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Ish Smith on death of 11-year-old Davon McNeal, gun violence in United States

Ish Smith on death of 11-year-old Davon McNeal, gun violence in United States

During a video conference call with reporters on Monday, Wizards point guard Ish Smith was asked about gun violence in the United States, specifically in light of the recent murder of 11-year-old Davon McNeal in Southeast Washington. Smith had heard of his passing and it hit quite close to home.

"His life is cut short at 11 years. I got a nephew right now who is 11 years old. He's 11 and I know the dreams and aspirations he wants and where he wants to get to," Smith said. 

McNeal was killed by a stray bullet on Saturday while attending a non-violence cookout organized by his mother. He was in the sixth grade at Kramer Middle School in Southeast.

McNeal's death is all too familiar for Smith, who has seen far to many cases just like this one.

"What could little man have done to avoid that? Like, we gotta do better," Smith said. "To see a child taken so young; I mean, my man won't even be able to see his 18th birthday, prom, graduation. There's just so much stuff... It shouldn't be at the hand of somebody else where they can't get to where they wanna get to because of a stray bullet or a shooting; whatever the case is. My heart hurts."

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Smith, who is deeply religious, said he is "constantly praying" for the violence to stop. He tries to do his part by speaking with troubled youth in North Carolina in the offseason.

He hopes more awareness can be raised for tragedies like McNeal's.

"[Kids] have to see a better example so they know what to do and what not to do so they can see a brighter future," Smith said.

There are no suspects in McNeal's murder at this time. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser is asking for the public's help with any leads.

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Rui Hachimura out for Wizards' season finale, bringing his strong rookie year to a close

Rui Hachimura out for Wizards' season finale, bringing his strong rookie year to a close

Rui Hachimura's rookie season ended abruptly on Thursday, as just before tipoff against the Boston Celtics it was announced he would miss the game due to soreness in his right quadriceps.

That put a bow on what was a strong rookie year for the 2019 ninth overall pick. Hachimura, 22, enters the offseason having averaged 13.5 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game. He shot 46.6 FG% from the field, 28.7% from three and 82.9% from the free throw line.

Hachimura proved to be one of the most consistent rookies in the NBA. He ranked sixth among rookies in scoring and third in rebounding.

There is now a strong likelihood Hachimura earns All-Rookie honors. If he does, he would be the first Wizards player to do so since Bradley Beal in 2013. Beal and John Wall are the only Wizards who have made All-Rookie since 2004.

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Hachimura's rookie season was full of positives, as he quickly emerged as a building block for the team moving forward. Next season, he will aim to expand the range on his jumpshot and to be a more reliable defensive player.

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And next season Hachimura figures to play an important role. He profiles as one of the team's top-four scoring options and will be relied upon to take pressure off of Wall and Beal as the team aims for a playoff berth.

This year was about player development. Next year will be about returning to the team's previous level as a perennial playoff contender. Hachimura will be a key ingredient in that effort.

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John Wall shares priceless workout video with his son, Ace

John Wall shares priceless workout video with his son, Ace

It's hard to imagine a better way to work out than how John Wall enjoyed his regimen Wednesday. 

Wall posted a video on Instagram doing pushups on a BOSU ball while his son, Ace looked on. All he wanted from his dad was a hug, though. 

It really doesn't get any better than that. 

Wall continues to work toward the 2020-21 season and his much-anticipated return to the floor after missing all of the 2019-20 campaign recovering from Achilles surgery. 

RELATED: GIANNIS SUSPENDED ONE GAME FOR HEADBUTTING MOE WAGNER

In his absence Bradley Beal became one of the most consistent and prolific scorers in the NBA, the Wizards found a gem in sharpshooter Davis Bertans and saw key developments from young players such as Troy Brown Jr., Thomas Bryant and Rui Hachimura. 

Wall will return to a much different Washington team next season than the one he was forced to leave midway through the 2018-19 season. From all accounts, he looks ready to give them the boost necessary to become a legitimate force in the Eastern Conference. 

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