Five seniors from North Carolina, a participant this weekend in the NCAA Men's College Cup, and one each from Duke and N.C. State were invited Thursday to the Major League Soccer Combine in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Jan. 7-11.
Representing UNC will be defenders Eddie Ababio and Jalil Anibaba and midfielders Michael Farfan and Stephen McCarthy and Dustin McCarty. Farfan is one of 15 semifinalists for the Hermann Trophy as the college player of the year.
Duke midfielder Cole Grossman and N.C. State defender Tyler Lassiter also were among the 54 seniors, 11 from the ACC, invited to the combine.
The initial player list was determined by a panel of Division I college coaches, representing all conferences, who nominated and voted for players in conjunction with MLS coaches. These players will be joined by Generation Adidas players, additional collegiate players from NCAA Division II and III schools, NAIA schools, and Division I alternates.
The players will be split into four teams and play against each other Jan. 8-11 at Central Broward Regional Park in Fort Lauderdale.
The MLS SuperDraft is set for Jan. 13 in Baltimore. It will consist of four rounds with 18 selections in each round.
CIAA award: Shaun Washum and Allison Sikes of St. Augustine's and Dwight Bell of Shaw are among the finalists for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, which will recognize the outstanding senior student-athletes in the league.
Sikes is among eight candidates for the women's award, and Washum and Bell were among the seven men's finalists.
The winners will be recognized at the CIAA tournaments on March 3 in Charlotte.
Toy, food drives: Duke will hold a toy and food drive before the men's basketball game against Saint Louis at noon Saturday and the women's basketball game against Xavier on Dec. 21 at 7 p.m.
Fans can bring new, unwrapped toys and/or canned food items to the games and place them in the collection bins located in the lobbies and on the concourse of Cameron Indoor Stadium. All collected items will go directly to the Durham Rescue Mission's Toys for Tots program and the Durham Food Pantry.
Duke in regional: Fourth-seeded Penn State (28-5) puts its record 92-match home winning streak on the line tonight when the Nittany Lions play Oklahoma (23-10) in the third round of the NCAA Women's Volleyball Championships.
ACC champion Duke (26-6) plays Missouri (22-10) in the second match, with the winners meeting Saturday night for a berth in volleyball's national semifinals.
Penn State is bidding for its fourth consecutive NCAA championship.