Morgan Hook Coale enjoyed a storied high school basketball career. It’s something the Rogers High graduate will never forget even though it didn’t come with a storybook ending. Although most North Carolina universities – including Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill and N.C. State – still plan to bring students back to campus for some in-person classes starting next month, international students are fearful of what could happen if classes move entirely online. Eric Thames is doing everything he can to stay healthy, because right now he’s alone at first base with Howie Kendrick quarantined and Ryan Zimmerman at home after opting out…
The Prep Rally: Best in the West series will highlight the all-time best players in western Arkansas as selected by the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Morgan Hook Coale enjoyed a storied high school basketball career. It’s something the Rogers High graduate will never forget even though it didn’t come with a storybook ending.
The two-time Arkansas Girls Basketball Gatorade Player of the Year still talks about friendships and bonds she formed with coaches and teammates.
“The one thing you miss the most when you’re done playing a sport is that camaraderie you had with teammates and coaches,” said Coale, who is currently serving as an assistant girls basketball coach at Norman (Okla.) High. “The closest bonds I ever felt were with my teammates.
“There were eight of us seniors who kinda grew up together from our sophomore year on. We developed friendships that are still going pretty strong today.”
The 28-year-old also still recalls vividly the final shot of her high school career, too. It just didn’t go in.
“Oh I tell people about it all the time,” said Coale, who went on to play at Oklahoma. “I see it clear as day.”
The Lady Mounties trailed by a point and had to go the length of the floor with 3.8 seconds left.
“We knew they were going to press,” Coale said. “Coach (Preston) Early drew up a great play to get me the ball back in bounds. I’m thinking do I have enough time to just go on for the layup or pull up.”
She pulled up for a jump shot at the elbow of the lane from about 17 feet that rimmed out. The Lady Mounties’ season ended for the second straight year with a one-point loss in the state semifinals and her high school career was over just like that.
But Rogers coach Preston Early wouldn’t have wanted anyone else to take that shot.
“She had a level of greatness about her from the day she stepped on campus,” Early said. “We knew she was going to be special.”
She was indeed.
Coale had scholarship offers from the likes of Oklahoma and Arkansas before she’d even played a varsity game at Rogers. The 5-foot-9 point guard finished her high school career as the all-time leader in points (1,516) and assists (410) in school history. She averaged 17.4 points per game and 4.5 assists over her prep career. The three-time all-state selection is currently No. 2 on the scoring list. She was also named the state’s Miss Basketball as a senior by the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.
Her basketball skills were unquestioned but she also possessed so many key intangibles, too, that made Coale the best player he’s ever coached, Early said.
“The number one thing is she had the ability to remain calm in the biggest situations,” Early said. “Before she had even played her first game in high school, she had offers from the Sooners and the Hogs. There was a lot put on her but she always handled it so well.
“She also had that quality to raise the level of all the players around her. She just had that “it” factor.”
Even though she was blessed with natural ability, her work ethic was also never in question.
“She was the most talented kid in the gym but nobody ever walked out thinking they worked harder than her,” Early said. “It’s just a unique quality that separates her.”
Knowing her teammates and having their trust was the biggest key to helping them be the best they could, Coale said.
“You have to know what makes them tick,” Coale said. “You can’t approach everyone the same. But we bonded as friends and teammates and I knew what to say and how to say it.
“I just felt like they trusted me. Like a coach who gets players to play their best, I was able to do that as a player because of the relationships we had. They knew I was trying to make them better, not harping on them for not being as good as me.”
She carried those qualities to Oklahoma, starting all 102 games of her final three seasons for the Sooners. Coale earned All-Big 12 second team honors as a senior and honorable mention as a junior. She still ranks fifth all-time in assists (507), fourth in 3-pointers made (189) and tied for fifth in games played (137).
Coale couldn’t believe she was playing in front of 10,000 plus fans in college, especially as a freshman. But enjoyed every minute of it.
“Every time during the National Anthem, I’m thinking like ‘This is a dream, playing at this university in front of these people,” Coale said. “Every year after that it was exciting, playing in the NCAA Tournament. To play at that level was really cool and it was an honor to get to do it.”
At a glance
MORGAN HOOK COALE
CREDENTIALS Earned all-state honors three times. … Was twice selected the Arkansas Girls Basketball Gatorade Player of the Year. … Honored as the state’s Miss Basketball by the Arkansas Democrat Gazette as a senior. … Scored 1,516 points (17.4 ppg) in her high school career to set the all-time scoring record at Rogers and is currently second on the all-time list. … Helped the Lady Mounties to a 66-21 record over three seasons and reached the state semifinals twice. … Had scholarship offers from Oklahoma and Arkansas before she had ever played a game in high school and ended up signing with the Sooners. … Averaged 18.5 points and 4.5 assists as a senior at Rogers. … Remains the Rogers all-time assist leader with 410 (4.7 apg). … Earned All-Big 12 second-team honors as a senior at Oklahoma and remains among the top 10 all-time for games played, assists and 3-pointers made.
THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID “In high school, the closest bonds I ever felt were with my teammates. We kinda grew up together. There were eight of us seniors and from our sophomore year on, we developed friendships that are still going pretty strong today.”
Paul Boyd can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @NWAPaulb.
Author: Paul Boyd
Foreign students in NC fear online classes mean deportation
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Although most North Carolina universities – including Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill and N.C. State – still plan to bring students back to campus for some in-person classes starting next month, international students are fearful of what could happen if classes move entirely online.
They would be forced to leave the country, according to new guidelines announced this week by federal immigration authorities.
“The looming threat is what if the coronavirus does exacerbate late in the fall and Duke and other schools do end up going virtual,” said Dennis Wang, a junior at Duke.
Wang said the scenario would be worse than when most universities went all virtual in the spring. There was an exemption that allowed international students to stay in the U.S. for the spring and summer online courses and maintain their status.
“Now you have to leave the country,” said Wang, who’s from Canada.
Some students might have to stay in a quarantine area if they returned to their home countries, Wang said. Others live in rural places and might see their education impacted by unstable internet connections and time zone differences.
“We are already the minority,” Wang said. “I think the fact that this is coming out just tells us that we are more unwelcome than we thought we were.”
WHAT IS THE NEW POLICY?
The U.S. Department of State will not issue visas to students enrolled in schools that are fully online for the fall semester, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection will not allow those students to come into the United States, according to a news release from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Students currently in the U.S. and enrolled in online-only programs, as Harvard University recently announced, must either leave the country or transfer to a school that offers in-person instruction.
For students attending schools with a mixture of online and face-to-face classes, the university must fill out a form to certify that the program is not solely online and that a student isn’t taking all online courses for the semester.
Duke President Vincent Price said the university is “deeply concerned” about the new policy. He said it will limit the ability of qualified students and scholars to begin or continue their studies in the U.S., including the thousands of international students who study at Duke each year.
“This is a misguided effort that will only harm talented young people and the colleges and universities that are vital to our society,” Price said in a statement.
Price said Duke is committed to allowing international students to begin and complete their education at Duke because it aligns with their mission to “train leaders for the global community.”
“We will continue to support our international students through these challenging times,” Price said, “and will work with the higher education community to advocate for policies that open doors, not close them.”
PRESSURE TO TAKE IN-PERSON CLASSES
The new policy also puts pressure on international students to take in-person classes, and it could limit their options for courses, particularly for first and second-year students taking larger introductory classes that are typically taught in an auditorium setting.
“It’s effectively forcing those who feel uncertain or unsafe in that situation to choose between continuing their education or being forced to leave the country,” said Mark Nance, an associate professor in the School of Public and International Affairs at N.C. State University.
An online petition from university professors around the state urges the UNC System to move classes online this fall. Faculty at UNC-CH, NCSU, East Carolina University, UNC Charlotte, N.C. Central University, Appalachian State University, Western Carolina University, UNC Wilmington, UNC Asheville and Fayetteville State signed the petition, which had more than 500 signatures as of Wednesday afternoon.
“Because the COVID-19 epidemic is not yet under control and because communities surrounding our campuses are put at risk by campus activities, it is unsafe for students and instructors to return to face-to-face instruction,” the petition says.
Carolina Guenther, an N.C. State computer science major from Brazil, opted to stay in Raleigh for a summer internship after finishing the spring semester online. She doesn’t have to worry about getting back into the United States, but she is nervous about the return to campus and the pandemic getting worse.
“There’s no one on campus now, and when everyone comes back the situation is going to be very different,” Guenther said. “There may be a big rise in cases or put you at a bigger risk of infection.”
But Guenther said going to class is the only option for her to stay in the United States and maintain her visa status. If N.C. State switches to online courses, she’d be forced to go back to Brazil within 10 days of that announcement.
“As a rising senior, I really want to graduate,” Guenther said. “I just don’t want my progress on my courses to be impacted by that.”
NOT ALLOWED BACK IN THE U.S.
Rafael Albuquerque, a junior at N.C. State from Brazil, wanted to take all of his classes online, because the U.S. now restricts travel from Brazil. But with this new rule and N.C. State having a hybrid model, he would need to come back to Raleigh to maintain his visa status and take at least one in-person class.
Albuquerque fears he’ll have to take a gap year or semester. That means he’d lose his student visa and have to re-apply for it.
“It’s very nerve-wracking because if we do choose to take a gap year, it could impact our chances to get a work visa after we graduate and get sponsored by companies,” Albuquerque said. “Maybe it will be the logical thing to do, but of course it’s something that we get very worried about.”
He said the travel ban, non-refundable tuition and paying rent for apartments off campus that he can’t live in are already stressful. This policy adds to the overall feeling of anxiety.
N.C. State’s Office of International Services hosted a town hall Wednesday for students to ask questions about the new Immigration and Custom Enforcement guidance.
“Supporting the health, safety and academic success of all our students – domestic and international – remains critical as we move forward in uncertain times,” spokesman Mick Kulikowski said in a statement.
Additional information may be forthcoming but is not guaranteed, said Ioana Costant, UNC-Chapel Hill’s director of International Student and Scholar Services.
“International Student and Scholar Services is working closely with senior University leaders to ensure the University is compliant with this new guidance and to continue to support international students,” Costant said in a statement.
‘SHORT-SIGHTED AND COUNTERPRODUCTIVE’
International students typically pay the highest rates of tuition at universities, and others work as teaching assistants who help faculty and often teach their own courses, according to N.C. State’s Nance. He said losing those students would cause a problem financially and logistically as universities are trying to be very careful about the student to faculty ratio and the need for social distancing.
Universities also miss out on those perspectives from all over the world that international students bring to labs and classrooms in a variety of fields that enhance the educational experience for everyone, Nance said.
He said he views the decision as a political move aimed at appealing to President Trump’s voter base.
“The whole point is to make the U.S. and universities less attractive to international students,” Nance said. “While we’re busy trying to recruit the best and the brightest form around the world, they seem to be actively working against it for electoral gain.”
International students studying at U.S. colleges and universities contributed $41 billion and supported 458,290 jobs during the 2018-2019 academic year, according to an economic analysis by NAFSA: Association of International Educators. In North Carolina, the more than 21,000 international students contributed about $722 million and created more than 9,000 jobs.
The long term implications of this policy are the students next year and down the road who decide not to apply to U.S. colleges and universities, according to Nance. He said that means they don’t stick around to contribute academically and in the business community and don’t found that company, which can’t be measured.
He hopes the UNC System, which holds a lot of political weight, and other universities get in touch with congressional leaders to express their dismay at this policy.
“It’s awful,” Nance said. “I think it’s short-sighted and counterproductive and inhumane.”
CAN THE RULES BE CHANGED?
Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology sued ICE over the new rule, and others are trying to find loopholes like creating an in-person class solely for international students, the News & Observer reported.
Some critics of the policy, including Chris Marsicano, an expert on higher education lobbying and a visiting professor at Davidson College, suggested tweeting about the issue and reaching out to political representatives to fight it.
“…call your members of Congress and tell them you oppose the #StudentBan. Focus especially on members of the Judiciary Committees in the House and the Senate,” Marsicano tweeted.
Teddy Kellogg, from Advance, N.C., took that suggestion to heart. Kellogg, 27, and his partner Alix Choinet, a French national, are currently living in France and planning to move to New York to attend PhD programs at Cornell University.
Kellogg said they woke up to the news with dismay.
“We have already been under stress regarding the uncertainty of our arrival in Ithaca, NY, and this certainly multiplied our worries and anxieties,” Kellogg said in an email. “We have both spent the day exploring different avenues to challenge the decision.”
Kellogg wrote a letter opposing the policy to U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina, who is one of the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and on the subcommittee for Border Security and Immigration.
“This means he has some sway here,” Kellogg said.
Beyond triggering uncertainty for international students to get back into the country and the threat of long-term career plans being upended, this policy lets them know that they are an expendable resource, Kellogg told the News & Observer.
“At best, Trump is trying to coerce universities into having in-person classes while taking these students hostage,” Kellogg said. “At worst, it is just a hard-line anti-immigration initiative meant to send a message of nationalist protectionism.”
Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC.
Author: The Washington Times http://www.washingtontimes.com
Washington Nationals’ Eric Thames lonely at first base; believes this 2020 MLB season will work + more…
When he first arrived at West Palm Beach, FL’s FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches for the start of his 1-year/$4M deal with the Washington Nationals, (which includes a $4M mutual option for 2021), Eric Thames, 33, was part of a crowd at first base that included both Howie Kendrick and Ryan Zimmerman (with Asdrúbal Cabrera as another backup option).
Four-ish months later, Kendrick is quarantined and Zimmerman has opted out of the 2020 MLB campaign, leaving Thames as the main first base option in Spring Training 2.0 as the Nationals prepare for a 60-game schedule. So, like, stay healthy, Eric.
“Staying healthy, whether it’s like an actual injury or getting sick, that’s the No. 1 priority,” Thames told reporters when he spoke on a Zoom call this afternoon.
“So I’m doing the most I can like staying away from people, staying inside as much as I can, but you know, then again, we are touching door handles and there are certain things out of our control.
“So, yeah, it is definitely different right now at first base, but Howie and the other guys can fill in at first.
“We still have 13, 14 days until Opening Day. So, for right now it’s good for me because I get a lot of reps in.
“The Spring Training or ‘Summer Training’ is like a crash course compared to like a six-week schedule. All I can focus on is just getting ready for Opening Day.”
Thames and the rest of the Nationals are adjusting to the protocols put in place to try to get everyone through ST 2.0 and the 2020 season, but the process thus far, Thames said, is not much fun.
“I think it’s terrible,” Thames said with a laugh. “Not so much the practices, but the rules we have to follow.
“We can’t eat protein bars on the bench. We can’t celebrate with our teammates.
“Even like on a ground ball, you usually throw the ball around the infield, but you can’t have more than two guys touch a ball or they get rid of it and clean it up.
“It’s little rules like that are annoying, but you have to do it to keep everybody safe and be able to play in a few weeks.”
If/when the season starts, how is he going to handle playing first base?
Like, how will he deal with runners at first base, as far as holding runners on while social distancing?
“I have no idea,” Thames admitted. “Because they can’t tell us like, ‘Hey, you can’t hold this runner on because it’s within six feet.’ I’m assuming it’s going to be the same, but umpires are going to have a mask on, I know coaches can’t get close to you to talk about situations or [say], ‘This play is on.’
“For guys at first base, I’m sure guys are going to still talk and joke around with each other, but if we’re going to have to wear a mask it’s going to be interesting to see what they’re going to say.
“I’m sure the first few weeks there’s going to be a lot of rules and changes and stuff like that.”
Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez talked recently about how well Thames is fitting in with his new club, and reiterated today that the first baseman has impressed a week-plus into Spring Training 2.0.
“He seems to fit in really well. From what I’m noticing, guys love him. He jumped right in, he’s a good teammate, and he wants to do everything he can to help us win ballgames.
“He’s got tremendous power, as we all know,” Martinez continued.
“I know he’s working diligently with [Third Base Coach] Chip [Hale] and [Bench Coach] Tim [Bogar] over at first base.
“He wants to be a really good defender, and he’s showing signs where he can stand out there and play a good first base. He made a good play today.
“Having him in that lineup, especially against left-handers, is going to be tremendous.
“He does some serious damage against righties. So he’d be a nice addition to the middle of our lineup.”
Thames finished the 2019 campaign with a .247/.346/.505 line, 23 doubles and 25 home runs over 149 games and 459 plate appearances in a 1.9 fWAR season with Milwaukee’s Brewers.
As Martinez noted, the focus in Spring Training 2.0 is on his work with the glove at first with Bogar and Hale.
“Those guys are really adamant about defense and everything,” Thames said.
“They’ve been all over me about getting work in. Extra fungoes. And everything, because you know in baseball, it could be the ninth inning, a big play, Trea [Turner] up the middle spins and throws it and in-between hop, you better dig it.
“So, I’m busting my butt over here.”
Will all the hard work everyone’s doing right now be worth it in the end? Does Thames think they’ll actually have a 60-game season?
“It will definitely work,” Thames said. “It’s going to suck not having fans, like the energy is not there, and even like just having fun with your teammates, that pretty much makes baseball fun. There are rules we have to follow, the social distancing is definitely going to be tough, but it will work.
“People want baseball, and players especially, we really want to play. So you have to find ways to make it work.”
Author: Patrick Reddington