Many rivers to cross: Maurice Ndour’s four-continent quest to the NBA

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photo taken by Dave Saffran/MSG Photos

CLEVELAND — The locker room was gloomy following a 117-88 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Inside, the New York Knicks spoke softly and subdued.

Except for Maurice Ndour.

As teammates sulked in towels and sweatpants, Ndour donned a slim dark suit, his dreadlocks tied tightly and his face cemented in a smile.

“I’m doin’ great, baby,” he said.

Despite his teammates’ frustration, Ndour was radiant, soaking in his first NBA appearance — even if he didn’t play — making him the first former Ohio Bobcat on an NBA regular season roster since 2005. (continue reading here)

Bobcats win but running back woes grow

Bo Hardy started the game as a safety. He ended the game as the Ohio leading rusher and likely the running back the team will utilize moving forward.

The move to offense wasn’t by choice. While Ohio comfortably cruised past Gardner-Webb 37-21 on Saturday afternoon at Peden Stadium, running back woes only grew and left Frank Solich bleakly staring ahead in the press conference.

“Probably not,” he said about a having a position so depleted so quickly in his coaching career. “Probably not after four games. It’s just an oddity.”

It’s an oddity that needs a solution. (continue reading here)

Sebastian Smith: The not-so-secret offensive playmaker

Sebastian Smith wanted to issue a correction from a statement coach Frank Solich made last week.

In his weekly press conference, Solich said Smith wasn’t 100 percent healthy against Gardner-Webb, where Smith had six receptions for 106 yards and two touchdowns.

“If I wasn’t 100 percent, then I guess I was 99.9,” Smith joked.

The comment was only teasing his coach, but the remark reveals a lot about Smith’s character. (continue reading here)

Both sides of Bob Boldon

This story originally ran in The Post on March 31, 2014

There are two sides to Bob Boldon. One side is overly critical, blunt and could find flaws on the Mona Lisa.

Then there’s the other side, which, on a chilly spring morning, sits in his office smiling and says, “You don’t know what to do with all this optimism, do ya?”

During Boldon’s first season at the helm of the Ohio women’s basketball program, his team experienced both sides.

Boldon coached the youngest team he’s ever worked with, a team fresh off the worst season in Ohio history. (continue reading here)

FC Cincinnati: the third-tier US soccer team pulling in 20,000 fans a game

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photo courtesy of FC Cincinnati
This story originally ran in The Guardian on May 16, 2016

When Bjorn Knudsen talks, the whiskers from his eyebrows and beard poke out of his orange, full-body suit. When Knudsen walks, his father, Chip, holds him by his shoulders, helping him keep balance and walk straight.

“No curb,” Chip says when they cross a street, making sure Bjorn doesn’t stumble.

Bjorn, with a massive bass drum strapped to his chest, begins beating the drum while others are chanting. “How can you see the drum?” someone shouts.

Bjorn, Chip and 150 others are marching just under a mile from Mecklenburg Gardens, a quaint corner bar, toward Nippert Stadium — the home to what’s quickly becoming America’s most fascinating new club. (continue reading here)

FC Cincinnati: the third-tier US soccer team pulling in 20,000 fans a game

This story previously ran in The Guardian on May 16, 2016.

When Bjorn Knudsen talks, the whiskers from his eyebrows and beard poke out of his orange, full-body suit. When Knudsen walks, his father, Chip, holds him by his shoulders, helping him keep balance and walk straight.
“No curb,” Chip says when they cross a street, making sure Bjorn doesn’t stumble.

Bjorn, with a massive bass drum strapped to his chest, begins beating the drum while others are chanting. “How can you see the drum?” someone shouts.

Bjorn, Chip and 150 others are marching just under a mile from Mecklenburg Gardens, a quaint corner bar, toward Nippert Stadium — the home to what’s quickly becoming America’s most fascinating new club. (continue reading at The Guardian)

Ohio loses Camellia Bowl on last-second field goal

MONTGOMERY, Alabama — Midway through the third quarter, linebacker Jovon Johnson stripped an Appalachian State running back and ran into the end zone with his right arm stretched out in celebration.

Ohio was leading 24-7.

With less than 30 seconds left in the game, Johnson was crouched down, moments away from a Mountaineer walk-off field goal.

Ohio lost 31-29. (continue reading at The Post)

This story was published for The Post on Dec. 19, 2016.

Column: When “next year” is finally this year

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Arielle Berger | The Post

I was motionless. My hands covered my face. My eyes were glazed. My heart galloped.

I sat still for minutes, which felt like hours, after so many days and so many years.

Petrified. Through Kyrie’s shot. Through LeBron’s free throw. Through the horn sounding and ensuing celebration: Cleveland won a championship.

I wept. (continue reading at The Post) 

This story originally ran at The Post on June 20, 2016.