again trailed.Stewart converted a three-point play

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America is a giant melting pot in myriad ways, and basketball is definitely one of them. Few teams, if any, epitomize that trend as much as the Bradley University mens basketball program. Five Braves players hail from overseas, representing four nations from three continents in a microcosm of the rapidly expanding basketball universe.Ive coached a lot of international guys, but not five on one team, said Bradley coach Brian Wardle. Basketball is a worldwide game now. Kids are playing it all over, and they love coming to the States for the facilities and the academic opportunities. Theyre very gracious and grateful for the opportunity theyve been given.Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye and Luuk van Bree arrived at Bradley last year from England and the Netherlands, respectively. Australia provided the Braves with sophomore Callum Barker and freshman Jayden Hodgson. Koch Bar is a freshman from South Sudan.This diverse collection of talent is a key component of the rebuilding effort engineered by Wardle, who last year took over a program that has enjoyed just one winning season since 2010.Bradley played 10 freshmen and was the youngest team among the 351 NCAA Division I squads in 2015-16. Unsurprisingly, the team took its lumps on the court, finishing with a 5-27 record. This season, the outlook is brighter, although the Braves are one of only four teams in the nation without a senior. Ultimately, Wardle believes the diverse influences in the locker room can counteract the inexperience.I do know it has brought a maturity to our program that we need, Wardle said. Were still not where we need to be in that area. But I think these young men, because theyve been away from home, because theyve been traveling so much, theyve had to deal with things on their own, deal with adversity on their own.With five nonconference games remaining before embarking on their Missouri Valley Conference schedule, the Braves (4-4) already are just one win shy of matching last seasons total.Right now, I wouldnt want to be on any other team in America, said forward Donte Thomas, a junior from Calumet City, Illinois, and the only Bradley player remaining from the pre-Wardle era. All these guys have great attitudes, and Im building a great relationship with all my teammates -- a brotherhood.Although these Braves have a lot to prove, they know that they ultimately want to contend for championships in the MVC, a league that has been dominated by Wichita State in recent years.Well get there, Wardle said. Its an exciting group. We have tremendous young men and great character. Thats fun to go to work with every day.Lautier-Ogunleye (pronounced LOW-tee-ay oh-gun-LAY-yay), known as D-LO to teammates, was born and raised in West London. The child of a French mother and Nigerian father, he played soccer as a youth but eventually grew to appreciate the fact that basketball isnt contested out in cold weather. After deciding to focus on basketball, he enrolled in the sports academy at Harrow High School in Northwest London.By age 16, Lautier-Ogunleye was off to college a couple of hours away at Bristol Academy of Sport, which provided the chance to play against professional teams. He played three years for the Bristol Flyers, including the 2014-15 season in the top-tier British Basketball League. Lautier-Ogunleye has represented England internationally at the U16 and U18 levels and Great Britain as a U20. He was a member of the 2013 U18 squad that became the first English team to defeat Spain.Lautier-Ogunleye considered turning pro at age 17 and tried out for French Pro A club Strasbourg. But his mother, Catherine, was adamant that he would become the first in his family to earn a college degree. After a visit to another American school fell through, he was invited to visit the Bradley campus in Peoria, Illinois, and wound up committing on the spot. Lautier-Ogunleye said he liked everything about the school and that Wardle impressed him as honest and straightforward.I believe hes someone who can get me to the next step, because hes not going to allow me to slide, said Lautier-Ogunleye, who wants to play professionally after college. Hes going to be holding me accountable for everything I do. Thats the only way Im going to become a better person and a better man.Barker, a 6-foot-9 center, and Hodgson, a 6-3 guard, are two members of the growing contingent of Australians coming to America to play college basketball.A Hobart, Tasmania, native, Barker began playing the sport on the backyard hoop his parents had bought for his older sister. He said his height, coupled with a lack of aptitude in Australian rules football and cricket, fueled his pursuit of basketball. He rose through the state competition level and has also represented Australia at the U19 Pacific Championships.Barker got his name into recruiting circles through a scouting agency run by former NBA player Randy Livingston and briefly attended prep school in Massachusetts. Hes still somewhat in awe of the portion sizes at American restaurants, as he once mistook his Applebees appetizer for the entrée. Aside from that, Barker is finding out that despite their various backgrounds, Braves players have a lot more in common than they realized at first.We all go through the same stuff, Barker said. Even though I come from 10,000 miles away, I still have the same experiences as the boys here.Hodgson is a native of Gosford, New South Wales, located about an hour north of Sydney. Conveniently, he already was acquainted with two of his teammates prior to arriving at Bradley, having met Barker at competitions and camps in Australia and having played alongside Bar at prep school in Florida.Hodgson also has represented Australia internationally, notably as a member of the U17 team that finished second to the U.S. at the 2014 FIBA World Championship in Dubai. The Braves staff learned about Hodgson through Adam Caporn, his coach at the Australian Institute of Sport. Bradley was the first school of several Hodgson planned to visit, but he committed before leaving Peoria and skipped the other trips.Ultimately, Hodgson has his sights set on pro basketball and hopefully one day playing for the Boomers in the Olympics.Its definitely a dream to play in the Olympics, Hodgson said. I believe its the biggest stage in basketball, and the biggest accolade you can get is to play for your country. Weve got a lot of talent coming through Australia, so it will be tough. But its definitely a goal of mine.Bar undoubtedly has the most distinctive background of any of the Braves.The 6-foot-10 center is among the youngest of 30-plus siblings, as his mother was the second-youngest of six wives to his late father in South Sudan, where polygamy isnt uncommon. Although the Sudanese region has been fraught with conflict for many years, Bar was fortunate to avoid witnessing any discord firsthand. Bar said his father was a government official and made sure the family was kept safely away from areas of fighting before settling in South Sudan, which was officially formed in 2011.There was a lot of conflict going on, but its not all over the place, said Bar, who wears No. 12 in a nod to Dwight Howard. My experience was good. I went to good schools.He started playing pickup basketball about five years ago and was later discovered by a Sudanese former player, Bil Duany, who played at Eastern Illinois in the mid-2000s. Bil is the younger brother of former Wisconsin player Duany Duany and Kueth Duany, who played at Syracuse.Bar came to the United States three years ago knowing only a bit of conversational English learned from movies. He attended prep school in Florida and immersed himself in basketball. He joined the Indiana Elite AAU team coached by Mark Adams, the father of Bradley assistant Drew Adams. One thing led to another, and Bar found his way to Bradley, where hes majoring in art and loves the fan support.The coaches and staff are doing well to teach me the game, said Bar, who has been the Braves leading rebounder this season. Im still behind, still pretty much [learning] the game.Van Bree (pronounced vohn BRAY) is a 6-9 forward from Helmond, Netherlands, who began playing basketball around age 8 or 9. At 16, he joined a youth development program affiliated with a Dutch pro team. He wanted to play college basketball in the U.S. but didnt have any offers.Rather than jump immediately toward the pro ranks, he attended an academy in the Canary Islands to get his name into the American recruiting pipeline. The coach there, in turn, recommended him to Wardle.Although hes a native Dutch speaker, van Bree began studying English in grade school. Hes majoring in international studies and is undecided about whether he wants to pursue pro basketball after college.Three years ago, I never wouldve thought I would be playing basketball in America, van Bree said. Im just going to take it year by year. I just want to have a great career here at Bradley and get my degree. I think if I just worry about that, Ill have plenty of options after I graduate.Of course, when you assemble a cultural potpourri like Wardle has, there are bound to be some funny moments and things that get lost in translation.Hodgson said he had to dispel some teammates notions about the wildlife Down Under: Kangaroos arent all over Australia. Theyre in the wild, in the bushes -- not in the cities. We dont ride them to school, either.With a laugh, Barker recalls van Bree once having some difficulty ordering food: We were in the student center getting pasta, and he pointed to the menu and asked the lady for spine ache. I looked at him like, What is spine ache? The lady gave him the same look. I said, I dont think they have spine ache. It took him awhile, and eventually he pointed it out -- Its spinach!The Braves dont seem to mind laughing at themselves or each other, which can go a long way toward building a team.The basketball aspect of it, they all bring something unique to the game, said junior swingman JoJo McGlaston, a transfer from Utah State.Added van Bree, At the end of the day, it really doesnt matter where youre from or how youve grown up. Youre all pursuing the same goal, and that creates a bond.Wardle didnt set out to transform his team into a melting pot. He was merely trying to piece together a roster and use his scholarships as wisely as possible, and the availability of online game film has made it easier to recruit international players.That said, Saint Marys College in the San Francisco Bay Area started with one Aussie recruit in Caporn back in 2001. Before long, the Gaels were getting Patty Mills and Matthew Dellavedova from Australia and developing them into NBA mainstays. This year, seven of the 15 players on the Saint Marys roster are from Australia.Could Bradley be building a similar multicultural pipeline of talent to Peoria?If youre a good basketball player, good student and good person, well have an interest in you at Bradley, Wardle said. Its no different from when you have a kid from a certain AAU program. If he has success, youre more likely to get another player out of that AAU program in the future. Its the same in international recruiting. We got Jayden Hodgson because Callum Barker loved Bradley.Thats usually how the dominoes start falling. Bo Jackson Jersey . The winner Saturday will remain in the elite 10-team field next year. "We talked about wanting to be disciplined and stick with our game plan and good things will come," Draisaitl said, who had two goals for the victors. Paulo Orlando Jersey . Goals from Jerome Boateng, Franck Ribery and Thomas Mueller extended Bayerns unbeaten run to a record 37 matches. "This record is incredible," Bayern coach Pep Guardiola said. http://www.cheaproyalsjerseys.com/ . McPhee said that Ovechkins father Mikhail is in stable condition after having the surgery this week and is no longer in intensive care. "Weve told him to stay as long as necessary with your dad," he said. Ovechkin and his Russian national team were eliminated from the mens hockey tournament in Sochi on Wednesday with a 3-1 quarter-final loss to Finland. Yordano Ventura Jersey . McCarthy, a player who played some games in the second tier for Wigan at the start of this season, would go on to shine inside Evertons midfield, outplaying the man he was brought in to replace, on one of the grandest stages in English football. On Saturday, it was fitting that Manchester Uniteds most recent dagger into the chest was delivered by Frenchman Yohan Cabaye, a wonderfully gifted central midfielder who put on an outstanding effort for Newcastle at Old Trafford. Kelvin Herrera Jersey . Self was acquired from the Buffalo Bandits in a trade for Alex Hill midway through last season, and made his debut in Rochester on March 16, 2013. LOS ANGELES -- Candace Parker hit four 3-pointers and finished with 26 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists to help the Los Angeles Sparks beat the Washington Mystics 93-82 on Sunday night.Nneka Ogwumike had 22 points and Jantel Lavender added 20 on 9-of-11 shooting for the Sparks (18-1). Los Angeles, ranked No. 1 in the AP WNBA power poll, has won seven straight and needs two wins to tie the 1998 Houston Comets for the best start in WNBA history.Lavender scored eight points during a 20-8 spurt that gave the Sparks a 76-64 lead with seven minutes and Parker scored nine in a row to make it 88-71 with 3:41 left.Emma Meesseman had 24 points, seven rebounds, six assists and three steals for the fourth-ranked Mystics (9-11). Kahleah Copper added a career-high 13 points.LIBERTY 75, STARS 65NEW YORK -- Amanda Zahui B. scored 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting and New York never trailed in its win over San Antonio.Sugar Rodgers added 11 points, while Shavonte Zellous and Tina Charles scored 10 apiece for the Liberty (15-6), who have won three in a row and 11 of their last 12. Carolyn Swords tied her career high with 11 rebounds.Zahui B. scored eight points during a 16-7 spurt that gave New York its biggest lead, 71-58, with 3:25 remaining.Monique Currie led the Stars (5-15) with 17 points. Sydney Colson scored a career-high 12 and Moriah Jefferson added 11 points and three steals.San Antonio has lost eight of its last 11 overall and fell to 1-9 on the road.DREAM 67, SUN 63UNCASVILLE, Conn. -- Angel McCoughtry tied her career high with four 3-pointers and finished with 26 points, and Sancho Lyttle scored 17 and grabbed 14 rebounds to lead Atlanta.Elizabeth Williams, acquired from the Sun in February, added 10 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots for the Dream (11-9).McCoughtry hit a 3 to give Atlanta a 64-61 lead with 2:03 left, then had two blocked shots down the stretch. After Alex Bentleys layup pulled Connecticut within one, Lyttles offensive rebound and putback with 20 seconds remaining sealed it.Atlanta led by as many as 155 points, but scored just 10 points in the third quarter.dddddddddddd Chiney Ogwumikes layup with 5:35 to play gave the Sun their first lead, 59-58.Alyssa Thomas led the Sun with 19 points. Ogwumike added 11 points, three steals and three blocks.SKY 100, MERCURY 95ROSEMONT, Ill. -- Elena Delle Donne scored 19 points, including a late 3-pointer, and Imani Boyette had her second double-double of the season to help Chicago beat Phoenix.Boyette had 12 points and a career-high 13 rebounds. Allie Quigley added 21 points, Courtney Vandersloot had 12 points, seven assists and three steals, and Jamierra Faulkner scored 11 with seven assists for the Sky (8-11).Diana Taurasi scored six-straight points -- including a four-point play -- to cap a 12-0 run that gave the Mercury a 93-90 lead with 1:32 to play. Delle Donne hit a jumper and Boyette made a layup to put the Sky up by one. After Candice Dupree put Phoenix back in front, Delle Donnes 3-pointer with 26 seconds remaining gave Chicago the lead for good.Taurasi led Phoenix (8-13) with 26 points. 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