AOTW 12/31

Presenting this week's Gazettes Sports Athletes of the Week, sponsored by Naples Rib Company.

HIGH SCHOOL

Tayler Bennett, St. Anthony Girls Basketball

The Saints didn’t have the week they were hoping for at the Nike Tournament of Champions last week, going 2-2 to claim 13th place in the Mike Desper Bracket. But Bennett was a star for her team once again, as the Rice University commit scored 28 points in a win over Etiwanda, and then led the Saints once again with 11 points and 12 rebounds in a win over West Campus to close the action. The Saints travel to Windward this weekend.

Danae Miller, Poly Basketball

The Jackrabbits also went 2-2 at the Nike TOC in Arizona, but were on the winner’s side of the marquee Joe Smith Division, where they claimed sixth place. Their signature win was an upset of SoCal’s top-ranked team, Chaminade, 50-39. Poly led just 23-20 at halftime but outscored the Eagles 15-7 in the third quarter, where Miller scored eight of her team-high 12 points. Poly is back in action this week at the West Coast Jamboree.

COLLEGE

Nick Faust, Long Beach State Basketball

The Beach didn’t get an upset win on the road at Arizona, but it was once again an encouraging loss, as the 6-8 Long Beach State squad battled tough with the No. 8 team in the nation. Maryland transfer Nick Faust led Long Beach in scoring, with an efficient performance of 17 points on just nine shots. He also contributed three rebounds and two blocks. The road doesn’t get easier for Long Beach State, who will visit Duke this week.

PRO

John Timu, Chicago Bears

Jordan alum John Timu was promoted from the Bears’ practice squad to the 53-man gameday roster two weeks ago, and the undrafted free agent has made the most of his opportunity. Last week, he got the start at linebacker and led the Bears in tackles, and this week he improved on that performance while getting another start. Not only did Timu tie for the team lead in tackles again, he also recovered a pair of fumbles in a 26-21 win over Tampa Bay.

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