Center (basketball)

The center (C), also known as the five, or the big man, is one of the five positions in a regular basketball game. The center is normally the tallest player on the team, and often has a great deal of strength and body mass as well. In the NBA, the center is usually 6 feet 10 inches (2.08 m) or taller and usually weighs 240 pounds (110 kg) or more. They traditionally have played close to the basket in the low post. A center with the ability to shoot outside from three-point range is known as stretch five.[1]

Playing in close proximity to the basket, which led to their ability to protect the own basket while scoring with high efficiency on the other end, the center position used to be the most important to fill for any NBA team, with George Mikan and Bill Russell being centerpieces of championship dynasties in the 1950s and 1960s. In recent decades, however, the importance of the center position has been diminished as the NBA basketball gradually became more perimeter-oriented, beginning with the addition of a three-point arc for the 1979–80 season up to the relaxation of the traveling rule in 2009–10,[2] ushering in the prevalence of Euro-stepping, long-distance shooting wing players like James Harden and Stephen Curry.

Kareem-Abdul-Jabbar Lipofsky
Center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar doing his signature move, the sky hook.

History of the center position

Emergence of the center and the era of George Mikan

GeorgeMikan
George Mikan

The center is considered a necessary component for a successful team, especially in professional leagues such as the NBA. Great centers have been the foundation for most of the dynasties in both the NBA and NCAA. Until the 1940s, even dominant centers such as Moose Krause were not extraordinary tall. Then, the 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) George Mikan and the 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m) Bob Kurland pioneered as exceptionally tall centers, shattering the widely held perception that tall players could not develop the agility and coordination to play basketball well, and ushering in the role of the dominant big man. While Kurland never played professional basketball after his time at Oklahoma State, Mikan turned professional in 1946 after leading DePaul to the NIT title. He went on to win seven National Basketball League, Basketball Association of America and NBA Championships in his ten-year career (1946–56), nine of them with the Minneapolis Lakers. Using his height to dominate opposing players, Mikan invented the hook shot and the shot block; as a consequence, the NCAA, and later NBA, adopted the goaltending rule, and, in 1951, the NBA widened the foul lane, a decision known as the 'Mikan rule'.[3]

Centers in the 1960s: The era of Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain

Wilt Chamberlain Bill Russell
Bill Russell (left) and Wilt Chamberlain (right)

In the 1960s, Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain further transformed basketball by combining height with a greater level of athleticism than previous centers. Following the retirement of George Mikan, the rivalry of the two big men came to dominate the NBA. Between the two of them, Chamberlain and Russell won nine of the eleven MVP awards in the eleven-year period between 1958 and 1969; played against one another in six Eastern Conference Finals and two NBA Finals between 1959 and 1969. Many of the records set by these two players have endured today. Most notably, Chamberlain and Russell hold the top eighteen season averages for rebounds.

Bill Russell led the University of San Francisco to two consecutive NCAA Championships (1955, 56). He joined the Boston Celtics and helped make them one of the greatest dynasties in NBA history, winning eleven championships over his thirteen-year career (1956–69) as well as five MVP awards. Russell revolutionized defensive strategy with his shot-blocking, rebounding and physical man-to-man defense. While he was never the focal point of the Celtics offense, much of the team's scoring came when Russell grabbed defensive rebounds and initiated fast breaks with precision outlet passes, primarily to point guard Bob Cousy. As the NBA's first African-American superstar, Russell struggled throughout his career with the racism he encountered from fans in Boston, particularly after the 1966–67 season, when he became the first African-American in any major sport to be named player-coach.[4]

His principal rival, Wilt Chamberlain, listed at 7'1" (2.15 m), 275 pounds (124 kg), lacked Russell's supporting cast. Chamberlain played college ball for the Kansas Jayhawks, leading them to the 1957 title game against the North Carolina Tar Heels. Although the Jayhawks lost by one point in triple overtime, Chamberlain was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. Briefly a member of the Harlem Globetrotters before joining the Philadelphia Warriors of the NBA in 1959, Chamberlain won two Championships, in 1967 with the Philadelphia 76ers and 1972 with the Los Angeles Lakers, although his teams were repeatedly defeated by the Celtics in the Eastern Conference and NBA Finals. He also won seven scoring titles, eleven rebounding titles, and four regular season Most Valuable Player awards, including the distinction, in 1960, of being the first rookie to receive the award. Stronger than any player of his era, he was usually capable of scoring and rebounding at will. Although he was the target of constant double- and triple-teaming, as well as fouling tactics designed to take advantage of his poor free-throw shooting, he set a number of records that have never been broken. Most notably, Chamberlain is the only player in NBA history to average more than 50 points in a season and score 100 points in a single game (both in 1961–62 as a member of the Philadelphia Warriors). He also holds the NBA's all-time records for rebounding average (27.2), rebounds in a single game (55),[5] and career rebounds (23,924).

A lesser-known center of the era was Nate Thurmond, who initially played the forward position opposite Wilt Chamberlain for the San Francisco Warriors but moved to center after Chamberlain was traded to the new Philadelphia franchise. Although he never won a Championship, Thurmond was known as the best screen setter in the league, and his averages of 21.3 and 22.0 rebounds per game in 1966–67 and 1967–68, are exceeded only by Chamberlain and Russell.

Centers in the 1970s and 1980s: The era of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Kareem-Abdul-Jabbar Lipofsky
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

In contrast to the Celtics dynasty of the 1960s, the 1970s were a decade of parity in the NBA, with eight different champions and no back-to-back winners. At the college level, the UCLA Bruins, under Coach John Wooden, built the greatest dynasty in NCAA basketball history, winning seven consecutive titles between 1967 and 1973. UCLA had already won two consecutive titles in 1964 and 1965 with teams that pressed and emphasized guard play. After not winning in 1966, Wooden's teams changed their style when Lew Alcindor became eligible. He led UCLA to three championships-in 1967, 68' and 69'-while winning the first Naismith College Player of the Year Award. During his college career, the NCAA enacted a ban on dunking primarily because of Alcindor's dominant use of the shot.[6] His entrance into the NBA with the Milwaukee Bucks in 1969 was timely, as Bill Russell had just retired and Wilt Chamberlain was 33 years old and increasingly plagued by injuries. After leading the Bucks to the 1971 NBA championship, teamed up with legendary point guard Oscar Robertson, Alcindor, who had converted to Islam, changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. In 1975, Abdul-Jabbar was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, and, after the arrival of Point guard Magic Johnson in 1980, formed part of a new Lakers dynasty that won five NBA titles (1980, '82, '85, '87, '88). In addition, Abdul-Jabbar won six regular-season MVP awards (1971, '72, '74, '76, '77, '80). At 7'2" (2.18 m), 235 pounds (106 kg), he lacked the strength of Chamberlain in his prime, but had a longer wingspan and ultimately proved more durable, adhering to a strict physical-fitness regime that enabled him to play for twenty years, the longest career in NBA history at the time. Offensively, he was best known for his trademark 'Skyhook' hook-shot, almost impossible to block because of his height and wingspan. His career record of 38,387 points has yet to be broken.[7] Defensively, the 1973–74 season was the first in which the number of blocked shots were kept, and, over the next seven years, Kareem led the league in this statistic or finished second.[8]

Another product of John Wooden's UCLA program, Bill Walton, appeared poised to join the ranks of great centers. He led UCLA to back-to-back NCAA titles in 1972 and 1973, he also led the Portland Trail Blazers to the NBA championship in 1977, and won the NBA MVP the following year. However, his career was plagued with injuries, most infamously a broken bone in his left foot suffered during his MVP season that he never fully recovered from, and he spent most of the following decade on the bench, although he eventually did win a second NBA title as a backup for the Boston Celtics in 1986, when he received the Sixth Man Award. Willis Reed won two championship with the New York Knicks in 1970 and 1973, teamed with Point guard Walt Frazier; although undersized for the center position at 6'9", he had the strength to play inside, was a highly skilled jump shooter, and was effective at setting picks, a key element in the Knicks motion-oriented offense. The undersized but scrappy Dave Cowens, drafted at the recommendation of Bill Russell, helped the Boston Celtics win two more NBA titles, in 1974 and 1976.

Leading centers of the late 1970s and early 1980s include Wes Unseld of the Baltimore/Washington Bullets, Artis Gilmore of the ABA Kentucky Colonels, Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs; Moses Malone of the Houston Rockets and Philadelphia 76ers; and Robert Parish of the Boston Celtics, who was acquired from the Golden State Warriors in 1980 for the top overall pick in the NBA Draft. Unseld led the Bullets to four NBA finals appearances and one championship, in 1978. Using his strength and determination to compensate for his lack of size (6'7", i.e. 2.00 m), he was famous for his rebounding, shotblocking, and bone-jarring picks. Artis Gilmore, often overlooked because of the mediocrity of his teams, established himself as the best low-post scorer in the league. He set the NCAA Division I record for career average in rebounds (25.2) at tiny Jacksonville University, and enjoyed an illustrious ABA career before joining the NBA's Chicago Bulls in 1976, playing there until he was traded to San Antonio in 1982, for whom he played until his retirement in 1987. He remains the NBA's career leader in field goal percentage (minimum 2000 shots made) with a 59.9 percentage.[9] Malone, the first high school player to turn professional, was drafted by the Houston Rockets after several years in the ABA, and won two MVP Awards and led Houston to its first NBA Finals in 1981, before joining the Philadelphia 76ers, where, teamed with Julius Erving and Bobby Jones, he won an NBA Championship in 1983, as well as a third League MVP. Never a dominant defender, his quickness and tenacity made him one of the best rebounders in NBA history, particularly on the offensive end; he led the league in rebounds six times in a seven-year period and still holds the NBA record for offensive rebounds.

In the mid-1980s, the 7'4" (2.23 m) Eaton was the most prolific shot-blocker in the league, and, although never a major offensive contributor, won two NBA Defensive Player of the Year Awards while helping transform the lowly Utah Jazz into a playoff contender. Of all these players, none enjoyed the success of Robert Parish, who, with forwards Larry Bird and Kevin McHale, formed the legendary frontcourt of the Boston Celtics team that won three titles (1981, 1984 and 1986). The Celtics' fierce rivalry with the Lakers dominated the NBA during the decade and helped basketball reach an unprecedented level of popularity. Nicknamed "Chief" after a character in the film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest because of his stoic demeanor, Parish was known for his trademark arching jump-shot—leading many experts to consider him the best medium-range shooting center of all time—and his ability to finish fast-breaks with his surprising speed. Playing until the age of 43, Parish broke Abdul-Jabbar's record for career games played.

Centers in the 1990s

Hakeemsigningautocropped
Hakeem Olajuwon

Coach John Thompson, once a seldom-used backup to Bill Russell with the Celtics, developed the Georgetown Hoyas into a chief pipeline for talent at the Center position, producing a succession of great defensive big men in Patrick Ewing, Dikembe Mutombo and Alonzo Mourning. In 1984, Georgetown, led by Patrick Ewing, defeated the University of Houston, led by Hakeem Olajuwon, to win the NCAA championship.

The Nigerian-born Olajuwon was drafted by the Houston Rockets and paired with power forward Ralph Sampson in what was dubbed the 'Twin Towers' duo. In his second season, 1985–86, the Rockets upset the Lakers in the Western Conference finals. Olajuwon established himself as a dominant player, leading the Rockets to two consecutive NBA championships in 1994 and 1995. In the 1993–94 season he became the only player in NBA history to win the NBA's Most Valuable Player (MVP), Defensive Player of the Year, and Finals MVP awards in the same season. Defensively Olajuwon broke Abdul-Jabbar's career record for blocked shots. Offensively, he was best known for his 'Dream Shake', a series of fakes and spin moves regarded as the pinnacle of big man footwork.[10]

Ewing, from Jamaica by way of the Boston area, was drafted by the New York Knicks in 1985, with whom he spent fifteen of his seventeen seasons in the NBA. An eleven-time All Star, Ewing was one of the best shooting centers in NBA history, possessing a baseline jump-shot, as well as being a formidable shot blocker and rebounder. The Knicks were formidable opponents of the Chicago Bulls dynasty in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Ewing's successor as the starting center at Georgetown, Dikembe Mutombo, who played most of his NBA career with the Denver Nuggets and Atlanta Hawks proved a dominant defender. Mutombo, who had not played basketball before arriving in the U.S. from his native Zaire on a USAID scholarship, was among the greatest shot blockers in NBA history, leading the NBA in blocked-shots five consecutive years, in the course of a career in which he ranked second in the history of the league in blocked shots, behind only Hakeem Olajuwon. He was also the recipient of four NBA Defensive Player of the Year Awards, tied for the record with Ben Wallace.

The 1992 NBA draft marked the entrance into the league of Shaquille O'Neal, who was drafted by the Orlando Magic. Immediately drawing comparisons to Wilt Chamberlain, the 7'1" (2.15 m), 325-pound (147 kg) O'Neal was billed as potentially the most physically dominating player ever. By his third season, he led the league in scoring and led the Magic to the NBA Finals, where they were swept by the Houston Rockets. After the 1995–96 season, he signed with the rebuilding Los Angeles Lakers. Former Georgetown center Alonzo Mourning, also drafted in 1992, established himself as a premier big man with the Charlotte Hornets and, later, the Miami Heat, winning two Defensive Player of the Year Awards thanks to his prolific shot blocking while also proving a reliable scoring threat.

Centers in the 2000s: The era of Shaquille O'Neal

Lipofsky Shaquille O'Neal
Shaquille O'Neal

The balance of power shifted to the Western Conference, and the NBA was dominated by the Los Angeles Lakers, who won titles in 2000, '01, '02, '09, and '10, and the San Antonio Spurs, who won in '99, '03, '05, '07 and '14. The Lakers hired former Bulls coach Phil Jackson, and Shaquille O'Neal thrived in Jackson's triangle offense. The San Antonio Spurs were initially led by the 'Twin Towers' tandem of center David Robinson and power forward Tim Duncan. With the arrival of Duncan, the veteran Robinson modified his game by playing primarily in the high post to accommodate Duncan's strengths as a low-post scorer and defender.

In the 1990s, an increasing number of smaller forwards, most notably Dennis Rodman and Charles Barkley, excelled at the traditional center functions of rebounding, shot-blocking and low-post defense, anticipating a trend towards relying on shorter and quicker post players that has continued into the 2000s, as exemplified by perennial Defensive Players of the Year Ben Wallace. In the fast break oriented style of offense employed by a growing number of teams, the traditional role of the center is diminished, if not done away with altogether. Many talented big men choose to play the more versatile power forward position, giving them more room to run the floor and play outside the paint. Under the influence of European basketball, the offensive role of big men has been redefined to include more emphasis on perimeter play, as exemplified by 3-point shooting big men like Dirk Nowitzki, Mehmet Okur, Andrea Bargnani and Channing Frye.

The 7 feet 6 inches (2.29 m) Yao Ming was drafted by the Houston Rockets with tremendous hype in 2002. Yao proved to be a highly efficient rebounder and scorer, particularly with his mid-range jump shot, and showed the potential to be an elite defender. However, he would retire in 2011 due to a string of foot injuries that caused him to miss all but five games in his final two NBA seasons. Another heralded young prospect, Dwight Howard, has used his exceptional vertical leap to become one of the top rebounders in the NBA.

Centers in the 2010s: The rise of "stretch five"

The low-post functions of the center position continued to dwindle in the 2010s as the NBA shifted into a more perimeter-oriented style of play. While there are still a few centers that play a more traditional style, some centers begin to adapt to the outside game.

The Miami Heat, for example, featured a "positionless" lineup as coined by head coach Erik Spoelstra, with power forwards Chris Bosh and Udonis Haslem shifting between center and power forward depending on matchups. The Heat won two NBA championships in 2012 and 2013 using this unconventional lineup.

The Golden State Warriors then won three championships in 2015, 2017 and 2018 by utilizing this same approach, albeit with a smaller and quicker lineup. In this case, 6'7" forward Draymond Green was often slotted into the center position, creating matchup problems for taller centers with his defensive versatility, speed, high basketball smarts and perimeter shooting.

The rise of the stretch five paved the way for centers to add outside shooting to their arsenal. While they continue to roam the paint at times, they have also expanded their game to the perimeter with their three-point shots.

Centers in women's basketball

In women's basketball, 7'0" (2.13 m) Iuliana Semenova played the center position, helping the Soviet Union women's team win two Olympic Gold medals, in 1976 and 1980, and never losing a game in international competition. Semenova also led her club team, TTT Riga to fifteen European Champion's Cup titles. The 6'8" (2.03 m) Anne Donovan led the Old Dominion University Lady Monarchs to the 1979 Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women championship, and was the first female Naismith College Player of the Year recipient in 1983, before enjoying a successful professional career in Japan and Italy.

With the formation of the WNBA, Lisa Leslie established herself as the premier center, and the league's most popular player. The first WNBA player to reach the 3,000 point milestone, she led the Los Angeles Sparks to consecutive titles in 2001 and 2002, and holds the distinction of being the first player to dunk in a WNBA game. Other prominent centers in women's basketball include Australian Lauren Jackson of the Seattle Storm and Karl Malone's daughter Cheryl Ford of the Detroit Shock. Jackson can also be considered a forward-center because she is also a very good outside shooter, leading the WNBA in three-point shooting percentage in one season. Rebecca Lobo led the Connecticut Huskies to a NCAA Championship in 1995, but never recovered from a torn ACL and had a disappointing professional career. When at the University of Oklahoma, Courtney Paris was considered the next dominant female center after becoming the only NCAA player, male or female, to score 700 points, grab 500 rebounds and block 100 shots in a single season; however, she had a disappointing WNBA career and was waived before what would have been the start of her second season in 2010. The tallest center in the WNBA, the late Margo Dydek of Poland, who stood 7'2", is still the league's career leader in blocks per game (2.72) and total blocks (877), solidly ahead of Leslie in that category despite Dydek having played 40 fewer games before retiring.[11] Perhaps the most highly touted center in the women's game in decades, if not in history, is current Phoenix Mercury superstar Brittney Griner.

See also

References

  1. ^ Feldman, Dan (April 17, 2017). "Five out: NBA entering era of 3-point-shooting centers". Pro Basketball Talk. Retrieved November 25, 2018.
  2. ^ "NBA to alter traveling rules". ESPN. October 16, 2009.
  3. ^ "NBA.com: George Mikan vs. The Knicks". www.nba.com. Archived from the original on 2012-05-22. Retrieved 2007-06-25.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-10-09. Retrieved 2007-07-14.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "NBA.com: Wilt Scores 100, Averages 50". Nba.com. Retrieved 21 November 2017.
  6. ^ "Basketball: Lew's Still Loose". Time. 1967-04-14. Retrieved 2010-04-28.
  7. ^ "NBA.com: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Bio". Nba.com. Retrieved 21 November 2017.
  8. ^ "Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Stats - Basketball-Reference.com". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved 21 November 2017.
  9. ^ "NBA.com: Artis Gilmore Summary". Nba.com. Retrieved 21 November 2017.
  10. ^ "It Was All A Dream". Nba.com. Retrieved 21 November 2017.
  11. ^ "Statistics: All-time leaders: Blocks". Wnba.com. Retrieved 6 December 2012.

Further reading

  • Heisler, Mark (2003). Giants: The 25 Greatest Centers of All Time. Chicago: Triumph Books. ISBN 1-57243-577-1.
2011 Summer Universiade

The 2011 Summer Universiade, the XXVI Summer Universiade, was hosted in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China.

2028 Summer Olympics

The 2028 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXXIV Olympiad, and commonly known as LA 2028, is a forthcoming international multi-sport event that is scheduled to take place from July 21 to August 6, 2028, in Los Angeles, California, United States.

The process of bidding for the host city was originally scheduled to begin in 2019, with the winning bid due to be announced in 2021. However, following the withdrawal of a number of cities from the bidding process for both the 2022 Winter Olympics and the 2024 Summer Olympics, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) resolved in July 2017 to jointly award both the 2024 and 2028 Games. Thus on July 31, 2017, an agreement was reached wherein Los Angeles would bid for the 2028 Games with $1.8 billion of additional funding from the IOC, which then cleared the way for Paris to be confirmed as host of the 2024 Games. Both cities were formally announced as winners of their respective Games at the 131st IOC Session in Lima, Peru, on September 13, 2017. The bid was praised by the IOC for using a record-breaking number of existing and temporary facilities and relying on corporate money.This is the third time that Los Angeles will have hosted the Summer Olympics, making it the third city after London (1908, 1948, and 2012) and Paris (1900, 1924, and 2024) to host the Games three times and the first American city to do so. These will be the fifth Summer Olympic Games to be hosted in the United States, the previous four occasions being St. Louis 1904, Los Angeles 1932, Los Angeles 1984, and Atlanta 1996. These will also be the fourth Olympics to be held in the U.S. state of California, and the ninth Olympics to be held in the U.S. overall (taking both summer and winter Games into account; the four winter editions being Lake Placid 1932, Squaw Valley 1960, Lake Placid 1980, and Salt Lake City 2002).

Bakulin

Bakulin (Russian: Баку́лин; masculine) or Bakulina (Баку́лина; feminine) is a Russian last name.There are two theories regarding the origins of this last name. According to the first one, it is a variety of the last name Abakumov, which is derived from a patronymic, itself derived from various forms of the Christian male first name Avvakum. However, it is also possible that this last name is related to the last name Bakunin, both of which derive from dialectal Russian words "бакуля" (bakulya) and "бакуня" (bakunya), meaning, depending on the dialect, chatterbox, talkative person or agile, business-like person.The following people share this last name:

Alex Bakulin, general manager of Volzhanin, a Russian bus lease holding company

Alexey Bakulin, People's Commissar of Transport of the Soviet Union in 1937–1938

Arkadi Bakulin, First Team Coach of FC Astana, a Kazakh association football team

Barbara Bakulin, a member of the Polish team at the 1972 Summer Olympics Women's 4×100 meters relay

Ivan Bakulin, several people

Maria Bakulina, Russian center basketball player for WBC Dynamo Novosibirsk

Natalia Bakulina, 2001 Miss International contestant from Ukraine

Nicholas Savich Bakulin (1869-1962), Russian painter

Nikolay Bakulin, winner of Moscow City Chess Championship in 1964 and 1966

Sergey Bakulin (b. 1986), Russian race walker

Vitaly Bakulin (b. 1983), Russian association football player

Vladimir Bakulin (1939–2012), Soviet Olympic wrestler

Yelena Bakulina, one of the victims of Soviet serial killer Andrei Chikatilo

Yevhen Bakulin, member of the Supervisory Board of Ukrnafta, a Ukrainian oil and natural gas extracting company

Big man

Big man may refer to:

Big man (anthropology), the most influential man in a tribe

Kadanuumuu, a hominid fossil whose name means "big man" in the Afar language

Big man (political science), a single person who wields autocratic rule of a country

Frederick Foswell, or Big Man, a character in Amazing Spider-Man

Center (basketball), and often a Power forward (basketball), typically the physically largest basketball players

Great man theory, the idea that history can be largely explained by the actions of great men

Bongbong

Bongbong is one of the 44 barangays of the municipality of Ubay, in the province of Bohol, Philippines.

The barangay's total land area is 161 hectares (400 acres). According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 895.Bongbong celebrates its annual fiesta on 8 December in honor of their patron saint.

Bradley Braves

The Bradley Braves are the intercollegiate athletics teams of Bradley University, located in Peoria, Illinois, United States. The Braves' athletic program is a member of the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) and competes at the NCAA Division I level. The Bradley mascot is Kaboom! the Gargoyle, and the school colors are red and white.

Central Park

Central Park is an urban park in Manhattan, New York City. It is located between the Upper West Side and Upper East Side, roughly bounded by Fifth Avenue on the east, Central Park West (Eighth Avenue) on the west, Central Park South (59th Street) on the south, Central Park North (110th Street) on the north, and Fifth Avenue on the east. Central Park is the most visited urban park in the United States, with an estimated 37–38 million visitors annually, and one of the most filmed locations in the world. In terms of area, Central Park is the fifth largest park in New York City, covering 843 acres (341 ha).

Central Park was first approved in 1853 as a 778-acre (315 ha) park. In 1857, landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted and architect/landscape designer Calvert Vaux won a design competition to construct the park with a plan they titled the "Greensward Plan". Construction began the same year, and the park's first areas were opened to the public in late 1858. Additional land at the northern end of Central Park was purchased in 1859, and the park was completed in 1876. After a period of decline in the early 20th century, New York City parks commissioner Robert Moses started a program to clean up Central Park. Another decline in the late 20th century spurred the creation of the Central Park Conservancy in 1980, which refurbished many parts of the park during the 1980s and 1990s.

Main attractions of the park include the Ramble and Lake; several amusement attractions including Wollman Rink, Central Park Carousel, and the Central Park Zoo; Sheep Meadow; the Central Park Mall; Bethesda Terrace; the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir; and the Delacorte Theater that hosts Shakespeare in the Park programs in the summertime. The park also has sports facilities, including the North Meadow Recreation Center, basketball courts, baseball fields, and soccer fields.

Central Park was designated a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior in 1963, and it was placed on the tentative list for UNESCO World Heritage Sites in April 2017. The park, managed for decades by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (NYC Parks), has been managed by the Central Park Conservancy since 1998, under contract with the municipal government in a public-private partnership. The Conservancy, a non-profit organization, contributes 75 percent of Central Park's $65 million annual budget and is responsible for all basic care of the park.

Claude Smith Field

OrthoGeorgia Park at Claude Smith Field is a 1,500-seat baseball stadium on the campus of Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, United States. The facility has a press box, concession stands, and additional berm seating along the right field fence. On November 11, 2014, Mercer announced plans to renovate and expand the stadium, which will include new seating areas, concession areas, press box, dugouts, and a new entrance plaza. Significant funding will be provided by OrthoGeorgia in return for future naming rights.The facility is named for Claude Smith, Mercer baseball coach from 1948-77. The field was named for him upon his retirement in 1977; Smith won 405 games as Mercer's coach and is the winningest coach in university history.The field is located adjacent to Mercer's other athletic facilities including the University Center (basketball arena and athletic department offices), Moye Complex (football and lacrosse), and Sikes Field (softball). There is a 101-room Hilton Garden Inn on university-owned land adjacent to the field. Large parking lots are available for visitors-spectators arriving via the Mercer University Drive exit off of Interstate 75.

High Point Panthers

The High Point Panthers are the 16 varsity athletic teams that represent High Point University (HPU) in North Carolina, United States. All of HPU's varsity teams compete at the NCAA Division I level. All sports except men's lacrosse compete in the Big South Conference. The men's lacrosse team joined the Southern Conference July 1, 2014. The Panthers joined Division I in 1999, after having been NCAA Division II and being members of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) prior to 1992. HPU was a founding member of the North State Conference, which is now the NCAA Division II Conference Carolinas.Dan Hauser became HPU's athletic director in May 2014. He replaced Craig Keilitz, who held the position from 2008-14. Keilitz replaced Woody Gibson, who had been AD since 1999. HPU's other previous athletic directors include Jerry Steele, who was also basketball coach from 1972–2003, and Virgil Yow, who was also a coach. HPU's men's basketball coach is Tubby Smith, who is one of the university's highest-profile alums and led Kentucky to the 1998 NCAA Championship.

HPU's main athletic facilities are the Millis Center (basketball and volleyball), Vert Stadium (track, soccer and lacrosse) and Williard Stadium (baseball). In September 2018, ground broke on the Nido and Mariana Qubein Arena, Conference Center and Hotel. The facility will host men's and women's basketball and seat 4,500 spectators.

MIT Engineers

Massachusetts Institute of Technology's intercollegiate sports teams, called the MIT Engineers, compete mostly in NCAA Division III. It has won 22 Team National Championships, 42 Individual National Championships. MIT is the all-time Division III leader in producing Academic All-Americas (302) and rank second across all NCAA Divisions. MIT Athletes won 13 Elite 90 awards and ranks first among NCAA Division III programs, and third among all divisions. Most of the school's sports compete in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC), with sports not sponsored by the NEWMAC housed in several other conferences. Men's volleyball competes in the single-sport United Volleyball Conference. One MIT sport, women's rowing, competes in Division I in the Eastern Association of Women's Rowing Colleges (EAWRC). Men's water polo, a sport in which the NCAA holds a single national championship for all three of its divisions, competes in the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) alongside Division I and Division II members. Three sports compete outside NCAA governance: men's rowing competes in the Eastern Association of Rowing Colleges (EARC), sailing in the New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association of ICSA and squash in the College Squash Association. In April 2009, budget cuts led to MIT's eliminating eight of its 41 sports, including the mixed men's and women's teams in alpine skiing and pistol; separate teams for men and women in ice hockey and gymnastics; and men's programs in golf and wrestling.

North Dakota Fighting Hawks

The North Dakota Fighting Hawks (formerly known as the Fighting Sioux) are the athletic teams that represent the University of North Dakota (UND), located in the city of Grand Forks, North Dakota.

Originally in the Division II North Central Conference, UND began transitioning to NCAA's Division I in 2008 with the football program participating in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). North Dakota is a member of the Summit League for most sports, an FCS independent in football, and the National Collegiate Hockey Conference for men's hockey. The Fighting Hawks competed in the Western Athletic Conference in baseball, plus men's and women's swimming & diving, before dropping all three sports. Baseball was dropped after the 2016 season, and the swimming & diving teams were dropped after the 2016–17 season. Women's ice hockey competed in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association before also being dropped after the 2016–17 season.On January 24, 2017, reports stated that North Dakota would leave the Big Sky Conference to join the Summit League in all sports but football beginning in 2019. The school would join the Missouri Valley Football Conference for football in 2020. The rumored changes became official on January 26, when UND, the Summit League, and the MVFC announced the Fighting Hawks' move to the Summit in 2018 (instead of 2019) and the MVFC at the reported 2020 date. During UND's transition to the MVFC, it will continue to play a full Big Sky football schedule due to contractual commitments; while the Fighting Hawks will not be eligible for the Big Sky title, games against them will count in the Big Sky football standings.

Pivot

Pivot may refer to:

Pivot, the point of rotation in a lever system

More generally, the center point of any rotational system

Pivot joint, a kind of joint between bones in the body

Pivot turn, a dance move

Scheels Center

Scheels Center is a 5,830 seat multi-purpose arena in Fargo, North Dakota. It was built in 1970 and was home to the North Dakota State University Bison basketball and wrestling team through the 2013 season. It was previously named the Bison Sports Arena. The main facility was renamed the Sanford Health Athletic Complex and the basketball arena was renamed The Scheels Center. It reopened under the new name for the 2016 season.

Fundraising was launched as part of the Edge Campaign to privately raise money for the extension and renovation of the Bison Sports Arena. On October 11, 2013, the NDSU Foundation voted unanimously to back the project up to 41 million, pending legislative approval. On November 23, 2013, the State Board Of Higher Education unanimously approved the project. On December 11, 2013, the project was unanimously approved.

The renovation included:

Scheels Center basketball arena

Shelly Ellig indoor track and field facility (completed)

14,500 sq. ft. basketball training facility

15,000 sq. ft. performance training center

2,000 sq. ft. Hall of Fame display

team store

ticket office

Student Athlete Academic Center

New 4 sided HD video board will be installed.

Sports in Richmond, Virginia

Richmond, Virginia, United States, is home to three professional sports teams, though none of which compete in any major professional league. Virginia is the most populated state without a major sports team. In 2008, the Richmond Braves minor league baseball team left for Gwinnett County, Georgia, and was replaced by the Richmond Flying Squirrels in 2010. But now, the Flying Squirrels' owner has threatened to leave Richmond if they do not replace their current stadium, the Diamond. The Richmond Kickers are a non-profit soccer team that plays at City Stadium.

Richmond has also come into the national spotlight in recent years due to the success of the region's two Division I college basketball teams, the VCU Rams and Richmond Spiders. The VCU Rams men's basketball team reached the Final Four of the 2011 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, while the Richmond Spiders men's basketball team reached the Sweet 16 of the same tournament.

As of 2016, Richmond is also home to its first women's sports team, the Richmond Black Widows. They are in the Women's Football Alliance and play at Hovey Field. The expansion team plays in Tier III of the Women's Football Alliance and is the National Conference Champion.

The Washington Redskins hold training camp in Richmond every year.

The Gregory School

The Gregory School is an independent, private, non-sectarian, coed middle and high school in Tucson, Arizona, United States. The school has no religious affiliation.

As of 2015, the Gregory School offers grades 5-12 and has under 300 students with an average class size of 14 students per class. The school's 37-acre campus in central Tucson includes a 370-seat theater, science and technology center, basketball and volleyball gymnasium, band room, soccer and baseball/softball fields, a state of the art fabrication lab, student lounges, and a dining hall.

The Gregory School is the only school in Southern Arizona accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest (ISAS). It is also a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS).

Ventspils Olimpiskais Stadions

Ventspils Olimpiskais Stadions, more commonly called the Ventspils Stadions, is a multi-purpose stadium in Ventspils, Latvia. It is currently used mostly for football matches. Ventspils Stadions is the home stadium for FK Ventspils, and one of the most famous football stadia in the Latvia. The stadium holds 3,200 people.

Ventspils Olympic Center Basketball Hall

Ventspils Olympic Center Basketball Hall is a multi-purpose indoor sports arena that is located in Ventspils, Latvia. It is a part of the Ventspils Olympic Center, which also includes a 3,200 seat football stadium. The arena is mainly used to host basketball and volleyball games, boxing and wrestling matches, gymnastics, badminton and tennis matches, and martial arts sports. The arena has a seating capacity of 3,085 for basketball games.

Youngstown State Penguins

The Youngstown State Penguins are the athletic teams of Youngstown State University of Youngstown, Ohio. The university is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's (NCAA) Division I, and the Penguins compete in football as members of the Missouri Valley Football Conference. Most other sports compete as members of the Horizon League

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