Top Marquette sports headlines of the summer

Over the last three months there have been several noteworthy developments regarding Marquette sports. Here are six stories to update the Marquette community on what they may have missed.

Vander Blue invited to NBA Summer League

Vander Blue forwent his final year at Marquette to declare for the NBA Draft. Blue was not on many analysts’ mock drafts and was not one of the 60 players selected in June’s draft. However, Blue was invited by the Houston Rockets and the Memphis Grizzlies to play for their summer league squads and impressed scouts with a 24-point outing in a Memphis Grizzlies loss to the Charlotte Bobcats. Blue served as shooting guard for Memphis and point guard for Houston. He remains unsigned.

Valley Fields gets makeover

The field for Marquette’s men’s and women’s soccer squads underwent renovations in June for the first time since it opened in 1993. Bush Turf, which has completed field projects for six Major League Baseball stadiums, replaced the grass surface and irrigation system with high-grade turf grids. The upgrade comes before the Golden Eagles host the Big East women’s soccer semifinals and championship in November.

Wade, Heat win NBA title

Dwyane Wade notched his third NBA championship as Miami Heat overcame a 3-2 series deficit to upend the San Antonio Spurs in seven games this June. Although Wade averaged just 15.9 points per game in this postseason, the lowest of his career, he received support from potent scorers LeBron James, Ray Allen and Chris Bosh. Wade was one of four Marquette alums taking part in the playoffs: Jimmy Butler of the Chicago Bulls, Steve Novak of the New York Knicks (now with the Toronto Raptors), and Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers round out the group.

Women’s lacrosse lands first foreign recruit

The Golden Eagles welcomed Australian midfielder Rebecca Putna to the women’s lacrosse team last week, making her the first foreign player in the program’s short history. Putna competed with the Under-23 Australian Women’s National team this June in Beijing’s Asian Pacific Games, assisting the squad to a second-place nod. The freshman will join the team as it begins its first season as a full-time Big East competitor.

Dwight Buycks signs with Raptors

Former Marquette point guard Dwight Buycks signed a two-year contract with the Toronto Raptors. He is one of six Golden Eagles playing in the upcoming NBA season. The Milwaukee native played in Belgium and France after his Marquette days before he was picked up by the Tulsa 66ers, the D-League affiliate of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Buycks impressed scouts last month in summer league competition and is expected to backup starting Toronto guard Kyle Lowry.

Men’s and women’s soccer teams nationally ranked

After successful seasons last fall, the men’s (No. 12) and women’s (No. 15) soccer teams enter the academic year nationally ranked. The women’s squad finished 2012 with an 18-2-3 record and have now recorded 17 consecutive winning seasons. The men’s team was ranked as high as No. 2 in the nation last year and won its first 12 matches. The team sputtered down the stretch, going 4-4-1 in their final nine games. Last weekend, the men’s team ended their preseason undefeated, tying No. 1 Indiana in an exhibition meeting.