The Good Word

TO: Fans, Friends, and Supporters of Georgia Tech Athletics

FROM: Dan Radakovich, Georgia Tech Director of Athletics

I know I am spending my weekend up in Greensboro at the ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament, but for those of you who will be in the Atlanta area, this should be a great weekend to visit Georgia Tech. Our 4th-ranked baseball team (10-1) will host Wake Forest in a three-game series at Russ Chandler Stadium. First pitch in our opening ACC series comes at 4 p.m. Friday with a 2 p.m. start on Saturday and 1 o’clock start on Sunday.

The women’s tennis team will host North Texas Saturday at noon and the men’s tennis team will be hosting Miami on Sunday at noon at the Bill Moore Tennis Center on campus in what should be a pair of great collegiate tennis competitions.

Softball Endeavors
This would also be a great weekend to move directly across Fowler Street where Sharon Perkins’ 18-2 softball team hosts the SpringHill Suites Buckhead Classic. Our ladies will play at 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.

I am so proud that the Georgia Tech Softball team has partnered with Lespwa Worldwide to raise money for Haiti Earthquake relief. The Yellow Jackets will be collecting donations during the tournament this weekend at Mewborn Field. 100-percent of the money raised will go towards earthquake relief in Haiti.

Fans can make flat donations or pledge a dollar amount for every run Tech scores in a game, each day or for the whole tournament (four games) this weekend.

Individual Accolades
I want to pass out some individual accolades this week. Three of our student-athletes – Alana Clooten (women’s track and field), Amanda McDowell (women’s tennis) and Ryann Kopacka (women’s swimming) were all awarded prestigious post-graduate scholarships by the Atlantic Coast Conference. These are awarded based on the most rigorous academic and athletic criteria.

Also, congratulations to basketball players Derrick Favors and D’Andre Bell who were honored this week by the ACC. Favors was named the league’s Rookie of the Year and Bell won the presigeous Bob Bradley Spirit and Courage Award recognizing his comeback from a serious spinal condition to play his senior season at Tech. Also, I want to give a tip of the cap to Gani Lawal who was named third team all-ACC.

Congrats to Swimmers
In the last edition of The Good Word, despite giving a pretty thorough recap of all of our sports, I inadvertently failed to mention some outstanding performances by our men’s and women’s swimmers at the ACC Championships last month.

Individually for the women, four school records fell over the course of the ACC meet. The Jackets set new school marks in the 800 and 200-free relay, while sophomores Jordan Evans and Heidi Hatteberg set new school marks in the 100-fly and 200-back, respectively.

On the men’s side, where our team registered a solid fifth-place finish, senior Gal Nevo captured three events to lead the Yellow Jackets. Nevo won the 200-IM, the 400-IM and the 200-fly at the Championships. Nevo’s best performance came in the 400-IM, in which he not only automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships with his time, but also set a new pool record in the process.

Nevo now sets his sights on the NCAA Men’s Swimming & Diving Championships, which will take place in Columbus, Ohio from March 25-27th. Also, Georgia Tech will host the NCAA Zone B Diving Meet this weekend at the Aquatic Center, in which three Tech divers, (Chris Khosravi, Brandon Makinson and Hannah Krimm), will be competing.

Men’s Basketball Discussion
I want to take a moment in this week’s Good Word to comment on the increasing discussion on men’s basketball. As has always been the case since I came to Georgia Tech, I will not get into a discussion regarding the evaluation of a program while there are still significant games to be played and goals to be reached. As you read this, I am in Greensboro preparing to cheer like crazy for our basketball team to advance in the ACC Tournament. I will do likewise for as long as we are competing this season. I would encourage all of our fans who care about Georgia Tech to rally around these student-athletes and their coaches and to encourage their efforts throughout post-season play. There is still much to be gained. Any discussion beyond that will take place after the season concludes.

Please understand that I hear all of the comments and opinions about our men’s basketball program just as I do with all of our 17 sports. Believe me, people are passionate about their particular area of interest and are not shy about expressing an opinion. There are many parts to any discussion, issues which are visible and not so visible. By now I’m sure you know that there are factors which make our men’s basketball situation unique. However one thing is clear, the student athletes and coaches who represent Georgia Tech are doing the best that they can. There is not a fiber of quit in them. It is imperative that we continue to support them and the school they represent!

Go Jackets!

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