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Wall pays visit to Simon Elementary

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Wall pays visit to Simon Elementary

The small gymnasium inside SimonElementary School on Mississippi Avenue inSoutheast D.C. buzzed with frenetic energy asthe clock ticked toward 9 a.m. Friday morning.
Parents lined the walls, cell phones in hand, and nearly 200students wiggled on the floor, anticipating the arrival of Wizards superstar JohnWall.When the gym doors swung open and the 6-foot-4, 205-pound guardentered the room, a thunderclap of cheers filled the gym.
It means everything to these kids, said Tyrone Pittman, whois in his first year as in-school suspension coordinator at Simon Elementary. Theyget to see someone just like them who is very successful taking the time out ofhis busy schedule to talk to them.Hes dressed in a pair of shorts, tennis shoes. It makesthe kids feel so comfortable that they can walk up to him, touch him and be apart of him.
Wall, 22, serves as an ambassador forBOKS Build Our Kids, a non-profit program in which schools provide studentswith 45 minutes of physical activity before starting their classroom schedules.
Wall signed autographs for thestudents but did not take part in their activities. Later on Friday he revealedhe has a stress injury to his left kneecap that will sideline him until the endof November.Wall, who grew up in Raleigh,N.C., participated in a similar BOKS programlast month at his hometown Hunter Elementary School andsays he wishes he had an early morning BOKS program when he was growing up.Sometimes you come in to school droopy, lazy, Wall said.I used to have to use chocolate milk at lunch time to get me energized. Thatwas too late during the day.When I was in middle school and high school I took P.E.class first so I could have fun and play some basketball. With BOKS youre havingfun and your bodys moving and youre enjoying yourself with your classmates beforeyou sit down for a long period of your day.Wall said it is imperative that kids today have a positive experiencewith school.The area where I grew up was a toughneighborhood, he said. Some of those kids see some bad things when theyre walkingup and down the street or at the playground playing. It was great to bringBOKS back there to Hunter. Now its great to bring it to D.C. Thats why Imhere.Pittman said the kids at Simon spent the past week learningmore about Wall and the path he took to the NBA.These kids also have challenges coming to school every day,but theyre here every day, Pittman said. This program keeps these kidshealthy, keeps them educated and its fun. And when you get a guy like JohnWall to drive it home it says it all.Clarence Barnes, 48, has three children at Simon Elementary son, Makel, 10, and daughters Janiya, 7, and Beatrice, 5. He spent the morningwatching his kids running circles around the Wizards star.This is a lot of fun, he said. Im happy to see someonetrying to give back to the community. When they see someone from the sportscommunity come to their school, it means a lot to them.

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It took three minutes for the Wizards and Raptors to get into a Game 3 altercation

It took three minutes for the Wizards and Raptors to get into a Game 3 altercation

WASHINGTON —  It didn't take long for playoff basketball to escalate in the nation’s capital.

Less than three minutes to be exact.

On only the fifth possession of Game 3 between the Wizards and Raptors at Capital One Arena, Wizards forward Markieff Morris and Raptors forward OG Anunoby got tangled up and let their emotions out.

From the initial look it appeared that Morris just got tripped up in setting a screen, but if you look more closely, Anunoby appeared to pull down Morris from the back.

Even though a foul was called, Morris made sure that Anunoby knew his displeasure and even threw an extra shove at Serge Ibaka.

Both Morris and Anunoby received a technical foul after the altercation.

Once again the Wizards getting physical in a playoff series. 

MORE ON THE WIZARDS-RAPTORS SERIES:

THE DRAKE-WIZARDS TRASH TALK WON'T STOP

HISTORIC ODDS FOR TEAMS THAT GO DOWN 0-2

BROOKS MAY CHANGE STARTING LINEUP FOR GAME 3

 

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Bradley Beal on his struggles, getting an apology from Scott Brooks

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USA Today Sports Images

Bradley Beal on his struggles, getting an apology from Scott Brooks

Wizards head coach Scott Brooks believes he is partly to blame for Bradley Beal's lackluster scoring output through two games in the team's 2018 NBA Playoffs first-round series against Raptors. The head coach said as much following the Wizards' disastrous Game 2 loss and stated it again for clarity at practice on Thursday.

They weren't just throwaway lines. No, Brooks truly meant what he said and followed up those comments with an apology face-to-face. Brooks met with Beal and John Wall in between Games 2 and 3 to see how they can get Beal going and reiterated that some of it all was on the coach.

"He apologized to me, which was weird because he's somebody who always holds me accountable for stuff," Beal said after Friday's shootaround. "I guess he figured I wasn't shooting the ball enough and he thought it was his fault. I don't know."

Beal, who is averaging 14.0 points in two games and scored only nine in Game 2, came away from the meeting with a good understanding of what he needs to do to get back on track. After apologizing, Brooks laid out a strategy in hopes that he, Wall and Beal can all be on the same page moving forward.

They need to get their All-Star shooting guard back to form on the offensive end.

"He just basically challenged me. He challenged me to be more aggressive on the offensive and defensive end," Beal said.

What has made Beal's scoring troubles through two games particularly surprising is how well he played against the Raptors during the regular season. He averaged 28.8 points in four games against Toronto and all were without Wall.

Beal shot 50 percent against the Raptors both from the field and from three. So far this series he's shooting just 39.3 percent from the field and 27.3 percent from long range.

Asked whether there is anything he can draw from the regular season to apply to the playoffs, Beal said it's not as easy as it may seem.

"Those games are different. The matchups are different to an extent. It's totally different in the playoffs because you have more time to prep and prepare and gameplan for us," he said. 

"I think the biggest thing is them being physical. They are real physical with me. Whenever I'm standing around on offense or moving around, they are grabbing me. I just need to be physical back with them. Keep moving off the ball and especially if Kyle [Lowry] is guarding me. Tire him out as much as possible. Continue to be aggressive."

Coaches use all sorts of leadership tactics to motivate players. Perhaps an apology will do the trick.

MORE ON THE WIZARDS-RAPTORS SERIES:

HISTORIC ODDS FOR TEAMS THAT GO DOWN 0-2

BROOKS MAY CHANGE STARTING LINEUP FOR GAME 3

THE DRAKE-WIZARDS TRASH TALK WON'T STOP