A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Athletes with local ties continuing their careers in other parts of the world in three different sports

By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter

Three athletes with ties to Northern Kentucky have been drawing attention in other parts of the world competing in swimming, soccer and basketball.

On Wednesday, Mariah Denigan, 19, of Walton, placed 15th in a field of 58 swimmers in the women’s 10K open water event at the FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary. She was also on a USA mixed 4×1500 open water relay team that placed seventh.

De’Ondre Jackson

Earlier this month, former Northern Kentucky University soccer player Alex Greive played on the New Zealand men’s national team that lost to Costa Rica, 1-0, in an intercontinental playoff game in Qatar for the final berth in the 2022 World Cup.

And one of the leading scorers in Ireland’s premier men’s basketball league last season was De’Ondre Jackson, who was a senior forward on the 2016 Campbell County High School boys team that won the 10th Region championship.

Denigan, who started her competitive swimming career with the Northern Kentucky Clippers, is a member of the USA Swimming national team. She took all of her high school classes online and started her freshman year at Indiana University last fall on a swimming scholarship.

Four years ago, Denigan won a bronze medal in the girls 14-15 age group 5K event at the Open Water World Championships in Israel. Last year, she won the women’s 7K event at the U.S. Open Water Championships in Florida.

Alex Greive

Mariah Denigan

Greive was the leading scorer on the 2019 NKU men’s soccer team with 15 goals. He then returned home to New Zealand and was playing in his country’s pro league when he was added to the men’s national roster for World Cup qualifying matches.

In the final match against Costa Rica, Greive nearly scored a goal in the 11th minute. According to a story on the New Zealand Football website, his “volley from just inside the penalty area after a well-timed late run narrowly flashed wide of (Costa Rica’s) goal.”

Greive is now playing for St. Mirren, one of the oldest clubs in the Scottish Premiership professional league.

Jackson averaged 22 points and 3.7 rebounds for the NUIG Maree men’s basketball team in the Ireland Super League last season. He shot 58.5 percent (87 of 149) from the field overall and 51 percent (26 of 51) from 3-point range in 11 games.

The 6-foot-4 forward was a second-team selection on the Basketball Ireland All-Stars. He played for Palm Beach Atlantic University in Florida before signing a contract with the Maree team that posted a 9-10 record last season.

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