Cronkite News Digest for Friday, June 14

Here is the Cronkite News lineup for Friday, June 14. If you have questions on news stories, please contact Steve Crane in the Washington, D.C., bureau at 202-684-2398 or steve.crane@asu.edu, or call the Phoenix bureau: Executive Editor Christina Leonard at 602-361-5893 or christina.leonard@asu.edu or Content Editor Venita James at venita.hawthorne.james@asu.edu. Direct borderlands story questions to Vanessa Ruiz at 305-431-3082 or vanessa.ruiz.2@asu.edu. Sports story questions should go to Paola Boivin at paola.boivin@asu.edu or Brett Kurland at bkurland@asu.edu or 602-496-5134. Clients who want to use Cronkite videos can find clean versions, and scripts, for download at this Dropbox link for stories from June. Stories promised for today, along with photos and links to multimedia elements, will move on our client site at cronkitenews.jmc.asu.edu/clients. Continue reading “Cronkite News Digest for Friday, June 14”

With guidance of ASU greats, Chun An Yu makes second consecutive appearance at US Open

  • Slug: Sports-Open ASU Yu, 1,000 words
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By Sebastian Emanuel
Cronkite News

PHOENIX – Chun An Yu knows the benefits of attending a school with a rich history of golf success.

The Arizona State amateur is playing in his second straight U.S. Open. Last year at Shinnecock Hills in Southampton, New York, he played a practice round with ASU product Jon Rahm. This year, he played and learned from former Sun Devils great Phil Mickelson as well as his good friend Cheng-tsung Pan, also from Chinese Taipei.

He took their messages to heart. After a rocky start Thursday with a bogey and double bogey, he rebounded nicely on the front nine and posted birdies on holes 6, 7 and 9 and finished even on the front nine at Pebble Beach in Monterey, California. He struggled on the back nine with four bogeys and a birdie and ended the day at 3 over.  He hopes to use the guidance of his ASU mentors to bounce back on Friday. Continue reading “With guidance of ASU greats, Chun An Yu makes second consecutive appearance at US Open”

These point guards might be in mix for Suns in NBA Draft

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By Jacob Rosenfarb
Cronkite News

PHOENIX – The dichotomy within the NBA could not be clearer than in the month of June. While the final two teams battle for supremacy in the NBA Finals, the remaining 28 franchises must wait for the league’s annual draft later in the month to inject a sense of optimism into their organizations.  For the Phoenix Suns, who haven’t suited up for a June game in 13 seasons, this year’s draft holds even more significance as the franchise prepares to make its fourth straight top six pick.

With starters Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton likely entrenched long-term at their positions, the onus lies with the general manager James Jones and the Suns’ front office to find complementary pieces to pair with its budding superstars. One position of need is point guard, a spot the team likely will address June 20 in the 2019 NBA Draft. Continue reading “These point guards might be in mix for Suns in NBA Draft”

Beer factor: Phoenix Rising’s recipe for success includes hops, barley

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By Owain Evans
Cronkite News

SCOTTSDALE – To Phoenix Rising, beer means wins.

The team is a perfect 11-0-0 on Dollar Beer Nights, something that has drawn considerable attention.

The lesser heard story is that those Friday nights are just as much of a success off the field as they are on it. Since 2018, Rising averages almost 600 fans more per game compared to Saturdays. Both Dollar Beer Nights this year top the 2019 attendance list. Continue reading “Beer factor: Phoenix Rising’s recipe for success includes hops, barley”

Through injury, motherhood and doubt, Jessica McDonald ready to represent Arizona at World Cup

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By Brady Vernon
Cronkite News

PHOENIX – Although more than 5,000 miles separate Phoenix and Reims, France, a few flights makes the path reasonably simple for most. For Jessica McDonald, her journey to the pitch of Stade Auguste Delaune was anything but simple.

McDonald, 31, is one of 23 athletes on the United States Women’s National Team that will represent their country in the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019. The U.S. will start its defense of the 2015 World Cup title on Tuesday in a Group F game against Thailand.

The soccer-filled adventure started in the desert for McDonald. Born in Phoenix, she played  seven years with the Arizona-based Sereno Soccer Club and attributes her growth to a coach, Les Armstrong, who is now the Girls Development Academy Director at SC del Sol. Continue reading “Through injury, motherhood and doubt, Jessica McDonald ready to represent Arizona at World Cup”

Peaches and team: 7-year-old cancer patient finds support from all-girls baseball teammates

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By Sebastian Emanuel
Cronkite News

CHANDLER – With her head freshly shaved, and her friends providing a protective cocoon, 7-year-old Leighton Accardo looked down at her wrist and read the words on her bracelet.

“You are strong. You are brave. You got this.”

That moment on May 28 told the story of a young player battling her toughest opponent yet, and an all-girls baseball team there for perpetual support. Continue reading “Peaches and team: 7-year-old cancer patient finds support from all-girls baseball teammates”

Phoenix Rising players, fans back LGBTQ charities for Pride month

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By Owain Evans
Cronkite News

TEMPE – When “pride” is mentioned in a sporting context, it is often referring to support for a team.

Yet Phoenix Rising FC will be thinking about that word differently this Pride month, with fans and players raising money for LGBTQ charities.

A campaign from the team’s two supporters’ groups has seen over $350 pledged for every Rising goal in June, with the proceeds going to local charity Trans Queer Pueblo. Continue reading “Phoenix Rising players, fans back LGBTQ charities for Pride month”

Phoenix Rising prepared to lose Kevon Lambert to international duty until July

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By Owain Evans
Cronkite News

TEMPE – Phoenix Rising is preparing to lose one of its top midfielders until July.

Kevon Lambert, 22, is currently with the Jamaican national team. He’s part of the squad for the Reggae Boyz’s CONCACAF Gold Cup warmup fixture against the U.S. men’s national team today in Washington D.C.

“We’re so proud of him,” Rising coach Rick Schantz said. “Coaching staff, teammates, everybody. It’s a big deal to have guys called up to the national team. Especially as he’s at a young age, and we’re hoping someday we’re going to get to watch Kev play in the Champions League.” Continue reading “Phoenix Rising prepared to lose Kevon Lambert to international duty until July”

After almost quitting, ASU softball outfielder Kindra Hackbarth named All-American

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By Brady Vernon
Cronkite News

TEMPE – On her stage known as Farrington Stadium, Kindra Hackbarth displays a plethora of talent for the Arizona State softball team. Whether it’s playing the game, dancing in the dugout or leading her team in pregame yoga, it’s hard not to catch Hackbarth showcasing her smile.

Hackbarth’s smile reached its maximum size recently when the junior right fielder accomplished a dream: She was named an All-American. For someone who almost quit the game two years earlier, it was quite the achievement.

The National Fastpitch Coaches Association included Hackbarth on its Third Team of All-Americans as an outfielder along with her teammate Morgan Howe, who made First Team.

Continue reading “After almost quitting, ASU softball outfielder Kindra Hackbarth named All-American”

‘Raised in a bat bag’: Kevin Cron feels prepared for Diamondbacks opportunity

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By Brady Vernon
Cronkite News

PHOENIX – Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo summed it up perfectly.

“He’s raised in a bat bag.”

Kevin Cron’s life has revolved around a ball that measures nine inches in circumference and is laced with 108 stitches. Continue reading “‘Raised in a bat bag’: Kevin Cron feels prepared for Diamondbacks opportunity”

South Sudan never far from mind of Northern Arizona Suns’ Peter Jok

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By Andre Simms
Cronkite News

PRESCOTT VALLEY – Peter Jok wasn’t like other kids his age the first time he saw snow. He had no memories of Christmases past, of presents opened, of snow days. Instead, Jok was just cold. Cold and confused.

The white powder falling from the sky in Des Moines, Iowa, was as unfamiliar as the community, Prescott Valley, he now calls home.

“I didn’t know what snow was,” Jok said. “When we got here there was snow everywhere and I didn’t know what was going on.” Continue reading “South Sudan never far from mind of Northern Arizona Suns’ Peter Jok”

Street cred: ‘Muhammad Ali Way’ helps keep mission of boxing great, Barrow Institute alive

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By Jacob Rosenfarb
Cronkite News

PHOENIX – The legacy of Muhammad Ali is a layered and complicated one, wrought with moments of controversy and bravery in the face of extreme pressures. Yet three years after his death, one of Ali’s most lasting contributions may be his founding of the Muhammad Ali Parkinson’s Center and his work with the Barrow Neurological Institute in its fight to eradicate Parkinson’s disease.

Today, on the third anniversary of Ali’s passing, friends and family came together to honor the former heavyweight champion of the world with the unveiling of “Muhammad Ali Way” while also celebrating the declaration of June 3 as “Muhammad Ali Day” in the city of Phoenix.

“Muhammad was very proud to have his name attached to this Parkinson’s center and for it to be named after him,” said Ali’s wife Yolanda “Lonnie” Ali. “But to have a street in front of the Parkinson’s center bear his name is just icing on the cake and it makes me so very proud.” Continue reading “Street cred: ‘Muhammad Ali Way’ helps keep mission of boxing great, Barrow Institute alive”

Once a defensive standout, Rattlers’ Harrington reinvents himself as offensive star

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By Sebastian Emanuel
Cronkite News

MESA – Jarrod Harrington was once known as an all-state defensive back. These days, he’s one of the Indoor Football League’s top receivers.

Credit a pair of savvy colleges coaches with seeing his potential.

The 12-0 Arizona Rattlers have two regular season games remaining on their schedule before the playoffs. Harrington’s performance – 14 touchdowns and 645 receiving yards – has played a big part in the Rattlers’ explosive offense as the team currently holds the postseason’s No. 1 seed. Continue reading “Once a defensive standout, Rattlers’ Harrington reinvents himself as offensive star”

For good measure: Analytics a part of youth baseball, too

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By Tyler Dunn
Cronkite News

PEORIA – With the game tied 9-9 in the bottom of the sixth inning, Mathew Swedler smashed a line drive to center field, scoring Kyler Thruston for the go-ahead run.

Swedler, 13, advanced to second with a five-pitch walk to teammate Jackson Forbes and made his way to third after an error by the opposing shortstop. One pitch later, he scored easily on a single to left field.

Just inside the dugout of AZBC 2024, a Peoria-based 13-and-under club team, assistant coach Kevin Forbes sat hunched over an iPad, inputting each step of Swedler’s trip around the bases. Continue reading “For good measure: Analytics a part of youth baseball, too”

‘It’s pretty emotional’: ASU baseball ready for first regional since 2016

  • Slug: Sports-ASU Baseball Regional , 700 words
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By Brady Vernon
Cronkite News

PHOENIX – With a capacity of 10,326, Alex Box Stadium is widely regarded as one of the top atmospheres in college baseball. Many visitors despise the trip to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. For players on the Arizona State baseball team, they couldn’t be more thrilled to step onto LSU’s Skip Bertman Field for the postseason.

“I don’t think anything crowd-wise we’ve played in is like this,” said junior center fielder Hunter Bishop, whose Sun Devils play Southern Mississippi on Friday at 10:00 a.m. Arizona time.  “My brother played there freshman year (and) told me it’s unlike anything he’s seen except for the big leagues.”

A two-year absence from the postseason isn’t long for most college baseball programs. ASU, however, isn’t just another program. Five national championships (fourth most in the NCAA), 125 All-Americans and 437 MLB draft picks, the most of any university, defines the school’s success. Continue reading “‘It’s pretty emotional’: ASU baseball ready for first regional since 2016”

Pros, no cons: With hiring of Marvin Lewis, ASU shows strong belief in NFL model

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By Brady Vernon
Cronkite News

TEMPE – Herm Edwards and Arizona State football continues to build upon its pro model. Since Edwards took the head coaching job, he has built his staff with a certain profile, one with experience in the NFL.

He dreamed of adding another coach that stood across from him on the opposing sideline years ago, and when that coach became available, a quick phone call from Edwards made that dream a reality.

On Tuesday, ASU announced that former NFL head coach Marvin Lewis will be added to its staff as a special adviser.

Continue reading “Pros, no cons: With hiring of Marvin Lewis, ASU shows strong belief in NFL model”

‘One team, one heartbeat’: Arizona softball ends Women’s College World Series drought

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By Brady Vernon
Cronkite News

TUCSON – Jitters permeated much of packed Rita Hillenbrand Memorial Stadium on Saturday night. Decked in cardinal red and navy blue, Arizona Wildcats fans stood up in unison as they anticipated the end.

When second baseman Hanah Bowen’s throw hit Rylee Pierce’s mitt at first base, gloves flew in the air, hugs were exchanged and a weight was lifted off a team’s shoulders. The Arizona softball program, one of the most accomplished in the nation, surmounted the hill that stood in its way for the past eight seasons. With their Super Regional victory over Ole Miss in front of a crowd of 2,835, the Wildcats are headed to Oklahoma City for the Women’s College World Series for the first time since 2010. Continue reading “‘One team, one heartbeat’: Arizona softball ends Women’s College World Series drought”

ASU men’s golf enters NCAA Championships with international flair

  • Slug: Sports-ASU Golf NCAA. 1,400 words.
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By MATTHEW ROY
Cronkite News

TEMPE – Growing up in Spain, Alejandro “Alex” Del Rey had a dream of coming to the United States and playing golf collegiately. When the time came to look for schools, his attention always returned to one: Arizona State.

“In Spain, when kids are in high school, you really don’t know about all the schools or all the options you have here in the States, and we mostly just hear about ASU,” said Del Rey, who is now a junior on the Sun Devils men’s golf team.

That team begins its quest for a third national title today when it competes in the NCAA Championships at Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, Arkansas. It brings with it a definite international flair. Continue reading “ASU men’s golf enters NCAA Championships with international flair”

Power play: Led by ASU, collegiate hockey flexes its muscle in Arizona

  • Slug: Sports-Collegiate Hockey ASU. 1,200 words.
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By Killian McClatchey
Cronkite News

PHOENIX — Hockey dreams often start on frozen ponds. It’s braving the cold and racing the sun as it dips below the horizon. It’s dashing toward the goal, outskating the defense and squeezing the shot past the goalie’s glove to win the Stanley Cup.

For young athletes in traditional hockey locales like Minnesota, Michigan and much of the Northeast, those ponds are plentiful. For those in Arizona, they are not. Yet the state is emerging as a collegiate hockey – pun intended – hotbed.

Arizona State turned heads this past season when it became the first independent team to make the NCAA Tournament since 1991-92, and also to put its first player in the NHL. Meanwhile, two other programs in the state, Arizona and Grand Canyon, are on the rise in the next-tier American College Hockey Association. Continue reading “Power play: Led by ASU, collegiate hockey flexes its muscle in Arizona”

Henry Cejudo reflects on Maryvale roots as he prepares for UFC championship bout

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By EVARISTO MONTOYA
Cronkite News

PHOENIX – Henry Cejudo appeared destined for gold after his mother coined the nickname “Niño de Oro.”

Golden Child.

“When he was little, he used to have like platinum hair and he was always in the sun,” said Henry’s older brother, Alonzo. “He always looked like he had a shade of gold on him.”

“Niño de Oro” seemed like an appropriate nickname when Cujedo went to the 2008 Beijing Olympics and became the youngest gold medalist in the history of USA Wrestling, striking gold at the age of 21. Now he is known to millions of MMA fans as “The Messenger,” and will attempt to become the UFC’s sixth two-division champion when he fights Marlon Moraes for the vacant UFC bantamweight championship at UFC 238 in Chicago on June 8. Continue reading “Henry Cejudo reflects on Maryvale roots as he prepares for UFC championship bout”