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NEWS REAL

• FIFA has postponed plans to expand the World Cup from 32 to 48 teams for the 2022 event in Qatar. The plan is still being considered for the 2026 World Cup, which will be staged in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. According to FIFA, “(There was not enough) time for a detailed assessment of the potential logistical impact.” The World Cup is scheduled for Nov. 21-Dec. 18, 2022.

• The NFL and NFL Players Association have unveiled two joint agreements that are intended to “support further resources directed to address pain management and behavioral health.” Full story here.

• The U.S. Women’s National Team Players Association, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, and social impact education innovator EVERFI, Inc. have oined the students of Santee Elementary School in San Jose to launch The Compassion Project for the 2019-2020 school year, described as a “national nonprofit dedicated to providing compassion education to elementary school students across the U.S.”

• The U.S. Golf Association has aligned with Marvel Entertainment to create exclusive golf education products to “engage junior golfers on the essential elements to learning the game." Scheduled to launch in June at the 2019 U.S. Open Championship at Pebble Beach, the collaboration features printed and digital comic books with many of Marvel’s super heroes The story follows Tony Stark (Iron Man) and other Avengers as they teach the next generation of Marvel Super Heroes about golf. Limited-edition Marvel-themed golf posters will be distributed (while supplies last) at the Junior Experience at the 2019 U.S. Open.

• Major League Lacrosse has signed a deal with Anheuser-Busch to have its Bud Light brand become the official beer partner for the 2019 MLL All-Star Game, being played in Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, MD on July 27. The deal includes “prominent signage on the playing field, fan zone activation and various on-site promotions at several sports bars and retail locations in the Greater Annapolis area leading up to the All-Star Game.”

• Stating that “we are continually seeking opportunities to evolve our product offerings,’ Kohl’s has signed an exclusive long-term alliance with Fanatics, a global leader in licensed sports merchandise with the addition of “hundreds of thousands of items.” Full story here.

• Pete Frates and Pat Quinn, co-founders of ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, have launched with The ALS Assn. the 5th anniversary of “Challenge Me” with a “new call to action to reignite the passion and generosity of the millions of people who dumped ice water on their heads in the summer of 2014.” 

POLL POSITION

U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis has named the 23 players who will represent the U.S. in France and seek to defend their FIFA Women’s World Cup crown (July 7-Aug.7).

GOALKEEPERS

Adrianna Franch* (Portland Thorns FC), Ashlyn Harris** (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher** (Chicago Red Stars)
DEFENDERS
Abby Dahlkemper* (NC Courage), Tierna Davidson* (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn* (NC Courage), Ali Krieger*** (Orlando Pride), Kelley O’Hara*** (Utah Royals FC), Becky Sauerbrunn*** (Utah Royals FC), Emily Sonnett* (Portland Thorns FC)
MIDFIELDERS
Morgan Brian** (Chicago Red Stars), Julie Ertz** (Chicago Red Stars), Lindsey Horan* (Portland Thorns FC), Rose Lavelle* (Washington Spirit), Allie Long* (Reign FC), Samantha Mewis* (NC Courage)
FORWARDS
Tobin Heath*** (Portland Thorns FC), Carli Lloyd**** (Sky Blue FC), Jessica McDonald* (NC Courage), Alex Morgan*** (Orlando Pride), Christen Press** (Utah Royals FC), Mallory Pugh* (Washington Spirit), Megan Rapinoe*** (Reign FC)
* First Women’s World Cup
** Second Women’s World Cup
*** Third Women’s World Cup
**** Fourth Women’s World Cup

KEEPING SCORE

Luka Dončić, Trae Young Head NBA All-Rookie Team
Dallas Mavericks guard-forward Luka Dončić and Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young have been unanimously selected to the 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie First Team.

Dončić and Young both received NBA All-Rookie First Team votes on all 100 ballots to finish with 200 points each.  They are joined on the NBA All-Rookie First Team by Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (195 points; 95 First Team votes), Memphis Grizzlies forward-center Jaren Jackson Jr. (159 points; 60 First Team votes) and Sacramento Kings forward Marvin Bagley III (156 points; 56 First Team votes).

The 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie Second Team includes LA Clippers guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (138 points), Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton (132), Clippers guard Landry Shamet (85), New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (77) and Hawks guard Kevin Huerter (45).

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office May 17-19
1. John Wick 3 $57M
2. Avengers: Endgame $29.4M
3. Pokemon Detective Pikachu $24.8M
4. A Dog’s Journey $8M
5. The Hustle $6M
6. The Intruder $4M
7. Long Shot $3.4M
8,. The Sun Is Also A Star $2.6M
9. Poms $2M
10. Uglydolls $1.6M
Source: Box Office Mojo

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BodyArmor Into NCAA
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Men's Hoops Are 'Toxic'

Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
Channel Chasers

NFL UK 2019
• Oct. 6 Chicago Bears v Oakland Raiders Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
• Oct. 13 Carolina Panthers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
• Oct. 27  Cincinnati Bengals v Los Angeles Rams Wembley Stadium
• Nov. 3 Houston Texans v Jacksonville Jaguars Wembley Stadium

NFL Mexico 2019
• Nov. 18 Kansas City  Chiefs v Los Angeles Chargers Mexico City Estadio Azteca (ESPN Monday Night Football).

Wednesday
May172017

Boston’s Danny Ainge Shines Light On Celtics, Throws Shade At Rival Lakers

By Barry Janoff

May 17, 2017: Danny Ainge, president of basketball operations for the Boston Celtics, was in a good mood last night and for good reason.

Wyc Grousbeck, managing partner, governor and CEO, had been handed a card during the NBA Draft Lottery that enabled the Celtics to claim the No. 1 overall spot in the NBA Draft scheduled for June 22 , the first time the franchise has held that coveted position since 1950.

No. 2 behind the Celtics was the Los Angeles Lakers, which put the two long-time rivals in a position of vying for the top two players in the Draft, which most analysts see as Markelle Fultz (Washington, who turns 19 on May 29) and 19-year-old Lonzo Ball (UCLA).

Ainge wasted little time in seeming to throw some shade at the Lakers potential plan to draft Ball and immediately make him the centerpiece of the team.

"We don’t anticipate any 19-year-old kid to come in and lead us to the promised land at this stage," Ainge said during a post-Draft Lottery media conference call. "We do believe that some of these kids have a chance to be All-Stars down the road. But it’s good to not have to force them into being the star of a franchise right away."

The Philadelphia 76ers received the No. 3 overall spot. Last year, the team had the No. 1 overall pick, taking Ben Simmons. In 2014 and 2015, they had the No. 3 overall pick, selecting Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor, respectively.

In 1950, the Boston Celtics had the first-ever NBA draft pick, taking 6' 11" Chuck Share out of Bowling Green State No. 1 overall.

Share never played for the Celtics, instead spending his nine-year career with the Fort Wayne Pistons, Milwaukee-St. Louis Hawks — for whom he was captain of the 1957-58 championship team — and Minneapolis Lakers.

The Celtics have not had a No. 1 overall draft pick since then, until last night when the franchise drew the top spot via the Lottery — a direct result of a trade with the Nets in 2013 that sent Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to Brooklyn.

Ainge foresees a much better scenario with the 2017 overall No. 1 pick than with the franchise’s only other No. 1 overall pick.

"It is exciting to have the No. 1 (overall) pick," said Ainge. "I was hoping for the best but preparing for whatever might have happened.

"In NBA draft classes, there usually is a gap after No. 1 and No. 2, with a handful of players in the next group, This year it is more evenly spread out through the Top 10. Then there is another group of ten with a big upsides who aren’t sure-things yet but could possibly turn out to be some of the best players in the league in time."

The No. 1 spot comes with a lot of value, not only the potential of selecting a player who could eventually be a franchise-changer, but also in trade value.

Ainge at this point did not rule out any option.

"We will explore every option there is and evaluate a handful of players to determine which one is best," said Ainge. "But now there is clarity and more conversation about the No. 1 pick and the value of the pick (even as far as considering a trade).

"There are so many 18- and 19-year olds being evaluated. It’s really difficult to foresee which ones would be the best," he said.

Boston, currently facing the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals, is on a nice roll regarding draft picks. Last year, the team selected Jaylen Brown No. 3 overall (out of Cal-Berkley) when Boston had eight selections in the first two rounds. In 2014, Marcus Smart, was taken No. 6 overall.

"We didn’t settle last year,” said Ainge. "We are very excited about Jaylen Brown and see that he has a really bright future. Jaylen Brown has played excellent for us. He plays 17-18 minutes a game for us. He thinks and we think and his agent thinks there has been great development.

"We have some good veteran players in Avery Bradly (No. 19 overall pick in 2010), Al Horford, Jai Crowder, isaiah Thomas, many guys who are real good pros and know how to play. There is a lot that young players can learn from our veterans."

The next stop for Boston and the NBA is Barclays Center In Brooklyn, NY — home of the team that back in 2013 allowed Boston to ultimately have the No. 1 pick in 2017.

"I wish I could have seen that far into the future when we made the trade with Brooklyn," said Ainge. "At the time, it looked better for them."

"I wish I could have seen that far into the future when we made the trade with Brooklyn. At the time, it looked better for them."

Ainge was looking ahead as far as the future for the Celtics.

“We feel we have a lot of really good players. Players who have been with us since training camp, some who don’t get an opportunity to play. If something happened to one of our players, they would step it.

"We feel our team is deep. We have chemistry. They know (head coach) Brad Stevens' system and Brad knows them, knows their strengths and weaknesses. We like our team. They have stuck together,” said Ainge.

Top Ten current Draft order: Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Sun, Sacramento Kings, Orlando Magic, Minnesota Timberwolves, New York Knicks, Dallas Mavericks, Sacramento Kings. (See full list here.)

Top potential picks: Markelle Fultz (Washington), Lonzo Ball (UCLA), Josh Jackson (Kansas), Jason Tatum (Duke), De’Aaron Fox (Kentucky), Dennis Smith (NC State) and Malik Monk (Kentucky).

PHOTO: Wyc Grousbeck (R), Mark Tatum, NBA deputy commissioner

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