Today was definitely not your ordinary Cinco de Mayo for all of us traveling with Knights Without Borders!
Click here to read more about what the student-athletes taking part in the trip are thinking as the trip nears.
Click here to read even more about the project and the initial trip to Panama by UCF administrators Jessica Reo and Kimya Massey.
Check back here often from May 5-11. We'll share as many video blogs, journal entries, photos, etc. as we can to chronicle the first-ever Knights Without Borders trip.
Former Knight Eduardo Jimenez is playing professionally in the North American Soccer League with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers. The midfielder, who concluded his collegiate career in the fall, signed with the team in early April.
Jimenez appeared in 68 career contests for the Knights and scored four goals with five assists. In 2012, he played in all 18 matches and recorded one goal and one assist. Jimenez was a member of two NCAA Tournament squads during his time in Orlando.
The North American Soccer League has 11 teams, including three in Florida.
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Former Knights and current staff members swarmed Rio Pinar Country Club for the annual UCF Football Lettermen's Golf Tournament Friday. More than 20 groups were signed up to compete for several UCF prizes, along with a little bragging rights.
The format was an 18-hole, four-person scramble, and afterward there was a lunch reception where the winners were announced, along with who had the longest drives of the day. The winning group of Tyson Hinshaw, Stuart Stipe, Jason Thorpe and Mary Vander Heider carded a 58.
This year's event took place a day before the UCF Spring Football Game which is scheduled for Saturday at 2 p.m. at Bright House Networks Stadium.
Plan your game days with the Knights, and experience one of the best schedules in program history in the best available seat locations at Bright House Networks Stadium. 2013 season tickets start at $99. To secure your UCF football season tickets, visit UCFAthletics.com or call 407-UCF-1000.
After fall and winter workouts by many at the UCF baseball complex, and Opening Day in the books, it's time to take a look at where former Knights are starting spring in the professional ranks.
With 16 players currently active spread out all over the nation representing the Black & Gold, let's start with the class of 2012 that has made some early noise already in the 2013 campaign.
In summer ball where he moved up from rookie to Class-A in just a few weeks after being drafted in the 13th round by the LA Dodgers, shortstop Darnell Sweeney has already made his presence felt at High-A Rancho Cucamonga. Sunday afternoon, Sweeney came through with a walk-off single in the 10th to give the Quakes the victory (Read HERE).
Fresh off of his walk-off grand slam that gave the Elizabethton Twins the Appalachian League title, D.J. Hicks didn't wait long to go yard again, smacking a solo shot on Opening Day. He already has a pair of multi-hit games and is batting .389 early on.
Perhaps the best 1-2 combo to finish games in the 2012 collegiate season is at it again. Roman Madrid is currently with Class-A Fort Wayne (check out that logo) and has registered a save already. All-time saves leader in UCF history Joe Rogers has also made two appearances for High-A Lakeland. The current location for the southpaw is particularly ideal for friends and family to watch him pitch as he is a native of Winter Haven, just 16 miles from Lakeland.
The 2011 draft class is also off to a solid start this spring, led by big-bopping first baseman Jon Griffin. The 6-foot-6 righty received a non-roster invitation to Big League Spring Training this year with the Diamondbacks and is already raking at AA Mobile to the tune of nine base-knocks (.500), three RBI and three multi-hit games.
Right-handed pitcher Danny Winkler also made a strong start in 2013. He begins the year with the High-A Modesto Nuts (great name & logo) and came away a winner in his first start, tossing 5 2/3 frames while allowing just one run on four hits with six strikeouts. He was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 20th round of the 2011 MLB draft.
For news and numbers on the rest of the Knights in the pros, make sure to click on their names below to see their MiLB pages with up-to-date stats after each game.
Shane Brown - AA Trenton Thunder
Drew Butera - AAA Rochester Red Wngs
Jonathan Griffin - AA Mobile BayBears
D.J. Hicks - Class A Cedar Rapids Kernels
Darnell Sweeney - Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
Ronnie Richardson - Class A Short-Season Eugene Emeralds (2012)
Beau Taylor - AA Midland RockHounds
Tim Bascom - AA Bowie Baysox
Chase Bradford - Class A Advanced St. Lucie Mets
Matt Collins - Rookie Arizona League Angels (2012)
Owen Dew - Class A Advanced Carolina Mudcats
Caleb Graham - Class A Advanced Inland Empire 66ers
Robert Lara - Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore Storm
Roman Madrid - Class A Fort Wayne TinCaps
Joe Rogers - Class A Advanced Lakeland Flying Tigers
Danny Winkler - Class A Advanced Modesto Nuts
On Tuesday, Keith Clanton will head to Virginia for the Portsmouth Invitational, a four-day event which will allow the former UCF star to play in front of representatives from every NBA team. The forward is one of 64 players who received an invitation to the P.I.T.
Clanton's team will open the tournament Wednesday at 7 p.m. The Orlando native's teammates include Belmont's Ian Clark, Arizona's Mark Lyons, BYU's Brandon Davies and Kansas' Elijiah Johnson.
UCF's career leader in rebounds, blocks, games played and starts, Clanton averaged 14.8 points, 8.5 boards, 2.5 assists and 2.0 blocks as a senior in 2012-13 and was named to the NABC All-District 11 First Team and the All-Conference USA Second Team. He helped lead the Knights to their third-straight 20-win campaign and finished his career as one of only two players in C-USA history with at least 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds.
Since the P.I.T. was established in 1953, dozens of participants have gone on to play in the NBA, including Rick Barry, Dave Cowens, Tim Hardaway, Scottie Pippen, Terry Porter, John Stockton and Ben Wallace.
Last year, several P.I.T. participants earned NBA training camp invitations, including Kyle O'Quinn with the Orlando Magic. Former UCF star Jermaine Taylor participated in the P.I.T. before he was selected with the 32nd overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft.