Archive for July 2013

Former Marquette standout Dwight Buycks signs NBA Deal with the Toronto Raptors

July 12, 2013

Good news coming out of the NBA Summer League in Orlando for Marquette Basketball fans.

According to Darnell Mayberry, the Toronto Raptors offered their backup point guard duties to Dwight Buycks, who more than happily accepted:

byucks tweet

Undrafted out of Marquette in 2011, Buycks was voted as the top AAU player in Wisconsin during his senior season in high school. He then attended junior college at Indian Hills before coming to Milwaukee in 2009.

After his playing days as a Golden Eagle, Buycks has played in the NBDL along with the French and Belgium leagues. He was named to the D-League’s all first rookie team.

Currently playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Orlando Summer League for the second straight year, the six foot three combo guard is scheduled to participate in the Las Vegas Summer League.

In 2012, Buycks averaged 15.1 points, 2.6 assists and 1.2 steals on 49.7 percent shooting during his stint in the D-League.

After watching Dwight Buycks during my time at Marquette I knew that he had the potential to get the call from an NBA Team. I didn’t think he was Welsey Matthews or Jimmy Butler good, but I knew with time and a lot of work he would get a call. What stands out about his play is the tough man to man defense, deep shooting range, and non-stop effort. Going under new leadership and a new regime in Toronto, I think backing up Kyle Lowry will be a good thing for him and he can grow as a ball handler and a passer. I love seeing more Golden Eagles in the NBA and you can now add Mr. Buycks to the list in 2013…

Top 31 Moments in the UP! #28 – Meet Ms. McCoy

July 10, 2013
(Photo by: Laura Conway)

(Photo by: Laura Conway)

Next on my countdown I take a look at a story I did back in September 2012 about a gymnast and track star transformed into weightlifter. This story is funny because going into the USOEC Weight room I was directed to do a story on one girl but when I showed up, the girl standing at the door was not the girl I was told I would meet. So people thought this would be tricky, right? Actually, it was a lot more fun!

I was supposed to meet Holly O’Dovero who was from Marquette, Michigan and graduated from NMU but instead I talked to Vanessa McCoy who was from Wichita Falls, Texas and has been at the USOEC for three years.

My favorite thing about going into a story without knowing the person is to learn all the cool things about that person and finding something unique about them that no one else would have ever known. The interview with Vanessa went very smooth and shooting b-roll for that package was so much fun. She was athletic, funny, and super kind which made this story special. I loved that she did gymnastics her whole life and then got into weightlifting just a few years ago but even though things changed, she still loves being a gymnast and has opened up her own studio in Marquette.

This story stays close to me because it’s about what I always want to do. Tell stories about special people no one knows about and let their story be heard. This story now has over 1,000 views on YouTube and 11 people like the video. That’s an accomplishment!

Top 31 Moments in the UP! #29 – Little Dribblers star on the basketball court

July 10, 2013

little dribHey Sports Fans! Sorry for the delay on the countdown, I have been traveling the country by plane and by car exploring new places and new lifestyles as I went to Lafayette, Louisiana to visit my brother in doctorate school. So let’s keep the countdown going and start with number 29 about the NMU Littler Dribblers camp on April 16, 2013.

Every year, the NMU Women’s Basketball puts on a Little Dribblers camp to teach the fundamentals of basketball to young children. This two day events is really cool for youngsters to go to the PEIF on NMU’s campus and show off their basketball talent with the women’s team.

What I loved so much about this event was the gym was absolutely packed with basketball players. It looked like their was over 300 kids in a small gym working on passing, shooting, dribbling, and teamwork. (See Video Below)  So when I got a chance to put down the camera after getting all the excellent footage, I picked up a basketball and decided to shoot some hoops with the campers.

My main goal coming to the Upper Peninsula was to be involved with the community and learn more about people and their wonderful stories. So after a few minutes, I started to build up a fan base with a lot of the children. They all wanted to play basketball games against me and they wanted to steal the ball and score over me as if I was the “Jolly Green Giant.” (I’m not a giant but I can do work with a basketball in my hand)

Seeing the kids smile and laugh and tell their parents that they played with the nice sports man from TV 6 was a moment I won’t forget and I know the kids will remember that for a very long time. When I was done playing, I wanted to do interviews with some of the participants to get their reaction on the fun day to put on the 11pm news.

Once I talked to one camper, a big group of children surrounded my camera and microphone and they all wanted to talk to me about the day of activities. Normally, kids don’t want to go on camera because they are shy and usually don’t know what to say with the light shinning in their faces. But when my TV 6 mic flag was showing, it was like I was the Beatles entering the stage to play on the Ed Sullivan show. That was as cool as it gets.

And when you get that much love, it always sticks in the back of your mind. I love the game of basketball so much and I know those kids went home smiling knowing they loved basketball as well.

Top 31 Moments in the UP! #30 – Two Dunks for the Price of One

July 3, 2013
Photo by Grandpa Camo

Photo by Grandpa Camo

Hey sports fans, I hope you enjoyed #31 on my countdown and want more exciting moments from the Upper Peninsula through the past year. For #30 I am going to jump to higher moments in High School Basketball.

The date was December 10, 2012. It was a cold and snowy night in the Upper Peninsula and I was trying to find out what game I should shoot for the 11 o’clock news. I thought, let’s get some Republic Hawks highlights because the station didn’t really cover a lot of Republic games. So I thought that night was perfect to showcase some different talent.

When I got to the gym in downtown Republic,  the Hawks were trailing North Central and the rising Jets 33-15 at the half. At that point I thought to myself, this is going to be a rough game to shoot for highlights. But I was completely WRONG!

Because the half started out with some nice defense from the Jets as Josh Granquist came up with the steal and the nice lay in at the other end. And then, the wings started to spread for both teams. Off a North Central miss, Jonathan Lygdman would get the ball up court and slam the orange in the basket for the two handed flush. Through the camera lens I was like, “WOAH!! DID THAT JUST HAPPEN????” I was very impressed by the big fella. It was a great play!

But the Jets wanted to lift off on the road and seal the deal as they started a break of their own a few minutes later and Tyler Polfus passed the ball to a wide open Caleb Martin who then flushed it down with two hands!!! The North Central bench on their feet going crazy and I thought to myself, “Did I just see two dunks in a game?” And the answer was, “Yes, yes I did see two dunks in a game in the Upper Peninsula.”

That was one of the most memorable and impressive displays of athleticism I have seen in my time in the Upper Peninsula. It was rare to see a kid dunk it here in the UP, but to see two guys sky to the rim and finish was remarkable. I don’t think I have even seen a high school game that entertaining and full of excitement.

I will post the video below of my highlights from that night. Let’s just say, I got very excited for a moment that might not happen again for a very long time…

 

Top 31 Moments in the UP! #31 – Hurley surely was going to win, until the Trojans fought back

July 2, 2013
Photo by: Peter Nocerini

Photo by: Peter Nocerini

During the month of July, I will be posting my top 31 sports moments in the UP. Let’s start with number 31. I kick off the countdown with High School Football and one of the great fall classics I saw during my time in the Upper Peninsula. It was week 3 on the young football season and Forest Park had been playing well with 2 easy wins over Bark River-Harris and Norway. But the Midgets from Hurley, WI traveled to Crystal Falls and wanted to create a rock of their own and steal a tough road victory. (Highlights of the game are below at the 6:40 mark)

When I showed up to the game, it was midway through the third quarter and Hurley led 12-6 and was looking for another touchdown. Starting from their own 35, they had 1st and 10 at the Trojan 21. Midgets QB James Sukanen went back to pass but Trojans Dennis Mongar rushed hard and hit him as he threw. This caused the pass to come up short and fall right into the hands of Derek Aberly’s at the 15 yard line. So #20 in black rushed down the sideline and scored the 85 yard interception to go up 13-12 heading into the fourth quarter.

Here is the wacky part of the game. Hurley faced a 4th and 10 at their 45 with 2:28 left in the contest and they broke out a double reverse play to Mike Henning who ran to the right side and it seemed like he would score a touchdown with ease to take the lead but NO! The ever so quick Austin Snell saved the day by tripping up Henning down at the Trojans 2 yard line after a 53-yard gain.

And then, the craziest play I have ever seen occurred in front of my eyes through my camera lens. On 1st and goal from the two, the Senior QB Mike Saari FUMBLES the ball and Trojan’s Taylor Nocerini wrapped up the pig skin and it looked like the game was over. WRONG!

Forest Park’s offense didn’t produce anything, setting up a 4th and 5 on their own 7 yard line.  So the punter runs on to the field to send it deep but the ball comes off the side of his foot and it is shanked out of bounds at their own 18 yard line. That sets up Hurley with a first down and only 18 yards to score with only setting up a first down for Hurley with 1:40 left in the game.

But the Trojans prevailed because on fourth down, Raymond Tomasik and Steve Hallmann broke through the Hurley offensive line and sacked Sukanen.

Two kneel-downs later, the Trojans celebrated their incredible win 13-12 and the team in orange was just speechless. Heck, I WAS SPEECHLESS!

I had never seen anything so crazy in my life. If you would have told me Hurley would fumble on the two with four chances to score I would have called you crazy. With a minute left and Hurley within striking distance I would have thought they would have drove the ball down and settled for a field goal. But no, the Trojans defense comes up big and creates a lasting memory in my mind. I was literally going crazy under my camera because I had never seen anything like that before in my life. The reason is because the High School football clocks run down so fast I didn’t expect Forest Park to come back and take the lead. . The fact that their back was against the wall and they came up with the W spoke a lot about the Trojans perseverance that year. You can’t make this stuff up.

So one memory down, another one upcoming. I don’t know about you, but I am very excited for High School Football next season! It’s going to be amazing!