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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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COLLEGE

BodyArmor Into NCAA
No. 1 Colleges Since '92
Notre Dame Builds Brand
Cancer Drives Home
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).

Thursday
Dec212017

Nash, Kidd, Allen, Hill, Hammon Among 1st Time Nominees For Hoops Hall Of Fame

By Barry Janoff

December 21, 2017: On the 126th birthday of the day that James Naismith conceived the game of basketball (Dec. 21, 1891), the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame released its list of nominees for the Class of 2018.

Due to a change in induction rules unveiled this week, players, referees and coaches are now allowed to become eligible for the Hall of Fame ballot after three full seasons of retirement, down one year from the previous four seasons.

The change enables players who last played during the 2013-14 NBA season to become eligible for the Class of ’18.

As such, the list includes NBA first-timers Steve Nash, Ray Allen, Chauncey Billups, Jason Kidd (pictured below), Grant Hill and Richard Hamilton.

From the WNBA the list of first-time eligible players includes Becky Hammon, Katie Smith, Tina Thompson and Valerie Still, who played only briefly with the Washington Mystics but left her mark at the University of Kentucky and WNBA predecessor American Basketball League.

Finalists for Class of 2018 will be unveiled during NBA All-Star Weekend in February in Los Angeles.

(See the full list of Class of 2018 nominees here.)

The entire Class of 2018 will be revealed during the Men’s NCAA Final Four this March in San Antonio. A finalist needs 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee for election into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Enshrinement festivities are scheduled to take place in Springfield, Mass., Sept. 6-8, 2018

According to John Doleva, president and CEO for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, “By allowing players, coaches and referees to become eligible after three seasons of retirement, the Hall of Fame will be able to celebrate the best in the game at an opportune time with the fans who have supported them throughout their careers on the hardwood.”

A second reform to Hall of Fame eligibility requires coaches to have coached for 25 years and reached the minimum age of 60. This will allow the Honors Committee to evaluate a larger body of work for those coaches nominated.

This change will take effect in 2020, allowing a grace period for coaches who are nearing Hall of Fame eligibility based on previous standards.

Among the first-year nominees from the NBA and WNBA (in alphabetical order):

• Ray Allen: Two-time NBA champ (Boston Celtics, Miami Heat) and the NBA all-time leader in three-point field goals

•  Chauncey Billups: 2004 NBA champ and Finals MVP (Detroit Pistons), five-time all-star, 15.8k+ career points, 5.6k+ assists

• Becky Hammon: Current San Antonia Spurs assistant coach, six-time all-star, voted Top 15 all-time players in WNBA history

• Richard Hamilton: NBA champ 2004 (Detroit Pistons), 15.7k career points, 3.1k assists, 2.8k rebounds, NCAA 1999 champ and Final Four Most Outstanding Player (UConn)

• Grant Hill: NBA co-ROY 1995 (with Jason Kidd), seven-time all-star, 17k+ career points, 6.1k+ rebounds, 4.2k+ assists)

• Jason Kidd: Current Milwaukee Bucks head coach, co-ROY1995 (with Grant Hill), NBA champ 2011 (Dallas Mavericks), 10-time  All-Star five-time assists leader, two Olympic gold medals (2000, 2008)

• Steve Nash: Two-time NBA MVP with the Phoenix Suns, eight-time all-star, five-time NBA assists leader

• Katie Smith: Current head coach for the New York Liberty, two-time WNBA champ (Detroit Shock 2006, 2008), No. 4 among WNBA all-time scorers (6,452), three-time Olympic gold medal winner (2000, 2004, 2008)

• Valerie Still: All-time leading scorer in UKentucky history (men & women, 2,763), two-time ABL (pre-WNBA) champion and Finals Series MVP (Columbus Quest), member of WNBA Washington Mystics

• Tina Thompson: No. 2 WNBA all-time scorers (7,488), four-time WNBA champ (all with the Houston Comets), nine-time all-star.

See the full list of Class of 2018 nominees here.

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