Posted in sports, tagged Big Ten Tournament, Buckeye Basketball, Evan Turner, Michigan, NBA, NBA Draft, New Albany, Ohio State, sports on April 7, 2010 |
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Evan Turner of the Ohio State men’s basketball team announced today that he is skipping his senior year and entering the NBA draft. I’m sorry to see him go, because I think Turner is a good guy who has been a diligent student and good representative of the University — as well as being an exceptionally talented basketball player. Among other things, Turner has befriended a high school kid who lives in New Albany, for whom he has served as a mentor and role model.
Much as I would selfishly like to have Turner stay with the Buckeyes and lead them for another season, it is hard to argue with his decision. He won a carload of awards and honors this year and is projected to be a top 3 choice in the NBA draft. Under the NBA set up, if Turner is a top 3 choice he will make more than $7 million in his first two years in the league. How can you expect a kid to turn down the chance to earn such a potentially life-changing amount of money, and run the risk of some horrible injury that could make that money vanish like a puff of smoke in a stiff breeze?
Besides, although Even Turner will be gone physically, he will live on in the memories of Buckeyes fans — especially for his game-ending shot to beat Michigan in this year’s Big Ten tournament.
Thanks, Evan — you will always be a Buckeye!
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I drove to work today listening to stories of opposition demonstrations, deaths, and chaotic conditions in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, and by the time I got home tonight the media was reporting that the government had been toppled and a “people’s government” was being formed. My first reaction was to think: where in the world is Kyrgyzstan? — and my second reaction was to feel a sense of shame that I couldn’t quickly point to it on a globe. About the only thing I knew about its location is that it is one of the cluster of “stans” found north of India and south of Russia on the Asian continent. It is appalling to be so ignorant about basic world geography.
It turns out the Kyrgyzstan borders Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kazakstan, as well as China. Interestingly, Kyrgyzstan is home to both an American military base and a Russian base. (How many countries can make that statement?) The American military base is of some significance, because it is used as a supply point for American forces in Afghanistan. Today’s unrest comes only a few years after the 2005 Tulip Revolution, in which another government was toppled. Americans obviously will have to hope that the conditions there don’t affect our military base or our ability to support our troops in Afghanistan.
What else do we know about Kyrgyzstan? According to the CIA’s World Factbook website, the country is slightly smaller than North Dakota. It is a mountainous land, with a climate that ranges from polar in the Tien Shan mountains along the southeast border to subtropical in the southwest to temperate in the north. It is an incredibly young country — the median age is not even 25 years old! — and is predominantly Muslim. The country’s economy is centered on agriculture, and it is struggling with problems caused by water pollution. The big body of water shown on the accompanying map is a large, saline lake called Ysyk-Kol, which means “hot lake” in Kyrgyz.
Opposition coups are a good excuse to learn a bit about faraway lands.
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