Turner selected to national team
Ohio State guard Evan Turner was named to the 12-member team Thursday that will represent the U.S. in the 2009 World University Games in Belgrade, Serbia from July 2-11.
After three days of practices at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team Committee made the final selections from a group of 16 players.
Turner feels privileged to have the opportunity to represent his school and country, he said in an interview with USA Basketball.
“To be a part of this team with great players, and having the committee think of me as good enough to make this team and represent this country is really exciting,” he said. “I’m just really excited to put on a USA jersey officially. To have the opportunity to represent my country, my town and my school is just amazing. ”
Turner said he expects the path to a world title to be a major challenge, similar to the one the Olympic team traveled last summer en route to a gold medal.
“Overseas it’s going to be tough with a different type of game and a different atmosphere,” he said. “It’s kind of us against the world a little bit. The USA is a pretty big deal so when people go up against us they definitely want to beat us.”
Turner joins fellow Big Ten players Talor Battle, a Penn State guard, and Robbie Hummel, a Purdue forward, on the team. Wisconsin’s Bo Ryan will coach the squad.
An All-Big Ten First Team selection this past season, Turner will begin his junior campaign this fall.
Boeckman signs with Jaguars
Former Ohio State quarterback Todd Boeckman reached a deal Wednesday with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Jacksonville released third-string quarterback Cleo Lemon, paving the way for Boeckman to compete for a roster spot behind starter David Garrard and backup Todd Bouman.
Boeckman was not selected in April’s NFL Draft, but received a tryout with the Cincinnati Bengals. He left Cincinnati without a contract, but demonstrated the capability to make accurate passes, said Joe Reedy, Bengals beat writer for the Cincinnati Enquirer.
“He made the throws that he had to,” he said. “His long balls weren’t bad, the timing was maybe off by a second or two, but he really didn’t do anything that would’ve harmed his case.”
As a junior at OSU, Boeckman led the Buckeyes to the BCS National Championship game, where they fell 38-24. He maintained his starting position last season, despite the addition of freshman phenom Terrelle Pryor.
However, after Boeckman’s shaky performance in OSU’s 35-3 beatdown at USC, Pryor took hold of the reigns under center, leading the Bucks to an 8-2 finish, and 10-3 overall.
Another former Buckeye, defensive tackle Nader Abdallah, signed a contract with Jacksonville after going undrafted, but was let go on June 4.
Lavender named OSU female athlete of the year
Ohio State sophomore center Jantel Lavender was recognized as the university’s female athlete of the year, after leading the women’s basketball squad to a 29-6 record and Sweet 16 appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
The Big Ten Player of the Year, Lavender led the conference with averages of 20 points and 9.9 rebounds per game. She was also named to the All-America Second Team.
Jaggers named OSU male athlete of the year
Wrestler J Jaggers was recognized as the university’s male athlete of the year, becoming the first from his sport to win the award.
As a senior, Jaggers won his second consecutive NCAA title, becoming just the third Buckeye wrestler to twice be a national champion. The three-time All-American finished his OSU career with a record of 108-33, qualifying for the NCAAs four times.