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John Wall uses social media to spotlight missing black kids in D.C.

John Wall uses social media to spotlight missing black kids in D.C.

Wizards star John Wall is from Raleigh, North Carolina, but engages with the D.C. community as his own. In fact, last season he won the NBA Cares Community Assist Award for his good works.

Like many residents in and around the District, Wall has been alarmed at the reports of "critical missing" children, many of them black girls, all over social media. 

He shared his concern and prayers for their safe return on Instagram.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BR_uefdDbSM/

Ultimately, the information in the viral post he shared was inaccurate, according to NBC4, but it reflects the escalating urgency on social media over D.C.'s missing children. 

An exact number of missing is tough to nail down because reports are filed daily and people are often found quickly. The most recent figure provided by the Metropolitan Police Department is 22 cases of missing juveniles, most of them black or latino, still active in D.C.

That update came at a March 22 town hall meeting in Southeast, where Acting D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham and Mayor Muriel Bowser addressed the community's fears on the issue.

The MPD insists the number of missing kids has not risen; instead, awareness has increased since law enforcement began sharing their images and last-known whereabouts on social media.

Newsham said that even though there aren't more missing children than usual, it doesn't mean there isn't a problem. Via WUSA9:

"The disturbing fact is that we do have that many kids who go missing in our city. And, it's been that way for a long time."

Then on Thursday, D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton and Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Rep. Cedric Richmond issued a letter, obtained by the Associated Press, asking Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director James Comey for help in locating the kids. 

It seems clear that social media platforms, including those of celebrities like Wall, are bringing fresh attention to an issue that might be old, but is as urgent as any we face. 

MORE WIZARDS: What has changed for Otto Porter?

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Bradley Beal still feels 'disrespected' by referees

Bradley Beal still feels 'disrespected' by referees

Back in December following a tough loss to the Clippers, Bradley Beal's frustration with the referees boiled over. 

"Honestly, [my frustration] is out the roof," Beal said that night. "It really is. It's really unfair and unacceptable that they allow a lot of stuff to go on with me out there and I do not calls. Period. It's just unacceptable."

Everything for the Wizards' offense this season starts and ends with Beal, and while he's averaging career-best scoring numbers, he remains frustrated at how he doesn't get to the foul line enough. 

In a 134-129 loss to the Heat Wednesday night, Beal went off for 38 points on 16-24 shooting to go with nine rebounds and four assists. He only had four free throw attempts, resulting in another postgame riff about how he and his team aren't officiated the same as others. 

“It’s kind of sad the way we get disrespected," he said. "Especially myself getting disrespected like I do because I attack the basket.”

Among 32 players who average at least 20 points, Beal ranks ninth in free throw attempts per game. The Wizards themselves are 14th in the NBA in free throw attempts per game. 

What had Beal particularly upset was not getting the whistle when he aggressively attacked the basket in the game's final moments.

"You can look at my last three drives and I got fouled on all three of them," he said. 

The NBA doesn't typically tolerate players and coaches openly criticizing referees after games. Beal knows he could be fined for his comments, so it shows just how frustrated the two-time All-Star is with how he's being called this season. 

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Former Washington Mystics All-Star Alana Beard retires after 14 seasons

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Former Washington Mystics All-Star Alana Beard retires after 14 seasons

One of the Washington Mystics' first stars is hanging up her shoes.

Alana Beard, who spent the first seven seasons of her professional career with the Mystics after Washington drafted her No. 2 overall in 2004, announced her retirement from the sport on Wednesday.

During her time in Washington, Beard made the All-Star team four times. Her best season with the Mystics was in 2006, where she averaged a career-high 19.1 points per game and won the Defensive Player of the Year award.

After missing nearly two years with multiple injuries, Beard signed with the Los Angeles Sparks during free agency in 2012, and spent the rest of her career out west. She won her first WNBA championship in 2016 with the Sparks, highlighted by her game-winning three-pointer in Game 1 of the Finals.

Congratulations on a great career, Alana!

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