PODCAST: Rhode Island’s Man of the Year
Monday, December 30, 2013
Related Slideshow: 13 Biggest Sports Stories in RI in 2013
#13 A New Look Big East
The Providence-based Big East Conference officially broke up in 2013 after an agreement was reached with the "Catholic 7" basketball-centric schools.
The agreement between the Big East and the Catholic 7 -- Providence, DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Seton Hall, St. John's and Villanova -- allowed those schools to keep the Big East name and the right to play their basketball post-season tournament at Madison Square Garden in New York. They also added three new teams -- Butler, Xavier, and Creighton -- making for a 10-team league.
The remaining (original) Big East schools; such as Connecticut, Louisville, Cincinnati, and others, now play in the renamed American Athletic Conference.
#12 Tim Tebow
Much of New England scratched their heads when the Patriots signed Tim Tebow in June. Despite questions over the Heisman Trophy winning quarterback's viability as a starter in the NFL, the signing of Tebow was big news in Foxboro ahead of training camp.
Tebow's tenure in New England didn't last very long, as the former Florida Gator failed to make the Patriots' final cut.
#11 PC Friar Arrested
GoLocalProv broke news that Ladontae Henton of the Providence College men's basketball team was arrested on domestic violence charges in May.
The 6'6" forward from Lansing, MI, is considered to be a potential future first-round NBA draft pick.
Henton has remained a Friar for 2013-14, putting up big numbers (12.3 PPG and 7.6 RPG) so far this season.
#10 The Brothers Murphy
Erik, Alex, and Tomas Murphy; three Rhode Island brothers, made big basketball news in 2013.
First, Erik, the eldest brother, was drafted by the Chicago Bulls with the 49th pick of the 2013 NBA Draft out of Florida.
Next, GoLocal broke the news that Alex Murphy had officially transferred from Duke, following his brother's path, and headed to Gainesville to play under Billy Donovan at Florida.
Then, GoLocal's Jack Andrade reported that the youngest Murphy, Tomas, a 6'8" freshman at Prout, had already been offered D1 scholarships by Maryland, Boston College, Florida, URI, PC, and Bryant.
#9 Demetrius Andrade
In November, Providence boxer Demetrius "Boo Boo" Andrade became the latest world champion on the New England sports scene.
Andrade stayed undefeated and won his first world title defeating Vanes Martirosyan at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, TX by split decision to claim the vacant WBO junior middleweight title.
The official call was a split decision for Andrade, a former US Olympian, who won on scores of 117-110, 114-113, and 112-115.
#8 Bryant Hires Skinner
Al Skinner returned to the New England coaching scene in 2013-14, taking the job as Assistant Coach of the Bryant Bulldogs basketball team under Tim O'Shea.
Skinner, the former head coach at URI and Boston College, was the National Coach of the Year in 2001. He has a record of 385-291 in 22 seasons as a head coach.
#7 Jay Elliot Arrest
Jay Elliot, the founder and top coach of the Rhode Island Hawks was arrested on child porn charges in November, sending shock waves through the regional basketball scene.
Elliot, one of New England's best known AAU coaches has been a major player in the development of top college bound basketball talent for ten years in New England.
#6 Ricky Ledo
In April, GoLocal's John Rooke broke the news that Providence College freshman, Ricky Ledo would leave the Friars for the NBA Draft without ever playing a single NCAA game.
That decision has not yet proven to be a great choice for the 6'6" shooter, as his name was not called until the middle of the second round of the draft.
Ledo was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks, traded to Philadelphia, then to the Dallas Mavericks.
#5 Bryant Bulldogs
In just their first year of NCAA Division I eligibility, the Bryant Bulldogs made the postseason in both basketball and baseball.
The Bulldog baseball team won the NEC Conference tournament in 2013, securing their spot in the NCAA Baseball Championship Tournament. They faced the perennial powerhouse Arkansas, where they stole one game, before ultimately falling to the Razorbacks.
#4 One Fine Day
October 13, 2013 was a great day in New England Sports history, in fact, it is possibly one of the best ever.
First, the New England Patriots defeated the New Orleans Saints 30-27 after Tom Brady completed a 17-yard touchdown pass to rookie Kenbrell Thompkins with 5 seconds remaining in the game.
Then the Red Sox, down by five runs to Detroit in Game 2 of the ALCS, staged an unlikely comeback -- featuring a David Ortiz grand slam -- to win the game and making the series even at 1-1. The Red Sox went on to win the World Series.
Read GoLocal's list of the Ten Greatest Days in New England Sports history here .
#3 PC's Recruiting Class
The Ed Cooley era at PC has been impressive thus far, but not only for his on-court accomplishments.
Cooley has also proven to be quite an effective recruiter, and in 2013, built one of the nation's best classes.
This year, Cooley brought in three Top-100 recruits; Jalen Lindsey, a 6’7 small forward from Franklin, TN; Ben Bentil, a 6'8" forward from Delaware; and the 7'1" center Pashcal Chukwu, widely considered to be among best defensive big men in the nation.
#2 Aaron Hernandez
The Patriots knew that they would potentially need to deal with character issues when they drafted Aaron Hernandez in 2010.
In 2013, those issues came to the forefront in a large way when their star tight end was arrested and charged with the murder of Odin Lloyd in June. Hernandez is currently awaiting trial from the Bristol County House of Corrections.
If it wasn't bad enough for Hernandez, things got worse. Later in June, authorities began to investigate Hernandez' involvement in a 2012 double homicide in South Boston.
The GoLocal Sports Team will surely provide further news on these cases in 2014.
#1 Marathon Bombing
The biggest sports story in New England of 2013 transcended athletics, touching the lives of our local communities and much of the world.
On Monday, April 15 -- Patriots Day in the Bay State -- an otherwise normal celebratory day in Boston turned tragic just before 3:00 PM. Just feet away from the finish line for the Boston Marathon, two explosions from homemade bombs went off, killing three spectators, and injuring more than two hundred.
The tragedy gripped the entire nation; sparking emotions ranging from fear to outrage. But from the wreckage emerged evidence of New England's resilience. From the impassioned speech at Fenway by David Ortiz, and Rene Rancourt's touching rendition of the National Anthem at the TD Garden, to the outpouring of support through the One Fund Boston, and the individual heroes like Carlos Arredondo and Joe Andruzzi (along with many, many others); New Englanders and Americans responded in an enormous way.
Read more of GoLocal's Coverage of the bombings here.
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