Returnee Andre Ayew has admitted it was difficult for him to stay away from the Black Stars for six months.“It was something I missed a lot. I learnt how it is important to play for the country,” Ayew exclusively told Joy Sports.The Olympique Marseille ace took a temporary break from international football in February after he was dropped from the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations squad.The 23-year-old failed to meet the reporting time for pre-tournament camping in Abu Dhabi, UAE.He later announced his resignation after claiming he had a strained relationship with some management members.Ayew announced his availability two weeks ago and was named in Kwesi Appiah’s 26-man squad for the crucial assignment against Zambia in a final Group D 2014 World Cup qualifier. “What happened has happened. It is passed and now we are going forward to win the game,” he said.
Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error For Lakers’ LeBron James, Jacob Blake’s shooting is bigger issue than a big Game 4 victory What the Clippers are saying the day after Luka Doncic’s game-winner tied series, 2-2 “I don’t think any of us was away from the game for that long,” Zubac said Sunday, before leaving the fanless AdventHealth Arena shortly after the Clippers’ loss to the Nets — in which he pulled down 15 rebounds, his fourth consecutive game with at least 10 boards.“Just that hope that we were gonna return, just waiting for that date to come up,” he said. “Working every day, because we know we’ve got a bigger goal and we all know why we’re here, we know we want to win the championship. That’s what kept me sane.”Wasn’t easy, though, he said.When the pandemic interrupted life — including basketball — in the United States in March, the 23-year-old was in a groove in his first full season with the Clippers, contributing 8.0 points and 7.2 rebounds as the starting center on a championship contender.Then, on March 24, just a couple weeks after the NBA paused play without any real idea when or how it might resume as the coronavirus was ravaging the world, a destructive 5.3-magnitude earthquake rocked Zagreb, Croatia. Clippers hope they can play to their capabilities, quell Mavericks’ momentum “He’s been doing it all season, he’s just able to get more minutes,” Kawhi Leonard said, via Zoom, on Sunday. “He’s been very active on the offensive rebounds, defensive rebounds, blocking shots. He’s doing a good job for us.”Doing a good job and feeling good, too, Zubac said. Really good.“I can’t say I’m feeling tired or anything, I’m feeling great,” he said. “I’m happy, and I’m happy nothing serious happened and I’m able to play again.” Clippers’ Paul George: ‘If I make shots, this series could be a little different’ The temblor destroyed nearly 2,000 buildings and left many residents without electricity, heat and internet in the city where Zubac lived for about six years and maintains many close friendships.“I had a lot of friends that I consider as family affected by it,” he said. “Fortunately, no one got hurt, but it was a tough period for the country. We all came together and we tried to help as much as we could, the athletes included. It was just tough, especially because it happened in the middle of a pandemic. Everyone was trying to stay in when that happened, but a lot of people’s apartments were ruined, a lot of people ended up on the streets.“It was tough seeing it from over here, but Croatians are tough people. They’re gonna rebuild, but it’s a tough thing.”Zubac donated funds to the recovery effort, an offering that was matched by the NBPA in May, when it announced it was directing more than $500,000 to both coronavirus relief activities and disaster relief in Croatia, where money was funneled to rebuilding efforts and to a Zagreb hospital.Otherwise, Zubac said he spent the hiatus determined to emerge from it stronger and better.“I worked out throughout the whole stoppage time,” he said. “I worked super hard. I was in great shape, I was lifting a lot, I got much stronger.”“And then, the week before we were about to go to Orlando, that happened to me.”Zubac contracted the coronavirus, which he said left him fatigued and aching, and unable to exercise for 10 days. It undid much of his progress over the previous four months and delayed the return to competition he’d so been longing for.He said he quarantined with his fiancee, who also had the disease but was asymptomatic.“I’m happy I had her with me,” Zubac said. “If I were by myself, I don’t know how that would have ended up, I would probably go crazy. It’s super tough going to test every day, hoping for negative and the doctor calls you and says, ‘You’re positive again.’ And to get that for three weeks, it messes with your mind. But I’m happy I had her with me and we got through it together.“I don’t even know how I got it,” Zubac continued. “That’s what people don’t realize, it takes just a little bit to get it and all the things that the NBA is doing here, making it tough for people to get out and come in and all that, all the masks, all the social distancing and everything, you gotta be like that.”Meanwhile, his teammates were across the country, acclimating to bubble life and preparing to play basketball without him.“It was tough. It was frustrating,” he said. “Everyone else went there and I had to stay at home. I couldn’t go anywhere, I couldn’t work out at a facility. The first seven to 10 days, I couldn’t do nothing. I was super tired and had overall body aches and everything.“After that period I started doing some stuff at home, I got a bike, so I was working on my conditioning, just a little bit of lifting. And when I finally got the cleared all the NBA protocols, got here and straight into it.”Straight into the Clippers’ final scrimmage July 27, when the 7-footer played 13 minutes, made his only shot and collected six rebounds and four fouls.Since then, Zubac’s conditioning has improved, and his play has reflected it. He’s made the most of more playing time, his minutes-per-game average increased from 18.1 before the hiatus to 22.9 in the bubble, where the Clippers have been without reserve center Montrezl Harrell, who was, until just the past day, away from the team, mourning the death of his grandmother.During seeding games — in which the Clippers are 3-3 — Zubac is averaging 10.7 points and 11.0 rebounds per game. He’s shooting 67.6% from the field. He’s also averaging close to two assist per game, setting helpful screens and dissuading opponents from driving to the rim.Related Articles LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. >> This year that keeps giving and giving, it didn’t leave out Ivica Zubac.In the past few months, the Clippers’ good-natured center has been touched by a pandemic, an earthquake and a taxing case of FOMO.Now, at last, he has basketball back.That’s been the one thing, he said, that’s buoyed him and his teammates through recent challenges. And it’s been a glorious reunion for the Croatian big man, who’s attacked his time on the court with purpose and verve, and with a fresh appreciation. Game 4 photos: Luka Doncic, Mavs shock Clippers in overtime
Ryon Chambers and Arieta Martin topped the Pharmaceutical Society of Jamaica (PSJ), Kidney Support Foundation of Jamaica (KSFJ) and the Kiwanis Club of Constant Spring’s (KCCS)5K Run/Walk at the Police Officers’ Club on Hope Road on Sunday.Chambers, the overall winner, crossed the finish line at 16:33.34, followed by Andrew Gutzmore at 17:26.03 and Shambola Moore in third at 17:50.78.On the female side, Martin ran home in 20:29.26 ahead of Janetta Robinson (21:50.03)and Tammara Hucey Glaves (23:27.87).The male winner for the walk was AndrÈ Smith in 27:24.42, with Shane Pryce (28:06.40) and Vivian Lawes (30:17.83).one-year scholarshipPaula Sinclair took the walk in the female categoryin 32:24.76. Jodi Jackson, 37:22.01, came second, and Modupeola Abayoni, 37:57.43, was third.The winners and other competitors were awarded withtrophies and prizes from several corporate entities, such as University College of the Caribbean, with a one-year scholarship, which went to Wayne Williams; Dolphin Cove, Mystic Mountain with tickets to their properties; and many others, who provided gift baskets and other prizes.The organisers were pleased with the response from the public, as they will be able to address some of the issues based on income to be received from staging the event.The 5K Run/Walk was a joint event by PSJ, KSFJ and KCCS. It was the third staging for the Pharmaceutical Society of Jamaica and the second for Kidney Support Foundation of Jamaica. The beneficiaries will be the KSFJ and the KCCS ‘eliminate’ project aimed at pregnant women in Jamaica and worldwide, as the international project for Kiwanis across the world.