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Gabby Douglas joins Jay Leno on 'Tonight Show'

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Gabby Douglas joins Jay Leno on 'Tonight Show'

From Comcast SportsNet
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Olympic champion Gabby Douglas basked in the "Tonight" spotlight and the admiration of fellow guest Michelle Obama, but the teenager already is thinking ahead to 2016. Host Jay Leno, who noted that Douglas' last name was an anagram for "USA gold," asked Monday if the gymnast intended to compete in the next Summer Games, in Rio de Janeiro. "Oh, definitely," she replied, reaffirming previous statements. The 16-year-old looked like a winner, dressed in a gold metallic skirt and a fitted, black motorcycle jacket. Her hair, worn in a utilitarian bun during the Olympics, was gathered in a chic ponytail. Her best accessory were the two gold medals she carried onstage, handing one to Leno and the other to Mrs. Obama for closer inspection. "I don't even deserve to hold this," Leno said later as he returned it. Douglas became the third consecutive U.S. athlete and first African-American to win the all-around title. She and her teammates gave the U.S. its first Olympic title in women's gymnastics since 1996. Leno asked Douglas about meeting Prince William's wife, who offered her congratulations to the team, including Aly Raisman. "It was definitely an exciting experience. ... Aly told her she liked her fashion, and she was like, Well, I love your leos (leotards),'" Douglas said. She admitted indulging in post-Olympics fast food to the wrong person: healthy eating advocate Mrs. Obama, who teased the champion. "You're setting me back, Gabby," Obama told her. "Sorry!" replied the athlete, who confessed to chowing down on a McDonalds' breakfast sandwich to celebrate her victories. But she impressed Mrs. Obama and Leno with a detailed description of how, starting at age 6, she learned to navigate the 4-inch-wide balance beam. The host wanted to know if the dream of winning matched the reality. "I think it's very different, and when I mean different,' it's in a better way," Douglas replied. "I mean, I never thought I would be doing the show with the first lady, or even you, Jay." Leno started to reply, when Mrs. Obama jumped in. "Even you too, Jay!" she said. On another sports-related topic, Leno put the first lady on the spot about what he called "this whole kiss cam thing" at a recent basketball game. Last month, she and President Barack Obama were at a U.S. Olympic men's basketball team exhibition game in Washington when the arena's "Kiss Cam" panned to them. She appeared to shake her head "no" to a smooch. That's not what happened, Michelle Obama told Leno. "I had just walked in and sat down, and I just saw my face on the Jumbotron. And I'm still a little embarrassed. ... I didn't see the kiss cam' part," she said. After the couple was booed, daughter Malia set them straight. "She was just disgusted with us," Obama recounted. "She said, Why didn't you kiss?'" The 13-year-old quickly proved her skills as a problem-solver. "I've arranged for you to get another chance on the kiss cam," she told her parents, according to the first lady. The president delivered, giving the first lady a big kiss on the lips and adding a peck on the forehead for good measure. Then Leno turned serious, asking Obama what she's proudest of in her husband's first term. "Truly, health reform," including protection for those with pre-existing conditions," she said.

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2019 NBA Draft profile: Rui Hachimura gives Wizards scoring and speed

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2019 NBA Draft profile: Rui Hachimura gives Wizards scoring and speed

The Washington Wizards have chosen Rui Hachimura at No. 9 in the 2019 NBA Draft. 

2019 NBA Draft Wizards pick: Rui Hachimura

School: Gonzaga
Position: Forward
Age: 21
Height: 6-8
Weight: 230
Wingspan: 7-2
Max vertical: N/A

2018/19 stats: 19.7 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.5 apg, 0.9 spg, 0.7 bpg, 59.1 FG% (7.4/12.6), 41.7 3PT% (0.4/1.0), 73.9 FT%

Player comparison: Gordon Hayward, Mike Scott

Projections: NBC Sports Washington 9th, NBADraft.net 10th, Bleacher Report 23rd, Sports Illustrated 16th, Ringer 19th

5 things to know:

1. Hachimura is an athletic scorer, most effective in the midrange and in the post. He is quick up and down the floor for his size and scores a lot in transition. Due to his size and downhill speed, some have compared him to Jabari Parker, who played for the Wizards this past season.

2. Hachimura shot 41.7 percent from three this past season at Gonzaga, but on one attempt per game. He shot just 31.6 percent from long range in his college career. 

3. He has some traits that suggest he could be a plus-defender. He has quick feet and long arms, but may have difficulty in the post against bigger, stronger players. 

4. Hachimura is from Japan. He is set to become just the third Japanese-born NBA player. He was just the fifth player from the country in Division I NCAA basketball history. He has a chance to become the greatest Japanese basketball player of all-time.

5. He didn't start playing organized basketball until he was 14. Though he became a sensation in Japan and adapted well to the college game, he may still be just scratching the surface of his potential. 

Fit with Wizards: Hachimura could end up as the best option for the Wizards at No. 9, depending on how the board moves on draft night. He plays a position of need and would add scoring and speed to their offense.

Hachimura, though, wouldn't immediately help the Wizards with their biggest weaknesses of defense and rebounding. Hachimura may have a high floor based on his college production and style of play. 

The Wizards need to hit on this draft pick either way, but ideally they would find someone who could someday make a major difference.

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Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman nearing minor league rehab assignment

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Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman nearing minor league rehab assignment

Over the last few weeks, the Nationals have finally started to get healthy. Slowly but surely, they’ve added stars like Juan Soto, Trea Turner, and Anthony Rendon back to their everyday lineup, and the wins have followed.

If everything goes according to plan, they could be close to adding yet another potential impact bat. This time, it’s Ryan Zimmerman.

The first baseman, who has been on the Injured List since April 28 while dealing with plantar fasciitis in his right foot, could begin his rehab assignment as soon as this weekend, according to his manager.

Zimmerman is getting closer to full health but is still experiencing discomfort while running. During batting practice Thursday, Zimmerman resumed baseball activities, and the plan is for him to run the bases before his minor-league assignment.

"If you're going to be out there playing, you've got to be able at least score on a normal base hit if you're on second, go first to third,” Zimmerman said Thursday. “You might not have to be 100 percent on all that, but you have to do normal, everyday activities, or you're not really helping the team.”

The priority in the minors will be playing nine full innings.

"I think the biggest thing with the rehab games is just getting on your feet for nine innings so the first time you're out there for nine innings isn't here, and you can play some games and make sure it doesn't act up,” the longtime National told reporters. “Because once you're activated and once you're between those white lines, it's game on. It's more I think for Davey [Martinez]. You don't want to put him in a bad spot. If he is managing without knowing if I have restrictions or without knowing what's going to happen, that puts him in a bad spot. That's not what you want to do."

Davey Martinez has rarely had his full complement of players in 2019. Zimmerman himself has already missed 47 games.

Of course, once he returns, the Nationals will have more decisions to make. Not only do the Nationals need to find a roster spot for Zimmerman (Gerardo Parra is a candidate to be the odd man out, despite some flashes in his time in Washington), but they also need to figure out the playing time.

Matt Adams has hit with a lot of power this season, and without the DH in the National League, is limited to first base, same as Zimmerman. Howie Kendrick has been the Nationals’ second-best hitter in 2019 and is one of the best surprises in baseball, but is also limited defensively. Kendrick has more versatility, but with Brian Dozier’s recent surge (and superior defense), the Nats will likely want to keep him there. And, of course, Rendon and Turner are entrenched on the left side of the infield.

It’s something Martinez will have to figure out, he’s already begun speaking with players about what the arrangement will look like.

For right now, it’s a problem for another day, but if Zimmerman’s rehab goes well that won’t be the case much longer.

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