As the sun is at its highest point in the sky out in Temecula, California, a young woman on her family ranch mounts her horse and rides it around a dirt track. The wind wildly blows through her golden blonde hair as she makes many impressive sharp turns. This young woman happens to be senior setter Hayley Crone, and though she is known at USC for playing volleyball, her true passion lies with her horses.Farm family · Senior setter and team captain Hayley Crone hails from Temecula, California, where her family lives on a ranch with 13 horses. – Brian Ji | Daily TrojanEven before Crone was born, she was predisposed to liking horses.“My mom wanted to be a vet before she was a nurse,” said Crone. “She has always loved animals and we have always had a lot of them.”As a young girl, Crone participated in an equestrian sport called team penning, the object of which is to work as a group of three riders to get three cows into a pen within 90 seconds. What makes this sport difficult is that there are 30 cows in the arena and participants have to pen the cows that judges call out. The entire Crone family traveled throughout California to compete in this sport.Back at the Crone’s home in Temecula, several animals roam the property including dogs, barn cats, alpacas, pigs, chickens and horses. The family has 13 horses in all, but Hayley rides only her own horse, Dominic, religiously. Her best friend and teammate, senior middle blocker Hannah Schraer, attested to how important Crone’s animals are to her.“She takes teammates to her home and it is basically a ranch,” Schraer said. “We call it the Crazy Crone Family Farm and they always try to get me to ride a horse, but I just don’t like horses.”Crone has an older sister, Hillary, who competed with her in team penning, and has been Crone’s rock her entire life.“My sister is understanding, extremely patient, and we are so close,” Crone said, smiling. “She has always been my role model and I can’t even explain how much I look up to her. She has given me such unconditional support my entire life and she is such a wonderful person.”Crone and her sister were involved in not only team penning but also dance. They were the tallest girls in their dance company and the husband of the owner asked Hillary if she would play in a volleyball match. Crone watched her sister play and was instantly hooked.Starting in the sixth grade, Crone has played volleyball nonstop, going from grade school to club volleyball to USC. Committing at the beginning of her sophomore year to USC, Crone knew this was the place she belonged.“A lot of my family went to USC, it’s close to home and in my opinion it is the best university ever,” Crone said. “I can’t thank Mick [Haley] and Tim [Nollan] enough for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime.”During a recruiting trip to USC, Crone met 6-foot-3 Schraer for the first time — an encounter that marked the beginning of a lifelong friendship.“We were on a recruiting trip and we went to a football game. We didn’t even sit next to each other,” Schraer said. “When we met it was super awkward, but she is so kind, so funny and very loyal.”When Crone finally arrived on campus, she had no idea what a ride USC had in store for her. In her first three years on the volleyball team, she made one Final Four appearance and two regional final appearances. She also has accumulated 2,186 assists and 474 digs in those three seasons.Even head coach Mick Haley knew he had something special when he recruited her.“She was pretty fearless and was a dominant athlete in her age group,” Haley said. “She has always loved to play and she has a team first attitude, which you love having.”Though volleyball has always come easy to Crone, school has always been tough. With her strong will to achieve and her fearless attitude, however, Crone made major improvements in the classroom and in 2013 was awarded Most Improved GPA at Purdue’s Mortar Board Premier.“When I was a freshman I believed in ‘Cs get degrees’ and I didn’t care about my grades,” said Crone. “It meant a ton to me to win that award and it even impressed myself that I did that.”As both a senior and the captain of this incredibly young volleyball team, Crone has more responsibilities now than ever before. Crone leads by example, showing teammates how this program works as well as giving them positive encouragement every step of the way.Roughly halfway through this season, the Women of Troy are 10-6 overall. Though it wasn’t the start they wanted, they are improving in every match that they play. With Crone leading the charge, the Women of Troy hope to not only play in the NCAA Tournament but be serious contenders.At the end of this school year, Crone will be graduating with a communication degree from the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. For her future, she is still deciding on whether she will join former teammates Natalie Hagglund, Sara Shaw and Alexis Olgard in playing professionally.Though her college volleyball career will be finished soon, she will always be a part of the Trojan family and always have her horse, Dominic, by her side.
Dalung said that the Ministry under his watch was giving equal opportunities to all sports men and women to excel at the grassroots and international stage.“We are deliberately looking toward the development of female sports and we believe that once we are able to equitably tackle the inbalance between the men’s football, women’s football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball, our women will do us proud because they have less of the controversies compared to the men,” stressed Dalung.The Minister thanked the players for their dedication and willingness to heed the clarion call to represent Nigeria in Spain.“I want to thank you sincerely for honouring the invitation to come to camp, for considering service to your country as a priority. You are a team that is very compact, driven by common interest and also determined.“I believe that the sky will be the limit of this team”, he concluded.In her response, the team’s captain, Adaora Elonu promised that D’Tigress will do their best to give a good representation of the country who will be playing at the competition as African Champions.Elonu thanked the NBBF President, Musa Kida, for ensuring the team’s early call to camp and early preparations to stand a chance of competing seriously at the World Cup.The Nigeria Basketball Federation President who was represented by the Vice President, Babatunde Ogunade thanked the Minister for his support since they were sworn in in 2017.“We cannot thank you enough for your level of support to the board. You have shown yourself to be a good and dependable father. Like Oliver Twist, we still ask for more.”At the ceremony were the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Youth and Sports Mr Olusade Adesola, the President, Nigeria Olympic Committee Habu Gumel and other staff of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.Meanwhile, Nigeria’s senior male team, D’Tigers will start their campaign in the 2019 FIBA World Cup qualifiers today in Lagos.The team billed to face Cote d’Ivoire in the first game of their second round qualifier scheduled for the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium in Lagos is determined to get the job done and keep to their unbeaten run as they continue their journey of picking a World Cup ticket.D’Tigers’ point guard, Ben Uzoh who has been a constant decimal in the team since 2015 remarked that “it feels good to be back in Lagos again amongst the coaches, players and the fans in their quest to continue building support at home”.He described the team as a united unit focused on bringing glory to Nigeria. “We are brothers. Behind the scene we are always in group chats.“We keep in touch, we joke, we bounce a lot of ideas off each other behind the scene.”Although he is not giving anything to chance regarding their opposition, Uzoh said D’Tigers will continue to work hard in ensuring they maintain their unbeaten run.“Obviously, those teams have been working hard and preparing to put their best foot forward just as much as we are, but I am just excited to be amongst such great talents again. It’s going to be fun because we look forward to the competition.”Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Men’s team, D’Tigers, take on Cote d’Ivoire friday in LagosNigeria’s D’Tigress have been urged to compete clean and fair when hostilities begin at the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup in Tenerife, Spain.Speaking at the send forth ceremony held for the glory seeking Nigerian girls on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja thursday, Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung, told D’Tigress that they have the backing of the whole country as they embark on the journey to Spain.“It is the belief of this government that for every competition, you should compete clean and fair. The country is standing solidly behind you. We are looking out for you with hope that with hardwork, you can bring the trophy home.”
Denver is 224-243 in his tenure.Connelly has also spent time with both the Hornets and Wizards franchises.The team also extended general manager Arturas Karnisovas’ contract Friday. Connelly has been running the Nuggets since 2013. Denver has not made the playoffs since he took over, but it is 39-18 this season and in second place in the Western Conference.Denver also knew it was going to go through a rebuild when it brought in Connelly. Related News Under Connelly, the Nuggets have drafted Nikola Jokic (2014), Jamal Murray, Malik Beasley (2016) and Donovan Mitchell (2017). NBA All-Star 2019: Team LeBron vs. Team Giannis by the numbers The Nuggets are extending Tim Connelly’s contract, the team announced Friday.Denver’s president of basketball operations’ current deal was up after the season, but the team wanted to lock him up for the foreseeable future. NBA All-Star 2019: Deandre Ayton ready for Rising Stars Challenge