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June 24, 2013 – Things I Found Interesting (And So Should You)

Jun 24, 2013, 12:36 AM EDT

Paxson Nails Game Winner in Game 6 of 1993 NBA Finals (Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images)

The Miami Heat are now back-to-back NBA Champions, Skylar Diggins dropped a career-high 11 assists, the Chicago Blackhawks are one win away from winning the Stanley Cup, Eric Atkins and Jerian Grant are heading to a U.S.A. Basketball Training Camp, some guy walked across the Grand Canyon last night and the story about a former Notre Dame Athletics Department employee making a difference even after her death. Those are just a few things that I presently have on my mind.

Friday’s trivia question was time-specific as it talked about the NBA Finals (Who was the last Notre Dame men’s basketball player to win the NBA Finals?). It was not a difficult one as many people correctly answered with the correct answer of John Paxson. Not only did Paxson win the NBA Championship, but he hit quite a big shot. Check out the ‘Notre Dame Video of the Day’ section below to see this great moment in NBA Finals history.

Now, what did we miss…

  1. 1. Football – Notre Dame/Oklahoma Named One Of Week 5’s Best Games  (LINK-YahooSports.com)
    A 31-13 victory by the Irish last fall in Norman, Okla., catapulted Notre Dame into the national limelight as one of the best college football team’s in the nation. This year, the Sooners must visit South Bend and will be looking for payback for the loss last season. The Oklahoma rushing attack was one of the more vaunted and explosive in the nation last year, yet the Irish held Oklahoma to just 0.6 yards per carry in the 2012 meeting. Yahoo.com ranks this week 5 game as one of the best games of the week, and you can sure expect a rowdy atmosphere in South Bend when the Sooners make their first visit to northern Indiana since 1999.
     
  2. 2. Men’s Basketball – Atkins, Grant Excited To Play For Country (LINK-SouthBendTribune.com)
    Notre Dame men’s basketball players Eric Atkins and Jerian Grant are heading to Colorado Springs, Colo. in the coming days to begin U.S.A. Basketball training camp in an effort to make the 12-man United States University Games roster. The team is made up of returning collegiate athletes from schools such as Indiana University (Will Sheehey, Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell) and Providence College (Bryce Cotton). For both student-athletes it will be a great opportunity to play with some of the best players in college basketball and learn from some of the best coaching minds in the game as Davidson’s Bob McKillop will be leading the squad while South Carolina’s Frank Martin and Michigan’s John Beilein will be his assistant coaches. The Irish Underground Blog will have their own story on the duo’s excitement on the training camp on Tuesday, June 25.

 

  1. 3. Football – Riddick Catching On In Motor City (LINK-247Sports.com)
    One of Irish faithful’s favorite players in recent memory, Theo Riddick found himself in a great situation after being selected in the sixth round of last April’s NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. The Lions, a running back starved franchise since the retirement of Barry Sanders, are looking to Riddick to be a spark for their backfield and to help out pro bowl quarterback and former top-pick Matt Stafford. In Detroit they have collected a stable of running backs, including key off-season signing, Reggie Bush. Riddick will have a chance to impress the Lions coaching staff in a tight, eight-man running back race come the beginning of camp.
     
  1. 4. Football – Notre Dame Heads West (LINK-ESPN.com)
    You may be thinking that I am directionally-challenged by titling this, ‘Notre Dame Heads West’, but that is completely on purpose. ESPN.com’s Matt Fortuna and Kevin Gemmell looked at the three clashes between the Irish and Pac-12 opponents for this upcoming football season. Notre Dame will start the Pac-12 swing against Arizona State in the Shamrock Series game in Cowboys Stadium in Texas on Oct. 5th before hosting the Trojans on the 19th of October. The Irish will finish the regular season in Palo Alto, Calif., playing the Stanford Cardinal to round out their Pac-12 schedule.
     
    1. 5. General – A Reminder Of The Great People At Notre Dame
      A few weeks ago I wrote in this exact space about Susan McGonigal, a senior assistant in the Notre Dame Athletics Department and Honorary Monogram winner for her service to the University. As some of you may know, Susan passed away in early spring after a long and tumultuous battle with a debilitating disease. Susan was the keeper of the Media Relations department for which she worked, everything went through her, she was the glue. If you needed something done, Susan was your first call. If you needed a laugh, Susan was your first call. If you needed some candy, Susan usually had some sort of sugar lying around. And if you needed someone to talk to, Susan was always there to listen. Every year, dozens of student workers from Notre Dame and other local universities work and help out in the Media Relations office and Susan would befriend many of them, helping out when she could, making everyone laugh at her dry and sometimes brash personality. Others, like myself and a few others that worked in the office during the summer were able to grow a strong and long-term bond with Susan.
       
    2. You are probably wondering why I am telling you this, but I promise I am getting to a point. Former media relations office assistant, Nick Bucholtz had always been one of Susan’s favorites. Everyday was great when they were together, Susan would call Nick ‘Pedal Boy’ because he once broke the pedal on his bike on his first ride on his new bike. They would go back and forth throughout the day, almost always with Susan getting the last word. Nonetheless, Dave Matthews Band was Nick’s favorite artist. That last sentence was an understatement, Nick’s whole life was about Dave Matthews Band. So one of the last time’s Nick drove the three hour trip from where he now lived to see Susan on a football saturday during the 2012 season, Susan told Nick “not to fret, because some day he would get to meet his heros”
       
    3. …Fast forward to last Saturday, Dave Matthews is playing in Noblesville, Nick’s hometown. After going to both shows (Friday and Saturday), Nick was walking around the concert venue after the show and who does he see – Boyd Tinsley, a violinist and one of the more popular members of the band. Giving Boyd a huge hug Nick went on to tell him about Susan, what she told him before she passed and what Susan and his time at Notre Dame meant to him.
       
    4. Susan meant alot to all of us, not just at Notre Dame but throughout the country. During my time at Notre Dame (since 2009), Susan was always changing me and helping me become better at my craft, but most importantly, a better human being. It was not on accident that Notre Dame went a perfect 12-0 in Susan McGonigal’s last regular season, just as it was not an accident that Nick was able to fulfill one of Susan’s last promises to him, one thing is for certain from this whole rambling story however … the Notre Dame family is a unique one, and will never be the same or as strong after the loss of Susan.

      The University of Notre Dame Athletic Department is seeking donations in memory of Susan to memorialize her in and around Notre Dame Stadium. If you would like to donate to the cause, please contact Bernadette Cafarelli at Bernadette.M.Cafarelli.1@nd.edu.

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If you have more time to kill at work, read these other great articles:

Notre Dame Snapshot (SUAthletics.com) – Syracuse University gives their take on the Irish, a new ACC member.

Torii Hunter Jr.’s Recovery Update (UHND.com) – Incoming Army All-American, Torii Hunter Jr. is working his way back from injury. When can we expect him back on the field?

Associate Media Relations Director Chris Masters Named To CoSIDA Board of Directors (UND.com) – Longtime Notre Dame women’s basketball and soccer media relations director Chris Masters elected to board of directors of his profession’s governing body.

Irish In The NFL (247Sports.com) – There are many old and new Notre Dame faces in the NFL as we enter fall minicamp, where are the fan favorites and what can we expect out of them come the 2013 NFL season.

Notre Dame Fencers Thrive At Pan-Am Games (UND.com) – A story that we previously reported on ‘TIFI’ – A complete recap of the Pan-American Fencing Championships.

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Tweets to which I would have responded with ‘Haha’ …

What would the purists have to say about that…

…And we are still waiting… Oh, that’s the joke, I get it…

 

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Notre Dame Video Of The Day
 

The answer to Friday’s trivia question, John Paxson buries the game-winner in game six of the 1993 NBA Finals …
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Today’s Trivia:

With Skylar Diggins notching 11 assists yesterday, this little trivia tidbit came to mind…

To my knowledge, other than Diggins, there is only one other former Notre Dame women’s basketball player with an 11-assist WNBA game. Name her.

You will find the answer in Tuesday’s ‘Things I Found Interesting (And So Should You)’ – and Jim Sanson was the answer to the bonus question from above

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