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Wedding reception pauses to take in electrifying final moments of Raptors game

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  • If Dolly Kambo couldn’t see Kawhi Leonard sink a legendary shot for her favourite sports team in person, then watching him do it from a relative’s wedding was the next best thing.

    The 49-year-old was one of many eager Toronto Raptors fans not-so-subtly checking their phones for word of the team’s Game 7 showdown with the Philadelphia 76ers during speeches honouring the nuptials for her sister-in-law’s daughter.

    When one of the masters of ceremonies noticed that Kambo was not alone, he obligingly plugged in his laptop and aired the last few seconds of the game on large screens originally intended for slide shows and family photos.

    It was in those final seconds that Leonard sank the buzzer-beating game-winning shot, and Kambo said his heroics on the court helped turn up the wedding celebrations to a whole other level.

    “It was so loud,” Kambo said of the gleeful shrieks that erupted in the Brampton, Ont., reception hall after Leonard’s shot finally bounced in. “Everybody came to the dance floor. Everybody forgot that it was a wedding reception and were just loud and cheering. It was like we were in the arena itself.”

    Kambo admitted to some trepidation when she learned a decisive playoff match was set to take place at the same time as the reception for the Punjabi wedding, which had featured the actual marriage ceremony the day before.

    The resident of Guelph, Ont., who had shelled out for playoff tickets to attend Game 4 against the 76ers in person, even toyed with skipping the reception to take in Sunday’s match at home, but didn’t want to slight her family and friends.

    In anticipation of the big game, however, Kambo’s son urged her to download the Raptors official app so she could keep an eye on things from afar. Based on what she saw around her, Kambo said many of her fellow guests had a similar plan.

    “Speeches were happening and all that stuff, but a lot of people had their phones out,” she said.

    Kambo presumes the newlyweds’ relatives overseeing the reception noticed the same thing, which may have been what led one of them to connect his laptop and broadcast what initially seemed like the closing seconds of a tied game.

    She said it was nothing more than luck that allowed them to tune in for not only the critical seconds of the matchup, but for what promises to go down as a seminal moment in Raptors history.

    With seconds left in regulation play, Leonard let loose a high-arcing Hail Mary shot that bounced around the rim four times before finally landing and securing a 92-90 win for the team.

    That victory clinched the Raptors a spot in the Eastern Conference finals, where they will face off against the Milwaukee Bucks starting on Wednesday.

    Kambo will be eagerly watching the Raptor’s next playoff showdown, but said the unusual setting in which she watched the team’s most recent win gives the experience a unique flavour she’ll always relish.

    “I can’t tell you how happy we were,” she said. “It was just fantastic last night.”

    Michelle McQuigge , The Canadian Press

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    Alberta

    Tickets available for the 2019 Alberta Sports Hall of Fame Induction banquet May 31, 2019

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  • The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame presents their 2019 Inductees; three athletes, three builders, one team and three Award recipients. These ten Albertans will have their legacies in sports preserved and celebrated by all of Alberta for generations to come. The Inductees will become official Honoured Members of the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame at the Induction Banquet taking place Friday, May 31, 2019.

    The inductees include athletes who are Olympians and World Champions, builders who have dedicated endless hours to develop their sports, a team who knows the meaning of teamwork, and a pioneer who has partaken and watched his sport evolve throughout the decades. The celebration of these inductees is a show of appreciation and acknowledgement to the growth of the sports to which they have contributed and to those they continue to inspire.

    Kreg Llewellyn – Water Skiing Athlete

    Kreg Llewellyn

    Kreg began competitive water skiing in the late 1970s. In 1979 he won his first Provincial Junior Boys Overall Title and later that year set his first Canadian Junior Boys Trick Record. In 1984, he became an integral part of the Canadian National Water Ski Team and for the next 20 years competed in the Overall events of Slalom, Trick and Jump. Kreg held 24 Canadian Records and won 7 individual World Championship medals, 3 Gold Team World Championship Medals, and 18 Pan American medals including: 7 Gold, 9 Silver and 2 Bronze. Kreg was an innovator and was willing to try anything, doing “tricks that couldn’t be done to doing them fast”. He also helped design and test the first ever Skurfer, which was a precursor to the evolution of wakeboarding. Kreg won the first ever World Wakeboard Championships in Hawaii. Photo Credit: Outerbridge Photography

    Mike Rogers – Hockey Athlete

    Mike Rogers

    Mike Rogers played professional hockey for a total of 12 years; five years in the World Hockey Association, then seven years in the National Hockey League. Mike has the distinction of being one of only four players in the NHL to achieve 100 points in their first three seasons – the others are Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux and Peter Stastny. Mike’s first year in the NHL was with the expansion Harford Whalers team in 1979/80. He scored 105 points in both his first and second year. Mid-way through the 1980/81season, he was named captain. Mike joined the New York Rangers for the 1981/82 season and led the team with 103 points. He averaged 67 points in his next three seasons as the team adapted a more defensive style of play. In 484 regular-season NHL games, he had 519 points. In 1974/75, during Mike’s first year in the WHA, he led the Edmonton Oilers rookies in goals and points and was selected the WHA’s Most Gentlemanly Player. He was traded to the New England Whalers in 1975/76 and was their top scorer in 1978/79. In 396 WHA games, he scored 145 goals and had 222 assists for 367 points.

    Lyndon Rush – Bobsleigh Athlete

    Lyndon Rush

    Lyndon Rush has achieved medals at the highest levels of competition during his bobsledding career. He was originally recruited to be a bobsled brakeman. Following a hamstring injury at training camp, he chose to train as a driver instead. He had a breakthrough season in 2009/10 and became the new leader of the Canadian men’s team as he captured his first World Cup gold medals in the two-man and four-man events. He made his Olympic debut at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games and piloted his four-man crew to a bronze medal. Lyndon reached the podium at the 2012 World Championships where he raced to a second place finish with brakeman Jesse Lumsden. He claimed his first World Cup Title when he took top spot in the overall two-man standings during the 2012/13 season. At the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games, he finished ninth in both the four-man and two-man events. Lyndon retired from competition in 2014.

    James Donlevy – Football & Hockey Builder

    James ‘Jim’ Donlevy

    ‘Jim’ Donlevy devoted his professional career to more than 50 years of coaching, teaching and administrative leadership. His career in football began in 1954 coaching Bantam and High School Football teams. He joined the Edmonton Huskies from 1961 to 1963 and won two Canadian titles. At the University of Alberta, he led the Golden Bears to four National Championship games and brought home the Vanier Cup in 1972 and 1980. He had the most wins of any Golden Bears football coach with 89 wins, 69 losses and 3 ties. From 1993 to 2015, Jim was the Western Hockey League’s Education Consultant. He built a formal education and scholarship program for the student athletes playing in the league. It is now considered one of the most comprehensive education programs for hockey in the world today.

    Dorothy ‘Dot’ Padget – Artistic Swimming Builder

    Dorothy ‘Dot’ Padget

    Dorothy began her involvement with Synchronized Swimming in Alberta in the early 1970s. Now known as Artistic Swimming (FINA 2017), Dorothy trained, guided, supported, evaluated and mentored many athletes throughout the years. She worked her way up through the judge’s ranks and then became a certified FINA judge and earned her level ‘A’ certification, the highest there is. As a FINA judge, she visited more than 20 countries worldwide enroute to judging over 50 international competitions. Dorothy contributed to the sport as a clinic leader, and served on various committees and Boards at the provincial, national and international level. She wrote training materials, evaluated and assessed other judges, and participated in more than 15 event organizing committees. Her administrative roles included serving on the UANA (continental) and FINA (International Federation) Master committees from 2000 to 2015.

    Edward ‘Ted’ Thresher – Wrestling Builder

    Edward ‘Ted’ Thresher

    Ted has been active with the Alberta Amateur Wrestling Association since 1967 as a coach, an official, administrator and event organizer. He organized and co-chaired the wrestling portion of the 1978 Commonwealth Games. Ted was also instrumental in putting together the successful bid for Edmonton to host the 1982 World Wrestling Championships and then served as Executive Director for the event. Ted became an outstanding national and FILA ranked official, and officiated at Nationals 14 times and officiated at Senior Nationals for 18 years. He also officiated internationally for 13 years: participating in 48 events, five World Championships, three Pan-Am Games and three Commonwealth Games. Ted always took time to return to the roots of the sport, officiating at all levels and conducting clinics for our national team, preparing them for the World stage.

    Randy Ferbey Curling Team

    The Ferbey Four

    ‘The Ferbey Four’ curling team, consisted of skip Randy Ferbey, 3 rd Dave Nedohin, 2nd Scott Pfeifer and lead Marcel Rocque. Considered one of the most successful and popular curling teams of all time, they curled together from the 1999/2000 season until the end of 2010. They won five consecutive Provincial men’s titles, four Canadian Brier Championships and three World Curling Championships. The team made a number of innovations within the sport, popularizing the system where the Skip throws the Third’s stones and the Third, Dave Nedohin, threw the final stones. They also promoted the use of the ‘numbered zones’ to communicate the weight (speed) of the curling stones. The four member each brought their own unique and integral skills to form a strong and supportive team structure.

    Achievement Award – George Stothart, Multisport Athlete/Builder

    George Stothart

    George is a multi-sport athlete, coach, and for 64 years, a basketball official. He was born deaf and became a leader in the growth of the deaf sporting community in Alberta. He played football with the Lacombe High School, the University of Alberta, the Edmonton Huskies, and basketball for the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT). George competed at three World Deaf Games, twice on the Canadian Basketball Team in 1965 & 1973, and as a 400m athletics participant in 1969. He attended once again in 1981 as a Team Canada official and chaperone. George was one of the key players on the Edmonton deaf fastball team, ‘The Flying Fingers’ in 1969, and was one of the founders of the Edmonton Tasmanian Devils deaf slo-pitch team in 1980. He was also a leader in the formation of the Edmonton Deaf Basketball team. George was one of the first officers to serve on the board of the Federation of Silent Sports of Alberta (FSSA), the forerunner of the Alberta Deaf Sports Association. He held numerous positions from 1976 to 1982. George refereed basketball at various levels since the age of 15 and in the peak of his career, was officiating 287 games per year.

    Bell Memorial Award – Rob Kerr

    Rob Kerr

    Rob Kerr was a sports play-by-play announcer, a reporter, producer and host for more than two decades. He started his broadcasting career in the 1990s as the television play-by-play voice of the Fort McMurray Oil Barons. He went on to be the voice on the radio for the Estevan Bruins for two seasons. Following a move to Edmonton, he became the host of a sports talk show and a play-by-play announcer for two years. He then went to Calgary where he was the play-byplay announcer for the Calgary Vipers, the Calgary Roughnecks, Calgary Hitmen and the Calgary Flames. He was with Sportsnet from May 2003 to August 2018 and was a long-time radio host on Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

    Pioneer Award – Herman Dorin, Wrestling Athlete

    Herman Dorin

    Herman began wrestling in the late 1940s. While attending the University of Alberta in the early 1950s, he wrestled and became an assistant coach in 1950/51, and then head coach from 1952 to 1954. Herman competed in the light-heavyweight and heavyweight categories and was undefeated in provincial competition for 15 years from 1951 to 1966. Herman competed at three national championships: in 1952, 1954 finishing in third place, and 1967 where he placed second. In 1954 he founded the Edmonton Amateur Wrestling Federation. Herman became a school teacher and formed the first school wrestling teams outside of Calgary and Edmonton in the rural communities of Winfield, Bentley, Eckville and Didsbury. Herman also played an early role in the development of Zone 2 wrestling for the Alberta Winter Games as he recruited athletes for the 1980 Games, and acted as zone coach in 1982 and 1984.

    The Induction Banquet

    The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum hosts an annual Induction banquet each year in Red Deer, Alberta. More than 600 people from across the provinces and the United States attend this gala event to honour Alberta’s great athletes, sport builders, pioneers, and media personnel.

    At this prestigious event, several extraordinary Albertans that have made an impact on sport in our province, country, and around the world are honoured. The event not only honours these great Albertans but it recognizes the importance of sport in our lives and communities.

    The Induction Banquet will be May 31, 2019 at the Cambridge Red Deer Hotel.

    Since it’s inception in 1957, hundreds of Albertans have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. All are invited to join in this celebration of both new Inductees and returning Honoured Members, and their lasting impact on sport in our province! Click here for tickets.

    Click here to watch some great vignettes about last year’s inductees.

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    5 Things You Should Know About the 72nd Red Deer Highland Games

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  • By Jock Mackenzie

    1. The Highland Games is the Highland Games. It involves competitions and displays of highland dancing (including the highland fling, the sword dance, the seann triubhas, strathspey and reel, pas de basque and highcuts, Flora MacDonald’s Fancy, Scottish lilt, Irish Jig, ½ Tulloch), piping and drumming (individuals and bands), and heavy events (including Hammer, Weight for Distance, Putting the Stone, Sheaf Toss, Weight Over Bar, Caber Toss).

    2. The Highland Games is much more than the Highland Games. Some might suggest this event be called a “festival” but it’s been the Red Deer Highland Games for 71 years before this and tradition needs to be recognized. Extras include: The 78th Fraser Highlanders (living history demos all day with mock battles of musket and cannon firing), the Red Stags Battle Group (a LARP group – Live Action Role Playing) with real armor and high impact foam weapons), medieval spinning and weaving demonstrations, shortbread competition, sheep dog demonstrations, Scottish Country Dancers, the Entertainment Tent featuring the Celtic Jam Jars band, and vendor tents.

    3. The 72nd Red Deer Highland Games is “kid friendly.” Clearly, there’s an absolutely full day for any adult (did I mention the Massed Band performance at the end of the day?). Especially for kids is a Children’s Play Area that runs all day long. At mid-day, the wee lads and lassies are invited to the Junior Heavy events: caber toss and putting the stone. Under close supervision of the adult athletes, the kids will be given cabers and stones made specifically for them.

    4. The 72nd Red Deer Highland Games will be held on from 8:00 to 4:00 on Saturday, June 22 at the Westerner Grounds. Outdoor events will be held on the chuckwagon infield; indoor activities will be in the adjacent (and shiny and new) Ag Centre West. Admission includes parking: adult – $15, child/senior – $12, family (2/2 + program) – $45.

    5. There isn’t a #5. Being truly Scottish, I’m thrifty. I’ll save more information for another day. Okay, one last thought: Have you ever tried a haggis burger?

    Todayville Top 5 features the freelance writings of Jock Mackenzie.

    Jock is an original Red Deerian!  Educated at Lindsay Thurber and Red Deer College (with a stint at the U of A), he became an educator himself, spending 31 years with the Red Deer Public school system.

    It’s safe to say Jock knows Red Deer about as well as anyone (OK.. maybe not Michael Dawe).   As a confirmed life-long learner, Jock never tires of getting to know his surroundings even better.  That’s where the Todayville Top 5 comes in.  In each feature, Jock shares a few ingredients that go into the mix that makes this delicacy called Red Deer the place we want to call home.  As a well organized person who knows you’re busy, he’s choosing just 5 juicy tidbits to share each time.

    If you’d like to be featured by Jock Mackenzie on the Todayville Top 5, just contact us at info@todayville.com.

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