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Wideman finishes her run in China

Senior Arielle Wideman concluded her international run with the NetScouts Basketball USA All-Star team in China with three wins, securing a perfect 9-0 record for the Americans during their stay overseas.

Team USA began its final three-game stretch at the Jiujiang tournament and opened with an 88-45 win over Slovenia in front of a crowd of 2,000 people. As had been the case for much of the team's run in China, the Americans jumped out to a huge lead, taking a 25-8 advantage over Slovenia. Wideman finished the game with one point, one rebound and two assists.

During game two of the tournament, Team USA scored its lowest point-total of its nine games played, but still managed to defeat Australia 60-38. The team forced 15 turnovers in the first half and outscored the Australians 33-8 by halftime. Wideman posted eight points, three rebounds and two steals in the contest.

The Americans captured the Jiujiang tournament title and completed a perfect 9-0 run in China, by defeating the Chinese 66-54, the closest margin of victory of the nine game stretch. Wideman collected five points and seven rebounds during her final game.

"I'm thrilled for these young women, they played extremely well as a TEAM all nine games," USA head coach Chris Denker said. "They were a cohesive unit in everything they did for the entire duration of the tour and I'm very proud to have been associated with all of them in representing our country. I can't say enough about each and every one of them, they are a great group of people, cheers to them!"

For the nine games, Wideman totaled 51 points, 31 rebounds, 16 assists and seven steals.
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Photo credit: NetScouts Basketball

Senior Arielle Wideman and her NetScouts Basketball USA All-Stars team continued to dominate in China, extending their record to a perfect 6-0 and capturing the Nan'an Tournament title.

The team opened the tournament with a convincing 81-51 win over Slovenia. Although the score would indicate otherwise, Team USA had to overcome a sluggish start to the game. Slovenia jumped out to a 12-0 lead in the first quarter and held a 17-9 advantage after one period. However, the Americans forced 12 first-half turnovers and outscored Slovenia 24-9 in the second quarter to take a lead into halftime. Wideman's nine points in the game marks her highest point total during the six games played in China. She added two assists, one rebound and a steal, as well.

From there, Team USA went on to defeat Australia 85-48 in game two of the Nan'an Tournament. Solid defense once again led the Americans to a huge lead, jumping ahead 21-3 after the first quarter, and 43-21 at the half. Australia finished the game with 20 turnovers. Wideman turned in a strong performance, posting eight points, five rebounds, one assist and one steal.

To wrap up the tournament and claim the title, the USA downed host-country China, 77-55. The team built up a 17-point led at halftime and dominated on the boards, outrebounding the Chinese 63-33 for the game, including 34 offensive rebounds. Wideman contributed with five points, three rebounds, one assist and a steal in the victory.

For the tournament, Wideman totaled 22 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three steals. The Americans head to Jiangxi Province for the final tournament of their China Tour. The team returns to the United States this Saturday (May 2).

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Photo credit: NetScouts Basketball

Nevada women's basketball senior Arielle Wideman and her NetScouts Basketball USA Women's All-Star team recently completed their first international tournament in China, capturing the Shenzhen Tournament title.

The USA won all three games played to earn the tournament title. The team opened the tournament with a 98-45 blowout win over New Zealand. Wideman tallied six points, two rebounds, four assists and a steal in her debut for the USA Women's All-Stars.

Team USA continued to roll in game two, defeating Denmark 90-59 and shooting 51 percent (34-of-67) from the floor. Wideman chipped in a personal-best seven points, seven rebounds and one assist in the win.

The final game of the tournament for the Americans was slightly more contested as they downed China 80-65 to capture the tournament title. Team USA forced 24 turnovers and collected 16 steals in the game, and Wideman posted two points, two rebounds, five assists and one steal.

NetScouts Basketball ISA All-Stars head coach Chris Denker credited his guards following the win over China:

"Our guards really played well as a group, A.T. (Ariel Thomas) had her best game, Ari pitched in five assists, Alisha (Filmore) was all over the floor on defense and Amy (Kame) does so many of the little things to help you win."

During the three-game span, Wideman totaled 15 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists and two steals. The Red, White, and Blue head to Nan'an, Fujian Province for another round-robin style tournament.

To follow the action, visit the NetScouts Basketball website by clicking here.

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Photo credit: NetScouts Basketball

Kouzmanoff named AL Player of the Week

Former University of Nevada All-America third baseman was recently added to the Texas Rangers roster after not playing in Major League Baseball since 2011 but made his return memorable.  Kouzmanoff was named the American League Player of the Week for the week ending April 20.

In seven games last week, Kouzmanoff led the AL with eight RBIs and 20 total bases, while tying for the league lead in runs scored (six) and doubles (four). The 32-year-old ranked among league leaders with two home runs (T-2nd), 10 hits (T-3rd) and a .690 slugging percentage (4th) while hitting .345 (10-for-29) for the week.

Kouzmanoff hit safely in his first 10 games with the Rangers before being held hitless in Sunday's 16-2 loss to the visiting Chicago White Sox. His streak of hitting safely in 10 consecutive games to start his Rangers career fell one shy of Fred Manrique's club record of 11 (1989).

Saturday, Kouzmanoff provided the Rangers bullpen with some insurance, hitting a solo homer to lead off the eighth inning as the Rangers won 6-3.

On Thursday, he ignited the Rangers' offense with an RBI-double in the bottom of the first inning following an intentional walk to Prince Fielder. The early offensive outburst helped the Rangers earn an 8-6 victory and complete a three-game sweep of the Mariners in Arlington.

Kouzmanoff also played a key role in Wednesday's walk-off win over the Mariners. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, he legged out an infield single and eventually scored on a wild pitch to tie the game at two before Leonys Martin's single gave the Rangers a 3-2 win.

On Tuesday, Kevin posted his first three-hit effort of the season, going 3-for-4 with a home run, two doubles and three RBIs in a 5-0 win over the Mariners. The home run marked his first in the majors since September 25, 2011.

Kouzmanoff earned All-America and WAC Player of the Year honors for the Wolf Pack in 2003 after batting .361 with 12 doubles, 17 home runs and 67 RBI.  He made his MLB debut for Cleveland in 2006 and spent the next three seasons in San Diego after being traded to the Padres.  He played 143 games for Oakland in 2010 and 73 games combined for the A's and Rockies in 2011. 

A Look Back and Forward - My First Year with the Pack

A message from athletics director Doug Knuth:

As I approach the end of my first year as a member of the Pack, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the year and share some observations. Many of these observations will not be surprising to you because you are invested in Wolf Pack Athletics and you have known for many years what I am experiencing for the first time. For some fans reading this note you may be surprised at the clarity of our mission, the scope of our relationships in the community, or the size of the challenges to build the program we all want. 

 

In most organizations the ability to achieve success is determined by the quality of the people who make up the organization - internally and externally. We have great people who are focused on the mission of Wolf Pack Athletics - to serve and support the educational mission of the University of Nevada, Reno.  Our coaches and staff are educators, advisors, mentors and guidance counselors to the talented students who are preparing for life through the many lessons learned in sport and higher education.  Our coaches are committed to serving our students by providing opportunities for achievement - in academics and athletics - while engaging our campus and our community in a meaningful way. We are thankful for the opportunity to serve our student athletes as they pursue their academic and athletic dreams.

 

We enjoy great support from the Governor's Office, the Washoe County Commissioner's Office, the Mayor's offices of Reno and Sparks and surrounding communities, city/town councils and school districts throughout Northern Nevada. Wolf Pack Athletics is partnering with civic leaders and public service organizations to promote and grow our shared interests in serving the people of Nevada.

 

I am grateful for the active support of the NSHE Board of Regents, the Chancellor's Office, President Marc Johnson, our campus-wide senior administration, the Deans/Directors and the faculty/staff at the University.  There is wide support for intercollegiate athletics across campus and a shared understanding of the important community engagement opportunities that successful athletics can provide. This extends to our student body as represented by leaders in the Blue Crew, ASUN, Greek System, Residence Halls, recreation/club sports and others who proudly support the Pack.  On this campus we are a team focused on growing the University and supporting our students.  We are a united campus focused on student success.

 

I am grateful for the generous support of our business community and the efforts of EDAWN, RSCVA, Chamber of Reno-Sparks-Northern Nevada, and countless business leaders who are focused on reviving and rebuilding our economy together.  Wolf Pack Athletics is engaged on many levels with the local business community to support this effort and create synergies among our mutual interests.  We are making progress every day and I'm thrilled to play a role in supporting our business community.

 

Lastly, I am grateful to our community for their enduring support.  The many community-based Foundations and donors to Wolf Pack Athletics and the individuals who buy tickets to attend games are the life-blood of our program.  I love meeting people who share stories of 10, 20, 30 or more years of supporting the Pack through the Pack Educational Fund or buying season tickets.  I hear stories of great teams and sometimes forgotten seasons and through it all these fans remain faithful to the Pack.  I hope to share these stories in the future and honor the many people who make this One Community, One Pack.

 

The future of Wolf Pack Athletics is bright and full of both hope and opportunity, yet we have enormous challenges to regain our competitiveness amid a tough Mountain West Conference. We must invest in our future if we expect to win and enjoy the positive glow of athletics success for our University and community. You undoubtedly remember the feeling of the 2010 football season.  Why can't we do that again, what is stopping us?  Our student athletes are faced with decisions of commitment every day - how bad do you want it, what are you willing to do to get better, what is the sacrifice you are willing to make to win?  Even the most naturally gifted people in all walks of life talk about the commitment to be the best - the investment of time, money, practice and sacrifices they made to achieve. The same commitment applies to our desire to be among the best Athletic programs in the Mountain West.

 

Our challenges are embedded in four primary areas - facilities, performance/training, recruiting and retention. We have a list of facility needs that begins with updating Mackay Stadium, as well as building a University Fieldhouse indoor facility and tennis courts.  Our facility plan includes improvements, updates and construction in other areas too.  In terms of performance, we need to invest in proper nutrition by providing high performance foods which will lead immediately to improved athletic performance (I also believe academic performance can improve with proper nutrition). Most coaches will tell you the most important thing they do is recruiting - better athletes give you a better chance to win in all sports.  We need to commit additional dollars to recruiting so our coaches can do more in-person player evaluations, home visits, and scour the country to bring the best student athletes to our campus.  Lastly, retaining our best coaches will lead to long-term continuity, recruiting, player development and winning.

 

In the future we will be asking all Wolf Pack fans to make a commitment - just as our best athletes make a commitment to excellence, we need your commitment too. We will ask you to invest time, money and make sacrifices (you don't have to attend practice!) for the goal we all share. Your investment through ticket purchases, donations or sponsorship will provide our coaches the tools necessary to recruit the best and brightest students. Your investment will provide our students with the training resources they need to compete at the highest level in their sport. Your investment will create the program we all want.  Simply stated, we want to win - in the classroom and in competition.

 

In closing, a great friend of mine recently told me the secret to getting things done is inspiration more than motivation.  I am inspired by our students, our faculty, staff and coaches, and our community every day.  You inspire me to get things done that will change our world - to make a huge difference for our great University and our wonderful community.


My family and I love it here and we look forward to another great year of Wolf Pack Athletics.

Thank you for inspiring us and supporting Wolf Pack Athletics. I will be in touch again soon.

 

Go Pack!

 

Doug Knuth

Director of Athletics

University of Nevada

Reno, NV

775-682-6969

Winner of the Toyota Truck Giveaway is announced

Thoughout this athletics year, fans have had the opportunity to win a 2014 Toyota Tacoma through a raffle prize.
The truck, donated by the Northern Nevada Toyota Dealers, was won by Alex Christensen of Sparks.
"We weren't expecting to win it but I was sure excited when we found that we did. We're happy to have it and we're proud to support the Wolf Pack."
The drawing was held at last month's 5th Annual Blue Tie Ball with Ryan Dolan of the Dolan Automotive Group drawing the winning ticket.
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Lend Your Paws for the Cause

The following is from Tara Hawkins in our development office.

True Blue Volunteers are a group of passionate volunteers and current Pack Educational Fund members who are dedicated to raising money to support Nevada student-athletes. Volunteers do not have to be professional fundraisers to engage friends, family, and colleagues to support the Pack and help take us to the next level!
The purpose of the True Blue Volunteer Campaign is to seek new donors for scholarships and program support using volunteer relationships. The connections volunteers have in the community are invaluable and volunteers can make a difference in the fundraising efforts for the Pack. This year's campaign will run from May 5 to June 13.
Volunteers will be rewarded with 20 Wolf Pack Loyalty Points for their participation in this year's program. The volunteers who raise the most funds and who bring in the most donors will be rewarded.
Although being a volunteer will take time and effort (approx. 10 hours of your time), this program allows volunteers the opportunity to bring in new donors to our program and continue to strengthen the Pack!
If you are interested in lending your paws and becoming a True Blue Volunteer, please contact me at 775-682-6973 or at tarahawkins@unr.edu.


Kouzmanoff gets the call

Former University of Nevada All-America third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff made his return to Major League Baseball when the Texas Rangers promoted him from Triple-A Round Rock on Wednesday.  Kouzmanoff singled in his only plate appearance as a pinch hitter and remained to in the game to play third base as the Rangers lost 4-2 at Boston.

Kouzmanoff earned All-America and WAC Player of the Year honors for the Wolf Pack in 2003 after batting .361 with 12 doubles, 17 home runs and 67 RBI.  He made his MLB debut for Cleveland in 2006 and spent the next three seasons in San Diego after being traded to the Padres.  He played 143 games for Oakland in 2010 and 73 games combined for the A's and Rockies in 2011. 

Wednesday's pinch hit appearance was his first game at the Major League level since 2011.  He has played in 645 games at third base for five teams during his MLB career.

150 Local Children Get Shoes as Part of Barefoot Basketball Promotion

Over 150 local children now have a new pair of Nikes thanks to the efforts of Nevada women's basketball coach Jane Albright.

In January, Albright made a personal donation and encouraged Wolf Pack donors and fans to support Samaritan's Feet, a global non-profit aimed at providing shoes for impoverished children. The donations allowed her to purchase 150 pairs of Nikes for three local organizations with all of the shoes benefiting children in northern Nevada.

In addition to encouraging the donations, Albright and her staff coached barefoot in the Wolf Pack's home game against UNLV in January to raise awareness for the cause.

According to Albright, the organizations said that many of the children had never had a new pair of shoes, wore shoes that didn't fit or didn't have laces or only had inexpensive flip-flops, even in the winter. She received cute thank you cards from the organizations, including a basketball shaped card signed by many of the children.

shoecard.JPGThe accompanying letter from one of the organizations said they were "grateful for the grand gift of Nike shoes provided for the forgotten youth in Reno/Sparks... it (is) a joy to see them with proper footwear. Thank you for providing such a necessary part of their wardrobe. The kids have been flashing their feet to show off their shoes."

Samaritan's Feet is a non-profit organization founded by Emmanuel Ohonme in 2003. Their mission is to equip 10 million impoverished children with 10 million shoes. Since beginning in 2003, Samaritan's Feet has helped more than four million people in 60 countries.

A special thanks to all of the Wolf Pack fans who contributed to the cause this year and helped buy shoes for local children. Albright plans to collect donations to support Samaritan's Feet again next basketball season.


Happy Birthday: A Look Back at Alphie's 13 Years

Alphie for Blog.jpgSaturday, March 22 marks an important day for Alphie as the furry, lovable Wolf Pack mascot turns 13.

Nevada Athletics will throw Alphie a 13th birthday party at Saturday's baseball game when the Wolf Pack takes on Mountain West Conference foe Air Force. The party starts when the Peccole Park gates open at 1 p.m. There will be cake and cupcakes for the first 300 fans, and some of Alphie's mascot friends from around Reno will be in attendance. Alphie will throw out the first pitch prior to the game, and fans can join in singing to the Wolf Pack mascot.

Baseball tickets start as low as $6 for adults and $4 for youth/seniors and can be purchased at the gates or in advance at NevadaWolfPack.com.

With Alphie celebrating such a big milestone, we wanted to take a couple of minutes to look back on the highlights of Alphie's life so far:

March 22, 2001 - Checking in a whopping 347 pounds and 6 feet 1 inches tall, the bouncing baby wolf was born at 2:46 p.m. in Reno. Wolf Pack fans were very excited about his arrival and had a vote to pick his name. They decided on Alphie because he is the Alpha Wolf in the Nevada Wolf Pack.

Sept. 22, 2001 - Alphie saw his first football game at Mackay Stadium, cheering the Wolf Pack football team onto a 28-20 victory over Hawaii.
 
March 18, 2004 - Alphie made his first trip to the NCAA Tournament, traveling to Seattle with the Wolf Pack men's basketball team. It ended up being a long trip since he cheered the Wolf Pack all the way to the first Sweet Sixteen appearance in school history.

April 5, 2005 - One of the things on Alphie's bucket list came true when he was featured on CBS' "One Shining Moment" video after the 2005 national championship game. Alphie can be seen comforting his friend and former Wolf Pack standout Jermaine Washington at the 1:39 mark in the video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7tr7aZbyI4

December 24, 2005 - 2005 ended with a bang for Alphie when he got to spend the holidays in paradise, joining the Wolf Pack football team at the Hawaii Bowl in Honolulu. He got the best Christmas present a mascot could ask for when the Wolf Pack edged out Central Florida in the thrilling 49-48 win.
 
April 14, 2007 - Alphie was on hand at Christina M. Hixson Park when Jordan McPherson threw the first no-hitter in Wolf Pack softball history, just 16 days after Nevada opened its gorgeous new softball field. McPherson walked the first batter she faced and then retired 15 straight in a 10-0 win over San Jose State. Luckily Alphie can't speak so he couldn't accidentally jinx the Wolf Pack by telling someone that they had a no-hitter going!
Summer 2007 -Alphie's life changed dramatically when his younger brother, Wolfie Jr., was born that summer, giving him a playmate to join him on the sidelines at all Wolf Pack games.

January 2010 - Alphie made a memorable trip to San Francisco when he joined the Wolf Pack football team at the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. He got to join the team in his first trip to Alcatraz and starred at a pep rally in Union Square. He then joined the 20,000+ Wolf Pack fans at AT&T Park in cheering the team to a victory over Boston College to cap off one of the best seasons in school history.

March 20, 2011 - Alphie got to cheer for the Wolf Pack women's basketball team as it hosted USC in the second round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament, the first postseason home game in school history. Alphie had a lot to cheer for that season as the Wolf Pack, led by all-conference selection Tahnee Robinson, won a school-record 22 games.

January 2, 2012 - Alphie had one of the proudest moments of his life when his little brother, Wolfie Jr., won the Capital One Mascot Challenge. It was announced that Wolfie had beaten out Buzz from Georgia Tech at the Capital One Bowl in Orlando. Fans cast more than 45 million votes in the Capital One Mascot Challenge that year and Alphie hoped that his parents would understand the overage charges on his cell phone since he had texted so many times to help his brother score the victory and $20,000 for the Nevada spirit program.

Fall of 2013 - Alphie's wolf pack grew by one more when his little sister, Luna, was born in this fall. Now Alphie has two sidekicks to share in his antics on the sidelines and help him cheer on all of the Wolf Pack's teams.

Stay tuned because after he has had so many great adventures in his first 13 years, you know the rest of Alphie's teenage years are going to be a blast!