With 2017 coming to a close, we've compiled a list of the top sports stories according to you, the audience, from each month. Here is part one of the top sports stories for Northern California.
- Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins discussed their home loss against the Indiana Pacers, but was much more distraught after seeing his teammate Rudy Gay go down with an injury. Gay was carried off the floor after suffering a torn left Achilles tendon. “That’s a tough thing to watch, man,” Cousins said.
- Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James made a special announcement in his hotel room in Sacramento ahead of their matchup with the Kings. James’ first regular season game in the NBA was against the Kings at Arco Arena in 2003. This led to James reminiscing in a vlog about his first game before making a special announcement about his first ever game worn shoes.
- The San Francisco 49ers ended their 2016 season with a 2-14 record, which led to owner Jed York making the decision to clean house. Head coach Chip Kelly, along with General Manager Trent Baalke, were fired on New Years Day. That was Kelly’s first and only season with the team.
- The Kings got the entire sports world and the Sacramento community talking when they traded away their All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans during the NBA All-Star break. When Cousins came back to town, ABC10 got an exclusive interview with him before he boarded his flight to New Orleans. He discussed the trade, dealing with his emotions and how he will always remain part of the Sacramento community. “Just because I leave, doesn't mean anything changes,” he said. “I still got love for the city, still got love for the fans, that’ll never change and I still consider this place a home.”
- After the Kings traded center DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans during All-Star break, many wondered how life would be like post-Cousins. Willie Cauley-Stein talked about how he found out about the trade, losing three of his teammates and moving forward.
- Kansas City Chiefs’ Terrance Mitchell along with Ricky Reynolds and Alex Van Dyke – who also have NFL ties – returned to Sacramento’s own Luther Burbank High School to be honored. Mitchell was a seventh round pick, but has flourished in Kansas City, becoming a regular contributor and he thanked Burbank for the inspiration.
- The nine-year Elk Grove varsity football coach Chris Nixon formally withdrew his resignation, asking the Elk Grove Unified School District for his job back. The district gave Nixon the ultimatum of resigning as coach or face termination for his role in the construction of a structure near the football field. He was joined by hundreds of supporters who wanted to see him get his job back.
- The McClatchy Lady Lions prepared for their Girls Division 1 State Championship game at the Golden 1 Center against Windward. The team was looking for their second state title in a three-year span, with their first win coming in 2015.
- There’s nothing better than postseason basketball and the Sacramento area saw many section championship games, including one of the most notable matchups between the Woodcreek Timberwolves and the Sheldon Huskies. This Sac-Joaquin Section Championship game was an instant classic with Woodcreek edging Sheldon by the final score of 69-68, behind highly touted ESPN 100 recruit Jordan Brown.
- Kings legend Chris Webber talked about being back in town, discussed the Cousins trade and being a finalist for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
- Cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon, a Sacramento native and a former Christian Brothers High School and Sacramento City College star, talked with ABC10 about his journey to the NFL Draft and his unusual journey. Witherspoon went to the University of Colorado and was drafted by northern California’s own San Francisco 49ers.
- Cynthia Calvillo, a rising UFC star, fights with Sacramento mixed martial arts outfit Team Alpha Male. In this interview, she talked about her journey to becoming a professional fighter, making her UFC debut in March and UFC 210.
- The Kings finished the season with a 32-50 record. Kings’ general manager Vlade Divac and head coach Dave Joerger took to the podium to discuss the team’s season, the state of the team and upcoming offseason decisions that may be needed to propel them for the 2016-17 season.
Fairfield native Manuel "Tino" Avila prepared to battle Joseph Diaz Jr. in Las Vegas to become the #1 contender for the WBC Featherweight title belt.
New Kings' vice president of basketball operations Scott Perry talked with ABC10 about the team's successful day at the NBA Draft Lottery and player options for the fifth and 10th picks.
Justin Jackson, forward from North Carolina, talked about his pre-draft workout in Sacramento, impressions of the organization and more.
2016-17 National College Player of the Year Frank Mason III of the Kansas Jayhawks put on an incredible leaping exhibition at his second draft workout in Sacramento. The 5-foot-11 guard discussed the workout as well as meeting a local fan via social media.
The Kings selected Kentucky point guard De'Aaron Fox with the fifth overall pick in the NBA Draft. Fox spoke with Sacramento media about being a top five pick, the Sacramento community and where the organization is headed.
Skal Labissiere is following in the footsteps of legendary NBA players Michael Jordan and his hero Kobe Bryant who famously put an emphasis on training the mind. Labissiere discusses making mental skills training and meditation a priority since he was introduced to the philosophy as a teenager.
- Harry Giles, who was selected with the 20th overall pick in the NBA Draft, talked about silencing critics and cleared the air about a tweet he sent a few years ago about the city of Sacramento.
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