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“Citizen Athlete” Wins Finest Motion Sports activities Movie at Mammoth Movie Pageant



Citizen Athlete, the most recent and most fascinating movie by director Brandt Wille, had its first official debut on the 2023 Mammoth Movie Pageant. The movie, which was helped financed by REIGN Whole Physique Gas, tells the story of the US Girls’s Bobsled Workforce, following them on their superb journey to the 2022 Beijing Olympics. Highlighted are the unsung struggles of those athletes as they practice for a possible spot on the Olympic workforce, and the uncooked ardour all of them share in sacrificing no matter is critical to make their goals a actuality.

Citizen Athlete primarily follows Kaillie Humphries, Aja Evans, and Elana Meyers Taylor, as they practice for the Video games, accompanied by Sylvia Hoffman, Kaysha Love, and lots of extra members of USA Bobsled/Skeleton’s (USABS) workers and Nationwide Workforce. Humphries shares her emotional journey from Workforce Canada to Workforce USA, and the private struggles and turmoil she confronted in gaining US citizenship in time for the 2022 Olympics.

“Our aim was to make a movie that transported the viewer into the world of an Olympic athlete,” stated Director Brandt Wille. “We have been all blown away by the sheer willpower and grit of all of the athletes featured within the movie, and we wished their tales to function inspiration for all of the aspiring girls and boys that dream of representing their nation on the Olympics sometime.”

Additionally highlighted are Elana’s struggles in juggling a rising household whereas competing, in addition to Aja’s battle to recuperate from a grueling harm proper earlier than Beijing. Citizen Athlete concludes on the finish of the 2022 Video games, the place a number of history-making medals are gained for Workforce USA by the movie’s main characters.

Citizen Athlete, the most recent and most fascinating movie by director Brandt Wille, had its first official debut on the 2023 Mammoth Movie Pageant.

The celebrities of Citizen Athlete all gave their preliminary ideas after seeing the movie debut:

  • Kaillie Humphries
    • “I’m so grateful for the Reign workforce for serving to make this occur! The movie did an unbelievable job of highlighting everybody’s journeys in a optimistic, respectful manner. You additionally get an understanding and really feel for the game of bobsled itself. I hope by means of this movie, extra consciousness will come to the game and all the unbelievable athletes who hold its legacy alive.”
  • Aja Evans
    • “It was unbelievable to be a part of Citizen Athlete! For me, it was superb to have the ability to present the work and the journey that goes into making an Olympic workforce. On high of that, to have the ability to win an award for the movie at Mammoth Movie Pageant simply goes to show that it was all price it and I can’t wait to see what the longer term is for this movie!”
  • Elana Meyers-Taylor
    • “It was unbelievable to see the movie on the massive display screen!  To see our tales shared on the Mammoth Movie Pageant to the world was such a humbling feeling- the manufacturing crew did such an ideal job with the movie I can’t wait til everybody has the prospect to see it.  I hope individuals stroll away and fall in love with bobsled like I did 16 years in the past.”
  • Kaysha Love
    • Citizen Athlete is a first-rate instance of how a ardour for excellence is a profitable system for achievement. In sports activities, life, or the movie business.  It was a protracted highway to the end line, however ultimately the workforce’s dedication to the problem was rewarded with an enormous win on the pageant. We’re excited to share our tales with the world.” 
  •  Sylvia Hoffman
    • “The movie was merely superb. The historical past, the dedication, the battle, and the emotion is all there. Introducing my Olympic medal “Bronzy” for everybody made my coronary heart soften. The manufacturing crew are elite and is why they gained Finest Motion Sports activities Function after the premier! I can’t anticipate the world to see it!!”
  • Aron McGuire
    • “USA Bobsled/Skeleton is grateful for REIGN’s assist of the movie, which has offered the chance for the ladies’s bobsled athletes to share their experiences,” stated Aron McGuire, CEO, USA Bobsled/Skeleton. “Citizen Athlete tackles a variety of highly effective matters which might be on the heart of elite sports activities and it supplies a behind-the-scenes perspective of what it takes to be the most effective on the earth.”

The award is the primary for steering and producing duo Brandt Wille and Ryan March. Be looking out for Citizen Athlete arriving in theaters quickly!

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4 Pitt Gamers Announce Intent to Switch Following White’s Firing



Pitt girls’s basketball is at present present process change with the firing of head coach Lance White following the end result of the 2022-23 season.

White served as head coach of this system for 5 seasons beginning with the 2018-19 season. The Panthers completed with an total document of 42-99 (.298) and an ACC document of 11-74 (.129) below White, making for the worst 5 yr stretch for any head coach within the 49 seasons in program historical past because it began in 1974-75.

With White’s dismissal, the Pitt roster is beginning to change quickly with the bulletins of transfers by totally different gamers rising because the opening of the switch portal on Monday.

Senior ahead Amber Brown positioned her identify within the switch portal on Tuesday, making herself the primary participant to switch from Pitt.

Brown began in all 110 video games in her 4 seasons with the Panthers and averaged 9.1 factors, 6.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.1 steals per recreation whereas taking pictures 45.6% from the ground. She completed with 684 profession rebounds, the tenth most in program historical past.

Three extra Pitt gamers introduced their intent to switch on Wednesday. This contains guards in seniors Emy Hayford and  Future Strother and junior Taisha Exanor.

Hayford, like Brown, joined the Panthers as a part of White’s inaugural recruiting class. She hails from Maastricht, Netherlands and served primarily as a ball handler/distributor for the Panthers.

Hayford performed in 108 video games and began 46 of them. She averaged 3.7 factors, 1.7 assists, 2.2 rebounds and 19.2 minutes per recreation over her Pitt profession.

Strother transferred to Pitt from Marquette after her first yr within the 2019-20 season. She performed for 3 seasons for Pitt, primarily coming off the bench as a 3-point specialist, as she made 79 3-pointers.

She performed most of her minutes in her first two seasons with the Panthers, averaging 17.6 minutes per recreation in 2020-21 and 18.4 minutes per recreation in 2021-22. Strother solely performed in 16 video games this previous season, averaging 4.2 minutes per recreation, as she noticed her taking part in minutes dramatically lower with the addition of youthful, extra proficient guards.

Exanor is from Châteauguay, a suburb of Montreal in Quebec, Canada. She spent most of her profession coming off the bench, as she began simply 4 of the 70 video games she performed in her three seasons at Pitt.

Exanor averaged 12.5 minutes, 3.3 factors, 2.6 rebounds and a 42.5 taking pictures proportion throughout her time at Pitt.

With the 4 departures, listed below are the remaining gamers at Pitt in the interim.

2023-24 Pitt Roster + eligibility 

Graduate Dayshanette Harris: one yr
Graduate Channise Lewis: one yr
Senior Sandrine Clesca: two years
Sophomore Marley Washenitz: three years
Sophomore Avery “Ace” Strickland: three years
Sophomore Aislin Malcolm: three years
First-year Jasmine Timmerson: 4 years

Redshirt senior Cynthia Ezeja: two years
Senior Gabby Hutcherson: two years
Senior Liatu King: two years
Junior Maliyah Johnson: two years
First-year Hannah Mills-Watson: 4 years
First-year Lauren Rust: 4 years

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The Man Operating Pitt Iron Works: Michael Stacchiotti’s Quest to Maximize Potential



There’s an open-door coverage on the Aaron Donald Efficiency Middle, in any other case often called Pitt Iron Works, so anybody within the constructing can get hold of the sound of weights being tossed round.

Those that observe the clanging of the weights — shouts of encouragement and cries of exhilaration following quickly after — will normally discover head energy and conditioning coach Michael Stacchiotti in the midst of all of it. Coach Stacc, as he’s referred to, is the person behind the scenes.

Pitt Iron Works is well-regarded by these within the know, however after Pitt’s robust displaying on the NFL Mix in Indianapolis earlier this month, Stacchiotti’s work earned some nationwide recognition within the course of.

Calijah Kancey blew NFL groups out of the water with a record-setting 4.67 40-yard sprint, overshadowing Habakkuk Baldonado’s all-around stellar efficiency in on-field drills, and Brandon Hill adopted up with a positional-best 4.43 40 of his personal.

Regardless of an electrical displaying from Pitt’s contingent in Indy, Stacchiotti didn’t need to take an excessive amount of credit score for himself.

“These guys awakened like that, man,” Stacchiotti stated Tuesday on the South Aspect. “It goes all the way down to recruiting, they got here in with nice attributes and all we’re doing is accentuating these issues or giving them instruments for his or her toolbox. I’m proud as hell of all these guys that went all the way down to the mix.”

Stacchiotti, who’s coming into his fourth season as Pitt’s head energy and conditioning coach, is happy in regards to the alternative for Pitt’s NFL hopefuls to as soon as once more showcase their laborious work, which has been honed with him, however he’s additionally laser-focused on the duty at hand in terms of the 2023 squad.

There’s not a energy coach within the nation that will say his squad had a foul — and even an OK — offseason, however Stacchiotti noticed how his gamers got here able to work, labored their tails off when given the prospect and now have themselves ready to take a step ahead.

It’s his job now to hone the potential he’s seen — and the coaches have seen — into tangible ends in the load room. After which the sphere, by extension.

There’s an emphasis now as spring ball kicks off, with the primary of 15 practices now within the books, is to get everybody acquainted with their roles, whether or not that be offensive, defensive or particular groups.

“You simply have a look at the tactical parts of the place, seeing the place guys are missing of their motion expertise, energy in sure parts on the offensive and defensive strains, however simply choosing little issues right here and there,” Stacchiotti stated. 

It’s extra so making small tweaks to sure areas of a participant’s recreation, recognizing the traits that Pitt’s teaching workers noticed in any particular person participant and — as he did with guys like Kancey, Baldonado and Hill — discovering methods to take these identifiable traits to the subsequent stage.

That emphasis manifests itself properly in terms of coaching place teams just like the linebackers. It’s a bunch with a variety of tasks, a variety of athletes, and he tries to only mix the combination of dimension and pace. It’s a case of give and take in terms of pushing a security who runs a 4.4 40 to pack on a couple of extra kilos, perhaps lose a little bit of pace within the course of, however have the ability to fulfill his duties higher. 

He’s capable of meet recruits throughout visits, in fact, however his spinel solely carries a lot weight. He can promote the model of Pitt Iron Works as a lot as he desires, hammer dwelling the thought of constructing a monster over 4 years, nevertheless it takes a crew to get the message throughout. Stacchiotti feels lucky to have a veteran core that helps promote this system.

And it helps that when Pitt’s teaching workers brings in newcomers, whether or not it’s early enrollee freshmen or hardened transfers, they’re nearly at all times Pitt males by and thru. Nonetheless, there’s nonetheless a studying curve for even probably the most keen arrival. 

“When guys are available, you gotta humble them slightly bit in order that they prepare for what they’ll count on on the sphere,” Stacchiotti stated. “It’s just a bit enjoyable, you realize? We attempt to have good rapport with these guys, develop these relationships, construct these relationships and have — the truth is that they’re 17, 18-year-old youngsters, some could also be 19, however you’re gonna have a 22-year-old man attempting to kick your ass, so that you gotta get them prepared for that.”

The adjustment interval is troublesome irrespective of the scenario, nevertheless it’s additionally simply new. It’s totally different. There’s rather a lot happening, and Stacchiotti acknowledges that the spring ball interval is a big alternative to set the stage for the season.

“It’s the primary time they’re seeing this sort of pace, in all probability getting rather a lot thrown at them within the movie room, in order that they have rather a lot to research,” Stacchiotti stated. “We simply gotta be sure that they’re choosing issues up, don’t get paralysis by evaluation. Coaching-wise, we’re growing these guys. Even all through the spring, we’re taking a look at them, they’re going all out with soccer work, however we nonetheless have to develop them by way of their energy and dimension, so it’s all-encompassing within the spring.”

He’s excited in regards to the alternative to showcase extra pace and energy at Pitt’s Professional Day later this month, excited for the gamers themselves, nevertheless it’s additionally simply enterprise as traditional on the Pitt Iron Works this spring, too.

There’s an expectation in terms of Pitt soccer, to be quicker and stronger each step of the way in which, and Stacchiotti’s objective is to maximise each participant in each place group to the fullest extent attainable.

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Six Years within the Making, Nike Sibande Able to Make March Insanity Debut



Dayton, OHIO – It’s been an extended trip for Nike Sibande to make it to this second. A second not many gamers get to expertise and cherish the chance to be part of. Six years after making his NCAA debut through the 2017-18 marketing campaign and recovering from a torn ACL, the ACC Sixth Man of the 12 months is able to make his NCAA Event debut. 

“It means rather a lot,” Sibande stated. “That is my first time being in March Insanity and the NCAA Event. Quite a lot of feelings. We actually needed this because the starting of the season. This can be a objective that we had and to be right here is superb and surreal.”

The surreal feeling is shared all through the Panther locker room, a sense a Pitt staff has not felt because the 2015-16 season earlier than Jeff Capel stepped on campus. Pitt will face Mississippi State within the First 4 from Dayton, Ohio, Tuesday night time – each as No. 11 seeds – with the winner advancing to the spherical of 64 in opposition to Iowa State. The four-hour journey from Pittsburgh presents the chance for a conglomerate of Pitt followers to return collectively and create a raucous ambiance for its first event look in seven years.

“It’s thrilling,” Sibande stated. “Individuals are going to be right here. I feel the atmosphere goes to be actually good and good for us.”

Pittsburgh Panthers guard Nike Sibande (22) November 20, 2022 David Hague/PSN

Pitt’s veteran expertise was broadly recognized and mentioned all through the ACC season and now turns to the nationwide stage. Sibande started his profession at Miami, Ohio, just one hour away from the College of Dayton Enviornment. The Indiana 3A state champion was named MAC Freshman of the 12 months with the RedHawks and averaged 15.1, 16.1, and 13.9 factors per sport in three seasons earlier than wanting a brand new problem on the Energy 5 degree. 

Sibande selected Pitt for his 2020-21 season, being deemed eligible midway via December in a 12 months affected by the pandemic. He began eight of 14 video games and strove to return to the Panthers the next 12 months. An ACL tear in exhibition play prevented the objective from turning into actuality. The 6-foot-4 guard averaged 8.5 factors and three.9 rebounds within the common season as a spark plug off the bench. He believes his years of expertise, and that of his teammates, have ready him for March Insanity.

“Being poised and being within the second,” Sibande stated. “Play our sport and be snug. Not pondering an excessive amount of. Once you’re younger, you in all probability get within the second and assume an excessive amount of. When you may have a few years beneath your belt, you simply play the sport and let all of it occur.”

Surrounded by veterans of their ultimate 12 months of eligibility, Sibande has grown in his three years at Pitt together with the bonds and connections together with his teammates.

“All of us are brothers. We take a look at one another like brothers,” Sibande stated. “Now we have one another’s again on and off the courtroom. That’s one factor about this staff I actually love. All of us are shut and funky with each other.”

Pittsburgh Panthers guard Nike Sibande (22) February 7, 2023 David Hague/PSN

I feel it’s big,” head coach Capel stated. “The actually good groups that I’ve been part of all through my profession, whether or not it was as a participant, as a head coach, an assistant coach, the one factor that’s been frequent in all of these actually good groups is that they like one another. It’s their relationships off the courtroom. 

“I feel the extra you understand your teammates and the extra you genuinely care about them — and I feel the one approach you may actually care about somebody is to get to know them — that goes a great distance.”

The Panthers snuck into the NCAA Event however traditionally, groups who advance from the First 4 discover success within the Spherical of 64. Since its inception in 2010-11, a staff has gained a sport previous the play-in each season however in 2019.  Two groups – VCU and UCLA – superior to the Ultimate 4. 

“Within the blink of a watch, we are able to get it going,” Sibande stated. “Anyone can get scorching on this staff… We’re a harmful staff to play in March, for certain.”

As soon as he noticed the Panthers’ title seem within the bracket on Choice Sunday, Sibande knew his dedication and exhausting work has all led as much as this, searching for Pitt’s and his personal one shining second.

“I simply really feel excited,” Sibande stated. “I’m able to play. As soon as I’d seen our title yesterday [Sunday] go throughout the display screen I’m like ‘let’s go, let’s get there at present!’”

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