Archive for the 'Basketball' Category

LaMelo Returns To High School, Finalists For Major League Baseball Awards

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LaMelo Ball has decided to return to high school and complete his senior year. LaMelo dropped out of Chino High School to play with his brother LiAngelo in Lithuania last year. After returning from Lithuania, the brothers played for their dad, the very outspoken LaVar, in the Junior Basketball Association. LaMelo was previously committed to playing at UCLA, but after signing with an agent last December, he became ineligible to play for any college so presumbably he’s hoping to attract attention from the pros.

BASEBALL

The baseball writers association has announced the finalist for the awards given to Major League Baseball’s finest. The voting concluded before the start of the playoffs and the ultimate winners will be announced next week. Not surprisingly, Jacob DeGrom, Max Scherzer, and Aaron Nola are finalists for the National League Cy Young Award, and Mookie Betts, Jose Ramirez, and Mike Trout are finalists for the American League Cy Young. Click here for a list of all categories and finalists.

 

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Brady Sets More Records, FBI’s Pay To Play Investigations Heat Up, Kyrie Tells Crowd He’ll Stay With Boston

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Tom Brady rallied his team to a close victory over the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday night and managed to set some more records while doing so. In the fourth quarter of their 38-24 win, Brady threw a touchdown pass to Josh Gordon, setting an NFL record for throwing a touchdown to the greatest number of different targets (71). He also recorded 500 regular season career touchdown passes joining Brett Favre (who had 508 in his career) and Peyton Manning (who had 539).

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The FBI has been working on an investigation into pay to play bribery schemes from Adidas officials and others to get recruits to sign with schools affiliated with the brand. Two Louisville coaches were implicated in this scandal during Thursday’s court proceedings when former recruit Brian Bowen’s father took the stand. Former  Adidas executives were charged with paying the Bowen family $100,000 for committing to play at Louisville. This story is just beginning and could have large ramifications throughout the college sports world. For a rundown of teams and people involved, click here.

Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving told his fans he’ll re-sign with the Celtics when he becomes a free agent next summer. He posted on social media, “If you guys will have me back, I plan on re-signing here.”

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LaVar Destroyed Lithuanian Team, Kopech’s Racist/Homophobic Tweets, Sherman Launches Fantasy Site

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LaVar Ball is back in the news after his son’s Lithuanian coach posted on Twitter a letter complaining about LaVar destroying the team. The coach also mentioned his disappointment in the sons LiAngelo and LaMelo claiming, “The most disappointing fact was that they had no inner drive to become better.” He went on to say, the brothers’ talent was “nowhere near the level of the LKL (Lithuanian league), let alone the NBA.”

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Pitcher Michael Kopech made a solid major league debut on Tuesday night with the White Sox, then soon realized he’s back in the news for racist and homophobic tweets he made 5 years ago at the age of 17.  Kopech responded to the criticism by saying, “It’s unfortunate that I was ever at that point mentally, but it’s not who I am now. Yeah, I cleaned some tweets up and tried to get rid of them. But, obviously, people saw them. It’s not who I am now, and it’s not who I want to be.’’ Kopech joins major leaguers Trea Turner, Sean Newcomb and Josh Hader who also had to apologize recently for old racist remarks surfacing on their social media accounts.

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San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman launched a daily fantasy sports site called Daily Number. As a co-founder of the company, he’s believed to be the first player to own or co-own a fantasy game.

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Mayfield And Barkley Put On Show In NFL Preseason, Luck Jubilant, Wake Forest BBall Coach Charged In Tourist Death

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The NFL preseason games began Thursday night, and all eyes were on the rookies and the players coming back from injury. Number one pick in the draft Baker Mayfield provided one of the highlights of the night in his debut in Cleveland. In a  20-10 win over the New York Giants, Mayfield threw for 212 yards and 2 touchdowns, while the Browns newly acquired yet seasoned QB Tyrod Taylor completed 5 of 5 passes for 99 yards and a TD. Both QB’s are giving Browns fans some much needed hope for the future (the franchise lost every game last season and only won one game in 2016).  The Giants running back and #1 pick in the draft, Saquon Barkley, immediately impressed the crowd with his 39 yard run on his first carry in the NFL.

All eyes were on veteran quarterback Andrew Luck who missed the entire 2017 season due to a shoulder injury. Luck only played in two series during the game, but was jubilant after getting hit and realizing he could pop right back up. He even showed his excitement on the sideline and said he was “Just trying to control my emotions and then I just sort of said ‘screw it.  Whatever I want to think and whatever I want to feel, I’m going to feel it and let that happen. It was a little bit of pressure was off, in a sense, and I really had fun.”

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Jamill Jones, Wake Forest’s assistant men’s basketball coach, is facing charges of third degree assault in the death of a 35-year old tourist from Boca Raton. According to the police report, Jones punched the tourist (in New York City for a friend’s wedding) after he knocked on his car window thinking it was his Uber ride. The tourist fell to the ground resulting in fatal fractures to his skull. The investigation of the incident is ongoing.

 

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NCAA New Rules, Kawhi Leonard Farewell Letter

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The NCAA announced new rules in college basksetball including allowing agents for “elite” athletes and permitting undrafted college age players to return to play for their schools.  The rule changes came out of a commission on College Basketball chaired by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice which looked into clearing up some controversial and problematic issues in college basketball. Many are unhappy with the changes and don’t believe they benefit the majority of athletes.

Kawhi Leonard officially wrapped up his time in San Antonio with a farewell letter to the players, the organization and coach Popovich. Leonard played for 7 seasons with the Spurs recording two All-Star designations and in 2014 a Finals MVP. After suffering a quad injury this past season, he was traded to the Toronto Raptors in July. Leonard showed no hard feelings in his goodbye letter stating, “Through all the ups and downs — I’m glad there were many more ups! — I’ll never forget what we have shared and accomplished together. While I’m looking forward to the next chapter in my career, I’ll always remember the city and the people of San Antonio!”

 

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LeBron’s “Shut Up And Dribble”, 13 NC Players Suspended, Elliott’s Dad Supports Meyer

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LeBron James has been busy this off-season. First, he opened the “I Promise” school in Akron, Ohio, then he announced the debut August 28th of “The Shop” where he’ll have conversations with people in barbershops around the country. If that wasn’t enough, he’s also the Executive Producer of  “Shut Up and Dribble”, a 3-part documentary series on Showtime. According to reports, “The series traces the modern history of the league and its players, starting with the 1976 merger of the freewheeling American Basketball Association and the National Basketball Association, exploring how the top players have expanded their reach off the court in fields such as business and fashion while becoming icons in the process.”

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Thirteen North Carolina Tar Heel football players (including quarterback Chazz Surratt) will miss at least one game this season for selling school-issued limited edition Nike Jordan shoes. Selling school-issued shoes is an NCAA violation and according to the coach, the players knew the rules. The NCAA agreed to stagger the suspensions since so many players were involved, and some shared the same position.

Over 100 people turned out to show support for Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer. Meyer was suspended with pay for allegedly knowing about a domestic violence incident with one of his assistant coaches but failing to report what he knew. Former Ohio State running back (and current Dallas Cowboy star player) Ezekiel Elliott’s father fired up the crowd in support of Meyer claiming Meyer taught his son values. In a twisted irony, Ezekiel was suspended for 6 games by the Leauge last season for alleged domestic violence against his ex-girlfriend. Elliott never admitted wrongdoing.

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MSU Lawsuit In Rape Allegations, Andrew Luck No “Duke”, Mariota Makes The Day

 

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A female student at Michigan State is suing the University for how it responded to rape allegations against 3 basketball players from an incident in April of 2015. If the allegations are true, the recount of the incident and how the University Counseling Center responded is horrifying. The lawsuit states “MSU has fostered a culture in which female victims are discouraged from reporting sexual assaults when those assaults are perpetrated by male athletes, thus protecting the university, the male athletics programs, and the male athletes at the expense of the female victims.” The University currently has no comment on the case.

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Indianapolis Colts Quarterback Andrew Luck, who has missed 26 games over the last 3 seasons, admits he hasn’t picked up “The Duke” (the official NFL game ball) and thrown a regulation-size ball yet. He told the media his timetable for his return is unknown, but he’s confident he’ll be back and better than ever.

In some feel-good news, Tennesse Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota made the day of every kid attending the Special Olympics event at the Stadium. Mariota did not leave until every kid caught a pass. One child struggled a bit to make the catch, but Mariota patiently stayed until he was successful. After the event, Mariota said, “I just like seeing their faces light up.”

 

 

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Villanova Wins National Title, Backup Guard Donte DiVincenzo Shines, Greeny’s Evil Empire Good For Baseball

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Villanova earned their second National title in 3 years in a big win Monday night over Michigan. The hero of the game was Donte DiVincenzo who scored 31 points off the bench. DiVincenzo is a backup guard, and when he came off the bench and scored 18 points in the first half, the tide of the game turned. DiVincenzo’s career-high 31 points is the most for a non-starter in a championship game. To no one’s surprise, Donte earned the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four.  The Wildcats became only the 8th school to win 3 or more titles (1985 and 2016 and now 2018). Villanova 79, Michigan 62.

Philadelphia has now become the first city to win a Super Bowl (Eagles in February) and an NCAA basketball title in the same year.

BASEBALL

Baseball season officially began last Thursday, and the last thing anyone thought would happen is a game would be postponed due to snow, but that’s exactly what happened in the NY Yankees home opener on Monday. The Yankees will now play their home opener against the Tampa Bay Rays today at 1;05 pm. For more on the Yankees and why it’s good for baseball to hate them, watch Mike Greenberg’s “Return of the Evil Empire”. 

 

 

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Notre Dame’s Arike Ogunbowale Heroics, Michigan Vs Villanova, Streak News, House’s Dunk

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In one weekend, Arike Ogunbowale secured her place in history. On Friday night she shocked #1 seed U-Conn with a buzzer-beater sending Notre Dame to the National Title game against Mississippi State. Then on Sunday, Arike pulled out another buzzer-beater with a three-pointer to give Notre Dame the title (their second women’s championship). Notre Dame 61, Mississippi State 58. All weekend, Arike received tweets from basketball greats including her hero, Kobe Bryant.

Michigan snapped Sister Jean and Loyola-Chicago’s Cinderella run and Villanova outplayed (with a record 18 3-pointers) Kansas in the Final Four. On Monday night, Michigan and Villanova face off for the National Championship 9:20 pm ET TBS.

In NBA news, the San Antonio Spurs snapped the Houston Rockets 11-game win streak with a monstrous 100-83 rout. The Rockets have secured home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. In other streak news, the Philadelphia 76ers have won their 10th straight game thanks to rookie Ben Simmons.

The Phoenix Suns are amassing one of the worst records in the NBA (a franchise record 15 straight losses), but on Sunday night, the Suns’ Danuel House made a name for himself with a spectacular dunk that lit up social media. House toiled in the NBA Developmental League (G-League) until December when he signed with the Suns. Unfortunately for Phoenix, they still lost the game to the Golden State Warriors 107-117.

 

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Gronk Best Dancer In NFL, LiAngelo Available For NBA

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Many in the sports world have been speculating whether Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft is concerned that tight end Rob Gronkowski will retire this year. After Gronk’s now famous “dance off” with Shaquille O’Neal over the weekend at the debut of Shaq’s Fun House in Miami, Kraft was thrilled with Gronk’s athleticism and said, “I must say, I sort of got excited seeing him vault up on Shaq’s shoulders. For a guy that size to be able to hop up on a 7-foot-2-inch, or whatever Shaq is, is pretty cool. So, that speaks well about his potential athletic moves this coming year.’’ When Gronk does retire, he says wants to win “Dancing with the Stars” and that he’s “the best dancer in the NFL.”

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LiAngelo Ball, the former UCLA player who was involved in a shoplifting scandal in China and is currently playing in Lithuania with his younger brother LaMelo, has indicated he’ll be available for the NBA draft this year. LiAngelo seems to be playing well in Lithuania, but it’s unclear whether NBA teams will be interested in him.

 

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