Teague, coaches finish Gophers Road Trip Chalk Talk


Richard Pitino is introduced at Williams Arena as the new head coach of the University of Minnesota men’s basketball team.

The University of Minnesota athletic department concluded their 2013 Gopher Road Trip: Chalk Talk Thursday. Over the 16 stop barnstorming tour across Minnesota, athletic director Norwood Teague, emcee Mike Grimm, and various Gophers coaches talked in communities across the state to promote Gophers athletics on a grass roots level.

The road trip started May 16 in Redwood Falls, Minn. and concluded Thurs. in Walker, Minn. Gophers mascot Goldy Gopher was along for the ride as well for the free speaking engagements by the caravan of Maroon and Gold ambassadors.

Hundreds of fans and sometimes more attended many of the appearances dressed in their favorite Gophers attire. The events, which included notable head coaches Jerry Kill, Richard Pitino, Pam Borton, and Don Lucia, drew quite the media attention over the two month excursion.

You can view vignettes of many of the stops on the Gopher Athletics YouTube page.

  • The USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships began Wednesday and multiple athletes with ties to the Gophers are competing in Des Moines, Iowa for the event. Senior Harun Abda has qualified for the 800 meter semifinals. Senior Travis Burkstand finished No. 21 in the prelims of the same event. Wally Ellenson of track and field and Gopher basketball fame will compete Friday in the high-jump. Senior Quentin Mege will compete in the hammer throw. Minnesota alum Ben Blankenship finished No. 7 in the prelims of the men’s senior 1500m.
  • The future of Gophers athletics was is also on display in the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Minnesota football recruit Berkley Edwards finished No. 12 overall in the junior men’s 100m dash Thursday with a time of 11.02 seconds. As Sid Hartman of the Star Tribune points out,  Edwards raced against potential Minnesota recruit Deron Thompson II. Edwards got the better of Thompson by .06 seconds in the prelims.
  • With the 2013 NBA Draft less than a week away, NBADraft.net has the top four players with Minnesota ties all going in the draft. Their mock draft has guard Nate Wolters (SDSU – St. Cloud, Minn.) going to San Antonio Spurs at No. 28 overall in the first round. Former Gophers power forward Trevor Mbakwe (St. Paul, Minn.) is predicted to go in the second round at No. 41 to the Memphis Grizzles. Former Gophers center Colton Iverson (Colo. St. – Yankton, S.D) is slated for No. 51 overall to the Orlando Magic. Finally, athletic Gophers forward Rodney Williams Jr. (Minneapolis, Minn.) comes in near the end of the second round at No. 57 to the Phoenix Suns.

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