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Austin is known for many things, prying itself as the Live Music Capital of the World. What sometimes gets overlooked, however, is the countless athletes who come out of the area.
Here's a non-comprehensive look at the athletes who call Austin home.
The former first round pick by the Brooklyn Nets began his career at Round Rock High School before transferring to St. Stephen's Episcopal School in Austin. While in high school, Allen impressed scouts and fans with his athleticism and rebounding, helping the team become the McDonald's All American team in 2016. In 2016, Allen was named the International Basketball Federation Americas Under 18 Championship team for the U.S., where Allen and his team won gold against Brazil. After two state titles with St. Stephens, Allen decided to stay in Austin and committed to the University of Texas where he played one season for the Longhorns. Allen averaged 13 points and eight rebounds his lone freshmen season. His standout moment while at UT was his 22 point,19 rebound game against the University of Kansas. Allen was the 22nd pick in the 2017 draft and has averaged 10 points and 7.8 rebounds in his three NBA seasons.
Before he was throwing touchdown passes on Sundays, the New Orleans Saints quarterback was lighting up the scoreboard for the Westlake Chaparrals. After moving to Austin with his family as a kid, Brees excelled in baseball and football. In 1996, his junior year of High School, Brees led the 16-0 Chaparrals to the state championship winning Texas High School 5A Most Valuable Offensive Player in the process. In the two years as a starter for Westlake, Brees threw for over 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns, making a 28-0-1 record. Even with all the high school success, Brees did not receive any scholarship offers from UT or Texas A&M. Brees would eventually end up in New Orleans, winning the franchise only Super Bowl and setting countless NFL records in the process.
Mark Calaway "The Undertaker"
One of the most famous wrestlers alive, Mark Calaway otherwise known as "The Undertaker," is an Austinite. The longest tenured wrestler with a 30-year career, The Undertaker is also a seven time world heavyweight champion with the World Wrestling Federation which later became World Wrestling Entertainment. Starting in the late 1980's Calaway began wrestling on the Texas circuit before moving from the World Champion Wrestling to the the WWF where he made his debut as Kane the Undertaker. The Undertaker is universally recognized as one of the greatest wrestlers of all time and has had fellow Austin legend Mark Henry, the World's Strongest Man, and WWE chairman Vince McMahon both say that The Undertaker is their favorite. Calaway is now semi-retired and living in Austin.
Born and raised in Austin, Foles also played for the Westlake Chapparrals football team graduating in 2007. As the starting quarterback for two years, Foles threw for 56 touchdowns and 5,600 yards. Foles broke many of the records that Drew Brees had set while playing for Westlake. After graduating from the University of Arizona, Foles was drafted in the third round by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2012. After a short stint with the Eagles, he was traded to the St. Louis Rams for former Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford before eventually ending back up on the Eagles team in 2017. Foles would take over for an injured Carson Wentz and lead the Eagles to an improbable 2018 Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots, winning Super Bowl MVP honors in the process. Foles currently plays for the Chicago Bears.
(Michele Moore/ CC)
The Austin native attended Bowie High School where he was a two-year starter at running back and defensive back, winning district and state honors in the process. Griffin decided to stay at home and attend the UT where he started his college career as a true freshman. Griffin is ranked in the top ten in tackles at UT and his eight blocked kicks ranks second all time in NCAA Division I history. Griffin was also a major piece for the 2005 National Champion Longhorns team that was able to defeat the University of Southern California in what some considered the greatest college football game ever played. Griffin intercepted a pass at the goal in what was a major turning point in the game. The two time All American was drafted in the first round in 2007 by the Tennessee Titans making two Pro Bowls and being named second team all pro in 2010 during his nine-year career. Griffin and former college teammate Brian Orakpo co-own Gigi's Cupcakes in Austin recently.
The former Heisman Trophy winner started his career playing football at Lake Travis playing for the Cavaliers. While in High School, Mayfield had a 25-2 record winning the 2011 4A State Championship. Two years as the starting quarterback, the eventual No. 1 overall pick threw for more than 6,000 yards and 67 touchdowns. After starting his college career at Texas Tech, Mayfield eventually ended up playing for the Oklahoma Sooners where he had one of the best careers in college football history. The two time All American is the only walk-on ever to win the Heisman Trophy, college football's most prestigious award given to the most outstanding player. Mayfield also had the third highest number of first place votes ever for the award, totalling 732 first place votes. In 2018, the Cleveland Browns drafted Mayfield first overall. Baker showed that the Browns made the right choice quickly by setting the rookie quarterback touchdown record with 27. During the coronavirus pandemic, Mayfield had his Browns' wide receivers over at his Austin home to train.
The former No. 1 player Andy Roddick moved to Austin with his family and lived there for seven years before moving to Boca Raton, Florida to help further his brother's tennis career. Roddick had his first major victory when in 2000 he won the Australian Open junior singles title at 17. Entering the pros at 18, Roddick proved he was the real deal after beating No. 4 Pete Sampras in the Miami Masters. Later that year he beat No. 1 Gustavo Kuerten and had excellent finishes in the 2001 French Open and Wimbledon. In 2003 at 21 years old, Roddick achieved his goal of being the No. 1 player in the world, becoming the youngest American to hold the rank. In 2017 Roddick was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. He currently resides in Austin.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced a record-setting second quarter during an earnings call broadcasted from the Giga Texas construction site in Southeast Travis County on Monday.
The electric carmaker reported more than $1 billion in quarterly net income and the production of more than 200,000 vehicles for the first time despite challenges such as a global semiconductor shortage.
"It … seems that public sentiment towards electric vehicles is at an inflection point, and at this point, I think, almost everyone agrees electric vehicles are the only way forward," Musk said.
Exterior shots taken just a while ago of Giga Texas (while @elonmusk is reportedly at the Gigafactory!) during today's earnings call!
Hope @peterdog15 got to catch the technoking in his video! #fastestinhistory #Tesla pic.twitter.com/WqeDlb5wU3
— Austin Tesla Club (@AustinTeslaClub) July 26, 2021
Despite rising consumer demand and adequate factory capacity, Tesla faces what Musk described as a "quite serious" global semiconductor shortage, which will determine the company's growth rate for the rest of the year.
With increased revenue and production, Tesla is investing in new factories, Chief Financial Officer Zachary Kirkhorn said. These include Giga Texas, the $1.1 billion manufacturing plant that broke ground last summer and is slated to open later this year.
The Giga Texas factory in Southeast Travis County has rapidly increased in size since ground broke last August. (Tesla)
Musk commended the construction team for "incredible progress," transforming what was basically a vacant site into "a mostly complete large factory a year later."
I was at Giga Texas yesterday. Team is making excellent progress. Building will be almost a mile long when complete.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 25, 2021
Giga Texas will produce the highly anticipated Cybertruck, along with other models, but Musk said scaling its production will be difficult, especially given the supply chain delays caused by the pandemic. "It's going to move as fast as the slowest of its up to 10,000 unique parts," he said.
In other news, Musk said Monday's earnings call would likely be his last regular appearance, only jumping on future quarterly calls when big announcements warrant it.
Tesla Solar recently made news when it announced plans to build the nation's most sustainable residential community in Southeast Austin earlier this month. The newly built homes will feature Tesla solar roof tiles and Powerwall battery storage as well as electric vehicle charging stations.
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The city of Austin released a shortlist of seven candidates for the police chief position left vacant when Brian Manley retired in March.
City Manager Spencer Cronk hopes to announce an appointment by the end of August, which will require City Council approval.
The finalists, chosen from a field of 46 applicants, include:
- APD Interim Chief Joseph Chacon, who previously served as an assistant chief in the department for almost five years
- Anne Kirkpatrick, former police chief in Oakland, California, who was fired last year after a federal monitor criticized her handling of a fatal 2018 police shooting of a homeless man
- Dallas Police Department Assistant Chief Avery L. Moore, who is a 30-year veteran of the department
- Atlanta Police Department Deputy Chief Celeste Murphy, who manages the department's community services division
- Dekalb County Police Chief Mirtha V. Ramos, who previously served as division chief in the Miami-Dade Police Department
- Wichita Police Department Chief Gordon Ramsay, who is a former president of the Minnesota Police Chief's Association as well as one of the first police chiefs of a major U.S. City to call George Floyd's death a murder, as reported by the Wichita Eagle
- Los Angeles Police Department Deputy Chief Emada E. Tingirides, who is also commanding officer of the department's newly formed Community Safety Partnership Bureau, which serves L.A.'s underserved communities
City staff will interview the finalists in the coming weeks, with several community input opportunities to come, according to a Monday press release.
The city conducted a public survey in March and hosted community input meetings in April to learn more about what residents are looking for in their next police chief, which helped shape the selection criteria for the position.
"They want to see the Chief be reform-minded and transparent and have a track record of fostering community involvement and accountability," Cronk said in the release. "The candidates selected show these characteristics in various ways."
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Days after Austin began once again recommending masks in public spaces, Austin ISD announced Monday that kindergarten through sixth-grade classes will have virtual options this fall.
The district will discuss the move in a special board meeting Monday evening starting at 5 p.m., while full details will be released Friday.
Teachers will not have to fret about the new option—no educators will have to juggle both virtual and in-person learning. Instead, certain teachers will specialize in virtual education, according to a press release.
The news comes after a recent spike in COVID cases in Travis County and across the nation. Children typically suffer fewer symptoms of COVID when contracted, but they are now catching the virus more often than their older counterparts without a vaccine available to them and as the more contagious Delta variant is quickly being spread.
While local health officials are recommending everyone wear masks, public school districts are unable to mandate masks due to an executive order issued by Gov. Greg Abbott in May.
Parents have expressed concern about classrooms with masks unenforceable and children under the age of 12 ineligible for a vaccine. Some have even said they would look for alternative schooling if AISD did not offer a virtual option for students.
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