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AP Sources: Gamecocks' Lattimore declaring for NFL

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AP Sources: Gamecocks' Lattimore declaring for NFL

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) Injured South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore will enter the NFL draft, said people familiar with the decision.

One person said Monday that Lattimore is expected to announce his decision later this week. The people spoke with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because there has not been an official statements regarding Lattimore's decision.

The running back suffered a horrific injury to his right knee against Tennessee on Oct. 27. Doctors say Lattimore had successful surgery to repair several ligaments on Nov. 2. It is unclear when he'll be able to return to the field.

Lattimore injured his left knee in 2011 as a sophomore. He rushed for 662 yards and 11 touchdowns this season, both team highs. He is South Carolina's career leader in both overall touchdowns with 41 and rushing scores with 38.

Lattimore did not immediately answer a text message or phone call from The AP. ESPN first reported Lattimore's intention to declare for the draft.

Lattimore had been South Carolina's primary offensive force the past three seasons, starting from the time he stepped on campus as a freshman in 2010.

He missed the final six games of 2011 after tearing a knee ligament at Mississippi State. Lattimore had surgery on the left knee and plunged himself into rehab, returning for summer workouts with his teammates in early June.

Lattimore show few effects from the injury this season. He had three games with at least 100 yards rushing and appeared on the way to a fourth against the Vols when he was hurt again.

His left leg flopped to the turf and Lattimore struggled to contain his emotions in a silent Williams-Brice Stadium. Players from both teams surrounded Lattimore as doctors and trainers worked on the knee, praying and offering best wishes.

Two days later, South Carolina held a rally on campus to celebrate Lattimore's 21st birthday and wish him well in his recovery. Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier told the crowd he gotten a message from Lattimore to tell them, ``I'll be back.''

On Nov. 10 against Arkansas, the school unveiled Lattimore's name and touchdown record on the facing of one of the stadium's spiral ramps. Lattimore had a taped message to fans on the stadium's large video board, saying he felt fine and was ``working to get back to football.''

Lattimore might not have made the field this season away, Spurrier saying doctors told him rehabilitation might've taken about a year. Lattimore had a redshirt year available at South Carolina and could've played for the Gamecocks in 2014.

Lattimore rushed for 1,197 yards and 17 touchdowns in 13 games as a freshman. He helped the Gamecocks win the Southeastern Conference Eastern Division and play in the league title game, where they fell to Auburn 56-17

Lattimore ends his South Carolina sixth in rushing with 2,677 yards and had 11 games with 100 yards or more. He also had 74 catches for 767 yards and three touchdowns in his career.

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Tom Haberstroh believes Wizards' Rui Hachimura should be NBA All-Rookie First Team

Tom Haberstroh believes Wizards' Rui Hachimura should be NBA All-Rookie First Team

Rui Hachimura has had an impressive rookie season, even if there were some struggles along the way. But, was his first NBA campaign impressive enough to land an NBA All-Rookie First Team nod?

According to NBC Sports' Tom Haberstroh, the answer is a clear yes.

“He does, in my book he’s first-team all-rookie," Haberstroh said Sunday on NBC Sports Washington's Wizards Pregame Live.

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Haberstroh understands that Hachimura may not get the same attention as other big-name rookies such as Zion Williamson or Ja Morant, but that shouldn't take away from his body of work. Though there were some tough showings at points during the campaign, which is to be expected, Hachimura established himself as a solid scorer. 

Yet, what is more impressive to Haberstroh than the 13.4 points per game as a rookie is how Hachimura kept that scoring total despite Washington's situation. The forward was thrown right into the middle of a young roster and asked to create shots. The analyst also noted that Hachimura started playing the sport of basketball at a much later age than other rookies and he's still competing at the same level.

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Hachimura also didn't have the luxury of John Wall, a point guard who could've helped him find more shot opportunities. For times throughout the season, he was asked to be one of "the guys" in Washington, which is no easy task for a rookie. When looking at what he did and who he did it with, Haberstroh thinks the All-Rookie honor makes sense. 

“The minutes that he played, the consistency from a scoring standpoint and the fact that he didn’t have a true playmaker to work with, John Wall out for the season," Haberstroh said. “It’s really been an impressive year for Rui Hachimura and I think he’s done a very, very good job considering the environment that seemed like guys were dropping left and right.”

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‘Stephen Strasburg’ the dog catches first pitch for Stephen Strasburg’s first start

‘Stephen Strasburg’ the dog catches first pitch for Stephen Strasburg’s first start

Stephen Strasburg made his 2020 debut Sunday after missing the first two and a half weeks of the season with a nerve issue in his throwing hand. But before he could take the mound, the Nationals put up a video on the jumbotron of another Stephen Strasburg catching the first pitch.

“Stephen Strasburg” was adopted from the Humane Rescue Center by Nationals fan Mary Elizabeth Pratt just before last fall’s World Series. Her pitch was a little bit outside but Stephen had no problem scooping it up and running it back over to her.

The baseball-playing Stephen Strasburg is coming off a year in which he won World Series MVP honors and signed a seven-year extension to remain with the Nationals.

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