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serving the sport in some capacit from love520's blog

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh running back James Conner is heading to the NFL. Asics Shoes Australia Sale .Conner announced on his Twitter feed Saturday that hell turn pro after the Panthers face Penn State in the Pinstripe Bowl on Dec. 28.The 21-year-old Conner had one year of eligibility remaining after redshirting during the 2015 season following a knee injury and a very public battle with cancer. The 2014 ACC Player of the Year returned this fall and ran for 1,060 yards and 16 touchdowns while helping the Panthers to an 8-4 record and the No. 22 spot in the final regular-season poll.I have given it everything I got and will do it one more time for my brothers at Pitt, Conner tweeted, later adding I will be declaring for the 2017 NFL Draft.Conner set Atlantic Coast Conference records for career touchdowns (56) and career rushing touchdowns (52) during his three-plus seasons with the Panthers. Though he moonlighted at defensive end early in his career, his 6-foot-2, 235-pound frame turned out to be better suited running through tackles, not trying to make them. He hit his stride as a sophomore in 2014 when he ran for 1,765 yards and 26 touchdowns and figured to head to the pros in 2016 despite a torn MCL in his right knee suffered in the 2015 opener against Youngstown State.That changed in November, 2015 when Conner was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. He went through more than five months of draining treatment -- though it didnt keep him from joining his teammates for portion of spring drills -- and he embraced his role as a cancer survivor, visiting frequently with fellow patients in hopes of becoming a symbol of strength. He was declared cancer-free over the summer and returned to full contact in time for training camp.He scored in the 2016 opener against Villanova but truly hit his stride over Pitts final six games, when he went over 100 yards rushing four times and scored 13 total touchdowns, including a 20-yard sprint in the fourth quarter on the road against Clemson that brought Pitt in range to pull off a stirring 43-42 upset.Conner initially said he would wait until after Pitts bowl game to make a decision but instead opted to do it a few hours before the Heisman Trophy presentation. Its a ceremony he could have been in position to attend if he opted for one last year with the Panthers. Instead hell move on while leaving behind a remarkable legacy of perseverance and toughness.My main goal, when they talk about somebody who had a positive impact on the University of Pittsburgh, is for them to mention my name, Conner said after Pitts wild victory over Syracuse in the season finale last month. Discount Asics Shoes . Here are his mid-season NBA awards.  MVP: (KEVIN DURANT-Thunder) - Has been sensational this season and more importantly, the most consistent player in the league. Considering that his team has been without star guard Russell Westbrook and with the free agent departure of sharpshooter Kevin Martin, hes had to carry the majority of the load to not only keep his team afloat but more importantly, at an elite level. Asics Shoes Online Australia . Both players have lower body injuries that will keep them out of the lineup until at least January 31, which is the first game they can be activated from IR. .C. at the helm of the top team in the Eastern Conference. His tenure as the GM in Vancouver was all too brief. Though he led the Canucks to what was then a franchise record-shattering campaign in just his second season, Nonis was gone and replaced one year later. BOSTON -- The Red Sox sent David Ortiz off before his final regular-season game with a promise that he will return.This week, in the playoffs, when he goes for his fourth World Series title.And next year, when they hang his No. 34 from the Fenway facade among the teams retired numbers.During a pregame ceremony Sunday attended by Red Sox greats like Carl Yastrzemski and teammates from Ortizs three World Series championships, the ballclub honored the soon-to-retire slugger by draping a Dominican flag over the Green Monster and bringing out his father -- Big Papis real Papi -- to join him on the diamond.Ortiz broke into tears when he mentioned his late mother before gathering himself to thank his teammates and members of the organization from owner John Henry to clubhouse attendant Pookie Jackson. He also thanked the fans -- dropping to one knee and tipping his cap to the crowd -- along with the media, Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred and Dominican Republic President Danilo Medina, who were both in attendance.He changed the Red Sox, Manfred said before the game. He was a key part of the amazing three wins here. It changed the course of the franchise.But I also think that he changed the city. He became a symbol of the strength of the city and will always be remembered for that.Ortiz announced in November on his 40th birthday that this would be his final year, setting up a season-long farewell tour around the major leagues.As the home team, the Red Sox get to go last.Here are some other sights and sounds from Ortizs farewell:THE GAMEOrtiz had a chance to tie the game in the ninth, when he came up with one out and nobody on and the Red Sox trailing by one. He hit a weak nubber in front of the plate.In all, he was hitless in four at-bats as Toronto won 2-1 and clinched the ALs top wild-card berth.Im exhausted. Im not going to lie to you, he said. This past week caught up to me. Im so happy that its over so I can focus on whats coming up next -- the playoffs.Losses in five of their last six games cost the Red Sox a chance at home-field advantage when their AL Division Series against Cleveland begins on Thursday. Boston will instead host Game 3 on Sunday and Game 4 on Monday, if necessary.DECKED OUTThe Green Monster scoreboard read: Thanks, Big Papi. Banners hung from the light stanchions above. And Ortizs image was mowed into the center-field grass, as it has been for the entire season-ending series against the Blue Jays.Fans in the right-field bleachers held up cards that formed Ortizs No. 34 during the ceremony. During the game, the cards revealed the message: Thanks, Papi.And of course there were the three World Series championship banners behind home plate, all thanks in part to Ortiz. During the ceremony, Mike Lowell, Pedro Martinez and Jonny Gomes carried out the World Series trophies.Mary J. Blige sang the Star-Spangled Banner, as she did before Game 1 of the 2013 Series. The Red Sox also played the Dominican national anthem in Ortizs honor, and Medina threw out a ceremonial first pitch.THE DARK CLOUDManfred was at Fenway Park on the day several playoff positions were sstill to be determined and defended Ortiz from a report -- without confirming it -- that he tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug a decade ago. Asics Clearance Shoes Australia. The New York Times reported in 2009 that Ortiz was among those who tested positive in a 2003 survey test designed to determine the degree of steroids use in baseball. Ortiz has denied using performance-enhancing drugs, but neither the union nor the commissioners office has explained the report.Players and management successfully fought a legal battle to keep the list and samples secret after federal agents seized them.Manfred said on Sunday there were at least 10 names on the list whose inclusion could be doubted for legitimate scientific reasons.Even if you were on that list, it was entirely possible that you were not a positive, the commissioner said.Asked if there was anything baseball could do to help Ortiz clear his name, Manfred said the results have been destroyed.Since Ortiz did not violate baseballs rules, the only damage from the report is to Ortizs legacy and his Hall of Fame candidacy when he reaches the ballot in five years. Manfred said it was up to the voting members of the Baseball Writers Association of America whether to induct players who have formally tested positive for steroids.But Ortizs case is different, he said.In situations where it is leaked, that is unfair to the player, Manfred said. And I think it would be wrong to exclude them.COMMISSIONER PAPI?Manfred said Ortiz stopped by his office last offseason to say he planned to retire. The Red Sox slugger again went to the commissioners office when the team was in New York last week; this time, he asked to use a conference room, where he met with beneficiaries of the David Ortiz Childrens Fund and other members of the community.I got the biggest kick out of just watching this stream of people coming through, Manfred said. Each one was a better story than the last.Manfred said he planned to talk to Ortiz about serving the sport in some capacity after he retires. Major League Baseball plans to run a commercial in English and Spanish during the playoffs that ends, Thanks, Big Papi! Youre not walking away, youre walking off.ON THE STREETMassachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said the bridge over the MassPike that leads from Kenmore Square to Fenway Park would be renamed in Ortizs honor; Mayor Marty Walsh said the city would do the same for a street that leads from the ballpark to another train station.The Red Sox Foundation and the teams owners have pledged $1 million to the David Ortiz Childrens Fund. He was also given a gold-plated bat.The governor said he was surprised to find that there was a bridge left in the state that hadnt already been named for someone -- and it was right next to the ballpark. It was a natural to dub it Big Papi David Ortiz Bridge.Walsh said the weekend was bittersweet.We have great memories, he said, and there are still great memories to be made.The Red Sox begin the playoffs on Thursday in Cleveland. ' ' ' 

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By love520
Added Mar 14


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