Jude Stamper, 13, was born with a variety of health conditions, including a joint disorder that makes it nearly impossible for him to walk. He joined the Michigan basketball team before last season and attends games, practices, film sessions, and team meals.
Learn more about his relationship with the players and coaches, and the benefits of his association with the team, in my latest story for MLive.
The Michigan men’s basketball team had never started 17-0 — until now. Here are a few of the stories I’ve written recently about the team:
Luke Yaklich, an assistant coach and Michigan’s de facto defensive coordinator, was a social studies teacher and coach at the high school level not too long ago. Here’s a look at his background and the philosophies that have made Michigan one of the best defensive teams in the country.
Michigan point guard Zavier Simpson, recently hailed as the MVP of the Big Ten by an opposing coach, is perhaps the only player in college basketball regularly shooting a running hook shot. Why does he do it? And what makes it so tough to stop? Find out here.
More than any particular drills or schemes, Michigan’s culture deserves credit for the team’s incredible start.
Noah Furbush is not like most football players, or most people for that matter. The Michigan linebacker earned his degree in aerospace engineering and is now working towards a master’s in space engineering (a natural progression, I suppose, but still darn impressive). Furbush wants to use his education and his love of flying to become a military pilot.
Check out my story on Furbush at MLive: https://www.mlive.com/expo/sports/erry-2018/09/ca4b27a39a3632/michigan-linebacker-noah-furbu.html#incart_river_index
I wrote about the small wearable device from Catapult Sports that the Michigan men’s basketball team is using to monitor fatigue, with the hope of boosting in-game performance and reducing injuries.
How does a basketball referee make it to the NBA? How do refs work together on the court and what do they do to improve? As part of espnW’s “Women with Cool Sports Jobs” series, I spoke with the NBA’s only female referee, Lauren Holtkamp, to find out. More goes into the job than you probably realize.
espnW: Lauren Holtkamp’s Cool Sports Job
If you knew John Saunders, it was likely from his 30-year career with ESPN/ABC, during which he served as a play-by-play broadcaster and studio host. What you didn’t know is that he suffered from depression. He kept it a secret from most people until writing all about it in his autobiography, Playing Hurt: My Journey from Despair to Hope. I wrote about the book, published recently, a year after his death, for the Dana Foundation website.
Dana Foundation: John Saunders Sheds Light on Mental Health
As part of espnW’s “Women with Cool Sports Jobs” series, I spoke with Leila Dunbar, who appraises sports memorabilia for a living. If you have a sports, pop culture, or entertainment item, Dunbar can probably tell you how much it’s worth. Perhaps you’ve seen her on “Antiques Roadshow,” as she’s been a part of the show since its first episode in 1997. Click below to learn more about the famous, infamous, and quirky items she’s come across over the years.
espnW: Leila Dunbar’s Cool Sports Job