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Relative: Woman slain by Chiefs player brought joy

Relative: Woman slain by Chiefs player brought joy

BLUE RIDGE, Texas (AP) The slain girlfriend of Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher was a loyal friend who brought joy to others with her smiles and laughter, a relative said Thursday at a memorial service for the woman.

Belcher fatally shot 22-year-old Kasandra Perkins on Saturday at the Kansas City home they shared with their 3-month-old daughter, Zoey. He then drove to the Chiefs practice facility at Arrowhead Stadium, where coach Romeo Crennel, general manager Scott Pioli and defensive assistant Gary Gibbs witnessed Belcher commit suicide.

Perkins was from Texas, and family and friends gathered at a church in Blue Ridge on Thursday to remember her. Her great-uncle Ted Downing said Perkins considered Zoey to be the love of her life.

``She had a deep, deep understanding about the important things in life,'' Downing told mourners.

He recalled a time in Perkins' childhood when she got upset that a friend of hers didn't get a desired part in a play.

``She always had no shortage of friends - and I mean good friends,'' Downing said.

A white casket bedecked with a spray of white lilies and pink roses was the mourners' focal point at Ridgeview Family Fellowship in Blue Ridge, about 40 miles northeast of Dallas.

Steve Sweeney, senior pastor at Ridgeview, offered a prayer for God to bring healing to both her family and Belcher's family. He also prayed for strength for Zoey, who was at the service.

Downing told the about 200 mourners, including Chiefs team chairman Clark Hunt, that Perkins always called him her ``aunt'' after her brother had decided for some reason to call his wife ``uncle.'' He said that in recent months, Perkins had informed him she'd be calling him ``auntie'' to reflect the diversity in their multiracial family.

He said Perkins had a knack for making everyone she met ``feel like the most important person in the world.''

``To put it simply, Kasi loved life,'' he said.

According to a police report, officers were called to the Kansas City, Mo., home of Belcher, 25, and Perkins about 7:50 a.m. Saturday. Police found Perkins on the floor of the master bathroom.

Belcher then drove about five miles to Arrowhead Stadium. When police arrived, Belcher moved behind a vehicle, out of clear view of officers, according to police. He then knelt down and shot himself once in the head.

According to Perkins' obituary, she was born in nearby McKinney, just north of Dallas, and attended elementary and middle school in the Dallas suburb of Garland. She graduated from Anderson High School in Austin in 2009. She wanted to become a teacher.

Downing said after the service that it hasn't been decided yet who will raise Zoey.

The service included a slideshow of photos of Perkins as she grew up, from a shot of her with a cowboy hat on a horse as a young girl to posing in a graduation gown to photos of her pregnant and then with her daughter.

As the slideshow of photos ended, a note from Perkins' mother was shown in which she writes that she'll promise to make sure Zoey knows ``what a beautiful person her mother was.''

Downing ended his eulogy by saying, ``Goodbye for now, Kasi. We'll see you one day. I love you.''

Another service for Perkins will be held in Austin, where Perkins' father lives. Life Celebration Funeral Home said that service will be held Saturday, followed by burial in nearby Pflugerville.

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Wizards vs. Hornets: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

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USA TODAY Sports

Wizards vs. Hornets: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Kelly Oubre, Jr. and the Washington Wizards battle Kemba Walker, Dwight Howard, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night.

Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch:

WASHINGTON WIZARDS VS. CHARLOTTE HORNETS

Where: Capital One Arena
Tip-off: 7 p.m.
TV: NBC Sports Washington (coverage begins at 6 p.m.)
Live stream: NBCSportsWashington.com
Radio: 1500 AM

On a roll

The Wizards have some serious momentum going right now. With an impressive win over the Cavs on Thursday, they have now won three straight games and eight of 10 since John Wall went down with a left knee injury. They had a week off due to the All-Star break, but didn't show any rust at all in their first game back.

The Wizards are now 34-24, 10 games above the .500 mark. They are fourth in the East and could move into third on Friday if they win and the Cavaliers lose. Even with Wall out, things continue to look up for Washington.

PODCAST: BIGGEST STORYLINES COMING OUT OF ALL-STAR BREAK

Hornets have had their number

The Wizards haven't done so well against the Hornets so far this season. Charlotte has taken both meetings and that includes a 24-point win on Jan. 17. That game featured Dwight Howard taunting the Wizards late in the fourth quarter.

Howard has killed the Wizards through two games with averages of 22.0 points and 14.0 rebounds. Jeremy Lamb (20.0 ppg vs. Wizards) has been a big factor as well as All-Star Kemba Walker (21.5 ppg vs. Wizards).

The last time these teams played about a month ago frustrations boiled over in an incident that got Tim Frazier ejected. Michael Carter-Williams picked a fight with Jason Smith and Frazier went off:

RELATED: BEAL IMPRESSED BY LEBRON AT ALL-STAR GAME

Hornets coming in hot

The Hornets are outside the playoff picture at the moment at eight games below .500, but they have won two straight games and Walker and Howard are coming off huge games. In a win over the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday, Walker dropped 31 points and Howard grabbed 24 rebounds.

Those guys will be riding a high coming into Washington on Friday. But it should be noted that Howard complained after the game how tired he is at this point in the season. That exhausion could affect him more in the second game of a back-to-back.

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS

 

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' huge road win over Cavaliers, including Markieff Morris' alley-oop

5 must-see moments from Wizards' huge road win over Cavaliers, including Markieff Morris' alley-oop

Here are the five best plays or moments from the Washington Wizards' 110-103 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night...

1. The Wizards didn't start out well, as they trailed by nine points at the end of the first quarter. Kelly Oubre, Jr. stumbled early by missing four of his first six shots and it looked like a carryover of his slump before the All-Star break.

But Oubre got hot in the second quarter and helped the Wizards turn the game around. This was one of his best plays, a two-handed slam that he celebrated with an emphatic scream to the crowd:

RELATED: BEAL IMPRESSED BY LEBRON AT ALL-STAR GAME

2. Tomas Satoransky was one of the stars of the game. He had 17 points to go along with eight assists, four rebounds and two steals. 

Here's one of his dimes, a perfect alley-oop lob to Markieff Morris, who finished with nine points and eight rebounds:

3. Satoransky has reached double-figures in six of the 10 games since John Wall went out with an injury. This was a very impressive move, a stepback fadeaway that was super smooth:

RELATED: GET TO KNOW NEW WIZARDS FREE AGENT SIGNING

4. Ian Mahinmi made some key contributions including four offensive rebounds and a steal. This was his best basket, a powerful slam that came at a key time:

5. This play helped seal the victory. It was a smart after-timeout set drawn up by head coach Scott Brooks and it worked to perfection:

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS