<![CDATA[NBC4 Washington - Sports]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/sports http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/WASH+NBC4+BLUE.png NBC4 Washington http://www.nbcwashington.com en-us Sat, 28 Mar 2015 05:32:08 -0400 Sat, 28 Mar 2015 05:32:08 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Autistic Boy Forced to Remove His Letter Jacket]]> Fri, 27 Mar 2015 13:40:25 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/214*120/LetterJacket.jpg A mother is outraged after her son's school forces him to remove a varsity letter jacket because special-needs athletes aren't allowed to wear the letters.]]> <![CDATA[Former UNC Coach, Dean Smith, Leaves $200 to Former Players]]> Thu, 26 Mar 2015 22:45:25 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/80261754.jpg

Every letter winner who played for former North Carolina basketball coach, Dean Smith, was granted with a heart-warming suprise a month after his death: $200 dollars from his estate.

A letter sent to 180 players was sent from Smith's trustee, stating: "Each player was important and special to Coach Smith and when he prepared his estate plan, Coach wanted to reach out to each of his letterman. Accordingly, Coach directed that following his passing each letterman be sent a two hundred dollar ($200.00) check with the message 'enjoy a dinner out, compliments of Coach Dean Smith.'

Smith, who died at age 83 last month, went 879-254 in his years at North Carolina, landing him in the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1983. However, Smith was also known for the compassion he had for his players.

In 1965, Smith helped a black North Carolina graudation student, Howard Lee, purchase a home in an all-white neighborhood during segregations. A year later, Smith intergrated the Tar Heels, recruiting Charlie Scott, who became the first African-American scholarship player in the school's history.

Serge Zwikker, who played for Smith from 1993-1997, told ESPN: "My wife opened the letter and handed it to me. At first  I didn't know what it was, but when it hit me, it put a tear in my eye. Even after he passed, he was still all about this players."

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<![CDATA[Notre Dame Coach Brey Dances on After Mother's Death]]> Thu, 26 Mar 2015 22:58:32 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/214*120/84262988.jpg Notre Dame men's basketball coach Mike Brey, who played and coached at DeMatha, continues along to the road to the Final Four despite his accomplished mother's death.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Top Sports Photos 2015]]> Thu, 26 Mar 2015 19:07:10 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/topSports-USA-DEN-467516564.jpg Click to see dramatic sports photos from the NFL, to basketball, baseball and more.

Photo Credit: FrontzoneSport via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Wisconsin Basketball Player Accidentally Admits Crush]]> Thu, 26 Mar 2015 18:13:37 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Screen-Shot-2015-03-26-at-5.37.13-PM.jpg

Cattywampus. Onomatopoeia. Antidisestablishmentarianism. For Nigel Hayes, University of Wisconsin  basketball forward, these are the words of a modern love letter.

Hayes answered reporters covering the NCAA March Madness tournament with these arbitrary words in a press conference a couple days ago, stumping everyone in the room.  Hayes originally joked that he wanted to break up the monotony of the stenographer’s job with some unique words.

A reporter kicked off the latest news conference asking Hayes if he wanted to say anything to the stenographer, Debra Bollman, before they began, in which he responded: “syzygy”.

A hot mic then picked up Hayes whispering to his teammate, “God, she’s beautiful.” His eyes lit up when he heard laughter in the room. He asked Bollman, “Did you hear that?” She responded “yes” before Hayes covered his face with his hands in embarrassment.

While it's not yet known whether Hayes’ “soliloquy” will help him get a date with Bollman, he can at least say he's made her day more interesting.


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<![CDATA[Bengals' Devon Still: My Daughter Kicked Cancer's Butt ]]> Thu, 26 Mar 2015 11:00:39 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Devon+and+Leah+New.jpg

After months of treatment, constant updates on social media and nationwide support, Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Devon Still shared the news he hoped to hear for over a year. His daughter, Leah's cancer is officially in remission.

"Today we received news from Leah's oncologist that her cancer, stage four neuroblastoma, is officially in REMISSION! After 296 days of day dreaming about what it would feel like to hear the doctors say my daughter is in remission, I finally know the feeling," Still said in an announcement Wednesday on his Instagram page.

Still and his daughter have captured the hearts of millions of people nationwide since she began to receive treatment at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in June. Leah, who had a tumor removed from her abdomen back in September, completed her latest course of chemotherapy last month.

"It was not easy but every day, and every treatment Leah fought like hell and kicked cancers butt!" he said in his post.

Devon Still, a Delaware native and former Penn State Nittany Lion, was cut from the Cincinnati Bengals in August of last year. But the Bengals re-signed Still to their practice squad in order to help him pay for his daughter’s medical treatment after she was diagnosed with cancer.

The Bengals have said Still is considering a one-year deal to play next year. 

Still’s No. 75 jersey quickly became the team’s top seller after the Bengals decided to donate proceeds from his jersey sales to the Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati and pediatric cancer care and research. More than $1 million have been raised from sales of the $100 jersey, according to the AP. 

Still has kept his followers updated on his daughter’s progress through social media.

 

 


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<![CDATA[New York Yankees Pay Homage to "The Sandlot" in New Ad]]> Wed, 25 Mar 2015 08:10:37 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Brett-Gardner-Yankees-Rangers-0729.jpg

The New York Yankees are paying homage to classic baseball movie “The Sandlot” with a recreation of its famous Babe Ruth scene.

The ad, which stars Brett Gardner as the innocent Smalls who unknowingly plays with a ball signed by the legendary Ruth, was posted to MLB.com Tuesday.

C.C. Sabathia, Dellin Betances, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann and Didi Gregorius also make appearances in the spot.

Watch the video below:



Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Caps' Fehr Reads His Anti-Bullying Book at Elementary School]]> Tue, 24 Mar 2015 19:28:17 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Eric+Fehr+reads+at+elementary+school.JPG One in four kids in the U.S. is bullied. A local athlete is hoping to change that. The Capitals' Eric Fehr is the author of an anti-bullying children's book, and today, he read his book, "The Bulliest Dozer," to area kids at Francis Scott Key Elementary School in Arlington, Virginia. News4's Jason Pugh has the story.

Photo Credit: NBC Washington]]>
<![CDATA[Metal Detectors New Part of Fan Experience at Nats Park]]> Mon, 23 Mar 2015 19:48:12 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Nationals+Park+Metal+Detectors.jpg In just two weeks it will be time to play ball! The MLB season begins and you should expect a major change when you pay a visit to Nats Park. News4's Tom Sherwood says that for the first time metal detectors will be part of the fan experience.]]> <![CDATA[NCAA 2015: Best Moments of the Women's Basketball Tournament]]> Tue, 24 Mar 2015 08:06:02 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/AP384406691239_3_NCAA.jpg See the highlights, upsets, and dramatic finishes of the 2015 NCAA Women's Basketball tournament here.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Terps Getting Ready To Collide With Mountaineers]]> Sun, 22 Mar 2015 19:51:39 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000009869921_1200x675_416527427997.jpg News4's Carol Maloney is in Columbus, Ohio with a preview of Sunday's big game.]]> <![CDATA[Utah to Sweet 16 After Georgetown Defeat]]> Sat, 21 Mar 2015 23:35:05 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP867223623593.jpg

Utah is headed back to the Sweet 16 for the first time in a decade.

Brandon Taylor scored 14 points and Delon Wright added 12 and the fifth-seeded Utes beat No. 4 Georgetown 75-64 on Saturday night.

The Utes (26-8) will travel to Houston to play the winner of Sunday's game in Charlotte, North Carolina, between top-seeded Duke (30-4) and No. 8 San Diego State (27-8).

Utah hasn't advanced to the Sweet 16 since 2005, when the Utes fell as the No. 6 seed to No. 2 Kentucky. The Utes are making their first tournament appearance since 2009.

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<![CDATA[Maryland Terps Dance in the NCAAs]]> Sat, 21 Mar 2015 23:31:52 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000009865973_1200x675_416326724000.jpg The Maryland Terps are in the NCAAs -- and hoping to press their advantage over West Virginia.]]> <![CDATA[NFL Hall of Famer Chuck Bednarik Dies at 89]]> Sat, 21 Mar 2015 21:07:47 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP050204012830.jpg

Philadelphia Eagles great Chuck Bednarik, a grisly pro football hall of famer and the namesake for one of college football's most prestigious awards, died early Saturday morning at a Pennsylvania assisted living facility at the age of 89, the Eagles announced.

Bednarik died around 4:30 a.m. Saturday following a brief illness, according to a release sent out by the team.

“With the passing of Chuck Bednarik, the Eagles and our fans have lost a legend. Philadelphia fans grow up expecting toughness, all-out effort and a workmanlike attitude from this team and so much of that image has its roots in the way Chuck played the game. He was a Hall of Famer, a champion and an all-time Eagle. Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones during this time," said Eagles Owner Jeffrey Lurie.

Bednarik was born in Bethlehem and played football for the University of Pennsylvania as well as the Eagles when he was chosen first overall in the 1949 NFL draft.

Bednarik, known as "Concrete Charlie," was one of the NFL's most fearsome tacklers and was one of of the NFL's last great two-way players. He played center and linebacker who's best known for two monumental hits during the 1960 season.

In one, in the 1960 title game, he threw a Green Bay Packers running back to the ground and refused to let him get back up as the final seconds ticked off the clock.

He's also known for his takedown of fellow hall of famer Frank Gifford earlier in the season. Gifford, a New York Giants running back, was hit so hard that he suffered a concussion and didn't play again for nearly two years. Enduring images of the tackle show Bednirak towering over Gifford and pumping his fist.

“So many of the timeless moments in Eagles history are associated with Chuck Bednarik. He played his entire career in Philadelphia, college and pro, and he lived his entire life here and in the Lehigh Valley. He was a proud competitor and a dedicated and devout family man who loved Eagles fans as much as they loved him. He left his mark on this team and will forever be a legend within this organization." said Eagles president Don Smolenski.

College football fans also remember Bednarik for the award that bears his name. The Maxwell Football Club have presented the Bednarik Award each year to the most outstanding defensive player at the collegiate level.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker leaves behind his wife of 67 years, five daughters, 10 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.



Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[2015 NCAA Tournament: Best Moments ]]> Sat, 28 Mar 2015 01:36:27 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/ncaa-th-466889932.png See some of the best moments, upsets, and dramatic finishes of the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball tournament here.]]> <![CDATA[NCAA's First Big Upset ]]> Thu, 19 Mar 2015 16:30:21 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP545272355896.jpg

The first big upset of the NCAA Tournament goes to the scrappy UAB Blazers.

William Lee scored the last four points for 14th-seeded UAB, and the Blazers upset third-seeded Iowa State 60-59 on Thursday in their opening game in the NCAA Tournament.

The Blazers (20-15) came in with the youngest team in the NCAA Tournament and with nobody having played in this tournament before. They wound up winning the program's first NCAA game since 2005.

The ninth-ranked Cyclones (25-9) came into the South Regional looking for a much longer run than a year ago when they reached the Sweet 16 without top scorer Georges Niang due to injury. But they just couldn't match the scrappy Blazers on the boards in a second half where the Cyclones couldn't hold onto a 55-51 lead with 3:13 left.

The Blazers, who outscored Iowa State 9-4 down the stretch, will play either SMU or UCLA on Saturday.

Iowa State, which lost its opener as a No. 2 seed in 2001, last led at 57-56 on a basket by Monte Morris. But Lee hit a jumper with 24 seconds left putting UAB ahead to stay. Niang had a jumper blocked by Tosin Mehinti, and Lee got the rebound. Lee hit two free throws with 12.1 seconds left for the Blazers' final margin.

Naz Long missed a 3 that Morris tipped in with 0.4 seconds left, and the Cyclones couldn't get the ball back before the Blazers started celebrating their gutty win.

Robert Brown led UAB with 21 points, Lee finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Tyler Madison also had 11 rebounds as the Blazers dominated the boards 52-37, including 19 on the offensive glass.

Morris finished with 15 points for the Cyclones, who were making a school-record fourth straight tournament appearance only to lose their opener for the first time since 2001. Niang and reserve Matt Thomas both added 11 points, and Jameel McKay had 10 points and 12 rebounds.

Iowa State looked ready to finally put away an opponent as the Cyclones opened the game with a 12-2 lead. The Blazers settled down quickly enough and used a 14-4 run to turn it into a game taking advantage of repeated turnovers by the Cyclones.

The Blazers took a 31-28 halftime lead but didn't score until Madison hit a jumper with 14:20 left — a scoring drought that spanned 6:52 from their last basket of the first half.

Not that it hurt as the teams wound up swapping the lead a total of 17 times with eight ties.

TIP-INS

UAB: Blazers' fans didn't miss an opportunity to chant "Fire Ray Watts" during timeouts in their protest against the university president who shut down the school's football program in December.

Iowa State: Thomas hadn't scored in double figures since late February, a span of six straight games. ... The Cyclones, who came in with the third-most wins in school history, lost as a No. 2 seed to 15th-seeded Hampton in 2001. ... Niang broke a bone in his right foot in their first NCAA game last year with the Cyclones losing in the Sweet 16 to eventual champ Connecticut.

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<![CDATA[Dez Wells' Pregame Song]]> Wed, 18 Mar 2015 17:55:05 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000009831976_1200x675_415047235888.jpg The Terps' senior leader Dez Wells shares his pregame song ritual with News4's Carol Maloney.]]> <![CDATA[Hampton Coach Calls Jesus For Help Against Kentucky]]> Wed, 18 Mar 2015 13:28:43 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP764387644610_Joyner.jpg

Hampton University squeaked into the NCAA tournament after a first round win against Manhattan. Now the Virginia school is up against undefeated and top-seeded Kentucky – a favorite to take the tournament.

Hampton's head coach isn't counting on divine intervention.

When the coach, Edward Joyner Jr., was asked about his team's odds, he picked up his cell phone and pretended to make a call. He then joked that he had "Jesus on speed dial."

“Hey, Jesus?” Joyner told reporters. “They want to know how much of a mountain and what our odds are. Hello? Hello? I guess he'll get back to me so I'll get back to you."

Hampton is up against tough odds. No team ranked 16 in the tournament has ever won the big dance against a No. 1 seed.

“It’s a heck of a mountain,” Joyner said.

If they win that one game, it'll be an upset of biblical proportions. 



Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[President Obama Unveils 2015 NCAA Bracket]]> Wed, 18 Mar 2015 11:08:01 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/obama-bball-143831886.jpg

President Barack Obama is predicting that Kentucky will remain undefeated and take home the title in the NCAA Tournament.

The basketball fan in chief says there's a good reason the Wildcats are the prohibitive favorite in the tournament after going 34-0 so far. He picked them to beat Villanova in the title game during an interview broadcast Wednesday on ESPN.

The president advanced Arizona and Duke to the NCAA Final Four, scheduled for April 4-6 in Indianapolis.

Obama hasn't picked the correct national champion since his first year in office, when North Carolina won the 2009 championship.

Obama also tells ESPN he would like to see the NCAA move the shot clock from 35 to 30 seconds and move back the lane and three-point line to mirror the NBA. 



Photo Credit: File Photo/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Retiring 49er's Dad "Relieved"]]> Wed, 18 Mar 2015 15:50:53 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/200*120/TLMD-chris-borland-49ers.jpg

Jeff Borland didn’t let his son, Chris, play football until high school growing up in Ohio. He thought youth coaches didn’t know how to teach little boys how to be safe tackling.

So it was with great pride and relief for him and his wife, Zebbie, when their 24-year-old son, the sixth of seven siblings and a promising rookie linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers, announced to the world this week that he was retiring from the sport because he had researched what concussions could do later in life.

“As a parent,” Borland said Tuesday night in a phone interview with NBC Bay Area from Kettering, Ohio, “you’re relieved.”

Relieved, he said, because football usually means “physical punishment,” which takes a toll on the mind and body.

Now, the elder Borland said, his son will be looking at what to do next: "I think there will be more school," he said, without indicating what his son's next career path would be, adding that Chris Borland graduated with a history degree at the University of Wisconsin.

"He did what he had to do, and proved himself successful in the NFL," the elder Borland said. "There were many good lessons learned from playing football - preparation, discipline, team work. The challenge now is to transfer those skills to the next career."

Chris Borland began researching and reading all about concussions and head injuries, and announced his retirement on Monday to ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru. The two Bay Area brothers wrote a book and created a documentary, the “League of Denial: The NFL, Concussions and the Battle for Truth,” that changed the national conversation about head injuries and football.

"I just honestly want to do what's best for my health," Borland told "Outside the Lines." "From what I've researched and what I've experienced, I don't think it's worth the risk."

The decision had nothing to do with his ankle injury and shoulder issues: “I feel largely the same, as sharp as I’ve ever been," he told ESPN. "For me, it’s wanting to be proactive. I’m concerned that if you wait ’til you have symptoms, it’s too late.”

Borland is the most prominent NFL player to leave the game in his prime because of concerns about brain injuries, the brothers noted. More than 70 former players have been diagnosed with progressive neurological disease after their deaths, and numerous studies have shown connections between the repetitive head trauma associated with football, brain damage and issues such as depression and memory loss.

As the regular season approached, Borland’s father, owner of The Borland Group, a financial advisory firm, said his son began starting to think, “What am I going to do with my life?” That led his son to do some “reading and researching,” his dad said.

“He became concerned this could compromise his career after football," Jeff Borland said. "And he didn't want to jeopardize the next one."
 



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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