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Wall pays visit to Simon Elementary

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Wall pays visit to Simon Elementary

The small gymnasium inside SimonElementary School on Mississippi Avenue inSoutheast D.C. buzzed with frenetic energy asthe clock ticked toward 9 a.m. Friday morning.
Parents lined the walls, cell phones in hand, and nearly 200students wiggled on the floor, anticipating the arrival of Wizards superstar JohnWall.When the gym doors swung open and the 6-foot-4, 205-pound guardentered the room, a thunderclap of cheers filled the gym.
It means everything to these kids, said Tyrone Pittman, whois in his first year as in-school suspension coordinator at Simon Elementary. Theyget to see someone just like them who is very successful taking the time out ofhis busy schedule to talk to them.Hes dressed in a pair of shorts, tennis shoes. It makesthe kids feel so comfortable that they can walk up to him, touch him and be apart of him.
Wall, 22, serves as an ambassador forBOKS Build Our Kids, a non-profit program in which schools provide studentswith 45 minutes of physical activity before starting their classroom schedules.
Wall signed autographs for thestudents but did not take part in their activities. Later on Friday he revealedhe has a stress injury to his left kneecap that will sideline him until the endof November.Wall, who grew up in Raleigh,N.C., participated in a similar BOKS programlast month at his hometown Hunter Elementary School andsays he wishes he had an early morning BOKS program when he was growing up.Sometimes you come in to school droopy, lazy, Wall said.I used to have to use chocolate milk at lunch time to get me energized. Thatwas too late during the day.When I was in middle school and high school I took P.E.class first so I could have fun and play some basketball. With BOKS youre havingfun and your bodys moving and youre enjoying yourself with your classmates beforeyou sit down for a long period of your day.Wall said it is imperative that kids today have a positive experiencewith school.The area where I grew up was a toughneighborhood, he said. Some of those kids see some bad things when theyre walkingup and down the street or at the playground playing. It was great to bringBOKS back there to Hunter. Now its great to bring it to D.C. Thats why Imhere.Pittman said the kids at Simon spent the past week learningmore about Wall and the path he took to the NBA.These kids also have challenges coming to school every day,but theyre here every day, Pittman said. This program keeps these kidshealthy, keeps them educated and its fun. And when you get a guy like JohnWall to drive it home it says it all.Clarence Barnes, 48, has three children at Simon Elementary son, Makel, 10, and daughters Janiya, 7, and Beatrice, 5. He spent the morningwatching his kids running circles around the Wizards star.This is a lot of fun, he said. Im happy to see someonetrying to give back to the community. When they see someone from the sportscommunity come to their school, it means a lot to them.

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Wizards plan to introduce Dwight Howard Monday

Wizards plan to introduce Dwight Howard Monday

Wizards team president Ernie Grunfeld has stayed relatively busy this summer crafting his new-look lineup for the 2018-19 season. 

One of the team's key additions, Dwight Howard, is set to be introduced as a member of the Wizards on Monday. 

NBC Sports Washington will air the introductory press conference live at 1 p.m. while also streaming it online.  

Ernie Grunfeld and head coach Scott Brooks are both expected to be in attendance. 

The 32-year-old big man is coming off a 2017-18 season with the Charlotte Hornets in which he averaged 16.6 points and 12.5 rebounds per game. 

Since leaving the Orlando Magic after eight seasons in 2011, Howard has played for four different teams in the last six years. 

Howard is an eight-time all-star and a three-time defensive player of the year. 

 

RELATED LINKS: 

John Wall's take on Dwight Howard 

Wizards make Dwight Howard free agent signing official 

By the numbers: Is new Wizards center Dwight Howard still in his NBA prime? 

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Carmelo Anthony traded to Hawks in three-team deal, but not likely to stay

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Carmelo Anthony traded to Hawks in three-team deal, but not likely to stay

The stage has been set for Carmelo Anthony to hit free agency, as the 10-time All-Star was traded to the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday in a three-team deal, one that will lead to a subsequent buyout of his contract. ESPN first reported the news and noted that the Rockets are the favorites to sign him.

The full deal sends Dennis Schroder from the Hawks to the Thunder in exchange for Anthony and a protected first-round pick, and sends Mike Muscala from Atlanta to Philly. Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot will go to the Thunder from Philly and Justin Anderson will go from the Sixers to the Hawks.

That's a complicated deal, but it ultimately frees Anthony up to choose a new team. He was set to make $27.9 million from the Thunder next season, but the Hawks are footing the bill to let him walk.

Anthony's skills have declined now that he's 34 years old. Last season, he averaged 16.2 points on 40.4 percent shooting, way down from the 22.4 points he averaged the season before with the Knicks.

Still, Anthony could help a team looking for a scoring punch and the Rockets would like some more help in their quest to take down the Warriors. If he signs there, he will join friend Chris Paul and the 2017-18 MVP, James Harden. 

Houston has been the logical landing spot for Anthony ever since news broke that the Thunder were looking for a way out of his contract. If he doesn't go there, perhaps the Lakers would make sense. LeBron James is going to need a lot more help than the roster he currently has around him to make some noise in the crowded Western Conference.

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