How LeBron James’ opportunity at private St. Mary-St. Vincent’s shaped the I Promise School

first_img How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years So too are his kids close to James’ thoughts: He shares posts from his school on social media. During a recent shootaround, he lamented that he wasn’t able to attend a Halloween party the school threw for students and parents – James is famously fond of Halloween, and he relished the pictures he saw of the childrens’ costumes.After scoring 44 points against the Portland Trail Blazers last week and passing Wilt Chamberlain on the NBA’s scoring list, James said his game ball and jersey were headed to his school. His wall of shoes? They’re being auctioned off to sponsors – the foundation hopes to raise close to a quarter-million from the proceeds that will be funneled right back into the school.A reporter posed recently to James: Is it ever surreal that you built a school?“I think every day it is, actually,” he said. “We do something pretty cool on a daily basis at our school. Just to see the smiles and see the activities and things that are going on at the school, it’s a really cool thing.” Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions AKRON, Ohio — Morning snow has made Northeastern Ohio cold and wet, but Willie McGee wears a sharp hunter green sports varsity jacket to keep out the chill. By the time he gets to school, it’s no longer a concern.His office is attached to the legendary gym at St. Vincent-St. Mary’s High School, a square, three-story building slung on a hill near downtown Akron. Millions of dollars pumped into a recent renovation have updated the bleachers and the floor. But the warm wood tones and the dark green banners hanging from the rafters are a lot like they were when he played there – when he was on the school’s best-known team called “The Fab Five.”“We’re proud of this,” he says, sweeping broadly with his arm. “We only hang state championships here.”Indistinguishable from its neighbors at a distance, the 2003 national boys basketball championship banner hangs behind the baseline. It was a title driven by McGee’s high school teammate, LeBron James. This was the school where he first came to prominence, gracing the cover of Sports Illustrated. The renovations to the gym were paid for out of James’ pocket, as was likely the very jacket McGee, the school’s athletic director, is now wearing. Naturally, the court is named after its greatest player and benefactor. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersBut St. Vincent-St. Mary’s, a private Catholic school, was also where James spent, by his own admission, some of the best years of his life and learned a lot in the classroom. And the deep roots it planted have helped lead to something completely new in education that’s unfolding just a few blocks down the street.***LeBron James addresses the crowd at the opening of the I Promise School in Akron earlier this year. (photo courtesy of the LeBron James Family Foundation)One of the most striking outside features of the I Promise School is that it looks like a school house, only bigger. Its red brick walls are lined with neat rows of white windows, stacked by a clock tower. The building has actually been many things over the years: a healthcare center, a corporate office for McDonald’s, and most recently an auxiliary space for Akron Public Schools.Inside, it’s unlike any school you’ve ever seen.Dual curved staircases curl down from the second floor to the lobby, lined on each wall with James’ game-worn size-15 shoes. They span across nearly the whole of the forward’s 16-season career. The shoe walls are just one of the myriad ways that the 33-year-old’s presence lingers over the public school that he’s innovated and funded with the full might of his empire.center_img Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers While James’ 51-point outing in Miami on Sunday night was a homecoming of sorts, it’s much more personal in his hometown. He returns to Cleveland on Wednesday night for the first time as a Laker. And even though some fans in Cleveland might boo James, it is efforts like his school that have kept Akron a loyal pocket to its native son.Since opening in July, the I Promise School is, at its heart, an experiment: It currently serves 240 third- and fourth-grade students who are in the 25th percentile or lower in the reading levels of Akron Public Schools. The difficult students who are dragging behind the curriculum, or who act out in class and disrupt others, the hard cases – this is a school that welcomes them.And their welcome is literally a warm embrace: As they make their way down the sidewalk to the glass double doors of their school, they’re met by many of the school’s 42 faculty and staff members who give out hugs and dance to music pumped through portable speakers (Beats Pills, the same model often blaring in James’ locker for Lakers games).Some of the children move past this quickly, scooting along to free breakfast upstairs (one of three food servings the school serves during its 9-to-5 school day). Most stop for at least a quick squeeze. A few linger, perhaps needing a hug as much as anything else that day. The staff at IPS, selected through a rigorous multi-step process, are keenly attuned to these needs and ready to give extra attention to any student who seems upset.IPS is revolutionary in many respects: the longer length of its school day, who it accepts for admission, who it wants to work there, how it teaches a public school curriculum. But the most defining difference is how radically it attempts to identify and address students’ needs far beyond the scope of the classroom: hunger, clothing, emotional trauma and even addressing crises for their parents.When James decided to leave his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers for the second time this summer, he did so with much more of his legacy intact. He gave the Cavs four more years, all trips to the NBA Finals with one championship folded in. But locally, James’ legacy will be weighed in large part by his efforts to kids in Akron, the heart of the Rust Belt, to graduate and go to college.IPS is the flagship of this effort. And it’s incredibly ambitious.“It’s more of a movement,” said Michele Campbell, executive director of the LeBron James Family Foundation. “The families trust him. It’s so much bigger than anyone could explain.”***It’s quickly apparent just how personal of a project the school is to James. While his foundation gathered experts together who could contribute years of research and expertise, so many functions of IPS directly correlate to things James felt he needed growing up poor in Akron, the son of a struggling single mother.The school not only provides three school meals – breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack – but there’s also a food pantry. The foundation estimates that more than 1,000 families have been served since the pantry, run by the Akron-Canton regional food bank in a back room of the school, opened in September. Any family in the area, even ones not necessarily associated with the school, can go and pick up mac-and-cheese, hot dogs, cereal, apples – however much they need, no questions asked. Linda Steinhebel, who works for the regional food bank which serves an estimated 480 locations, says even among food pantries, this is unique.The school not only communicates with parents, it offers comprehensive services for families. That includes a GED program, I Promise Too, that helps parents learn two nights a week, then sends them out into the job market with a new work-appropriate outfit. Parents struggling with bills, or violence in the home, or career searches can be connected to the resources they need at an office at the school itself, helping them overcome institutional distrust and bureaucratic runarounds.There’s a store room full of shirts, hats, mittens, shoes and other clothes that have been bought new by the foundation and its corporate partners, which faculty can pluck from at will to give to students who don’t have the attire they need. Next door is a room for teachers: markers, poster board, tissues and all manner of school supplies they can use to restock. The foundation resupplies the room weekly.AP Photo/Rich PedroncelliAn I Promise School student receives his new bike. Every student at the school gets a new bike. The idea’s roots come from LeBron James’ days as a student, when his bike was his only way to get to practice. (Photo courtesy of the LeBron James Family Foundation)Every student of the school has received a new bike, for the simple reason that James had a bike as a kid – it was often his only way to get to his basketball practices.The structure of school is vastly unconventional. For the first hour, teachers gather students in a “Promise Circle,” play a song and discuss how it made the students feel. This practice, borrowed from a foundation ritual, leads to other more weighty tangents that come out in an intimate setting: problems at home, insecurities, distress and frustration. It’s one of the many means by which IPS not only tries to catch kids up to the reading and math levels where they need to be but also helps address the social issues that have put them behind their peers in the first place.Kay Low, an intervention specialist who tends to do more one-on-one work with students, has worked in Ohio schools for more than 20 years. Her biggest problem of the past was trying to round up the collection of social services kids and their families needed to help stabilize not just their education, but their home life, as one often flowed into the other. At IPS, all those services are in the same building.“Now,” she said, beaming, “I found my home.”***What does IPS have in common with a Catholic private school? A street, for one thing.The two are just a short walk apart down Market Street. While IPS’s arrival might mean James showering less of his largesse on his alma mater, you won’t find a lot of people at St. Vincent’s who have a problem with it. On the contrary: A number of SVSM staff and students volunteered to help clear out old furniture from the building this summer in the early stages of a seven-week renovation blitz.McGee attended the opening ceremony in July and got to meet the IPS staff. He came away impressed.“You see educators who are committed to their students and care about their students and helping them learn, which from a private school, we had here,” he said. “I’m not saying it’s not in the public schools, but some of the public schools are stretched so thin.”One goal of IPS is to ease the budgetary strain of the public school, which receives $2.5 million in funding. Between renovation of the building and the expenses for the additional “wrap-around” services, the foundation has estimated its initial costs at $2.8 million for this year. As the school hopes to expand in the next five years, foundation officials expect the cost will continue to be steep during that stretch.McGee thinks James wants to give his students a taste of the support he got in his private school education. While his basketball coaches, including current coach Dru Joyce II, played a huge part in his development, so did teachers. Off the top of his head, McGee listed off some of his favorites: Mr. Knox. Mr. Allison. Mrs. Harmon (since remarried and still on the faculty at SVSM). Some of McGee’s best Fab Five memories were spent in home room periods, alongside James and his other Irish teammates.McGee knows as well as anyone how much the school is undertaking in the community: His sister-in-law, Victoria McGee, is the full-time employee at the resource center, which helps parents as much as the students themselves.In a rack in the school lobby, an SVSM brochure reads: “The Marianists believe that people learn, serve and pray most effectively in community, as part of a family.” It might be a coincidence that the IPS and foundation motto is “We Are Family,” which is not just a saying but a cornerstone of the school’s approach to learning. Outside of the school, the phrase is spelled out in sculpture, with letters rising several feet high.McGee doesn’t think it’s a coincidence. And he thinks James’ passion about education is a way of extending his legacy far beyond his basketball playing days.“I believe that’s what he’s called to do,” McGee said. “I think he as a person sees the bigger picture. I think he knows basketball is temporary, but the ability to change a kid’s life is forever.”***James stays close to the affairs of his old school, in part through McGee. When McGee applied for the athletic director job four years ago, James wrote him a letter of recommendation. He asks McGee how the basketball team is doing, how the football team is doing.James sometimes marvels that McGee has reached a level of power even he can’t fully comprehend.“He like, ‘Man, now you Coach Dru’s boss,’” McGee said, laughing. “We made fun of that and stuff. But he’s been my biggest advocate.”It seems reasonable that over time, his focus will begin to shift more to his own school, which is scheduled to double in size next year.It’s worth noting that IPS is merely the tip of the spear for the foundation, which serves an estimated 1,300 students from grades 3-10 in the Akron area. James struck a deal with the University of Akron for students through a 10-year span in his foundation: If they graduate, they will be offered full scholarships to go the university. The first class arrives on campus in 2021.In the meantime, there’s a lot to learn about how IPS will actually perform. The school hopes to show signs that the students, who started out as the lowest-performing in the district, can make big strides in testing areas.There are already certain positive barometers: School officials estimated that attendance has been around 96 percent so far. With so many students hailing from underprivileged homes, sometimes getting to class is half the battle.Aside from his shoes and his picture all over the building, James has other ways of staying present in students’ lives. They receive notes from him and occasional robocalls. Teachers point out when James is photographed wearing an IPS T-shirt, which is often, or an IPS wristband, which is always.Even from Los Angeles, James has a similar omnipresence in Akron to Santa Claus: Maybe you can’t see him around, but you know he’s keeping track.“His connection to that community is rooted in years of works that are so much bigger than one thing,” Campbell said. “He understands now that making real change takes years.”Related Articles Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

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Clippers, Lakers join for moment of unity and protest during anthem

first_img How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersThe Lakers and Clippers linked arms, the Clippers with their heads bowed. LeBron James raised his right fist during the final notes of the anthem, a recorded rendition delivered by the Compton Kidz Club.In a statement, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said he was supportive of the collective gesture, long considered exceedingly controversial and in violation of the league policy: “I respect our teams’ unified act of peaceful protest for social justice,” he said. “And under these unique circumstances will not enforce our long-standing rule requiring standing during the playing of our national anthem.”The participants did more than kneel, of course: After warming up in black T-shirts that read “Black Lives Matter,” many players displayed socially relevant, NBA-approved messages on the backs of their game jerseys where their last names usually go. Included among them: “Black Lives Matter,” “How Many More,” and “I Am a Man.”Coaches wore NBA Coaches for Racial Justice patches, a reference to the NBA Coaches Association’s panel committed to police reform and voting rights. And Lakers Coach Frank Vogel paused before taking questions from reporters pregame to pay homage to iconic civil rights activist John Lewis, who died July 17 and was laid to rest Thursday.Earlier, Clippers Coach Doc Rivers — who, for several days has been rocking a ballcap that reads: “VOTE” — shared some of his memories of spending time with Lewis, noting that his work continues. Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers “What’s amazing,” Rivers said, “is when you think about right now, some of the stuff that John Lewis was fighting for, we’re still fighting for.“Voter suppression right now is at an all-time high … we have a group of people who are trying to get people not to vote. Latinos, Blacks and young people are the targets. That’s who they’re trying to get not to vote. It’s amazing when you think about how long ago that was, and yet we’re still fighting that fight.”The players had their say too.Several lent their voices to the pregame montage that played in the arena and on the nationwide TNT broadcast. Clipper Chris Paul, the NBPA President, was among those featured on screen, and among the NBA and WNBA representatives on a recent conference call with former first lady Michelle Obama.“I don’t care what happens as far as these games, or life comes back to normal,” Paul said on the video. “Things aren’t gonna change until we make them change.”After his team’s 106-104 victory, Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell brought a bulletproof vest with him to his postgame interview. He explained that the vest — which was adorned, he told Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks, with the names of people killed by police — was a visual cue representing the “hands up, don’t shoot” mantra. “We’re sick and tired of being afraid,” Mitchell said.Paul George said he was proud to be a part of the pregame protest.“It was great to play for something, we stood up for something, we knelt for something,” he said. “This league is all about unity and can’t say it enough, I love being part of it, it’s a brotherhood, this league, and at the same time, we know we can change things as well.”The Lakers’ LeBron James walked off the floor and, on TNT, talked to America.“The game of basketball has always been bigger than just the ball and the rim, 10 guys on the floor with referees,” James said. “It’s an opportunity to use this platform to be able to spread a lot of positive, a lot of love throughout the course of the whole world. We understand what’s going on in society right now, and we’re using this NBA platform, as players and coaches, as organizations, to continue to stand strong on that.”Related Articles Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions NBA players made it clear on reopening night: They are not going to take their eye off the ball.Yes, the games officially are afoot in the bubble at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, but the guys out there dribbling have not shut up.On the contrary: They’re doing what they can to direct the focus toward the groundswell of protest against social injustices in America.On Thursday, before both the Lakers defeated the Clippers 103-101 and the Pelicans-Jazz game preceding it, players lined up on the sideline near the on-court “BLACK LIVES MATTER” lettering and knelt together — alongside coaches and game officials — during the national anthem. Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

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Stanley Cup Final 2019: Three takeaways from Bruins’ Game 3 win over Blues

first_imgThe Bruins weren’t intimidated by the raucous atmosphere at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis, Missouri on Saturday. Not one bit.Boston came out and scored three goals in the first period including one in the final minute and rode that momentum to a 7-2 victory and a 2-1 series lead. This was the first Stanley Cup Final game played in St. Louis in 49 years and the fans were buzzing, but Boston didn’t care. The Bruins cared so little that it scored on its first three power-play opportunities and ran goalie Jordan Binnington for the first time in his young career.Three takeaways from Bruins’ Game 3 win over the BluesDictating the gameBoston came into Game 3 knowing one thing for sure: If it didn’t dictate the game in the faceoff circle it was going to be a long night. Ryan O’Reilly dominated the circle in Game 2 winning 65 percent of his opportunities in the faceoff. He did much of that against Patrice Bergeron, who happena to be one of the best at faceoffs in the NHL. Related News Boston’s penalty kill has been absolutely stellar this postseason. It came into Game 3 having held its opponent without a goal on 28 of 29 opportunities. Through two periods Saturday it was 30 of 31. That is flat-out absurd, you didn’t need to be told that, but it’s still a fact. They finished the game 31 of 33 on the penalty kill but St. Louis still went 1 for 5 in the game.If St. Louis can’t get its power play going and stop Boston’s down the stretch of this series, it will lose. Stanley Cup Final 2019: Blues’ Jordan Binnington benched for first time in playoffs Faceoffs were a big reason why St. Louis was successful down the stretch in Game 2 and the Bruins knew they had to clean it up. It was early in Game 3 when they started the game winning 15 of the first 24 faceoffs and scored their first goal off of a faceoff win by Bergeron on O’Reilly.💯 career postseason points for Bergy! #StanleyCupNHL x @massmutual pic.twitter.com/h899NTvL9I— NHL (@NHL) June 2, 2019This was the 100th career postseason point for Bergeron and it got Boston off on the right foot for the rest of the game.The Bruins were up 3-0 after the first period and 5-1 midway through the second. They dictated this game from the beginning by winning those 50/50 plays when they needed to and it led to a victory.Shades of FebruaryWhen the Bruins acquired Charlie Coyle from the Wild in February they knew they were going to get a winger who could help the team’s depth and maybe score a bit in the playoffs. We’re pretty sure they didn’t think they were going to get a guy who looks like the team’s best player in the Stanley Cup Final.OK, we all know Tuukka Rask and Patrice Bergeron have been the best players in the postseason for Boston, but what Coyle has done cannot be ignored. He scored his third goal of the finals in the first period Saturday, which leads Boston for the series, and now has eight goals in the playoffs.Puck movement is key to scoring a #BudLightBeauty like this. pic.twitter.com/CRuBfHeM7Y— NHL (@NHL) June 2, 2019Coyle now only trails David Pastrnak and Bergeron in goals for the Bruins this postseason, and the only reason he does is because those two players scored goals in Game 3 as well. Coyle hasn’t just been a nice addition, he’s turned into a weapon for Boston and is a huge reason why the team is up 2-1 in the series.Bruins’ special teams truly are specialIt may start sounding like a broken record, but the fact is the Bruins’ power play and penalty kill are a huge reason why they’re up 2-1 in the series.In Game 3, the Bruins went 4 for 4 on the power play and are now 6 for 14 in the series. Even tougher for St. Louis though, the Blues went 0 for 2 on their special teams chances through the first two periods which is effectively a five-goal swing in the game.last_img read more

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NASCAR at Chicago: Start time, lineup, TV schedule, live stream for Camping World 400

first_imgThe 1.5-mile tri-oval is just the kind of track Truex likes and he should once again compete for a win this week.MORE: Watch the Camping World 400 live with fuboTV (7-day trial)​At the same time Kevin Harvick is still looking for that elusive first win of 2019, Kyle Busch continues to drive well, Joey Logano is coming off of his second win of the year two races ago and Brad Keselowski and Denny Hamlin are always competitive on these types of track as well.All that said we should have another good race this weekend as the Cup series will hit two 1.5-mile tracks over the next three weeks with Daytona in between.What time does the Camping World 400 start?The Camping World 400 will take place Sunday, June 30. Live coverage begins on NBCSN at 3 p.m. ET.What TV channel is the Camping World 400 on?The Camping World 400 will be broadcast nationally on NBCSN. The race can also be live-streamed on the Fox Sports Go App or by subscribing to fuboTV, which offers a seven-day free trial.Camping World 400 schedule, how to watchAll of the events leading up to the week, including practices and races for the Xfinity Series, can be seen on NASCAR.com, PRN, MRN and FS1.Here’s a daily schedule of events leading up to the Camping World 400. NASCAR gets back to intermediate track racing this weekend for the Camping World 400 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois.Martin Truex Jr. is coming off of his second straight win at Sonoma Raceway and that momentum should serve him well at this track. (All times Eastern)Thursday, June 27TimeEventChannel2:35 p.m.Truck Series first practiceNo TV4:35 p.m.Truck Series second practiceNo TV6:35 p.m.Truck Series final practiceNo TVFriday, June 28TimeEventChannel4:05 p.m.Xfinity Series first practiceNBCSN5:05 p.m.Truck Series qualifyingFS27:05 p.m.Xfinity Series final practiceNBCSN9 p.m.Truck Series Camping World 225FSN/MRNSaturday, June 29TimeEventChannel11:05 p.m.Cup Series first practiceNBCSN/MRN12:05 p.m.Xfinity Series qualifyingNBCSN2 p.m.Cup Series final practiceNBCSN/MRN3:30 p.m.Xfinity Series Camping World 300NBCSN/MRN6:35 p.m.Cup Series qualifyingNBCSN/MRNSunday, June 30TimeEventChannel3 p.m.Cup Series Camping World 400NBCSN/MRNCamping World 400 Starting LineupBelow is the full starting lineup for the Camping World 400.StartingDriverNumberTBDLandon Cassill00TBDKurt Busch1TBDBrad Keselowski2TBDAustin Dillon3TBDKevin Harvick4TBDRyan Newman6TBDDaniel Hemric8TBDChase Elliott9TBDAric Almirola10TBDDenny Hamlin11TBDRyan Blaney12TBDTy Dillon13TBDClint Bowyer14TBDGarrett Smithley15TBDRicky Stenhouse Jr.17TBDKyle Busch18TBDMartin Truex Jr.19TBDErik Jones20TBDPaul Menard21TBDJoey Logano22TBDWilliam Byron24TBDReed Sorenson27TBDCorey Lajoie32TBDMichael McDowell34TBDMatt Tifft36TBDChris Buescher37TBDDavid Ragan38TBDDaniel Suarez41TBDKyle Larson42TBDDarrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr.43TBDRyan Preece47TBDJimmie Johnson48TBDTBA51TBDTBA52TBDBJ McLeod53TBDQuin Houff77TBDAlex Bowman88TBDMatt DiBenedetto95last_img read more

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Indians’ Shane Bieber discovers hilarious mistake on his Topps card

first_imgThe mistake did not escape Shane and he had to post it with a comment and a smiley face.”Nice,” Bieber wrote. “@Topps.”Nice 🙂 @Topps pic.twitter.com/FW8R1Ckzri— Shane Bieber (@ShaneBieber19) August 3, 2019We’re not sure but we think it might be too late to say sorry, Topps. Chris Sale not optimistic umpire will be held accountable for missed calls: There’s nothing MLB is going to do Topps made a mistake many are sure to make in the coming years.Shane Bieber is a pitcher for the Indians. He made the All-Star team this year and has been Cleveland’s best all year long posting a 10-4 record with a 3.40 ERA and 174 strikeouts in 140 1/3 innings pitched. But, you would figure his baseball card would be immune to the jokes because of, you know, editors and stuff.However, Topps’ editor was apparently either feeling really funny or just made a pretty obvious typo and Shane happened to catch it and post it on Twitter on Saturday.Bieber’s card looks normal at first glance, but when one reads the entirety of the background on the card, there is an obvious mistake that’s hard to miss.”Until Bieber did it in 2018, no Indians pitcher in 54 years had logged six or more strikeouts in each of his first three big-league appearances,” the card reads. “JUSTIN was particularly comfortable on the road where he went a team-record 7-0 and was undefeated in 11 starts.” But, the most obvious — and probably most well-known — thing about him is his last name which he happens to share with a certain pop singer, Justin Bieber.Shane has had to deal with the situation for a while with many a Twitter user referencing the shared surname, continuously re-using the joke about how he has no relation to Justin Bieber. Related Newslast_img read more

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Fantasy Draft Strategy: Using bye weeks, rankings to win your fantasy league

first_imgDOMINATE YOUR DRAFT: Ultimate 2019 Fantasy Cheat SheetLISTEN TO THE SN FANTASY WR PREVIEW PODCAST BELOW2019 NFL Schedule: Bye weeksWeek 4: Jets, 49ersWeek 5: Lions, DolphinsWeek 6: Bills, Bears, Colts, RaidersWeek 7: Panthers, Browns, Steelers, BuccaneersWeek 8: Ravens, CowboysWeek 9: Falcons, Bengals, Rams, SaintsWeek 10: Broncos, Texans, Jaguars, Patriots, Eagles, RedskinsWeek 11: Packers, Giants, Seahawks, TitansWeek 12: Cardinals, Chiefs, Chargers, VikingsWhen considering bye weeks, figuring out replacements is one of the first things that comes to mind. That’s something that you can glean in part from strength of schedule analysis, where you can see which players with exploitable matchups you can target as your backups. That’s especially important for positions like quarterback and tight end, where there might be a large drop-off from your starter to your backup.2019 STANDARD RANKINGS:Quarterback | Running back |  Wide Receiver | Tight End | D/ST | Kicker  | Top 200But this particular article discusses how you can plan for bye weeks on draft day. We lay out the pros and cons of ignoring byes, stacking them, spreading them out, or putting them off until later in the season. They’re all options that could work for you. Use this list and the examples that go with it to conquer byes and dominate your fantasy league2019 PPR RANKINGS:Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end  | Top 200Fantasy Football Draft Strategy: How to handle bye weeksStrategy No. 1: Ignore byes completelyIf you want one less thing to think about on draft day, this strategy will work for you. Most draft rooms or cheat sheets will include each players’ bye week, but for the sake of this strategy, simply act like those numbers aren’t there. The benefit to this strategy, in concept, is that it allows you to always draft the best player at a given spot. Obviously, you’ll be taking position into account to fill out your lineup, but you won’t ever pass someone up or target someone too early because of their bye. Rather, you’ll be able to go after the players you hold in the highest regard. This strategy also helps account for the fact that caring about bye weeks at the back end of your roster can be silly anyway, as you’ll have cycled many of those players out by the time bye weeks come around. Injuries will strike, pickups will emerge, matchups will be more/less favorable than you realized. Who knows what your starting lineup will be in Week 6? So, again, ignoring byers just helps you draft the best reserves for your roster.Of course, there are pitfalls to this strategy. Eventually, you’ll have to pay attention to bye weeks, even if that’s just while setting your lineup in Week 4 and you notice a couple players don’t have games. If you haven’t paid attention until midseason, scenarios you don’t want to deal with could sneak up on you.How this plays out in a draft: You just follow your rankings and cheat sheets. No bye-week planning means that whatever your normal strategy is will work just fine (unless it’s a bad strategy to begin with).MORE: Dollar values | IDP rankings | Best ball tips | Team namesStrategy No. 2: Stack one bye weekIf ignoring byes is extreme in one direction, this is just as extreme the other way. In a lot of statistical ways, trying to get players with byes in the same week makes sense. Sure, you are probably going to lose that week (but maybe not — you never know), but you’ll be at full strength every other week. Your opponents won’t be able to claim that. For reference, nine weeks of the NFL season have byes this year. So, if you play this strategy, you will be in trouble one week but have an advantage in eight other weeks, conceptually. This can be a tough strategy to draft for with traditional cheat sheets because you might have to do some bouncing around. It’s unlikely the best player(s) available when you’re drafting will have the same bye. You might have to force a few picks, which could mean you’re getting weaker players.One way this blows up in your face is if you abandon it too soon in the draft. Maybe you’ve decided you simply can’t get behind one or two of the draft-pick reaches it would require. But then you’re just worse off in multiple weeks. The other way this flops is if you pick the wrong week and are forced to select a high majority of your players from only a couple of teams, maybe teams that aren’t even that good.How this plays out in a draft: Essentially, you target players who line up with the given bye week you want to tank. There are six weeks with at least four teams on a bye this season, so we’ll put together what a quick, reasonably drafted QB-RB-RB-WR-WR-WR-TE lineup could look like that all feature a given bye week.     Week 6: Andrew Luck, Tarik Cohen, Josh Jacobs, Antonio Brown, T.Y. Hilton, Allen Robinson, Trey Burton      Week 7: Baker Mayfield, Christian McCaffrey, Nick Chubb, D.J. Moore, Chris Godwin, James Washington, O.J. Howard     Week 9: Matt Ryan, Alvin Kamara, Devonta Freeman, A.J. Green, Robert Woods, Tyler Boyd, Jared Cook     Week 10 (six byes): Deshaun Watson, Leonard Fournette, Lamar Miller, DeAndre Hopkins, Julian Edelman, Alshon Jeffery, Zach Ertz     Week 11: Aaron Rodgers, Saquon Barkley, Aaron Jones, Tyler Lockett, Sterling Shepard, Corey Davis, Evan Engram     Week 12: Kyler Murray, David Johnson, Austin Ekeler, Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs, Mike Williams, Travis Kelce (Could also execute Patrick Mahomes at QB and Hunter Henry at TE)These hinge somewhat on what pick you have to open your draft. If you have the eighth pick, you shouldn’t pursue the Week 11 lineup because you couldn’t get Saquon Barkley. Also, to point out the obvious: You’ll give yourself the largest raw total of players to choose from if you decide to stack Week 10 since that’s the only week with six teams on a bye.FANTASY SLEEPERS:8 QBs | 14 RBs | 11 WRs | 11 TEs | 6 D/STs | One from each teamStrategy No. 3: Draft as many different bye weeks as possibleThis is the opposite strategy to stacking one bye week. Instead, you purposely don’t pick anyone overlapping in bye with one of your players for as long as you can. In concept, this could carry itself out through nine rounds, since there are nine separate weeks with byes in 2019.If we ignore the possibility of injuries and underperformance (very likely things), this strategy can play out OK for your fantasy team. Once byes start, you’ll always be missing one key piece. Maybe it’s your third-round pick, but you still have eight of your first nine picks available to hopefully overcome it. The problem with this strategy is that things never play out like you’re anticipating. As soon as someone gets hurt or loses their job, this strategy blows up in your face. It’s also a strategy that doesn’t really allow for RB handcuffs if you’re following it wholeheartedly because handcuffs obviously have the same bye as the guy you’re handcuffing. So, if you’re a big handcuffer, this strategy might not be for you.How this plays out in a draft: For the first few rounds, you draft basically as normal, possibly avoiding a particular player because you’ve already drafted someone with that bye week. But after you’ve reached, say, Round 5, you’re really pigeon-holing yourself into particular selections to avoid byes you already have. You can go a variety of ways during the second half of your draft. If you choose to draft another set of nine players with differing byes, it will make your last few selections less based on upside and more based on the number in the column next to their name. Here’s an example, with FantasyPros composite ADP as a starting point, of how your first nine picks could look starting with the first pick in a 12-team league.Pick No. 1: Saquon Barkley (bye week 11), Leonard Fournette (10), Keenan Allen (12), David Montgomery (6), Cooper Kupp (9), Robby Anderson (4), Cam Newton (7), Dak Prescott (8), T.J. Hockenson (5)As you can see with this draft strategy, it’s hard to avoid reaching for the last three or four picks. If you were to take players from the two-team bye weeks with your first three picks (Weeks 4, 5, and 8), you’d have better potential to have options when it gets to that back half of your first nine selections.Strategy No. 4: Draft only late bye weeksFor the sake of discussing this strategy, let’s say you spread your players’ bye weeks evenly across the final four weeks of byes, Weeks 9-12. There are two possible benefits to this approach.The first comes in evaluating your roster and making moves. You won’t have to move on from that upside-laden backup WR too early simply to cover for a bye week. Instead, you’ll have time to see if he pops. Going with this, any player you’ve decided isn’t worth a spot on your team can be dropped before they’ve had a bye. By midseason, half the players you could add will have already had their bye, meaning you’re almost picking up an extra game on the wire. That latter idea also applies to trading. If you’re not in an active league, this probably becomes a moot point, but if you’re trading a player with a late bye week and your trading partner isn’t paying enough attention, you might “pick up an extra game” from a player who’s already had a bye. Taking this bye-trading method even further, you could trade a surplus for a player on bye in say, Week 6, when an owner needs to fill a slot, but then you’ll have that new player the rest of the way after maybe acquiring him at a value. How this plays out in a draft: This strategy essentially cuts off a large portion of the player pool. Fourteen teams have byes before the four-week period we chose to operate in. That means instead of drafting from all 32 teams like everyone else, you’re selecting from 18. That leaves you less margin for error in making the right calls.If you don’t like any of these strategies, I’m not really sure what to tell you. You probably at least want to avoid drafting two quarterbacks with the same bye week, if nothing else. The same could be true for tight end or defense (if it makes sense in your league to draft two of those). In general, use common sense. Bye weeks aren’t the thing that will make or break your season, but they could certainly make it a bit more fun if you handle them correctly. Fantasy football owners don’t get bye weeks. Instead, we have to deal with the fallout of the byes — that valuable missed time of our precious draft picks and waiver-wire acquisitions. So, bye weeks become just another aspect of draft strategy. Rankings lists and cheat sheets often feature players’ byes right next to their names, but most fantasy owners just ignore them. Should you, or is there a way you can use them to your advantage?Before we go any further, let’s lay out the 2019 bye schedule. It will do you no good to carry out any of the draft strategies below if you don’t know a given player’s bye week. Byes run from Weeks 4-12 this season, with three weeks of two teams on bye, five weeks of four teams on bye, and one week of six teams on bye.last_img read more

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Billionaire Joseph Tsai buys rest of Nets, reportedly valuing team at $2.35B

first_imgBillionaire Joseph Tsai has finalized a deal that makes him the sole owner of the Nets and Barclays Center, the team announced Friday. The deal must be approved by the NBA’s Board of Governors and is expected to be finalized by the end of September, the team said.  NBA adjusts schedule to feature LeBron James, other West Coast stars Tsai, 55, already owned 49 percent of the team, which he bought for $1 billion last year. According to a New York Post report this week, he is buying the remaining 51 percent from Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov for $1.35 billion. In total, Tsai will have paid $2.35 billion for the NBA team.“I’ve had the opportunity to witness up close the Brooklyn Nets rebuild that Mikhail started a few years ago,” Tsai said in a release. “He hired a front office and coaching staff focused on player development, he supported the organization with all his resources, and he refused to tank. I will be the beneficiary of Mikhail’s vision, which put the Nets in a great position to compete, and for which I am incredibly grateful.” Related News Tsai’s deal for the Nets would be the largest price paid for a sports team in history, surpassing David Tepper’s $2.2 billion purchase of the NFL’s Panthers in 2018 and Tilman Fertitta’s $2.2 billion deal for the NBA’s Rockets in 2017.center_img Kemba Walker talks leaving Hornets in free agency: ‘Tough days, f—ing tough days’ Last season, the Nets finished with a 42–40 record but have renewed hype because of huge offseason acquisitions of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Durant signed a four-year, $164 million deal with the team, while Irving signed a four-year, $141 million deal.With those high-profile free agent signings, Nets attendance is expected to jump, along with overall revenue.A native of Taiwan, Tsai is worth an estimated $9.9 billion after he co-founded Alibaba, the Chinese equivalent to Amazon. He also owns the San Diego Seals, a box lacrosse franchise in the National Lacrosse League.last_img read more

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Aleksić: We Achieved an Excellent Result at the European Championship

first_imgOur junior basketball team made a great success last night by winning over Czech Republic and by placing itself into A division.Our juniors will surely be among the first 12 representations, but we don’t know yet on which position. Our team’s playmaker Đorđe Aleksić played a great match yesterday and scored 18 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists. At the whole tournament, he has an average of 11.3 points, 3.6 assists and 2.6 rebounds.“We achieved a great result. We followed all coach’s ideas he had before this match and won. We are now among the 12 best in Europe and we placed ourselves into A division. I would like to use this opportunity to congratulate to all boys on great matches and their big effort, and to thank are expert team and the Basketball Union on supporting us.” – was communicated from the www.basket.ba. (Source: Sport Centar)last_img read more

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Continuation of Training Process and Competition soon in Bosnia and Herzegovina?

first_imgA second video conference was held organized by the Football Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina on Wednesday with representatives of all clubs of the Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina.The participants of the conference were greeted on behalf of the FF BH by president Elvedin Begic, and attended by general secretary Adnan Džemidžić, executive director of the sport sector Elmir Pilav and chairman of the Competition Committee Milorad O. Lale.Club representatives were presented with an official letter from UEFA outlining guidelines on the principles of eligibility for participation in the UEFA club competitions for the 2020/21 season. The primary requirement is to end championship on the green field with the recommendation that national associations should exhaust all possibilities to complete the domestic competition by the end. It is the duty of the national associations to submit to the UEFA, by 25thMay 2020 at the latest, a plan for the continuation and format of the competition. There are only two justifiable reasons that a domestic competition may end prematurely. Firstly, if there are measures to ban the organization of sports competitions and the inability to complete them within the stipulated time. Another option is to end the national competition early, if for special economic and financial reasons, the eventual continuation of the season could endanger domestic competition and clubs in the long run. The clubs are also aware of the manner of eventual termination of the competition, in which case the procedure for clubs’ participation in the UEFA competitions is prescribed. In the event of any deviation from the set principles in the application of clubs for European competitions by national associations, UEFA reserves the discretion to refuse those clubs.Furthermore, the clubs have been suggested a plan of activities prepared by the FF BH, related to the continuation of the training process and competition in the BHT Premier League. The indicative starting dates for the training process are from 08-10.05.2020 for individual preparations. The second part would start on 13.05.2020, when work would continue in groups (up to a maximum of 5 players), and the final part of preparations would start from 23.05.2020. The proposal to continue the competition in the BHT Premier League is planned for 07.06.2020. The provided document also explains a way of match organization, with the implementation of special security measures, protocols of arrival, stay and departure of the teams from the stadium, as well as the realization of the event, which will be held without the spectators. The implementation of the proposed activities requires the prior approval of the competent authorities, provided that all sanitary and hygienic conditions have been created for the smooth running of the players’ physical activities.All deadlines are conditional; all proposed dates are adjusted to the current situation. If the epidemiological situation in our country improves in the coming period and the measures of the competent authorities are reduced or abolished, the FF BH Executive Board will only then consider proposals to continue the competition and make the necessary decisions. There is quite enough time to continue competing in the BHT Premier League, and what is most important at the moment is how to best prepare the sanitary conditions for the smooth continuation of the competition and the playing of matches, with the prior provision of all procedures for adequate protection of players’ health.last_img read more

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Clemson coach Dabo Swinney on ‘ugly’ win over UNC: ‘We’re not perfect’

first_img Mike Leach calls Washington State players ‘fat, dumb, happy and entitled’ after ugly loss Clemson entered Saturday’s game as 28-point favorites, but ended up winning by just a point. The game came down to whether the Tigers could stop UNC’s 2-point conversion attempt with just 1:17 left in the game. “I’ve always had the theory that the longer the game goes, the best team wins, and they have the best team,” North Carolina coach Mack Brown said. “So my thought was, ‘Go now.’ We’ve got momentum, they’re tired, they’re on the field, so that was the best chance for us to win the game.”The Tigers ultimately stepped up in a big moment to stop UNC and stay undefeated through the first five games of the season. “But it’s disrespectful to just put it all on us. You’ve got to give them some credit. Those kids played their heart out, and they coached their hearts out, and they played with tremendous will to win, but I’m proud of my guys because they found a way when we had to have it. We found a way.” Related News Mississippi State’s mascot Bully narrowly avoids disaster vs. Auburn “There’s been a game every year the past four years or so in this program where it’s been close or we lost,” Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who completed 18 of 30 yards for 206 yards with two total touchdowns, said.”We know it’s hard to win. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that when you win so many games by so many points, but this game is only going to make us better. Obviously, we’d like to win every game by four touchdowns, but it’s going to bring us closer and show us how to appreciate every win and like tonight, just finding a way.”Clemson has a week off before facing Florida State on Oct. 12. Three takeaways from No. 10 Notre Dame’s win over No. 18 Virginia No. 1 Clemson barely escaped Saturday’s game against unranked North Carolina with a 21-20 win as coach Dabo Swinney admitted the Tigers weren’t perfect.”It’s not easy to win,” Swinney told reporters (via ESPN). “I know we’re supposed to destroy everybody, like nobody else has scholarships, nobody else has coaches. It doesn’t work that way. We’re just normal people. There’s nothing special about us. We’re not perfect. We don’t coach perfect. Unfortunately, we don’t play perfect every down, every game, but we found a way to win an ugly game.last_img read more

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