This week in Gophers’ sports: 6/15-6/21

by Grant Donald

With the completion of the NCAA Track and Field Championships last Saturday , the book can officially be closed on the 2014-15 Gophers season .

At the track championships, 11 athletes represented the Gophers with eight of those individuals earning All-American honors including Minnesota’s 4×400-meter women’s relay team.

With now every Gophers’ sport in some portion of their offseason, the focus of the “This week in Gophers’ sports” series will be towards highlighting major offseason storylines and keeping up with Minnesota’s athletes that are competing in various leagues around the world.

This week’s installment includes a former Gophers basketball player who has a chance at wrapping up a championship this week … in the German Basketball League.

Mbakwe leads Brose Basketball in finals – June 17

Yes former Gophers basketball star Trevor Mbakwe  is still playing basketball and yes he is still very effective.

Mbakwe’s team, Brose Basketball located in Bamberg, Germany,  has made a lengthy playoff run that could culminate in a German League championships this Wednesday if they can get by Bayern Munich one more time.

After Bayern Munich won the first game of the best-of-five series,  Mbakwe’s 10 points and five rebounds in Game 2  and his 13 points and a team-high 9 rebounds in Game 3  have paved the way for Brose Basket’s 2-1 series advantage.

Mbakwe is a starting forward for Brose Baskets and is averaging 10.3 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game. 

Gophers clash in the Northwoods League – June 19-20

Six Gophers will  be taking the baseball diamond in Rochester, Minn., this Friday and Saturday when the Willmar Stingers travel to the Rochester Honkers  in a Northwoods League game.

For Willmar, Gophers pitcher Tyler Hanson  has posted a 2-0 record with a 1.08 ERA in three starts.  Gophers outfielder Dan Motl  also plays for the Stingers and has maintained a .317 batting average and has knocked in 5 RBIs.

Highlighing the Gophers on Rochester’s roster is second baseman Connor Schaefbauer  who is hitting .235 with 4 RBIs and 1 homerun.

All together, there are 22 Gophers competing across 10 teams in the Northwoods League.  For a complete list of players, go here.

Jarvis Johnson not medically clear to play

The Gophers announced Monday that incoming freshman and former DeLaSalle star Jarvis Johnson will not be medically cleared to play basketball this season.

To go along with the university’s statement, head coach Richard Pitino  also expressed his condolences to Johnson, who has dealt with heart problems all of his live.

“Unfortunately, Jarvis Johnson will not be playing on our team this season,” Pitino said in a statement. “However, we are extremely excited that he has decided to accept his scholarship and pursue his undergraduate degree here at the U, where he will also remain a part of our program. Jarvis is a tremendous young man, and we support him and look forward to having him here.”