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In career year, Bradley Beal is eating healthier, avoiding candy

In career year, Bradley Beal is eating healthier, avoiding candy

Bradley Beal has come a long way since his days at the University of Florida, when he was a skinny freshman leading the Gators to an Elite Eight back in 2012. Through his five years in the NBA with the Wizards, he has blossomed into one of the best shooting guards in basketball, a guy who is no longer limited to outside shooting. He can put the ball on the floor, create his own shot and even set up teammates like never before.

Beal, 23, is currently posting career numbers at 22.3 points per game on 46.9 percent shooting. His development has been important for the Wizards' success, and also a source of pride for his former college coach. Billy Donovan, now with the Oklahoma City Thunder, was in Washington Monday morning with his team set to take on the Wizards later that night.

"Healthy, for one," Donovan said when asked why Beal is having a breakout season. "Two, I think just coaching him, he's really smart. He has what I would call the 'it factor,' he's got it. He impacts winning at a really high level. There's also part of him that he's very, very unselfish. He's a team guy. So, I think that when he was hurt, I could see him struggling coming back into a team because he's never a guy that wants to disrupt flow, chemistry and cohesiveness; those kinds of things. He's a connecting guy. I think because he's been healthy all year, he knows his role and his responsibility. Through experience, his work ethic and his intelligence, he's become a very good player."

[RELATED: Wall deals with sprained ankle with Thunder up next]

Beal has been healthy for the most part this season, having appeared in 49 of the Wizards' 53 games. There are many reasons for that, he says.

"I'm probably lifting more throughout the season," Beal explained. "I think in previous years I kind of got away from it. Just keeping my body stronger. I'm eating the right foods. I don't eat junk food as much as I used to anymore. I used to always say I had a high metabolism, but I'm getting older so my weight is starting to fluctuate a little bit. So, I've gotta watch that. It's always important for me especially, I have to watch what I put in my body."

Beal said part of that new diet includes drinking a lot of milk. He also cut out candy, his biggest vice.

"I'm a big sweets guy. I love Skittles, I love Reese's and chocolate," he said. "It's a mental challenge and it's a discipline thing. If I want to be healthy, I've gotta cut stuff out."

With the All-Star break coming up on Feb. 17, Beal will have some time to rest and take his mind off the game. That, though, doesn't mean he will be going back to the candy.

"It's a trap, for sure. I'm going to stay away," he said. "I probably couldn't tell you the last time I had one of the two. It's been a little while."

Watch pre- and postgame coverage of Wizards-Thunder on CSN beginning with Wizards Gametime at 7 p.m.

[RELATED: Beal, Donovan weigh in on OKC fans booing Durant]

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‘Grateful for the opportunity’ A tale of the second Capital City Go-Go open tryouts

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Capital City Go-Go

‘Grateful for the opportunity’ A tale of the second Capital City Go-Go open tryouts

The Washington Wizards G League affiliate, the Capital City Go-Go, held their second open local player tryouts at the Entertainment and Sports Arena Saturday morning in Southeast D.C.

Over 100 hopefuls filed into the arena with plans to impress Go-Go General Manager, Pop Mensah-Bonsu, head coach Ryan Richman, and his staff. 

Although each player in attendance has a unique path that’s led them here, they all shared one simple, yet intricate goal:

One shot in the G League. 

Adam Stanford, a prospect from California, traveled on a red eye to make the tryout on a less-than-ideal amount of sleep.

“My plane left at midnight from LAX, I had a two-hour layover in Denver, made it to Reagan National at five, checked into my hotel at six, took an hour nap and then Ubered here for tryouts,”  he said. 

“If I made this team it’d be big. Not just for me but for everyone who knows what I’ve been through from college to now.” 

Stanford is a 6-foot-4 wing from Campbellsville University, where he averaged 7 points, 5 rebounds, and was an academic All-American. 

Even with his positive outlook on the process, and an impressive showing Saturday morning, Stanford’s name wasn’t called for a follow-up workout later in the afternoon. 

The harsh reality that your chances are extremely slim to make a G League roster from an open tryout can be a tough pill to swallow, but as a guy who’s been on the opposite end of the chopping block, Mensah-Bonsu had an immense amount of respect for those who showed up to compete Saturday.

“Personally it’s tough because I never wanted to be that guy to read out the numbers of those who did make the team, and skip over those who didn’t,” Mensah-Bonsu said, “it’s heartbreaking. We always anticipate what the DMV has to offer in terms of the wealth of talent in this area.

"I was pleasantly surprised because we ended up selecting 15 guys to stick around for the afternoon portion, but going into this we were only planning to pick five.” 

Those who made the cut won’t be announced until a later date, which leaves the larger point of how those who were passed on respond?

The all-time leading scorer in Peach Sun Belt Conference history, Detrek Browning, was in attendance Saturday and put on a show. His combination of quickness, deep range shooting ability, and a knack for loose balls/putbacks captured the attention of every media member in attendance. 

However, his name wasn’t called for the next round of tryouts. 

Still, in a state of shock, he delivered words of encouragement not just for his self, but others to turn to after a similar letdown. 

“I for sure thought I was going to get a place here, but you just gotta focus and move on,” Browning said. “I quit my job in June to focus on basketball and it’s been paying off. I’ve seen my game increase exponentially.

“I did my best and that’s what matters,” he added. “I appreciate them not picking me up, it’s just going to make me work even harder.”

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Elena Delle Donne thanks makers of face mask, knee brace after 2nd MVP honors

Elena Delle Donne thanks makers of face mask, knee brace after 2nd MVP honors

Most MVP award winners thank coaches, parents and anyone who helped them become great. Elena Delle Donne is not most people.

The Washington Mystic's superstar forward had a lot to be thankful for after receiving the second MVP honors of her career, creating a long list on Twitter. Some injury-preventing accessory manufacturers made their way high up on her list.

Delle Donne became the first woman player to shoot 50/40/90 splits over the course of an entire WNBA season this year, but she was perhaps more grateful for the apparrel that allowed her to stay on the court: her knee brace and face mask. 

The Delaware native often deflects praise onto her teammates and coaches when receiving accolades, but when EDD's knee is being held together by her bulky brace and her nose is feeling protected after a fracture earlier in the season, they definitely deserve the thanks. 

She had a gruesome knee scare in a Game 2 loss to the Atlanta Dream in the playoffs last season, and even missed some early season games this year in recovery. Still, Delle Donne wouldn't let her knee keep her out of action, as her 31 regular season starts were the most games she's played since 2015. It's been evident she's had an edge all season to help her Washington Mystics get back to the Finals, and this time finish the job. 

Delle Donne's face mask has also been somewhat of a fashion trend in recent weeks with star athletes around the District. Wizards all-star guards John Wall and Bradley Beal along with Redskins runing back Derrius Guice, all wore the face masks in solidarity when they came to support the Mystics at the Entertainment and Sports Arena. 

Despite Delle Donne's nose having been fully recovered, she's kept the face mask on during games for style and reassurance. Considering these ailments, it's impressive Delle Donne's shooting touch not only hasn't been affected, but instead has improved. 

After a Game 2 win over the Las Vegas Aces, Delle Donne and Co. have the opportunity to make their season mantra come true and #RunItBack to a second straight WNBA Finals appearance. 

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