UMass Athletics

ESPN New York: Still-hungry Victor Cruz a rare Giants rock

Dan Graziano of ESPN New York has a feature on Victor Cruz which profiles the former UMass standout as one of the key, veteran leaders on the team this season. Despite playing a position known for players wanting to make highlight plays, Graziano says Cruz told his coaches at training camp that he wanted to improve his blocking to be able to help the team this year.

"He's that way," Giants receivers coach Sean Ryan said last week. "For the kind of quick ascent he's had, none of that has ever gone to his head or to his work ethic. He's the same guy he was the day he walked in here in terms of working hard and being down to earth and wanting to be a complete football player. You've got to respect that." 

Dan Benton of Giants101.com has a story on New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz who has been nominated for a Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Sports Award. Benton writes that Cruz has become an international phenomenon and has established himself as a universal brand thanks in part to his touchdown celebrating salsa dance.

Cruz's post-TD salsa is now so famous that it has even been nominated for a Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Sports Award in the category "Party Like A Sports Star," which honors the best celebrations across the sports world.  

But the salsa isn't just a meaningless celebration for Cruz. Rather, it's to honor his late Grandmother and something that has become very meaningful for Cruz and his family.


University of Massachusetts women's basketball alumna Tamara Tatham (2003-07) helped the Canadian Senior Women's National Basketball Team to 64-43 victory over Brazil, the No. 7 internationally-ranked squad by FIBA. Check out how the squad performed in the opener of the three-game series via the recaps below:

SWNT Opens EGIC With Win | Canada Basketball
Auspicious debut for Canadian hoopsters | Edmonton Journal

Former UMass hoops standouts Luke Bonner and Anthony Gurley both participated in The Basketball Tournament earlier this month, making strong runs in the inaugural $500,000 bracketed event before falling short in the quarterfinals and semifinals. Luke authored the following on his experience.

    I felt like I had been hit by a truck. My left calf twitched, an unrelenting ache lived somewhere within my right ankle, and the thought of stairs made me quiver. I fidgeted on my barstool unable to escape the discomfort.
    We were driving back to New Hampshire following an overtime loss in the semi-finals of The Basketball Tournament (TBT), a startup 32-team, single-elimination, $500,000 winner-takes-all tournament in Philadelphia. The first of its kind. And the finals are Saturday.
    We exited 95 in New Haven, Connecticut and stopped at the first sports bar we could find. Game Two of the Spurs vs. Heat series was on -- my brother (Matt Bonner) was playing on the biggest stage basketball has to offer, the NBA Finals. Meanwhile, I tried to make sense of the past month: temporarily escaping my sedentary office lifestyle to play in one of the most unique, bizarre and mind-boggling basketball tournaments few but hardcore basketball fans even knew about.
    But I'm getting ahead of myself -- the story of how I got there is a trip itself.

Read the entire article here...

Former University of Massachusetts men's lacrosse all-American Kevin Leveille (2000-03) provided a veteran presence on attack to help put Team USA by Team MLL, 10-9 during the Major League Lacrosse All-Star Game on Thursday night. Leveille tallied twice for Team USA and scooped up a pair of groundballs in the win. Check out more coverage of the contest below:

Team USA edges Team MLL 10-9 in electrifying All-Star Game | Major League Lacrosse
Team USA Hopefuls Edge MLL All-Stars, 10-9 | Inside Lacrosse
Team USA Edges MLL Stars, 10-9 | Lacrosse Magazine
Photo Gallery: Team USA 10, MLL 9 | Lacrosse Magazine
Box Score: Team USA 10, Team MLL 9

More on the Minutemen can be found through UMassAthletics.com.

Geannelis Turns In Another Strong Start For Nashua

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UMass baseball rising sophomore, 2014 Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year Mike Geannelis continued his success in summer ball yesterday, turning in another strong start on the mound for the Nashua Silver Knights.

Geannelis went seven innings to earn the win in the 8-3 victory, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits with two walks and three strikeouts.

To date, he is 2-1 over four appearances, three starts, with a 3.50 ERA in 18 innings and 18 strikeouts to just two walks. Geannelis is also hitting .294 in limited plate appearances (5-for-17) with a home run and five RBI. Fellow Minuteman Brandon Walsh is batting .350 (7-for-20) with a 0.00 ERA over 1.2 hitless innings of relief.

Gazette: UMass eyes also on NHL draft

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With the 2014 NHL Draft taking place tonight and tomorrow in Philadelphia, Pa., Matt Vautour takes a look at the potential for a pair of UMass hockey players to get selected:

Read: UMass eyes also on NHL draft

A pair of rising-sophomore UMass field hockey student-athletes competed at the United States Under-21 National Championship during the previous week. Nicole Miller and Shauna Rankin-Byrne were members of Team USA during the four-squad tournament. TeamUSA.org has more information on the event:

Results: U21 & Futures Elite Championships
Teams: U21 Championship

Keep up-to-date with everything UMass field hockey through UMassAthletics.com.

Brampton Guardian: Tatham a key for Canada

Former UMass women's basketball star Tamara Tatham (2003-07) was selected by Canada Senior Women's National Team head coach Lisa Thomaidis to compete in a three-game series against Brazil at the Edmonton International Grads Classic from June 26-28. Frank Juzenas of the Brampton Guardian spoke with Tatham and Thomaidis ahead of the tournament to discuss Tatham's role and importance on the team.

"BRAMPTON-- Lisa Thomaidis can't help but rave about the play of Tamara Tatham.

The coach of Canada's senior women's basketball team is counting on Brampton's Tatham to once again play a big role as Canada continues its preparations for the women's world championship in Turkey later this year. Those preparations include a three-game exhibition series with Brazil this week in Edmonton..."

The conclusion of Juzenas' story is available through the Brampton Guardian website. More on UMass women's basketball can be found through UMassAthletics.com.

Soon-to-be UMass men's lacrosse freshman Peter Lindley was a key component in Darien High School Varsity Boy's Lacrosse recording a 23-0 season and Connecticut State Championship in 2014. For the team's success, Inside Lacrosse recently ranked Darien No. 5 in the final national poll of the 2014 season.

Lindley provided four goals and an assist in the 2014 FCIAC Boys Lacrosse Championship en route to being named the championship game MVP as Darien won its 13th title in program history. He has also been awarded All-FCIAC First Team in 2014 after he provided 63 goals and 19 assists to earn all-America honors.

Read more on the Inside Lacrosse Top-25 Power Rankings through IL's website here. Keep up-to-date with the Minutemen through UMassAthletics.com.

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