16 Year Old French Girl makes MLB History

The sports world was taken over by Mone'e Davis when she powered her team in the Little League World Series. However, another girl may become a baseball sensation. 16-year old Melissa Mayeux, of Pole Baseball Academy in Toulouse, France, has been added to MLB's international registration list, meaning that an MLB team can sign her after July 2nd. 

She has the family pedigree, too, just what scouts love; her older brother played on national French Junior Team, and is currently a player-coach for the Montigny Cougars. 

Of course, being added to a list does not guarantee that she'll make it to the big leagues some day, but it is certainly quite an accomplishment. In watching a few clips of batting practice, she makes a lot of hard contact, not easy for any 16-year old. She also fields well, projecting to stick at the shortstop position.

Even MLB's Director of International Game Development, Mike McClellan, vouches for her fluidity on the field, and her composure at the plate. He remembers one at-bat against a 19-year old Dominican Republic pitcher, in which Melissa smacked a pitch right up the middle against the 91-mph hurler. 

Speaking in French for an interview, she said that she hopes to stick with baseball as long as she can; European players often do not sign until they are 18, and Mayeux reiterated that notion, mentioning that she hopes to pass the baccalaureat - the high school completion/college entrance exam, and possibly go to university. If she keeps up her growth as a prospect, and does not get signed by an MLB team, she could potentially come to the US to play collegiate baseball. With her current club, she fits right in; she says that she's grown up with many of her current teammates, so there was no issue "with integration or respect". As a talented athlete, there is no doubt she'll continue to command respect as she continues in her baseball journey.

Unexpected Crossovers: College Admission Process Matches Up With Professional Sports (Ch. 1)

Chapter 1:

Emmanuel Mudiay is a 19 year old multi-lingual “gap-year” student, spending one year overseas honing his craft and showcasing his talents to future employers. Call it an internship, if you will, with the Guandong Southern Tigers. His study-abroad didn’t come without hardship. Sure, he got a $1.2million stipend for offering his services, but that, and future big paychecks nearly evaporated due to an ankle injury that threatened his roster status. Rumors swirled that he become a casualty of the circumstances, of Chinese Basketball Association regulations on the number of American players per team, of the NBA’s restriction on age, of the NCAA’s eligibility red tape, of the discrepancy between the true value of young talent and the take-home pay.

Each wouldn’t happen without the previous, but Mudiay’s been through more than just this. Not unlike many immigrant students in the US, Mudiay found a better life in the US. After his father’s passing when he was just a toddler, his mother left Emmanuel and his two older brothers in the care of his grandparents to seek asylum in the US. Spending one year separated from her, Mudiay finally came to the States, and emerged onto the basketball radar.

Yet, when the TV cameras zoom in, none of this story shows. A young kid, barely an adult, will have to step into workouts, into interviews. But first, the background research must be done. “Is he a fit for our organization?”, owners ask. Is he the real deal? His journey, his quest to find his aptitudes get shoved aside on the rich mahogany table in the offices of the powerful institutions and organizations. “Let’s look at the percentages, the stats! Does he make the grade?”

There’s red flags; was he eligible to play even in high school, let alone sniff NCAA? Is that why he had to dart overseas? But again, his deep past is benched and his most recent measurements are brought up onto the screens. He averaged 18 points per game in the CBA on 47% shooting from the field, but his free throw shooting failed, notching only 57% of his attempts. He contributed across the board, chalking up 6 boards and dishing out 6 assists per game while pilfering 1.6 steals per game. He wasn’t perfect; his 3.25 Turnovers per game means he might need to take out a home security policy. He had ups and downs, leading his team to wins over ex-NBA stars like Stephon Marbury, but followed up huge performances with duds like a 7-point performance in which he fouled out. Overall, there’s promise in the numbers for growth, and he’s already come so far.

For many students across America, their own highlight mixtapes, resumes, and applications, glisten like a sweaty Mudiay after a grueling workout. While the talented athlete puts in the hard work on the hardwood, countless students write away on their wooden desks, studying hard as they promised their parents they would. It wasn’t enough to put up big points, to score high marks on tests. They had to contribute to the school in extracurricular club participation, getting their names in the local newspapers, bringing home medals and ribbons for countless achievements. They reached out to the greater community, getting involved in causes they loved to champion. They donated time and money to community service, stepping up to the charity stripe. Too many students drew the foul, overcoming abusive childhoods to score an and-1. Others overcame different obstacles, different defenders standing in front of their goals, and with one swift headfake and crossover, left their opponents in the dust.

But will either student, the high-flying mega-athlete or the pass-every-test-with-flying-colors student, make it to the top four prestigious organizations?

FIFA President Sepp Blatter Resigns

Rather than preside over the mess known as FIFA, President Sepp Blatter has "quit match", but surely has earned many coins during his tenure. 

Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Even if most Americans are connected to FIFA only by the video game, this is a step in the right direction as the international community turns up the heat on one of the most corrupt organizations in the world.

John Oliver, who brought up how ironic it was that the US applied the pressure on FIFA, might have to make another comedic segment on this.

Thank You Tom Thibodeau

Remember when some guy was rumored to be a star in the making on the Celtics? 
No, it was not Rajon Rondo. In fact, it was a guy that never stepped onto courts except during TV timeouts.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

That unknown man was Tom Thibodeau. 

Fast forward to today, five years later, and Tom Thibodeau's reign as Chicago Bulls head coach is over.

Set back by numerous injuries plaguing key players like Joakim Noah and uh, maybe that Derrick Rose guy, Thibs installed a team mentality that allowed "scrubs" to contribute, be it Kirk Hinrich or Nazr Mohammed. He groomed the underdog players like Jimmy Butler, and relied heavily on unsung guys like Luol Deng & Mike Dunleavy. 

But what led to his downfall other than the lack of fulfillment of high expectations? 

He wanted to win too badly. He pushed his team to the limits, to where players like Noah were ineffective at the most inopportune time. He relied too much on the team, allowing unspectacular players to take too much away from the true studs and leaders. 

The team could not be criticized on defense, but the offense lacked a go-to lightning strike to finish, and that is what did in the Bulls.

Yet, at the dawn of another Bulls' coaching era, there are plenty of tall plants to produce a grand future harvest. So long as the Bulls manage to hold onto Butler with a max contract, they will still be able to maintain their core while allowing youngsters in Tony Snell & Doug McDermott to grow.

Sometimes a change of scenery can be a breath of fresh air, and here's to Thibs, to land a job elsewhere where his enthusiasm for winning can drive another team from mediocrity to success. Maybe he'll land in New Orleans, another promising team.

VIDEO: Tarik Cohen Backflip Double One-Hand Catch!

North Carolina A&T Running back Tarik Cohen may be only 5' 6", but he certainly isn't short on athleticism.

Catch this double one-handed grab all while backflipping:

It's hard enough to catch two balls at nearly the same time. It's hard enough to do a backflip with perfect landing. It is insane to do both at the same time. He had only 242 yards receiving last year, but if he can show these hands more often, that number is bound to go up (so long as he doesn't get hurt doing these videos...).

Cohen has nearly 2900 rushing + receiving yards to go along with 25 TDs through just two years with the Aggies.