Lindsey Wisniewski

Sabrina Ionescu becomes first Duck to take home Naismith Trophy

Sabrina Ionescu becomes first Duck to take home Naismith Trophy

The Naismith Trophy is finally headed to Eugene. 

For the first time in Oregon history, a Duck has taken home the Naismith Trophy. 

Eric Horowitz of Citizen Watch announced on CBS Friday morning that Sabrina Ionescu has been named the recipient of the Citizen Naismith Trophy, which recognizes the nation’s most outstanding women’s college basketball player. She is the first ever Oregon player to take home the honor.

Ionescu edged Baylor’s Lauren Cox, South Carolina’s Tyasha Harris and Kentucky’s Rhyne Howard for the illustrious nod. 

The triple-double queen is coming off a historic career at Oregon and a remarkable senior year. Ionescu took home the Pac-12 Player of the Year for the third-straight year and completed a four-year sweep on the all-Pac-12 team. She became the first player in NCAA history to reach 2,000 career points, 1,000 assists and 1,000 rebounds. 

Less than 24 hours ago, Ionescu added a second Wade Trophy to her growing collection of postseason awards. She has already taken home Player of the Year honors from the Associated press, USBWA, and ESPN.com. She remains a finalist for the Nancy Lieberman Award, which recognizes the nation’s top point guard and the Wooden Award. 

In her career at Oregon, Ionescu recorded 2,562 points, 1,091 assists and 1,040 rebounds along with 26 career triple-doubles.

Seahawks' Michael Dickson dishes out advice for those who want to play in NFL

Seahawks' Michael Dickson dishes out advice for those who want to play in NFL

Michael Dickson was just eight years old when he ditched his soccer kicks for an Aussie rules football.

Fast forward 16 years, he’s one of the premier punters in the NFL for the Seattle Seahawks. He earned Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors in his rookie season. 

It took grit and determination to get to the NFL, but he wants young athletes with NFL aspirations to know they can do it.   

“Make a plan for it,” Dickson said on the Seahawks Instagram. “Think it’s gonna happen, believe that it’s gonna happen. Dedicate yourself to it, discipline in all areas of your life. Put in the extra work that others don’t. I’m sure you’ve heard it all before, but just aim very high. Aim higher than you think you can get.”

In the Q&A Thursday, Dickson also shared his takes on everything from his favorite pre-game snack (coffee with chocolate milk of course) to his favorite special teams play and the first player he interacted with, Will Dissly. 

“I think he’s the first Seahawks player I met,” Dickson said. “I think we were just waiting at the airport without luggage waiting for the buses to take us to go to the facility for rookie minicamp.”

Dickson has had a number of special moments in his two years with Seattle. His game-clinching first down run against Detroit in 2018 was his best special teams play, but another game takes the cake. 

“Definitely the Monday Night Football game against San Fran where Jason hit the game winner, just being out there for that,” Dickson said. “Yeah that’s definitely the best game.”

Head on over to the Seahawks Instagram story to hear more from Dickson. 

Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum deliver encouraging words to Class of 2020

Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum deliver encouraging words to Class of 2020

Anyone who has walked across the stage and received their diploma or degree while their family sat in the audience grinning ear-to-ear, knows what a special moment graduation can be. 

But due to the coronavirus situation, many schools have postponed, canceled or given their students a belated chance to celebrate their spring graduations. 

Portland Trail Blazers guards Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum want the Class of 2020 to stay encouraged despite this year's graduation looking very different.

In a video released by their former teammate, Memphis Grizzlies forward Anthony Tolliver, the dynamic duo sent well-wishes to impending graduates.  

“I just wanted to say congratulations on everything you guys and girls have accomplished,” McCollum said. “Stay encouraged, obviously control what you can control and use this time to reconnect, spend time with family, friends and loved ones.”

“Continue to aspire to be better and grow,” Lillard said. “I just want to encourage you guys and send some love your way.” 

Along with Lillard and McCollum, NBA TV and TNT broadcaster Kristen Ledlow, Sacramento Kings forward Harrison Barnes, Brooklyn Nets guard Garrett Temple and rapper Dee-1 sent positive messages to the Class of 2020. 

Both Lillard and McCollum recently announced they would be giving back to those impacted by the coronavirus. Lillard donated $100,000 to the Trail Blazers COVID-19 relief fund while McCollum donated $170,000 to the Portland, Oregon and Canton, Ohio communities. 

Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum donates $170,000 to coronavirus relief

Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum donates $170,000 to coronavirus relief

CJ McCollum is giving back to those have been impacted by COVID-19.

Per Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports, the Portland Trail Blazers guard has donated $170,000 to the Portland, Oregon and Canton, Ohio communities for coronavirus relief. 

The generous contribution will benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs in the Portland metro area, who will receive a $70,000 donation. The funds will help the club with staff retention, virtual counseling, and other programs for children and families, including meal distribution. 

The Akron-Canton Food Bank will also receive a $100,000 contribution from the Trail Blazers star. This donation will help provide 400,000 meals to families in McCollum’s hometown of Canton, as well as the nearby communities in Stark and Tuscarawas. 

McCollum becomes the second Trail Blazer to publicly give back during this pandemic. Just two days earlier, his teammate Damian Lillard announced via a video press conference that he donated $100,000 to the Blazers COVID-19 relief fund. 

The Trail Blazers established the fund in collaboration with their players to help support local nonprofits serving the community. Portland is already doing its part of the NBA Family’s goal of raising over $50 million. 

Seahawks to work with season ticket holders amid coronavirus outbreak

Seahawks to work with season ticket holders amid coronavirus outbreak

If you are a Seattle Seahawks season ticket holder, here’s a bit of positive news. 

Per Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times, the Seahawks have said they will work with season ticket holders who may have been impacted by COVID-19. 

The team’s website lists a final renewal payment of June 15 for 2020 season tickets, however a team spokesman said the Seahawks “are working with each season ticket holder to accommodate those who need personalized payment plans, which includes deferment.”

The Seahawks now have a section on the site where 12s can find information on ways to help those impacted by COVID-19. 

This is an uncertain and sometimes unnerving time for our city, our region and our world,” the site says. “As a community of Pacific Northwesterners and 12s, it’s an important time to work together and help.

As of now, there have been no announced changes to the 2020 NFL season. The NFL Draft is expected to go on as scheduled, despite the NFL shutting down all team facilities and discontinuing all physicals during the ongoing crisis. 

Since 2003, the Seahawks have sold out every regular season game at CenturyLink Field.

Phillip Dorsett calls Russell Wilson ‘the best deep ball thrower in the NFL’

Phillip Dorsett calls Russell Wilson ‘the best deep ball thrower in the NFL’

Phillip Dorsett knows Russell Wilson’s off-script Houdini magic is something special. 

It’s why the new Seattle Seahawks wide receiver, who ran a 4.33 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine in 2015, is looking forward to catching balls from arguably the best downfield passer in Wilson this season. 

“I personally believe he’s the best deep ball thrower in the NFL,” Dorsett told Chuck Powell and Bucky Jacobsen of Sports Radio 950 KJR. “You can see it week in and week out with DK [Metcalf] and Tyler [Lockett]. I’ve been sitting back, taking advantage of the NFL Game Pass (being) free so I’ve just been watching games and you can see it every possession.”

Dorsett said he’s watched several Seahawks games and is impressed by Wilson’s late-game heroics. 

“His deep ball ability and then the way he plays. You can just see it. He’s a magician,” Dorsett said. “I feel like honestly, he doesn’t get as much credit as he deserves. He’s a great quarterback and the way he does what he does under the center back there is amazing. He’s a magician. He’s Houdini and he can make every throw.

“It’s a blessing that I get to play with him, and I can’t wait to get there and work him.” 

Wilson conjured up several last-minute miracles last season. The Seahawks tied an NFL record with 10 wins last season by a one-score margin, but not even Wilson could deliver magic in the frozen tundra in the Divisional Round against the Green Bay Packers. 

Dorsett, alongside receiving threats Lockett and Metcalf, will give Wilson another speedy weapon at his disposal. He will compete for the No. 3 spot against David Moore, John Ursua, and Malik Turner this spring. 

The 5-foot-10 wideout started 14 games for New England last season, catching 29 passes for 397 yards from Tom Brady and tacked on a career-high five touchdowns. Dorsett has 124 career receptions for 1,634 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Russell Wilson’s stepson Future shows off his quarterback skills

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@dangerusswilson

Russell Wilson’s stepson Future shows off his quarterback skills

The ongoing COVID-19 quarantine has given families a little extra time to spend with one another. Russell Wilson is certainly taking advantage of that. 

In a video shared to Twitter on Tuesday, the Seattle Seahawks quarterback got in a sweat sesh in with his stepson Future. The duo almost looks identical in the gym, but just wait until you see Future’s skills on the football field. 

“Bonding Time! #HardWork w/ Future Fun ballin’ today! The Best Teammate!” Wilson tweeted.

What can you say? It runs in the family. 

Future is only five years old, but he’s already proven to be quite the athlete, and dancer. In a TikTok video shared by Ciara, Future and his mom team up for the “Hit Yo Groove” dance challenge. 

Nothing passes the time like some quarantined dancing.  

View this post on Instagram

Me N My Baby Boy. 💙🤣#HitYoGrooveChallenge

A post shared by Ciara (@ciara) on

While the Wilsons have been spending a lot of quality time with family, they’ve continued to find ways to give back to the community. The couple announced Tuesday that they have partnered up with Wheels Up on an initiative that has a goal of providing 10 million meals to those in need.

They’ve also donated 1 million meals through Food Lifeline, a group that distributes to over 300 food banks, shelters and programs through Western Washington. 

“We want to encourage everyone out there to join us in whatever way that you can, big or small,” Ciara said. “Everything makes a difference, everything we do together makes a difference."

Nickelodeon to air NFL Wild Card games in 2021

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USA Today Images

Nickelodeon to air NFL Wild Card games in 2021

NFL clubs announced Tuesday plans to expand the postseason by two teams beginning with the 2020 season. The expansion had recently been voted on and passed in the new collective bargaining agreement.

Now official, there will be seven playoff teams from each conference, including three Wild Card teams. The No. 2 team will no longer receive a bye and will instead host the No. 7 team. 

But buried in the announcement is the launch of a kid-friendly broadcast on Nickelodeon, which will attract a younger crowd.  

Yes, the NFL will be on Nickelodeon.  

The league announced NBC and CBS would broadcast the additional wild card games. NFL Wild Card Weekend will include three games Saturday, Jan. 9 and another three games Sunday, Jan. 10. In addition to CBS’ extra broadcast on Jan. 9 — which also will be carried via a livestream on CBS All Access — the NFL noted a separately produced telecast of the game will air on Nickelodeon, tailored for a younger audience.

The Nickelodeon broadcast could quite possibly be the most watch-worthy event of them all. Just imagine: SpongeBob on the sidelines doing player interviews, or a superstar slime down during halftime. 

NFL Twitter seems into it, honestly. 

You’ll have to wait until January 10, 2021 to catch the kid-friendly telecast, but it is happening. 

Shaquill & Shaquem Griffin's agent, Buddy Baker, loses parents to coronavirus

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USA Today Images

Shaquill & Shaquem Griffin's agent, Buddy Baker, loses parents to coronavirus

Buddy Baker’s parents were married 51-plus years and healthy individuals when they contracted COVID-19. 

On Sunday, they passed away six minutes apart. 

It’s a heartbreaking story with a tragic ending, but the NFL sports agent feels he needs to act now and help others.  

“We usually look for a positive thing to be an inspiration,” Baker said. “We hope that what’s happened to us and our family inspires others to start needing and unifying with each other to make the right choice and the challenging choice.

“It’s going to take all of us getting together and deciding we’re going to stop the spread of this virus.”

Watch his full message below: 

Baker, the president and CEO of Exclusive Sports Group, LLC, represents dozens of NFL stars, including Shaquem and Shaquill Griffin. He also serves as agent to former Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin. 

Baldwin shared Baker's powerful message in a post on Twitter. 

We are sending lots of well-wishes to Baker and his family during this difficult time. 

Mikayla Pivec honored as Senior CLASS Award First Team All-American

Mikayla Pivec honored as Senior CLASS Award First Team All-American

Mikayla Pivec's devotion to community service has been on display all season long. Now, the Oregon State women's basketball team captain is being honored for her contributions. 

Per a release from Oregon State Tuesday, Pivec was named Senior CLASS Award First Team All-American. 

She was chosen as one of five first-team honorees to receive the prestigious award, which honors student-athletes who make a positive impact as leaders in their community. 

While completing her honors thesis at Oregon State, Pivec focused on finding efficient ways for homeless people to get access to more resources. She was awarded a $5,000 grant for her work, in which she donated $1,000 to local shelters. 

Pivec is also the co-founder of the Beavers CARE, a group that brings Oregon State student-athletes together for service initiatives, such as trips to the Domincan Republic with Beavers without Borders. She has also volunteered with IMPACT for Life, Community Outreach Incorporated, the Corvallis Women's Shelter and DAM Worth It. 

Pivec was also one of six Beavers named to the Pac-12 Winter Academic Honor Roll on Tuesday. 

She joins Taya Corosdale, Aleah Goodman, Patricia Morris, Destiny Slocum and Janessa Thropay as Oregon State women's basketball student-athletes recognized for their work in the classroom.