Category Archives: Sports

Berkeley’s Lazarus, football player, to Cal State Fresno

The Berkeley High BHS signing ceremony for Michael Lazarus took place earlier this week. Photo: Mark Coplan/BUSD
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Berkeley High School celebrated National Letter of Intent Signing Day 2014 on Wednesday with a signing ceremony for Berkeley High football player Michael Lazarus. Lazarus was awarded an athletic scholarship at a Division I university, California State University, Fresno.

The young man’s mother, Neesa Lazarus, is also part of the Berkeley Unified School District family, working at John Muir Elementary School and Berkeley High as an American Sign Language interpreter, said Mark Coplan, school district spokesman. … Continue reading »

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UC Berkeley

Cal footballer Ted Agu collapses, dies after workout

Cal junior Ted Agu, who died after collapsing in a workout this morning. Photo: Cal Athletics
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UPDATE, 3:55 P.M.: UC Berkeley athletics officials released some details of the events leading to the death of 21-year-old defensive lineman Ted Agu at a press conference this afternoon. The death occurred during a supervised training run near Cal’s Memorial Stadium, KQED News reports. Dr. Casey Batten, a team physician, said medical staff were monitoring the workout and noticed that Agu appeared to be having difficulty completing it. As a precaution, staff members stopped Agu’s workout. “He was hydrating, he was responsive, he was talking,” Batten said. As a further precaution, he was placed on a cart and moved to a medical facility about 150 yards away. Agu collapsed there. Batten said medical staff immediately started what he called “high-quality CPR” and use of an external defibrillator. Agu was then rushed to Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley, where he died.

ORIGINAL STORY: Ted Agu, a 21-year-old junior defensive end on Cal’s football team, collapsed during a conditioning workout this morning and died shortly afterwards. … Continue reading »

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Naming rights at Memorial Stadium sell for $18m

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In 2001, Michael Li took Engineering 110, Venture Design: The Startup Company, at UC Berkeley. As part of the course, Li wrote a business plan for a new company. Today, Kabam, the mobile gaming company Li founded with two other Cal grads, and the university unveiled a 15-year, $18 million agreement for naming rights to the field at California Memorial Stadium.

“This is a great Cal story,” said athletic director Sandy Barbour. “It’s an opportunity for us to form a unique academic and athletic partnership. We’ve hit a home run here.”

According to Barbour, the deal is the largest in the country for college field naming rights. The University of Maryland sold naming rights for the field at its Byrd Stadium to Chevy Chase Bank for $20 million, but that was over 25 years.

“I can’t imagine a closer tie for a CEO with the alma mater he loves,” said co-founder and CEO Kevin Chou, who majored in business at UC Berkeley and graduated in 2002.  … Continue reading »

Berkeley’s first half marathon in (glorious) photographs

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Berkeley’s first-ever half marathon kicked off at 8 a.m. at Civic Center Park yesterday. It drew nearly 8,000 runners participating in one of the three race distances and more than $50,000 was raised for participating charities.

The marathon winners were both Berkeleyans: Anna Bretan, who also won the 2013 San Francisco Marathon, and UC Berkeley student JP Slater (read more in our story published yesterday).

There was one medical emergency, and at least one Berkeley resident said crossing town by car while the marathon was under way was near-on impossible. “There were no ‘detour’ signs anywhere along any of there streets  going south-north which cross University,” she wrote us.

In opening remarks to the gathered crowd, councilmember Laurie Capitelli said the marathon as an “historic event.” Addressing the runners he added that as they ran through the city they would not be seeing “the Berkeley that your mom and dad remember.”

Here we publish a selection of the many wonderful photographs shared with us by Berkeleyside readers.

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Two Berkeley runners win city’s first half marathon

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Update, Dec. 12, 2013: We’re sorry to report that Kenny Speirs, the man who collapsed during the Berkeley Half Marathon, passed away on Dec. 11. Speirs had been in the hospital since suffering a heart attack while taking part in the marathon. Speirs was an English lecturer at UC Berkeley and leaves behind a family.

Original story: Berkeley resident Anna Bretan and UC Berkeley student JP Slater were the winners of today’s first Berkeley Half Marathon. Bretan, who won the 2013 San Francisco Marathon, had an unofficial time of 1:17:19. at the inaugural event, while Slater won the men’s field with an unofficial time of 1:07:05.

There was one medical emergency when a man collapsed while taking part in the race. Fortuitously, a group of physicians from UCSF happened to be watching the race very close to where he went down on the pedestrian path on West Frontage Road that runs parallel to the bay and I-80. A UCSF radiologist performed CPR on the man before emergency responders from Alameda Fire Department attended to the runner, according to authorities. He showed improvement and was transported to Alta Bates Hospital, where he was in stable condition this afternoon, according to a marathon spokesperson. … Continue reading »


4 BHS students awarded Division 1 athletic scholarships

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Four Berkeley High student athletes have been awarded athletic scholarships at Division I universities, and, on Friday Nov. 15, they gathered with their friends and family at the Berkeley High library for their official signing ceremony.

The students, who are also all stars in the classroom, are Noah Bremer who is headed to the University of Washington to play baseball, Desire Finnie who will attend the University of the Pacific and play basketball, Lena Mayer who will play softball for UC Santa Barbara, and Naomi Overstreet who will go to Virginia Commonwealth University to play volleyball. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley Alvin Ailey camp teaches more than dance

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Like characters in an ancient Roman frieze, eight young boys assume motionless poses, then spring to pumping, rolling, spinning life in front of the Zellerbach Playhouse on the University of California, Berkeley, campus.

It’s a rehearsal, but in light of the fierce pride and near-divine determination in their expression — and exploding from their agile bodies — it impresses as so much more. They are AileyCamp dancers, they are men-to-be, they are special.

AileyCamp, organized in Berkeley by Cal Performances every year, is a national program based on the principles of Alvin Ailey, an African American son of a single parent who made his way to the pinnacle of the dance world as a performer, choreographer and founder of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Along the way, he developed an ambitious philosophy: circumstances do not define the human spirit, and children are often the best place to look in order to learn life lessons. Expanding on his ideas, and using the Horton technique — the modern dance methodology behind the fearless, muscular physicality of the Ailey style — he focused AileyCamp on communication.

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King Middle School to get new field, all-weather track

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Those who have tried to use the track or field at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School recently know that bulldozers have taken over the area, gates are locked, and temporary fencing is blocking the pathway coming from the school.

Shortly after King students left for summer, renovations began to replace irrigation and grass in the field and to make the track into an all-weather track. The plan laid out by the Berkeley Unified School Board in 2011 only involved improvements to the field, which has become uneven over time, but community members wanted to add track resurfacing to the project.

“There was a big push to get an all-weather track, and that’s what the top priority was,” said Lew Jones, maintenance director for the Berkeley Unified School District. … Continue reading »

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BHS Ultimate team are state champs, rank 13th in nation

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The Berkeley High School Ultimate Frisbee team were crowned State Champions this past weekend after competing in the California State Championship tournament in San Luis Obispo.

The BHS team, known as Coup, beat the nine-time winners from Alameda in the finals 11-6, which puts them at 18-3 on the season and ranked 13th in the nation.

The team now move on to the Western United States Championships in Corvallis, Oregon, on June 1-2, and hope to bring home another victory as they faces off against powerhouse rivals from across the western United States. … Continue reading »

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Cal women fall to Louisville, 64-57, in Final Four

Brittany Boyd, Cortnee Walton, Monique Reid
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Hot beat heart.

The Cal women’s basketball team, which had gutted out two overtime victories on their way to a first-ever Final Four tournament appearance, fell short on Sunday night in New Orleans against the hot Louisville Cardinals. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley’s Mayor Bates places a liquid Final Four bet

Mayor Tom Bates has bet a case of cabernet sauvignon against 12 bottles of Kentucky bourbon
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On Sunday, the Cal Bears women’s basketball team will be playing for more than a place in the NCAA championship game. Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates has wagered 10 bottles of Narsai David cabernet sauvignon against Louisville Mayor Greg Fisher’s 10 bottles of Kentucky bourbon that the Bears will prevail in their Final Four match against the Louisville Cardinal.

“All bets are on and I can already taste the bourbon now!” Bates confidently declared.  … Continue reading »

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Cal women top Georgia, 65-62, head to first Final Four

California's Layshia Clarendon, left, leads teammate Afure Jemerigbe off the court after the team beat Georgia in overtime in a regional final in the NCAA women's college basketball tournament, Monday, April 1, 2013, in Spokane, Wash. Cal won 65-62. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
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When Cal trailed by 10 points with seven minutes to go, naysayers may have hung their heads in despair. When a missed free throw failed to ice the game in regulation, doubters could continue to worry. But on a dramatic night in Spokane, the Cal women’s basketball team triumphed in overtime, topping the Georgia Bulldogs, 65-62.

The win by the second-seeded Bears took the team to the program’s first-ever Final Four. On Sunday in New Orleans, they’ll play the winner of Tuesday night’s game between Louisville and Tennessee.  … Continue reading »

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Fiat lux: Cal baseball under the lights after 121 years

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Cal baseball has 121 years of history, including 80 at Evans Diamond. But the team added to the annals of history last night with the first-ever night game at Evans in front of 2,133 fans. Unfortunately, the Bears fell to USC, 4-3. It was the team’s first home loss this season, dropping the Bears’ record to 15-11 (4-3, Pac-12).

Two years ago, the baseball team was facing extinction, the victim of athletic department cuts. Team alumni and supporters rallied to raise the money, sparing the team and spurring an amazing run to the College World Series in June, 2011.  … Continue reading »

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