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'Making two countries proud' UCLA's Jaime Jáquez Jr playing for both



INDIANAPOLIS — Jaime Jáquez Sr. says there are no words to describe the emotions he feels when he sees his son’s name on the back of a UCLA jersey, as the blue blood-turned-blue collar team has played its way into the men’s Final Four as an upstart No. 11 seed. That’s because the Jáquez name represents a lineage in Mexican-American heritage that started when his grandparents came to Oxnard, California from Sinaloa and Durango in Mexico.»I grew up rooting for UCLA just like the Lakers and Dodgers, so to have my son playing for the Bruins on this stage, it doesn’t feel normal,» an emotional Jáquez Sr. told USA TODAY Sports of his son, Jaime Jáquez Jr. «But when I see our family name on the back of the jersey, it makes me so proud. I wish there was an X-ray that could show the feelings I have in my heart. Because it represents (seizing) the opportunity and how far our family has come.»When my grandparents came to the states and crossed the border, they came here to better their lives – to live the American dream.»That American dream has always paid respect to its Mexican roots, emphasizing family ties to culture – a sense of pride Jáquez Sr. has passed down to his son, a 6-foot-6 guard who is UCLA’s second-leading scorer as a sophomore with 12.1 points a game“I’m trying to represent the Mexican culture the best that I can,» Jáquez Jr. told USA TODAY Sports. “It means a lot because there aren’t a lot of Mexican or Latino basketball players as there are soccer or baseball players. I want to shed light and inspire kids to do the same as me.“And obviously, there’s a lot of prejudice and racism in the world, and we’re fighting those battles as a country and as a people. So this is a way to recognize the love that’s there. My teammates, we’re all brothers no matter what shape, size, color or culture we are. Our Final Four run is a testament to what we can do when we come together.”Jáquez Sr. says he used to spend summers in Guadalajara (southwest Mexico) and still has extended family there. Jáquez Jr.’s grandmother, Gloria, says cousins, aunts and uncles are all watching her grandson’s NCAA Tournament games from Mexico.»He’s making two countries proud,» she said. In California, Gloria always cooks Jaime’s favorite dishes – quesadillas, rice and beans, and carne asada.“Food brings us all together,» said Gloria Jáquez, who only spoke Spanish when she first came to the states. «When I cook, I tell everyone in the family (nearby) what time dinner is and they come over because we have a big backyard. Jaime will come over and ask me for his favorite dish. I’ll say, ‘OK, mi niño.’ My biggest thing I pray for is that he respects everybody and always puts family first. You can see how he does this (on the court) when he’s humble and shares the ball with his (teammates).”That tight-knit family connection to Mexico is what prompted Jáquez Jr.

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U.S. women's soccer star Alex Morgan makes Tottenham debut six months



LONDON (AP) — Supported by her baby daughter in the stands, American superstar Alex Morgan made her debut in English soccer on Saturday. Morgan came on as a substitute in the 69th minute for Tottenham in a 1-1 draw against Reading in the Women’s Super League. She didn’t manage to score in her first match in around 15 months, having given birth to Charlie in May. Charlie was at The Hive Stadium to watch her mom — and was wearing a Tottenham jersey for the occasion.“It’s fun to look up after the match and see her there supporting me,” Morgan said. The two-time World Cup winner joined Tottenham in September in a bid to get some game time ahead of playing for the United States at the delayed Tokyo Olympics next year. She is among a raft of American players to have moved to English soccer for this season, with Rose Lavelle and Sam Mewis at Manchester City, and Tobin Heath and Christen Press at Manchester United.“It just feels good to get back on the field for the first time in more than a year,” Morgan said. “I just had to get those first minutes and go from there.»“I am hoping,” she added, “to get much more in the next match and the remaining matches of the year, just to keep building, but I think my fitness is getting back there. It’s just going to take a bit of time.”Morgan acknowledged feeling the pace of what proved to be an end-to-end contest in the final minutes of the game.“There were definitely a lot more sprints than in training!” she said, laughing. »I will get used to it pretty quickly.“Once I came on, it was more of a transition game, less position-oriented. So I am looking forward to getting more of the game to settle in a little better, because that end to the match was pretty back and forth.”

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