It was another big week for fans of UConn sports, with one former baseball star earning his first start in the MLB All-Star Game while a former Huskies’ men’s basketball player put pen to paper on a deal to join a perennial superteam in the NBA. That and more on this week’s edition of Quick Hits.
Springer gets the start
After months of fan voting to back up his excellent play on the field, former Husky George Springer of the Houston Astros was named to the MLB All-Star game where he will start in the outfield alongside the New York Yankees’ slugger Aaron Judge and reigning AL MVP Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels.
As a major part of the high-powered Houston lineup, Springer has been batting from the leadoff spot with a .298 average, along with 25 home runs and 55 RBI. The 2011 UConn graduate has had quite the knack for home runs to lead off games, hitting a league-leading nine lead-off home runs.
Springer is just the third former Husky ever to earn a starting spot in the mid-summer classic, joining pitcher Charles Nagy, who did so in 1996 with the Cleveland Indians, and first baseman Walt Dropo way back in 1950 with the Boston Red Sox.
Gay signs with the Spurs
Former UConn men’s basketball star Rudy Gay agreed to a two-year, $17.2 million dollar deal with the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night. The deal includes a second year option giving Gay the chance to opt out of his contract and re-enter free agency next season.
The Spurs have been a perennial championship contender for almost two decades under head coach Gregg Popovich. In need for a player with Gay’s experience and skillset to help them compete against the reigning champion Golden State Warriors, the Spurs had reportedly been actively recruiting Gay since the start of the free agency period on July 1.
Gay averaged 18.7 points and 6.3 rebounds per game in 30 games with the Sacramento Kings last season before a tear to his Achilles’ tendon ended his season. Still in rehab, Gay is expected to make a full recovery around the start of the 2017-18 season.
Orlovsky graduates 12 years after leaving for NFL
Former UConn football quarterback Dan Orlovsky officially graduated from UConn this week after completing the last few classes required to earn his degree as a Bachelor of General Studies.
Orlovsky came to Storrs as a freshman in 2001 and led the Huskies’ to their first bowl game appearance and victory in his senior season in 2004. The Shelton, Conn. native finished his UConn career as the school leader in pass completions (916), pass attempts (1,567), yards passing (10,706), touchdown passes (84), interceptions (51), total plays (1,710) and total yards (10,421).
Currently a free agent, Orlovsky has bounced around the league primarily as a backup for much of the last 12 years, playing for the Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Huskies bring in highest revenue among non-Power Five
In a recent USA Today database of revenues and expenses among the 230 public colleges and universities, UConn ranked 46th overall in revenue, the highest ranking among non-Power Five schools and higher than seven Power Five universities.
The database showed that the Huskies earned $79,229,275 in revenue, while spending $79,211,704. Both numbers were by far and away the highest in the American Athletic Conference, by approximately $20 million.
You can read more into USA Today’s annual study here: http://sports.usatoday.com/ncaa/finances/.