Wizards

Correction: Notre Dame-Te'o-Fundraiser story

Correction: Notre Dame-Te'o-Fundraiser story

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) In a story Jan. 17 about a hoax involving Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o and a fictional dead girlfriend, The Associated Press reported erroneously that alumnus Dan Tudesco launched a cancer fundraiser in the woman's memory after a video of Te'o reacting to the Irish's loss in the national championship game went viral. The video showed Tudesco.

A corrected version of the story is below:

Fundraiser `shell-shocked' by Te'o girlfriend hoax

Notre Dame alum who launched fundraiser in memory of Te'o girlfriend `shell-shocked' by hoax

By CHARLES WILSON

Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - A University of Notre Dame graduate who launched a campaign to raise money for a cancer research group in memory of linebacker Manti Te'o's girlfriend says he is ``shell-shocked'' to learn the woman didn't exist.

Dan Tudesco, a 2006 graduate who now works in public relations in New York, set up an online account at fundraising website indiegogo.com on Jan. 9 to solicit $5,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Inc. The initial pitch said donations would go to the society in memory of Lennay Kekua, who reportedly died last fall, and in honor of Te'o, ``two individuals who have been an inspiration to us through an iconic season.''

Tudesco said he and three friends got the fundraising idea after a seeing a video that went viral of Tudesco holding his head in dismay during the Irish's 42-14 loss to Alabama in the national championship game on Jan. 7.

The goal was to turn the loss - and the player's sudden popularity - into something positive.

``I think we were all kind of disappointed in the result of the game ... and the Manti story was very inspirational,'' Tudesco told The Associated Press on Thursday.

Notre Dame took notice of Tudesco's tweets about the fund drive and sent a university videographer to shoot an interview with him. The video was posted on the Notre Dame athletics YouTube channel Tuesday.

Tudesco said ``everybody is kind of surprised and a little shell-shocked right now'' after Deadspin.com reported Wednesday that Kekua didn't exist. But he said he didn't believe Notre Dame was aware of the hoax when it promoted his fundraiser.

``It would surprise me that Notre Dame would want to promote this if they knew something like this was going on,'' Tudesco said.

However, Notre Dame officials said Wednesday that they became aware of the hoax on Dec. 26, nearly two weeks before the championship game.

Notre Dame spokesman Dennis Brown said the Te'o family was getting ready to go public about the hoax and that the university deferred to their wishes.

``They're the victims and it's their story to tell,'' he said.

Tudesco said he doesn't know Te'o personally and had no contact with him or Notre Dame before setting up the fundraiser. He said money raised by his fundraiser will be held in reserve by indiegogo and released directly to the charity at the end of the campaign.

``We actually never directly receive or touch the money at any point,'' he said.

Tudesco said the campaign hasn't received any new donations since the news of the hoax broke late Wednesday, though he hopes people continue to donate to the fund drive.

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With another low shot total for Otto Porter, Coach Brooks says Porter needs to do more to help himself

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USA Today Sports Images

With another low shot total for Otto Porter, Coach Brooks says Porter needs to do more to help himself

After a night in which Otto Porter Jr. only took nine total shots, just two of them in the second half, many questions from Wizards reporters in the postgame locker room centered on how the team can get him more involved. This came on the heels of a seven-shot, zero-three outing for Porter against the Heat on Thursday and a preseason in which getting him more attempts was a persistent storyline.

It sounds like some are tired of talking about it. Point guard John Wall, who is part of the equation as the team's main distributor and highest usage player, put it in relatively strong terms.

"This will be the last time I talk about Otto Porter getting threes," Wall said. 

Wall went on to explain how it's a combination of defenses taking away the three-point line for Porter and the flow of the game creating better shots for others. It's a common explanation Wall has given on the matter in recent weeks, and it's understandable.

Head coach Scott Brooks has admitted his own role in Porter not getting enough shots, how more plays could be called for the small forward. But after the loss to Toronto, one in which Porter played just south of 25 minutes, he was a bit more blunt in his assessment.

Brooks believes Porter can be doing a lot more to help himself.

"Gotta get yourself open," Brooks said. 

When asked about Porter playing fewer minutes than usual, Brooks went on about the need for guys to play hard. That warranted a follow-up, as it seemed Brooks was questioning Porter's hustle.

Brooks explained what he meant by that in detail.

"You've got to move. You've got to set yourself up. You've got to run the floor. We got a fast point guard. I don’t know if you guys know that but he’s fast and if our wings aren’t running, what good is it when you’re going to have a one-man break? What makes teams play with pace is guys running." 

"I love Otto. You guys know that. But he has to play faster. He has to. Physically, he’s not going to jump over anybody and dunk over everybody, but he has to get himself into position. He’s a big-time player for us. He’s a glue guy. He makes winning basketball plays. He gets in plays but he has to do that consistently for us. He can’t do it for a half. He has to do it for the entire game. The guy can do it. I’ve seen it. He didn’t do it tonight but he’s going to bounce back. He didn’t do it the first two games but he’s going to bounce back and do it. And we need it.”

Porter, 25, was the Wizards' most efficient player last season, but averaged only 11.5 shots per game. With one of the best three-point shots in the NBA, the numbers suggest he should have a larger role.

The Wizards insist they are trying to get him more involved. In their eyes, it's time for Porter to do his part.

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Bradley Beal honored to pass Gilbert Arenas on all-time three-pointer list

Bradley Beal honored to pass Gilbert Arenas on all-time three-pointer list

Saturday night produced a link between some of the best players in recent Wizards/Bullets franchise history.

With a fourth-quarter three, Bradley Beal surpassed Gilbert Arenas on the franchise list for career triples

Beal, an All-Star last season, has already established himself as one of the best to play for Washington in decades. Afterwards, he paid homage to the man whose record he broke.

"I was always a fan of Gil. He was Agent Zero," Beal told NBC Sports Washington. 

"I loved everything about him; his confidence, his swagger on the floor. Granted, everyone talks about his off-the-court stuff, but what he did on the court is just untouchable. It's untouchable. He's a legend, for sure. Part of me wishes I could have played with him and just learned from him in a lot of ways. That's an accomplishment for me. I'm happy I was able to surpass it because he is a legend, in my opinion anyway."

Arenas' tenure with the Wizards was epic for its highs and lows. At his peak, he was arguably the most dangerous scorer in the NBA. But his downfall both on the court and off has left him as a notorious figure in the game's recent history.

John Wall, who has assisted on many of Beal's three-pointers, played with Arenas back in the 2010-11 season as a rookie. He is happy for his current teammate, who now has a distinct place in the team's history books.

"He's probably the best shooter I've ever played with in my eyes, so it's great to see him accomplish that," Wall said. "He's going to keep setting the bar higher and higher."

Beal passed Arenas in just the second game of his seventh NBA season. He's only 25 years old, so odds are he will keep adding to his franchise record for many years to come.

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