Randy York's N-Sider
One of the greatest things about August is following baseball in its stretch drive at the same time the college football world is counting down the days to kick off the season. Wednesday night’s Talk to the Director of Athletics Show appealed to both fan bases with Shawn Eichorst connecting with Husker fans in the first two segments to set up a third segment featuring Steve Physioc, a Kansas City Royals play-by-play broadcaster, and a fourth segment featuring Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska’s Heisman Trophy candidate.
Wednesday’s show on the Huskers Sports Network focused on basketball because Nebraska junior guards Benny Parker and Shavon Shields will share the honor of throwing out the ceremonial first pitch Saturday night at Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium. They were selected to honor Nebraska’s first NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament qualifying team since 1998. It will be Nebraska’s second Husker Night at the K following last year’s inaugural event that featured Nebraska Baseball Coach Darin Erstad throwing out the first pitch. The Huskers last year set a “college night” record attendance at Kauffman Stadium.
Parker, Shields Attended Kansas City High Schools
Parker, the Defensive MVP on Nebraska’s 2014 NCAA qualifying team, is from Kansas City’s Sumner Academy High School. Shields, an honorable-mention All-Big Ten player in voting from both coaches and media, is from Northwest High School in suburban Olathe, Kan. “It will be another inspiring night connecting our university with the Royals and Alex Gordon, the Nebraska All-American who has made the American League All-Star Team the past two seasons,” Eichorst said in his column while acknowledging Gordon’s fifth-inning single that became his 1,000th career hit in Tuesday night’s lopsided road win in Arizona. Gordon’s second hit last night enabled him to become the 10th player in Royals’ franchise history to reach that milestone.
Nebraska fans already have purchased 5,000 discounted tickets through the Royals, and twice that number of Husker fans are expected to attend Saturday night’s game. “My family and I are looking forward to attending the game and spending time with Alex during batting practice,” Eichorst said in his Connecting on Campus column.
In his third season with the Royals, Physioc serves as the play-by-play broadcaster for 55 regular-season televised games on FOX Sports Kansas City. Husker Night tickets are still available through this website: www.royals.com/huskers.
Twin Recommendations: Column and Radio Show
The N-Sider recommends that all Husker fans read Eichorst’s latest column which identifies the depth, breadth and roots of Nebraska’s overall coaching staff. The column includes his comments on the five latest coaching additions – head rifle coach Ashley Rose-MacAllister, men’s and women’s basketball assistants Jim Molinari and Amy Stephens, football assistant Charlton Warren and wrestling assistant Jordan Burroughs, who is the face of a sport that he helped to revive, nationally and internationally. The N-Sider also recommends checking out theTalk to the Director of Athletics Show, which will move to the first Thursday of each month beginning in September.
Eichorst invited Ameer to share his thoughts from the Big Ten Conference Media Kickoff Luncheon. "He's a real cool customer, a thoughtful guy, a grounded and balanced person," Eichorst said of Abdullah. "It's not easy to get up in front of 10 people nonetheless a thousand and you're on television. I thought he did a great job. He spoke from the heart. It was unscripted. It's who he is...who we are. He really represented us well. His degree is important. He understands the role of education. We talk about it a lot. You cannot separate education from the academic and athletic components. In my mind, it's one and the same. The great experiences and lessons we take from competition are academic and educationally based. When you hear Ameer talk, that came through. He gets it. He understands. That's what sets him up for the rest of his life. He's going to be defined by his education, not just because he's a good football player."
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