The ascent of UCSB star Orlando Johnson did not stop with his selection to the U.S.A. men’s basketball team at the 2011 World University Games in Shenzhen, China. Johnson will lead the entire United States delegation as the official flag-bearer at the opening ceremonies Friday. He was chosen out of more than 400 American athletes participating in the University Games.
Announcing the identity of the flag-bearer in Shenzhen today was Gary Cunningham, the head of the U.S.A. delegation. Cunningham, who retired as UCSB’s athletic director in 2008, has presided at 17 University Games, which are staged every two years, with separate summer and winter competitions. More than 140 nations have sent teams to China.
Two other UCSB athletes representing the U.S.A. are 800-meter runner Ryan Martin in track and field, and volleyball All-American Jeff Menzel. Another member of the volleyball team is UC Irvine’s Carson Clark, a Santa Barbara High graduate.
John Abdou, associate head coach of the UCSB men’s water polo team, is an assistant coach of the national squad at the University Games. Greg Somogyi, a Gaucho basketball teammate of Johnson’s, is on the Hungarian basketball team.
FORESTERS UPDATE: The Santa Barbara Foresters won their fifth consecutive game at the National Baseball Congress World Series, 7-0 over the San Diego Waves, and they are the only unbeaten team remaining in the double-elimination tournament. A victory over the Haysville (Kansas) Heat tonight (6 p.m. PDT) would send the Foresters directly to the championship finals Saturday, with two chances to win one more game and claim their third national title in six years. If the Heat wins, the Foresters would play a semifinal game Friday.