Melting Pot: 76ers’ global approach to a roster is working

first_imgMOST READ View comments ‘Stop romanticizing Pinoy resilience’ P16.5-M worth of aid provided for Taal Volcano eruption victims — NDRRMC Philadelphia — a melting pot of humanity for more than 300 years — has a basketball team probably as diverse as the city itself. The 76ers, 19-1 in their last 20 games and suddenly looking very much like an NBA Finals contender, will try to close out the Miami Heat and clinch their Eastern Conference opening series when they play host to Game 5 on Tuesday night.About a dozen languages and dialects can be spoken in the 76ers locker room at any time, but clearly, winning is a universal language.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown“It’s all basketball, but the true side of how people coach, speak, say, play the game is different,” 76ers coach Brett Brown said. “And that collection now that I have with everybody is like is a melting pot of all peoples experiences. That equals a team. I mean, I love it. I love the geo-political conversations. I love that diversity on the court, off the court. I enjoy it.”There might be no coach better-suited for this particular gig that Brown, too. Scientists seek rare species survivors amid Australia flames The poise shows, with the rookie shining in his first playoffs.Embiid, also in his first playoffs and with a mask protecting his surgically repaired face, has handled playing injured with ease. Belinelli has been a steadying force since he got to Philadelphia two months ago. Saric has been doing things in these playoffs that can draw comparisons to what that countrymen Drazen Petrovic and Peja Stojakovic did before him. Ilyasova has been a key player for Philadelphia since getting rescued from Atlanta in February.They all think differently, many learned the game differently, and the backgrounds are wildly different.But it works.A record 62 players from 33 countries were on playoff rosters across the NBA this season, and no one had more of them than Philadelphia — the 76ers have seven international guys with them for the postseason, matching Utah for the league lead.“My English isn’t that good, Dario’s isn’t that good, but we try to be a great group,” Belinelli said. “And we are. We go to dinner all together, we spend a lot of time together in the locker room after practice. It’s just part of the work, I think. Having all these guys from different parts of the world, it’s a good thing.”Brown, a coach in three Olympics, couldn’t agree more.“This global instinct and sort of global feeling that we have in Philadelphia interests me very much,” Brown said. “I embrace it. For me, it’s another layer of why I enjoy coaching this team.” Jo Koy draws ire for cutting through Cebu City traffic with ‘wang-wang’ Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Green group flags ‘overkill’ use of plastic banderitas in Manila Sto. Niño feastcenter_img Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. He spent nearly two decades living overseas, spending most of that time coaching in Australia before getting hired by the San Antonio Spurs — another franchise that has found championship ingredients from all over the world — back in 2002. Brown went to Philadelphia in 2013, took loss after loss after loss for his first four seasons when The Process was playing itself out, and now is reaping the rewards.The 76ers are young. They’re brash. They’re fearless. And they’re legit.“A lot of the guys growing up overseas, we have that European style of play,” Simmons said. “It’s a lot different than the U.S. style.”Simmons is still a kid, in the NBA sense. He’s 21. But he’s already seen the world with a basketball in hand: He’s played all over Australia, represented his country in Lithuania at the FIBA World U17 Championships as a 15-year-old, ended up going to high school in Florida and spent his lone year of college at LSU.“I’ve seen a lot,” Simmons said. “I’ve played everywhere.”ADVERTISEMENT Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Common goal Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ LATEST STORIES FILE – From left are file photos showing members of the Philadelphia 76ers basketball team. Philadelphia’s six leading scorers so far in the playoffs, in order, from left: Ben Simmons, Australia; Dario Saric, Croatia; Joel Embiid, Cameroon; JJ Redick, U.S.; Marci Belinelli, Italy and Ersan Ilyasova, Turkey. Philadelphia–a melting pot of humanity for more than 300 years—has a basketball team probably as diverse as the city itself. (AP Photo/File)MIAMI — Philadelphia’s six leading average scorers so far in the playoffs, in order are: Ben Simmons, Dario Saric, Joel Embiid, JJ Redick, Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova.Their homelands: Australia, Croatia, Cameroon, the United States, Italy and Turkey.ADVERTISEMENT Truck driver killed in Davao del Sur road accidentlast_img read more

WATCH: Tequila! Delirious Mexicans party outside South Korean embassy

first_imgVideos posted on social media also showed ambassador Kim Sang-il sharing a bottle of tequila with fans and jumping up and down as the crowd partied outside the embassy, chanting “Korean brother, now you’re Mexican”.The embassy was bombarded by phone calls thanking South Koreans, Yonhap news agency said, including one from Mexico’s undersecretary for foreign affairs.READ: South Korea ends World Cup with mixed feelingsMexican finance minister Jose Antonio Gonzalez Anaya also called his counterpart in Seoul to thank South Korea, Seoul’s finance ministry said, promising to treat him to a meal at the next G20 finance ministers’ meeting.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next One last tweet about Byoung-jin Han: that tequila shot he took while wearing a Mexico jersey lent to him by a fan? Another fan @sebasaspe passed this along: pic.twitter.com/JtCAe8390y— James Wagner (@ByJamesWagner) June 27, 2018Ecstatic Mexican fans besieged the South Korean embassy in their capital to celebrate with diplomats after the Asian team stunned Germany at the World Cup and ensured Mexico’s progress to the last 16 in Russia.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownMexicans watched in horror as their side were thumped 3-0 in Yekaterinburg, leaving them keeping a nervous eye on the match between Germany and South Korea about 500 miles (800 kilometers) to the west in Kazan.ADVERTISEMENT Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Taal victims get help from Kalayaan town Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. But Mexico City exploded with joy when South Korea scored two injury-time goals to eliminate the defending world champions in a huge upset.Hundreds of Mexican fans mobbed the South Korean embassy to chant “We are all Koreans!” as one lifted the consul general Han Byoung-jin onto his shoulders.Re: Korea defeating Germany, thus allowing Mexico to progress to the next round–this video of Mexican fans bumrushing the Korean embassy in Mexico City to thank the ambassador personally, and forcing him to down tequila shots is so beautiful and perfect 😂 #KORGER pic.twitter.com/E1GeZCRrlK— Very Stable Genius (@Rantaramic) June 27, 2018ADVERTISEMENT Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Cloudy skies over Luzon due to amihan Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Harvey Weinstein rape trial MOST READ Christopher Tolkien, son of Lord of the Rings author, dies aged 95 Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew PVL stint a key building block for NU Lady Bulldogs Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown LATEST STORIES In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Bicol riders extend help to Taal evacuees READ: Mexican fans celebrate South Korea’s victory over Germany View commentslast_img read more

Thunder trade Anthony to Hawks, waiver likely

first_imgIn fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Neymar not upset at critics of his World Cup rolling Trump assembles a made-for-TV impeachment defense team Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next ‘High crimes and misdemeanors’: Trump impeachment trial begins ESPN, which first reported the trade, said the Thunder will send Muscala to the Philadelphia 76ers for Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, and Philadelphia’s Justin Anderson will be sent to Atlanta.Schroder, a speedy 6-foot-1 guard, averaged a career-high 19.4 points last season for the Hawks in 67 games, all starts.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’Anthony’s lone season in Oklahoma City was largely a bust. He averaged 16.2 points and struggled at times in his new role alongside Russell Westbrook and Paul George. The 10-time All-Star posted career lows in scoring average and field goal percentage, and the Thunder were ousted in the first round of the playoffs by Utah.The 34-year-old Anthony had been the headliner his entire career — he’s 19th in NBA history with 25,417 points — but he was more of a catch-and-shoot scorer last season instead of the isolation specialist he had always been. His playing time dwindled in the playoffs. In Game 6 of the first-round series against Utah that ended Oklahoma City’s season, he played fewer minutes than reserve Jerami Grant. After the season, he said he prefers to play with the ball in his hands more and said coming off the bench is “out of the question.” Putin’s, Xi’s ruler-for-life moves pose challenges to West MOST READ Anthony opted in earlier this summer to accept the $28 million he was due next season. The Thunder re-signed Grant, then it was reported that Anthony and the Thunder would eventually part ways, though it was unclear how it would happen.Schroder will likely fill a role for the Thunder similar to that of James Harden and Reggie Jackson in the past — explosive player who thrives as a lead scorer with the second unit. The Thunder are poised to be one of the best teams in the West after re-signing Paul George and Grant, adding center Nerlens Noel and Schroder and getting defensive stopper Andre Roberson back from a ruptured left patellar tendon that cost him the last three months of the season.Schroder comes with some baggage. He was arrested in September following a fight at a hookah bar, an issue that has not been resolved. He was benched for most of the second half in a game during the 2016-17 season when he began arguing with Dwight Howard on the court, didn’t guard his man and gave up an easy basket. He was suspended for one game in 2017 when he returned late from the All-Star break. The Hawks at one point considered Schroder their future cornerstone, but they switched directions and drafted Oklahoma’s Trae Young in the first round of this year. The Hawks also added Brooklyn’s Jeremy Lin.ADVERTISEMENT Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding LATEST STORIES Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Palace OKs total deployment ban on Kuwait OFWs Report: Disney dropping the ‘Fox’ from movie studio names Lacson: Calamity fund cut; where did P4 billion go? FILE – This is an April 25, 2018, file photo showing Oklahoma City Thunder forward Carmelo Anthony (7) during Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Utah Jazz, in Oklahoma City. Carmelo Anthony is done in Oklahoma City. A person with knowledge of the details tells The Associated Press the Thunder are sending the veteran NBA forward and a 2022 protected first-round pick to Atlanta in exchange for Hawks guard Dennis Schroder and Mike Muscala. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)OKLAHOMA CITY — Carmelo Anthony is done in Oklahoma City.A person with knowledge of the details told The Associated Press the Thunder are sending Anthony and a 2022 protected first-round pick to Atlanta in exchange for Hawks guard Dennis Schroder and Mike Muscala. Anthony will be waived by the Hawks, clearing the way for him to sign as a free agent elsewhere. The person spoke Thursday on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the situation publicly.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

PSL files complaint vs ex-president Tats Suzara

first_imgThe Philippine Superliga board on Thursday filed a complaint of Qualified Theft at the National Bureau of Investigation against former president Tats Suzara and director for finance Donaldo Caringal.PSL’s board said the two committed “irregular and unauthorized disbursement of company funds.”ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Palace OKs total deployment ban on Kuwait OFWs NLEX rallies to stun Xinjiang, advances to Super 8 semis LATEST STORIES Trump assembles a made-for-TV impeachment defense team Putin’s, Xi’s ruler-for-life moves pose challenges to West League vice president Dr. Ian Laurel read a statement saying the board discovered, through a third party auditor that the PSL hired, irregularities in the association’s usage of funds.“Based on the result of the audit, Messrs. Ramon Suzara and Donaldo Caringal, being both then signatories of PSL bank accounts, allowed the release and use of company funds for unauthorized purposes, which include, among others, President’s discretionary fund, travel expenses/allowances, cash advance, telephone reimbursements.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’The PSL also views the filing of the complaint as in line with the league’s “good governance advocacy in all aspects of its operation and to hold people, no matter their position in the organization, accountable for their actions.”Suzara and Caringal, though, said the filing of the case would be of benefit to them instead of tarnishing their names. Lacson: Calamity fund cut; where did P4 billion go? Report: Disney dropping the ‘Fox’ from movie studio names ‘High crimes and misdemeanors’: Trump impeachment trial begins Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award “We welcome the filing of the case against us by some personalities in the Philippine Superliga,” the two said in a statement. “We have actually been looking forward to the legal action that they have initiated that as this would provide us the opportunity to clear our good names.”Suzara and Caringal, who have resigned in lieu of the events that unfolded, argue that they have been the victims of “unfounded lies.”The two said that the matter could’ve been raised during their regular board meetings instead of reaching the authorities.“We did not resign from Superliga because of the accusations against us, we resigned our positions because we wanted to protect the sport of volleyball, the players, and the national team and insulate them from disagreements among us members of the board,” said Suzara and Caringal.In an attempt to even the playing field, Suzara and Caringal decided to take legal actions “to protect our good names.”ADVERTISEMENT View commentslast_img read more

LeBron James gets 1st win as a Laker in romp over Suns

first_imgGov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Suns: At Memphis on Sunday night.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next “Our defense picked up,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said. “To start the game our defense was soft. They missed some shots but that was the same thing that happened against San Antonio, but they made shots. We need to get better at that. We need to start games with the same mentality that we started the second quarter.”Phoenix committed eight turnovers in the second quarter, resulting in 15 Lakers points.“In the first quarter we had a defensive presence,” Suns coach Igor Kokoskov said. “We had a couple good defensive possessions and showed some kind of resistance defensively and we had a close game. But in the rest of the game, starting with the turnovers, we were thinking too much.”The Lakers led 76-54 at the break and Phoenix never got closer than 16 in the third quarter.“The Lakers are a good team,” Kokoskov said. “We were talking about this morning that we’re not buying in their record right now. They’re much better than the record is saying. But I’m not pleased with any part of game, including defense.”TIP-INSLakers: James has five fewer triple-doubles than Wilt Chamberlain. James has three triple-doubles in his career against Phoenix. … Stephenson scored 12 points in the first half on 6-of-7 shooting. … Lakers have won four straight in Phoenix after losing 11 in a row there. … Like Ayton, current Lakers broadcaster and former player Mychal Thompson was born in the Bahamas and was the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA (by Portland).Suns: Booker fell two points shy of becoming the first Suns player to score 25 points or more in the first four games of a season since Charlie Scott in 1972-73. … Phoenix has lost its last three games by 28, 20 and 18 points. … Ayton found himself defending James one-on-one twice in the second half. James missed a 3 the first time and drove for a layup, which rimmed out, on the second.UP NEXTLakers: Host Denver on Thursday night. Price pitches Red Sox past Dodgers for 2-0 Series lead Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title LATEST STORIEScenter_img Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? MOST READ Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) celebrates a basket against the Phoenix Suns during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)PHOENIX — In his fourth game, LeBron James finally got his first victory as a Los Angeles Laker.James flirted with what would have been his 74th career triple-double, finishing with 19 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds before sitting out the fourth quarter of a 131-113 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night.ADVERTISEMENT Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil But the Lakers didn’t miss them in this one, blowing it open with a 44-point second quarter.Neither team led by more than six points in the first quarter and the Suns were down only 46-41 after Isaiah Canaan’s driving layup with 7:09 left in the half.But Phoenix committed four turnovers in a 17-2 Los Angeles outburst that put the Lakers up 63-43 on Josh Hart’s running dunk with 3:51 left in the first half.“That is what we keep harping on. That is what we will continue to harp on throughout the season is our defensive approach,” James said. “How we approach the game, our physicality, our communication and that is what we did in the second quarter.”Los Angeles outscored the Suns 44-24 in the second quarter.ADVERTISEMENT Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown “It feels great,” he said. “It is a win, period, but it feels good to know what we have been doing over training camp and these first few games to continue to get better.”Lance Stephenson had 23 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, JaVale McGee added 20 points and Kyle Kuzma had 17 for the Lakers. They had seven players in double figures.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissThe Suns’ Devin Booker had 23 points, seven rebounds and seven assists but left the game in the third quarter with a strained left hamstring. Deandre Ayton, the No. 1 overall pick this year, had 22 points and 11 rebounds.Los Angeles was without Rajon Rondo and Brandon Ingram for their roles in an altercation with the Houston Rockets on Saturday night. Wednesday night was the first of a three-game suspension for Rondo and a four-game suspension for Ingram. View commentslast_img read more

North Korea and China in ice dance to the music of diplomacy

first_imgIn fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ The four skaters –- Ryom Tae Ok and Kim Ju Sik of the North, who qualified for last year’s Winter Olympics in the South, and Sui Wenjing and Han Cong, who took the ice dance silver in Pyeongchang –- were the star attractions of the pageant.With portraits of Kim –- father and predecessor of current leader Kim Jong Un –- and his own father Kim Il Sung looking down on the arena, they smiled and waved together to the crowd at the end of the closing sequence.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsA diplomatic dance resumes at the end of the month in Hanoi for a second North Korean-US summit, but in marked contrast to the speculation circulating in Washington and elsewhere, Pyongyang’s official KCNA news agency has barely mentioned the meeting.Kim Jong Un had three summits with the South’s President Moon Jae-in last year and a historic first meeting with US President Donald Trump in Singapore. Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college MOST READ Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra No Michelle Morente for La Salle in UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil The North has yet to announce the date to its own people, and KCNA last referred to the encounter three weeks ago, when it said that a special envoy Kim sent to Washington had “discussed the issue for the second DPRK-US summit”.Vietnam’s foreign minister visited Pyongyang this week, but KCNA again skirted around the subject, saying he had “an in-depth exchange of opinions” on “regional and international issues of mutual concern”.Pyongyang’s pursuit of nuclear arms and the ballistic missiles to deliver them to the US mainland has left it isolated on the global stage, subject to multiple sets of sanctions from the UN Security Council and other bodies.But relations with China, long its key diplomatic protector and main provider of trade and aid, have improved markedly in recent months, with Kim keen to secure President Xi Jinping’s backing in his negotiations with Trump, and Beijing wary of Washington seeking to influence developments in its own back yard.Kim went to China last month for his fourth encounter with Xi in less than a year, and in September Beijing sent a member of the Politburo Standing Committee, its most powerful political body, to attend a military parade in Pyongyang.ADVERTISEMENT Juche on IceThe ice skating show is part of the North’s annual festivities to mark the birth of Kim Jong Il, who it says was born on February 16, 1942, at a secret camp on Mount Paektu, the spiritual birthplace of the Korean people, where his father, the North’s founder Kim Il Sung, was fighting the Japanese.Outsiders point instead to official Soviet records showing he was born a year earlier in a Siberian village, where the older Kim was in exile.As well as scores of North Koreans ranging from Olympians to children, around 20 international skaters performed, mostly from eastern European countries.In a welcome speech, a vice-minister described them as coming “to the festival stage with the feeling of humble respect for the great leader comrade Kim Jong Il, the eternal sun of Juche Korea”.“Juche” is a North Korean political term which refers to self-reliance.The North Koreans skated to songs such as “We cannot live without him” –- an ode to Kim Jong Un -– with the Olympic pair accompanied by “Confession”, about loyalty to the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea.In contrast, a Belarussian took to the ice to Tina Turner’s GoldenEye, lyrics: “GoldenEye I found his weakness/GoldenEye he’ll do what I please”. Ice skaters Ryom Tae Ok (front L) of North Korea stands with Han Cong (front 2nd L) of China as his partner Sui Wen Jing (front 2nd R) stands with Kim Ju Sik (front R) of North Korea during the ’26th Paektusan Prize Figure Skating Festival in Celebration of the Day of the Shining Star’ as part of celebrations marking the birthday of late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, in Pyongyang on February 15, 2019. (Photo by Sebastien BERGER / AFP)At the climax of a festival on ice to celebrate late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il on Friday, Olympic skaters from the host nation and neighboring China swapped partners to dance together.The moment symbolized the markedly improved relations between Beijing and nuclear-armed Pyongyang amid a flurry of diplomacy on and around the peninsula.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextcenter_img Philippine Army to acquire MANPADS, self-propelled howitzers Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Top Pentagon general: US maintains ‘high levels of readiness’ regarding N. Korea PLAY LIST 01:11Top Pentagon general: US maintains ‘high levels of readiness’ regarding N. Korea02:12China Coast Guard arrives in Manila for ‘historic’ talks00:52China reports first death from mystery pneumonia outbreak02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES View commentslast_img read more

President Sirleaf Pays Tearful Tribute to Willis Knuckles

first_imgPresident Ellen Johnson Sirleaf joined hundreds of friends, family and colleagues who gathered in Careysburg Saturday morning to lay to rest the remains of the late Willis DeFrancis Knuckles, Jr.President Sirleaf began her eulogy in the form of a Letter: “Dear Willis…”A deeply saddened President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, in her tearful tribute, described the late Knuckles as an awesome strategist who, she said,  immensely, committedly and honestly contributed to her successes in the 2005 and 2011 presidential elections.She said he was introduced to her as a ‘rising star’; and as a non-partisan, he began to effect his strategies and organizational skills during presidential campaigns.She asserted that she saw it fitting for Willis to be part of her first cabinet team as Minister of Publics Works and later as Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, but characteristically coined his departure from her government as “untimely,” adding that “He held no bitterness.”The President recalled that although Knuckles went into the private sector as a business man, “he always dropped by my house to spice my day with his wise counsel.”Madam Sirleaf, in a painful narration, said her last meeting with Willis Knuckles was at the John F. Kennedy Hospital in Monrovia, where he was in uncontrollable tears, coupled with the lamentations of family members.She indicated that that an emotional heartbreak forced her to leave the hospital in tears.President Sirleaf told the thousand-odd funeral-goers that Willis’ tears at the hospital sent a message that he would no longer be with us.  This prediction to his death  brought tears in the eyes of many in the Seys United Methodist Church in Careysburg.“I had never seen him cry before; and so I believed that was a message that I would not see him again,” the President said.Sorrowfully, for about three minutes, the President left the podium and held on to the casket bearing Mr. Knuckles’ mortal remains and grieved before the mourners, which spared another tearful moment.Some Christians and Muslims who were in the Church argued that if the President had the power of resurrection, or had direct access to God, she would have either resurrected Willis, or prostrated before God as she did at the casket.The President made a remark she had never before revealed publicly: that Willis Knuckles was the person upon whom she depended to organize the transfer of Liberia’s capital city from Monrovia, Montserrado County, to Zekepa in Nimba County.Others who also paid tributes included Foreign Minister Augustine Ngafuan, who read the Official Gazette on behalf of the Liberian Government as Dean of the Cabinet; the City Corporation of Careysburg, the Rotary Clubs of Monrovia and Sinkor, Alpha Oldtimers and Crowd 21.Others included the Liberia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, the Monrovia Christian Church, the Mount Galilee Baptist Church (Careysburg), First Presbyterian Chruch (Careyburg), Seys United Methodist Church and the family.In his funeral discourse, Seys Senior Pastor Sampson W. Nyanti told the audience that death is inevitable, and that after death is judgment for hell or heaven. Rev. Nyanti said there are three things that sends one to heaven: Knowing, Believing and Living the Word God.Prior to Mr. Knuckles’ employment in the Unity Party’s led government, specially between, 1969-1993, he served as Liaison Officer and Special Protocol Attache, planning for and executing important events such as State Visits, Conferences and Inaugurations and serving as a Liaison to foreign dignitaries, including Heads of State.At the State Department, he served as Secretary to Secretary of State J. Rudolph Grimes and was later appointed by the late President Tubman as a member of Liberian delegations to several Ministerial and Summit meetings of Organization of African Unity in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  He also attended the Summit of Heads of State of the Non-Aligned Movement in Lusaka, Zambia.Mr. Knuckles also served as Administrative Assistant to the late Vice President James E. Greene, until his death in 1977. President William R. Tolbert in 1979 appointed Mr. Knuckles Assistant Minister for Sports in the Ministry of Labor, Youth and Sports, during the tenure of Minister Estrada J. Bernard. Following his successful organization of a six-nation tournament won by Liberia, Knucles was elevated to the position of Deputy Minister for Youth and Sports, the assignment he held until his resignation in June 1980.The late Knuckles served as Managing Editor at the Daily Observer from 1982-1984 as well as a correspondent for the BBC’s Focus on Africa Program.Willis was a strong believer in the family and the Church. He was a lifelong Methodist, spearheaded and organized record fundraising drives on two occasions for the rebuilding of the Church.He served as Secretary General and Vice Chairman of the Liberia Football Association (LFA) from 1972-1975 and from 1984-1986.In 1988, he organized and served as managing director of the Sports World, which was forced to close down in 1990  at the onset of the civil war. Again, in 1992, he established a wholly owned private business entity, which provided a vital link between Liberians at home and their relatives in the US, West Africa and other part of the world.The distinguished statesman  died Monday, July 28, 2014 at the hour of 12:30 am in Accra, Ghana after a brief illness.He was born June 29, 1946 in the City of Careysburg, Montserrado County unto the Union of  Mr. Willis D.  Knuckles, Sr. and Mrs. Ethel Dunbar Knuckles, the second of 15 children. He was predeceased by two brothers, George and Winston.He is survived by his widow, Mrs. Hawa Evelyn Knuckles; three children, Hawa-Ellen Knuckles, Willis D. Knuckles, III (Marie), and Ethel V. Knuckles; his mother, Mrs. Ethel Dunbar Wah; 12 brothers and sisters, Mrs. Bushin Wilson, Gabriel, Raymond, Marie Forko, William, Benedict, Pitman, Emma Burl Sea, Ethel Coomber, Estella, Mawolo and Robert; two grandchildren: Somod Willis and Nala Miriam; and many other relatives and friends in Liberia and abroad.The Liberian Official Gazette described the late Knuckles as: Patriot, Administrator, Entrepreneur, Devout Christian and Dedicated Public Servant.Mr. Knuckles was buried at the Knuckles’ Cemetery opposite his house in Careysburg.President Ellen Johnson-Sireaf led the Cabinet to the burial, which marked the first time for President Sirleaf to attend both funeral and burial ceremonies, since her reelection in 2011.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more