Local Sports 3-27-2020

Chucky Hepburn of Bellevue West has been named the Gatorade Player of the Year in Nebraska.  The Wisconsin recruit led the Thunderbirds to the Class A State title earlier this month.  Hepburn averaged 17.3 points, 4.6 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 3.1 steals per game.  Bellevue West swept the football and basketball Gatorade awards this year, as running back Jay Ducker took the football honors in the fall after helping the Thunderbirds win the Class A state title in November.


Nebraska football coach Scott Frost is trying to stay on top of the coronavirus pandemic.  Frost says he has had conversations with campus leaders and Governor Pete Rickets to get information on how to lead the football program.  Frost says most of the football staff is working from home, but they’re staying in close contact with video conferencing.  The Huskers lost 13 of 15 spring practices this year because of the epidemic.  The spring game was also cancelled.  Frost says his biggest concern is players staying in shape.  Nebraska is scheduled to open the season on September 5th at home against Purdue.


INDY 500> The Indianapolis 500 was postponed yesterday until August because of the coronavirus pandemic and won’t be run on Memorial Day weekend for the first time since 1945.  The race will instead be held on August 23rd, three months later than its May 24th scheduled date.  The Indianapolis 500 began in 1911 but was not held in 1917 and 1918 and from 1942 to 1945 because of World Wars I and Ii.


NFL> The NFL draft will go on as scheduled April 23rd-25th.  In a memo from Commissioner Roger Goodell, he acknowledged there would have to be significant changes and told teams to prepare to conduct the draft outside team facilities and with a limited number of people.  Prospects and their families will not be present on site at the draft.  The draft was originally scheduled to take place in Las Vegas, but those plans were scrapped ten days ago because of the coronavirus pandemic and will not be open to the public.


Former Minnesota Vikings All Pro cornerback Xavier Rhodes is signing a one year contract with the Indianapolis Colts.  Rhodes became a free agent when he was released by the Vikings to free up room under the salary cap. He carried a $12.9 million cap hit and had been under contract through 2022.  It’s the third defensive player picked up by the Colts this offseason.


CURLY>  Fred “Curly” Neal of the Harlem Globetrotters for 22 years, died yesterday morning in Houston at the age of 77.  Neal played in more than six thousand games for the Globetrotters in 97 countries.  He played for the team from 1963 to 1985.

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