USC basketball legends attend ‘Women of Troy’ premiere at SCA

first_imgAlong with the aforementioned members of the team, dignitaries in attendance included executive producer Bill Simmons from The Ringer, Los Angeles Lakers center JaVale McGee and USC athletic director Mike Bohn.  Pamela and Paula McGee expressed appreciation for those involved in creating the film, saying how special it was that every member of the famed group has been widely successful outside of basketball. The premiere served to highlight the accomplishments of the historic former Trojans who made a profound impact both on and off the court.  “Creating an infrastructure and a mythology where girls understand that there have been greats in the game for years and years before them creates a foundation to build off of,” said Gary Cohen, president of Triple Threat TV and one of the film’s producers. “I’m thrilled that I had a part in keeping [the team’s] story alive.”  The documentary focuses on the dominance of the team led by Cheryl Miller, Cynthia Cooper-Dyke and twin sisters Pamela and Paula McGee and the effect that their immense success had on the eventual inception of the WNBA and advancement of women’s sports collectively.  Members of the historic 1983-84 USC women’s basketball team gathered at the Ray Stark Family Theatre on USC’s campus Wednesday evening to celebrate the premiere of HBO’s upcoming documentary “Women of Troy.” “I hope this movie inspires,” Cooper-Dyke said before the screening. “[I hope it] inspires the younger generation to fight hard for what you want, to work hard for what you want so that you can achieve anything no matter where you came from or when you started.”  Members of the current USC women’s basketball team were also in attendance. Freshman guard India Otto was complimentary of the film and the impact it had on her as a young athlete. JaVale, son of Pamela McGee, expressed pride and gratitude for his mother’s accomplishments during her time at USC. Four-time WNBA champion and Finals MVP Cynthia Cooper-Dyke was hopeful about the impact the film will have on generations moving forward. “We just wanted to be the best,” Paula said. “Cynthia and Cheryl and the entire team, we all came with one purpose and that was to be the greatest team ever. And I think we’ll see that today in this HBO documentary.” center_img The 1983-84 team poses for photos at the premiere along with former USC coaches and administrators. (David Ramirez | Daily Trojan) “It was extremely important for us to see how far we’ve come as a program,” Otto said. “You think about UConn now and Baylor and things like that, but it really all started here, and I think that’s something we all lost sight of. It’s important to remember that and remember what we’re doing it for as well.”  After the film’s screening, members of the team were invited on stage to share brief thoughts of gratitude for friends and family, the film’s producers and USC as a whole for their continued support.  Paula McGee said the film highlights the unity and determination of the historic USC teams.  “It’s just a great team that gave us a foundation to change the world and we knew that, and it was just a special time for women,” Pamela said ahead of the event. “This particular team was a dynamic group of women that came together for one purpose.” “It’s amazing,” JaVale said. “It just shows an abundance of hard work really pays off and I’m just honored to be able to see it. I can’t wait.” Following a red carpet entrance for the guests of honor, attendees convened into the theater for some brief words from HBO Sports Executive Vice President Peter Nelson and the film’s director Alison Ellwood, along with a short performance by the Trojan Marching Band and USC Song Girls.  Throughout the entirety of the film, both staff and players from the famed 1983 team shared laughs and celebrations while reliving their accomplishments.  “Women of Troy” is set to premiere on HBO March 10 at 6 p.m.last_img read more

UFC obliging troubled Greg Hardy’s desire for 2nd chance

first_imgYes, his Twitter handle @greghardyjr was printed underneath his name to let fans know how to find the hulking heavyweight on social media. UFC enthusiasts and social media pundits had already pounced on the disgraced former NFL defensive end:— “he can beat up women that’s for sure.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubs— “why is this woman beater in the UFC?”— “which woman fighter is he gonna beat up?” FILE – In this Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015, file photo, Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy arrives prior to an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, in Orchard Park, N.Y. Former NFL defensive end Greg Hardy says he is “haunted” by his high-profile domestic violence past and wants to prove he has changed as he makes his debut in UFC, a promotion that hasn’t hesitated to embrace fighters with legal or drug problems. (AP Photo/Bill Wippert, File)NEW YORK — Greg Hardy’s eyes popped as he saw his name in bold print on the oversized placard that identified him as a UFC fighter.“That’s dope! It’s got my Twitter thing on it,” Hardy said with a laugh.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. His debut comes one month after UFC allowed Jon Jones to compete following a positive drug test, moving an entire fight from Las Vegas to Los Angeles because Nevada regulators wouldn’t license the troubled superstar. It’s also several months after Dana White, UFC’s president, condemned Conor McGregor for his criminal act of throwing a wheeled cart at a bus full of fighters, then turned around and used the video footage to hype up an October megafight between McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov, a bout that itself ended in a melee.Scrutiny of Hardy’s ascent grew among fans when he was placed on the same card as flyweight Rachael Ostovich, who is fighting Paige VanZant. Honolulu police arrested Ostovich’s husband, Arnold Berdon, who pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and is accused of punching his wife in the head, face and ribs, fracturing her eye socket.White has defended having the two intertwined fighters on the same card and said he had Ostovich’s approval to book Hardy.“From the minute I called her, there was never a situation,” White said. “She didn’t know who Hardy was. She didn’t know anything about it. She said, ‘His situation isn’t my situation. They’re completely different. I don’t even know the guy and I’ll have no problem with any of this.’”Ostovich said in New York that she talked to Hardy this week to “squash whatever might be happening.”“Let’s work together and use this to help other people from both sides,” she said. “It wasn’t bothering me. It was just something that was on my mind and on my heart that I wanted to go in and meet with him.”Hardy appreciated the chat.“She’s a phenomenal person,” he said. “It shows greatness that she went through what she went through and came here to kick butt.”Ostovich was pulled from her fight against VanZant because of the severity of the injuries suffered in her attack, only to insist she could compete as she saw other fighters clamor for the marquee spot.She had earned her spot in Brooklyn and, once medically cleared — she wanted to clear the slate with Hardy. View comments Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Jhack Tepora spearheads PH fighters in Pacquiao-Broner undercard Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Philippine Army to acquire MANPADS, self-propelled howitzers Keep scrolling and scrolling and the majority of the 240-character sentiments strike similar opinions: Hardy doesn’t deserve a chance to fight for UFC.Hardy understands those who want to wash their hands of someone arrested for assaulting a woman. While still playing football, Hardy was convicted in July 2014 of assaulting and threatening a woman who contended the 6-foot-4, 275-pounder threw her in a bathtub and onto a sofa covered with guns before threatening to kill her. He appealed, and prosecutors in North Carolina eventually dismissed domestic violence charges in February 2015, saying the accuser in the case couldn’t be found. The court heard the woman had reached a civil settlement with Hardy.“I do revisit the past at night,” Hardy said Thursday. “I’m haunted and I am a broken man. But at the end of the day, I’ve got to build myself back up.”Hardy wants to show he has changed as he makes his debut in UFC, a promotion that hasn’t hesitated to embrace fighters with legal or drug problems. His co-headline spot in a heavyweight bout Saturday night comes at a key moment for the MMA giant, its first show in its $1.5-billion contract with ESPN.Hardy played 12 football games in 2015 under a $13.1 million deal with the Cowboys before turning to professional fighting, where his rise has been rapid. The 30-year-old breezed through six fights — none lasting past the first round — and won a contract through a UFC reality show.ADVERTISEMENT Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil 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 LATEST STORIES Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ MOST READ Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college “If I was pulled from the card because of my situation and being at home just recovering and thinking about it, I would have been at home Saturday night watching my fight and just be so crushed,” she said. “It feels so much better to be here than not.”Hardy feels similarly about a new lease on life as an athlete. He was cheery — downright happy-go-lucky — and did not shy away from answering questions about his past, even as he was light on specifics.And he’s already made a great impression on the new boss.“The guy is gifted. He’s a great athlete. He looks good so far,” White said. “When he hits people, they go down.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next “I felt like that was the right thing for me to do,” he said. “I totally get it. I understand why people would have a hard time grasping the whole situation and why things happen. But I believe everything happens for a reason. I believe we can change our surroundings for a positive thing.”Hardy has had few positives since he had 15 sacks for the Carolina Panthers in 2013 when he was picked for the Pro Bowl. He was arrested on a cocaine possession charge in a Dallas suburb in 2016.“I’ve grown in every way possible and the people around me have helped me do that,” Hardy said. “Everything’s changed as far as the sport, the venues and myself. Please keep watching and find out for yourself.”Hardy hopped down the stage after the ceremonial staredown against Allen Crowder and gave White a big bro hug.But not all observers backed UFC’s decision to sign Hardy.“It’s quite offensive. It’s gross,” said Kiersten Stewart, director of public policy at Futures Without Violence, a national group that works to prevent domestic and sexual violence and child abuse. “It’s about making money off domestic violence. It really minimizes the harm that domestic violence does.”Stewart said Ostovich had every right to fight at Barclays Center with Hardy, but raised the question: “Why was she put in this position?”White said it was a moot point.“These are two UFC fighters and eventually they would have ended up on the same card anyway,” White said. “It could be this fight or it could be 10 fights from now.”Win or lose, Ostovich knows she’ll end her combat in the cage in tears. She’s been publicly stoic in the face of probing questions about her abuse and Hardy’s presence and is ready to let her emotions out once the bell rings. Through all the adversity, there was nowhere else she wanted to be but New York.last_img read more