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Monday
Nov052018

Luke Walton's job as Lakers' head coach is safe: Magic Johnson

Harry How/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Despite an abysmal showing against the Toronto Raptors in the first quarter of Sunday night's game, Luke Walton's position as the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers is not in jeopardy, according to Magic Johnson.

Johnson, the team's president of basketball operations, told ESPN Sunday "we're not going to fire him."

His remarks came during the first quarter of the game, in which the Lakers trailed the Raptors, 42-17. The 25-point deficit marked one of the worst first quarters in the team's history.

According to ESPN, Los Angeles has "never been outscored by more than 24 points in a first quarter in the shot-clock era (since 1954-55)."

The Lakers went on to lose the game to Toronto, 121-107.

Earlier on Sunday, Johnson told the Los Angeles Times that he didn't have any plans to remove Walton as head coach, barring something drastic happening.

When asked Sunday night to explain what would qualify as a drastic circumstance, Johnson declined to elaborate, saying, "No, not going into that. He's our coach, we support him, and that's it."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Nov052018

Scoreboard roundup -- 11/5/2018

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Here are the scores from this weekend's sports events.

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION

Milwaukee   144,  Sacramento    109
Washington  108,  N-Y Knicks     95
Brooklyn    122,  Philadelphia   97
Orlando     117,  San Antonio   110
Phoenix     102,  Memphis       100
Portland    111,  Minnesota      81
Toronto     121,  L.A. Lakers   107


NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE
N-Y Rangers   3,  Buffalo    1
Tampa Bay     4,  Ottawa     3
Anaheim       3,  Columbus   2


TOP-25 COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Utah St.   56,  Hawaii   17


NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE
Chicago         41,  Buffalo       9
Kansas City     37,  Cleveland    21
Carolina        42,  Tampa Bay    28
Miami           13,  N-Y Jets      6
Atlanta         38,  Washington   14
Pittsburgh      23,  Baltimore    16
Minnesota       24,  Detroit       9
L.A. Chargers   25,  Seattle      17
Houston         19,  Denver       17
New Orleans     45,  L.A. Rams    35
New England     31,  Green Bay    17

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Saturday
Nov032018

Scoreboard roundup -- 11/2/18

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the scores from Friday’s sports events:

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
L.A. Clippers 120, Orlando 95
Houston 119, Brooklyn 111
Oklahoma City 134, Washington 111
Indiana 107, Chicago 105
N.Y. Knicks 118, Dallas 106
Memphis 110, Utah 100
Toronto 107, Phoenix 98
Golden State 116, Minnesota 99

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE
Florida 4, Winnipeg 2
OT Vancouver 7, Colorado 6
OT Arizona 4, Carolina 3

TOP 25 COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Pittsburgh 23, (23) Virginia 13

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Nov022018

Disabled teen honored at World Series says he found inspiration in Jackie Robinson story

Courtesy Tracey Quist(BOSTON) -- A high school sophomore from Wyoming recently had a "once-in-a-lifetime" experience, all thanks to an essay he'd written about baseball legend Jackie Robinson.

Jesse Quist was recognized on Oct. 24 at Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, as one of two winners in Major League Baseball's 2018 "Breaking Barriers: In Sports, In Life" essay contest.

Quist, 15, of Cheyenne, Wyoming, is a Korean adoptee with two parents and seven siblings. He was born missing most of both of his arms. He has no hands but uses what he calls "nubbins" — two fingers on his left arm and one finger on his right.

As part of his winnings, Quist was invited to attend Games 1 and 2 of the World Series between the Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers.

"It was crazy," Quist told ABC News about being at the game. "It was definitely one of the loudest baseball games that I've ever been to. ... The crowd was wild."

The Red Sox defeated the Dodgers in the end, taking the series, 4-1, and winning the 2018 World Series. Quist, a Colorado Rockies fan, said he was just happy to be in the stands enjoying the moment.

The contest — a joint effort by Jackie Robinson's daughter, Sharon Robinson, the MLB, and children's publisher Scholastic — asks students in grades 4 to 9 to discuss how they'd used values exemplified by Jackie Robinson to overcome "barriers or obstacles" in their lives.

Quist's essay was chosen among 13,000 essays submitted from around the U.S., Puerto Ric and Canada, according to the MLB.

"It was just a shock to me. I didn't think I was going to win," he told ABC News. "I just wanted to get my story out there."

He told ABC News that when his mother found the essay contest, the topic really spoke to him, particularly because he'd seen the movie "42" about Jackie Robinson, an MLB Hall of Famer who broke baseball's color barrier in 1947 when he became the first black athlete to play for the league.

In his essay, Quist said in part, "I have pretty much learned how to do things differently and in my own unique way. ... To learn how to write, eat and basically do everything needed for everyday life, I used determination, commitment, persistence and excellence."

He said that he had incredible respect for the baseball player.

"It can be very frustrating knowing that everywhere you go, there will always be someone whispering about you. ... There's no doubt in my mind that Jackie Robinson experienced the same thing: the pointing and staring and whispering," Quist wrote.

"(Jackie Robinson) just went out and played baseball and, you know, showed the world that he deserved to be in the MLB," Quist told ABC News. "I wanted to be like him. ... I've got a book about Jackie Robinson sitting underneath my alarm clock in my room."

Quist, who attended high school last year but is now home-schooled, said an everyday challenge was people's reactions to him.

"Everywhere I go, I'm going to get, you know, stared at, pointed at. That's always an everyday challenge, everywhere I go," he said.

Quist, who has run cross-country and track as well as played soccer and basketball, said he'd like to go to college and attend law school, or be an English teacher or professor.

"I try not to let anything stop me," he said. "Jackie Robinson definitely showed that you can do anything that you want to do as long as you're driven to do it."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Nov022018

University System of Maryland’s board of regents chair resigns

iStock/Thinkstock(BALTIMORE) -- The fallout surrounding the University of Maryland’s football program continues.

In a statement Thursday, James T. Brady, the chairman of the University System of Maryland’s Board of Regents, announced he was resigning immediately.

The news comes following the university’s decision to fire its head football coach, DJ Durkin, amid backlash from students and parents over his reinstatement.

The school announced Durkin’s departure late Wednesday, just a day after the board of regents concluded he should be reinstated despite the president's recommendation against it. The board does not have the authority to remove the coach though the president does.

"The chair of the Board of Regents has publicly acknowledged that I had previously raised serious concerns about Coach Durkin’s return," University of Maryland President Wallace Loh said in a statement. "This is not at all a reflection of my opinion of Coach Durkin as a person. However, a departure is in the best interest of the University, and this afternoon Coach Durkin was informed that the University will part ways."

Durkin had been placed on administrative leave in August amid an investigation into an alleged toxic culture at the school's football program following the death of 19-year-old Jordan McNair, who suffered heatstroke during a practice in May.

In his statement, Brady said he respects the many people “who disagreed with the recommendations a majority of this board ultimately made.”

“These were difficult decisions, based on information included in reports stemming from two investigations and a great deal of thought and deliberation,” he said. “I understand that reasonable people could come to other conclusions. And even among our board, some did.”

Brady continued: “In recent days, I have become the public face of both the board and its decisions related to these matters.  In my estimation, my continued presence on the board will inhibit its ability to move Maryland’s higher education agenda forward.  And I have no interest in serving as a distraction from that important work.”

“Accordingly, I will step down from the Board of Regents immediately,” he said.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Nov022018

49ers cheerleader takes a knee during national anthem

iStock/Thinkstock(SAN FRANCISCO) -- A San Francisco 49ers cheerleader dropped to her knee during the national anthem ahead of Thursday’s matchup against the Oakland Raiders in what appears to be the first public protest by an NFL cheerleader.

At this time, it remains unclear which cheerleader knelt while the rest of the squad stood in formation.

The movement to take a knee started during the 2016 preseason when quarterback Colin Kaepernick -- then playing for the 49ers -- knelt during the anthem to protest social injustices that minorities face, especially by police. He was joined by his teammate Eric Reid, along with others in the league.

The 30-year-old's controversial demonstration attracted both backlash and praise by spectators, including President Donald Trump, who called for the firing of NFL players who knelt in protest during the anthem.

Kaepernick was ultimately marked as the face of the national movement. In 2017, he opted out of his contract, making him a free agent. Kaepernick currently remains unsigned for the 2018 season.

In May, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell introduced a policy that required players to stand during the national anthem, but would allow them to have the option of remaining in the locker room during the pregame performance if they choose to do so. The policy would ultimately fine teams for players who chose to sit or kneel during the anthem. The NFL, however, put the policy on hold for the 2018 season to allow for further discussion between the union and the league about the issue, according to ESPN.

Kaepernick's demonstrations continue to draw support from a number of athletes and other personnel in the NFL.

Earlier this season, Miami Dolphins wide receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson knelt and defensive end Robert Quinn raised a clenched fist while "The Star-Spangled Banner" played before their game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. A South Florida police union urged its members to boycott the football teams' games in wake of the incident.

During the 2017 season, Meghan Linsey -- a singer who performed the national anthem during the Seattle Seahawks-Tennessee Titans game -- took a knee on the field with no players present after she finished her rendition.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Nov022018

Scoreboard roundup -- 11/1/18

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  Here are the scores from yesterday's sports events:

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Denver 110, Cleveland 91
Philadelphia 122, L.A. Clippers 113
Oklahoma City 111, Charlotte 107
Sacramento 146, Atlanta 115
Boston 117, Milwaukee 113
Portland 132, New Orleans 119

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE
Winnipeg 4, Florida 2
N-Y Islanders 3, Pittsburgh 2
Dallas 2, Toronto 1
Detroit 4, New Jersey 3
Montreal 6, Washington 4
Nashville 4, Tampa Bay 1
Ottawa 4, Buffalo 2
St. Louis 5, Vegas 3
Calgary 6, Colorado 5
Edmonton 4, Chicago 0
N-Y Rangers 3, Anaheim 2
Philadelphia 5, L.A. Kings 2
Columbus 4, San Jose 1

TOP-25 COLLEGE FOOTBALL
(9) UCF 52, Temple 40

NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE
San Francisco 34, Oakland 3

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Nov012018

Simone Biles makes history as 1st woman to win 4 all-around world titles

Francois Nel(DOHA, Qatar) -- Simone Biles made history as the first woman to win four all-around world titles when she took home her fourth world championship title today in Doha, Qatar.

Biles, 21, beat out Mai Murakamai of Japan and fellow Team USA member Morgan Hurd to win the gold medal, despite falling two times during her all-around final.

Biles skyrocketed to fame as a member of the "Final Five" women's gymnastics team that took home gold medals during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

She may have taken two tumbles during the competition, but Biles was rewarded by judges for the level of difficulty she went for, according to reports.

Despite her history-making win, the Texas native says she still believes she can do better.

Biles wrote in an Instagram post that she had "so many emotions" and that it has been "less than a year since I got back into training so I try not to be too hard on myself."

She continued: "Although I still placed 1st and MADE HISTORY I’m not entirely pleased with my performance. I’m still trying to find my confidence. But I won’t give up ?? I’m proud of myself! —> now onto finals."

When not competing, Biles has become an increasingly vocal critic of USA Gymnastics leadership in the wake of the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Nov012018

University of Maryland fires football coach after backlash

iStock/Thinkstock(COLLEGE PARK, Md.) -- The University of Maryland fired head football coach DJ Durkin on Wednesday amid backlash from students and parents over his reinstatement.

The school announced Durkin’s departure late Wednesday, just a day after the board of regents concluded he should be reinstated despite the president's recommendation against it. The board does not have the authority to remove the coach though the president does.

"The chair of the Board of Regents has publicly acknowledged that I had previously raised serious concerns about Coach Durkin’s return," University of Maryland President Wallace Loh said in a statement. "This is not at all a reflection of my opinion of Coach Durkin as a person. However, a departure is in the best interest of the University, and this afternoon Coach Durkin was informed that the University will part ways."

Loh, who announced Tuesday he would retire after the current academic year, added that he would devote the remaining months of his presidency to "advancing the needed reforms in our Athletic Department that prioritize the safety and well-being of our student-athletes."

Durkin had been placed on administrative leave in August amid an investigation into an alleged toxic culture at the school's football program following the death of 19-year-old Jordan McNair, who suffered heatstroke during a practice in May.

Jordan McNair's parents, who previously said they were heartbroken by the decision to reinstate Durkin, said they are both "surprised" and "relieved" by the university's decision to do "the right thing."

"This is a step in the right direction," his father, Martin McNair, told ABC News in an interview Thursday on Good Morning America.

In September, the law firm representing Jordan McNair's parents filed forms stating the family's intent to sue the state. When asked on GMA Wednesday whether that still stands, their attorney, Hassan Murphy, said "absolutely."

"Whether or not that happens will now be up to the University of Maryland," Murphy said.

Durkin's reinstatement on Tuesday sparked an uproar and a community rally had been scheduled for Thursday night to call for the coach's firing.

Several players walked out of a team meeting on Tuesday when Durkin's return was announced by the school's athletic director, according to ESPN.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan also spoke against the oversight board's decision to reinstate the coach, calling for a public hearing into the situation.

“I share the concerns of many Marylanders and believe very strongly that more must be done to restore the public trust,” Hogan said in a statement Wednesday, before Durkin was fired. “I am calling on both the University System of Maryland Board of Regents and President Wallace Loh to reconsider their decisions and to schedule a public hearing to address these issues in an open and transparent manner."

He added, "I can and will demand that the university is held accountable for making the reforms they have pledged to put in place with the full transparency that the students, parents, and faculty expect and deserve."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Nov012018

Hall of Famer and Giants legend Willie McCovey dies at 80

Jason O. Watson/Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) -- San Francisco Giants legend and Hall of Famer Willie McCovey died on Wednesday at the age of 80.

In a statement, the Giants said the former first baseman “passed away peacefully” in the afternoon “after losing his battle with ongoing health issues.”

"San Francisco and the entire baseball community lost a true gentleman and legend, and our collective hearts are broken," Giants President and CEO Laurence M. Baer said in a statement. "Willie was a beloved figure throughout his playing days and in retirement. He will be deeply missed by the many people he touched.”

McCovey made his debut with the Giants on July 30, 1959. He played with the team through 1973 before being traded to the San Diego Padres. He later went to the Oakland Athletics in 1976 before returning to San Francisco in 1977, where he played until he retired in 1980.

McCovey ended his MLB career with a batting average of .270, 1,229 runs scored, 353 doubles, 46 triples, 521 home runs and 1,555 RBI. He was a six-time All-Star, and was named the National League Rookie of the Year in 1959 and the National League MVP in 1969.

In 1986, he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame during his first year of eligibility.

McCovey is survived by his wife, daughter, three grandchildren, sister and two brothers.

The Giants said a public celebration of his life will be announced at a later date.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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