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Maryland athletic department helps Lederer's legacy live on

Zach Lederer remains with us even though he passed away in March from brain cancer. Those who knew him, and even those who knew him only through the media, were inspired by his bravery under the most difficult of circumstances. Even though he may not have been feeling well after undergoing a series of surgeries, he always made others feel better. He left a legacy that taught us the importance of living and doing for others.

Now the University of Maryland has stepped forward to preserve the name of Zach Lederer by opening a manager's locker room at Xfinity Center in his name. Maryland's Athletic Director Kevin Anderson, with a big boost from basketball coach Mark Turgeon, came up with the idea and it was opened with Zach's family in attendance. Anderson said he wanted to keep his spirit alive, and that's exactly what the University did in tribute to a basketball manager who did so much to inspire others nationally and internationally.

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A Terrapins jersey with the number 25 and Lederer's name printed on it hangs inside the locker room, along with a photo of Zach doing his famous 'Zaching' pose with the saying that became synonymous with his name: Living the Dream. On his locker, there is the quote: 'I want the world to be a better place because I was here.'

It is my hope that years from now basketball players, fans and anyone else that will go into that locker room will remember how a wonderful 20-year-old impacted so many of us.

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Rutgers to honor Turner

The Rutgers University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics will welcome its newest members into its Hall of Fame on Nov. 15.

Included in that group is Howard County's Courtney Turner, who is the first Scarlet Knight gymnast to qualify for the NCAA Championship.

Courtney, a 1998 graduate of Wilde Lake High School, recorded the only perfect 10.0 score for the floor excercise in March 2002. She was all-league three times in the East Atlantic Gymnastics League for her floor exercise, and in 2002 she won the prestigious Headley-Singer Award, which is given to the top graduating Rutgers female student-athlete. She also earned the Presidents' Award in 2001-2002 for registering a 4.0 GPA.

Courtney earned her Masters in Public Health Policy and Management in 2004 from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Currently, she is working at the Baltimore City Health Department and Johns Hopkins as an HIV/STD outreach worker.

Courtney Turner has also received numerous professional awards and she continues to be both a community leader and a valued public health official.

HCYP holds free clinic

The Howard County Youth Program will be holding its 25th annual free basketball clinic on Nov. 16 at Long Reach High School. This is one of the very best clinics and it is being held in two sessions. The first is for players 10 years old and younger from 2-3:15 p.m., and the second is for 11-year-olds and older from 3:30-4:45 p.m.

The clinics are run by former DeMatha High School basketball coach Morgan Wootten, who is in the Basketball Hall of Fame, and his son Joe, who has led Bishop O'Connell High School in Virginia to an average of almost 24 wins per season.

Slots are full for the 10-and-under clinic, but spots are still available for the 11-and-older. Go to http://www.hcyp.org to sign up.

This is an opportunity for young basketball players to learn how to play the game correctly for the first time. I have attended a number of these sessions over the years and I am amazed how these two great coaches convey the true essence of the sport of basketball.

Congratulations to the HCYP not only for putting on this clinic for the past quarter century, but for providing 60 years of quality sports leadership for our youth.

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