Watch & learn: Sophomore goalie Nic Porter studies the play of his goalkeeping predecessors

first_img“I was just in awe of how the players were playing,” he said. “I was like, wow, this would be an amazing thing to do.” Growing up along the Sunshine Coast in Australia, Porter was constantly near the water and in the sun. With a push from a school mentor, he was convinced that water polo was just a natural extension of his upbringing.  He describes a marked difference in intensity when he transitioned to his senior club team, the Queensland Breakers, at 16 years old.  Now that the time has come to prove themselves after a rocky start to the season against solid opponents on all sides, Porter sees the Trojans making a strong statement at their 15th consecutive trip to the NCAAs and in future campaigns. Porter began as a goalie for the club Sunshine Coast, playing with teammates his own age and getting used to the different facets of the game. He laughs when he remembers one of his favorite memories from that team when he was 12, playing in the state championship and losing every game by about 20 points. It’s not exactly the picture-perfect victory he may have hoped for, but after being chosen for the state representative team following this tournament performance, he was inspired to see what avenues hard work could lead him toward. And it’s not a dynamic that is exclusive to the goalies. Porter can be seen in the cage cheering for his teammates after a great shot or block, demonstrating his positivity and unique ability to balance his goals with the rest of the team’s.  Sophomore goalie Nic Porter had some impressive games this year, including a 20-save effort against Stanford. (Photo courtesy of Katie Chin/USC Athletics) Before sophomore goalie Nic Porter made the life-upending decision to travel around the world to play water polo, he found himself watching dozens of games — regardless of level — to build the intelligence he believes is vital to the success of a goalie.  “I was playing with men, with the best players in Australia week in, week out,” he said. “I had to mature very quickly and get used to the highest standard of water polo really quickly, but I think that’s also an advantage too.” There was one game in particular that made the choice easier for him. This was Porter’s first introduction to the USC water polo program.  “We can’t let that youth become our detriment,” he said. Watching that NCAA championship upset for USC did not add to the pressure Porter experienced as he was moving up the ranks of the Australian senior team. Instead, it only solidified his decision to make the trip around the world to join the Trojans in their efforts. Porter placed himself in then-USC freshman goalie McQuin Baron’s shoes when he faced crosstown rival UCLA in the 2014 NCAA Championship final. The Trojans were gearing up for a shot to win in overtime, and the score was even for the first time in the game at 8-8. But with 34 seconds to go, sophomore center Gordon Marshall of UCLA made the game-winning point and claimed the NCAA title for the Bruins. “Nic has always entered new team environments quite cautiously, saying little but watching, listening and learning the culture before introducing himself,” said Stephen Porter, Nic’s father. “He knew he was one of the ‘new kids’ and he would have to train hard, play well and contribute to the continuing success of the program before he was accepted.”center_img “We really needed to win that game,” Porter said of their win against the Cardinal. “So to give ourselves the best chance of qualifying for NCAA, and … I was really happy to get 20 blocks, but it was my teammates … that made it a lot easier for me than it could have been.” “You get thrown into the deep end, pardon the pun,” he laughed. “It didn’t change,” Pintaric said of their original assessment of Porter. “He’s a scholarship goalie. And he’s doing a great job improving and constantly dealing with injuries and, you know, correcting getting from being injured to being healthy and then making corrections or not to have a standout performance.” Head coach Marko Pintaric knew of Porter during the recruitment process and said the coaching staff’s initial evaluation of him was well-founded and deserved. “Yeah, that’s a dream come true right there,” Porter said. “I’ve been fortunate to play in some amazing countries, but to live here in Los Angeles and go to USC and play collegiate water polo — that’s the stuff dreams are made of. I’m so happy to be here.” When Porter started in last year’s championship final, he  saw himself in former goalie McQuin Baron, who faced the same situation in 2014. Porter came away with a win as a true freshman with 12 saves in the title game. This year, he intends to bring the same energy to the NCAA Tournament in Stockton, which seems to foretell a great performance with 9.57 saves per game this season and a career-high 20 saves against No. 1 Stanford last month.  His parents, by email, described Porter’s gradual acclimation to the sport fondly. He began with close observation and gained what he could from the other, more experienced players. “I’d love to graduate from here with four national championships,” Porter said. “I think that that’s very possible with the team that we have. It’s still quite a young team.” Porter came to USC with a young goalie group, the oldest being then-sophomore Vaios Vlahotasios. While he created an environment where Porter had to make his mark and break the mold, succeeding by appearing in 19 games as a true freshman, the strength of his partnership with his fellow goalies never wavered.  This companionship is also visible outside of games and practice, as Porter describes the team’s weekend trips to the beach or video game sessions after a long day of classes. Any extra time the players have outside of their hectic schedule is spent  hanging out with each other. “Oh, it’s awesome,” said Vlahotasios emphatically. “He’s my best buddy in the pool. Each one of us is pushing each other; I’m making him better, he’s making me better. We share tips because we never know who’s gonna play … It’s a great dynamic.” “I always have the attitude when I get in the pool that I don’t want anyone to touch the wall ahead of me,” Porter said. “I don’t want anyone to use their legs so that they’re higher out of the water than me. I always want to be the best. I always want to win, and I came in and this was by far the best group of goalies that I’d ever had to compete with, but also train with because we’re teammates first and foremost. So that’s definitely motivating in itself.” “Water polo wasn’t really something that I had thought of until I was about 9 and my sport-gym teacher in Australia kind of said, ‘You’re good at soccer. You’re a good swimmer. Water polo is a great combination of the two. I think you’ll really like it,’” Porter said. “And yeah, I fell in love with it straightaway.”last_img read more


first_imgKarl Lacey – caught on camera with his new boots in All SportsDONEGAL GAA star Karl Lacey has dumped his white boots – for a pair in green and gold.But fans of the Four Masters player needn’t worry too much.It’s only his wellies which will be changing colour. We’ve been assured that Karl will NOT be wearing wellies against Tyrone in Ballybofey this Sunday!Sources close to the man who took this picture in All Sports in Donegal Town insisted: “Karl tried on the big size fours; but they were too big!” SHOCK AS KARL LACEY FINALLY DUMPS TRADEMARK WHITE BOOTS – FOR GREEN AND GOLD was last modified: May 21st, 2013 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:SHOCK AS KARL LACEY FINALLY DUMPS TRADEMARK WHITE BOOTS – FOR GREEN AND GOLDlast_img read more

Revisiting Clinton Speaking Fees When Bill and Hillary Charge Nonprofits

first_imgShare447TweetShare10Email457 SharesJune 16, 2015; PoliticoIt isn’t news that Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton have charged hefty speaking fees for some of their appearances. It is news that they have taken in some $11.7 million as speaking fees from nonprofit groups.Politico’s Kenneth Vogel points out that Hillary Clinton’s approach to nonprofit speaking fees differs from that of her predecessor, Condoleezza Rice. Secretary Rice, Vogel reports, got $60,000 in 2009 for a luncheon appearance at the Boys and Girls Club of Long Beach and then, according to multiple sources familiar with the club’s finances, gave “almost all” of the fee back to the sponsor. Secretary Clinton got $200,000 from the same group for the same event five years later and gave nothing back to the club. Instead, her speaking fee went to the Clinton Foundation. Vogel adds that Rice’s appearance raised twice as much as Clinton’s for the Long Beach charity.The $11.7 million take represents the cumulative speaking fees of the Clintons since the end of the Clinton presidency. The providers of the speaking fees ranges from groups such as Chicago House, an AIDS service provider, to trade associations, large universities, and public policy advocacy groups.In fairness to the Clintons, these are all different kinds of nonprofit entities. The list of nonprofits that paid the Clintons to speak is a motley group of 501(c)(3) public charities, 501(c)(4) political entities, and 501(c)(6) business and trade associations, and organizations of very different sizes, with the speaking fees, much like the Clinton Foundation’s disclosures of donations, given in ranges: Amount: $500,001 to $1,000,000DMC Communications Ltd., on behalf of All Ireland Scholarships* Amount: $250,001 to $500,000Colgate University+Fundación Telmex+Hamilton College+UB Foundation Activities, Inc.+University of California Los Angeles+S. Islamic World Conference* Amount: $100,001 to $250,000American Neurological Association*Association for the Development of the National Opera*Boys and Girls Club – Long Beach+Butler University*Catholic Family Counseling Centre*Chicago House+Colgate University*DePauw University*Drug Chemical and Allied Trades Association, Inc.*Edson Queiroz Foundation – University of Fortaleza*Guilford College*Hamilton College*Hofstra University*Hult International Business School*National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation*Simmons College+State University of New York at Albany*Temple Law School*TJ Martell Foundation*Tufts University*University of California Los Angeles*University of Connecticut+University of Judaism*University of Miami+University of Rochester*UNLV Foundation+UNLV Foundation* Amount: $50,001 to $100,000American University – Kennedy Political Union*Chicago House*Drew University*Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County^Minneapolis Jewish Federation^Rehab Foundation*The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles^University of Florida*University of Missouri – Kansas City^ Amount: $25,001 to $50,000Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding*TD Bank, on behalf of the OneXOne charity*University of Iowa* Amount: $10,001 to $25,000American Israel Public Affairs Committee*Direct Marketing Association Nonprofit Federation^Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation*United Jewish Appeal – Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York, Inc.(* Indicates a speaking engagement by President Clinton; + Indicates a speaking engagement by Secretary Clinton; ^ Indicates a speaking engagement by Chelsea Clinton.) The diversity of these groups, despite most of them possessing 501(c) tax designations, means they’re not quite in the same place in the nonprofit taxonomy. A political entity such as AIPAC is quite different from an AIDS provider or a Catholic family counseling center. It isn’t necessarily true that the Clintons are sucking money out of tiny, struggling public charities, either—even the Boys and Girls Club of Long Beach raises around $2.8 to $2.9 million annually, and Chicago House’s 2014 revenue was $6.6 million. On the other hand, Vogel cited “fundraising experts and people affiliated with some nonprofits on the list” who felt that the Clintons charged “hefty” fees that were a “significant drain on small charities’ fundraising.” One such expert, a nonprofit fundraising coach named Marc A. Pitman, said, “I don’t know of any other foundation that collects speaking fees.”Even here, however, it is necessary to distinguish types of organizations. The Clinton Foundation isn’t an endowed foundation, but raises money through donations and, as news accounts have explained in the past few months, through the Clinton’s large speaking fees, paid because charities expect that big-name star power will power their fundraising events. (Note: If any NPQ readers find the CEOs of this nation’s large, endowed private foundations charging speaking fees, please let NPQ know.)Vogel adds that a “small charity called the Happy Hearts Fund, which rebuilds schools destroyed by natural disasters, donated $500,000 to the Clinton Foundation in conjunction with a Bill Clinton speech at its 2014 gala, only after trying unsuccessfully to get him to appear for free.” NPQ didn’t see Happy Hearts (raising roughly $3 million annually) on the list of nonprofits paying for a Clinton speech.Readers probably know that charities don’t often land the likes of Bill or Hillary Clinton to utter a few words at a fundraiser. The Long Beach Boys and Girls Club, for example, obviously has juice, having landed other speakers along the lines of Henry Kissinger, Tony Blair, Rudy Giuliani, and former presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush, Vogel reports. But big speaking fees often mean limited fundraising totals. That partially explains the Boys and Girls Club’s low return on the Clinton speech compared to Rice’s, in that paying Secretary Clinton $200,000 undoubtedly ate into the fundraising luncheon income.  Many charities expect that their big name speakers like Rice and Clinton will give back some or all of their fees, but Secretary Clinton didn’t do so. However, Clinton turned over her speaking fee to the Clinton Foundation for its philanthropic activities as opposed to pocketing it as personal income, as Bill Clinton did when he spoke at the Club in 2007.Apparently, unnamed sources close to the Boys and Girls Club weren’t happy that Secretary Clinton gave her speech (closed to the media) and “took off without visiting any of the club’s facilities to meet the children who benefit from its services.” As Vogel notes, “By contrast, Rice spent the morning before her speech (which was open to the media) touring a club facility and talking with its children about the importance of staying in school and chasing their dreams.” Hillary Clinton’s dream is now the White House, which means that she might not be spending time touring charity facilities in a state like California that is already check-marked for the Democratic presidential candidate in 2016.In her 2008 presidential campaign against an upstart unknown first-term senator from Illinois, Hillary Clinton voiced enough support for the policies and programs that charities rely on to warrant her “I ♥ Nonprofits” recognition. But looking to other charities (not trade associations! Charge them the going rate, Hillary!) for six-figure speaking fees that she can use to help fund her own foundation feels a bit self-obsessed and less than generally charitable.—Rick CohenShare447TweetShare10Email457 Shareslast_img read more