0

UGA NOTEBOOK: Georgia's depth in secondary being tested

Georgia junior Damian Swann is the No. 1 defensive back on the team’s depth chart entering camp.

Georgia junior Damian Swann is the No. 1 defensive back on the team’s depth chart entering camp.

ATHENS — Georgia’s vulnerability in the defensive secondary is beginning to show two months before preseason football camp begins.

A knee injury to freshman cornerback Reggie Wilkerson in voluntary workouts last week has further impacted an already-thin depth chart. Wilkerson, an early enrollee from Citra, Fla., had surgery on his right knee Friday and will undergo ACL reconstruction at a later date after suffering cartilage and ligament tears during a passing drill June 12.

Wilkerson will receive a medical redshirt and will miss the entire 2013 season, according to Ron Courson, UGA’s director of sports medicine.

Wilkerson exited spring practice as the No. 2 boundary corner behind junior Damian Swann. He had three tackles, a tackle for loss and a sack in the G-Day Game in April.

The Bulldogs also will be without starting strong safety Josh Harvey-Clemons for the season opener against Clemson on Aug. 31. Harvey-Clemons was given a one-game suspension for a violating the team’s marijuana-use policy.

Senior walkon Blake Sailors is listed as the third-string cornerback at Wilkerson’s position. Georgia has also recruited several promising freshman cornerbacks, including Brendan Langley of Marietta and Shaq Wiggins of Tyrone. Both were 4-star rated prospects.

Baseball staff assembling: New UGA baseball coach Scott Stricklin was able to lure one of his assistants from Kent State to Athens but missed out on another.

Scott Daeley, who spent the last nine years on Stricklin’s staff at Kent, will join him at UGA as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. He will serve as hitting coach, oversee outfielders and will coach third base during games.

Stricklin however was unable to convince Mike Birkbeck to join him on the Bulldogs’ staff. Birkbeck, considered one of the top pitching coaches in college baseball, chose to remain at Kent, where he has been the last 17 years. The 52-year-old also passed up on a chance to become the Golden Flashes’ next head coach, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. He signed a five-year contract to remain as associate head coach and pitching coach.

“I went to the (UGA) campus (Sunday and Monday) and it’s impressive,” Birkbeck told the newspaper. “It’s a great job. The SEC is the best baseball league in the country. I respect Scott as a coach and even more so as a person. But Kent is my nerve center. I love it here.”

Nutrition program recognized: The Collegiate & Professional Sports Dietitians Association presented Georgia’s Greg McGarity with the Tom Osborne Award Monday for advanced practices in sports nutrition. Since taking over as the Bulldogs’ athletic director in 2010, McGarity has hired three full-time nutritional experts to oversee the dietary needs of 650 athletes in 21 sports.

ODDS AND ENDS: UGA junior tennis player Maho Kowase received the SEC’s Sportsmanship Award on Monday. She is now being considered for the NCAA’s national award. Kowase was nominated for siding with an opponent on an incorrect call during the SEC Championships. She went on to win the match. ... Georgia track and field finished second in the inaugural race for the Webb Cup, which is given to the country’s elite decathlon program.


Former Georgia basketball star Edwards prepares for Hall Of Fame ceremonies

ATHENS — Former Georgia Lady Bulldog Teresa Edwards, the most decorated basketball player in Olympic history, will be enshrined in the FIBA Hall of Fame today in ceremonies in Mies, Switzerland.

“What can I say? It took me all around the world,” Edwards said. “Now the FIBA Hall of Fame is calling me home to stay forever. Who in their right mind wouldn’t be excited about this?”

Edwards helped the U.S. win four gold medals and a bronze in her five Olympics from 1984-2000, making her the most decorated Olympic basketball player. Oscar Schmidt of Brazil and Andrew Gaze of Australia played in five Olympics but never won a medal. Edwards also holds the unique distinction of being both the youngest and oldest women’s basketball player to win Olympic gold.

Edwards is among 12 members of the 2013 FIBA Hall of Fame class. Other inductees include: players Jean-Jacques Conceiçao (Angola), Andrew Gaze (Australia), Paula Gonçalves (Brazil), David Robinson (USA) and Zoran Slavnic (Serbia); coaches John ‘Jack’ Donohue (Canada), Cesare Rubini (Italy) and Pat Summitt (USA); technical officials Valentin Lazarov (Bulgaria) and Costas Rigas (Greece); and contributor Aldo Vitale (Italy).

“These are great personalities who have experienced great success on and off the court, but who also stand out for the character they have shown and for the countless efforts they have made to help promote our sport,” said FIBA secretary general Patrick Baumann.

A native of Cairo, Edwards burst onto the national scene in In the summer of 1981. She became the youngest women’s basketball player ever invited to compete in a USA Basketball national tournament when she represented the South team at the National Sports Festival. That began a long and unparalleled career representing the United States on the hardwood.

Edwards enjoyed a stellar collegiate career at the University of Georgia.

She helped lead the Lady Bulldogs to their first-ever NCAA Final Four as a freshman in 1983, an NCAA runner-up finish in 1985 and SEC Championships in 1983, 1984 and 1986. E

dwards was a two-time All-American and finished her collegiate career with 1,989 points, 653 assists and 342 steals. Georgia compiled a 116-17 record during her four seasons in Athens.

Edwards’ illustrious international career with USA Basketball began while she was at UGA.

She won her first Olympic gold medal in 1984 in Los Angeles during the summer following her sophomore year in Athens. Sixteen years later, she captured her final gold medal as co-captain of the 2000 U.S. in Sydney.

In Olympic competition, Edwards remains the United States’ all-time career leader in assists (143) and steals (59) and also is third in points (265) and 10th in rebounds (68).

Edwards also won FIBA World Championships with the U.S. in 1986 and 1990, as well as a bronze in 1994. Edwards is the United States’ all-time leading scorer in FIBA Championships play with 175 points, including the single-game record of 32 points in triumphs over both Canada and Cuba in 1990.

Edwards launched her professional career in 1987 with Vicenza in Italy and went on to play all over Europe and as far away as Japan. In 2002, Edwards captured a EuroLeague crown with Valensiennes of France.

The Hall of Fame is located at the House of Basketball — FIBA’s headquarters in Mies, on the outskirts of Geneva.

The enshrinement ceremony will be held in the Naismith Arena, an exhibition and event area at the facility. The 2013 class is the fourth inducted into the FIBA Hall of Fame. Edwards and Robinson will become the fifth and sixth American basketball players included in the hall.