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Last Week around the Leagues

by Fran Stuchbury
January 17, 2023 - NBA G League (G League)


This past week BC Lions quarterback Nathan Rourke, the 2022 Most Outstanding Canadian in the Canadian Football League, signed a contract with NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars; Angel City Football Club selected forward Alyssa Thompson as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 National Women's Soccer League Draft; and Ray Horton became head coach of the United States Football League's Pittsburgh Maulers after Kirby Wilson resigned due to personal reasons. Highlights from this week come from the Canadian Football League, XFL, National Women's Soccer League, NBA G League, Women's National Basketball Association, National Lacrosse League, Premier Lacrosse League, American Hockey League, ECHL, North American Hockey League, Western Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and Premier Hockey Federation.

FOOTBALL

Canadian Football League

BC Lions quarterback Nathan Rourke signs with Jacksonville Jaguars in the NFL.

Highlights from BC Lions Quarterback Nathan Rourke after his record-breaking sophomore season in the CFL.

XFL

ESPN announced its commentator teams for the upcoming 2023 XFL kickoff season, beginning Feb. 18. Key details: Features four teams of signature voices across ESPN's roster of industry-leading football experts. Each team includes a play-by-play commentator and analyst in the booth plus a reporter and the return of the sideline analyst on the field. The sideline team will provide a unique vantage point for analysis and added access for fans throughout the game. Teams will cover every game each weekend across ESPN, ESPN2, ABC and FX. All games will also be available live on ESPN+.

The Arlington Renegades, looking to finalize their roster heading into training camp, added more players through the supplemental draft. The XFL Supplemental Draft was a one-day event that took place on New Year's Day that consisted of 17 rounds with a total of 90 players being selected. Arlington started with the third overall pick of the draft.

United States Football League

Pittsburgh Maulers head coach Kirby Wilson resigned due to personal reasons. Ray Horton a former longtime NFL defensive coordinator for several teams was named the new head coach. Ray's son Jarren currently is the Maulers defensive coordinator. Kirby Wilson went 1-9 as head coach for the Pittsburgh Maulers during the 2022 season.

Champions Indoor Football

Champions Indoor Football announces rule changes in extra points (PAT) for the 2023 season. The rules will remain the same for a kick from the 2-yard line. If the kick is made and successful, the team will be awarded one point. If the team runs or passes and successfully gets into the goal area, they will be awarded 2 points. fAter scoring, a team may elect to go for a three- point-play by having the ball placed at the 5-yard line. If they are successful running or passing into goal area, they will be awarded three points. Or, after scoring, a team may elect to go for a four-point-play. If they choose this option, the ball will be placed on the 10-yard line and if successful running or passing into the goal area they will be awarded four points.

SOCCER

National Women's Soccer League

Angel City Football Club (ACFC) has chosen forward Alyssa Thompson as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NWSL Draft. Thompson is the youngest player ever to be drafted in the NWSL and the first to be drafted straight out of high school. The Los Angeles native is currently a senior at Harvard-Westlake School, and will be an integral part of ACFC's second season in the NWSL.

The moment Alyssa Thompson was selected as the 1st pick in the 1st round of the 2023 NWSL Draft.

Poppy Miller, Lori Lindsey, Saskia Webber and Jordan Angeli join CBS Sports HQ to break down the biggest winners & losers from this year's NWSL Draft.

The National Women's Soccer League announced corrective action in response to the findings of the Joint Investigative Report released on December 14, 2022. As previously disclosed, the Joint Investigative Team found that the failures across the league and U.S. Soccer were largely systemic in nature and made recommendations on several forward-looking and structural reforms to improve the league's policies and practices. Discipline applicable to specific individuals and organizations was left to the discretion of the league. Following extensive review of the Report, NWSL Commissioner Jessica Berman has imposed, where appropriate, individual bans, suspensions and fines, as well as the conditions by which certain individuals would be eligible for future work in the league in response to the investigation findings, specifically those summarized in Section V of the Report.

Former NC Courage head coach Paul Riley is one of four NWSL coaches banned from the league following an investigation into sexual misconduct.

NWSL fines Portland Thorns $1M

The Kansas City Current announced that Patrick Mahomes will join the club's ownership group; becoming the first active NFL player to have equity in an NWSL team. "I am thankful for the chance to join my wife as part of the Kansas City Current's ownership team," Patrick Mahomes said. "Brittany and the Longs have done an incredible job building a world-class organization. I am excited to join another championship-caliber club as it continues to make history."

The Chicago Red Stars promoted Michelle Lomnicki to General Manager. Lomnicki served as the club's associate general manager for the 2022 season. "Promoting Michelle to General Manager was an easy decision. Her professionalism, work ethic and experience as both a former Red Star player and in the corporate sector make her uniquely qualified to lead soccer operations for the club," said Kim Vender Moffat, Chicago Red Stars Chairwoman.

USL Super League

Thee United Soccer League unveiled Step Up: The Bold Next Phase in the USL's Women's Soccer Strategy, an evolution of the USL's ongoing women's soccer strategy that is designed to take the women's game in America to the next level by maximizing player potential, delivering a world-class fan experience, and growing the business of USL clubs. To ensure the most solid foundation for a positive and sustainable impact, the USL Super League, which was originally scheduled to begin in 2023, will now kick off in August 2024. As previously announced, the Super League will play on the international match calendar from fall to summer.

United Soccer League Championship

The USL Championship announced its full 2023 schedule, with the 13th season in the league's history set to feature a 408-game regular season over 32 weeks with each team playing 34 matches in the quest to earn a berth to the 2023 USL Championship Playoffs. The 2023 USL Championship season will feature 87 percent of its games on weekend dates (Friday-Sunday), with 76 percent of regular season games set to be played on Saturdays.

United Soccer League One

USL League One announced its schedule for the 2023 season, with the league's fifth campaign serving as the longest in league history. The 2023 season will see 193 matches played across 31 weeks with each of the 12 clubs playing a record 32 matches.

BASKETBALL

NBA G League

The NBA G League announced details for its first NBA G League Next Up Game, which will take place at NBA All-Star 2023 in Salt Lake City at the Jon M. Huntsman Center on Sunday, Feb. 19 at 3 p.m. ET live on NBA TV. Twenty-four NBA G League players, including 10 selected by a fan vote, will compete in the Next Up Game. All NBA G League contract players currently on rosters and NBA Two-Way players who have played in at least four NBA G League games this year are eligible to be selected.

Catching Up With Grand Rapids point guard Gold Norris Cole

Sharife Cooper continues to DOMINATE. In three straight wins, he put up 34.0 PPG, 7.0 APG, and 5.7 RPG for the Cleveland Charge. As a result, he's our Player of the Week!

Women's National Basketball Association

AT&T WNBA All-Star 2023 will be played in Las Vegas at the Michelob Ultra Arena, home of the defending WNBA Champion Las Vegas Aces, on Saturday, July 15 (and will be the centerpiece of two full days packed with WNBA activities. This marks the third time Las Vegas will host the WNBA's midseason showcase, most recently in 2021.

WNBA All-Star Returns To Las Vegas For 2023

Minnesota Lynx forward Maya Moore this morning announced her official retirement from the WNBA on ABC's "Good Morning America," effective immediately. "I am extremely thankful for the opportunities that the WNBA, the Minnesota Lynx and basketball have given me in my lifetime," said Moore. "It was a dream come true for me to play basketball at the highest level and help build the foundation for women's basketball. Ever since I was drafted in 2011, the state of Minnesota, Lynx organization and fan base welcomed me with open arms and supported me throughout my entire career. I will forever be grateful for Glen Taylor, Coach Reeve and the Lynx community for all of the support and am excited to continue this next chapter in my life."

One of the most accomplished athletes the world has EVER seen. Maya Moore retires after a legendary career

The New York Liberty announced that the team has acquired 2021 WNBA MVP, Jonquel Jones, from the Connecticut Sun and veteran forward, Kayla Thornton, from the Dallas Wings in a three-team trade. In the multi-team deal, Dallas acquired forward Natasha Howard and reserved rights to guard Crystal Dangerfield from New York, while Connecticut received guard Rebecca Allen, the Liberty's No. 6 draft pick in 2023, and Dallas guard Tyasha Harris.

LACROSSE

National Lacrosse League

The New York Riptide announced that General Manager Jim Veltman has been relieved of his duties. Riptide Executive Vice President Rich Lisk will assume General Manager duties effective immediately. Veltman was announced as General Manager in July 2020. Under Veltman's leadership, the team drafted Jeff Teat first overall in the 2020 NLL Draft and signed the NLL Rookie of the Year to a multiyear deal.

Rhys Duch scores his first in OT and wins the game for Colorado 11-10 against the Saskatchewan Rush.

Watch the Top 10 plays from December 2022!

Premier Lacrosse League

Scott Ratliff Retires From Professional Lacrosse

HOCKEY

American Hockey League

The American Hockey League announced the playing rosters for the 2023 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Bell in collaboration with Manulife Bank, to be held February 5-6 in Laval, Que. The 2023 rosters feature 37 first-time AHL All-Stars and nine rookies, as well as nine former first-round NHL draft choices and six second-round picks. In addition, 14 of the All-Stars named have also played in the National Hockey League already this season, including Justin Barron of the Laval Rocket (Montreal), Cam York of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (Philadelphia), Lukas Reichel of the Rockford IceHogs (Chicago) and Matthew Phillips of the Calgary Wranglers (Calgary).

Chris Bourque's #17 went to the rafters, and in front of a sold-out crowd, as the Hershey Bears earned a 6-2 win over Springfield Thunderbirds to improve to 25-8-3-1. Here are the highlights from a historic night in Hershey.

North American Hockey League

The top plays in the NAHL from January 2-8, 2023

Western Hockey League

The Kamloops Blazers have acquired 19-year-old defenseman Olen Zellweger and 20-year-old forward Ryan Hofer in exchange for 17-year-old defenseman Kaden Hammell, 20-year-old forward Drew Englot, 17-year-old defenseman prospect Rylan Pearce, 15-year-old forward prospect Jack Bakker and nine WHL Prospect draft picks and one conditional draft pick. The WHL Prospects draft picks the Blazers have sent to Everett are the following: 1st round 2023, 2nd round 2023, 4th round 2023, 1st round 2024, 5th round 2024, 1st round 2025, 3rd round 2025, 1st round 2026, 6th round 2026 and a conditional 2nd round 2026. Zellweger is from Fort Saskatchewan, AB and is a second round NHL Draft pick of the Anaheim Ducks. He has 10 goals, 18 assists and 28 points in 23 games this season.

WHL Top 10

Ontario Hockey League

Ontario Hockey League

The Windsor Spitfires have acquired Shane Wright and a conditional 14th round pick in 2025 belonging to Kingston in exchange for Ethan Miedema, Gavin McCarthy and picks, OTT 2nd in 2023, SOO 3rd in 2023, NIA 4th in 2024, NIA 6th in 2024, NIA 4th in 2025 and conditional picks, HAM 5th in 2024* and ER 6th in 2025*. Wright is a native of Burlington, Ontario and was drafted to the Frontenacs with exceptional player status 1st overall in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection. Wright was drafted to the NHL's newest franchise in the Seattle Kraken 4th overall in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft.

OHL Plays of the Week

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Top 5 Plays - Week 14

Premier Hockey Federation

PHF Week Seven Highlights

BASEBALL

Pacific Coast League

The Reno Aces and SK Baseball have named Chris Phillips the franchise's newest General Manager and Chief Operating Officer. He will be the third person to hold the General Manager title since the team's inception in 2009. Before his time with the Aces, Phillips has over 20 years of experience in Minor League baseball with various teams and departments throughout the country. In his decade in Colorado Springs, he ascended from corporate sales director to assistant general manager before leading the organization. Most recently, he served as the General Manager of the Pacific Coast League's Colorado Springs Sky Sox and President and General Manager of the award-winning, re-branded Rocky Mountain Vibes.

Appalachian League

The Greeneville Flyboys announce Dennis Cook as Manager for their 2023 season. Cook joins the Flyboys with 15 years of experience playing in the big leagues, and 12 years of coaching experience. "I'm thankful for the opportunity to work with our kids and help them develop into complete players," said Cook. "I'm looking forward to working with the front office and getting to know our fan base." Cook has coached at many levels including with the Swedish national team, the University of Texas, and most recently as the pitching coach for the Chatham Anglers of the Cape Cod League.

Cape Cod League

Andrew Lang has been named the President of the Cape Cod Baseball League. Lang became the 12th President in the history of the CCBL, taking the reins from Chuck Sturtevant who served as President of the Cape League from 2015 through 2022. Lang has been involved in the Cape League since 2013, when he began as an Assistant General Manager for the Wareham Gatemen. He served as the General Manager of the Wareham organization from 2015 through 2021. During the 2018 season, Wareham finished 25-17-2, 1st in the Western Division, and would go on to win the organization's ninth Cape League championship.

Did we miss anything newsworthy or downright fun? Have a nomination for next week's column? Contact us today and let us know.


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