Reliving their Cinderella story

first_imgWhen the 2010 brackets were announced, the old video was instantly rehashed, taking everyone back to that moment inside the DCU Center. Published on March 17, 2010 at 12:00 pm Five years ago this month, Taylor Coppenrath, Tom Brennan and T.J. Sorrentine played in the most important game of their entire lives. So the Slingbox curbs the homesickness. It connects to his cable back in Essex Junction, Vt., and transmits the local signal six hours across the Atlantic Ocean so he won’t miss moments like these.  ‘Over here it’s a little different,’ Coppenrath said. ‘Sometimes it’s a little hard to get motivated. Sometimes I have to play well personally, and sometimes I hope the team plays well. It’s a balance of numbers and team success and what’s going to happen next year. You got your agent saying, ‘Well, maybe you should put up some better numbers, but the team’s doing well, you don’t want to mess with the team’s success. So you do have a lot of things you have to think about when you’re playing for money.’ He says he’s still amazed at all the stories he hears about that night and that he should just write a book. Everyone in Vermont remembers where they were that night when the Catamounts took down the Orange.  ‘It takes a little getting used to,’ he said. ‘This year I wasn’t able to get home for Christmas at all. It’s my first year not being home at all during the season at least at one point.’ This is not to say that Sorrentine isn’t ready to move on. These days, he’s got another team to worry about. Another career to focus on.  Facebook Twitter Google+ ‘It was one of those things I will never forget,’ Sorrentine said. ‘I think it was the best moment of our lives.’ Leading Vermont to its first-ever NCAA Tournament win, the No. 13 seed Catamounts took out the No. 4 seed Orange in overtime and cemented their legacy in a state once plagued with 100 years of basketball futility. Sorrentine was Vermont’s second-leading scorer that season and a known marksman from beyond the 3-point line. And on that night in particular, he was just four steps inside half-court with his heel still grazing the paint from the green DCU logo. Without hesitation, he cocked back and drilled a shot that sent the crowd into a frenzy. Syracuse rushed to call a timeout as the Vermont sidelines erupted.  Taylor Coppenrath plugged the Slingbox into his laptop to catch a glimpse of Selection Sunday. ‘I’ll tell you what, in the last ten years of my life I’ve never once fallen down,’ Brennan said. ‘I’ve only fallen up. It’s been unbelievable you know, we win that game, we win three (America East) championships in a row and I go on ESPN, and it was remarkable! One minute and 11 seconds left to play in overtime. Vermont leading Syracuse by one, eight seconds left on the shot clock. ‘And you know what I say to them?’ Brennan said. ‘You should have been where I was sitting! I thought I was going to explode! I thought they were going to find me in pieces all over the damn coliseum!’ Five years later, Sorrentine is now an assistant coach at Brown, under Jesse Agel, an assistant on that 2005 team. When he goes on recruiting visits, the parents of prospective players often ask him what hitting that shot was like. During practice, Agel will tap his shoulder and reference it every now and then. In the basketball world, he says, sometimes you’re remembered for one moment. And reliving it every once and a while isn’t so bad. ‘I think my best basketball and my most favorite memories are when I was playing at UVM,’ Coppenrath said. ‘For no money.’ At that moment, it was clear that the Catamounts were 2005’s Cinderella, en route to victory. And at the moment when Sorrentine got the text about the rematch, it was also clear that the NCAA had a twisted sense of humor. Now, T.J. Sorrentine is positive the questions about ‘the shot’ are never going to stop. The former Vermont head coach from 1986-2005 guessed Villanova. His brother is a team psychologist for the Wildcats, and he could appreciate the irony there. Back five years ago when basketball meant everything. When the game was played with more zeal, when money was never an issue. Back five years ago, when shocking the college basketball world was enough gratification. Tom Brennan and his wife were on their way back to Vermont from the SEC tournament in Nashville when his son called. Comments His goal, like any other coach, is to command a high-profile program and be on top of the game he fell in love with while going to see Providence as a young kid growing up in Rhode Island. ‘And when I was on ESPN I’d say to myself ‘Yo, bro. You were 8-50 your first two years and now you’re an expert analyst go figure.’ Eventually, Coppenrath plans to come back to the states and find a coaching job. Maybe pursue teaching his area of study at Vermont. But for now, basketball in Spain is still life. And even during the toughest of times, all it takes is a trip down memory lane to put things in perspective. To remember the good old days.  Reliving ‘the shot’  But along the way there’s a passion to stop somewhere in the middle and show another group of kids what Brennan showed him back in Vermont. There’s a certain luster to the Cinderella role and a yearning within Sorrentine to get back to that moment. Now, he still keeps up with the Catamounts. He sits courtside for their home games, and Lonergan keeps him in the loop about everything that’s going on. ‘When you start getting money it just changes the game a little bit, you know?’ Coppenrath said. ‘Then, you just went out there to play to win, you know, play hard, play with your heart.’ ‘I was in California and (Agel) sent me a text that said, ‘You’ll be getting a lot of face time this week,” Sorrentine said. ‘It’s been pretty funny just seeing those highlights. It’s that matchup, you know?’ For Vermont’s leading scorer during that magical season, life is a little different now. A little harder. He spends his days playing basketball for a Spanish club and lives in Malia, Africa. He isn’t able to get home much. Living the dream A way back home Coppenrath, the leading scorer and star player, uses it as fuel to grind through trying times playing professional basketball overseas. Sorrentine, the overtime hero, uses it as recognition, as a stepladder to reach his dream career. And Brennan, the head coach, uses it to continue his euphoric run through the retired life. Sunday, it was announced that Vermont and Syracuse would play each other again, andfor these three, the game that changed everything was back in the spotlight. Though it was never forgotten, it gave them all a chance to relive what was their Cinderella story one more time. ‘He said, ‘No, Syracuse.’ And I said, ‘Syracuse got a No. 2 seed?’ He said, ‘No, you got a 16!’ And my immediate response was that I feel bad for Jimmy (Boeheim) and really bad for (current Vermont head coach) Mike Lonergan, because that was five years ago!’ For Brennan, though, it wasn’t an excuse to break out the home videos and relive the past. Admittedly, he’s never come down from that moment — he’s been on cloud nine for the last five years. It was his last win as Vermont’s head coach before stepping down following the NCAA Tournament, and ever since, he’s had the sweet life – as an analyst for ESPN, a co-host of his own radio show and, in general, as the quintessential local celebrity. Each game in college, he said, was like ‘going out to fight a war’ after hearing his coach’s pregame speeches. He felt unstoppable. Before Selection Sunday, though, it was a feeling he’d forgotten after a few years overseas. There are no riveting pregame speeches anymore. There is only the harsh reality of life in the pros. And seeing the name Syracuse plugged in next to his alma mater’s took him right back. ‘It’s the ultimate grind,’ Sorrentine said. ‘I just love being around the game and I want our kids and whoever I’m coaching to experience what I experienced. And that’s just a great feeling to experience.’  In 2005, Coppenrath was uncontainable on the court. Leading the Catamounts in scoring (25.1 points per game), rebounding (8.9) and field-goal percentage (51.7), he embodied UVM’s rise from a team that went 100 years without an NCAA Tournament bid to a conference powerhouse. A perennial double take for each higher seed looking over its shoulder come March. This March wasn’t remembrance for Brennan. This was simply affirming what he’d known all along that one win could change everything. ‘He said, ‘You’re not going to believe who you’re playing,” Brennan said. For each, it would prove to be essential for different reasons. ‘I just laughed,’ Sorrentine said. ‘That committee is a funny committee, man.’  last_img read more

La Liga Watch: Top Two Maintain Unbeaten Status With Stalemate As Sevilla Show Power…

first_imgValencia and Barcelona have maintained their unbeaten start to the league season after the top two La Liga teams played out an entertaining 1-1 draw at the Mestalla.In-form Spanish striker Rodrigo gave the home side the lead on the hour mark but Los Che could not hold on for what would have been a massive win as Barcelona fought back eight minutes from time through left back Jordi Alba for a share of the spoils.Sevilla showed their power of recovery again on Sunday evening after coming from two goals down to win 3-2 at 10-man Villareal.Eduardo Berizzo’s men had earlier recovered from a 3-0 deficit to play a 3-3 draw against Liverpool in their UEFA Champions League (UCL) clash on Tuesday night and they showed that again in the league.Clement Lenglet and Franco Vazquez scored two goals within one second half minute to pull Sevilla level at 2-2 after Cedric Bakambu and Carlos Bacca had given Villareal a 2-0 lead.Sevilla however went on to snatch the points 12 minutes from time courtesy Ever Banega’s penalty after Villareal defender Victor Ruiz was penalised and subsequently sent off for two yellow cards.Week 13 Results (Sunday)Villareal 2-3 SevillaValencia 1-1 BarcelonaDeportivo La Coruna 2-2 Athletic BilbaoReal Sociedad 2-2 Las PalmasTop 4 (Standings):1. Barcelona 35 points2. Valencia 31 points3. Atletico Madrid 27 points4. Real Madrid 27 pointsRelatedLa Liga Review: Atletico Capitalise On Barcelona To Narrow Gap With Valencia WinFebruary 5, 2018In “Europe”Spanish La Liga Wrap (Saturday): Top Two Secure Wins As Atletico Falter AgainOctober 29, 2017In “Europe”La Liga Review: Atletico Thrash Sevilla To Trim Gap On Leaders BarcelonaFebruary 26, 2018In “Europe”last_img read more

FIFA Delegation in Iran Amid Women Stadium Ban Row

first_img Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time. FIFAiranStadium ban First Published: September 20, 2019, 3:56 PM IST Tehran: A FIFA delegation visited Tehran on Friday to discuss allowing female spectators into football matches, the official news agency IRNA reported, days after a public row over a female fan who killed herself.”The FIFA delegation first visited the sports ministry and talked to officials and the football federation on the presence of women in (Tehran’s) Azadi stadium,” IRNA said. It said federation officials told the visiting team that preparations have been made for women to attend football matches and they would “officially” be allowed to enter for the October 10 Iran-Cambodia game.”The delegation then visited the stadium… and inspected entry gates and stands set up for women,” the agency added.The Islamic republic has barred female spectators from football and other stadiums since 1981, with clerics arguing they must be protected from the masculine atmosphere and sight of semi-clad men.Sahar Khodayari, dubbed “blue girl” because of the colours of the team she supported, Esteghlal FC, was reportedly detained last year when trying to enter a stadium dressed as a man to watch them.She died of her injuries in a Tehran hospital after setting herself on fire outside a court in early September.The death of Khodayari sparked an outcry online, with many calling on world football’s governing body FIFA to ban Iran from international competitions and for fans to boycott matches.Iran has come under pressure from FIFA to allow women to attend qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup, and it was reportedly given a deadline of August 31 to comply.Iran’s sports ministry said last month that women fans would be allowed into the stadium when Team Melli — as the national team are known — play their next home qualifier. last_img read more