Wayne Simmonds, Philadelphia Flyers forward, recently stopped by the Simons Ice Rink and Recreation Center, 7200 Woolston Avenue, to teach basic hockey skills to aspiring boys and girls from the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation, as part of the grand re-opening celebration of the newly refurbished Simons Ice Rink.
The Simons Ice Rink is one of three city-owned public skating rinks that has been completely re-constructed and fully enclosed making it operational year-round. The renovations at each rink include new classrooms, learning labs and expanded public space.
In addition, Comcast Corporation presented Snider Hockey with a grant to rebuild state-of-the art computer labs in the adjacent recreation center as part of its company-wide Comcast Connect initiative.
Snider Hockey, largely through a personal commitment by Ed Snider, contributed $6.5 million to match a grant from the Commonwealth’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program. This unprecedented public/private partnership resulted in a $13 million restoration project to preserve after-school, recreational, and supplemental educational activities for children, youth, and families in the City of Philadelphia.
Snider Hockey provides free “learn to skate” programs, public skating opportunities, ice hockey instruction, and league play, including all equipment, as well as supplemental academic services at no charge to inner city boys and girls. The Philadelphia Parks & Recreation will continue to maintain the rinks.
Tickets on sale for 108th annual Phila. Sports Writers Awards
Standout stars from Philadelphia professional, collegiate and amateur sports teams, including members of the Philadelphia Phillies, the Philadelphia Flyers, and many more, will be honored on the evening of Monday, January 30 for the 108th annual Philadelphia Sports Writers Association Awards Dinner, at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Cherry Hill, N.J.
Tickets to the banquet are $95 per person, and available online at http://pswa.org. Doors to the banquet open at 5 p.m. The program begins at 6:30 p.m.
The association dinner is one of the oldest sports banquets in the nation, and annually attracts a number of great athletes, coaches, writers and broadcasters. This year the association will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game and a remembrance of the late heavyweight boxing champion Joe Frazier.
Moore, Jones, Sweeney named Big 5 Players of the Week
The Philadelphia Big 5 honored Ramone Moore (Temple) and Carl Jones (Saint Joseph’s) as the Big 5 men’s co-players of the week. Moore averaged 20 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 4.5 assists a game in a 2-0 week for the Owls. He scored a career-high 32 points in the squad’s Big 5 victory against Villanova including six points in a decisive 10-0 run that gave Temple a double-digit lead late. In the win over Toledo, Moore scored eight points, but dished out a season-high seven assists.
Jones averaged 21 points, 4.5 rebounds, five assists and three steals in a 2-0 week for the Hawks. He scored his 1,000th career point in a win over Boston University. Jones netted a game-high 29 points in an upset win over No. 19/17 Creighton, scoring 20 of those in the second half and hitting 10-11 foul shots.
The Philadelphia Big 5 honored Laura Sweeney (Villanova) as the Big 5 women’s player of the week. Sweeney led the Wildcats to a 2-0 week that included a hard-fought Big 5 win over Saint Joseph’s. Against Big East foe Providence, she went 10-for-15 from the floor for a game-high 25 points and tied a career-high with 13 rebounds. In the Big 5 showdown against the Hawks, she went 8-for-16 from the floor for 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds. She tallied 16 of her 18 points in the second half and scored of Villanova’s final 14 points of the game.
It’s hard to believe that something like this could happen. Then again, the more things changed the more they stay the same. Wayne Simmonds, Philadelphia Flyers winger, who is one of a handful of Black players in the National Hockey League, had a banana thrown at him from the stands during an exhibition against the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night in London, Ontario.
The banana was tossed past Simmonds during a shootout where he scored a goal for the Flyers in a 4-3 loss to the Red Wings.
“It was unfortunate that this incident happened but I am above this sort of stuff,” Simmonds said in a prepared statement. “This is something that is obviously out of my control. Moving forward, this is something I will no longer comment on so I can just focus playing hockey for the Philadelphia Flyers.”
Hockey isn’t a major sport in the Black community. There’s no question about that. Obviously, you can see more African-Americans playing basketball, football, baseball, boxing, track and field and other sports.
It’s nice that young African-Americans have a player like Simmonds, who was traded to the Flyers last summer in exchange for center Mike Richards, to watch play in the NHL.
In 2009, Ray Emery, an African-American goalie played for the Flyers. There have been other African-Americans in this sport like Grant Fuhr and Tony McKegney. Fuhr played goalie on the Edmonton Oilers NHL championship teams with the great Wayne Gretzky.
However, when you have situations like this one with racial overtones that doesn’t endear African-Americans to a sport that doesn’t have many players of color, this clearly shows how far the world has to go in terms of race relations.
Simmonds shouldn’t have to deal with something like this in this day and age. He’s certainly taking the high road, showing he doesn’t want these negative feelings to linger. He has bigger and better things ahead of him.
Peter Luukko, Comcast-Spectacor president, issued a statement on the incident.
“It appeared as though a fan threw an object onto the ice during the shootout,” Luukko stated. “Unfortunately, we weren’t able to identify the individual. We certainly don’t condone such a foolish act (like this) as a player could potentially be seriously injured. This is the ninth time we have played here in London and the fans have always been wonderful to us. The Flyers consider this our ‘home away from home’ and that’s because this city, the fans and this spectacular arena have been so supportive of the Philadelphia Flyers.”
Gary Bettman, NHL commissioner, also released the following statement on the incident.
“We have millions of great fans who show tremendous respect for our players and for the game,” Bettman said. “The obviously stupid and ignorant action by one individual is in no way representative of our fans or the people of London, Ontario.”
Hopefully, the next trip to London, Ontario will be a pleasant one.
After bringing grit and scoring punch in his first season in Philadelphia, the Flyers rewarded forward Wayne Simmonds with a six-year contract extension on Thursday August 16.
Simmonds was an instant fan favorite after coming over from the Los Angeles Kings in a trade for Mike Richards.
The 23-year-old Simmonds had career highs with 28 goals and 49 points.
“I don’t feel pressure, but obviously I’m going to go out there, and I work as hard as I can every day whether it’s on the ice or off the ice,” Simmonds said. “I think I’m going to continue to progress as a player, and I’m going to do everything I can to help the Philadelphia Flyers win.”
Simmonds has no regrets about missing out on the Kings’ Stanley Cup win. Simmonds said he doesn’t look back and is only focused on helping lead the Flyers to their first championship since 1975.
“I think it’s been a great place for me,” he said. “I signed this extension just hoping that we could bring a Stanley Cup to Philadelphia. I just want to be another piece of the puzzle. I think we have a great young core put in place. Obviously this is where I want to be for a long time.”
Financial terms were not announced Thursday. Simmonds has one season left on his current contract. The new deal kicks in for the 2013–14 season.
Simmonds was involved in two preseason dust-ups — a man threw a banana at him and he had an altercation with former Rangers forward Sean Avery — and the fans showed their appreciation on opening night with a huge ovation.
He kept fans on his side and won over his teammates as one of the toughest players on the team.
Against Buffalo in February, Simmonds’ mouth was busted open because of an errant puck in warmups. He needed 25 stitches in his upper and lower lips, then went out and scored two goals.
Simmonds hopes the ongoing labor dispute doesn’t delay — or wipe out — the season. He hasn’t yet made plans to play professionally overseas in case there is a lockout.
Simmonds believes his numbers would only get better over a full season.
“I’m not going to put numbers on it,” he said. “But I need to get better as an all-around player and I’m definitely going to work toward that.”
In Simmonds’ first season, the Flyers had 264 goals and 103 points, but lost in the second round of the playoffs to New Jersey. On offense — with four forwards who topped 20 goals last season, including Simmonds — they should be fine. On defense, with the free-agency loss of Matt Carle, and injuries abound, Philadelphia could struggle. — (AP)
The Philadelphia 76ers will tip-off the regular season with a five-game road trip beginning December 26 at Portland before making their home debut at Wells Fargo Center on January 6 against Detroit at 7 p.m. The full schedule consists of 66 games and tickets will go on sale Friday.
This will mark the most consecutive road games the Sixers have ever started a season with. The previous high was three games set in 1971–72 (3-0 mark) and 1999–2000 (0-3 mark). Ironically, the Sixers will also close the 2011–12 season with five straight on the road, with the finale at Detroit on April 26.
The Sixers will play their first four home games over a span of five days from January 6–10. The team has 13 home games in January and will play seven in a row at Wells Fargo Center from Jan. 23–Feb. 3. In fact, over a 36-day span from Jan. 6–Feb. 10, the Sixers will play 18 out of 22 games at home, which is well over half of its entire home schedule.
Flyers' Simmonds teaches hockey to kids
Wayne Simmonds, Philadelphia Flyers forward, laces up skates and teachers basic hockey skills to young aspiring boys and girls from the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation, as part of the grand re-opening celebration of the newly refurbished Simons Ice Rink. Prior to the clinic, Pennsylvania state Representative Dwight Evans, Comcast-Spectacor Chairman Ed Snider, and Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Commissioner Michael DiBeradinis cut ribbon to officially reopen rink.
The Simons Rink, 7200 Woolston Avenue, is one of three city-owned public skating rinks that have been completely re-constructed and fully enclosed, making them operational year-round. The renovations at each rink include new classrooms, learning labs and expanded public space.
In addition to the ribbon cutting, representatives from Comcast Corporation will present Snider Hockey with a grant to rebuild state-of-the-art computer labs in the adjacent recreation center as part of its company-wide Comcast Connect initiative.
Snider Hockey, largely through a personal commitment by Ed Snider, contributed $6.5 million to match a grant from the Commonwealth’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program. This unprecedented public/private partnership resulted in a $13 million restoration project to preserve after-school, recreational and supplemental educational activities for children, youth and families in Philadelphia.
Snider Hockey provides free “learn to skate” programs, public skating opportunities, ice hockey instruction and league play, including all equipment, as well supplemental academic services at no charge to inner city kids. The Philadelphia Parks & Recreation will maintain the rinks.
The mission of the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation is to build lives and unite communities. It uses the sport of hockey to help educate young people to succeed in the game of life. Snider Hockey’s services target inner city boys and girls who otherwise would not have the opportunity to learn to skate to play ice hockey.
Eagles cited for social commitment
The Philadelphia Eagles’ long-standing commitment to helping address social issues in its community has earned the organization recognition as Sport Team of the Year by the international social change organization, Beyond Sport.
The Eagles, who had been named finalists for the global competition for the second consecutive year, were announced as the winners during the awards ceremony in Capetown, South Africa.
The Eagles were nominated based on their signature programs, which include: Eagles Youth Partnership, Tackling Breast Cancer and Go Green.
Beyond Sport defines itself as “a global organization that promotes, develops and supports the use of sports to create positive social change across the world.”
CIAA commissioner retires after 22 years
The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) and its board of directors recently announced the retirement of Commissioner Leon G. Kerry for personal reasons. Kerry, 63, had worked for the CIAA since 1988 and has been the commissioner of America’s oldest Black college and university conference for the past 22 years.
“The CIAA board of directors would like to thank Leon for his years of service to this great conference. Our league has grown under his leadership, and we are well-positioned to expand on that foundation,” stated board president Dr. Mickey Burnim. Associated commissioner and senior women administrator Monique Smith has been named interim commissioner.
Phila. University to host doubleheader
The Philadelphia University department of athletics is partnering with Philadelphia sports personality Don Tollefson and Winning Ways Education for a “Celebrate the Children” high school basketball doubleheader Sunday, December 11 in the Gallagher Athletic Center on the Philadelphia University campus.
The twin bill tips off at 1 p.m. with game between Prep Charter and Mastery Charter. West Catholic and John Bartram take the court at 2:30 p.m. Tickets for a day of Philadelphia high school basketball are $7 for adults and $5 for students with ID.
All proceeds from the doubleheader, raffles and silent auction will benefit underprivileged children and Winning Ways Education career programs.