Sports in brief: An update on Waterloo athletics

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Kitchener Rangers player deals with racism on the ice 

Kitchener Rangers winger Givani Smith was suspended for the Rangers’ final two games of the season at the beginning of May due to an obscene gesture made by the Toronto native in a game against the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. 

Smith, who is one of the few black players in the Ontario Hockey League, received derogatory racial abuses which led to him flashing his middle finger at the Greyhounds’ bench. Things got worse for Smith after the incident as he was on the receiving end of a variety of racial comments, abuses and threats over social media. Smith had to be escorted to the Essar Centre in Sault Ste. Marie from the Soo hotel to watch the Rangers’ final game of the season due to safety concerns. During the regular season, there was an attempt from a fan to confront Smith in the Rangers locker room. The Rangers traded for Smith, who is a prospect for the Detroit Red Wings, from the Guelph Storm at the OHL trade deadline. Smith’s family released the following statement last week regarding the matter. 

“Givani (Smith) is incredibly humbled by the support received … at this time, Givani respectfully asks for privacy, as he and his family wish to move-on from the incident. His focus is now on being a Detroit Red Wing.

Jamal Murray wins K-W Athlete of the Year

Emerging NBA star Jamal Murray, who currently plays for the Denver Nuggets, was recently awarded with Kitchener-Waterloo Athlete of the year for 2017.Murray was nominated for this award for the third consecutive year, eventually beating out 11 other nominees including former Laurier soccer star, Alyssa Lagonia.  

Murray went to the Grand River Collegiate high school in Kitchener before transferring to Orangeville Prep. After spending one year with Kentucky Wildcats in the NCAA, the six-foot-four guard was selected by the Nuggets with the seventh overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft. Murray has shown that he belongs in the NBA as he started 80 out of the 82 games for the Nuggets in his second season, averaging 16.7 points per game in 31.7 minutes per game. He played a major role in what was a relatively successful season for the Nuggets, narrowly missing out on the NBA playoffs. 

 

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