As the fall semester and the NFL season approach their midway points and the NHL and NBA regular seasons begin, it’s time to check up on three Harvard alums playing professionally.
While Cleveland fans wait for LeBron James to make his highly anticipated return to the Cavaliers, the Browns sit at 3-3 following their bye week. A win this week over the Raiders would give the team its best start since 2007. Desmond Bryant ’09 has been a starting defensive end for the Browns in five of the team’s six games. The 6’6” Bryant has 11 tackles and one sack this year for a much improved Cleveland front seven that has allowed only seven rushing touchdowns this season. Bryant was able to return to the field this year after missing the end of last season with an irregular heartbeat.
For a second straight year, Crimson Madness failed to disappoint. Both the event’s theatrics and personalities were out in full force, with a dose of basketball thrown in among the assorted skill contests for good measure. Below are a couple first impressions after the first look at this year’s squad:
1. Zena 2.0 is a lot like Zena 1.0 — Sophomore Zena Edosomwan broke onto the scene last year at Crimson Madness, dominating then-sophomores Evan Cummins and Michael Hall. It looked like the highly touted recruit, trying to crack a crowded frontcourt, would be a force immediately.
Friday was more of the same. Edosomwan dominated with 11 points inside, coming out with full intensity—something most of the team couldn’t claim to have—and barking at himself throughout the scrimmage. A year after he wooed the crowd with a Vince Carter throwback jersey in the dunk contest, the sophomore brought Lavietes to its feet by jumping over the 6’9” Chris Egi and 6’6” Charlie Anastasi en route to the most spectacular dunk of the night.
However, the same problems plagued Edosomwan from last year. He struggled on defense and continued to shoot the ball on nearly every touch (18.2 shots per 40 minutes last year). His offensive game looked more defined, but his defense and passing will be the keys to the growth of his game.
When Keith Wright ’12 last competed in the United States, he led the Harvard men’s basketball team to its first NCAA Tournament since 1946. Now, one NBA summer league squad, two overseas teams, and almost three years later, Wright is returning to compete in the NBA Development League.
The 6’8”, 240-pound forward will be available in the November D-League Draft.
On Tuesday, Jeff Bridich’00 and tricaptain of the 2000 baseball team was named the third general manager in Colorado Rockies’ team history. The move came after Dan O’Dowd, the team’s general manager since 1999, and Bill Geivett, the team’s senior vice president, resigned following Colorado’s disappointing 2014 campaign.
Members of the United States men’s national soccer team practiced at Ohiri Field on Monday in the first of three days of training at Harvard’s facilities. The team will hold practices at 4:00 on both Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon before it heads to Hartford, Conn. for an exhibition match Friday against Ecuador.
Twelve players, including forward Jozy Altidore, midfielder Julian Greene, and defender Omar Gonzalez, participated in light drills for a little over an hour. Focusing on ball-handling and footwork, the players performed a keep-away drill and then played a five-on-five half-field game. Goalkeepers Brad Guzan and Nick Rimando went through a series of reflex drills on the other half of the field before joining the team for the five-on-five scrimmage.
The Harvard men’s and women’s varsity and club soccer teams were among the only spectators allowed into the complex to watch the closed practice.
Tonight, eight of the remaining players on the full 21-man squad, including defender John Brooks, midfielder Alejandro Bedoya, and defender DeAndre Yedlin will join the team at its Boston hotel.
Forward Landon Donovan will join the team on Thursday. This will be the former national team star’s first appearance for the team since being controversially left off the World Cup roster in May and it will mark his final appearance in a USMNT jersey. Donovan is first in U.S. history in goals (57), assists (58), and World Cup goals (five).
Among the team’s stars who will neither be participating in practices nor competing in the exhibition are forward Clint Dempsey and goalkeeper Tim Howard, who is taking a year-long absence from the team.