MIT’s Raman Joins The Memphis Grizzlies As An Assistant Coach

Sonia Raman, who has coached the MIT women’s basketball team for 12 seasons, was named an assistant coach with the Memphis Grizzlies. (PHOTO COURTESY: MIT Athletics/DSPics.com)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Sonia Raman, who has guided the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) women’s basketball team for the past 12 seasons, was named an assistant coach with the Memphis Grizzlies earlier today. 

Raman replaces Niele Ivey, who was recently named the head coach of the Notre Dame women’s basketball team back in April. 

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to be part of the Memphis Grizzlies coaching staff,” Raman said, via today’s release, which can be found on the team’s website. “I can’t wait to get to Memphis and get started with Taylor (Jennings), his staff, and the team’s emerging young core.”

Added Jennings, “We are beyond excited to welcome Sonia to the Memphis Grizzlies. She has a high basketball IQ and a tremendous ability to teach the game, as well as a strong passion for the game. She is going to be a great addition to our current coaching staff.” 

Memphis concluded its 2019-20 campaign with 34 wins and 39 losses – they fell short of advancing to the opening round of the National Basketball Association‘s (NBA) restarted playoffs in Orlando, Florida by losing to the Portland Trailblazers in a one-game playoff. Portland, which secured the eighth seed in the Western Conference Playoffs, saw its championship hopes dashed by the Los Angeles Lakers (LA beat Portland in five contests). 

At MIT, Raman guided the Engineers to a pair of New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament Championships, along with two appearances in the NCAA D-III Tournament. Raman is the winningest coach in program history and led the Engineers to 91 victories in the last five years. 

Prior to being named the head coach of the MIT women’s basketball program, Raman spent time as an assistant at alma mater Tufts University and Wellesley College

“I have been proud to call MIT my home for the last 12 years,” said Raman, via today’s announcement from MIT

Gov. Baker Paves The Way For Pro Sports To Return To Massachusetts

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Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker provided a glimmer of hope for live sports to return in the coming weeks. (PHOTO COURTESY: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

By Matt Noonan 

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker clearly misses sports – we all know he is a proud supporter of our state’s hometown teams.

So on Friday, Baker announced that the state’s professional teams would be allowed to begin practicing as soon as Saturday, June 6. That is also the same date Massachusetts residents should learn more about the second phase of the state’s reopening plan, which would begin Monday, June 8.

“I know we still aren’t to the point where we’ll have our pro sports teams back playing anything yet,” Baker said during Friday’s press briefing. “The leagues are obviously working hard to host games again. And I think we all hope that at some point, opening practice facilities will help make that happen a little sooner.”

Professional sports have been idle since mid-March when the National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Hockey League (NHL) paused their respective seasons due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Since then, both leagues have been working diligently to find a way to restart their seasons safely in “hub cities.”

Major League Baseball (MLB) delayed the start of its 2020 season but continues to be stuck in neutral due to ongoing contract discussions between the players and owners.

Both Major League Soccer (MLS) and the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) have announced plans to return to the pitch in the coming weeks, which should excited local New England Revolution fans.

Baker believes live sports would certainly help all of us during this unprecedented time. Additionally, it would be a great outlet for many, who have been consuming older contests these past few weeks, including a 2007 playoff run by the Boston Red Sox on NESN.

“I think for all of us live sports, and especially pro sports would be a great thing to see again because not only will it be a significant milestone for those of us who are fans but it will also send a big signal that we’ve continued to do all the things that we need to do to contain and control the virus,” said Baker.

Sports History: Boston Tops Los Angeles, Wins Sixth NBA Championship

By NoontimeSports.com 

It was on this date 57 years ago (April 24, 1963) when the Boston Celtics captured yet another NBA Championship by beating the Los Angeles Lakers in six games. Boston outlasted Los Angles, 112-109, in the sixth and final contest of the best of seven game series after capturing the first two meetings in Massachusetts. 

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The Boston Celtics celebrated their sixth NBA Championships on April 24, 1963, by beating the Los Angeles Lakers in six games. (PHOTO COURTESY: NBA.com/Celtics)

Boston was led by the league’s Most Valuable Player Bill Russell, who guided the Green and White to a 58-22 record, as well as the team’s sixth NBA title in seven seasons. The 58 wins was the most victories recorded by any team during the 1962-63 season.

The Celtics postseason run began with an exciting seven-game series against the Cincinnati Royals, who secured a spot in the Eastern Finals after beating the Syracuse Nationals in the Eastern Semifinals (3-2). Sam Jones highlighted his team’s game seven victory over the Royals by scoring a team-high 47 points on 18 of 27 shooting while Tom Heinsohn added 31 points. 

Boston led Cincinnati, 68-64, at the break before outscoing the visitors, 74-67, in the final two sessions to clinch the series and secure a date with Los Angeles.

The Celtics, which beat the Lakers one year earlier in seven contests, won the first two games before Los Angeles won games three and five. Boston won the fourth game, which was held in California, before winning the sixth contest in the same state five days later.

Tom Heinsohn led the Green and White with 22 points on 8 of 18 shooting to go with nine rebounds and two assists while Tom SandersBob Cousy, and John Havlicek each scored 18 points. Los Angeles’ Jerry West led all scorers with 32 points and Elgin Baylor recorded 28 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists.

Boston’s winning ways would continue throughout the decade as they would win five more championships, including the 1969 NBA Finals against the Lakers. Boston needed to win the final two games to clinch the series after Los Angeles won three of five contests.


NoontimeSports.com’s Mia Len contributed to today’s ‘On This Date in History’ sports history post. 

Noontime Commentary: It Is Time To Pull The Plug On All Spring Sports

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Is it time to officially pull the plug on all spring sports, including high school games? (PHOTO COURTESY: Visualhunt.com)

By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation 

It may be time to pull the plug on spring sports, including all high school games, along with any other leagues or tournaments that were scheduled to start, both this month or over the next few weeks.

Sports will return – I know they will – but playing games to convening along the sidelines to cheer on our hometown student-athletes to storming the gates at Fenway Park just doesn’t seem like the right thing to do during this time of uncertainty. 

We are expecting a “surge” here in Massachusetts, which could have started yesterday or today – who knows? – and it will certainly challenge all of us, as well as our communities, hospitals, health professionals, and everyone else that has bravely stepped up to help combat the spread of COVID-19. And this so-called “surge” – may be the first of many to come? – is certainly a sign that future games and contests will either be canceled or postponed.

Games, which were scheduled for today and yesterday, have already been canceled. Professional leagues like the NBA and NHL are staying optimistic about finishing their respective seasons while the MLB is pondering the thought of playing games in both Arizona and Florida next month.

Meanwhile, there is a slew of college athletes sitting idle – sadly, they will not return to the ice, hardwood, track, baseball or softball diamonds, volleyball courts or lacrosse fields later this spring. Their respective seasons are caputs.

And then there are the high school student-athletes, who are eagerly awaiting an announcement from their state’s Governor to say schools will re-open and spring sports will happen. But sadly, I don’t think high school spring sports will occur, along with any professional or minor league events for quite some time.

The thought of watching our friends and neighbors compete in crowded gymnasiums or local parks just doesn’t seem like a logical plan to me, especially during a time where many, including myself, are seeking some signs of hope, as well as a light at the end of the tunnel. I am an optimist – I always look at the glass half full, not half empty – but from everything I have read, heard or discussed with friends and colleagues within the sports world makes me think (and believe) that games will not be played either next month or in early June. And the thought of games being canceled or postponed weeks from now – i.e. fall sports like football, soccer, field hockey, and others – is also a possibility.

We need to be patient. We need to adhere to the advice of our local (and national) medical workers and scientists. We need to listen to our local Governors, mayors, and town representatives, who are working hard to keep us safe and provide some sense of normalcy to all of us in the coming weeks and months.

Spring sports will return to our lives one day, along with future dinner plans at our favorite neighborhood restaurants to movies, picnics and so much more. But for now, I think it is best to pull the plug and play it safe.

Sports History: Boston Sweeps Minneapolis, Wins Its Second NBA Title

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The Boston Celtics won their second NBA Championship on April 9th, 1959 against the Minnesota Lakers. (PHOTO COURTESY: NBA.com/Celtics)

By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation 

The ninth day of April has special meaning to the Boston Celtics. It was on this date 61 years ago that the Green and White celebrated its second NBA Championship with a four-game sweep of the Minneapolis Lakers.

Boston’s win over Minneapolis erased memories of the 1958 NBA Championship, which saw the St. Louis Hawks beat Boston in six games (4-2).

The Celtics entered the 1959 postseason as the top team in the Eastern Division – Boston had won 52 of 72 contests and averaged a league-best 116.4 points per game. Additionally, the 52 wins were the most recorded by any of the eight teams.

Prior to advancing to the franchises’ third-straight NBA Championship, Boston needed all seven contests to beat the Syracuse Nationals in the Eastern Division Finals. Boston won the odd contests – games one, three, five, and seven – while Syracuse captured games two, four, and six.

Bill Russell highlighted his team’s game seven victory over the Nationals by recording a double-double of 18 points and 32 rebounds to go with two assists. Tom Heinsohn chipped in 20 points and 13 caroms while Frank Ramsey paced the Celtics with 28 points on 11 of 24 shooting.

Boston trailed Syracuse, 68-60, at the break before outscoring the visitors, 70-57, in the second half.

The five-point (130-125) win over the Nationals seemed to provide the Celtics with a great deal of momentum as they would go onto sweep the Minneapolis Lakers and clinch the series on April 9, 1959, with a 118-113 victory.

Bill Russell concluded the four-game series averaging 29.5 rebounds per game while Sharman netted a game-high 28 points in game two.

Minneapolis’ Elgin Baylor averaged 22.75 points per game – he did record game-highs of 34 and 30 points in the first and final game, respectively. Boston limited the 1958-59 Rookie of the Year to just 13 points in game two and 14 in game three.

The win over the Lakers would be followed by additional championships and celebrations as the Celtics became the team to beat in the 1960s, winning nine of ten titles between 1960 and 1969.