Blog | Sports: The Hot Corner
Pele to Get Honorary Degree from Hofstra
Soccer icon Pele will receive an honorary degree from Hofstra University in April, according to a release from the school and the New York Cosmos, who play their games on campus at Shuart Stadium.
Pele is being recognized for his humanitarian work and contributions to the sport he dubbed as “the beautiful game.”
He starred on the Cosmos during the club’s heyday 40 years ago and is the club’s honorary president today.
His recognition will coincide with a conference being held at Hofstra called “Soccer as the Beautiful Game: Football’s Artistry, Identity & Politics.” Hundreds of journalists, scholars and soccer folk from around the world will be in Hempstead, N.Y. from April 10-13 to celebrate the game and Pele.
According to a release, the conference is being presented in collaboration with more than a dozen academic and sports institutions, including the Cosmos, the Consulates General of South Africa and Brazil in New York and the United States Soccer Federation, which last year celebrated its 100th anniversary.
“Pelé transformed and transcended the game of soccer,” said Hofstra President Student Rabinowitz, in a statement “While the world first came to know him for extraordinary athletic feats, his soccer career was, in many respects, simply a prelude to an extraordinary life of service as a philanthropist and advocate. He understands the power and responsibility his soccer legacy carries, and has used it to improve the lives of others.”
Long Island’s own in Sochi
There are 25 Olympians with ties to New York competing in Sochi this year and four are from Long Island.
Smithtown’s John Daly, 28, is the veteran of the group, competing in his second Olympic games after finishing 17th in the 2010 Vancouver Games as a skeleton racer.
Matt Mortensen, 28, of Huntington Station will compete in the luge for the first time, along with fellow Long Island native Aidan Kelly, 19, from West Islip.
Devin Logan, 20, who was born in Oceanside but grew up in Vermont, is a skier who will compete in the new slopestyle event.
Mortensen tweeted a photo last week with Daly and Kelly that made its way around social media circles.
“New York has a long and proud tradition of being home to Winter Olympians, and this year is no exception,” said Gov. Cuomo said in a release last week. “These 25 elite competitors will be representing both the state and the nation in the most prestigious sporting event in the world, and we are honored to call them New Yorkers. I wish all the athletes the best of luck and look forward to watching their incredible feats in the coming weeks.”
Biggio gets inducted to Ted Williams Hall of Fame
It’s not Cooperstown, but it’s still an honor. Long Island native Craig Biggio, who fell two votes shy of induction to the National Baseball Hall of Fame earlier last month, was inducted to the Ted Williams Hitters Hall of Fame at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. last weekend.
Biggio, who grew up in and played baseball at Kings Park, played 20 big league seasons with the Houston Astros. He has 3,060 career hits and was a lifetime .281 hitter with 668 doubles, 291 home runs, 1,175 RBI and 1,161 walks.
Biggio received 74.8 percent of the necessary 75 percent of voters for induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
More notes on Biggio (from Astros.com)
-His 668 doubles are the most in Major League history by a right-handed hitter and rank fifth all-time among all hitters.
-Biggio also holds the NL record for career leadoff home runs with 53 and the modern Major League record for being hit by a pitch with 285.
-He is also one of just 14 players in ML history to reach both 3,000 hits and 1,000 extra-base hits, and is the only player in MLB history to reach all four of the following milestones: 600 doubles, 250 homers, 3,000 hits and 400 stolen bases.
-Biggio was a seven-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove winner, and is the only player in MLB history to be named an All-Star at both catcher and second base.
About the Ted Williams Hall of Fame (from the hall’s website)
Fans can view an array of different artifacts and pictures of the “Greatest hitter that ever lived.” These memorable displays range from Ted Williams’ days in the military through his professional playing career. This museum is dedicated to some of the greatest players to ever “lace ‘em up,” including Willie Mays, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, and Sadaharu Oh.
LI native Tice back on NFL sideline
It wouldn’t be a normal NFL season without Mike Tice coaching in the league. He’s back on the sideline after a year of dormancy and he’ll be the new offensive line coach for the Atlanta Falcons.
A Central Islip High alum, Tice has coached for 17 years in the NFL and was last with the Chicago Bears in 2011 and 2012.
He was an associate head coach with the Jaguars (2006-2009) and was a player and coach with the Vikings for the 14 seasons prior, eventually working his way up to head coach of the organization.
Tice has been assessing NFL prospects for the upcoming draft and studying his current roster.
“I think we have to learn how to finish better,” Tice said in an interview with ESPN.com. “I think we have to have our young guys take a big step and improve, and they will. And really, I just want to make sure that they’re playing the game with bad intentions. Nastiness is created by work habits. And work habits create that great finish. And that great finish creates people saying, ‘Gosh, they’re tough.’ They’re only talking about their finish when they say they’re tough.”
Lizards pick up first female in MLL
The Long Island Lizards made big news in December when it picked up female goalie Devon Wills in the league’s Supplemental Draft, according to a team release.
“I think it’s a huge honor and I am super grateful for the opportunity that Coach Spallina is giving me by picking me up” said Wills in a statement. “This is a huge opportunity to challenge myself.
This is sports and I’m really excited to see if I’m good enough to play at this level. If I’m good enough, that’s great, but if not, I’m still really grateful for the opportunity.”
Willis is a women’s lacrosse coach at the University of Southern California and had a fantastic career at Dartmouth and for Team USA as a netminder.
She ranks second all-time in saves at Dartmouth and was a three-time First Team All-Ivy selection and three-time All-American.
Wills also won two goal medals in 2009 and 2013 and was a named to the FIL World Cup All-World Team in 2013 and Player of the Match for the championship game in 2009.
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