Redskins

Hawks suspend top-scorer Josh Smith for 1 game

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Hawks suspend top-scorer Josh Smith for 1 game

ATLANTA (AP) The Atlanta Hawks suspended top-scorer Josh Smith for Wednesday night's home game against the Brooklyn Nets for ``conduct detrimental to the team'' following an incident in practice the previous day.

The one-game suspension, which comes with an undisclosed fine, was announced Wednesday by Hawks general manager Danny Ferry.

Hawks coach Larry Drew would provide no details on the incident in Tuesday's practice.

``I really don't want to put too much focus on that anymore,'' Drew said before the game against the Nets. ``Tomorrow we'll welcome Josh back with open arms and we'll move forward.''

Hawks guard Jeff Teague also would provide no details on the incident.

``I don't even remember,'' Teague said. ``I think the whole practice was just a good day. I don't even remember what happened or how it went down or anything.''

Smith was called for a technical foul in Monday night's 97-58 loss at Chicago. Only a late basket by Teague saved the Hawks from setting their lowest scoring total in franchise history.

The Hawks have lost six of seven.

``Clearly I am competitive and was frustrated by our recent losses,'' Smith said in a statement released by the team. ``I understand and respect the team's actions and just want to get back on the court to do whatever is necessary to help my teammates. I apologize for letting them down and apologize to our fans for not being available for tonight's game.''

Smith was not expected to be at Philips Arena on Wednesday night.

Smith, 27, leads the team with 16.5 points and 2.3 blocked shots per game. He also is averaging 8.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists.

Smith, an Atlanta native and nine-year veteran, set career highs with averages of 18.8 points and 9.6 rebounds last season.

Ferry said he expects a positive response to the suspension from Smith.

``Josh and I discussed the issue and he understood and accepted this course of action,'' Ferry said. ``We are confident that he will respond positively, learn from this experience and come back with a renewed sense of purpose to the team moving forward.''

Smith can be a free agent after the season, and his future with the team is a key for the Hawks. Ferry could decide to trade the 6-foot-9 forward, especially if the Hawks keep falling in the Eastern Conference standings.

Drew said he hopes Smith remains with the team.

``We look at Josh as we do at any player in the situation of the last year of his contract,'' Drew said. ``Josh is a talented player. He's a big part of what we do. He's a guy that we can count on and rely on doing what we do, and hopefully he will be a Hawk for a long time. He's just a phenomenal talent.''

Ferry traded guard Joe Johnson and forward Marvin Williams before the season. Johnson made his first return to Atlanta with the Nets on Wednesday night.

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Derrius Guice continues to ingratiate himself with Redskins fans with new fundraising effort

Derrius Guice continues to ingratiate himself with Redskins fans with new fundraising effort

For most college players, being a part of the NFL Draft experience is a dream come true, but for Derrius Guice, it was becoming a nightmare. Originally projected as a first round pick, Guice saw his name falling fast on draft boards due to questions raised about his maturity and high-maintenance personality.

Two months removed from the Redskins selecting him 59th overall, Guice has erased any doubt regarding his character. Whether it be taking fans out to the movies, shooting the breeze while signing autographs, or even the occasional leap frog over two practice barrels and a trainer, Guice has ingrained himself as a Redskins fan favorite. He's done a great job at making himself popular, now he's focused on making change for others. 

On June 20th, a day before his birthday, Guice announced he would be running a fundraiser for the Mary Bird Perkins center, a cancer foundation in his hometown of Baton Rouge. Inspired by his best friend's mother who "rang that bell,"—an indication that a patient has beaten cancer—Guice wants to help others do the same. 

Guice has utilized his newfound popularity to entice other peope to donate. If you donate $5, you can play him in Fortnite. For $50, you guys can go bowling together. Anyone willing to donate $100 or more will be entered in a raffle for tickets to the Redskins Monday Night Football game against the Saints. 

If Guice can match his off the field popularity with on the field production, he'll be in contention for Rookie of the Year. Anyone interested in donating can click here

 

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Kevin Huerter's fast rise continues into draft night

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USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Huerter's fast rise continues into draft night

After two short years in College Park, Kevin Huerter is hopeful his name will be called during tonight's first round of the 2018 NBA Draft. 

The Clifton Park, N.Y. native has a chance to become the first Maryland player to be selected in the first round since Alex Len went No. 5 overall to the Phoenix Suns following his sophomore year in 2013. 

Huerter has long been consistent in his pursuit of excelling in the sport he loves. 

It began in high school, where he led Shen to its first state championship while setting the state scoring record. 

Then, as a senior, Huerter was named Mr. Basketball in the state of New York. 

From smalltown upstate N.Y. to receiving over 20 offers and ultimately signing with Maryland, Huerter never looked back. 

The 19-year-old earned a starting spot right out of the gate his freshman season averaging 9.3 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. 

In between his freshman and sophomore seasons, Huerter was selected to the United States team for the 2017 FIBA Under-19 Basketball World Cup coached by Jeff Van Gundy. 

Using that experience combined with an elevated offseason workout plan, he saw his production go up during his sophomore season scoring 14.8 points per game while en route to being named honorable mention All-Big Ten. 

After toying with whether or not he should leave Maryland, his father tweeted this out: 

Playing basketball with his talented younger sisters while trying to make the most difficult decision of his young life. That is Kevin Huerter in a nutshell. 

Fast forward to last month's NBA Combine in Chicago. Huerter chose to attend, seeing it as another opportunity to showcase his skills.

As a result, he saw his stock rise after showcasing his athleticism and sharp shooting, including a drill where he went 15 of 15 from 3-point range. 

According to Drew Zlogar, former teammate of Huerter's at Shenendehowa High School and current Digital and Social Content Publisher for the NBA, Huerter turned down a Barclays Center invite from the league to instead host a watch party of his own at a local country club in Clifton Park, N.Y., where he will be surrounded by family, friends and former high school teammates. 

As far as when Huerter is expected to come off the board, different scenarios continue to arise. 

If there's one thing for sure, it's that the former 3-star recruit is now an-almost guaranteed first round draft pick. 

Huerter has been known for his mild-mannered personality and cool-under-pressure aura about him in big moments. 

But the big man with a chip on his shoulder? That could be a scary thing for future opponents of the sharpshooter. 

Watch where Huerter goes in tonight's NBA Draft tonight at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.