The sports world had some really high highs this past week, but it also had some somber lows as well. For many athletes, last week was a memorable one. The Kansas Jayhawks men’s basketball team won an NCAA Tournament title. NASCAR Cup Series driver William Byron took the checkered flag at Martinsville Speedway over the weekend. UFC featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski retained his title after winning by TKO. Plus, golfer Scottie Scheffler won the 2022 Masters Tournament at Augusta National.
While these championship and title-winning moments will forever be remembered by the athletes and their fans, there were also some low points in the sports world this past week. You could say that the athletes who lost all experienced lows, but that’s part of competition. They can learn from their mistakes and come back to fight another day. Sadly, NFL quarterback Dwayne Haskins won’t get that opportunity. In news that rocked the sports world over the weekend, the quarterback passed away at only 24 years old. We’ll cover some of these stories in more detail as Outsider reviews the last week in sports.
What to Watch For This Week
- The NBA Playoffs are set as the Play-In Tournament runs from April 12-15, and the playoffs start April 16
- The Food City Dirt Race at Bristol Motor Speedway is up next on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule on Sunday
- The 2022 Major League Baseball season is officially in full-swing
- NFL teams are visiting with incoming players as they prepare for the 2022 NFL Draft in two weeks
In Case You Missed It
- Golfer Scottie Scheffler took home the green jacket at the 2022 Masters Tournament at Augusta National
- Driver William Byron took the checkered flag at the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 400 at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday
- The 2022 Major League Baseball season began on Thursday
- March Madness came to an end early last week as Kansas beat UNC for the 2022 NCAA Tournament title
- NFL quarterback and former Ohio State standout Dwayne Haskins died early Saturday at only 24 years old
- UFC 273: Featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski retained his title on Saturday after TKOing “The Korean Zombie”
- NBA superstar LeBron James missed out on the playoffs for only the 4th time in his career as the L.A. Lakers fell just short of a postseason spot
Scottie Scheffler Wins His First Green Jacket at the 2022 Masters Tournament
On Sunday, PGA golfer Scottie Scheffler walked up the 18th fairway at Augusta National knowing a green jacket would be placed on him soon. The world’s No. 1 golfer came into the tournament without a major victory. However, he left the 2022 Masters Tournament with one of the most coveted major wins in all of golf.
Scheffler had himself a week in Augusta as many analysts and fans picked him as the tourney favorite. He not only lived up to the hype at only 25 years old, but played consistently great golf throughout his four rounds at The Masters. In fact, Scottie Scheffler shot under par each day of the major event. That included shooting 3-under on Thursday, 5-under on Friday, 1-under on Saturday, and 1-under on Sunday.
Scheffler built up quite the lead in the first couple of days, but showed signs of slowing down on Saturday. That could have opened the door for one of his opponents to enter the mix on the leaderboard. Aussie Cameron Smith and Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy made weekend pushes, but each surge fell flat.
After the pre-Masters drama involving Phil Mickelson, and the excitement that surrounded Tiger Woods’ return to competition, Scottie Scheffler would take all the headlines. Scheffler has been on a hot streak in 2022 and recently won three out of his last five events this year previous to The Masters. However, his win at Augusta National is his first major and easily the biggest win of his young career. The University of Texas graduate is now the 86th Masters Champion and can now hang the famous green blazer in his closet.
William Byron Wins at Martinsville, Dedicates Race to His Mother
On Saturday night, NASCAR driver William Byron took the checkered flag at Martinsville Speedway. It was his second win of the early 2022 Cup Series season, but this one meant a bit more than usual. Not only was it great to take home the famed grandfather clock from the speedway, but his mother Dana was in attendance.
Byron led his fellow racers for a career-high in laps and withstood a late restart in overtime to earn the Martinsville win. After coming close to his second win last week in Richmond but coming up short, he made sure to make this one count. Following a tight race and cautions, Byron would win at the “Paper Clip” and immediately dedicate the victory to his mom.
“Man, it feels awesome,” William Byron said in his post-race interview. “You know, I knew when that last caution came out, we were probably, you know I thought everyone behind us would pit. And luckily, you know, we stayed out, we were aggressive. We felt like we could refire on the tires and be OK.”
“This one’s for my mom,” Byron added. “You know, she… last time this same weekend last year, she had kind of a mini-stroke and was diagnosed with brain cancer. So it means a lot to have her here and it’s been a crazy year but she’s doing great. Thanks, everybody, for the support. I kind of felt like she was riding there with me. So, it’s cool to have her here and I’m definitely going to enjoy this one.”
QB Dwayne Haskins Dead at 24 Years Old After South Florida Accident
Early on Saturday, reports spread like wildfire that former Ohio State star and first-round NFL draft pick Dwayne Haskins had died. On3 reported that a vehicle struck Haskins in South Florida where he was training in the offseason. He passed away at only 24 years old.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter first shared the sad news Saturday morning. He wrote on Twitter: “Dwayne Haskins, a standout at Ohio State before becoming Washington’s first-round pick and playing in Pittsburgh, died this morning when he got hit by a car in South Florida, per his agent Cedric Saunders. Haskins would have turned 25 years old on May 3.”
Haskins had just resigned with the Pittsburgh Steelers after spending last season with the team as their third quarterback. With starter Ben Roethlisberger retiring, Pittsburgh’s QB situation looked like a great opportunity for Haskins going forward. In fact, he was in the Miami area training with some of his Steelers teammates in recent weeks as they geared up for the new season.
Further details on what exactly happened in the early hours of Saturday morning are still murky even three days later. The Miami Herald reported that the Florida Highway Patrol is investigating the accident that involved Haskins. The FHP did report that a dump truck hit and killed Haskins on I-595. The outlet also shared that parts of I-595 were still shut down as of late Saturday morning.
As news broke of Haskins’ death, tributes began to pour in from coaches, teammates, and fans alike of the former Buckeyes star. A life cut short far too soon. Rest in peace, Dwayne Haskins.