Steph Curry, Kevin Durant among top NBA All-Star game vote-getters

first_imgLeBron James of the … Stephen Curry leads all Western Conference guards in the early returns of fans voting for the 2019 All-Star Game, and his Warriors teammate Kevin Durant is third among frontcourt players, the league announced Thursday.Meanwhile, Klay Thompson (fifth among guards) and Draymond Green (ninth among frontcourt players) predictably face longer odds of being voted in by the fans, whose votes count for 50 percent of the vote to determine who’ll start in the 68th All-Star Game.last_img

Africa, own your destiny: Zuma

first_img9 May 2013Africa’s attitude towards itself and how it interacts with the world has changed for the better, South African President Jacob Zuma said at the opening of the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa meeting in Cape Town on Thursday.Speaking at the event’s main opening plenary session, Zuma said that, 50 years after the setting up of the Organisation for Africa Unity (OAU) – now known as the African Union – the continent stood at a precipice.“If you take the 50 years since it was established, we are almost at a point of launching Africa into very great activities to achieve a prosperous continent,” he said.He said Africa had to get to the stage where it was self-sufficient and could use its own resources to fund its own development needs, while being able to trade with the world on equal terms.However, conflicts in Africa still stood in the way of development, and it was for this reason that South Africa and its fellow African states were working hard to rid the continent of conflict, he said.“I think African leaders are saying, for the first time, ‘Let us organise ourselves and let us talk to the kind of organisations that will respond positively and very effectively on what we think needs to be done to develop our continent’.”He said South Africa’s BRICS membership represented an important turning point for Africa’s connectivity to the globe.Referring to the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) summit that took place in Durban in March, Zuma said: “I think the BRICS leadership found it very pleasing that Africa could say, ‘Here are specific projects that Africa is presenting to investors’.“Our belief is that the membership of South Africa to BRICS represents the one-billion people on the continent of Africa.”Zuma said the BRICS Development Bank would soon become a reality and that finance ministers from the five member countries were currently working on the technical details around setting up the South-South development bank.He said the two main issues that finance ministers were addressing was how BRICS members would capitalise the bank and secondly, where to base the development bank.Zuma called for the development bank to be based in Africa, where he said the greatest need for development funding lay.African Union Commission chair Nkosazana Dlamimi Zuma, also addressing Thursday’s opening plenary, said that in the next 50 years, Africa should be described as a prosperous continent and one at peace with itself.Dlamini Zuma said the key to Africa’s growth would be to invest in its people by improving health, education, skills and innovation. Investing in agriculture would be key, as agriculture could help create jobs and feed those on the continent, she said.She pointed out that in promoting growth, the continent should opt for modern techniques, tools and infrastructure. The continent also needed more partnerships between businesses, citizens and governments.African Development Bank president Donald Kaberuka told the gathering that the continent had to continue developing infrastructure, pointing out that poor infrastructure added about 40% of the cost of doing business on the continentKaberuka said he had spoken with Zuma about mobilising African resources to fund infrastructure, rather than rely largely on foreign aid, as the African Development Bank currently does, to fund such projects.Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

Red and Yellow investment reaps rewards

first_imgRed and Yellow’s mission is to counter the increasing income gap by arming underprivileged people with the knowledge and skills they need to compete with their affluent counterparts on even ground. This is done through facilitating this learnership. (Image: Red & Yellow)It started almost a year ago, when 30 promising, young and hungry people from previously disadvantaged backgrounds were chosen to take part in the first advertising certificate course run by Red & Yellow School in Johannesburg.The first course run by the advertising and marketing college took place at the institution’s main campus in Cape Town in 2015.Chosen from some 3 000 applicants, the 30 students were given a chance to prove themselves and become part of the future of South Africa’s marketing and advertising industry through the Red &Yellow Springboard Marketing Institute (RYSMI).The RYSMI learnership involves six months of training at the school, after which the students are placed in various companies in the industry for a further six months. There they get on-the-job experience and training, giving them a proper taste of life in advertising and marketing.Today, almost a year later, the students are in their last days of their course and their time at their respective companies and agencies. When their learnerships do end, the students will go back to Red & Yellow, where they will prepare to write their final exams.Putting on paper what they learned in the classroom and in the industry, this last step will reveal whether they have what it takes to break into the sector successfully.Red and Yellow’s mission is to counter the increasing income gap by arming underprivileged people with the knowledge and skills they need to compete with their affluent counterparts on even ground. This is done through facilitating this learnership.Commenting on what it took to be successful in advertising and marketing, Matome Malatji (pictured above) said that “most importantly it is centred on how you think.”A PERSONAL ACCOUNTMatome Malatji, one of the 30 students, was placed at Avatar Agency. Speaking of his experiences over the better part of the last six months, he said: “At Avatar Agency, for the first time, I was in a place where I understood people and they understood me right back.“At Avatar I learned about the agency and the industry as a whole; how the departments and the different people and personalities in those departments worked as a unit. This experience helped me put all that I had learned during the first six months of the learnership into practice.”His time at the agency gave him a chance to get to grips with what exactly went on in the day-to-day running of an agency and how individual agencies existed in the competitive field of advertising.“Everybody wants to be heard. With the hands-on experience I had at Avatar and the lessons I was taught at Red & Yellow, I believe I have found my voice to have my say in this ever-changing industry, which has its own culture and lifestyle.”Commenting on what it took to be successful in advertising and marketing, Malatji said that “most importantly it is centred on how you think. I will carry with me everything I have learned and my now not-so-little black book.”GET INVOLVEDThe Red & Yellow certificate course accepts a new group of ambitious students each year to continue the school’s search for promising talent and those who will help to take the South African advertising and marketing industry to new heights.If you want to be considered for the programme, more details are available on the Red &Yellow Springboard Marketing Institute website. You can also get in touch with Melissa Maguire via email on [email protected] or call 011 067 3400.“All’s well that ends well,” said Malatji. “You never know what you’re capable of until you try.”last_img read more

In The Spotlight – Sam Brisby

first_imgIn the seventeenth edition of In The Spotlight, Australian Men’s Open player, Sam Brisby, speaks about how it feels to be representing Australia at the 2011 World Cup and the biggest influence on his Touch Football career. Name: Sam BrisbyNickname: BrisoAge: 18Affiliate: Manly Occupation: Swimming CoachPosition: MiddleDebut for Australia: 2010 Men’s Open Trans Tasman and 2009 Youth Trans Tasman. Career highlights so far: Winning the Men’s Open Trans Tasman Series in 2010.How you got involved in Touch Football: Dad introduced me to the sport.Favourite player: Drumayne Dayberg-Muir  What does it mean to you to be representing Australia at the 2011 World Cup:  It means a great deal reaching the top of my sport and representing Australia. It would be great to win the World Cup. Biggest influence on your Touch Football career: DadFavourite sporting moment: Playing my first game for the Australian Men’s Open team.What do you know about Scotland: Long plane flight, ancient castles and cold.Any superstitions: Wearing Lance Armstrong’s ‘Livestrong’ yellow wristband and listening to the same songs on the bus to a big game.Funniest Australian teammate: Anthony Ziade.Favourite quote: Pain is temporary, quitting lasts forever.Any travel plans for after World Cup: London and Paris.Stay tuned to the website for the upcoming editions of In The Spotlight, which will feature every Open’s player travelling to the World Cup. With only 37 days to go until the 2011 Federation of International Touch World Cup, be sure to be regularly visiting the Touch Football Australia website to keep up-to-date with all of the latest news and information. Don’t forget to become a fan of Touch Football Australia on Facebook and Twitter in the lead up to the 2011 World Cup to find out all you need to know about Australia’s World Cup campaign:http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Touch-Football-Australia/384949403384 www.twitter.com/touchfootyauslast_img read more

a month agoAubameyang seals comeback win for 10-man Arsenal over Aston Villa

first_imgAubameyang seals comeback win for 10-man Arsenal over Aston Villaby Freddie Taylora month agoSend to a friendShare the loveUnai Emery has lauded Arsenal’s character after they came from behind twice to beat Aston Villa 3-2 at the Emirates on Sunday.John McGinn gave the visitors an unexpected lead in the first-half, who were soon ahead with men on the pitch after Ainsley Maitland-Niles was a shown a second-yellow card.Fortunately for the Gunners, Nicolas Pepe’s converted from the penalty spot to score his first goal for the club and level the scores, only for Wesley to restore Villa’s lead with a poacher’s goal a minute later.But it wasn’t over for Arsenal, as substitute Callum Chambers made it 2-2 after 81 minutes before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s superb free-kick completed the comeback.Speaking after the game, Emery said: “I think here we are doing and creating good spirit with our supporters and the players, they are feeling that. “But it’s first our commitment, our behaviour, fighting for each ball and also taking some risks for attacking and above all we are using and when we were one less player. “That is good. Today is two things for me: the first is that character, that connection with the supporters, and after this, how we can improve defensively and throughout the first 11. “Really we lost more balls than we wanted and this is the one situation we didn’t have the control over in the first 30 minutes like we wanted. It’s one thing for me to improve and to work with the players. “With that victory it’s better and after last week against Watford it was competitive and today, we need to take a good balance in our emotion, in our mentality but today I think we can be happy and it is one step ahead.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

NCAA Mens Tournament Forecast The Parity Is Over

Check out FiveThirtyEight’s March Madness predictions.Not long ago, in a galaxy not so far away from wherever Comcast placed truTV in your cable lineup, the era of the dominant men’s college basketball team was over. Last year, no team had more than a 15 percent chance of winning the NCAA men’s tournament, according to FiveThirtyEight’s pre-tournament forecast (Louisville was the best bet). In 2011, the nominal favorite was Duke, with a 22 percent chance. In 2012, it was Kentucky, at 27 percent, and in 2013, Louisville led with a 23 percent chance. While two of those favorites (Kentucky in 2012 and Louisville in 2013) happened to win, the lack of dominant teams left the door wide open for lower seeds to make a deep run, as No. 7 seed Connecticut did in winning last year’s national championship.This year is much different — an echo from a bygone era of short-shorts and star players who actually played through their senior seasons. The Kentucky Wildcats are undefeated; they could become the first men’s team to finish the season undefeated since the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers. Kentucky has a 41 percent chance of winning it all, according to our forecast — about double what we’ve seen from front-runners in recent years.There’s not a lot to critique in the Wildcats’ résumé. While the SEC is not a terrific basketball conference, Kentucky played a reasonable non-conference schedule and won 13 games against other NCAA tournament teams. The Wildcats rank first in all but one of the computer power ratings that the FiveThirtyEight model uses and a close second in the other. They were last year’s national runner-up and the preseason No. 1. They have all the talent in the world, including three possible NBA lottery picks.But a 41 percent chance isn’t all that high. It remains more likely than not that Kentucky will stumble at some point along the way and won’t win the national championship.What could go wrong? Some of it is the unforgiving mathematics of a 68-team tournament.The Wildcats will be a favorite in every game they play for the rest of the year, but they’ll be playing some capable basketball teams. The odds of running into a streak shooter, or having a game in which they miss some free throws down the stretch, are fairly high.Let’s get more specific. Below, I’ve tallied Kentucky’s chances of winning each round of the tournament, according to our model (the rightmost column). I’ve also listed the Wildcats’ chances of winning each round conditional on them having survived the previous round. So in the conditional column, we’re fast-forwarding the tournament and assuming that Kentucky wins at each stage. For instance, Kentucky has about an 85 percent chance of winning its Elite Eight game and advancing to the Final Four, provided that it’s made it that far.Kentucky is at least a 73 percent favorite in every round. It’s not in an especially tough region, and the team will be able to stay close to home, needing to travel no more than 282 miles from campus (the distance from Lexington, Kentucky, to Cleveland, Ohio, home of the Midwest regional) to win the tournament.But even with the odds stacked in Kentucky’s favor, winning six consecutive games won’t be easy.And there are some other excellent teams in this tournament. Suppose that because of some clerical error, Kentucky’s spot in the tournament instead went to Northern Kentucky, which went 13-17 in something called the Atlantic Sun Conference. In that case, the five teams with the next-best chances — Arizona, Duke, Villanova, Virginia and Wisconsin — would collectively have a 68 percent chance of winning the title. That’s better than the cumulative 54 percent chance that the top five teams had last year.In other words, this would be a top-heavy tournament even without Kentucky. While there’s not a clear No. 2 after the Wildcats, the teams ranked from second through sixth or seventh nationally (in some order) are a strong group, a bit stronger than we’ve seen in the most recent men’s tournaments.So let’s explore the field region by region. For each one, I’ve listed each team’s rating according to the seven ratings systems that the FiveThirtyEight model averages to generate its forecasts. The rankings from each system are normalized so as to make them directly comparable.Five of the seven systems are computer rankings, and they tend to produce highly similar results. It will usually be more interesting to compare the computer rankings with the two human-generated polls: where a team ranked in the preseason (teams that overachieve during the regular season have a history of reverting to the mean in the tournament) and where it placed on the selection committee’s 68-team S-curve. Teams with higher S-curve ratings than computer ratings are potentially overseeded; teams with higher computer ratings than S-curve ratings are possibly underseeded.The charts will also show the adjustment our model applies for injuries and player absences. Usually this has a negative effect, but it can be positive if the team is healthier now than it was during the regular season — as Maryland and Virginia are, for instance. We’ll start with Kentucky’s region, the Midwest:While the Wildcats may not quite have even odds of winning the national championship, they are more likely than not (a 72 percent chance) to reach the Final Four.Kentucky has a favorable draw, but some of that is by the committee’s design. The best No. 1 seed — Kentucky this year — is theoretically supposed to be paired with the worst No. 2, and the committee made good on that by placing Kansas in Kentucky’s region. While Kansas has an entirely respectable record for a No. 2 seed, it ranks behind the other No. 2 seeds (Virginia, Arizona and Gonzaga) by the metrics we track.Kentucky also faces a relatively easy Sweet 16 game. Maryland and West Virginia, the No. 4 and 5 seeds in the Midwest, are both slightly overseeded, according to our model.Dark horses in the Midwest include Wichita State and Texas, which are badly underseeded as No. 7 and No. 11, respectively. Even there, however, Kentucky catches something of a break. It can’t face either the Shockers or the Longhorns until the Elite Eight.But while the draw is reasonably favorable for Kentucky, there’s one potential glitch. In the national semifinal, it will be due to face the winner of the West region. And the West is probably the strongest in the tournament this year:In fact, the top two seeds in the West — Wisconsin and Arizona — rank as the second and third best teams nationally, according to our composite ratings. The No. 2 seed, Arizona, actually rates slightly higher than Wisconsin; Arizona is also the only team ahead of Kentucky in any of the seven systems we track (Arizona rates slightly ahead of Kentucky in Sonny Moore’s power ratings.).Still, these are marginal differences. (Arizona’s composite power rating is 94.7 while Wisconsin’s is 94.1, which means that Arizona would be favored by less than a point on a neutral court.) So why does the model give Arizona a considerably better chance — 46 percent against Wisconsin’s 33 percent — of reaching the Final Four? Some of it has to do with each team’s Sweet 16 matchup. Wisconsin’s prospective opponent (No. 4 seed North Carolina) rates as being stronger than Arizona’s (No. 3 seed Baylor). But the geography also works in Arizona’s favor; the regional final will be played in Los Angeles.There’s not much depth in the West after the top four seeds. But one potential exception is the No. 10 seed, Ohio State, which is as strong as a typical No. 5 seed by the computer ratings even though Aaron Craft finally graduated.Villanova is the second-most-likely team to win the national championship. That’s a bit misleading; there’s a huge gap between Kentucky (41 percent) and Villanova (11 percent) and a tiny one between Villanova and the next-most-likely champions (Wisconsin and Arizona, at 10 percent each). Still, Villanova will benefit from being on the opposite side of the bracket from Kentucky, Wisconsin and Arizona. Villanova does have a tough No. 2 seed in the East region in the form of Virginia, but there aren’t a lot of easy outs among the No. 2 seeds this year.Virginia wasn’t done any favors by the committee, by contrast. No. 7 Michigan State, which knocked the Hoos out of the tournament last year, looms as their Round of 32 matchup. Like last year, MSU seems to have been underseeded, even before considering Tom Izzo’s history of postseason overachievement. Full disclosure: I’m from East Lansing.The East region also features an unusual circumstance: The University of Dayton will get to play on its home court in its “play-in” game against the other No. 11 seed, Boise State. This is part of why our model considers Dayton a 73 percent favorite in that game despite having only a slightly stronger power rating than the Broncos.Last up is the South, the most wide-open region this year. Even as a member in good standing of the Christian Laettner Hate Club — we’re automatically enrolled in East Lansing — I don’t mean to disparage No. 1 seed Duke. One can question whether Duke deserved a No. 1 ahead of Arizona and Virginia, but that’s because the No. 2 seeds are really good this year. Duke would be a No. 1 without much question in most recent tournaments.But the Blue Devils do potentially face a tough No. 2 of their own in Gonzaga. And they’ll have to win their Sweet 16 game to get there, where they may face No. 5 Utah, among the more underseeded teams in the tournament and a favorite against No. 4 Georgetown. The South also runs fairly deep: No. 8 San Diego State and No. 10 Davidson are tough outs, for instance.What about the much-maligned No. 11 seed, UCLA? Actually, our forecasts suggest that the committee did just fine with that choice: UCLA’s computer ratings are right in line with its seed.Either way, though, it probably won’t matter. Overall, this isn’t the best year for underdogs — the favorites are really something for a change. read more

Doherty confident Wolves can win the FA Cup

first_imgManchester City’s hopes of winning an unprecedented quadruple may be scuttled by Wolverhampton Wanderers, according to Matt Doherty who believes they can win the FA Cup.The FA Cup title is the only domestic trophy eluding Pep Guardiola in England and the Spanish manager has set his sights on winning all the competitions.However, there is a well-tutored Nuno Espirito side who are punching well above their level this season.Nuno Espirito is a well known professed and renowned student of Jose Mourinho and has somewhat masterminded the downfall of the big teams this campaign with a brand of football that is reminiscent of Mourinho in his Porto days.Wolves went on to make a huge statement of intent in the Cup by dumping favourites Manchester United.And Doherty sees no reason why they should not lift the trophy to cap a remarkable campaign.Premier LeaguePremier League Betting: Match-day 5 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Going into the Premier League’s match-day five with a gap already beginning to form at the top of the league. We will take a…Asked if Wolves can win the cup, Doherty replied via FourFourTwo: “Yes, of course. I know Manchester City are still in there, but we have managed to avoid them. I know they’ll be favourites, but we have drawn with them this season.“I know they beat us at the Etihad, but in the semi-final, it’s a 50-50, one-off, anything is possible and we have got a good team, so yes, we’re capable of doing it.”And as he prepares for Saturday’s opening Euro 2020 qualifier in Gibraltar, he has already set his sights on a big day at Wembley.WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND – MARCH 16: Paul Pogba of Manchester United is challenged by Matt Doherty of Wolverhampton Wanderers during the FA Cup Quarter Final match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester United at Molineux on March 16, 2019, in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)Nuno Espirito Santo’s men face Watford in the semi-finals with either Manchester City or Ireland team-mate Shane Duffy’s Brighton awaiting the winners.If Man City ends up meeting Wolves in the final of the FA Cup, Pep would be wary of their threat because they’d be keen on snapping his chain.last_img read more