’s national team in the opening game of the Concacaf Gold Cup on June 18.

NBA

Tyus Jones thanks Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS — Tyus Jones grew up in Minnesota.

He went to high school in Apple Valley, winning a state championship with the Eagles. Then, after spending one year at Duke — where he won a national title, Jones was acquired through a draft night trade by his hometown Timberwolves in 2015.

He found out the news at his draft party, which, fittingly, took place in downtown Minneapolis.

A day later, the state’s prodigal son admitted how special it was to play for his home state’s squad.

“This is my hometown team. This was my team growing up,” Jones said back then. “It definitely means a little bit more to myself. ... It’s special to me.”

But after four years, Jones’ time as a pro in Minnesota officially came to an end late Tuesday night, when the Wolves declined to match the offer sheet the point guard signed with Memphis two days prior.

So, on Wednesday night, through his agency — BDA Sports — Jones delivered a thank you to the state that raised him:

“To all the fans and supporters of the Minnesota Timberwolves, my teammates, coaches, staff and especially Glen Taylor — I want to thank you for all the support and dedication you have shown me and my family since I turned pro.

I’m especially thankful to the late Flip Saunders for allowing me to be able to play in my home state.

The last four years have been such a blessing where I grew up.

For that, I am extremely grateful. Minnesota will always be home — that will never change.

Now I get to take that next step in my journey and career and I’m excited for what’s ahead.”

TOUR DE FRANCE

Groenewegen wins Stage 7

CHALON-SUR-SAONE, France (AP) — Less than a week ago in Brussels, Dylan Groenewegen sat dejected in the middle of a road, his body language oozing disappointment as he was attended by the Tour de France doctor.

One of the fastest sprinters in the world with one of the most powerful teams, the Dutch sprinter was expected to win the opening stage and seize the yellow jersey. Instead, he was caught in a crash and forced to watch his lead out man at Jumbo-Visma, Mike Teunissen, claim all the honors.

To add to his torment, Teunissen and Groenewegen are roomates on the Tour, meaning he had to spend the night with the yellow jersey in his room.

Banged up and demoralized, Groenewegen took a few days to recover, well beaten in the sprints that followed. He finally put his poor Tour start to bed with the tightest of wins in the longest stage on Friday.

“It was not the start I wanted,” Groenewegen candidly said after pointing a finger in celebration as he crossed the line. “Over the last days, I focused on today. My team did a really good job. The tactics was to go full gas, and I took the win.”

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