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Cavs' Irving shares inspirational message to motivate kids

em>By Tom Withers, Associated Press /em> CLEVELAND (AP) — Kyrie Irving spent a day dedicated to transition and big speeches by delivering a message from the heart. Cleveland's All-Star point guard, whose own life has undergone major changes over the past year or so because of fatherhood, an Olympic gold medal and NBA championship, spoke to hundreds of school kids on Friday (Saturday, PHL time) about following their dreams. To kick off a program promoting physical fitness, Irving shared some wisdom and experiences he hopes will help motivate kids to reach their potential. He urged them to listen to their parents, follow their own path and reminded them that life's journey never ends. 'I'm still figuring it out,' he said. 'I'm still you.' Teaming with Kids Foot Locker, Irving visited one of the city's Boys & Girls Clubs to launch a six-week fitness challenge which promotes a healthy lifestyle and encourages kids to excel outside and inside the classroom. Not far removed from their age group, the 24-year-old Irving easily connected with the kids, who wore 'Go Big' T-shirts and could barely contain their excitement when the Cavaliers' star was introduced and walked to the middle of the basketball court. 'Listen to your parents,' Irving told them, but not in a preachy way, rather the way an older brother would tell his siblings. 'Make sure you cherish the friendships you have and family is first — always.' Before the event, Irving, who was named an All-Star starter for the Eastern Conference on Thursday (Friday, PHL time), spent a few minutes with the Associated Press discussing the motivation to support his community and aspirations beyond basketball. Irving understands both his place and platform and wants to maximize it. And as the nation looked toward Washington, D.C., Irving simply wanted to make a positive impact on some kinds in Cleveland. 'I want to be a generational leader and I am that already,' he told AP. 'I have to accept that and to do that you have to acquire as much knowledge and still grow every single day, make sure I'm living the truth and share that with the rest of the world. It's not necessarily opening up to the media or anyone else, but it's about opening up to the kids that matter — that are going to be changing our world in a few years. 'I'm OK with this, man. As long as I can shape a kid's day or shape a kid's life in any way possible, and help them realize their potential is endless, you are limitless. You can be your own decider in your life. Whatever else is going on, you have to take control of it.' Irving was raised almost exclusively by his father, Drederick, after his mother, Elizabeth, died when he was four. The elder Irving didn't have to push his child, who was driven from an early age. It's that independence, the strength to be unafraid and willingness to fail but learn, that's at the heart of Irving's message. 'I want them to think bigger,' he said. 'It's a lost simpler for me now as I've gotten older. There were things that I thought were going to stop me and limit me, but those things aren't necessarily real, they're false and created by whatever it is that tells us what we can't do, the outside influences. Never listen to that, man. I've always figured it out one day at a time. 'As long as you can see through it, and find your own truth, you'll be fine. I try to give kids the truth. I still am that kid that was growing up in Boys & Girls Clubs in New York and New Jersey, going to different neighborhoods. I'm that same kid. I've never changed and being able to acquire the knowledge that I have from other people helps me — and hopefully resonates with the kids.' .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 21st, 2017

A guide to FIFA's options for expanding the 2026 World Cup

GRAHAM DUNBAR, AP Sports Writer   FIFA is preparing to decide Tuesday on adding 16 more teams to the 2026 World Cup for a 48-team tournament. President Gianni Infantino's favored format would break with soccer tradition to play in groups of only three teams. Two would advance from each group to a Round of 32 knockout bracket. If agreed by the Infantino-chaired FIFA Council in Zurich, the 2026 hosting contest could formally open in weeks. A co-hosted North American bid is widely seen as the best option. Here are some things to know about overhauling the greatest competition in the world's most popular sport: ___ WHY EXPAND? A bigger World Cup was an Infantino campaign promise before his election last February, when his plan was 40 teams. It might have been key. Infantino's momentum for victory in a second-round poll was a three-vote lead over Sheik Salman of Bahrain in the first. Sheik Salman had promised only to review if more World Cup teams were wanted. Infantino also pledged to give more of FIFA's money to member federations — all 211 are now entitled to $5 million from each World Cup — and send more to continental and regional soccer bodies. So, more teams also had to mean more games, earning more revenue from broadcasters and sponsors. The '16x3' format arguably works better with only group winners advancing. But that would leave total matches unchanged at 64. Infantino also wants to create fervor in the extra countries which would qualify. In the short-term, competing national teams attract more sponsors. The long-term goal is appealing to more young people who are the future players, fans and officials. Expect to hear much FIFA talk of helping the next Costa Rica or Iceland — feelgood stories at the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016 — by inviting 16 more teams to the party. ___ 48-TEAM OPTIONS A near-consensus is growing around the '16x3' option revealed just one month ago. All 80 games would be played in exclusive time slots. That's more hours of TV exposure for sponsors and sales time for broadcasters in the same 32-day tournament period. By advancing two teams from each group, a Round of 32 ensures most teams still play at least three matches. FIFA's own analysis predicts this format will raise revenue by 20 percent from the equivalent $5.5 billion forecast from the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The flaw for purists is planning for penalty shootouts to settle drawn group matches. If each game has a 'winner' that guards against teams colluding on a mutually favorable result in the last group games. Previously, Infantino suggested an opening playoff round of 16 matches to decide who would join 16 seeded teams in a traditional 32-team group phase. That was unacceptable to many FIFA members federations who said 'one-and-done' teams were not part of a real World Cup. It also would stretch the tournament to 39 days. ___ 40-TEAM OPTIONS Infantino's plan from one year ago is now almost friendless. Either of two options, 10 groups of four teams or eight five-team groups, gives lopsided or weak match schedules, FIFA judged. In '10x4,' only 76 matches are played and only six group runners-up advance from a muddled tiebreaker process to a Round of 16. In '8x5,' the 88 matches include meaningless ones in a flabby group phase ripe for collusion. Also, the four semifinalists would play eight matches and that workload is unacceptable to European clubs releasing employees to national-team duty. ___ PROVEN 32-TEAM FORMAT Why fix something that is not broken? Germany, the defending champion, has publicly asked this question. The 32-team format and perfect 64-match bracket has worked well since being introduced at the 1998 World Cup in France (where Europe had 15 teams). FIFA acknowledged that it produces the best soccer — 'the highest absolute quality' of games pitting high-ranked teams against each other. Recall that former winners Italy, England and Uruguay were drawn in the same 2014 World Cup group — and yet Costa Rica finished top. Still, enough of FIFA's 211 members want change and their chance to play. ___ WHO WILL PLAY? A big question is likely not being resolved Tuesday. FIFA has yet to announce exactly how many entry slots each of six confederations would get for their own qualifying program. Quotas for a 40-team World Cup were proposed in December 2015 by a FIFA advisory group that included Infantino, then UEFA's general secretary. Some saw a cynical move to sweeten skeptical FIFA voters who were being asked to vote through modernizing and anti-corruption reforms on the same day they picked a new president. Then, assuming a single host nation would get automatic entry, the proposal for sharing 39 qualifying slots was: Europe 14; Africa 7; Asia 6; South America 5; North, Central America and Caribbean 5; Oceania 1; plus a final slot awarded 'based on sporting merits using a method yet to be defined.' Going from 40 to 48 can add at least one more from each continent. Who could those new teams be? On current form, maybe Wales and Panama, Congo and Burkina Faso, Uzbekistan and Oman, will bring something new to the 2026 World Cup. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 9th, 2017

How Fil-Am coach Leo Balayon is leading a small US university to greater heights

Last December 16, Bethesda University, a little-known college from Anaheim, California made U.S. collegiate basketball history when it defeated the Divsion One school Cal State University - Northridge. The Bethesda Flames, led by Filipino-American coach Leo Balayon, became the only member of the National Christian College Athletic Association to defeat a Division One school. Born and raised in Davao, coach Balayon has decades of basketball experience under his belt. He played for Ateneo de Davao's basketball team and eventually became University of the Philippines' assistant coach. He played semi-professionally in China before joining his family in the US, where the sport followed him, and he became the head coach of the men's basketball team and the athletic director of Bethesda University. But it looks like he's found home. Balayon is not just breathing life into a little-known school, he's also providing second chances to players who have had a rough past.   strong>BUCKET LIST /strong> With the win, Balayon not only made history, but he was also able to cross something off his bucket list. 'I want to win against a division one team as a small school coach, that was one of the items on my bucket list,' he said.  And to add to the grandeur of their accomplishment, the win came against a coach like Reggie Theus, a 13-year NBA veteran. 'Being able to accomplish it this past week was really amazing especially doing it against a coach I respect, Reggie Theus is an NBA coach, NCAA coach he's been to the tournament, he's been an NBA all star,' Balayon said. But he didn't do it alone.    strong>BIGGER THAN BASKETBALL /strong> Along with the challenge of coaching a small school, his team consists of players who've had problems in the past, or have come from difficult backgrounds. But they're in it together, nonetheless. 'I know it's a small school, really challenging situation, but it actually allows me to find kids that need help and sometimes the kids we help they come from hard backgrounds. We've had kids who's moms were murdered. We have guys who've lost loved ones,' said Balayon.  Further embracing the situation, Balayon  appreciates the second chance the sport has given to his players.  'We can't get the top 25 high school recruits but we can get these kids that are overlooked and maybe some coaches shy away them just because of where they're coming from or their past mistakes. For us I use this platform to help kids have a second chance.'   strong>TAKE IT FROM THEM /strong> Bethesda Flames guard Rob Bush is a prime example of the hardships some of the players have went through. 'I had to put basketball down for a minute. Because my dad unfortunately died and then my mom was murdered so I had to put it down for a second. I just had to come take care of myself,' Bush said. But Bush is also living proof of how Bethesda's sports program and coach Balayon's coaching have done wonders to rejuvinate players' outlook in life. 'It's a blessing any time you can get on the court. It's blessing that we can wake up and have camaraderie whether it's ups or downs.'  Another player, 34-year-old Buddha Boyd believes the Flames were destined to play together, and are on their way to do great things. 'I always believed in this team was going to do something special because I'm 34, years old playing college basketball, I'm here for a reason,' the 6'5 swingman said.  'After getting to know my teammates and knowing their stories. I just see all of us came together for a reason, something special and the D1 win was just the beginning.'   strong>With a report from Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN News /strong> .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 4th, 2017

PNP, DENR launch Kaligkasan in Tarlac

TARLAC CITY, June 19 (PIA) -- Philippine National Police and Department of Environment and Natural Resources launched the Kaligtasan at Kalikasan or Kaligkasan volunteer program in Tarlac."T.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated News4 hr. 15 min. ago

NNC s 1st 1000 days program on final stage of validation

UMINGAN, Pangasinan, June 19 (PIA) -- The implementation of the National Nutrition Council's (NNC) Early Childhood Care and Development on the 1st 1000 Days (ECCD-F1K) program is now on its final s.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated News5 hr. 15 min. ago

PNP, DENR launch Kaligkasan in Tarlac

TARLAC CITY, June 19 (PIA) -- Philippine National Police and Department of Environment and Natural Resources launched the Kaligtasan at Kalikasan or Kaligkasan volunteer program in Tarlac."T.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated News5 hr. 15 min. ago

Xi to visit North Korea

BEIJING: Chinese President Xi Jinping will make a state visit to North Korea this week, state media announced Monday, as US talks with North Korea on its nuclear program are…READ The post Xi to visit North Korea appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated News18 hr. 28 min. ago

Population program, FP under NEDA, DOH, DILG

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, June 10 (PIA)-The Commission on Population and Development, formerly known as the Population Commission (POPCOM) finds new vigor as it re-launches and re-strengthens its fam.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated News19 hr. 28 min. ago

Austal bares expansion project to build bigger vessels

Austal bares expansion project to build bigger vessels.....»»

Category: financeSource:  thestandardRelated News20 hr. 41 min. ago

Population program, FP under NEDA, DOH, DILG

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, June 10 (PIA)-The Commission on Population and Development, formerly known as the Population Commission (POPCOM) finds new vigor as it re-launches and re-strengthens its fam.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsJun 18th, 2019

Labor Official: Few companies hire senior high graduates

A labor official noted that few companies in Davao City offer job for senior high school (SHS) graduates despite the assurance from the Department of Education (DepEd) that the K to 12 Program will equip students with values, knowledge, and skills needed to work in various industries......»»

Category: newsSource:  davaotodayRelated NewsJun 18th, 2019

Green Energy Option Program: DOE to give consumers choice to tap renewable energy suppliers

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Power consumers will soon have an option to source their supply from renewable energy producers with the implementation of the “Green Energy Option Program” by the Department of Energy (DOE). “This is more of (the) consumers choice. We are empowering customers to choose their own (power) supply (source),” said Mylene Capongcol, […] The post Green Energy Option Program: DOE to give consumers choice to tap renewable energy suppliers appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJun 18th, 2019

DSWD Turns Over E-Sikad to Argao

Investing scams have been spreading like wildfire in the news and media nowadays. But there’s one investment that truly benefits the people. The DSWD’s investment in empowering people through Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP). The first in Cebu, according to Mrs. Rizalina L. Patindol, regional coordinator of SLP, the Electric Sikad Project or ESIKAD was given […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  metrocebuRelated NewsJun 18th, 2019

Germany beats South Africa 4-0 to win World Cup group

By Joseph Wilson, Associated Press MONTPELLIER, France (AP) — Germany is playing like a title contender, just at the right time. After seeing her team start the Women's World Cup with a pair of one-goal wins, Germany coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg told her players to keep the game simple. Germany played to its status as the world's second-ranked side and one of the top challengers hoping to dethrone the United States, routing South Africa 4-0 on Monday to top Group B with a 3-0 record. The Germans will play a third-place team in the round of 16 instead of the possibility of an immediate matchup with the Americans. After Germany grinded out 1-0 wins over China and Spain, its offense broke out with three goals in the first half at Montpellier's Stade de la Mosson, matching its total in its previous five World Cup games combined. "I told my players that we should keep it simple," Voss-Tecklenburg said. "The players performed very well. They showed that football can really be very simple sometimes. ... There were moments within the match when we tried to go for the more difficult solution. That's something we can work on." Displaying a varied attack, Germany generated a constant stream of scoring opportunities and could have easily won by a bigger margin. Melanie Leupolz opened the scoring in the 14th minute with her first goal for Germany since the 2016 Olympics. Sara Däbritz doubled the lead in the 29th minute from a goal-keeping blunder, Alexandra Popp made it 3-0 in the 40th and Lina Magull added the final goal in the 58th. "I think we are ready for the round of 16," Däbritz said. "Our goal was to come in first, and we are really happy about that." South Africa was winless in group play and outscored 8-1. At 49th, South Africa had the lowest ranking of the 24 teams in the tournament. Spain finished Group B as runner-up after a 0-0 draw with China and advanced to the knockout stage for the first time. Spain will face the winner of Group F on Monday at Reims, and the United States would be the opponent with a victory or draw in its final group match against Sweden. Two-time tournament champion Germany has not lost a match in group play since falling to Sweden in 1995. "Germany has won tournaments that it started out with difficulties," Voss-Tecklenburg said. "It would be great to have the same this time. All the matches will be challenges, and I hope we will be able to meet them all." Germany didn't miss the playmaking of Dzsenifer Marozsan, who broke a toe in its opener. Voss-Tecklenburg said she couldn't guarantee the Lyon midfielder will be ready for the round of 16. Leupolz put Germany ahead when she was left all alone on the edge of the 6-yard box to deftly nod a corner kick into the far corner of the net. Däbritz made it 2-0 after a mistake by goalkeeper Andile Dlamini, who turned what appeared to be a poor German pass into a perfect assist. Left back Verena Schweers's cross looked like an easy grab for Dlamini, only for Dlamini to parry the ball right into the path of Däbritz, who got her second goal of the tournament. "We conceded poorly from a set piece and a second goal, as well, and were on our back foot from there," South Africa coach Desiree Ellis said. Germany boosted the lead to 3-0 with pure power. Popp, the team captain, jumped over her marker to drive home a header. Magull got the fourth goal when she rushed in to finish off a save by Dlamini, who did well to push a header by Marina Hegering off the post, only to see the ball bounce across the open goalmouth. Only Dlamini's sharp reflexes saved South Africa from a greater defeat. "We always knew it would be a challenge," Ellis said. "We are happy with the performance but not the result.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 18th, 2019

For US men, Gold Cup finally brings chance for revival

By Dave Campbell, Associated Press BLAINE, Minn. (AP) — The overarching goal for the fledgling U.S. men's soccer team, as frequently stated by new coach Gregg Berhalter, has been to improve the perception of this sputtering program within the cutthroat hierarchy of global soccer. Though a strong performance in the CONCACAF Gold Cup probably won't move the needle much, the Americans surely would benefit, simply, from winning. Their opening game against Guyana on Tuesday night at Allianz Field in St. Paul, the new home of Major League Soccer's Minnesota United, will mark the first competitive match for the U.S. since the infamous defeat at Trinidad and Tobago on Oct. 10, 2017, that kept the team for qualifying for the 2018 World Cup. It follows a stretch of 18 consecutive friendlies. "There will be some nerves, but for us it's just about continuing to make progress throughout this tournament," Berhalter said last week after a training session at the National Sports Center in Blaine, a suburb of Minneapolis. "I think part of our profession is playing under pressure, playing in big events, and this is a great opportunity for us to learn." The 20-month gap between competitive games is the longest for the Americans since a 38-month span following a loss to Costa Rica on May 31, 1985, their final qualifier for the 1986 World Cup. Their next match that counted was a draw at Jamaica on July 24, 1988, their first qualifier for the 1990 World Cup. The U.S. won the biennial Gold Cup in 2017, a sixth title in 14 editions of the championship of North and Central America and the Caribbean. Mexico, the clear favorite, has won seven such crowns. Before any mental energy can be spent on assessing the ability to compete with their border rival to the south, though, the Americans, who are ranked 30th in the world, must advance from the group stage. On the surface, Panama (75th), Trinidad and Tobago (92nd) and Guyana (177th) don't appear to be daunting competition, but the way the U.S. team played this month in exhibition losses to Jamaica (1-0) and Venezuela (3-0) there will be no guarantees of automatic wins. The Americans are missing injured players DeAndre Yedlin, John Brooks and Tyler Adams, all first-choice starters. "If it doesn't go well you can just feel that more pressure is going to build, more questions will be asked, more scrutiny will be on Berhalter and the federation, and the outside noise is only going to get louder," said former U.S. midfielder Stu Holden, now a Fox analyst. "That's why it's really important that this team has a really good showing in this tournament." With the U.S. women leading their side of the world rankings and off to a dominant start this month in France at the Women's World Cup , the men's team won't be able to avoid the comparison game. The Americans can't mute the fan angst that has followed them for nearly two years, either, but they can at least take a meaningful step forward in the Berhalter era by displaying some potential within the pressing, possession-prioritized style he has rolled out . "We want to progress. Of course that also means winning the games, but we want to develop our style," midfielder Weston McKennie said. "Our goal is to make people see U.S. Soccer as something different as what they see now, probably." McKennie is one of the 20-year-old up-and-comers the program has staked itself to in the quest to not only return to the World Cup in 2022 but do some damage on the sport's biggest stage. The other, of course, is Christian Pulisic , who is joining English Premier League power Chelsea from Germany's Borussia Dortmund for a $73 million transfer fee. That is a record price for an American player. Veterans of the national side like Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley are still around, among just six holdovers from the roster that went to Trinidad. They are joined by Pulisic, defenders Omar Gonzalez and Tim Ream, and forward Paul Arriola on what has become a youngster's team. Getting this team in sync, socially and psychologically, might be just as important of a task for Berhalter as with the technical implementation of his system. "In warmups, they have to give each other high-fives," Berhalter said. "We do team events off the field, like going to movies together and going to restaurants together. I think that's really important to build that team chemistry." Now more than ever. "Everyone right now outside has their opinions about us, and the past couple of games, and that's perfectly fine," forward Paul Arriola said. "For us the message stays the game, and it's staying together as a team. That's how you're going to win an international tournament.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 18th, 2019

21 enrolled under BJMP-Davao’s education program for inmates

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/17 June) – The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP)-Davao will have 21 third-year students for its College Education Behind Bars (CEBB) program when the school year opens in August this year, a jail official said Monday. “We aim to reduce recidivism once an inmate is released from prison,” JO1 Michelle Yian, […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanewsRelated NewsJun 17th, 2019

Steven Adams turns back on New Zealand selection

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand NBA star Steven Adams has turned down the chance to play for New Zealand at the basketball World Cup in China later this year. The Oklahoma City Thunder center was named in New Zealand's initial 25-man squad for the tournament. But he informed Basketball New Zealand through his management Monday that he will not be available. A statement from Adams' agent at the Wasserman Media Group did not give a reason for Adams' refusal but said he would be eager to play for New Zealand in the future. "Steven's support of the (New Zealand team) and his interest in playing for the program at some point down the line is unwavering," the statement said. "While he won't be participating this year with the national team, his plan is to evaluate the opportunity to play in the 2020 Olympics following the upcoming NBA season.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 17th, 2019

Pepsi Philippines champions sustainability in national Brigada Eskwela drive

In line with its commitment to sustainability and quality education, Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines, Inc. (PCPPI) partnered once again with the Department of Education (DepEd) to support their annual Brigada Eskwela program through nationwide, week-long activities with almost five hundred volunteers that rendered a cumulative 2,462 volunteer hours to local communities. “Every year, PCPPI actively engages […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsJun 17th, 2019

Culver, Reddish top list of shooting guards in NBA draft

By Aaron Beard, Associated Press Jarrett Culver made himself a top-flight NBA prospect by pushing Texas Tech to within a win of its first national championship. Culver is regarded by many as the top shooting guard in Thursday’s (Friday, PHL time) draft, part of a rapid rise from solid freshman contributor to Associated Press All-American. He could be picked in the top five, joining Duke’s Cam Reddish as lottery picks to headline off-ball guards in the draft. Here’s a look at the top prospects: JARRETT CULVER, Texas Tech The sophomore can make a big impact at both ends on the court. STRENGTHS: Culver offers size (a nearly 6'7" measurement with shoes at the scouting combine) and the versatility to defend multiple positions for one of the nation’s toughest defensive units. After averaging 11.2 points as a freshman, Culver developed into the no-doubt first option and Big 12 player of the year while leading Texas Tech in scoring (18.5), rebounding (6.4) and assists (3.7). CONCERNS: Culver must improve his outside shooting after making 49-of-161 (.304) three-pointers in his first run in a leading role. That was down nearly eight percentage points from his freshman year and included a 4-for-26 showing (.154) in the last five games of the team’s run to the NCAA title game. He must also improve at the line after shooting 68.7% there over two college seasons. CAM REDDISH, Duke Reddish offers two-way potential, though an uneven freshman year has created some uncertainty about his development. STRENGTHS: Reddish has size (6'8", 208 pounds) to play shooting guard or small forward. He’s a solid athlete with the potential to be a good defender with a seven-foot wingspan. And he’s known for his shooting range, illustrated by his three-pointer with 0.8 seconds left to win at Florida State. CONCERNS: Reddish arrived as a top-five recruit but it was a bit difficult to evaluate his college transition. He was a third option (13.5 points) as classmate Zion Williamson rocketed to stardom and classmate RJ Barrett became the Atlantic Coast Conference’s leading scorer. He didn’t shoot the ball as well as his reputation would suggest (35.6% overall, 33.3% on three-pointers) and was a surprise late scratch against Virginia Tech in the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 with a left knee injury. TYLER HERRO, Kentucky Kentucky’s latest one-and-done talent brings outside shooting and plenty of swagger as a first-round prospect. STRENGTHS: The 6'6" Herro can create space to get his shot and stretch defenses. He averaging 14.0 points with a team-best 60 three-pointers, including the go-ahead triple with 25.8 seconds left against Houston in the NCAA Sweet 16. He also hit 93.5% of his free throws, earning him late-game minutes in close games. And he’s got confidence to take any shot, notably telling an Arkansas player after making a key free throw: “I’m a bucket.” CONCERNS: He doesn’t have much length to disrupt ballhandlers (6'3" wingspan) and needs to add strength to his 192-pound frame. He could also improve his outside accuracy after making 35.5% on three's, which included him making 2-of-15 in the NCAA Tournament outside of the Houston winner. ROMEO LANGFORD, Indiana The Indiana freshman looks set to go midway through the first round. STRENGTHS: There’s no questioning his physical gifts. The 6'6" Langford measured well at the combine with a 6'11" wingspan that could serve him well on the defensive end. Langford averaged 16.5 points and 5.4 rebounds, and he was aggressive enough to rank among the Big Ten leaders at getting to the foul line (6.1 attempts per game). CONCERNS: What’s his range? Langford made 34-of-125 three-pointers while playing with a thumb injury on his shooting hand for much of the year. That was a 27.2% conversion rate with a shorter shot than he’ll see in the NBA — the lowest for any Hoosier with more than 100 attempted three's dating to at least 1992-93, according to Sports Reference LLC’s college basketball site. OTHERS TO WATCH — NICKEIL ALEXANDER-WALKER, Virginia Tech: The 6'5" sophomore averaged a team-best 16.2 points and looks likely to be picked in the middle of the first round, which would make him Virginia Tech’s second first-rounder in program history (joining Dell Curry from 1986). — KELDON JOHNSON, Kentucky: The 6'6", 216-pound one-and-done talent looks likely to be a first-round pick with his ability to attack the rim or hit from outside (38.1% on three's). — KEVIN PORTER JR., USC: The freshman played just 21 games due to injury and a team suspension, but is a first-round prospect with his athleticism and 6'6", 213-pound build. — MATISSE THYBULLE, Washington: The senior averaged 9.2 points for his career, but could go late in the first round with his stopper potential as a two-time Pac-12 defensive player of the year......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 17th, 2019

The ten most intriguing NBA free agents for 2019

By John Schuhmann, NBA.com We knew that the postseason would affect free agency. But the idea was that the success or failure of certain teams would affect what their free agents' thoughts about staying or leaving. Unfortunately, the last two games of The Finals brought devastating injuries to two of the three most coveted free agents on the market. Kevin Durant, arguably the best player in the world, tore his Achilles in Game 5, just 12 minutes into his return from a calf injury. And Klay Thompson tore his ACL in Game 6. The two injuries will certainly have repercussions beyond the two players and the Golden State Warriors. Maybe they already have. With the Western Conference seemingly wide open next season, the Los Angeles Lakers have reportedly made a deal for Anthony Davis, sending a bevy of young players and future picks to New Orleans so they can team the 26-year-old star with 34-year-old LeBron James ... and maybe another star added in free agency. As always, the free agent market and the trade market are tied together. The pending Davis trade could affect the decisions of players and teams come July 1. And if teams miss out on the free agents they're seeking, they could always fill their cap space by making a trade. With all that in mind, the players listed below aren't necessarily the 10 best free agents (or potential free agents). They're the 10 (actually 12) most interesting in regard to where they're going and what kind of contract they get. For players to be on this list, there needs to be some intrigue regarding their (and/or their team's) decision this summer. That's why Thompson isn't included. 1. Kawhi Leonard, Toronto (Player option) Whether he leaves or not, trading for Leonard last summer was well worth it for the Raptors, who won their first championship, with Leonard averaging 30.5 points per game in the postseason. The Raptors' "load management" program (which limited Leonard to just 60 games in the regular season) clearly worked, and director of sports science Alex McKechnie should be seen as a major asset in the quest to keep Leonard in Toronto. There should be a "run-it-back" sentiment for the new champs, with Danny Green also a free agent and Marc Gasol holding a player option this summer. A short-term deal would make sense, unless Leonard is looking for long-term security, having missed almost all of the 2017-18 season with a leg injury. It's all up to Leonard, maybe the toughest player in the league to read. If he takes his two-way talent elsewhere, the Raptors may have to go in a new direction. Number to know: In the postseason, Leonard had a true shooting percentage of 69.1 percent, the highest mark for a player that averaged at least 30 points per game in the playoffs and won the championship. 2. Kevin Durant, Golden State (Player option) Durant's torn Achilles probably won't scare any team, including the Warriors, from paying him as much as possible. As deep and talented as this free agent class is, the top two guys on this list are in a class by themselves. Rumors have long had Durant ready to leave Golden State and even with his injury, he seems more likely than Thompson to find a new home. But an ESPN report had Thompson's father talking about "unfinished business" after overhearing a conversation between the two injured Warriors. Durant could always put free agency off for a year by exercising his player option and remaining on the Warriors' payroll through his rehab. Number to know: Durant was the first player in NBA history to average 30 points per game in at least 10 playoff games while shooting at least 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from three-point range and 90 percent from the free throw line. 3. Kyrie Irving, Boston The disappointment of the Celtics' season, along with Irving's questionable leadership with a group that underachieved, has taken some of the shine off his star. Irving's injury history also must be taken into consideration. But talent is the most important thing in this league and Irving is one of its most talented players. He's still just 27-years-old and he can still get buckets when buckets are needed. A return to Boston appears far less likely than it did six months ago (especially with Davis being traded elsewhere) and there have been a lot of signals that Irving is bound for Brooklyn. Number to know: In the regular season, Irving had an effective field goal percentage of 56.1 percent with the score within five points in the last five minutes of the fourth quarter or overtime, the second-best mark among player with at least 50 clutch field goal attempts. 4. Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris, Philadelphia The Sixers lost to the eventual NBA champions on a Game 7 buzzer-beater that bounced on the rim four times before falling through. They're right there. But their starting lineup, which outscored its opponents by more than 21 points per 100 possessions in 334 total minutes (regular season and playoffs), includes three free agents. In regard to future assets, the Sixers didn't give up as much for Butler as they did for Harris. And of course, Butler has more baggage in regard to accepting his role. But, with his defense and his ability to get his own shot, he's is the most important of the three. Harris struggled a bit in the conference semifinals against Toronto and is the least important of the Sixers' three free-agent starters; J.J. Redick's shooting was clearly more critical in the postseason. But Harris isn't easily replaceable and he appears to be the most likely to leave, with a lot of teams looking for versatile forwards. Number to know: In the regular season, Harris shot 41.3 percent on pull-up three-pointers, the second-best mark among 69 players who attempted at least 100. 5. Kemba Walker, Charlotte Walker has expressed some level of loyalty to the Hornets. But immediately after the Davis trade was agreed to, there was a report that Walker would be a "top target" of the Lakers with their cap space. Walker would be an ideal offensive complement to James and Davis, in that he can play off the ball (though he shot less than 35 percent on catch-and-shoot three-pointers last season) and take some of the playmaking burden off of James' shoulders. The Hornets, meanwhile, would likely have a tough time upgrading their roster around Walker, with Nicolas Batum, Bismack Biyombo, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Marvin Williams and Cody Zeller all under contract next season for a total of $85 million. Number to know: Walker led the league with 126 field goal attempts with the score within five points in the last five minutes. That was 43 percent of the Hornets' total (295). His effective field goal percentage on those shots (49.6 percent) ranked 15th among 45 players with at least 50 clutch field goal attempts. 6. D'Angelo Russell, Brooklyn (Restricted) A finalist for the Most Improved award, Russell took a big step forward this season, both in regard to his production and his maturity. He earned himself an All-Star appearance and helped the Nets reach the playoffs with a 14-win increase from last season. He's only 23-years-old and is one of the league's most flammable shooters. But because he doesn't get to the basket or the free throw line very often, Russell is neither all that efficient (his true shooting percentage of 53.3 percent ranked 66th among 94 guards with at least 500 field goal attempts) nor consistent, and he struggled (shooting 36 percent) in Brooklyn's first-round loss to Philadelphia. If the Nets are targeting another ball-handler in free agency (with Caris LeVert and Spencer Dinwiddie already under contract), they'll probably let Russell head elsewhere. Number to know: In the regular season, Russell ranked second with 11.4 pick-and-roll ball-handler possessions per game. He scored 0.89 points per possession as a pick-and-roll ball-handler, the 26th best mark among 44 players that averaged at least five ball-handler possessions. 7. DeMarcus Cousins and Kevon Looney, Golden State Cousins hadn't made it back to 100 percent from his Achilles tear before he suffered a torn quad in his second career playoff game. He made it back for The Finals from that injury and showed flashes of his old self with 14 important points in the Warriors' Game 5 win and a big bucket in the final minute of Game 6. But he also struggled on both ends of the floor at times, and the Warriors were outscored with him on the floor in seven of his eight playoff games. Now he goes back on the free agent market with teams still not sure of what they're getting. Looney is an unrestricted free agent at 23-years-old, and he was the Warriors' most important center this season. The Western Conference champs have Looney's Bird rights, but they could also be spending a lot of money to retain Durant and Thompson (and possibly extend Draymond Green). Another team might have a larger role and more money for an improving young big. Number to know: In the regular season, the Warriors' lineup of Curry, Thompson, Durant, Green and Looney scored 121.5 points per 100 possessions and outscored opponents by 18.7 per 100. Those were the best marks for points scored and point differential per 100 possessions among 40 league-wide lineups that played at least 200 minutes together. 8. Malcolm Brogdon, Milwaukee (Restricted) The Milwaukee Bucks were the best team in the league through the first two games of the Eastern Conference finals. But, with four of their top eight players being free agents (or potential free agents) this summer, they have a lot of work to do if they want to keep Giannis Antetokounmpo surrounded by players who can get it done on both ends of the floor. Brogdon, Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez are the three key pieces. They're all due a pay raise and they all belong on this list. Brogdon is the restricted free agent, but he's also the youngest of the three (he'll be 27 in December) and the one that could be projected into a larger role on another team. Number to know: Brogdon shot 47.5 percent on catch-and-shoot three-pointers, the third-best mark among 223 players who attempted at least 100. 9. Julius Randle, New Orleans (Player option) After five years in the league, Randle is still just 24-years-old. So he's not necessarily a bad fit for David Griffin's plans for the future in New Orleans. But the Pelicans might not be ready to commit the money Randle is seeking (should he opt out of the final year of his contract) after averaging a career-high 21.4 points per game. Defense remains an issue, but Randle has expanded his offensive skill set; he was a respectable 34.4 percent from three-point range this season, taking 18 percent of his shots from beyond the arc (up from six percent over his three previous full seasons). Number to know: Randle averaged 13.2 points in the paint per game, seventh most in the league, and he made more three-pointers (67) than all but one of the six players in front of him. 10. Ricky Rubio, Utah According to Rubio himself, he's not Utah's top priority in free agency. He remains a good defender and one of the league's best passers, but the Jazz need to get more potent offensively if they're going to take the next step. At 31.1 percent, Rubio ranked 153rd in three-point percentage among 163 players with at least 200 attempts. There could be as many as 10 teams (not including the Jazz) in need of a starting point guard this summer, and Rubio could have more value on a team more in need of a distributor. Number to know: The Jazz were 5.8 points per 100 possessions better offensively with both Rubio and Donovan Mitchell on the floor (scoring 110.4 per 100) than they were with Mitchell on the floor without Rubio (104.6). John Schuhmann is a senior stats analyst for NBA.com. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 17th, 2019