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Rashard Higgins will be gone this time, Case Keenum's looming bonus, Ronnie Harrison's status

INDIANAPOLIS — The Browns continue to meet with agents from their current players here at the NFL combine in preparation for free agency beginning March 16. The Browns will also have a good idea of ​​what unrestricted free agents are from other... (Author: Gardener)

Rashard HigginsCleveland Browns wide receiver Rashard Higgins is hanging on a first-down reception when he is hit by Green Bay Packers free safety Darnell Savage in the first half at Lambeau Field. INDIANAPOLIS — The Browns continue to meet with agents from their current players here at the NFL combine in preparation for free agency beginning March 16. The pre-negotiation period runs March 14-16, and during that window some of the upcoming Browns free agents will test the waters and set their market price. The Browns will also have a good idea of ​​what unrestricted free agents they might land from other teams or what trades they will be chasing. Here's the latest on some of the Browns' free agents and some other players. 1. Rashard Higgins is really gone this time Higgins has had nine lives since he was drafted by the Browns from Colorado State in 2016, but his career here is over, a league source told cleveland.com. Higgins' agents are set to meet with the team on Thursday, but the two sides are expected to agree to part ways and he'll enter the free agent market. It's been a bad year for Higgins, bottoming out on November 28 when he was a healthy scratch for the Ravens game. In a season when Baker Mayfield was struggling, it seemed strange that the Browns were no longer using one of his favorites, but something was obviously wrong. Higgins was fifth on the team with 24 receptions, fifth with 275 yards and catching just one TD pass. In 2020, he finished second on the team with four touchdowns on just 46 catches. Higgins, who spent 2019 in Freddie Kitchens' kennel, has reappeared in seasons when he's been all but gone, but this time it's looking like a goodbye. The Browns will likely make a decision about Keenum soon as a $1 million roster bonus is due on March 19. His 2022 cap hit is $8.43 million, including a base of $6.1 million, a $1 million roster bonus, and his prorated signing bonus. Unless the Browns sign another veteran quarterback like Mitch Trubisky, they could bring Keenum back to $8.43 million since Baker Mayfield is signed for just $18.86 million, and those two salaries add up less than what most top starters earn. If they sign a Trubisky or other veteran, they release Keenum and save $7.1 million on the cap. With so many openings in the NFL, Keenum is expected to quickly match another team if the Browns let him go. The Browns will likely get Harrison thanks to the acquisition of John Johnson III last offseason, the emergence of Grant Delpit from the second round of 2020 and excellent play from MJ Stewart, which the Browns will look to extend before he hits the market come, let go. Harrison, who started 11 of his 12 games, finished the season ranked 59th among qualifying safes, according to Pro Football Focus. For comparison, Johnson finished 35th in his 13 games, including three starts, Delpit 50th and Stewart fifth. Also for comparison, Andrew Senderjo, ex-Browns and current Colts safetyman who got so much heat here in 2020, was 52nd. The Browns don't have to defensively tackle Malik McDowell following his offseason arrest because he's a free agent exclusive. The Browns have been involved in making sure McDowell gets the help he needs and that is their main concern at the moment. Operating within the team structure, he thrived and had a promising season. Meanwhile, the Browns will be looking for defensive tackle reinforcements. The Browns would like to re-sign Chris Hubbard, who is retiring from surgery to repair a torn triceps and is a free agent. The Browns want Hubbard to be their swing tackle in 2022 to assist right tackle Jack Conklin and left tackle Jedrick Wills Jr. With Conklin recovering from surgery to repair a torn patella and Wills' 2021 season marred by an ankle injury, the Browns need a solid swinger. They will also continue to develop James Hudson III for the fourth round of 2021. He attempted to play on it but soon required surgery. The Browns obviously appreciate their two-time Pro Bowler, but there's no sense of urgency in going through with his overtime. He's signed next season with his $13.294 million option offer, and the Browns can work on more immediate and pressing issues before finalizing Ward's deal. They've been in touch with his agents but will likely sort out freelance and other matters early in the league year and see where the dust settles on the cap. Ideally, they'll make it before the season starts, but it could potentially take until 2022. Mayfield Matrix: All stories and podcasts are here. What's up with Derek Carr: Assessing the QB market Stefanski knows the passing game needs a spark What's up with Russell Wilson: Assessing the QB market Garrett Wilson's ties to Mayfield aren't why he should be a Brown: Lesmerises What's going on with Aaron Rodgers: Assessing the QB market Combine RBs: What you need to know Combine OL: What you need to know Browns should consider Trubisky as a Mayfield backup or challenger: Cabot

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Is Japanese Oscar-nominated 'Drive My Car' streaming? What you should know

A couple of nominees, including West Side Story, are coming to HBO Max shortly. (Author: Gardener)

JapaneseBest Products Best Cordless Vacuum Cleaner Best Laptop Best Mattress Best Meal Kit Delivery Service Best Streaming Service Best VPN Best Affordable Cars Best Electric Cars Best Family Cars Best Fuel Efficient Cars Best Luxury SUVs Best Mid-Size SUVs Best Small SUVs Best SUVs Best Tech Cars Best Used Cars Best Used Cars Best Auto Products Best Car Battery Charger Best Car Cover Best Car Vacuum Cleaner Best Portable Jump Starter Best Portable Tire Inflator All Deals Best Apple Watch Deals Best Laptop Deals Best Macbook Deals Best Mattress Deals Best Meal Kit Deals Best TV Deals Best VPN Deals CNET editors vote the products and services we write about. Is Japanese Oscar-nominated 'Drive My Car' streaming? A couple of nominees, including West Side Story, are coming to HBO Max shortly. Drive My Car is nominated for Best Picture. March is here, which means the 94th Academy Awards is on the horizon. If you've yet to find out about this year's nominees -- and get your predictions in order -- this list is for you. A large proportion of this year's Oscar-nominated films are already available on streaming services. Two of the best picture contenders, West Side Story and Drive my Car, arrive on HBO Max on March 2nd. Here are the nominees available with a streaming subscription, and those you can stream separately for a fee. The winners will be announced on March 27th. Two low-level astronomers must embark on a massive media tour to warn humanity of an approaching comet that will destroy Earth. On the cusp of his 30th birthday, a promising young theater composer navigates love, friendship and the pressures of life as an artist in New York City. A quirky, dysfunctional family's road trip is turned upside down when they find themselves in the midst of the robot apocalypse and suddenly become humanity's most unlikely last hope. A woman's beach vacation takes a dark turn as she begins to confront issues from her past. A domineering rancher reacts with mock cruelty when his brother brings home a new wife and their son, until the unexpected occurs. After the unexpected death of his wife, Yusuke Kafuku, a well-known stage actor and director, receives an offer to direct a production of Uncle Vanya in Hiroshima. There he begins to confront the haunting secrets left behind by his wife. It was love at first sight when young Tony spotted Maria at a high school prom in New York City in 1957. While you can't stream Stephen Spielberg's West Side Story adaptation just yet, stay tuned for its March 2 release on Disney Plus and HBO Max. During her Christmas vacation with the royal family at the Sandringham estate in Norfolk, England, Diana Spencer struggles with mental health issues and decides to end her decades-long marriage to Prince Charles. A successful academic in Denmark is confronted with a secret from his past before he is about to marry his longtime boyfriend. An ambitious showman with a talent for manipulating people with a few well-chosen words meets a psychiatrist who is even more dangerous than he is. Emma Stone stars in this live-action prequel feature film and follows a young Cruella de Vil. A Colombian teenage girl faces the frustration of being the only member of her family without magical powers. On the Italian Riviera, an unlikely but powerful friendship develops between a human and a sea monster disguised as a human. In a realm called Kumandra, a reinvented earth inhabited by an ancient civilization, a warrior named Raya is determined to find the last dragon. Martial arts master Shang-Chi confronts the past he thought he left behind when he is drawn into the web of the mysterious Ten Rings Organization. On Disney Plus and HBO Max, his ambitious wife will do whatever it takes to support him in his plans to seize power. As CODA (Child of Deaf Adults), Ruby is the only hearing person in her family. When the family's fishing business is threatened, Ruby is torn between her love of music and her fear of leaving her parents. The captivating film Ascension explores the pursuit of the "Chinese Dream". This observational documentary presents a contemporary vision of China that prioritizes productivity and innovation above all else. In 1952, Hollywood power couple Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz face personal and professional obstacles that threaten their careers, their relationship, and their hit TV show. African monarch Akeem learns he has a long-lost son in the United States and must return to America to meet this unexpected heir and begin a relationship with his son. Available for Sale or Rent James Bond has been enjoying a quiet life in Jamaica since retiring from active duty. However, his peace is short-lived when his old CIA friend Felix Leiter shows up asking for help. You can rent No Time to Die for $6 or buy the film for $20 from services like Amazon, Vudu, and iTunes. Paul Atreides, a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his comprehension, must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to secure the future of his family and people. Dune debuted in theaters and on HBO Max day in, day out, but has since left the streaming service. It should return to HBO Max at some point in the future, but if you can't wait you can rent or buy it for as little as $6 or $13 from services like Amazon, Vudu, and iTunes. A semi-autobiographical film chronicling the life of a working class family and the childhood of their young son during the riots of the late 1960s in the Northern Irish capital. Belfast is available for $20 from services like Amazon, Vudu, and iTunes. A look at how tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams became who they are through the coaching of their father Richard Williams. Like Dune, King Richard debuted in theaters and on HBO Max but has since left the streaming service. It should return to HBO Max in the future, but in the meantime, you can pick it up for $20 from vendors like Amazon, Vudu, and iTunes. The story of Alana Kane and Gary Valentine as they grew up, walked around and met their first love in the San Fernando Valley in 1973. Licorice Pizza is available for $20 on services like Vudu and iTunes. 2022 movies from Marvel, Netflix, DC and more

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Will we ever get over our first love?

FIRST relationships can be intense and passionate and inspire a lot of bad poetry. (Author: Gardener)

firstFIRST relationships can be intense and passionate and inspire a lot of bad poetry. They often say that first love cuts the deepest, and in a way, that may actually be quite true. The intensity of first love can often be all consuming and the pang of that first heartbreak can last for years. Given how difficult it can be to move away from a first love, it's only natural to wonder how those memories and experiences might translate into your future relationships. Can we ever forget our first love? Can we really put that first painful heartbreak behind us and not allow our future relationships to be marred by this one unique experience of our youth? The smitten hosts of the Sunday Vibes @ NST podcast reminisce to relive their first love, first lovesickness - and more! The Sunday Vibes podcast is available on Audio+. Download the app to listen to this episode and all future episodes, and to access other great content from the Media Prima Audio stable. AH yes, the thrill of falling in love for the first time and the joys of a young romance! The beginnings of first love are always exhilarating, dizzying and unforgettable. Looking back, I can't help but think how my first love story reads like a tragic teenage movie. Once upon a time, a big city girl (me) moved to a small northern town and fell in love with a young man. Funny how love was found in strange places even then. They fell in love, but for reasons beyond their control, it didn't last. They were too young and came from two separate worlds. The girl's heart broke in pieces and she left. But as inexplicable as it may sound, some memories refuse to fade with time. The young man grew up, as did the girl. He married and had a beautiful family. The girl had a great career and a dog. He left without saying goodbye and her heart was broken into pieces again. This is the story of my first love. We never forget our first love, and to be honest, a small part of our heart stays with our past romantic experiences. I will never forget the memory of that small town boy, but I am more grateful for the life experiences that came after that first heartbreak. First love is wonderful, but I'm choosing my life today - heartbreak and all! I definitely CAN remember the first time I fell in love. It was like one of those thunderclap moments you usually see in romantic movies. I was only 13 but thought I knew what true love felt like. The object of my desire was none other than Michael Corleone, aka Al Pacino, in the American crime epic The Godfather. The sudden movement that started from, uh, somewhere the moment I saw Don Vito Corleone's youngest son, Michael, a hero of the 2nd Conni. For years I had neither the stomach - nor the eyes - for any living, breathing male species that crossed my path during my teenage years. Kononnya, I was determined to stay true to my love for Michael. I swore to myself I wouldn't be interested unless there was a man half as smart and broodingly handsome as young Al Pacino. Long story short, that dedication lasted until I turned 19 and was a sophomore of college life. But this time it would prove stronger. My first "real" love was nothing like the dark and brooding Michael Corleone. After all, alongside his fellow students, he was also a trained boxer in his free time! I still remember the first time I got rejected. I guess some people call it puppy love, but for me it was my first time falling in love with someone. It is the perfect description of someone who is in love - the butterflies in your stomach and spending all your waking moments and nights thinking about the other person. Although my first experience didn't have a fairytale or Disney-like ending, I was still lucky to be able to love. We humans tend to forget that one of our most important and innate abilities is to love and be loved. As I got older, I learned that love has a deeper meaning. Today I am still searching for love but I am proud to say that I have loved and accepted the love of many people. Love can be shared in many forms. There is more than just romantic love. So why not spread the love!

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FBI identifies six persons of interest with "racial motivation" in HBCU bomb threat case

The FBI has identified six people of interest in connection with its investigation into a series of bomb threats against HBCUs. (Author: Gardener)

FBIAccording to MSNBC, federal investigators have identified six people of interest in connection with their investigation into a series of bomb threats made at HBCUs across the country earlier this week. At least 13 historically black colleges and universities confirmed receiving bomb threats Tuesday, previously reported by theGrio. Another six received similar threats on Monday. Additional threats were received by several HBCUs in early January. The people of interest recently identified by the FBI are all "tech-savvy" youths who have concealed how they call schools when they receive threats, NBC News correspondent Ron Allen told MSNBC on Wednesday. "You appear to have a racist motive," Allen said, citing a senior FBI official. More than 20 FBI field offices across the country are involved in the investigation into the HBCU bomb threat, the bureau said in a statement Wednesday. "These threats are being investigated as racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism and hate crimes," the FBI said. “We are working closely with our law enforcement partners at the local, state and federal levels. coordination with the target institutions; and meetings with academic and religious leaders to share information.” Several HBCUs were forced to close their campuses after receiving threats Monday and Tuesday. No explosives were found in any of the HBCUs that received threats, the FBI said. White House officials and President Joe Biden have been overseeing the investigation, Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Monday. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and André Carson (D-Ind.) emailed theGrio Monday that they have requested more information from the FBI about the bomb threats. "There is no denying the surge in racially motivated violent extremism and the threat it poses to our nation," lawmakers said in a joint emailed statement to theGrio. "We will remain focused on ensuring that all appropriate resources are deployed to identify and prosecute the perpetrators of these threats and to combat the scourge of white racial violence and terrorism." The FBI is asking the public for information about the Bomb threats, report them to law enforcement, call a local FBI office, or send your tip to tips.fbi.gov.

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Patrick Roberts suffers after Celtic tailspin as Wayne Rooney inspiration fails to stem career turning point

The winger was hooked for Sunderland reserves in a defeat by Stoke City as his nightmare continues. (Author: Gardener)

Patrick RobertsMercurial Patrick Roberts was the player all big clubs wanted as a youngster. Now, at just 25, he's the man who can't even make a difference in League One. The old joke about making it at Stoke on a cold, rainy night took on a slightly different meaning for Roberts. He wasn't at Stoke but faced them for Sunderland on Monday night. But it wasn't even the Potters' first team, it was the second string. And the answer was that he couldn't make it as he was hooked for the Black Cats' second string in a 3-0 loss in the Premier League 2 game. It was a spectacular fall from grace for the player who showed so much promise, certainly during his first loan spell when he was loaned to Celtic from Manchester City. City have spent £11m for the man nicknamed 'Mini Messi' in Fulham's ranks and have been described as 'extraordinary' by Felix Magath, who gave him his Premier League debut. Brendan Rodgers got the best of him as the player scored during a Champions League game against his parent club at the Etihad. But it has been five loans since his time at Parkhead and he finds himself out of the first-team picture under Alex Neil, who recently took over the Stadium of Light. Here, Record Sport Online examines what was said by managers during his loan spells when his career went into a downward spiral. But he saw little use, making just six starts in 19 appearances, with his loan eventually being called off. When asked in April 2019 if his loan extension would be extended, head coach Eusebio Sacristan said: "Patrick Roberts is not in the squad. "There are other players on the team who I think are better and there's no point in going into more detail." Ouch! Another loan move that was abruptly called off this time after making just three top-flight substitutions for the Canary Islands. Then boss Daniel Farke said: "He wasn't happy with his playing time so using January to allow that move was best. The winger was allowed to leave Carrow Road with interest from Teeside in the January window but it proved a terrible half-time at Riverside. Neil Warnock couldn't give him the playing time he wanted as Roberts just couldn't impress and it was another reduced loan period. He only started five games in total and was often not substituted. "I just couldn't bring him into the team in a position where I felt like we didn't have a better alternative. After his loan to Teeside ended, Roberts made the move to the Rams and once again the move didn't do boss Wayne Rooney later said: "I spoke to him (Patrick Roberts) this morning. We had breakfast and I walked over and said to Patrick, 'You haven't scored a goal all season, so today cut your left foot inwards and whip it in the top corner!' A change of country, but no change of fate , as France were having a miserable time with just two appearances. His loan deal was canceled allowing him to move to Sunderland where he eventually made a permanent move but things haven't changed.

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Daily horoscope for Wednesday, March 2nd

Moon Alert There are no restrictions on shopping or making important decisions today. The moon is in Pisces. Aries (March 21 - April 19) Today you may seek advice from someone older or wiser. (Probably a good decision.) Still, when you hear their advice, you might be critical or have doubts about its accuracy or usefulness. (Author: Gardener)

Wednesday, March 2ndYou are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience. Today there are no restrictions when shopping or making important decisions. You might seek advice from someone older or wiser today. (Probably a good decision.) Still, when you hear their advice, you might be critical or have doubts about its accuracy or usefulness. Be careful because it is easy to fall into negative thinking today. Discussions with parents, bosses, teachers and VIPs might be a bit difficult today. Perhaps you feel protected about what you know and are reluctant to share it? This is a fantastic day to study because your mind is focused and disciplined today. You will learn a lot because you have the motivation and perseverance to persevere, even if it's a bit boring. You feel financially conservative today. You may want to guard something or check the details of joint property, inheritance and anything you have in common with someone else. You want to make sure everything is correct and that you're getting a fair deal. Be careful because today it is easy to focus on other people's faults. (It's just the end of the telescope you happen to be looking through.) None of us are perfect. You might say goodbye to someone today. You will be productive at work or whatever you do today because you do not overlook details and work with care and caution. It's a good day to study the finer details of a plan because you're more concerned with the little things than the big picture. This is an excellent day to improve a skill in the performing arts or sports as you will have the diligence, patience and perseverance to keep doing something until you improve and get better at it. ("How do you get into Carnegie Hall?" "Practice!") Perhaps today you're having a serious talk with a parent or an older family member because of practical matters. You may be making plans for the future on how to secure things at home so that you feel safe for the future. "And they lived happily ever after." Today your critical faculty is sharp! This is because both Mercury and Saturn line up in your house of communication (and thought). You have a fine discernment today, which may make you somewhat critical. You don't waste things. (Especially money.) Today you are more conservative than usual about money and possessions. This is a good day to start thinking about budgets and financial plans for the future. Communicating with others today might be a bit stiff or stilted because Mercury is aligned with Saturn. You may feel protected about information you know. You might say goodbye to someone today. This is an excellent day for you to do your research because you will be like a dog with a bone. Your mind is disciplined, focused and persistent. Despite this, you might fall into negative thinking, especially about your own mistakes or the mistakes of others. Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your life. If Today Is Your Birthday Actor Daniel Craig (1968) shares Today is Your Birthday. Family and close friends are important to you. You have a highly developed psychic sense, whether you know it or not. This year your focus is on partners and close friends. Take time for yourself so you can find what makes you happy.

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What's up today? Your daily horoscope for Wednesday March 2nd, 2022

The new moon is here to give you a fresh start. (Author: Gardener)

todayThe new moon is here to give you a fresh start (Image: Getty/Metro.co.uk) Today's new moon is in Pisces, but what does that mean for your sign? Today is all about new beginnings and change, especially for Leo and Libra. In the meantime, it could provide some much-needed perspective for Capricorn. This time of new beginnings is the right moment to take things to the next level. Knowing what you want can be an opportunity to plant the seed of an idea and make it bloom for months to come. Here's everything you need to know about being an Aries. The new moon in your dream sector can inspire you to achieve a goal. Your imagination can be powerful, and focusing your attention on what you want and visualizing it can set forces in motion that will bring together whatever is required of your plan. Here's everything you need to know about being a Taurus. Make an announcement with today's sun moon tie. And you get ahead faster when you know exactly what you want to achieve and let creative forces shape your plans. Here's everything you need to know about being twins. You may crave new experiences and be drawn to a place or interest that has mystical or healing potential. Here's everything you need to know about living as a Cancer. The new moon in your finance and business sector is one of the better times to initiate new developments. Whether you want to consolidate your position or start in a new direction, this is an opportunity to get started and gain momentum. Here's everything you need to know about life as a lion. Perhaps you are ready to take a relationship to the next level and today's Pisces New Moon is the perfect time to do so. And since it's also aligned with Uranus and Jupiter, a new romance could kick in and feel like a dream come true. This phase of the moon is also great for creative collaboration. Here's everything you need to know about living as a Virgo. Are you ready to change your routines? Today's Pisces new moon could make you very aware of what helps and what hinders. Stay the course as an ethereal influence suggests you start out with good intentions and could lose motivation. If you need some relaxation, make it part of your routine. Here's everything you need to know about being a Libra. Enjoy the new moon as it can be a call to develop a hobby, skill or talent. This could also be a good time to start a small business. You may need to clarify an issue first so that you can devote more energy to getting your plans underway. Here's everything you need to know about being a Scorpio. The new moon in your home zone could be one of the best times to start DIY projects. You are drawn to ideas that give your home a welcoming look. And maybe a brilliant idea will come to you just when you need it to transform a dreary room into a place where you can happily spend hours. Here's everything you need to know about life as a Sagittarius. If you've been caught up in some drama of your own making, today's new moon could come to the rescue and give you a fresh perspective. A mindset shift could help you take charge of this matter, especially when it seems a bit difficult to handle. Here's everything you need to know about being a Capricorn. Embrace the new moon as it could be an opportunity to take a business idea or financial plan to the next level. Here's everything you need to know about life as an Aquarius. Your dreams can invade your waking hours as the new moon stimulates your imagination to play a part in your plans. This is an excellent time to set your intentions for this year. Here's everything you need to know about being a Pisces. To check your forecast, go to our dedicated horoscope page. To order your unique personal horoscope based on your birth time, date and place visit patrickarundell.com

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How OSU's Moussa Cisse rediscovered his motivation after the death of his mother

The OSU Center Moussa Cisse came to the United States from West Africa when he was 14, leaving his mother and five sisters with dreams of a better education. Then he found basketball and started getting bigger and bigger. He dreamed of helping his mother by reaching the NBA. She died in December. Now that's his goal (Author: Gardener)

OSUSTILLWATER - Moussa Cisse believed his basketball career was over after hearing the news of Mike Boynton and his family. Boynton, sitting at his desk with Cisse's family over the speakerphone, offered a shoulder to cry on and room to vent. Cisse had seen her in person once in the last five years. Cisse was devastated. "I really played for them," Cisse said. A few hours later, Cisse got dressed and sat on the cowboys' bench. He played 3 minutes and 2 seconds of the overtime win against Cleveland State on December 13. "You can't stop me, right?": How Oklahoma State's Moussa Cisse improved on offense in basketball didn't matter. It only helped to keep him around people because he felt alone. Cisse wanted to make his home in Conakry, Guinea, where his six siblings were waiting for him. He still had something to play for - his mother's legacy. "I'm not going to come this far just to drop everything," Cisse said. "If I do that, she will never be proud of me. She just wanted me to keep playing. If I don't play basketball I don't get a scholarship and she wanted me to graduate. I still have to make her proud by doing what she asked me to do." When the Cowboys wrap up their street plan Wednesday night in Iowa State, OSU's 7-foot center will take to the field with a newfound purpose, the led to a rapid rise in the second half of the season. He honors his mother's dream by pursuing his own. She wanted Cisse to go to school and be happy. Basketball does both. It has led him to the Cowboys where he has become a bright spot in a dark season. "It shows the courage to keep moving forward and stay positive at this age," said Cisse's brother Zay Bah. But he has the courage to wake up every day and keep doing it to make sure she's proud of him." Moussa Cisse would often rush to his door after waking up, eager but nervous to stand next to the marked frame. His new life in America was already challenging. Cisse had left home a few months earlier in 2015 and moved away from his mother with dreams of improving his life. He wanted to go home. And suddenly growing to 6 feet, 9 inches at such a young age didn't help. "I was a bit scared at first," said Cisse. "I didn't want to be that big." He didn't want to be viewed differently by others. However, being different is not a bad thing. Cisse was unique. He grew up with football and loved it. But as he grew, it became apparent that basketball could be a better path. His cousin Mohamed Hady was the first to notice and called Zay Bah. On a summer's day in 2015, the three sat down and planned a way forward. OSU at Iowa State Men's Basketball: How to Watch, Lineups, What You Should Know, Live Updates Bah, now 36, played basketball at Birmingham Southern College before playing professionally overseas for a dozen years. Cisse planned to train with both for a year before moving around the world for a high school and college education — and playing a sport he still hadn't fully grasped. Cisse's mother, Saran Kante, agreed to the plan as long as her youngest of seven children received his education. The temporary rims often had to be adjusted after a game. But the duo still taught Cisse the basics. When he moved to New York City as an eighth grader and lived with Bah's former teammate BJ McFarlin, Cisse had never played an organized basketball game. He struggled with English even though he could speak three other languages. His first basketball game was a weird adventure. Cisse didn't understand the jump ball. He had never seen an inbound game. In AAU, he began to impress as his size even forced him to play a year over his age. His English improved with basketball. Cisse enrolled for his freshman year at St. Benedict's Prep in Newark, New Jersey, playing with future first-round draft pick Precious Achiuwa. Tramel's ScissorTales: Why Saturday's historic day of excitement is good for Big 12 basketball Tramel's ScissorTales: Why Saturday's historic day of excitement is good for Big 12 basketball Cisse then transferred to Christ the King Regional High School in Middle Village, New York. As a sophomore, Cisse and future Illinois star Kofi Cockburn led the team to the 2019 state championship game. Cisse also became a star on the Nike EYBL circuit, where he averaged a double-double and finished the league with Led 4.5 blocks per game. "I was shocked to be honest," Bah said. "I didn't know he was going to be like this, a kid who was 6-7, 6-8 (when he arrived in the States) and didn't know a lot of basketball under his belt." Cisse only got better as he prepared for his junior season went to Memphis. McFarlin moved to California and there was no school nearby that could accommodate Cisse with his international status. So Bah moved with his brother to live with William Anderson, a college friend and Division II LeMoyne-Owen coach. Cisse enrolled at the Lausanne Collegiate School, which future NBA players Marc Gasol and Cameron Payne attended. Cisse became a dominant player and five-star recruit. While leading Lausanne to a state title, he hit 17 triple-doubles early in the season, including a remarkable performance of 31 points, 22 rebounds and 21 blocks. Cisse had arrived - thanks to his size. "I found out how important it is to be tall," Cisse said. Sophomore year, junior year, I was like, 'Damn, I'm really blessed' because it's really helped me be a good athlete because I'm tall." Mike Boynton had never really met Moussa Cisse before last summer. Last season in Memphis he was the American Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year. Boynton believed that Cisse would thrive with the Cowboys. And Cisse needed a fresh start after retiring from the NBA draft. Boynton gave Cisse his space as he processed the news of his mother's death. Boynton knew Cisse could step away from basketball for a short time or forever. Either way, Boynton had to help. Boynton made sure Cisse returned home for the funeral, even though he feared he might not be able to return soon due to COVID-19 international travel restrictions. That was secondary because Cisse was with his five sisters, brother and other family members. "We're trying to protect their minds and their hearts because they're young," Boynton said. That didn't make things any easier. Getting Cisse back on course was difficult. "Not no follower": How Bryce Williams grew up with the OSU men's basketball program over two years "Not no follower": How Bryce Williams grew up with the OSU men's basketball program over two years Boynton checked Cisse daily. But when the time came and Cisse returned, Boynton was ready to help even more. "You have to get him to stop thinking it was just because of his mother," Boyton said. Cisse began to find peace on and off the pitch. He's happy again. Both Cisse and Zay Bah believe it's possible because of Boynton. "I feel like showing love to someone is priceless," Bah said. “He did a lot more than he should as a coach. 'We just weren't ourselves': How a bad start to the day got worse for OSU in Bedlam overtime loss Moussa Cisse recalls last time he saw his mother The journey home two years ago should have taken much longer. On the second day of a two-week trip, President Donald Trump announced that America's borders would be closed because of the coronavirus. Cisse, then still in high school, had to return. So Cisse and Saran Kante went out to eat. They returned home and watched a movie. "I just remember that we used to talk to each other," Cisse said. I didn't even know it would be the last time I saw her.” No other person will have such a big impact on Cisse. Cisse said his mother was a "beautiful person". She has always helped others. "I'm a role model for her," Cisse said. "All my life I saw her, she always worked hard and cared about other people. It was really crazy because that's how I try to be." Cisse was aware of his mother's illness in December. Even through the pain, that released something in Cisse. "Now I feel like I'm alone," Cisse said. I have to think differently. I have to do everything differently than other people because they have their parents. I have no parents. The only parents I have are my sisters and my brothers. "I feel like I'm the hope of the family. I have to do everything differently. I feel like that helped me a lot to focus on the pitch, focus off the pitch and do everything differently than what I was doing. Cisse concentrated even more in the second half of the season. And with the cowboys he became a star. At the beginning of the season he struggled offensively. In his last 10 games, he's averaged 3.7 points and 1.8 more rebounds than his first 10. He's become a high-flying force on both ends. Because of this, it's unclear if he will return to OSU next season, though Cisse is open to a second season in orange and black. "You can't break bridges," Cisse said. "I know I have a lot to learn. I won't rush anything.” Cisse is ahead for his age. That will be an issue when Cisse and Bah meet Boynton about the future next week. There Boynton will provide guidance and accept what happens next. "In my humble opinion -- and I'm not a GM or a scout -- I think he has some things that he needs to keep working on, whether he's here or he decides to drop out of school," Boynton said. “Ultimately it is his decision and I will still support him. He'll arrive exactly when he's supposed to.” Once he does, Cisse will continue to honor his mother. He wants to open a school at home, which his mother has always dreamed of. He wants to prove that he can be successful. "All she wanted was for me to make it," Cisse said. "She didn't want me to do it for the money. She wanted me to do it because she saw that I'm happy every time I play basketball. She thought I could have helped a lot of people with that.”

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The Lakers' second-half rally falls short against the Mavericks

LeBron James helps the Lakers erase a 21-point deficit with a strong third quarter, but Luka Doncic and Dallas dominate late, giving them their 10th loss in 13 games. (Author: Gardener)

second-halfLOS ANGELES — After a lifeless performance Sunday night, the Lakers needed some sort of sign to show they're still kicking. On Tuesday night against the Dallas Mavericks, they ran to the bottom, defended, and came back from a big hole. A crowd that had booed them two nights earlier returned to their side as they led by six points against a credible opponent midway through the fourth quarter. But that brief surge was surpassed by the cold, methodical approach of Luka Doncic, who moved the Lakers defense like chess pieces and whose stepback jump shot just didn't have a counter. "I don't know if you can do a better job for Luka than we can tonight," coach Frank Vogel said after the Lakers held the 23-year-old Slovenia star in 9-for-21 shooting but couldn't hold him at the end up. But they still need a win after falling to the Mavericks, 109-104, their third straight loss since the All-Star Break. The ninth-ranked Lakers are just two games away from completely losing their position for a play-in tournament spot and have lost 10 of their last 13 games. Doncic (25 points) and Jalen Brunson (22 points) helped the Mavericks pull past the Lakers despite a third quarter in which the Lakers beat them 31-14, making it possible for the hosts to end their losing streak could. But they ended up being snuffed out by a team that - last seen them - had beaten them with a game winner in overtime. The Mavericks held them to just four points this time in the final 7:35 of the fourth quarter, with former Lakers assistant Jason Kidd showing them how to close down defense in crunch time. LeBron James scored a game-high 26 points and cheered up the crowd with a 9-for-14 start from the field, but he too struggled at the wrong time and only took one shot in that cold fourth quarter streak -- a dunk at 13, 3 seconds to go after the game was all but decided. He missed two shots and gave up a turnover in the final at 2:35 when Doncic closed shop. Twice Malik Monk switched to layups in the dying minutes while Carmelo Anthony missed late 3-point shots from the wing. "We literally missed shots," James said. "I mean, you can execute, you can execute the best games ever, but the ball has to go in." Anthony added 20 points from the bench and helped take the Lakers' 14-for-34 shooting performance from 3 points - Lead range. Monk had 17 points and Russell Westbrook had 12, but the two starting supervisors combined just shot 10 for 31 from the field. "I just need to get better overall," Westbrook said, banging his fist on the podium after the game while staring at the stat sheet. After a 28-point loss to New Orleans on Sunday night, the Lakers had hit a new low and were loudly booed for most of the second half. In the first half against Dallas, it looked like the follow-up was headed in the same direction: The Lakers were as much as 21 points behind in the second quarter, with a disjointed offense and weakly contested close-outs on defense. Another dead night in the water suddenly changed direction during a stint led by James, who led a 26-9 run on his shift in the third quarter. His recently cold 3-ball warmed up as he hit three in the third quarter alone — most notably a shot from the “S” of the Lakers midcourt logo that enlivened the Crypto.com Arena. Substituted 82-80 with the Lakers up front after going into halftime 15 points down, James collapsed on the bench with a smile as injured big man Anthony Davis (in street clothes) picked him up praised. But the Lakers' best attribute during that period was defense: The Mavericks shot just 6 for 19 in the third while spitting out seven turnovers for the Lakers to turn the tide. Vogel credited a smaller lineup — starting with Monk, Stanley Johnson and Austin Reaves — for giving the Lakers a chance. "There are actually many benefits to having them disrupt their pick-and-roll attack rhythm by switching," he said. The surest sign that some of the frost had melted away came in the fourth quarter when James faced Dallas' Reggie Bullock. James was captured along with Westbrook and Trevor Ariza on Sunday night while munching with a fan on the sidelines. “Listen, I ride or die with the Laker faithful to make them boo, I'm with them; they scream I'm with them," he said. The Lakers have their next chance to end their slide game Thursday night against the Clippers, whom they are 3-0 this season. How much the Lakers themselves can stay together depends on the next games. James and Westbrook still said they believe the team can do something special despite looking as vulnerable as they've looked in recent weeks. "Until you knock me out, cut off my head, bury me 12 feet underground, then I have a chance," James said. Of course at the end of the day we have to come in here and win ball games and we have to play better. But as long as we have more games to play, we still have a chance." LeBron James talks about the importance of the #Lakers reacting to this loss vs. "I need to get better overall. What I'm doing right now isn't good enough.” Russell Westbrook after a 5-17 shooting night in the #Lakers loss to Dallas. pic.twitter.com/mgM55WBaxT

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LeBron insists spiraling Lakers still 'stand a chance'

As bleak as things may seem for the Lakers after their 10th loss in 13 games, LeBron James insisted he will not give up the season, while sources say he is determined to play the 2021-22 season, where wherever it goes. (Author: Gardener)

LeBronLOS ANGELES -- As bleak as things may seem for the Lakers after Tuesday's 109-104 loss to the Dallas Mavericks -- their 10th loss in their last 13 games -- Los Angeles left just two games before being eliminated from play-in fall tournament overall, LeBron James insisted he would not give up the season. "We still have games to play," he said after the Mavs ended the game on a 15-4 run in the final seven and a half minutes of the fourth quarter to win it. James, who has missed 17 games this season with various injuries and most recently missed five games from late January to early February with a swelling in his left knee, has no plans to end his season at any point, sources close to James said ESPN. James is determined to play the season wherever it takes it. In James' debut season with the Lakers in 2018-19, he sat out nine of LA's last 14 games -- including the last six straight -- after missing a significant portion of the previous season with a groin injury. Just before the All-Star break, James was asked about the condition of his knee and said he would need more time to get back to 100%. "The only way it'll come back to full strength is rest," he said. The Lakers, who suffered what might be their worst loss of the season on Sunday when they were booed off the field by the home crowd en route to a 28-point loss to a New Orleans Pelicans team who chase them in the standings, Dallas looked better, but some of their stubborn issues were there. They fell back as much as 21 points in the first half, a theme of theirs, and Russell Westbrook fought mightily, shooting 5-for-17 from the field. Of course, Westbrook's problems have plagued the team since training camp. "Must get better overall," Westbrook said of his game. "What I'm doing right now isn't good enough. It's not good enough.” Like James, Westbrook asserted that L.A. has a lot more to offer. "Super confident we're going to be fine," Westbrook said. "I have faith in this group like I've always had. And we can play the best teams. I'm not worried about anyone we have to play against. The Lakers (27-34) are No. 9 at the moment the seed, two games at No. 10 New Orleans playing virtually with the Portland Trail Blazers at No. 11, who are also two games behind L. "Obviously at the end of the day we have to come in here and win ball games and we have to play better, but as long as we have more games to play we should have a chance," James said. I'm in the mood for poop right now. But tomorrow is a new day and I'm going to be prepared and ready for the Clippers on Thursday.

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