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Slain sportswriter John McNamara's wife honors his legacy by completing his book on DC basketball

Slain sportswriter John McNamara's wife honors his legacy by completing his book on DC basketball

Wednesday, June 27, 2018 was the last normal day for Andrea Chamblee. 

On June 28, her husband John McNamara was one of five people shot and killed in the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis, Md.

McNamara was a beloved reporter who worked at the paper for over two decades. He covered all areas of sports, from the local and college-level to the professional ranks. Many readers and peers remember him for his time and efforts covering his alma mater, the University of Maryland.

Now, a year after the shooting, Chamblee is working to ensure that ‘a sportswriter’ is exactly how he is memorialized.

Since his death, she has relentlessly worked to finish his book ‘The Capital of Basketball.’ A longstanding project of McNamara’s, he began a comprehensive dive into the greatest high school basketball players in the Washington D.C. area. He wasn't able to finish the book before his death, but he had hours of research and interviews in boxes. So, one sleepless night Chamblee determined that she had everything she needed to complete the book.

“[The book] is the last promise I can keep for John and I’m not going to let him down,” Chamblee told NBC Sports Washington. “He was frequently wondering out loud whether he’d be remembered as a sportswriter. And I want to make sure he’s remembered for how he lives, not just for how he died.”

The book is a history basketball in D.C. His research included 150 interviews of those in and around high school sports. It includes D.C. legends Morgan Wootten of DeMatha Catholic High School and the late Joe Gallagher of St. John’s Catholic High School. It follows DC hoops through the rise and the politics, as well as the prejudices and inequalities. It features well-known figures in D.C. like Elgin Baylor and Dave Bing and little-known pillars like E.B. Henderson who brought the game to the city.

For the past year Chamblee’s been writing, proofing, identifying players in photographs, and finding someone who was as knowledgeable as McNamara to fact-check the piece.

The last part proved to be a little tricky.

“We had trouble finding the fact-checker,” Chamblee said. “The fact-checker actually had no comments which makes me think John really did know more than everyone.”

Finishing the book energized her since his death to cope with the loss. But now as the book is complete, it is as if Chamblee must say goodbye all over again.

“[The book] was a diversion, definitely. It feels like it’s a piece of John and now that it’s finished and I have to let other people see it, I feel like I want to keep it for myself. But, I know I have to let it go,” Chamblee said. “In some ways, letting it go is going to be harder than actually writing it.”

The book will be released on November 3 at the Politics and Prose bookstore in Chevy Chase, Md.

You can preorder a hardcover of the book from the Georgetown University Press


Beyond the Scoreboard: New LPGA Tour event coming to Boca Raton, Florida in Jan. 2020


Beyond the Scoreboard: New LPGA Tour event coming to Boca Raton, Florida in Jan. 2020

By Rick Horrow

Podcast edited by Tanner Simkins


  • The LPGA and Group1001 announce a new official LPGA Tour event coming to Boca Raton, Florida in January, 2020. The first edition of the Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio will be held January 20-26 at Boca Rio Golf Club. The event will feature a 108-player field competing for a $2 million purse over 72 holes of stroke play. Boca Rio Golf Club, founded in 1967 and designed by Robert von Hagge, is situated four miles from the Atlantic Ocean on 200 acres of native Florida wilderness with no developed real estate. “We are thrilled to support women’s professional golf and to provide a platform for the sport’s best to compete and showcase their talents,” said Dan Towriss, Group1001 CEO. The new event will be one of two LPGA Tour tournaments held in Florida in January. The year will kick off with the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions January 15-19 in Lake Buena Vista, one week prior to the Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio.
  • It’s back to school time, and in Washington DC, Monumental and EVERFI support STEM. As students across the nation are returning to the classroom, Monumental Sports & Entertainment Founder and Chairman Ted Leonsis is "spearheading a multipronged effort to improve schools and fuel economic growth in the impoverished neighborhoods” around Entertainment & Sports Arena in DC’s Ward 8. According to the Washington Times, the initiative, called “Forward8,” includes “pushing for the expansion of advanced science, technology, engineering and mathematics” programs in DC schools. Monumental’s Beltway neighbor, education technology leader EVERFI, is likewise proactive in community engagement, empowering more teachers, citizens, and students to get involved with game-based, incentive driven online education that fosters greater comprehension, retention, and behavior change. By bringing together the public and private sectors to change the way education is delivered, EVERFI is equipping today’s learners across the nation with the skills they need to become tomorrow’s leaders, while Monumental is leading the way toward helping improve education, the workforce of tomorrow, and the community in their own backyard.
  • Formula One has recorded a modest year-on-year rise in revenues for the second financial quarter of 2019, going from $585 million in 2018 to $620 million in its latest financial filing. Operating income rose from $14 million to $26 million over the same period, according to SportsPro. The global motor sport series’ ten teams also saw an increase in their combined payments between April and June from $307 million to $335 million, with the figure directly linked to the overall revenue increase. Formula One’s owners Liberty Media in a statement further explained the overall change in revenues: “Broadcast revenue increased primarily due to contractual rate increases. Advertising and sponsorship revenue increased due to revenue from new sponsorship agreements entered into beginning in the second half of 2018. Other Formula One revenue decreased in the second quarter primarily due to the mix of races, which resulted in lower TV production and Paddock Club revenue.” Formula One CEO Chase Carey also told investors that Liberty Media is making “good headway” in its moves to add a second race in the U.S. Miami and Las Vegas remain the two potential landing cities.

Virginia's first LLWS appearance in 25 years rests on defense, luck and pitching depth

Virginia's first LLWS appearance in 25 years rests on defense, luck and pitching depth

The last time a Virginia team qualified for a spot at the Little League World Series was 1994. This was also the year Disney released the original Lion King and Forrest Gump made his monumental run around the United States. 

Twenty-five years later, the Loudon South Little League team will be making their run (or hopefully, runs) around the bases. 

It all started back in South Riding, Va., where the team won 16 consecutive games to take the Southeast Region tournament title. Pitcher Justin Lee fell to his knees after the final out of game 16, where Loudoun South dominated Peachtree City, Ga. 12-2, and advanced themselves to the Little League World Series. 

Led by head coach Alan Bowden, this experience had been a dream for both the players and the coach. Bowden's father played in the Little League World Series 65 years ago, he's told reporters, and he told PennLive that now coaching his son in the tournament is a dream.

“I know I talk with my dad about his experience a couple times a year,” Bowden told PennLive. “Just being here and meeting all these international teams and other teams from around the country is really special.”

The team entered their first LLWS game against New England's Barrington Little League team on Friday, August 16th. With tenacity and what appeared to be just sheer coolness, the Southeast regional champions completed the 52nd no-hitter in LLWS history, crushing the Rhode Island team 3-0

Bowden credited the team's defense and depth according to LittleLeague.org.

“We pride ourselves in defense,” he said. “We practice, practice, practice defense and we feel like the real staple of our team is defense.”

Loudoun South didn't stop there. Lee returned to the mound and completed the 53rd no-hitter in LLWS history, striking out six and walking only two. The game ended shortly after as Lee and the team reached the Little League's margin-of-victory rule. 

“I have no words. It’s just, I guess sometimes you get lucky, and this week has been very fortunate for me,” Lee said according to the Washington Post after the victory. “I’ve been getting to meet a lot of cool people. This whole thing, being here is all great, and getting to throw two no-hitters feels amazing.”

The Virginia team's next matchup will be against West champions Hawaii. Central East Maui baseball team most recently completed a 6-0 victory over Elizabeth, N.J. on Monday.

"I'm really really proud of the kids. The way they've executed and the way they've pushed down the media and the big crowd and just gone out and done their job," Bowden told reporters after their last win. "I have told them, you know look around enjoy the moment this is the biggest game of your life but it's still the same game you play back at home ... and they've done a fantastic job of staying focused. And I've never been prouder of a group of kids."