Royal Thalys pioneers first 300 km/h inter-capitals route

first_imgThe final piece of the TGV Nord-Europe jigsaw was slotted into place on December 10 when an inaugural Royal Thalys carried King Albert II and Queen Paola from Brussels to Paris and back to mark completion of the 71 km Belgian section of the 314·6 km high speed route. Murray Hughes was on board,’TODAY, FOR THE FIRST time in the history of international rail transport … two capitals are directly linked by services running at 300 km/h from end to end. We are very proud of this historic fact.’ Etienne Schouppe, Chief Managing Director of Belgian National Railways, was addressing guests at Brussels Midi station before departure of the Royal Thalys special train to Paris on December 10.Up on the platform, heavy rain and leaden skies seemed inauspicious omens for a royal launch as the final preparations were made. Quietly and without fuss, the first of three Thalys PBKA four-voltage sets slid out of one of the dedicated Thalys platforms to act as ‘sweeper’ ahead of the royal train waiting opposite. Camera crews jostled for position round the red nose of Thalys PBKA set 4303 as they sought to capture on film the black, red and yellow national flag. Other media crowded on a podium next to the car bearing the Royal crest below the door window.Minutes later the royal couple walked along the obligatory red carpet, chatted briefly with the waiting train crew, and boarded. Officials hurried the other guests into the meticulously turned-out set.Departure of Train 09386 at 10.33 was 8min later than scheduled, but by 10.46 the special was on the freshly built high speed line beyond Lembeek. Driver Walgraef at once opened up, and at 10.48 an SNCB official announced that the train had reached 300 km/h. Back in Brussels, and unnoticed by the press, a reserve Thalys unit set out for Paris.Sound barriers briefly obscured the view as the train sped towards France, but when the sodden landscape reappeared there were only leafless poplars and heaps of sugar beet to break up the plain. Staff at the lineside in yellow high-visibility jackets offered a flash of colour against the monochrome background.On board, hostesses in mauve Thalys uniforms began serving champagne and canapés at 10.50, coming into unfortunate conflict with prowling TV crews.A rock-steady ride belied the rate of progress, and attempts to detect the transition from Belgian to French track proved fruitless. There was a brief glimpse of the Fretin triangle outside Lille, and at 11.06 a Eurostar passing to a backdrop of the distinctive slagheap at Hénin-Beaumont confirmed we were well inside France. Set 4303 streaked through the mist and rain towards Paris.French pageantryGare du Nord was filled with sound and colour. The Royal couple arrived to a red carpet welcome with a guard of honour; military bands played the Belgian and French national anthems.While protocol and officialdom dominated the proceedings, there were other questions to be asked. The train had made up all 8min of the late start, and journey time from Brussels Midi was just 78min and 46sec. Enquiries to the traction inspector in the cab about the maximum speed attained prompted the response ‘strictly no more than 300 km/h’, but the driver’s grin and twinkling eyes told a different story.The royals were whisked off for lunch at the Elysée, and other mortals were bussed, with police escort, to a venue on the other side of Paris. Return to the Gare du Nord was by the same method, much to the anxiety of a very senior officer of French National Railways who was heard to remark to his Belgian counterpart that he was getting SNCF a bad name among Parisians for holding up the traffic.Arrival back at Nord found set 4303 turned so that the Royal couple could again travel in a specially turned out car near the front of the train. The ‘sweeper’ left at 15.50, followed by the Royal special at 15.58.The graffiti-covered walls of the Paris suburbs were soon lost to view, and by 16.20 the clouds were breaking to reveal shafts of sunlight and glimpses of pale blue over the gently rolling countryside. The train’s long shadow appeared briefly in the lineside fields as Thalys staff served juice, coffee and patisseries. Cars and lorries on the crowded autoroute du nord parallel to the TGV line appeared at a standstill as we swept past in the gathering twilight.At 17.05 the brakes squealed for the approach to Brussels, and piped music stirred those who had dozed off after their midday feasting. The Brussels Eurostar terminal appeared brightly lit out of the gloom as the Thalys set drew up in Midi station, but in contrast to those journeying from London, no passport or other checks awaited those who had left Paris just 78min earlier. CAPTION: Flag-bedecked Thalys PBKA set 4303 after arrival at Paris Gare du Nord on December 10CAPTION: His Majesty King Albert II (right) and Queen Paola wait to board. Belgium’s Royal crest adorned the entrance to the Royal coach (inset)CAPTION: President of French National Railways Louis Gallois (right) confers briefly with Chief Managing Director of Belgian National Railways Etienne Schouppe before the Royal Thalys returned to BrusselsLe Thalys royal inaugure la dernière liaison du TGV Nord EuropeLe roi Albert II et la reine Paola de Belgique ont ouvert officiellement la section belge de la ligne à grande vitesse Paris – Bruxelles le 10 décembre lorsqu’ils ont fait le trajet entre les deux capitales en 1h 18minutes dans un train Thalys royal spécial. Les services réguliers sont passés sur la nouvelle ligne en Belgique le 14 décembre, réduisant la durée du trajet entre Paris – Bruxelles, Paris – Cologne et Londres – Bruxelles. Les cinq sociétés de chemins de fer impliquées prévoient une solide croissance du trafic au fur et à mesure que les voyageurs profiteront de la première ligne à grande vitesse internationaleKöniglicher Thalys eröffnet letzte Verbindung von TGV Nord EuropeAm 10. Dezember wurde der belgische Abschnitt der Hochgeschwindigkeitsstrecke zwischen Paris und Brüssel offiziell von König Albert II und Königin Paola von Belgien auf einer Reise in einem königlichen Thalys-Sonderzug zwischen den beiden Hauptstädten eröffnet, die 1Stunde und 18Minuten dauerte. Der fahrplanmä§ige Verkehr ging vom 14. Dezember an zur neuen Strecke in Belgien über und verkürzt die Reisezeiten zwischen Paris – Brüssel, Paris – Köln und London – Brüssel. Die fünf beteiligten Eisenbahnen sagen eine starke Verkehrszunahme voraus, wenn Reisende die Vorteile der ersten internationalen Hochgeschwindigkeitsstrecke in Europa nutzenRoyal Thalys inaugura el enlace final en el TGV Nord EuropeEl Rey Alberto II y la Reina Paola de Bélgica abrieron formalmente la sección belga de la línea de alta velocidad París – Bruselas en 10 de diciembre cuando viajaron en un tren Royal Thalys especial entre las dos capitales en 1hora y 18minutos. Los servicios regulares cambiar? n a la nueva línea belga desde el 14 de diciembre, recortando la duración del viaje entre París – Bruselas, París – Colonia y Londres – Bruselas. Se prevé que los cinco ferrocarriles participantes disfruten de un gran crecimiento del tr? fico desde el momento en el que los pasajeros aprovechen la primera línea de alta velocidad internacional de Europalast_img read more

Dutch pension funds may be ‘forced’ to draw on foreign board expertise

first_imgDutch pension funds may be forced to call on foreign board expertise as they face hundreds of potential board vacancies over the next 2-3 years, experts have warned. During a recent seminar on governance organised by asset manager F&C, several experts on a discussion panel responded positively to a suggestion from the audience that Dutch schemes should consider drawing on foreign board expertise.The discussion followed the prediction by Maas Simon, a partner at pension board consultancy Xudoo, that increased legal demands with respect to board-member expertise and time constraints – as well as the ageing of serving board members – would lead to 500-600 vacancies over the next few years.Mike van Engelen, a partner at pensions adviser Montae, said: “Foreign expertise is worth considering, as many themes within the international pensions sector are similar.” However, he argued that cultural differences would first need to be overcome.His view was echood by Casper van Ewijk, director at Netspar, the network for pension researchers and professionals, who suggested new people could provide a fresh look at old issues.Xander den Uyl, former vice-chairman of the €300bn civil service scheme ABP, pointed out that international expertise was already being used for investment decisions, while Tim Kamphorst, a headhunter and partner at The Executive Network, suggested that foreign experts might be deployed in asset management.“But it is unlikely that they can contribute in areas such as pension arrangements and specific Dutch legislation, including the financial assessment framework FTK,” he told IPE.However, a significant majority of the attending pensions professionals rejected the possibility of recruting top board members abroad.Jan-Jaap Dahmeijer, superviser at pensions regulator De Nederlandsche Bank, questioned whether Dutch schemes were putting sufficient effort into finding independent and capable board members.“Currently, women are hardly represented on the boards of pension funds,” he added.last_img read more

Philips pension fund ramps up risk in bid to strengthen financial position

first_imgCurrently, the liability-matching portfolio accounts for 70% of the scheme’s assets, divided across euro-denominated bonds (62.5%), global government bonds (15%), credit (15%) and Dutch mortgages (7.5%).The portfolio’s aim is to finance 64% of the pension fund’s nominal liabilities.The scheme’s remaining assets have been placed in the return portfolio, meant to finance remaining liabilities, unexpected inflation, longevity risk and indexation. The return portfolio consists of equity, property, emerging market debt and high-yield credit.The new investment mix is expected to generate an extra return of 0.5-1 percentage points, according to the spokeswoman. Following the pension fund’s increased risk profile, its required coverage ratio – currently 107% – should rise, the scheme said.The Philips Pensioenfonds, which has a funding of 115% at the moment, said its financial position had gradually deteriorated as a consequence of its predominantly risk-avoiding investment portfolio.Since 1 January, the scheme has offered a collective defined contribution plan, with the employer contributing 24% of the combined salaries but not required to meet any shortfall.The pension fund reported a second-quarter return of 5.4%.It said its liabilities portfolio generated 6.2% due to falling interest rates, and that its return portfolio delivered 3.6%.The pension fund has also changed its board set-up, following the introduction of new legislation for pension fund governance on 1 July.Since then, it has had an independently chaired non-executive board of employer, social partners and pensioners, and an executive consisting of its chief executive and CIO as independent experts.The Philips pension fund has 57,400 pensioners and 31,300 deferred members, as well as 14,200 active participants.The scheme reported an investment result of 0.9% over 2013, following a 4.3% loss on its liabilities portfolio and a 14.3% return on its return holdings. The €16.7bn pension fund for electronics giant Philips is looking to improve its financial position by scaling back its risk-avoiding fixed income portfolio in favour of riskier investments. As a consequence, it is to replace some of its holdings in euro-denominated bonds with UK and US government bonds, as well as credit.In addition, it plans to exchange some bonds for equity, it said. A spokeswoman for the scheme told IPE the adjustment of the investment mix must result in a 60% liability-matching portfolio and a 40% return portfolio. last_img read more

Wärtsilä Boasts Strong Scrubber Demand ahead of 2020 Sulphur Cap

first_imgFinnish technology group Wärtsilä is cashing in on increasing demand for scrubbers driven by the approaching IMO 2020 sulphur regulations.“This boosted order intake in both Marine Solutions and Services. Marine Solutions’ orders were further supported by the continued high level of activity in the cruise and ferry segment. “In the energy markets, postponed investment decisions for certain projects adversely affected Energy Solutions’ order intake. Nevertheless, a healthy project pipeline provides confidence in improved activity going forward,” Jaakko Eskola, President and CEO of Wärtsilä said in the company’s latest business report.Wärtsilä is one of the three largest suppliers of scrubbers on the market, which together with Alfa Laval and Yara Marine, holds over 50 percent of the market share.Related: Scrubbers Winning Owners’ Hearts ahead of 2020 Sulphur CapDuring the third quarter of the year, the company’s overall order intake was stable standing at EUR 1.37 billion. Net sales increased 13% to EUR 1.33 billion year-on-year.For the nine-month period, order intake increased 7% to EUR 4.43 billion year-on-year and net sales recorded an increase of 5% to EUR 3.64 billion. Order book at the end of the period increased 16% to EUR 5.91 billion.Moving forward, the company expects the demand for its services and solutions in 2018 to improve somewhat, driven mainly by the global shift towards renewable energy sources and increasing electricity demand in the emerging markets.The company’s current order book for 2018 deliveries amounts to EUR 1.36 billion and is comprised mainly of equipment deliveries.last_img read more

Coronavirus: Japan to lose $12.9billion in Olympic cancellation

first_img Promoted ContentThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read MoreCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable Way11 Most Immersive Game To Play On Your Table TopWhat Happens When You Eat Eggs Every Single Day?The Top 9 Oddest Underwater Discoveries No One Can Explain7 Ways To Understand Your Girlfriend BetterCan You Recognize These Cute Celeb Baby Faces?Which Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme Parks7 Universities In The World Where Education Costs Too MuchThe 10 Best Secondary Education Systems In The World8 Superfoods For Growing Hair Back And Stimulating Its Growth Hosts of the 2020 Olympics Japan are likely to lose about 1.35 trillion yen (about 12.9billion dollars) should the event be cancelled due to the ravaging effect of Coronavirus it has been revealed. At the end of 2019, organisers estimated the total cost of the Games at around 1.35 trillion yen. That is divided between the city of Tokyo, which is paying 597 billion yen, the Japanese organising committee, which contributes 603 billion yen and the central government, which is paying 150 billion yen. But the actual costs for the country have been hotly debated, with a widely publicised audit report estimating national government spending from the bid in 2013 until 2018 at 1.06 trillion yen, nearly 10 times the budget. Japanese businesses have also poured money into the event in sponsorships, paying out a record 348 billion yen. And that figure doesn’t include the partnerships signed between major companies and the International Olympic Committee for rights to sponsor several Games. Among those are giants including Japan’s Toyota, Bridgestone and Panasonic. According to analysts at Capital Economics, one key factor to consider in terms of how a cancellation might hit Japan’s economy is that most of the spending has already happened. Loading… center_img Economists at research firm Nomura already predict a 0.7-percent contraction in GDP for the 2020 calendar year, but warn that could be up to 1.5 percent if the Games are cancelled. Olympic Ministers Seiko Hashimoto postponement being considered as against cancellation Takashi Miwa, an economist at the firm, told AFP the main impact would be on domestic spending, because a cancellation of the Games “would badly affect Japanese consumer confidence”. So far 4.5 million tickets have been sold in Japan, with around 7.8 million expected to be sold overall, 20 to 30 percent of them internationally. Japan’s tourism ministry in 2018 projected around 600 000 foreign spectators would come for the Olympics. Organisers are tinkering with the idea of postponing the Games to later in the year as worst case scenario. Olympics minister Seiko Hashimoto has said Japan’s agreement with the International Olympic Committee to host the 2020 games could be deferred until the winter. Read AlsoCancelling Tokyo Olympics ‘inconceivable’: Japan minister “The contract calls for the games to be held within 2020. That could be interpreted as allowing a postponement,” the minister said in response to a question in parliament. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 last_img read more

All lanes closed on Federal Highway in Deerfield Beach due to gas leak

first_imgFederal Highway in Deerfield Beach is currently shut down in both directions after  construction workers accidentally struck a gas line near Northeast Eller Street.Chief Michael Kane of the Fire Rescue Battalion in Broward told Local 10 that the pipe affected supplies gas to a nearby shopping center.Authorities are currently working to contain the leak, however, all southbound and northbound lanes are closed north of Hillsboro Boulevard.This is a developing story.last_img

In it to win it – Cassie Small gets ready for Nationals

first_imgNEW Campbellville Secondary School fifth former, Cassie Small, admits that she is not fully 100 percent ready for next week’s National Schools Championships (Nationals), having put her athletics on hold as she prepares for her CSEC exams. However the 17-year-old is still looking forward to see how it goes.“To be honest I wouldn’t say that I’m that fully prepared, I only started training a few weeks now, but I’m going in with a strong mindset hoping to do my best as always,” Small shared.Cassie Small“I don’t underestimate anyone but I am always confident in myself and as I always say I am in it to win it.”Small admits that it’s often hard for her to balance her athletics and her academics, but with high hopes for both areas, she tries to make the best of things as much as she possibly can.“It’s nothing easy balancing both track and studies and all these things, but hopefully I take it as far as possible,” said Small, who shared her aspirations of studying medicine, but also to take her athletic pursuits as far as she possibly can.Small will be representing East Georgetown (District 12) at the weeklong competition that will see rivalry in age-group swimming, cycling and track & field competitions. She’ll be in the Girls’ Under-20 category where she will have a packed week competing in the 100m, 200m, 400m, as well as the 4x100m and 4x400m relays.This will be her first year in the Under-20 category, after exiting the Under-18 category last year with a gold medal in the 100m and silver from the 200m.However, the super upcoming Runners Athletics Club athlete is hoping to lean on the experience that she picked up earlier this year, which included her participation at the Penn Relays as well as a six-month training stint that she did in New York.She will also be able to lean on her five years of experience at Nationals. Small first began participating at Nationals in 2011, when she finally decided that she was ready to take her athletic skills seriously.But for Small her athletic capabilities go way farther back than that.“I’ve always been running for as long as I can remember. Every time I would get sent somewhere, or go to the shop I would run. My grandmother used to joke and call me “Running Brave daughter” because of how much I used to run all the time,” Small said.Although she did some running while she was young, it was Mercury Fast Laners athletics club coach, Christopher Gaskin, who finally convinced Small to take her running seriously and join his club, in 2011. She saw the fruits almost instantly.Then as a student of the Thomas Moore Primary, Small landed a place on the South Georgetown (District 12) team to Nationals, competing in all the sprints of the Girls’ Under-12 category. She copped gold in all three events.She has never missed a year at Nationals since, racking up quite the haul of medals along the way, and this year she’s very much looking to increase the tally.last_img read more

In senior season, SU field hockey’s Befort transitions back to original forward position

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments Published on November 2, 2010 at 12:00 pmcenter_img Maggie Befort doesn’t care what position she plays. She just wants to be on the field. ‘She can go wherever, whenever,’ SU field hockey head coach Ange Bradley said. And that’s why the coach is doing all she can to make sure her star player gets on the field as much as possible. That’s why — with only weeks of eligibility remaining on Befort’s four-year career — Bradley has decided to move SU’s all-time leading scorer from back to forward, a position she hasn’t played since her freshman season. ‘She knows how to find a way with no time on the clock, and she is just a great competitor,’ Bradley said. ‘She likes to shoot, she knows how to press and she can finish. That’s what we need, and that’s what we are looking for.’ For the past two seasons and the first 11 games this year, Befort has lined up as a back in the Orange’s formation. At the start of the season, she was the central hub of Bradley’s defense, the most experienced and well-decorated player on the unit.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text But after the rise of players like sophomore Iona Holloway and freshman Laura Hahnefeldt and the continued development of two experienced defenders in sophomore Amy Kee and junior Nicole Nelson, it became obvious that Befort’s talents weren’t needed as much as they were at the start of the season. On Oct. 10, in a game against Albany, Befort was unexpectedly benched for what Bradley deemed as ‘an internal team matter.’ But five days later, Befort came off the bench against Stanford at forward. Since then, she’s been a fixture at the position. Instead of keeping all five players on defense, Bradley recognized the opportunity she had. Befort is too talented to be on the bench, and with a promising group of defenders in place, a switch could be made. ‘Maggie likes to shoot and score,’ Bradley said. ‘She likes to be in the heat of it, and that’s why she is there.’ As a freshman, Befort had one of the best seasons ever by an SU field hockey player. She registered a total of 35 points with 12 goals and 11 assists in 2007. The 35 points were ninth most by a Syracuse player in a single season. Befort said her experience playing forward as a freshman is something that has benefited her this year and allowed for a seamless transition despite coming so late in the season. ‘I have played against it, I’ve watched it and I understand it,’ Befort said. ‘It’s just kind of getting the chemistry right with the other girls that play forward.’ Befort’s first weekend at forward this season came when the team was on a two-game road trip three weeks ago. She had an assist against Stanford and then became the first SU player to get a hat trick this season in the match against Georgetown. The 10 points brought Befort’s career point total to 120, the most in program history. Befort said she only had to make minor adjustments in the switch back to her old position, and it showed to Bradley in her results. ‘I guess the biggest difference is the amount of risk that you can take,’ Bradley said. ‘As a defender you are typically in a low-risk position, where you take care of the ball. As a forward you take chances and take calculated risks and try to put yourself on the line.’ Even though Befort no longer plays on the defensive side of the ball, she said she is still able to take away from her experiences as an All-Big East defender. One of the things that Befort found difficult was when an opposing player attempted to cross the ball while going at full speed. So she tries to translate some of those defensive experiences into her play on offense. ‘I kind of understand how they want me to play into them, and I understand where they are probably weak,’ Befort said. Bradley said she decided to make the change to make sure she could put the most talent on the field as possible. The Orange has won six straight games, making Bradley’s change look good heading into the Big East tournament. The coaching staff has said all year that it decides who will play where on a game-by-game basis, but when it comes time for postseason play, at least one thing is certain: Befort will be on the field. ‘Maggie is the player on our team that could play goalkeeper, fullback, halfback, midfielder and forward,’ Bradley said. ‘Maggie Befort loves to compete and loves to play for Syracuse.’ rwmarfur@syr.edulast_img read more

Syracuse men’s soccer opponent preview: What to know about Clemson

first_imgIn a rematch of last year’s College Cup semifinal, No. 6 Syracuse (10-3-1, 3-2-1 Atlantic Coast) visits No. 8 Clemson (9-2-3, 3-1-2) on Friday night. With a win, the Orange would jump Clemson in the ACC Atlantic standings and put itself in a position to secure a first-round bye in the conference tournament as one of the league’s top four teams.Here’s everything you need to know about the matchup.All-time series: Syracuse leads, 3-1-1Last time they played: The Tigers ended SU’s memorable run through the 2016 NCAA tournament, defeating Ian McIntyre’s side in penalty kicks to end its season. Syracuse outshot Clemson, 15-5, but neither team scored in 110 minutes and the Tigers advanced to the national title on penalty kicks. Chris Nanco had four shots on goal for SU, but Clemson goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell turned in a heroic performance and tallied eight saves on the night.What to know about the Tigers: Clemson sits in the middle of the ACC in most offensive categories and averages 1.57 goals per game, which is right behind Syracuse’s 1.71. The Tigers just snapped a two-game winless streak with a 3-2 win against Brown. Prior to that, CU had only won once in four games. The two teams have had four common opponents this season. Clemson lost to UNC, while Syracuse tied. The Tigers and Orange both beat Virginia Tech and North Carolina State, and Clemson tied Boston College while SU beat the Eagles. Later on, the Orange plays Wake Forest and the Tigers play Louisville. SU lost to Louisville earlier in the season and Clemson beat Wake Forest.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textHow Syracuse beats Clemson: Get Nanco on the scoresheet. Yes, Syracuse has plenty of offensive depth to rely on other scorers, but a goal from Nanco would do wonders for not only him but a Syracuse team that hasn’t gotten a goal from its starting forward since Sept. 9 against N.C. State. Nanco has generated the fourth-most shots in the ACC but doesn’t have much to show for it. This Clemson team has seven shutouts on the year. A defense equally stingy to SU’s won’t allow too many chances, so the player that musters up the most for SU needs to finally break through on one.Stats to know:10 – Ten different players have scored for Clemson this year.198 – The Tigers’ 198 fouls rank second in the ACC behind Syracuse’s 201.40 ¬– Diego Campos has registered 40 shots this season. Nobody else on the team has more than 24.Player to watch: Diego Campos, forward, No. 9Campos leads Clemson with 13 points on five goals and three assists. The 5-foot-10, 166-pound junior from Costa Rica had three of Clemson’s five shots in the teams’ last meeting but didn’t take a penalty kick. He has 20 shots on goal – no other player on the team is in double digits – and has scored three game-winning goals this season. Comments Published on October 21, 2016 at 1:15 pm Contact Matt: | @matt_schneidman Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Howard Washington attended 3 different high schools to end up at the only college he wanted

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Editor’s note: In late October, freshman forward Oshae Brissett told The Daily Orange: “Our freshmen, people don’t know how good we are.” Granted, no one knows just how good the four freshmen are yet, but in a four-part series this week, The D.O. tells you who they are.Howard Washington’s family was in Orangeville, Ontario, ready to watch him play. It was March 11, which was also the birthday of Howard Washington Sr., Washington’s father.The Washingtons are from Buffalo, just a few hours west of Syracuse. Father and son both grew up Syracuse basketball fans.After the game, one of Washington’s coaches, Tony McIntyre, called the family into his office. There, they got a phone call from SU assistant coach Adrian Autry. Tears streamed down Washington’s face as Autry said Syracuse was offering him a scholarship.Washington’s journey wasn’t the most straightforward one. As a 16-year-old, he went to a basketball academy in Florida, about 1,000 miles from home. He committed to Butler, then decommitted. He attended a prep school in a different country. He waited until this past March to get offered a scholarship from SU. He felt overlooked by everyone.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textNow, Washington is exactly where he wants to be.“It’s always been a dream for me to come play at Syracuse,” Washington said.Like most other kids in his area, Washington started playing football and basketball as a kid. By the time he was 7, though, his parents realized that he excelled far more on the hardwood. By the time he was 12, he was already vastly ahead of most of the local competition.Washington Sr. has lived his entire life in Buffalo, where, he said, he saw a lot of great young players struggle in college because local competition was too weak to build them into good players at the next level. He didn’t want the same thing to happen to his son.The family looked at different options. One it considered was Athlete Institute, a prep school in Canada. But it was too new at the time, Washington Sr. said, and he wanted to send his son to a school with a proven track record.So, before the 2014-15 season, after two years at Canisius (New York) High School, Washington enrolled at Montverde (Florida) Academy, a powerhouse that’s produced consistent Division I and NBA talent.The year before Washington got there, the school had D’Angelo Russell, current Brooklyn Nets guard and the No. 2 pick in the 2015 NBA draft. He played against both Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball, the top two picks in the 2017 draft. In his first year there, Washington shared the starting lineup with Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers forward and the No. 1 pick in the 2016 draft. Montverde won the national championship that season.“At the time, Montverde was the best in the country,” Washington Sr. said. “He gained a lot of experience and toughness playing against other Division I players in practice … you can’t really replicate that experience.”Offers started coming in for Washington, and in November of his senior year he committed to play at Butler. That April though, he decommitted. He felt he wasn’t physically ready to play at that level, so he decided to take a prep year.This time, the family once again looked into Athlete Institute. One of the coaches there, McIntyre, had met Washington when he was in seventh grade and had a good relationship with the family. McIntyre is also the father of former Syracuse guard Tyler Ennis, with whom Washington is good friends. The two still work out together when Ennis returns home from the NBA season.SU head coach Jim Boeheim said at the team’s media day that Washington’s style of play reminds him of Ennis, except that Washington is a better shooter. Assistant coach Gerry McNamara expressed a similar sentiment, saying that it was specifically their pace of play. McIntyre also sees the resemblance.Ali Harford | Senior Design EditorWhen Washington came to Athlete Institute, his main goal was gaining weight and becoming stronger. He had more access to the gym than he did at Montverde and went for early morning workouts with McIntyre.“When you look at him when he came in, he was still pretty skinny,” McIntyre said. “His body is bigger. It’s (readier) for college. His shot is better, his leadership skills are better. His confidence is way up and I think those were all things that all changed when he came to us.”At this time last year, Washington weighed 163 pounds, he said. Now, he’s almost up to 180. Still, even though he’s physically readier, there are still things he needs to work on. McNamara said that because Washington has good court vision and awareness, he sometimes predetermines where he wants to pass the ball. That could become an issue if Washington’s teammates aren’t where he expected them to be, or if the defense reads his eyes and picks the pass off.Washington’s ready to embrace the challenge. He’s pushed, he said, by proving naysayers wrong. He’s heard the whispers — that he’s too small, that he’s not athletic enough and that he won’t make it to a higher level. It’s what led him to be bounce around so much during his high school years.“Saying I’m going to school in a different country, or city, was crazy,” Washington said. “I feel like it sped up my growing up process … you’re basically on your own out there.”Through it all, Washington never lost sight of his end goal. Washington Sr. estimates that at one point there were about 24 schools that expressed interest in his son. But Washington wanted to hold out for Syracuse.He’s here now. And given the state of the Orange roster — he’s one of four scholarship guards who’ll be eligible play to play this year — he has the opportunity to contribute right away.“At the end of the day,” Washington Sr. said, “he gets to play at the school that he’s been dreaming of since he was 8 years old.” Comments Published on November 5, 2017 at 8:49 pm Contact Tomer: | @tomer_langerlast_img read more