HAM of the week

Happy Thanksgiving, store Divas!

Aside from a certain Chicago football team (hey, viagra sale at least they won two games in a row), we definitely have a lot to be thankful for. Derrick Rose is healthy again and the Bulls are riding high at 9-5, but more importantly, our Chicago Blackhawks are 12-8-1 (2-1 in their annual circus trip). With rookie Trevor Van Riemsdyk out for three months, a new face stepped up to take center ice: 22-year-old Adam Clendening, our HAM of the Week.

Adam Clendening, http://www.bleacherreport.com

Adam Clendening, http://www.bleacherreport.com

In his first NHL appearance last Thursday’s 4-3 win over the Calgary Flames, Clendening scored his first goal on his first shot against goalie Jonas Hiller.

The 5’11”, 195-lbs defenseman is certainly stirring up buzz, so we’ve got the 411 on the newbie:

Clendening began his career with the U.S. National under-18 team during the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons, both of which he was a member of Team USA’s gold-medal winning team at the World Junior Championships.

He was selected by the Blackhawks in the 2011 NHL draft–in between playing two consecutive seasons (2010-11 and 2011-12) at Boston University.

Adam Clendening, www.theahl.com

Adam Clendening, www.theahl.com

Following BU, Clendening went to the AHL and played for the Icehogs. In his first season, he was named a second-team AHL All-Star and Rockford’s Rookie of the Year, along with finishing third among all AHL defensemen scoring with 46 points. In his current season, he’s set an AHL record for goals and points by a defenseman with 12 goals and 59 points. He’s also the leading scorer in assists for the Icehogs franchise.

Flashback to 2012, when Clendening talked about his readiness with the organization:

Well, with a goal on your first shot in the big leagues (and an away game), consider us impressed.

The native New Yorker was ranked as the #2 Prospect by NBC Chicago (and Bleacher Report) this past June and is “proficient at quarterbacking the team’s power play from the blue line”. The Blackhawks have the best PK percentage for the 2014-15 season with 90.3%, and adding “Clenny” to the lineup will make that penalty kill play even stronger on the second power-play unit with co-anchor Michal Rozsival.

Though he’s taken, Clendening has the wit and charm like many of his teammates. He loves a good chicken parm and has an affinity for Lululemon clothing, and even knows how we feel about first world problems:

The Blackhawks continue their circus trip tomorrow versus the Avalanche, Friday versus the Ducks and Saturday versus the not-so-deserving 2014 Stanley Cup Champs (yep, we’re still bitter about it). If Clenny & co pull off another stellar performance, they should have no trouble finishing strong. The team returns to the United Center Dec. 3 versus the Blues.

Follow Adam Clendening on Twitter at @Clenny5.

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Well, illness ladies, the time has finally come. On Wednesday, the Chicago Bulls open the 2014-2015 season against the New York Knicks. There was a lot of talk this past summer over who the Bulls would bring on to replace Carlos Boozer (most notably Carmelo Anthony, who, like Lebron James, decided that “home is where the heart is”, despite the Bulls’ best efforts), it was time to turn to a player on the international level. And that player is sexy Spaniard Pau Gasol, our HAM of the Week.

The 34-year-old Barcelona native is most likely going to be in the starting lineup as a power forward/center, and we honestly can’t wait to see him show off his skills.

He’s no stranger to championships, either. He won two NBA Championships in 2009 and 2010 with the Los Angeles Lakers, is a four-time All-Star and a three-time All-NBA selection. He also earned NBA Rookie of the Year honors in 2002, the only non-American NBA player to win the award.

The 7-foot, 250-lbs Gasol was selected by the Atlanta Hawks with the third overall pick in the first round of the 2001 NBA draft, but was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies soon after. He played seven seasons with the team before being traded to the Lakers in 2008.

Gasol began his basketball career playing for FC Barcelona Basquet, playing with his school team and Barcelona’s junior and senior teams during the 1997-98 and 1998-99 seasons. He would later pick up two Olympic silver medals with the Spanish national basketball team in 2008 and 2012.

Pau Gasol, http://www.usatoday.com

Pau Gasol, http://www.usatoday.com

Gasol also has immense dedication: he played all 164 games in his first two NBA seasons. In 2005, Gasol earned his 5,000th point and 500th block in January 2005 against the Indiana Pacers, the 10th fastest player to reach the feat since the 1973-74 season. He continued to set records in points, rebounds, assists and blocked shots in the Grizzlies franchise, and helped lead the team to three straight playoff appearances. Those stats helped him earn an appearance at the 2006 NBA All-Star game. He also helped Spain win the 2006 FIBA World Championship, where he was named MVP.

Gasol earned his third straight All-Star selection and All-NBA second team honors in the 2010-2011 season and served as co-captain with Kobe Bryant the following season. He also earned the 2011-2012 Community Assist Award for his charitable efforts in children’s education and health, proving that he is a “champion on the court and in the community”.

Pau Gasol, http://www.bleacherreport.com

Pau Gasol, http://www.bleacherreport.com

Following the 2010 NBA Championship win, Sporting News named Gasol one of the 20 Smartest Athletes. Fun fact: he left the University of Barcelona medical school to pursue his basketball career. And he speaks three languages–Catalan, Spanish and English.

He’s very active on social media, and often tweets in both English and Spanish. And while he’s taken (for now!) we can’t help but stare at his amazing features, from his gorgeous brown locks to his soft brown eyes. Plus, he is superior at selfies:

Looks like things certainly run in the family, as Gasol‘s younger (and equally gorgeous) brother Marc is a current forward for the Grizzlies (but was actually selected by the Lakers in the 2007 NBA Draft).

 

Gasol is a fresh change to the lineup, and he’s obviously a great fit with the team. And bonus: the Bulls get an extra-spooky showdown with Lebron and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday.

We can’t wait to see Number 16 “Run With The Bulls” on Wednesday, but if you can’t wait until then, follow Gasol on Twitter and Instagram at @paugasol.

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Football is back, troche Divas!

After a lackluster Chicago baseball season (there’s always next year, right?) it’s finally time to turn our attention to football. While the Bears had a rocky first game (and that’s putting it mildly…) last night’s whopping 28-20 win against the San Francisco 49ers is one we’ll talk about for the rest of the 2014 season.

At the first half of the game, it seemed nearly impossible the Bears would win, much less catch up, especially with the 49ers at home. The Bears lost their home opener last week to the Buffalo Bills, which should have been an easy win, and it seemed almost everyone immediately knew this week’s game was going to be a rough one to shake off.

But then the defense woke up, something we’ve long been struggling with for a long time. And miracle of all miracles, we finally pulled through. It was the first win for the Bears in San Francisco SINCE 1985.

Kyle Fuller, http://www.themash.com

Kyle Fuller, http://www.themash.com

It all started with rookie cornerback Kyle Fuller–whose performance alone crowns him our HAM of the Week. Of the four turnovers from the 49ers, Fuller caught two of them, leading to the first points of the night. And the momentum only grew from there.

We first gave you Divas a glimpse of Fuller when we first profiled the 2014 draftees. With Fuller making the waves in just his second NFL game, what else is there to know about our gorgeous HAM of the Week?

Fuller made headlines for choosing Devin Hester‘s number, but now that he’s making waves in just his second NFL game, we’re thinking maybe that’s a good thing.

The 22-year-old cornerback from Baltimore, Maryland was selected as the 14th pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL draft. He’s the first defensive back drafted by the Bears in 18 years, but we already know he’s going to go far and prove he deserves to stay as a starting player on the roster.

Fuller began his career in high school as a track and field and football star, but ultimately followed through with football, starting as a true freshman at Virginia Tech. He played in 43 games, and recorded 173 tackles, 6 interceptions and 28 breakup passes for all four years (not to mention 231/2 tackles for loss), and made All-ACC second and third team in 2011 and 2013, respectively.

He’s also the third member of his family to play in the NFL, following older brother Corey (now a wide receiver for the Detroit Lions) and brother Vincent (a former safety for the Tennessee Titans). His younger brother Kendall plays for Virginia Tech.

In addition to being an impressive athlete, Fuller is also a pretty great dresser, which goes great with his megawatt smile:

And he graduated with a degree in finance, so you know he’s a smart cookie–he just so happens to be more athletically gifted than the rest of us.

We think Kyle‘s got a strong fit with the Bears D, and we can’t wait to see him grow throughout the season.

Follow Kyle Fuller on Twitter at @kbfuller17 and Instagram at @kbfuller17.

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The weather has finally warmed up, sildenafil but we’re still having a mediocre baseball season in Chicago. One sure-fire way to fix those blues? A new HAM of the Week—and this week, we’re putting the spotlight on Chicago Cubs’ rookie Arismendy Alcantara.

Arismendy Alcantara HAM

Arismendy Alcantara, http://www.chicagotribune.com

After the Cubs designated former Golden Glove winner and second baseman Darwin Barney on assignment, Alcantara, who took over for Barney while he was on paternity leave, moved in his place.

If Alcantara’s name sounds like a mouthful (pronounced AIR-ES-MEN-DEE AL-CAHN-TRA), that’s because it is—just look at his stats:

The 5’10”, 170 pounds Dominican Republic native already crushed a homer onto Sheffield Avenue past the bleachers last week in a win versus the San Diego Padres, and has gained experience playing at second base and center field.

He’s given the team some much-needed energy in the second half of the season, with five RBIs in his first five games.

As most rookies are up in the majors for a two-game stint, Alcantara has taken advantage of his time and continues to put on a performance. Since being promoted to the majors on July 9, Alcantara has a .255 batting average, seven RBIs, four stolen bases and two home runs—and he may not be sent back to Iowa just yet. He’s been playing in almost every game, and continues to prove why he deserves to stay in the majors.

Alcantara signed with the Cubs at shortstop as an international free agent in 2008, playing in the Dominican Summer League that summer. He moved throughout the minor leagues starting in 2011 with the Peoria Chiefs in Class-A, followed by the Daytona Cubs in Class A-Advanced in 2012. He played for the Tennessee Smokies in the Class Double-A Southern League with former HAM of the Week Javier Baez in 2013, where he had a .284 batting average, 13 home runs and 46 RBIs. That year, Alcantara represented the Cubs at the All-Star Futures Game, where he had a home run, and a name to be reckoned with.

Arismendy Alcantara, http://www.baseballhotcorner.com

Arismendy Alcantara, http://www.baseballhotcorner.com

Prior to his call-up, Alcantara began the 2014 season with the Iowa Cubs in Class Triple-A. But even before the season began, his name was starting to gain buzz. According to the Chicago Tribune, while Alcantara was regarded as a “second tier” behind the “Big Four” prospects (including Baez, former HAM of the Week Kris Bryant, Jorge Soler and Albert Almora), he had a chance to get to Wrigley before them, just to show them how it’s done.

With the second half of the season in full swing, it’s only a matter of time before we see more fantastic rookies come through for the organization.

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While we’ve all been caught up in World Cup madness, case both the Bulls and the Blackhawks created some major waves in their respective drafts this past weekend. And though we’ve still got plenty of time before both seasons start, cialis sale we thought we’d kick off the week getting to know one of the newest members of the Chicago Bulls from the 2014 draft: Doug McDermott, our HAM of the Week.

If you look up “Tall, Dark and Handsome” in the dictionary, you will definitely find 22-year-old Doug McDermott’s picture. The 6’8”, 225-lbs Grand Forks, North Dakota native may play at small forward, but we think he’s going to be a huge powerhouse for the Bulls in the 2014-15 season.

Doug McDermott, http://espn.go.com

Doug McDermott, http://espn.go.com

The Bulls drafted the former Creighton star, as the 11th pick in the first round. At Creighton, (where he was coached by his father, Greg), he led the NCAA in scoring for the 2013-14 season with 26.9 points per game, was a three-time consecutive first team All-American from 2012-14 and a three-time consecutive first team All Midwest Valley Conference from 2011-2013, this year’s Consensus Player of the Year and was awarded the John R. Wooden Award as the most outstanding men’s college basketball player.

McDermott began his career in Ames, Iowa, where he led the high school team to 53 consecutive wins and won consecutive Iowa state titles. Though he was set to attend Northern Iowa on a scholarship, he left to play for his dad. If being the coach’s son wasn’t enough pressure, the younger McDermott seemed to thrive on it, as he became one of eight players in NCAA men’s basketball history to pass 3,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in all four years with the Bluejays.

Doug McDermott knows about the art of scoring, as mentioned in this interview with Fox Sports:

McDermott also has history of playing overseas: following his freshman year, he played for the United States in the FIBA Under-19 World Championship, where the team placed fifth.

Doug McDermott, http://college-basketball.si.com

Doug McDermott, http://college-basketball.si.com

He also landed the March 12 cover of Sports Illustrated, which pays homage to the 1977 cover featuring Larry Bird.

By the way, his Twitter avatar is amazing—”Dougie” really is the bees knees.

And when you get praise from former Chicago Bull Kyle Korver (who also played at Creighton), you know you’re on the right team.

But McDermott is just like the rest of us in that maybe he’s not the next Jordan Spieth, and maybe he hates public speaking. But that boyish charm sure has our hearts beating loud and clear.

According to ESPN, McDermott’s path to basketball stardom is just beginning, and we can’t wait to see more amazingness from him when he’s off the bench and playing at the UC.

Is it too early for us to give the young newbie a nickname? Just based on his stats, we really want to go with McBuckets…

Follow Doug McDermott on Twitter at @dougmcd3 and Instagram at @dougmcd35.

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I know absolutely nothing about professional soccer. It’s not a sport I usually follow (and to make matters confusing, buy viagra many countries refer to the sport as “football”) but with the World Cup being every four years, online not to mention the hot guys from around the world (not to mention I’m a sucker for accents), decease I miiight just have to start paying attention. Whether you’re a newbie or an aficionada, these five players are ones you need to know, our HAMs of the Week:

Name: Neymar Country: Brazil Age: 22 Position: Forward

Neymar, http://www.bleacherreport.com

Neymar, http://www.bleacherreport.com

As with any legend, one name is all you need to make it big: Oprah, Madonna…and Neymar. The host country has a lot of pressure to live up to (especially after that own goal in their first game versus Croatia), but as one of the faces of the team, Neymar (full name: Neymar da Silva Santos Junior) seems to be a natural pro at scoring on the field. He’s racked up the awards with his club team FC Barcelona, most notably winning back-to-back South American Footballer of the Year awards in 2011 and 2012. He’s also won the coveted Golden Ball for Best Player at last year’s FIFA Confederations Cup, is the seventh highest goal scorer for the national team and a 2010 Olympic silver medalist. Oh yeah, and he’s on this month’s cover of Vogue Brazil with the gorgeous Mrs. Tom Brady, Giselle Bundchen. Trust us, you can’t miss this hottie’s signature mohawk.

Follow Neymar on Twitter at @neymarjr.

Name: Jozy Altidore Country: USA Age: 24 Position: Forward

Team USA is placed in a group known as the “Group of Death” (Ghana, Ronaldo and Portugal and Germany), and begins play today. But with plenty of eye candy on our team, it’s all a matter of scoring our hearts. One of the captains of the team, Altidore is already making headlines, scoring two goals in this year’s send-off match against Nigeria.

Altidore plays for English team Sunderland and was also a member of the 2010 World Cup team. He’s also deeply involved in charity work, from his contributions to his parents’ native Haiti with Wyclef Jean’s charity Yele Haiti in 2006 to his Jozy Altidore Foundation, which provides opportunities on and off the field for underprivileged children.

Follow Jozy Altidore on Twitter and Instagram at @JozyAltidore.

Name: Gerard Pique Country: Spain Age: 27 Position: Defender

Gerard Pique, http://www.buzzfeed.com

Gerard Pique, http://www.buzzfeed.com

If the name doesn’t ring a bell, perhaps you know his ultra-famous girlfriend, Shakira? Fun fact: the twosome met when he was featured in her music video for “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa), the official anthem of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Pique, along with Neymar, plays for FC Barcelona and was a member of the winning (and, according to Buzzfeed, the tournament’s hottest) team in 2010. Pique has won every major tournament in his career, including the Champions, the Premier League, the European Super Cup and the aforementioned World Cup. And he’s a super-hot dad to the most adorable son, Milan. Talk about one gorgeous family.

Follow the 6’4” blue-eyed stud on Twitter and Instagram at @3gerardpique.

Name: Daniel Sturridge Country: England Age: 24 Position: Forward

This dude has got the moves (you need to see his celebration dance following his goal in Saturday’s game versus Italy, where he also perfects the art of the duck face). The handsome Brit, who turned pro at 17, played for two of the country’s elite leagues, Manchester City and Chelsea before eventually making his way to Liverpool, his current club. According to Grantland, Sturridge has scored in 31 matches in 37 appearances with the club and has doubled the league average rate of shots converted to 24.7 percent. The sport runs in the family, as both his father and two uncles played in the league. Oh, and he’s a big fan of Leo Dicaprio—so I’m sure we’ll get along juuust fine.

 

Follow Daniel Sturridge on Twitter at @D_Sturridge and Instagram at @dstudge.

Name: Cristiano Ronaldo Country: Portugal Age: 29 Position: Forward

Cristiano Ronaldo, http://www.theguardian.com

Cristiano Ronaldo, http://www.theguardian.com

We can’t imagine a World Cup hotties list without this bad boy. The former HAM of the Week, who plays with club team Real Madrid, is his country’s top goal scorer with 49 goals, and is playing in his third World Cup. He’s one of the first to reach the 400-goal milestone in 653 appearances, and won the 2013 FIFA Ballon d’Or (French for Golden Ball, which is basically the equivalent of MVP), ending Argentina’s Lionel Messi’s four-win streak.

He’s known for being a playboy and is currently dating Russian model Irina Shayk, with whom he shares the smoking-hot cover of Vogue Spain. He’s also a fashionisto and opened the boutique CR7 (his initials and jersey number) in Portugal. Those winning looks have transferred off the field, as he’s an underwear model for Armani Exchange.

Cristiano Ronaldo, http://www.usmagazine.com

Cristiano Ronaldo, http://www.usmagazine.com

Follow Cristiano Ronaldo on Twitter and Instagram at @Cristiano.

Tell us: who are you rooting for in the World Cup?

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