Andy Enfield photographed by Brian Chin | Daily TrojanMen’s basketball recruit J’Raan Brooks announced his decision to decommit from USC and reopen his commitment on Twitter last Friday afternoon. “Due to unforeseen circumstances stemming from the recent news that has come to light in regards to the Trojan basketball program — I have decided to reopen my commitment to examine other available options,” Brooks said in his tweet. “While USC is still very much a possibility, the uncertainty of their situation has led me to believe I should reassess my own.” Brooks, a 6-foot-8 forward from Seattle, becomes the first of head coach Andy Enfield’s three 2018 recruits to decommit from the program just three weeks after news broke of an FBI investigation of assistant coach Tony Bland and multiple other Power Five basketball schools.While Brooks is staying away from USC for the time being, the Trojans are still an option for the four-star recruit in the future — if Enfield and the rest of his staff escape NCAA sanctions.“I have nothing but the utmost respect for Coach Enfield, the rest of the staff, the school and fans of the program,” Brooks said. “However, I need to make sure what I do is best for my future, and ensure I am making an informed decision, while seeing how this process transpires.”Brooks has been quiet regarding potential schools of interest since his announcement last weekend. Washington, a school just three miles north of where Brooks played high school ball at Garfield High, is in the hunt for Brooks, along with Pac-12 rivals Cal, Stanford and Washington State.The rest of the 2018 class, four-star recruits Taeshon Cherry and Kevin Porter, remain committed to USC for the time being despite the allegations surrounding Bland, the Trojans’ head basketball recruiter.Cherry, a 6-foot-8 forward from San Diego’s Saint Augustine High, decided to come to USC due to his close relationship with Bland.“I have a good relationship with Tony and Enfield,” Cherry said in an interview withScout.com. “Their style of play really fits my style of play, and it’s a perfect fit for me.” Cherry is listed as ESPN’s 22nd-best player in the 2018 class and announced his commitment just days after Brooks.Fellow Seattle resident Porter, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard from local Rainier Beach, remains committed to USC despite offers from UCLA, Memphis and Washington, among others.For now, Enfield brings back most of his 2016-17 roster, along with three top 2017 recruits in Charles O’Bannon, Jr., Victor Uyaelunmo and Jordan Usher. But questions still remain for the Trojans come 2018 and beyond. Along with senior guards Jordan McLaughlin, Kurt Karis and Elijah Stewart, starting junior forwards Bennie Boatwright and Chimezie Metu are expected to leave school early to try their luck in next year’s NBA Draft.With starting jobs up for grabs in 2018, USC could potentially land another recruit in Brooks’ place if he decides to forgo Enfield’s offer. Of ESPN’s top 100 recruits for 2018, just three have signed letters of intent. Along with local five-star center Bol Bol, USC is still in the hunt for No. 1 overall prospect R.J. Barrett and four-star prospects Elijah Weaver, Khavon Moore and Kamaka Hepa. Considering both Bol and Barrett have fielded offers from top-flight programs like Kentucky and Arizona, USC would be more likely to land Weaver, Moore and Hepa if Brooks elects to sign with another team.If those targets aren’t interested, Enfield and company could potentially save that scholarship for a top player in the loaded 2019 class. While top overall recruit James Wiseman is likely to stay put in the southeast,11th-ranked shooting guard Cassius Stanley from Sierra Canyon or 16th-ranked forward Onyeka Okongwu from Chino Hills could be drifting toward USC. Regardless of undecided recruits in 2018 and 2019, USC awaits the verdicts in the FBI investigations with fingers crossed. The Trojans open their season at home against Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 10.
As the Rotary Club of New Amsterdam observes its 32nd anniversary, the Club continues to make a difference in the lives of many.This was highlighted when the Club officially observed its anniversary recently at a simple ceremony during which New Amsterdam’s Mayor, Winifred Haywood, congratulated the Club’s President, Rafeek Kassim, for the outstanding work it had been doing.Speaking at the event, which was held at Hand-in-Hand lawns in New Amsterdam, Kassim noted that the Club, over the past 32 years, hosts an annual dinner to observe world peace and understanding day where either a Head of State of Ambassador is invited to address the topic of world peace.In the area of disease prevention and care, the Rotary Club of New Amsterdam has hosted several programmes with the aim of eradicating polio while large sums were spent on securing lens for cataract surgeries in Berbice. The Club, over the years, also held medical outreaches to address diabetes.“In water and sanitation, a well at was dug at Gangarram which services that entire community. Also, the most recent project is that of its pure water supply project which has so far seen eight schools benefiting from pure filtered water.”In the area of maternal health and child care, the Club would have built the current Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the New Amsterdam Hospital.“Last year we did a medical outreach in the Waruni area where PAP smears were done for cervical cancer. A school was build at Manchester by the Club which falls under education and literacy.“Annually we hold a programme called RYLP [Rotary Youth Leadership Program]; empowering our youths in leadership skills.In the area of economic and community development, Kassim said the Esplanade Park stands out as the Club embraced the project in its initial stage.The Mayor, in words of encouragement, urged the Club to continue its good work.Meanwhile, past President Tajepaul Ajoeda explained that it was the Georgetown Rotary Club which sponsored the New Amsterdam Club. He said the Club now has three more members than when it started 32 years ago. However, the 23 members represent a figure well below the peak of 36 members.Among the achievements of the Club is the best club award which was presented to the Club in Guadeloupe in 1993.The Club was nominated in 2018 for a similar award but did not win. In 1994, the Club won an international award for its outstanding service to the community. The Club also received several citations from Rotary International from 1991 to 1994.The New Amsterdam Rotary Club is also the sponsor of the Corriverton Rotary Club.
BAKU, Sept. 29 (Xinhua) — Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan expressed their commitment to solving the decades-old Nagorno-Karabakh conflict through negotiations, according to an official statement released on Saturday. The two leaders had a brief conversation on the sidelines of a meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Commonwealth of Independent States in the Tajik capital of Dushanbe, during which they also affirmed their commitment to reinforcing the 1994 cease-fire regime, the Azerbaijani president’s press service said in a statement.Armenia and Azerbaijan have been locked in a bitter dispute over the mountainous region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh first broke out in 1988, when the region claimed independence from Azerbaijan to join Armenia.Peace talks have been held since 1994 when a cease-fire was reached, but there have been occasional minor clashes in the past along the borders.Aliyev and Pashinyan also agreed to develop mechanisms for establishing contacts between the two countries.On Thursday, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov and his Armenian counterpart Zohrab Mnatsakanyan discussed the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict on the sidelines of the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.In a statement made following the meeting of the foreign ministers, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Minsk Group, which mediates the dispute, urged Azerbaijan and Armenia “to engage constructively in a positive atmosphere, and to avoid inflammatory rhetoric.” London best pest control