Here are five things to put on your Cardinal & Gold radar this week:
1) In last Friday’s ISU News Flash, we told you about Team Canada’s promising bid to qualify for the 2016 Olympics in men’s basketball, thanks in large part of the strong play of former Cyclone All-American Melvin Ejim (’14 history). The Canadians ended up advancing all the way to the finals of the FIBA Olympics Qualifying Tournament Sunday in Manilla, Philippines, but lost to the Tony Parker-led France team, 83-74, stopping Ejim’s Olympic dream short by just one game. Ejim previously played for Team Nigeria (the country of his parents’ birth) during the last Olympic cycle, but was cut from the team just before the Olympics.
The Toronto native, who was named to the all-qualifying tournament team, kept his reaction upbeat and his feelings about Canada’s future hopeful on social media:
2) As far as we know right now, there will be just one Iowa State alumnus competing in this year’s Rio Olympic Games: Hillary Bor (’10 accounting and finance, MS ’12) earned a spot Friday night on Team USA, qualifying in track and field in the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase.
“Coming in, I knew the race was going to be for the last 800 meters,” Bor said Friday night. “I wanted to be close to the leader but make sure I had enough space when I made a move. The last 200 meters I realized three of the guys in front of me were not moving that fast, so I just tried to boost the last 200 meters.”
The Eldoret, Kenya native and four-time NCAA All-American at ISU finished second to U.S. record-holder Evan Jager in Friday night’s qualifying race, clocking a personal-best 8:24.10. Bor became a U.S. citizen in 2013 when he joined the military. Until last year, he ran only for recreation before realizing 2016 might be a good opportunity to chase the Olympic dream.
“I can’t believe I made the team,” he said.
3) Dr. George Jackson, who served in many roles during his tenure at ISU — including assistant dean of the Graduate College and President of the Ames Chapter of the NAACP, died last Sunday, July 3, at his home in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. The retired Iowa State leader was beloved by many on campus and was a mentor to countless students, particularly in the black community. A home-going service will be held tomorrow in Florida, but an ISU community memorial service in Ames is also in the works for this fall (details to come). In the meantime, the Dr. George Jackson Memorial Fund is also being set up at the ISU Foundation.
4) The university lost another loyal Cyclone family member last week when Romie Orr, wife of the late Johnny Orr, died Saturday following an extended battle against Alzheimer’s disease. Since being diagnosed with the disease in 2001, she was an activist for Alzheimer’s research, even traveling to Washington, D.C. to lobby the U.S. Senate with her husband. Her husband, who spent 14 seasons as ISU’s head men’s basketball coach, died in 2014.
5) The Memorial Union will be selling the furniture from the former Hotel Memorial Union guest rooms at a public garage sale this Thursday, July 14 (4:30-7 p.m. in the Great Hall). The hotel ceased operations on July 1 in order to make room for much-needed student housing. Learn more about the sale online.