Sports briefs: UCD graduate joins professional basketball squad

By From page B8 | August 03, 2014

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UCD graduate Ryan Sypkens, seen playing against Sacramento State, has joined a professional basketball team in Colombia. Wayne Tilcock/Enterprise file photo

Ryan Sypkens is used to hearing “Sypkens for three!” when he’s playing basketball.

Now, the most prolific 3-point shooter in the history of UC Davis men’s basketball will hear “Sypkens para tres!” The 2014 UCD graduate signed a professional contract to compete for the Aguilas de Tunja shortly after receiving his undergraduate degree.

Located in Tunja, Boyacá, Colombia, the Aguilas are one of 12 teams that compete in that country’s DirecTV basketball league. Sypkens’ season started Friday.

“The team expects me to come in and start at the wing as one of its primary scorers,” Sypkens said in a news release. “We have numerous plays that include a lot of screens for shooters, so it will work to my advantage.”

After signing his contract, the 3-point specialist wasted no time in preparing for his time overseas. During the past couple of months, Sypkens worked out multiple times a day.

“In the mornings I focused on strength and conditioning with Jeff Bough in Sacramento, I spent my afternoons working on honing my skills with Brian Rodgers,” he said. “Twice a week, I traveled to Oakland for additional workouts with a trainer that my agent knew and trusted.”

Throughout his first weeks in Colombia, Sypkens experienced challenges similar to ones faced by other Americans competing abroad.

“It will be challenging to live in a different country and not know anyone here; sometimes it can get lonely,” he said. “I am excited to live here, my new home is really nice and the local food is amazing.

“So far, I am having the time of my life,” Sypkens added.

In his final season at UCD, Sypkens scored his 1,000th career point when the Aggies hosted Sacramento State in last season’s Causeway Cup meeting.

Already the school’s record holder for the most 3-point field goals made in a single season (106) and career (220 and counting entering his final season at UCD), Sypkens completed his 3-point hat trick by setting a school record for the most threes made in a single game in his team’s final warm-up prior to league action.

Taking place in the Aggies’ first game of 2014, the senior guard hit 10 of 14 shots from behind the arc to shatter a six-way tie and set the record. Entering that Jan. 2 contest, Sypkens, Corey Hawkins, Tyler Les and three others stood alongside one another in the program’s records book with eight treys each.

In his penultimate game at UCD, Sypkens stood alone as the Big West Conference’s all-time 3-point shooter by drilling three from behind the arc to capture the No. 1 spot.

He ended his career as an Aggie with 315 3-point field goals made.

UCD men’s soccer

UC Davis senior defender Ramon Martin Del Campo is one of 19 players named to the U.S. under-23 men’s national team roster for a five-day camp from Sunday to Thursday in Nassau, Bahamas.

The camp also will feature a game against the Bahamas Senior National Team on Wednesday at the Thompson A. Robinson National Stadium.

According the U.S. Soccer press release, this camp is part of the nation’s “continuing effort to focus early on the qualification process for the 2016 Summer Olympics taking place in Rio de Janeiro. In April, the USA started this phase in earnest with an under-21 MNT camp at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center.”

“The chance to get this group of players together and get ahead of the curve in preparation for Olympic qualifying in two years’ time is huge,” U.S. Soccer Technical Director Jurgen Klinsmann said in the release. “We began with the U-21 camp in April, and now it’s critical that we have as many camps and games as possible so we can build a deep pool of talent that can qualify for Brazil.

“The Olympics are an important opportunity for young players, and we have to capitalize on it. We also want to give a big thanks to the Bahamas Football Association for hosting us.”

UCD men’s tennis

UC Davis sophomore Alec Adamson and incoming freshman Everett Maltby continue to heat up the courts this summer, qualifying for a pair of major amateur tournaments in the Midwest to headline a number of Aggie accomplishments.

“All of our players have been working hard to perfect their games this summer and we are seeing it pay off with great success,” head coach Eric Steidlmayer said. “Following a year that saw us post our most successful Division I season to date, I am proud of how they have represented UC Davis across the country and I look forward to what is sure to be an exciting 2014-15 campaign.”

Adamson, a first-team All-Big West Conference selection, captured two titles and reached the finals of two more events during the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Southern California Summer Circuit to punch his ticket to the ITA National Summer Championships in Bloomington, Ind., Aug. 9-12.

Featuring winners from nine regional circuits across the nation, Adamson will be playing for a wild-card bid to the ITA Men’s All-American Championships in Tulsa from Sept. 27 to Oct. 5. In preparation, Adamson will compete in the USTA’s Pro Circuit Features Event in Edwardsville, Ill., which started Saturday and continues through Aug. 11, to ready himself for the National Summer Championships.

Maltby, who won the doubles title and reached the finals of the singles competition at a summer circuit stop in Davis in mid-July, qualified for the USTA Boys’ 18s National Championships in Kalamazoo, Mich., this week, competing for a spot in the draw at the U.S. Open Aug. 25-Sept. 8 in New York.

Elsewhere, junior Brett Bacharach opened the summer with a trip to Canada to compete at a USTA Pro Circuit Futures event in Saskatoon, before reaching the finals of the NIKE Championships in Beaverton, Ore., eventually falling to the No. 1 singles player from the University of Washington, Kyle McMorrow.

Incoming freshman Tommy Lam, a Hong Kong native, racked up valuable international experience at Pro Circuit Futures tournaments in his home country, facing off against some of the world’s best.

After recovering from nagging injuries, sophomores James Wade and Bryce McKelvie also gained valuable experience during the summer. In his first action of the summer at the Stockton Open, McKelvie fell in the first round of eventual finalist Chris Kipporus, who starts at No. 2 singles at Dartmouth, while Wade advanced to the second round of the fourth annual Michael Chang Tennis Classic in Irvine as the No. 12 seed before falling to Shane Korber, the No. 2 singles starter at Georgetown.

Enterprise staff

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