Wizards

Quick Links

John Wall recognizes former Make-A-Wish kid at camp, makes his day again

John Wall recognizes former Make-A-Wish kid at camp, makes his day again

John Wall meets thousands of fans every year, but his recall is surprisingly good. Nitin Ramachandran discovered that on Saturday when Wall recognized him at his basketball camp, according to a heartwarming story in The Washington Post

Nitin first met Wall in late 2015 through Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic. Then 13 years old, Nitin was in the middle of the fight of his life, undergoing treatments for brain cancer. Make-A-Wish partnered with the Wizards to give him a full day living his dreams. 

In the morning, he ate breakfast with Wall and went to shoot around with the team. Then he ran out of the tunnel with the Wizards and was announced as part of the starting lineup in pregame. Nitin watched the game -- a win in double-overtime -- from courtside seats, then joined coach Randy Wittman for a post-game presser before hanging out with Wall in the locker room. 

Now 14 years old and without evidence of disease, Nitin credits that day with helping him turn the corner in his fight with cancer. 

“I was going through a lot of tough times,” he told The Post. “It was one of the worst parts of my treatment, and [I was] thinking about doctor appointments the next day and the next day, about what’s next in my treatment, what’s the next thing I have to endure. When this came, it was great for me. It cheered me up. The impact it had on my recovery was really immense … and my parents could really see it turn in my recovery after such a great time I had.”

Since then, Nitin has traveled around the country telling his story at Make-A-Wish fundraisers. His story helped raise more than $100,000 at a recent event, according to the Post. 

Which brings us back to Wall's basketball camp this past weekend. Nitin's mother tried to explain to her son that the Wizards star attends so many events and meets so many people, he may not remember or recognize Nitin (especially now that his hair had grown back). 

That was absolutely not the case. 

“Holy [bleep],” Wall recalled of running into his one-game teammate. “I told my sister, that’s my guy Nitin right there.”

“I’m just great with names; faces and names I’m pretty cool with,” Wall said. “It was amazing meeting him [again]. I remembered him from the Make-a-Wish thing. He came and we won the big game when he was there; he got called in the starting lineup when we signed him. And at the time, he was going through a lot — fighting and really going through his therapies and stuff.”

Being a die-hard Wizards fan who proudly remembers when Wall was drafted (Nitin was 8 years old at the time), the teen was especially excited to see a photo of himself and his account tagged on the Wizards star's Instagram page. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BHFYKmJAKKo/?taken-by=johnwall&hl=en

Make sure to check out The Post story for more on Nitin's remarkable journey. 

Quick Links

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

usatsi_10446977.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

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

Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Kelly Oubre, Jr. and the Washington Wizards battle Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, J.J. Redick and the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday 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. PHILADELPHIA 76ERS

Where: Capital One Arena
Tip-off: 8 p.m.
TV: NBC Sports Washington (coverage begins at 7 p.m.)
Live stream: NBCSportsWashington.com
Radio: 1500 AM

Another test

The Wizards continue their difficult stretch coming out of the All-Star break against a very dangerous Sixers team. Philly has proven to be very streaky this season, but right now they are rolling. They come to Washington having won their last seven games dating back to Feb. 6 when they beat the Wizards at the Wells Fargo Center. The Wizards are also playing well, having won eight of their last 11, despite their loss to the Hornets on Friday.

The Sixers are currently seventh in the East and appear on track to make the playoffs. If they keep rising the standings, they could meet the Wizards, who are currently fourth, in the first round. 

PODCAST: BIGGEST STORYLINES COMING OUT OF ALL-STAR BREAK

Season series

Speaking of the playoffs, this game could end up looming large for postseason seeding. The Sixers have won two of the three matchups between these teams this year. If they win on Sunday, they will take the season series and own the tiebreaker over Washington.

If the two teams tie head-to-head and end up with the same record at the end of the season, it will then come down to conference record. The Sixers currently have a better record against East teams than the Wizards. But if they can beat Philly this time, the Wizards will have a chance to secure the conference tiebreaker down the stretch of this season.

RELATED: BEAL IMPRESSED BY LEBRON AT ALL-STAR GAME

Sixers are tough to guard

The Wizards have found out the hard way this season just how difficult it can be to match up with the Sixers, who are led by two emerging stars in Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Embiid is 7-foot-1 with rare abilities to stretch the floor and beat opponents off the dribble. Simmons is 6-foot-10, yet can lead the fastbreak with rare speed and vision to find his teammates with crisp passes.

The mobility for their size is almost unmatched and it has not been easy for the Wizards to answer. In their last meeting earlier this month, Simmons had 15 points, eight assists, six rebounds and three steals. Embiid had 27 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks. The Wizards have to try to limit those guys while also dealing with other challenges like Robert Covington, Dario Saric and J.J. Reddick.

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKING

Quick Links

Warriors will visit D.C. kids instead of White House when they play Wizards

usatsi_9095555.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

Warriors will visit D.C. kids instead of White House when they play Wizards

Instead of visiting the White House when they come to Washington this week to play the Wizards, the defending-champion Golden State Warriors plan to hold an event with D.C.-area kids.

Their invitation was rescinded by president Donald Trump following a back-and-forth between the two sides last year. After the Warriors won the title, they openly questioned whether they should follow the tradition given many of the players and coaches disagree with his policies. Trump took the opportunity away before they came to a final decision.

PODCAST: WIZARDS MAKE A FREE AGENT SIGNING

The Warriors' event will be closed off to the media and held at an undisclosed location. It is set for Tuesday, the day before they play the Wizards at Capital One Arena. The Warriors had the option of holding a ceremony with other politicians in the Democratic party, but decided that would send the wrong message. 

"It's their championship. They got disinvited to the White House, so it's up to them what they wanted to do. So they made their plans," coach Steve Kerr said. "I want the players to have a good day and to do something positive and to enjoy what they're doing."

The Warriors are the first NBA team to make this choice since Trump was elected president. Last season, the Cleveland Cavaliers held their celebration with president Barack Obama in November. They did so just days after Trump was elected and LeBron James questioned at the time whether he would visit the White House with Trump in office.

RELATED: DURANT MAKES HUGE DONATION TO PG COUNTY SCHOOLS

Sports teams visiting the White House goes back to the mid-1800s. The first World Series title team to visit was the 1924 Washington Senators. By the 1960s, NBA teams were going and by the 1980s NFL and NHL teams made it a tradition.

Entire teams snubbing the White House is unusual, but many players have turned down the opportunity. In the NBA, some famous cases include Larry Bird in 1984 and Michael Jordan in 1991, according to Rolling Stone.

Perhaps the Warriors start a trend, or maybe it will be a one-off thing. Regardless, the alternative they chose is a respectable one. 

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS