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CSN to debut 'Rocky Clark: The Legacy Lives On' Sunday, December 23

CSN to debut 'Rocky Clark: The Legacy Lives On' Sunday, December 23

Rocky Clark: The Legacy Lives On to premiere Sunday, December 23 at 7:30 PM CT exclusively on Comcast SportsNet;
CSNChicago.com to provide video excerpts immediately following debut airing

Chicago, IL (December 13, 2012) Comcast SportsNet, the television home of the Chicago Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox, will provide viewers with a poignant and emotional half-hour documentary honoring the one-year anniversary of the death of former Eisenhower High School football standout and inspiration Rasul Rocky Clark.

Rocky Clark: The Legacy Lives On, hosted by SportsNet Centrals Pat Boyle, chronicles the tragic story of this promising 16-year-old high school running back, who was paralyzed in a game against Oak Forest High School in September of 2000 when he was tackled just four plays into the contest. He immediately suffered two broken vertebrae in his neck and a devastating spinal cord injury. From that moment forward, his life changed forever.

With a deep faith and a determination to rise above this tragic setback, Rocky never gave up. With his heroic mother Annette at his side, Rocky graduated from Eisenhower H.S., attended junior college at South Suburban College and even helped coach his old high school football teamall the while receiving around-the-clock medical attention. However, Rockys story gained national attention in 2010 when his schools 5M insurance policy had reached its cap. Annette received a two-sentence letter from the insurance company notifying her of that fact. Just 16 months later, Rocky passed away at the age of 27.

This impactful look at Clarks life and death, featuring numerous interviews with his family, friends, coaches, nurses, state representatives and others who all called him one thing an inspiration premieres Sunday, December 23 at 7:30 PM CT exclusively on Comcast SportsNet. In addition, viewers are urged to visit Comcast SportsNets website, CSNChicago.com, for video excerpts from Rocky Clark: The Legacy Lives On immediately following the 7:30 PM debut airing.

Produced and edited by Comcast SportsNets Sarah Lauch, Rocky Clark: The Legacy Lives On will also re-air on the following datestimes: Christmas DayDecember 25 (9:30pm), New Years EveDecember 31 (9:00pm), January 5 (7:00pm) & January 7 (7:00pm).

Note the following quotes from Rocky Clark: The Legacy Lives On premiering Sunday, December 23 at 7:30 PM on Comcast SportsNet:

ANNETTE CLARK (Rockys mother) on receiving the insurance letter:

I got the letter. It was a two-sentence letter. It said Rocky's insurance was gone. I let things upset me and he wouldnt. I said the nursing care is gone now. When he sees me upset, he would tell it's going to be all right, but he thought he would be taken care of for the rest of his life. That is why I am hoping this bill is passed because someone else will get hurt. Don't put a cap on their life. Let them live. Rocky said he was being penalized for living too long.

ANNETTE CLARK on Rockys final day:

He (Rocky) said, MamaI love you and I said I love you too. I talked to the lord and I had asked him many times before to let me have him because he would have been gone and he would give him right back to me, but this time was for Rocky to go ahead on and I said to the lord thy will be done. I said let go and let god, baby. I said let go and let god...that is all I could say. The lord had already comforted me and said this world is not our home. My son had to get hurt and die to try to make a point. That makes me angry every time I think about it. My children were supposed to bury me.

KARITA LOGGINS (Rockys home nurse) on Rockys final minutes:

We were there for the last minutes of his life and I just remember him saying I love you three times. Then he asked me to help him. I said how can I help you? He kept saying, help me.

COACH GREG WALDER (Rockys Eisenhower H.S. coach) on the hit:

I never saw how this happened. I can see the play in my head. It is a normal tackle. There were ten hits in that game that were more vicious that that hit. I don't know how it happened.

COACH GREG WALDER on the Insurance scenario being Rockys legacy:

The awareness about insurance for high schoolers will be his legacy now. We don't know what the caps are. It is a tragedy that he didn't get the coverage. It is not anyone's fault, but it needs to be fixed right now. Nobody talked about it until the insurance company cut it off and it's too late at that point.

CHICAGO BEARS WR EARL BENNETT on Rocky as a person:

He was a guy you could go up and talk to. He would tell you the whole incident, about his life. He's one of those guys that just moved me when I spoke to him.

COACH TRAVIS MOORE (who selected Rocky to be his asst. at Eisenhower H.S.) on Rockys passing:

Rocky stood for so much courage and strength. He transitioned from Coach Rocky to super hero. Normally, you dont think super heroes could be hurt. Our herofriendlittle brother was taken away. It was real tough. Probably one of the toughest situations Ive been through.

DEACON DON GROSSNICKLE (Rockys friend and founder of the Gridiron Alliance):

They say a cat has nine lives, Rocky Clark had better than 30. The hardest thing was the day when I would lose my friend. Annette did everything possible to keep Rocky alive, but the day did come. It was very hard.

We are working with legislators to make a law and the law would be very simple: when high school athletes are performing in any venue, the law requires those that have them perform, insure them. The Illinois High School Association would have to insure all athletes, in all sports.

Jabari Parker unafraid of history, expectations that come with Chicago's homegrown stars: "There's no fear"

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USA TODAY

Jabari Parker unafraid of history, expectations that come with Chicago's homegrown stars: "There's no fear"

The Chicago sunlight followed Jabari Parker as he walked through the East Atrium doors of the United Center, facing Michael Jordan’s statue before meeting with the media, introduced as a Chicago Bull for the first time.


For his sake, the brighter days are ahead instead of to his back as he’ll challenge the perception of being the hometown kid who can’t outrun his own shadow.


Parker re-enters Chicago as the No. 2 pick in the draft that the Milwaukee Bucks allowed to walk without compensation despite holding the cards through restricted free agency, damaged goods on the floor but not giving the Bulls a discount to don that white, red and black jersey he’s always dreamed of wearing.


“There were other teams but as soon as I heard Chicago, I just jumped on it,” Parker said.


It took a two-year, $40 million deal (2019-20 team option) to get Parker home, along with the selling point that he’ll start at small forward—a position that’s tough to envision him playing with on the defensive end considering three of the game’s top six scorers occupy that space.
It was a dream come true for his father, Sonny Parker, and high school coach, Simeon Academy’s Robert Smith, who both couldn’t hide their joy following the first question-and-answer session with the media.


“This is where he wanted to be,” Sonny Parker said. “His family’s happy, the support is there. All I know is the United Center will sell out every game. He can’t wait.”


“Normally guys get drafted here. He signed to come here. He had a couple offers from other teams but he wanted to come here.”


The biggest examples of Chicagoans who arrived with outsized expectations for this franchise had varying results, but Derrick Rose and Eddy Curry both came away with scars of sorts that had many wondering why any hometown product would willingly choose to play for the Bulls.


The risk seems to far outweigh the reward; the emotional toll doesn’t seem worth the fare. And with the roster makeup not being ideal for Parker, no one could blame him for going to a better situation—or at least one more tailored to his skills rather than his heart.
“I think every situation is different. Derrick was excelling,” Bulls executive vice-president John Paxson said to NBCSportsChicago.com. “MVP of the league in his hometown before the injury. Eddy was just a young kid who didn’t have the savvy Derrick had. I think every situation is different. Jabari is such a grounded, solid person that he’s gonna be just fine.”


“You don’t have to spend a whole lot of time with him to figure out he’s got it together. He knows who he is. Comfortable in his own skin. A quiet guy. Hopefully he’ll thrive here. The goal is it works great for him and works great for us.”


It seemed like he was bred to be a pro—and not just any pro, but the type Chicago demands of its own when a covenant to play 82 nights a year has been reached. If the constant prodding from his father didn’t break his façade, or older brother Darryl doing everything he could to coax emotion from the most gifted of the Parker clan couldn’t do it, two ACL surgeries on his left knee may pale in comparison.


The numbers from Parker’s recent stint with the Bucks don’t bear it out, but Smith sees a player who’s back on track to being what his talent has always dictated he should become.


“Even watching him work out lately, it’s like whoa,” Smith said. “But of course, everything with Chicago period you have to be cautious. With his family and the support system he has, this thing is about winning basketball games and giving back to the community.”


“He’s had that (target) on his back since he stepped on the court at Simeon, coming behind Derrick and being one of the top five players as a freshman and No. 1 player as a junior. I don’t think it’s a huge problem, it can help him a little bit. If he has those moments if something doesn’t go right, he has someone to help him.”


Parker is more known for his restarts than his unique skill set in his young career, but even at 23 years old speaks with a sage of someone 20 years his senior, unwilling to tab this portion of his journey as a fresh start.


After all, it would be easy to envision his career beginning from the moment he left Simeon as a phenom followed by his one season at Duke—having two games where he totaled just 24 minutes with just two points to start the Bucks’ first-round series against the Boston Celtics isn’t typical of a star’s story if he sees himself that way.


“I don’t. I don’t want to forget all the hard work I had,” Parker said. “To forget I hurt myself and came back is to discredit my success. That in of itself is something outside the norm. I want to always remember the setbacks and failures I’ve had in my career so far. I want to use that as a sense of motivation.”


Bringing up his awkward pro beginnings in Milwaukee, where Giannis Antetokounmpo’s ascension to an unexpected strata mirrored thoughts he might’ve had of himself before his injuries, didn’t cause him to growl.


“I’ve never got jealous a day in my life. That’s why it wasn’t hard because I wasn’t jealous,” Parker said to NBCSportsChicago.com. “My journey is my journey. I gotta be proud of that and be patient. I took that and I move forward.”


The mention of his defense didn’t make him defensive, either, as he definitively pointed out the truth as he saw it, that today’s game is far more offensive-minded than the bruise-fests of the previous decades. Telling by his words in subsequent interviews, the best defense is a great offense and when he’s right, there aren’t many who can get a bucket as easily and with as much diversity as himself.


The only time Parker broke serve was at the notion he’d be following in the footsteps of Rose’s perceived failures, the setbacks Rose suffered when his knees began to fail after reaching inspiring heights players like Parker wanted to emulate.


At the podium for all to see, he corrected a question formed around Rose’s “rise and fall”, a sound byte copied and pasted by a couple Chicago-bred NBA players on social media in support of Parker’s words and feelings.


“Derrick had no lows. He didn’t. He still maintained. Derrick’s a legend, no matter what…no rise and falls. Injuries are part of life. Derrick is one of the best icons in Chicago. He accomplished his duty already.”


And later, he wanted to set the record straight again, drawing a line from how the media has presented Rose compared to how the people of Chicago see him, and vice-versa.


“We didn’t turn on Derrick, the media (did),” Parker told NBCSportsChicago.com. “We’re hometown. I speak for everybody, we love our hometown.”


The love of Chicago meant more than the prospect of not being able to live up to a glorious prep past, even though he should be well aware wanderlust can turn to villainy in a heartbeat—or the wrong step.


“There’s no pressure for me,” Parker said to NBCSportsChicago.com. “I’m just happy I get to play with some young guys, and I don’t harp on the negative. Anybody and everybody is gonna have an opinion. I value more my dreams than their opinions.”


And the dreamer steps forward, with a confident gait, eyes wide open and a city hoping it doesn’t repeat the same mistakes of its past.


“There’s no fear,” Parker said. “I haven’t faced any other pressure than bouncing back. I’m back on my feet and moving on.”


“When you struggle more, you succeed more.”

Sports Talk Live Podcast: With Jabari Parker in the mix, are the Bulls playoff contenders?

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USA TODAY

Sports Talk Live Podcast: With Jabari Parker in the mix, are the Bulls playoff contenders?

David Haugh, Patrick Finley and KC Johnson join Kap on the panel. Jabari Parker is officially a Chicago Bull. So does that make the Bulls a playoff team? And who will play defense for Fred Hoiberg’s young team? Vincent Goodwill and Mark Schanowski drop by to discuss.

Plus with Manny Machado now a Dodger, are the Cubs no longer the best team in the NL?

Listen to the full episode here or via the embedded player below: