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US News Headlines

    The Oklahoma State Health Department confirms two Oklahomans are going to be tested for coronavirus. Department officials say the two recently traveled to China and meet criteria for persons under investigation. They are working with healthcare providers to set up the testing. Officials will not disclose the demographics or location of the patients at this time.
  • Two people in New Hampshire are undergoing testing for coronavirus, the virus that is believed to have originated in Wuhan, China, and has killed more than 100 people worldwide. Those two people recently traveled to Wuhan City and have developed respiratory symptoms, according to the New Hampshire Bureau of Infectious Disease Control. In an announcement on its Facebook page, Littleton Regional Healthcare said one of the patients is being quarantined in their facility. According to LRH, the patient is a student from White Mountain School in Bethlehem, N.H., who was presented to the hospital on Jan. 23 with mild, flu-like symptoms. The student had recently traveled to Hunan, China, in December and had returned to the United States on Jan. 6. The hospital says it has been “following the CDC guidelines” by placing the patient in a “negative pressure intensive care room for treatment to prevent cross-contamination to other areas of the hospital” adding that they are 'also following CDC recommended standard, contact and airborne precautions for healthcare providers. It’s unclear what city, town or medical institution the other patient may be in, but we know they are in complete isolation as their samples, along with the other patient’s, have been sent to the CDC for further testing. “These people have more mild illness, but both sought healthcare for their illnesses and are recovering,” the bureau said. “They remain isolated until test results are available. Samples have been sent to the CDC for testing.' The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed five cases of coronavirus in the United States. “The risk to our communities in New Hampshire is low, but we want to identify people who may be infected with this new coronavirus in order to prevent spread,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan in a release from the New Hampshire Bureau of Infectious Disease Control. “We have recommended that healthcare providers conduct travel screenings and implement isolation practices for patients with a fever or respiratory illness who report travel to this affected region of China. This is a rapidly changing situation, and we remain committed to providing timely updates to residents of New Hampshire and our health care providers.” The illness can be similar to pneumonia, posing the greatest risk to the elderly, children and those with weak immune systems. “It’s very similar to the flu, and we are at the heart of flu season,” said Dr. Jennifer Lo, the Medical Director for the Boston Public Health Commission. “So fever, coughing or shortness of breath, those are the symptoms described with relation to the coronavirus. Those are the same symptoms that you would have with the flu.” In Boston, Mayor Marty Walsh says no cases of the virus have been reported in the city, but he and his team are monitoring the situation around the world and across the country closely and are ready for any emergency that may come. “We are constantly assessing potential threats, and we’ll be ready in the case a virus does appear, so it doesn’t spread,” said Mayor Walsh. Scientists believe humans contracted the virus from infected animals at a Chinese market. Since then, doctors and local leaders have urged those experiencing symptoms, especially those who have traveled internationally recently, to get checked out immediately. “If you have flu-like symptoms and you’re not sure, you’re always best not to sit back and Google it,” said Dr. Lo. Since it can be spread through the air, people can get infected quite easily and those who have been infected can spread the virus well before showing any symptoms at all. However, New Hampshire officials reassure the public that, right now, the risk to people in these communities is low.
  • A 9-year-old was arrested Monday afternoon for allegedly stabbing a 5-year-old multiple times, according to the Ocala Police Department. Treshaun Joseph was arrested after being interviewed by detectives, according to a news release. He is being charged with attempted first-degree murder. Officers around 4:20 p.m. responded to Berkeley Pointe Apartments on Northeast 7th Street in response to a stabbing inside one of the units, according to a news release. There, they located the 5-year-old victim with multiple stab wounds. Joseph was located by officers hiding in a nearby maintenance shed a short time later, according to police. The victim was alert and able to communicate, and was airlifted to a nearby hospital for treatment. His condition was not immediately known.
  • LeBron James finally responded on Instagram Monday evening following the sudden death of Kobe Bryant. For the first time since NBA legend Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash, Lebron James issued a statement on Instagram. “I’m Not Ready but here I go. Man I sitting here trying to write something for this post but every time I try I begin crying again just thinking about you, niece Gigi and the friendship/bond/brotherhood we had! I literally just heard your voice Sunday morning before I left Philly to head back to LA. Didn’t think for one bit in a million years that would be the last conversation we’d have. WTF!! I’m heartbroken and devastated my brother!! Man I love you big bro. My heart goes to Vanessa and the kids. I promise you I’ll continue your legacy man! You mean so much to us all here especially #LakerNation and it’s my responsibility to put this s*** on my back and keep it going!! Please give me the strength from the heavens above and watch over me! I got US here! There’s so much more I want to say but just can’t right now because I can’t get through it! Until we meet again my brother!! #Mamba4Life #Gigi4Life” kingjames/Instagram James had just passed Bryant on NBA’s scoring list the day before the crash. He was a teenager when he first met Bryant at a youth basketball camp.  
  • A man who doesn’t believe the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre ever happened is being charged for allegedly targeting the family of one of the victims for almost eight years, according to detectives. Wolfgang Halbig, 73, is facing charges for allegedly possessing the personal information that belonged to Leonard Pozner, the father of Noah Pozner, one of the Sandy Hook victims. Detectives said Halbig blasted out Leonard Pozner’s personal information, including his Social Security number, to hundreds of people. Pozner came to Lake County, Florida, to report the incident to deputies. “(Halbig) has been harassing him, so it just got to the point where, he committed a crime,” Lake County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Fred Jones said. Deputies said they believe Halbig targeted Pozner because he lost his son during the massacre. The arrest report describes Halbig as a “conspiracy theorist,” and that he believes Sandy Hook was a hoax, alleging the children involved were crisis actors. Deputies said Halbig exposed Pozner’s information to show that Pozner was using a “deceased woman’s social security number illegally.” That was investigated, and found to be untrue. Halbig bonded out on Monday. He would not return requests for comments. Deputies said they are looking into other possible cases in which the suspect is accused of targeting others.
  • President Donald Trump’s legal team will continue his defense Tuesday after a day that began with a bombshell report about former national security adviser John Bolton. The president’s attorneys continued presenting the president’s side of the case Monday, with presentations by former special counsels Robert Ray and Ken Starr, and Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz. Here is how you can watch the proceedings on television and online: What time does it start: The Senate will reconvene at 1 p.m. and the trial will continue then. How can you watch: The trial will be live on cable news networks like CNN, Fox and MSNBC as well as CSPAN-2. It will also be broadcast live on ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS. You can catch coverage on the channels online sites by going to the homepage for each network and finding a link to live coverage. The networks also have YouTube channels where the livestream of their coverage of the trial can be accessed. Most local television and newspaper sites will also have livestreams on their websites. Go to the TV or newspaper homesite and look for a link. (Senate Television via APOn Tuesday, the president’s attorneys will conclude their opening arguments and the process will move to a question and answer period. The trial could end this week if a vote to call additional witnesses fails. If it passes, the trial could run for several weeks.
  • Donald Trump’s attorneys continued their defense of the president as his Senate impeachment trial went into the sixth day. Attorneys Jay Sekulow and Pat Cipollone led the president’s team presenting his side of the case Monday as Democrats’ ramped up their calls for former Trump national security adviser John Bolton to testify. A news report Sunday claimed that in an upcoming book, Bolton says Trump directly tied the holdup of $391 million in military assistance to Ukraine to investigations of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. Both Bidens were topics of the defense presentations, with former Florida Attorney General and Trump defense attorney Pam Bondi spending 30 minutes on Hunter Biden’s association with a Ukrainian energy company. Here are the highlights from Monday’s proceedings. First, some background The New York Times reported on Sunday that Bolton wrote in a manuscript of a book due out in March that it was Trump who explicitly refused to release $390 million in military aid to Ukraine unless the country’s president agreed to announce investigations into Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. The manuscript was submitted to the White House for prepublication review for classified information, the Times reported. The Times did not say how it got a copy of the manuscript, though it quoted Bolton’s attorney, Charles Cooper, as saying it was leaked by the White House. Sekulow seems to address Bolton’s allegations Trump’s personal attorney Jay Sekulow began the president’s defense Monday by seemingly taking a swipe at Bolton’s apparent claims in his upcoming book. “We deal with transcript evidence; we deal with publicly available information,” Sekulow said. “We do not deal with speculation — allegations that are not based on evidentiary standards at all.” Starr laments ‘age of impeachment’ Ken Starr, who was the independent counsel in President Bill Clinton’s impeachment case, made his first appearance Monday as a member of Trump’s legal team. Starr says impeachment is happening “all too frequently”: “We are living in what I think can aptly be described as the age of impeachment.” Starr said the House articles came before the Senate, “dripping with fundamental process violations.” Arguing the process The process violations mentioned by Starr were elaborated on by deputy White House counsel Patrick Philbin. Philbin said there were 'fundamental errors' of due process. “This inquiry began with nearly two dozen invalid subpoenas. The Speaker had the House proceed on nothing more than a press conference in which she purported to authorize committee’s to begin an impeachment inquiry... under the Constitution, she lacked that authority,” Philbin said. Philbin said the Senate should not “try to redo” the House impeachment inquiry. Trump was justified in withholding aid Michael Purpura, a deputy White House counsel, laid out the justification of Trump’s concerns over Ukrainian government corruption. Purpura said Trump’s delay in ordering military aid 'was far from unusual or out of character' for the president because he is 'skeptical of foreign aid.” A defense of Rudy Giuliani Trump attorney Jane Raskin launched a defense of Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney, by calling him a “shiny object meant to distract.” Raskin said Giuliani was not conducting a secret scheme to help Trump get reelected. 'Yes, Mayor Giuliani was the president's personal attorney, but he was not on a political errand,' Raskin said. 'As he as stated repeatedly and publicly, he was doing what good defense attorneys do.” Bondi focuses on the Bidens Pam Bondi, Florida’s former attorney general, took on the issue of Hunter Biden, saying the defense team “would prefer not to be talking about this, but the House managers have placed this squarely at issue, so we must address it.” Bondi spent 30 minutes outlining Hunter Biden’s involvement on the board of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma, and Joe Biden’s role in crafting the Obama administration’s Ukraine policy. She cited multiple new reports that questioned the younger Biden’s role at Burisma. Bondi quoted a Washington Post article that said, “The appointment of the vice president's son to a Ukrainian oil board looks nepotistic at best, nefarious at worst.” More on Hunter Biden Private attorney Eric Herschmann, himself a board member of a natural gas company, says Hunter Biden is far from qualified to sit on an energy company board. 'He did have one qualification: he was the son of the vice president of the United States,' he said. 'He was the son of the man in charge of the Ukrainian portfolio for the prior administration. And we are to believe there is nothing to see here, that for anyone to investigate or inquire about this would be a sham.' Not the best call, but not impeachable Former independent counsel Robert Ray said he believes that Trump’s July 25 phone call would have been better handled through “proper channels,” but it does not rise to the level of an impeachable offense. An explanation of what is impeachable Alan Dershowitz spent 90 minutes presenting a constitutional argument against the Trump impeachment. Dershowitz argued that it takes a “serious crime” to impeach a president, and that doesn’t exist in Trump’s case. He also addressed today’s revelation from Bolton’s manuscript by saying that “Nothing in the Bolton revelations, even if true, would rise to the level of an abuse of power or an impeachable offense.
  • Atari branded hotels are coming to at least eight cities in hopes to attract gamers with state-of-the-art venues and studios to accommodate esports events. The iconic video game company licensed its name to Phoenix-based real estate developer, True North Studio to develop the hotel chain. Hotel development and design is being led by Shelly Murphy, GSD Group CEO, and Napoleon Smith III, producer of the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” film franchise reboot. According to Engadget, the hotel will offer state-of-the-art venues for professional level esports competitions. The hotel will also have the latest in VR and AR for every age and gaming ability, according to a press release. “If you grew up with Atari and it’s nostalgic for you and you want to sit at an arcade game, it’s there. If you are an esports and active gamer, we’ll have a studio and a venue and that will be there for you. It’s kind of like Atari meets Disney meets esports, and immersive entertainment all in one,” Murphy told KNXV-TV. The first hotel is expected to break ground mid 2020 in Phoenix. Other hotels are planned for Las Vegas, Denver, Chicago, Austin, Seattle, San Francisco and San Jose. For more information about the future hotels visit
  • NTSB Board Member, Jennifer Homendy said in a press conference Monday afternoon that the final transmission from the pilot of Kobe Bryant’s helicopter said he was climbing to avoid cloud layer. The pilot had asked for and received special clearance to fly in heavy fog just minutes before the crash and was flying at 1,400 feet when he went south and then west. The pilot then asked for air traffic controllers to provide “flight following” aide but was told the craft was too low, Homendy said. About four minutes later, “the pilot advised they were climbing to avoid a cloud layer,” she said. “When ATC asked what the pilot planned to do, there was no reply. Radar data indicates the helicopter climbed to 2,300 feet and then began a left descending turn. Radar contact was lost around 9:45 a.m. She also said that there was no black box on the Sikorsky S-76. The pilot was identified as Ara Zobayan, whom she described as an experienced pilot. She asked the public to email any weather-related photos to that were taken Sunday morning near the crash site to assist in the investigation. Coroner’s officials continue to recover victims’ remains Monday from the hillside outside Los Angeles where a helicopter carrying Bryant and eight others crashed in a wreck that aviation experts said may have been caused by the pilot becoming disoriented in the fog. The helicopter went down in Calabasas, about 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles, Sunday. Among other things, investigators are looking at the pilot’s history, the chopper’s maintenance history and the records of its owner and operator, NTSB board member Jennifer Homendy said at a news conference Sunday. “The S-76 is a pretty expensive, sophisticated helicopter. ... It’s certainly a quality helicopter,” said Justin Green, an aviation attorney in New York who flew helicopters in the Marine Corps. Green believes weather may have contributed to the crash. Pilots can become disoriented in bad weather, losing track of which direction is up. Green said a pilot flying an S-76 would be instrument-rated, meaning they could fly the helicopter without relying on visual cues from outside. The Associated Press contributed to this story.
  • Wisconsin police had to relish this traffic stop. Waukesha County deputies pulled over an Oscar Mayer Wienermobile for not obeying the Move Over Law, WJDT reported. The Move Over Law requires a motorist to move out of the lane closest to an emergency vehicle or a first responder vehicle, WGBA reported. If a vehicle is unable to move over, it is required to slow down, the television station reported. The side of the road can be dangerous for first responders and tow truck drivers, so police are vigilant in enforcing the law. “Each year, hundreds of these hard-working men and women are injured or killed by passing motorists while working along the nation’s highways,” the Sheriff’s Office posted on its Facebook page. While the Wienermobile driver only received a verbal warning this time, it was certain that the next time his trangression will have a first name -- it’s T-I-C-K-E-T.

Local News

  • New automotive technology that promises enhanced fuel efficiency may have a serious downside, including significant climate and public health impacts, according to research from the University of Georgia College of Engineering.   The gasoline direct injection (GDI) engine is one of the most prominent technologies car manufacturers adopted to achieve the fuel economy and carbon dioxide emission goals established in 2012 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The market share of GDI-equipped vehicles increased from 2.3% in model year 2008 to 51% in model year 2018. The EPA projects 93% of vehicles in the U.S. will be equipped with GDI engines by 2025.   While this technology is credited with boosting fuel efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions, GDI engines produce more black carbon aerosols than traditional port fuel injection engines. A strong absorber of solar radiation, black carbon exhibits significant climate warming properties.   In a study published this month in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, a team of researchers at UGA predicts the increase in black carbon emissions from GDI-powered vehicles will fuel climate warming in urban areas of the U.S. that significantly exceeds the cooling associated with a reduction in CO2. In addition, they believe the shift will nearly double the premature mortality rate associated with vehicle emissions, from 855 deaths annually to 1,599. The researchers estimate the annual social cost of these premature deaths at $5.95 billion.   “Even though emissions from gasoline vehicles constitute a small fraction of the black carbon in the atmosphere, the vehicle emissions are concentrated in regions with high population densities, which magnifies their effect,” said Rawad Saleh (pictured above), an assistant professor in UGA’s School of Environmental, Civil, Agricultural and Mechanical Engineering and the study’s principal investigator.   The increase of black carbon is an unintended consequence of the shift to GDI-equipped vehicles that some scientists suspected was based on experimental data, according to Saleh. He says the UGA study is the first to place these experimental findings in a complex modeling framework to investigate the trade-off between CO2 reduction and an increase in black carbon.   While previous research has reported the shift to GDI engines will result in net benefits for the global climate, the UGA researchers say these benefits are rather small and can only be realized on timescales of decades. Meanwhile, the negative impact of black carbon can be felt instantaneously.   “Our research shows the climate trade-off is much different on the regional scale, especially in areas with high vehicle densities. In these regions, the climate burden induced by the increase in black carbon dominates over the climate benefits of the reduction in CO2,” said Saleh. “The study concludes the social cost associated with the acute localized climate burden and public health impacts induced by GDI vehicles largely overweigh their marginal global climate benefits.”   The interdisciplinary study was a collaboration between the UGA College of Engineering, the department of geography in UGA’s Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, and the National Center for Atmospheric Research. The research was funded by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy and the UGA President’s Interdisciplinary Seed Grant Program. 
  • The University of Georgia debuts at No. 4 in the USA TODAY Sports preseason baseball coaches top 25 poll, it was announced Thursday.   Georgia’s No. 4 ranking is its best in the preseason since 2009 when Collegiate Baseball and the USA TODAY/ESPN Coaches poll both had the Bulldogs at No. 4. The 2009 Bulldogs reached No. 1 for several weeks during the regular season.    The USA TODAY Sports voting board is made up of 31 coaches at Division I institutions and all are members of the American Baseball Coaches Association. The 2020 top five featured Vanderbilt, Louisville, Texas Tech, Georgia and Arkansas.    The Bulldogs and Razorbacks are the only two schools to earn a national top eight seed in each of the past two NCAA Championships. In 2019, the Bulldogs went 46-17 including a school record 21 Southeastern Conference wins during the regular season. They were a No. 4 national seed in 2019 and a No. 8 national seed in 2018.    The 2020 season, under the direction of Ike Cousins head coach Scott Stricklin, begins on Feb. 14. Season tickets are sold out but single game tickets are available. Fans can call (706) 542-1231 to purchase tickets or go online at    In 2020, Georgia welcomes back 20 lettermen and 18 newcomers. Seven starting position players return including two 2019 draft picks in Gold Glove Award-winning shortstop Cam Shepherd and infielder/outfielder Riley King. On the mound, Georgia will have a pair of projected first round draft prospects in right-handers Emerson Hancock and Cole Wilcox. Also, junior left-hander C.J. Smith, who was a key member of the starting rotation that helped win series over nationally ranked Vanderbilt and LSU in 2019, is back. Last year, Georgia went 46-17 and set a school record with a .980 Fielding Percentage, and its 3.24 Earned Run Average was the second best in school history.    In other 2020 preseason top 25 polls, Georgia is ranked No. 5 by, No. 7 by Collegiate Baseball poll, No. 7 by Baseball America and No. 10 by Perfect Game
  • Police in Gainesville say they have identified the child found wandering in a Wal Mart store, apparently left there by his father. From the Gainesville PD…   Thank you!!! Child has been identified. **Help** Located Child The Gainesville Police Department is seeking the assistance of the public to help identify a child. On January 26, 2020 at around 11:30am officers were called to the Walmart at 400 Shallowford Road, Gainesville, GA in regards to a child being located within the store. The child is possibly 3 years of age and may go by the name Brandon. His father is possibly named Alejandro. He was possibly dropped off by a Hispanic male driving a white Ford cargo van. We are asking the community to call Hall County Dispatch at 770-534-5251 if you have any information regarding this case.
  • The University of Georgia ranked 14th on the list of Best Big Colleges in the U.S. by rankings platform Niche. The rankings compare the best large private and public universities in the U.S. with at least 15,000 undergraduate students along measures of academics, value and student life, among other factors. UGA, the birthplace of public higher education in America, has consistently ranked as a top value university and is the largest institution to place experiential learning as a core part of its undergraduate curriculum. With its comprehensive reach, the university’s 17 colleges and schools enroll more than 37,000 students and have produced over 315,000 alumni living worldwide. The top institution on the Niche’s ranking was the University of Southern California. Other SEC schools on the list included University of Florida at #10 and Texas A&M University at #22. UGA was the only school in Georgia to make the list.

Bulldog News

  • ATHENS The Georgia football opening game with Virginia is more than seven months away, but talking season is well underway and Heisman talk has begun. Incoming graduate-transfer quarterback Jamie Newman ranks among the Top 5 among Heisman favorites before throwing his first pass in a formal practice, currently at 14-to-1. Newman is ranked the No. 3 returning quarterback by Pro Football Focus, behind Ohio State's Justin Fields and Clemson's Trevor Lawrence. RELATED: Mark Richt says Jamie Newman can adapt to any kind of offense Fields, who spent his 2018 freshman season at UGA backing up departed starter Jake Fromm, is the co-favorite with Lawrence to win the Heisman, both at 4-to-1. Sophomore tailback Zamir White and sophomore George Pickens are also among the current favorites. White is at 80-to-1, and Pickens is at 100-to-1. The bettable opening Heisman odds are evidence there's plenty of outside buy-in on Kirby Smart's well-documented offensive makeover at Georgia. The Bulldogs hired 'Air Raid' pass game expert Todd Monken to take over as the Bulldogs' offensive coordinator, replacing James Coley who has since departed for Texas A&M. Monken was the offensive coordinator with the Cleveland Browns last season, but the year, before, he was the OC and play caller for a Tampa Bay Bucs offense that led the NFL in passing yardage. Newman, who transferred to Georgia from Wake Forest, is a dual-threat quarterback with dynamic arm strength and running ability. Smart's past three UGA offenses have leaned more toward a power run game, the head coach intent on utilizing dynamic backfields that included NFL stars Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, and projected first-round pick D'Andre Swift the past two seasons. Georgia, however, appears to be intent on a more aggressive pass scheme now that the receiving corps is loaded up with talent at receiver and tight end. RELATED: Georgia top-ranked SEC team in PFF Way-too-early' Top 25 Smart has always professed coaching to the talent, and the hiring of Monken is an indication the Georgia head coach is betting more offensive balance is in order. The Bulldogs return a championship-caliber defense, with nine of 11 starters back on that side of the football from the 26-14 Sugar Bowl-winning team. Georgia's offense can afford to be more aggressive in marquee matchups with that sort of defense behind it. Most notably, in the Sept. 19 showdown with Alabama in Tuscaloosa that the college football world has circled. Favorite Player/School Odds T-1. Justin Fields/ Ohio St. 4-1 T-1. Trevor Lawrence/Clemson 4-1 3. Spencer Rattler/Oklahoma 12-1 T-4. Sam Ehlinger/Texas 14.1 T-4. Jamie Newman/Georgia 14-1 T-6. Travis Etienne/Clemson 20-1 T-6. Chuba Hubbard/Okla. St. 20-1 T-6 Ian Book/Notre Dame 20-1 T-9. Kedon Slovis/USC 25-1 T-9. Myles Brennan/LSU 25-1 11. Mac Jones/Alabama 25-1 12. Bo Nix/Auburn 25-1 13. D'Eriq King/Miami, Fla. 25-1 14. Adrian Martinez/Nebraska 30-1 T-15. Sean Clifford/Penn State 40-1 T-15. Najee Harris/Alabama 40-1 17. Kellen Mond/Texas A&M 50-1 T-18. Tyler Shough/Oregon 60-1 T-18. Brock Purdy/Iowa State 60-1 T-18. CJ Verdell/Oregon 60-1 T-18. Kyle Trask/Florida 60-1 T-18. Charlie Brewer/Baylor 60-1 T-18. Sam Howell/North Carolina 60-1 24. Master Teaguelll/Ohio Sate 60-1 25. Zamir White/Georgia 80-1 DawgNation Georgia football Malik Herring spearheads dominant defense Podcast: How Todd Monken might use Zamir White Georgia offseason has produced fascinating offensive change Football stars endorse Todd Monken hire at Georgia WATCH: 2021 commit Brock Vandagriff shares story with DawgNation Why Buster Faukner a perfect complement to Todd Monken The post Georgia football QB Jamie Newman ranked among Top 5 Heisman Trophy favorites appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS For once, it seemed, Georgia basketball freshman Anthony Edwards was not at ease talking basketball on Saturday evening. The Bulldogs had just dropped their third game in a row, falling at home to an Ole Miss team that had lost six straight and was sitting last in the SEC. Edwards squirmed, he fidgeted, he smiled and he frowned. An 18-year-old young man who should still be in high school by birthdate, Edwards didn't know what to do or what to say in this curious, awkward and pressure-filled situation. Four nights earlier, Edwards was held scoreless in the first half at Kentucky and committed five turnovers. Pressure cooker Every Georgia win and loss seemingly rides on Edwards' shoulders, and the weight of having a program's hopes reliant upon his performances appears to finally be taking a toll. ' I think he handles it pretty well, but sometimes I'll be worried about him,' UGA senior Jordan Harris said last Saturday. 'I'll always check on him like, are you good? Are you going through something? 'He deals with all the outside noise pretty well. I am shocked at the way he deals with it, because it is a lot for him.' But how could Edwards explain his 3-of-12 shooting night against Ole Miss? The Atlanta basketball prodigy nicknamed 'Antman' had taken (settled?) 10 shots beyond he 3-point arc, unable to get his 6-foot-5, 225-pound explosive frame to the rim. 'Teams are trying to defend me differently,' Edwards offered. 'They are trying to take me out of the game and make other people score. I've just got to find ways to help my team win.' That was the hope for Georgia basketball when Edwards signed on, turning down opportunities to go virtually anywhere else in the country to stay closer to his family. Edwards is projected by some to be the No. 1 pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, but more and more are having their doubts. 'To me, he's prospect, he's not a finished product,' ESPN analyst Seth Greenburg said. 'It's amazing people talk about him as the No. 1 overall pick.' Focus on winning Edwards has said since arriving that his focus is on winning, and he has maintained his confidence that he can help lift a Bulldogs' program lacking notable tradition or recent success. ' As a team, I want us to make it to the (NCAA) Tournament and go deep in it,' Edwards said after the opening exhibition game in November, in what now seems like an entirely difference season. 'Bring Georgia basketball back and have the most fun I can.' The Bulldogs haven't made the NCAA Tournament since the 2014-15 season. The hopes for 2019-20 took a decided downturn with the home loss to Ole Miss, and Edwards' expression suggested he knew it and was helpless to do anything about it. Georgia coach Tom Crean, who developed NBA lottery picks Dwyane Wade and Victor Oladipo, at Marquette and Indiana, respectively, is working to support Edwards on and off the court. 'If we put this in perspective, who is going through college basketball like he is right now?' Crean said after Edwards' 23 points weren't enough to lead the Bulldogs over Kentucky in front of a sold-out Stegeman Coliseum crowd in the SEC opener. 'I mean, who is? We talk about that all the time, people want to be Anthony Edwards, do you really?' Hard work Edwards' lifestyle as a Georgia student-athlete and as projected multi-million dollar draft pick expected to perform each night sounded like a lonely one as he discussed part of his workout routine after an 80-63 win over Tennessee earlier this month. 'I was in here until 1 o'clock (a.m.) on Monday, and yesterday I was in here until 10:30 or 11 (p.m.),' Edwards said, explaining how he reacted to a 22-point loss at Auburn. 'Most of the time I'm always in here late night, because that's when I like to shoot, that's when I have the most energy because I've got nothing to do.' Fact is, Edwards has plenty of areas to improve his game, even with the hard work and spectacular athleticism that's brought him this far. 'Part of it is not pre-determining, there's a laundry list, not getting fixed on one thing, learning to really see and learn the game,' Crean said. 'Those are all things he's learning. He's learning to put possession by possession together.' And now Crean said it's up to him and his staff to help find Edwards more ways to score and help the team win. Edwards' heart and competitive spirit is in the right place each time he launches his long-range shot, but 'it's not the game plan,' Crean said. Edwards, the leading freshman scorer in the nation (18.6 points per game), is hitting just 31.3 percent from 3-point range. Coaching adjustment Crean has reiterated how important ball movement and player movement is to an effective offense, and Edwards fits square in the middle of that plan. ' We made some real adjustments with him, he's got to continue to cut when they're denying him, he's got to continue to cut rather than stand, because he becomes very, very easy to guard when he's just standing in the slots, right, because they're not coming off him,' Crean said. 'Now, it might create a basket for somebody else, but he's learning a lot about cutting, a lot that he never knew. But we're nowhere near where we have to be with that.' And Edwards doesn't appear to be anywhere near where he was some two weeks ago, when he explained his jubilant sideline antics during the blowout win over the Vols. 'Basketball is always business for me, because I'm trying to make a lot of money playing this game,' Edwards said that night, ' but you never let the fun be taken away from it. That's why you play, because it's fun.' Georgia returns to action at 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday at Missouri. DawgNation Georgia Basketball Georgia comes up short in hard-fought loss at Kentucky Mississippi State wins battle of Bulldogs in Starkville, decisively Anthony Edwards puts the squeeze on Tennessee in blowout win Georgia falls in first SEC road game of season at Auburn Freshman Anthony Edwards discloses injury, status Sahvir Wheeler on clutch game-winner, 'been there a ton of times' Tom Izzo on Georgia: 'That was an incredible comeback' Anthony Edwards lights up Michigan State for 37 in 93-85 loss Rayshaun Hammonds wrecks Georgia Tech Anthony Edwards draws standing ovation in opener The post Closer look: Georgia basketball star Anthony Edwards hitting Freshman Wall' like no other appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Tears were shed around the globe as news spread of the tragic helicopter crash that claimed the life of 18 NBA all-star Kobe Bryant and four others in Calabasas, Calif., on Sunday morning. Women's Basketball Hall of Famer and three-time Olympic gold-medalist Dawn Staley heard the news shortly before tipoff of her No. 1-ranked team's game at Georgia. 'Now we get more details, it's horrific for Kobe; since he retired, he dedicated his life to his little girl and her career in basketball,' Staley said, referencing 13-year-old Gianna Bryant, who was among those killed in the crash. Bryant was traveling to basketball practice at the Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks with his daughter, 'GiGi' and three other passengers when the Sikorsky S-76 helicopter crashed amid the foggy conditions some 30 miles Northwest of Los Angeles. In addition to enjoying post-NBA success as an author, producer and Academy Award winner, Bryant was also coaching his daughter's AAU team five times a week, per 'SLAM' basketball magazine. Bryant's basketball skills and competitive fire helped transcend the game, an example for players of both sexes to work to emulate. Staley and Georgia coach Joni Taylor pointed out how Bryant had also elevated the women's game and provided much-needed support. 'It's unfortunate that we don't get a chance to see him coach any more, to see him impact girls' lives,' Staley said. 'He just talked about WNBA players being able to play in the NBA.' Indeed, just last Thursday, Bryant said WNBA players could 'keep up' when asked if one day women could play in the NBA. 'I think there are a couple of players that could play in the NBA right now, honestly,' Bryant said. 'There's a lot of players that have a lot of skill that could do it. Diana Taurasi, Maya Moore, Delle Donne, there's a lot of great players out there. They could most certainly keep up with them.' Kobe Bryant says there's WNBA players that could play in the NBA right now, including Diana Taurasi, Elena Delle Donne & Maya Moore! (@Ballislife) January 22, 2020 Staley fought to keep her emotions in check as she put the importance of Bryant's in perspective. 'We need more people like Kobe Bryant sticking up for women's basketball,' she said. 'He did it at the highest level, and we're prayerful. Godspeed to his family and all of us who had a connection to him.' Taylor said she didn't personally know Bryant, but like most every other player associated with the sport, she was influenced by him. 'You grow up watching him, he just means so much not only to the game of basketball, but to the game of women's basketball,' Taylor said. 'He was a fan, he was at the Final Four, his daughters played. 'He supported college basketball, the WNBA, all levels. He was a champion for us.' The Associated Press contributed to this story South Carolina coach Dawn Staley Georgia coach Joni Taylor SEC Network Twitter USC women's basketball coach @dawnstaley, who grew up in Philadelphia like Kobe, shared her thoughts on his passing and what he meant to the game of women's basketball Mike Uva (@Mike_Uva) January 26, 2020 The post WATCH: Kobe Bryant death draws strong reactions from hall of famer Dawn Staley, Georgia's Joni Taylor appeared first on DawgNation.
  • The Latest on the death of retired NBA superstar Kobe Bryant (all times local): 8:30 p.m. Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva says his department's helicopters were grounded due to weather in the area where a helicopter carrying Kobe Bryant and eight other people crashed and burned Sunday morning. Conditions were extremely foggy when the NBA great's helicopter went down northwest of Los Angeles on a hillside in the city of Calabasas, killing everyone aboard. The sheriff told a press conference that debris is scattered over an area the size of a football field. The county medical examiner, Dr. Jonathan Lucas, says recovery of remains may take several days. Lucas says investigators will try to make identifications of the victims as quickly as possible. ___ 6 p.m. The Dallas Mavericks are paying tribute to Kobe Bryant by permanently retiring his No. 24. “Kobe’s legacy transcends basketball, and our organization has decided that the No. 24 will never again be worn by a Dallas Maverick,' Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said. Cuban's tribute was one of several around the NBA as players, coaches and fans were stunned by the news of Bryant's death. In the Memphis-Phoenix game Sunday, the Grizzlies won the opening tip and immediately took a 24-second clock violation. When the Suns took possession, they stayed in the backcourt for an 8-second violation – the 24 and 8 seconds representing Bryant’s two numbers during his NBA career. ___ 4:40 p.m. A Southern California community college baseball coach, his wife and daughter were among those killed in the crash of the helicopter carrying Kobe Bryant and his daughter. The younger brother of Orange Coast College coach John Altobelli confirmed the deaths as relatives, friends and players gathered at the school’s baseball field Sunday afternoon. Flowers and baseball caps were placed on home plate. John Altobelli’s brother, Tony, is the sports information director at the school. He said his 56-year-old brother died along with his wife, Keri, and daughter, Alyssa, who was about 13 and played on the same basketball team as Bryant’s daughter, Gianna. John Altobelli was entering his 28th season as coach at the community college in Costa Mesa, California. The team won a state championship last year and John Altobelli was named national coach of the year. The helicopter carrying Bryant crashed northwest of Los Angeles around 10 a.m. Sunday. All nine people aboard were killed. ___ 3:45 p.m. The National Transportation Safety Board is sending a team of 18 people to the scene of the helicopter crash that killed NBA icon Kobe Bryant and eight others. NTSB member Jennifer Homendy said at a news conference that investigators will look at the pilot's history, the maintenance records and information on the helicopter's owner and operator. Homendy said investigators were not sure how many people the aircraft was configured to carry. The helicopter that crashed was a twin-engine Sikorsky S-76. ___ 3 p.m. Michael Jordan has reacted to the news about the death of Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter in a helicopter crash. “I loved Kobe - he was like a little brother to me,” Jordan said. Jordan was the most notable of former and current NBA stars to express how shocked they were at the news. Jordan commended Bryant for his fierce competitive streak and called him “one of the greats of the game.” Bryant's legacy is often compared to that of Jordan. Bryant won five NBA championships, compared to Jordan's six. ___ 2:45 p.m. Authorities say nine people died in the helicopter crash that killed former NBA star Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter. Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva provided the updated death toll at a news conference Sunday. Initial reports indicated that Bryant was among five people killed in the crash. At the news conference, authorities also described the fiery wreckage and scene that was difficult to access after the crash at 10 a.m. ___ 1:45 p.m. A source familiar with the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant says the former NBA star's 13-year-old daughter was among those onboard who were killed. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because details of the crash had not been released publicly. The crash happened around 10 a.m. Sunday about 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Five people were killed in the crash, which remains under investigation. — Tim Reynolds ___ 12:35 p.m. The Grammy Awards pre-telecast ceremony opened with a moment of silence for Kobe Bryant. Interim Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. opened the ceremony where dozens of Grammys are handed out before the main show, telling attendees, “As most of you may know, we lost Kobe Bryant in a tragic helicopter accident today.' 'Since we are in his house, I would ask you to join me in a moment of silence,” Mason said. Artists arriving at the show reacted to Bryant's death and his influence. Blues artist and Grammys nominee Keb' Mo' called Bryant's death “a huge loss.” “He's just a huge role model,' Keb' Mo' said. British artist Labrinth said: “It was insane news to hear this morning. He's been part of my life for a very long time. ... I couldn't believe it.” ___ 12 p.m. Retired NBA star Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash Sunday. He was 41. A person familiar with the situation tells the AP that Bryant died in a crash near Calabasas, California. It was unclear if other family members were on the helicopter. Bryant was an 18-time NBA All-Star who won five championships and became one of the greatest basketball players of his generation during a 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers. Bryant retired in 2016 as the third-leading scorer in NBA history and held that spot until LeBron James overtook him Saturday night. — Tim Reynolds
  • Kobe Bryant inspired a generation of basketball players worldwide with sublime skills and an unquenchable competitive fire. He earned Los Angeles’ eternal adoration during his two decades as the fierce soul of the beloved Lakers, and he was respected by basketball fans from every place with a hoop and a dream, including his native Philadelphia and in Italy, his other childhood home. Less than four years into his retirement, Bryant was seizing new challenges and working to inspire his daughters’ generation through sports and storytelling when his next chapter ended shockingly early. Bryant, the 18-time All-Star who won five NBA championships and became one of the greatest basketball players of his generation during a 20-year career all with the Lakers, died in a helicopter crash Sunday. He was 41. The crash occurred in the foggy hills above Calabasas, California, about 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Bryant was killed, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press, and a different person familiar with the case confirmed Bryant's 13-year-old daughter Gianna also died. Both of the AP's unnamed sources spoke on condition of anonymity because few details of the crash had been released publicly. Authorities said nine people were on the helicopter, and all were presumed dead. No names were released. Bryant lived south of Los Angeles in coastal Orange County, and he often used helicopters to save time and avoid Southern California's notorious traffic. He traveled to practices and games by helicopter before his playing career ended in 2016. He continued to use them after retirement as he attended to his new ventures, which included a burgeoning entertainment company that recently produced an Academy Award-winning animated short film. The basketball world and Los Angeles reacted with an outpouring of pain and disbelief. Bryant is all but certain to be elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame this year, when he is eligible for the first time. “For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said. “He was one of the most extraordinary players in the history of our game with accomplishments that are legendary ... but he will be remembered most for inspiring people around the world to pick up a basketball and compete to the very best of their ability.” The crash occurred about 20 miles from Mamba Sports Academy, Bryant’s basketball training complex in Newbury Park, California. A youth basketball tournament — the Mamba Cup — was scheduled for a second day of competition Sunday at the facility, and Bryant had attended the opening day Saturday with Gianna. Bryant and his wife, Vanessa, had four daughters. He had been a vocal booster of women's sports since his retirement, coaching and mentoring basketball players around the world while also backing women's soccer and other endeavors. Bryant retired as the third-leading scorer in NBA history with 33,643 points, all scored in Lakers purple and gold. The self-nicknamed Black Mamba was a prolific, gifted shooter with a sublime all-around game and a relentless, hard-edged work ethic that thrilled his fans and almost everyone else, even those who reviled him. Taking cues from Michael Jordan, one of his idols, Bryant played with a swagger that compelled him to talk trash, to guard the toughest opponents, to play through pain and to demand the ball at the biggest moments of games. He didn't always hit them, but Bryant never stopped trying. “He had zero flaws offensively,” LeBron James said Saturday night. “Zero. You backed off of him, he could shoot the 3. You body him up a little bit, he could go around you. He could shoot from mid-range. He could post. He could make free throws. ... He was just immortal offensively because of his skill set and his work ethic.” Bryant held the No. 3 spot in the league scoring ranks until the day before his death, when James passed him during the Lakers' game in Philadelphia. On Saturday night, James said he was 'happy just to be in any conversation with Kobe Bean Bryant, one of the all-time greatest basketball players to ever play. One of the all-time greatest Lakers.” Bryant always reacted graciously to the achievements of James, his former on-court rival who joined the Lakers in 2018. “Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames,” Bryant wrote in his last tweet. “Much respect my brother.” Tim Duncan, the San Antonio Spurs great who also retired in 2016, is also expected to be part of the Hall of Fame class that will be announced at the NBA's All-Star weekend next month. Duncan, now a Spurs assistant, was visibly emotional on the bench during their game against Toronto on Sunday. Bryant had been spending more time with his daughters since leaving the league. The Bryants' first daughter, Natalia, turned 17 a week ago. Bianka Bella Bryant is 3 years old, and Capri Kobe Bryant was born last June. Gianna, better known as Gigi, had a promising youth career and a competitive pugnaciousness that reminded everybody of her dad. Bryant sat with her courtside at a Brooklyn Nets game late last year, clearly passing along his wisdom to his daughter. Bryant told Jimmy Kimmel in 2018 that Gianna wanted to play in the WNBA and recalled how fans would often approach him saying “you gotta have a boy, you gotta someone to carry on the tradition, the legacy.” Gianna took exception: “She’s like, 'Oy, I got this,’” Bryant recalled. News of Bryant’s death inspired an outpouring of grief around the sports world and beyond, but it was felt particularly painfully in Los Angeles, where Bryant was unquestionably the sprawling city's most popular athlete and one of its most beloved people. Buildings from downtown to Los Angeles International Airport were illuminated in Lakers purple and gold. The Lakers’ next game is Tuesday night against the crosstown rival Clippers, but hundreds of fans — many in Bryant jerseys and Lakers gear — spontaneously gathered at Staples Center and in the surrounding LA Live entertainment complex on Sunday, weeping and staring at video boards with Bryant’s image before the Grammy awards ceremony. “I thought he was going to live forever,” Lakers great Magic Johnson told KCBS-TV. “I thought he was invincible. ... There was nobody who took more pride in putting on that Laker uniform than Kobe. Nobody. He was just special. We will miss him and we’ll remember him for his greatness, but let’s not forget how he impacted the world, too.” Bryant retired as the Lakers' franchise leader in points, games played, 3-pointers and steals — no small feats on a franchise that has employed many of the greatest players in basketball history. The NBA kept its games on as scheduled when the news broke. The Spurs and Raptors both took voluntary 24-second shot clock violations at the start of their game in honor of Bryant, who wore No. 24 for the second half of his career. Several other teams followed up by deliberately taking delays of 24 and 8 seconds, honoring both of his jersey numbers. Many players were seen crying before their games, and James looked emotional on the tarmac when he got off the Lakers’ team plane from Philadelphia. Bryant’s future appeared to be limitless in retirement, whether in sports or entertainment. He opened a production company shortly after leaving the Lakers, saying he was just as passionate about storytelling as he had been about his sport. He won an Oscar in 2018 for his contributions to “Dear Basketball, ” an animated short about his relationship to the game. He also produced content for ESPN. In 2003, Bryant was charged with attacking a 19-year-old employee at a Colorado resort. He had said the two had consensual sex, and the charge was eventually dropped when the women declined to testify in a trial. The woman later filed a civil suit against Bryant that was settled out of court. Bryant went on to become one of the NBA's most popular players and the face of the Lakers. Winning a record four NBA All-Star Game MVP awards, he was the overall league MVP in 2008 and a two-time NBA scoring champion, but he also earned 12 selections to the NBA’s All-Defensive teams. He teamed with Shaquille O’Neal in a combustible partnership to lead the Lakers to NBA titles in 2000, 2001 and 2002. He later teamed with Pau Gasol to win two more titles in 2009 and 2010. A two-time Olympic gold medalist with the dominant U.S. team, Bryant retired in 2016 after scoring 60 points in his final NBA game. In December 2017, the Lakers hung banners retiring his No. 8 and No. 24 jerseys in the Staples Center rafters in an unprecedented double honor. Bryant looms large over the current generation of NBA players, most of whom grew up either idolizing Bryant or absorbing his work ethic and competitive spirit in the same way Bryant's generation learned from Jordan. Bryant exemplified and passed on that mentality to James, Stephen Curry and the NBA's current wave of high-scoring superstars. After James passed Bryant on Saturday, he remembered listening in awe to Bryant when the superstar came to speak at a childhood basketball camp. “I remember one thing he said: If you want to be great at it, or want to be one of the greats, you’ve got to put the work in,” said James, who later teamed up with Bryant on the 2008 U.S. Olympic team in Beijing. Bryant was a basketball superstar for his entire adult life, and he grew up from a teenager to a respected veteran in the unforgiving Hollywood spotlight. He entered the NBA draft straight out of suburban Philly's Lower Merion High School in 1996 after a childhood spent partly in Italy, where his father, former NBA player Joe “Jellybean” Bryant, played professionally. Bryant was occasionally estranged from his now-65-year-old father, but reconciled. Bryant spoke four languages and played a major role in the NBA's international growth over his two decades in the league, traveling the world and connecting with athletes in other sports and celebrities. The Lakers acquired the 17-year-old Bryant in a trade shortly after Charlotte drafted him, and he immediately became one of the most exciting and intriguing players in the sport alongside O’Neal, who had signed with the Lakers as a free agent. Bryant won the Slam Dunk Contest as a rookie, and the Lakers gradually grew into a team that won three consecutive championships. Bryant and Gasol, the Spanish star, formed the nucleus of another championship team in 2008, reaching three straight NBA Finals and winning two more titles. Between those title runs and before the quiet final years of his career, Bryant accomplished innumerable feats including an 81-point game against Toronto in January 2006. Bryant's final NBA seasons were dogged by injuries, but he still went into retirement with that jaw-dropping 60-point performance against Utah. ___ AP Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds contributed to this report.