Angie: The Sports Authority

Welcome to Angie's sports blog! My interesting and funny articles will show you the most recent and interesting news in the sports world.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Basketball: Toledo player died at team practice

This is a really tragic day for Toledo Rockets. Their player Haris Charalambous, a center on the Toledo basketball team, died today after collapsing during conditioning training sesion.

According to the peolpe who was there, after Charalambous collapsed, trainers performed CPR on him until paramedics arrived. The 21-year-old was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead, university spokesman Lawrence Burns said.

In fact, the cause of death was not immediately known.

"All the players are devastated," Burns admitted. "This has been a shock to our entire athletic program and university."

It's important to mention that Charalambous, of Manchester, England, was expected to be a backup center this season.

The tall player played 23 games last season, averaging less than a point per game.

The workout had just started and the players were doing some light running when Charalambous collapsed on the court.

Burns expressed that he didn't know if Charalambous showed any signs of distress before collapsing. He also did not know if the player had any past health problems.

"We won't speculate until the autopsy is completed," he said.

Coach Stan Joplin, who was recruiting in Arizona on Monday, cut short his trip to return to the school. Players met with assistant coaches after Charalambous was pronounced dead.

Charalambous attended the Hun School — a prep school in Princeton, N.J. — in 2003-04. In England, he was captain of the junior national team and played with the Manchester Magic in the senior men's league.

We must mention that last month, Dale Lloyd, a freshman football player at Rice, collapsed during a routine workout and died about 16 hours later. Not a nice statistic.


F1: Renault will not change strategy in Brazil

According to the latest news, Renault will be taking nothing for granted in the Brazilian grand prix even though Ferrari's star, Michael Schumacher, has all but conceded that Alonso will retain the world title at Interlagos in 12 days' time. In fact, the champion leads by 10 points going into the final round of the formula one season, but Renault's executive director of engineering, Pat Symonds, made it plain yesterday there would be no modification to the team's strategy in Brazil.

"I can say that it doesn't change a thing," he announced. "Sunday's result makes our approach for Brazil easier, but while Michael might be playing down his chances, it is still statistically possible for him to win and we must acknowledge that fact." To take the title Schumacher would need to win the race and Alonso fail to score any points, by finishing below eighth place.

What's more, Symonds, who urged Schumacher to come out "fighting" at Interlagos, continued: "I am sure he will be racing just as hard, as well. As always, our strategy for Brazil will be grounded in solid reliability, and giving ourselves the tools to finish races. We are in a position where we do not urge to take undue risks."

Reflecting on the Japanese race, Symonds also felt there was a nice chance of Alonso winning even if Schumacher had not retired. "Fernando seemed to be catching Michael quite convincingly in that middle stint," he admitted, "and the projection was that he would have caught him - but the performance differential between the two cars would probably not have been enough to overtake on a circuit like Suzuka. I think Michael's failure probably robbed us of a classic Alonso-Schumacher battle in the closing laps."

We msut mention that Ferrari will test at Jerez this week in preparation for the Brazilian race although Jean Todt, their team principal, could not be certain whether Schumacher would be involved tomorrow or on Thursday. "We know that to win races, to win championships, we need performance, good tyres, good squad, reliability, good drivers and on Sunday we did not have good reliability and we paid the highest costs," he said. "It's our mistake and we have to assume it. The others did not do a mistake and they are in front, so there is logic."

He has also mentioned that the team still has no idea what caused the engine breakage which forced Schumacher to pull off the circuit in a cloud of smoke. "It was a sudden engine failure," he said. "We don't know the exact cause. I hope we can find it but I must say that the engine has been quite badly damaged, so it might be difficult to find the cause, but it's just too early to know that."

Todt also assured that there had been no warning that the engine was about to fail, such as an unexpected rise in water temperature or any feeling of roughness reported by the driver. He also denied that the engine, which Schumacher had used to win the Chinese grand prix the previous weekend, had any particularly new development features.

He also pledged that Ferrari would fight to the finish at least trying to salvage the constructors' championship at the final race of the season. "Mathematically it's still possible but logically we know it will be very difficult," the man said. "What is good is to be able to win championships when it's only left up to us. Now it's not only up to us, it's left to the problems of the others so it's a lot of parameters which will be out of our control. But saying that, we will go to the last race hopefully with the disappointment of today behind us and motivated to do the greatest result as possible and then we will see."

And in what seemed like something of a valedictory address, Todt also played tribute to Schumacher, who will retire after the Brazilian race, to his personal qualities and to what he has contributed to the Ferrari legend.

"I think he's a fantastic human person, clever, dedicated, team player, good father, good friend, good husband - that's what Corinna [his wife] says," Todt said. "I think it has been a very good combination. Ferrari has done a fantastic job for him, and he has done a fantastic job for Ferrari, so that's an amazing combination. It is never one way, it is always both ways. If things are successful, that means that it goes in both directions. Otherwise it just doesn't work" he finished.