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Jussie Smollett will be convicted of hate crimes in March

Smollett was convicted of five counts of misconduct in December. Each count carries a sentence of up to three years in prison, but Smollett is also eligible for simple parole. (Author: Gardener)

Jussie SmollettCHICAGO (CBS) - Actor Jussie Smollett is scheduled to face five counts of disorderly conduct in March after being found guilty in January 2019 last year of organizing a fake hate crime against himself. Cook County Judge James Linn Wednesday set Smollett's sentencing hearing for March 10 and asked prosecutors and defense attorneys to provide him with a list of potential witnesses by March 3. On December 10, a Cook County jury found Smollett guilty of five out of six counts of disorderly conduct and acquitted him on the sixth count. Prosecutors had accused Smollett of staging a fake racist and homophobic attack against himself in January 2019 and then lying to police about it in order to gain publicity. The charges for which Smollett was convicted involved him falsely telling several different police officers that he was a victim of a hate crime and battery. The disorderly conduct charges are Class 4 felonies carrying up to three years in prison. CBS 2 legal analyst Irv Miller said it was unlikely, if ever, that Smollett would be sentenced to a lengthier sentence, although he had not previously contested the charge that he lied to police by using his brother's name stated during a DUI arrest in California. And honestly, under Illinois law for a Class 4 felony, there's a presumption that he should get parole," Miller said. However, Miller said prosecutors could ask the judge to give Smollett up to six months in prison in addition to probation. "That's a reasonable probability because the judge can look at him and say, 'Mr. Smollett, you took the stand and you lied. You lied to the police. I think you didn't take that first step toward rehabilitation and deserve a little jail time," Miller said. After the jury convicted Smollett in December, Special Prosecutor Dan Webb called the verdict "a resounding message" that Smollett had staged a fake hate crime against himself. “During my closing arguments, I told the jury that I thought the evidence was overwhelming; that Mr Smollett actually fabricated the hate crime and then lied to the police about it and then compounded his crimes by lying to the jury and insulting their intelligence during that trial," he said. "With the overwhelming verdict we have just received from this jury, after a day of deliberations in which they found Mr. Smollett guilty of virtually all charges, of doing exactly what we said, which was a fabricated crime reporting it to the Chicago Police Department as a real crime.” Meanwhile, defense attorney Nenye Uche has announced that he will appeal Smollett's conviction and he is “100 percent confident” the appeal will be successful. 'It's not surprising': Man charged with attempted murder of Gary Police officer released a week later on Bond February 29, 2019. Police and prosecutors say Smollett orchestrated it himself and paid two brothers - Abel and Ola Osundairo - $3,500 to order to help stage the attack. Smollett said his attackers doused him in bleach and put a rope resembling a noose around his neck. Abel and Ola Osundairo were initially arrested - suspected of having carried out the attack on Smollett. But in a turn of events, Smollett went from victim to suspect - charged with six felonies of disorderly conduct for orchestrating the attack and lying to police. The brothers told investigators Smollett gave them the money to buy the ski masks, rope and red hats to pose as supporters of President Donald Trump. Police say Smollett orchestrated the plan because an anonymous, hateful letter was sent to the studio where Empire was filmed - and said Smollett didn't think the threat was taken seriously. The jury heard from 14 witnesses over six days during Smollett's trial, with Smollett taking the stand in his own defense and repeatedly asserting that there was no fraud and that the attack was genuine. There was no fraud," Smollett Webb said during cross-examination. Smollett told jurors he paid the Osundairo brothers $3,500 to help him with exercise and nutrition advice, not to stage a fake hate crime against himself. He also testified that the brothers told him after the attack that they were willing to say publicly that they were not part of a hoax if he paid them $2 million. Early in the trial, Abel Osundairo denied asking Smollett for $1 million each so that he and his brother would not testify against Smollett. The Osundairo brothers were the prosecution's key witnesses at the trial, with both claiming that Smollett asked and paid them to stage the attack. They said Smollett wanted to use security video of the incident for public relations, but the actual attack was not caught on camera. When asked about the alleged fake assault, Abel said, "He explained that he wanted me to fake beat him." Attorney Gloria Rodriguez, representing the Osundairo brothers, said her clients "couldn't be happier" with the outcome of the trial be".

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Meet Haskell Garrett, Ohio State's badass DL prospect

It's hard to find a player in the 2022 NFL draft with more spirit than Ohio State defenseman Haskell Garrett. A two-year-old starter with an aggressive advantage on the field, Garrett's passion and determination carries over to how he performs off the field. In August… (Author: Gardener)

Meet Haskell GarrettPlease use a supported version for the best MSN experience. It's hard to find a player in the 2022 NFL draft with more spirit than Ohio State defenseman Haskell Garrett. In August 2020, Garrett suffered a gunshot wound to the face after stopping a fight, but was back on the football field just two months later, even having a sack back in his first game. Now, as Garrett prepares to take his football career to the next level, he wants to serve as a leader and a tenacious defender like he was during his time with the Buckeyes. Draft Wire had the opportunity to speak exclusively with Garrett about his journey to where he is today, his Polynesian heritage, his Senior Bowl experience and more. JI: It's been an incredible journey for you to get to this point, including a gunshot wound to the face, and to recover incredibly quickly. How was that recovery process and did you know that not only will you be returning so soon, but you'll be able to play so well? HG: I was just really thankful that I survived and for the medics, the first responders and all the MEs. But when I was told our season was back and I had a chance to play in the first game, I did everything I could. I wasn't allowed to have any physical contact in football practice, so I really had to take it slow and let my body heal. At the same time I was training, it was a different kind of training; Instead of training physically, I needed to train mentally and truly become the game's surgical fine-tuning student. [It] was a different, different aspect and attitude of going to the first game and just grinding it out and allowing me to heal. JI: You were named Polynesian College Football Player of the Year in 2021. I told everyone that all the All-American awards and all those kinds of deals were no less important to me than being honored as one of the best Polynesian players in college football and recognizing how small a Polynesian community is and this It's really an honor to have background: a real recognition of who I am, not only as a person on the field, but also as a person off the field. I was very proud and blessed to be awarded Polynesian Player of the Year. It really meant a lot to me and meant the world, and [it's] something I'm really proud of. JI: Because you play at a school like Ohio State, you have a collegiate experience that few players in this class can match. It was just these little rivalries that you had with the schools over the years; not just our rivalry with the team up north [Michigan], but the rivalry we had with that school and how we've always fought back and forth. We knew how much we put into this game and how much it meant not only to the team but also to the fan base. Going through it and what we've been dealing with in 2020 in terms of COVID, in terms of not seeing your parents, just being very secluded and isolated just to play the game and never really take a break was easy remarkable; what we have not only achieved personally, but what we have achieved as a group and as a team. JI: Would you say that the guys you've been training against every day have helped your development? HG: I feel like it has played a tremendous role in my development, not just as a person but as an athlete and a player. They're often asked, "Who are the best guys I've faced?" and [it's] real to say those guys were on my team. You get people like, as far as the alignment point of view, you get people like Billy Price, Wyatt Davis, Josh Myers, Jonah Jackson, Thayer Munford, Isaiah Prince, Jamarco Jones. You get guys like this you go up against year after year, your skills are bound to improve because iron sharpens iron, we at Ohio State believe that. [That's why] it's such a great university, because we train against the best. JI: You recently had the opportunity to go to the Senior Bowl. I'm glad I was able to [go] and like I said, I was very blessed and honored to be recognized and invited to compete against the best. It was really great not only to meet guys from different schools, but also to see guys that you haven't seen in years you've seen in high school and through the recruiting process, and then see each other again during that process. But also just competing against the competition, playing ball and just seeing different techniques in college football and then getting a taste of what it's going to be like when you reach the next level, how to manage your time as a pro. In college you had the school aspect but now it's not just a game and a love and a passion it's now a job. JI: If you had to choose, what is your preferred move or combination of moves once you reach the point of attack? HG: I work everything out of a long arm. It's all based around a long arm and I use my speed and strength to complement that. It's basically [like] when you build a house and say you know its base, my base is my long arm. A lot of people want to say they want to talk about finesse and whatnot. Well, you can't do finesse unless you show strength, so I'd say my goal is long arm. HG: Growing up I watched guys like Haloti Ngata, Lawrence Taylor, Reggie White and guys like that. How violent do you have to be to play the game at the next level. That's really why I base my game on who I've watched and these days there's the Aaron Donalds, the Ndamukong Suhs and people like that, but really just watching generation after generation of defenders play the greats by force. They also have technique and technique is a great thing, but as a defender you have to play the game hard because you're in a fight every game all day. These are the guys I idolized and watched grow up. JI: How do you like to spend your free time outside of football? I'm actually in Montana right now, just enjoying the wildlife here at my godparents house, just resting my body and healing from Reese's [Senior] Bowl. I'm [a] very nature-loving guy. I like playing video games and I like to do a little bit of everything. JI: Let's say I'm the NFL general manager. What would I get if I named you to my team? HG: What you should be getting is a competitor, someone who takes their job very seriously, has a high football IQ, and ultimately wants to do whatever they can to bring the organization a Super Bowl.

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FireWolves forward Joe Resetarits will feel right at home in Buffalo on Friday

At 32, resetarits for the FireWolves show no signs of slowing down. He... (Author: Gardener)

Joe ResetaritsThe Albany FireWolves of the National Lacrosse League play an away game Friday night at the Buffalo Bandits. It's as close to a home game as it gets for former University at Albany star Joe Resetarits, a FireWolves forward. He's looking forward to the game against Buffalo, the first of back-to-back games for the FireWolves (4-4) who return to the MVP Arena on Saturday night to face the Toronto Rock. "It's great because my family can go to the game," Resetarits said. It's one of the best crowds and one of the coolest places to play in the league." The Bandits rank third in the NLL with an attendance of 8,128 per game. Resetarits had season tickets to Bandits games at the Memorial Auditorium and then the KeyBank Center , before he left When he joined the Bandits, he played with Buffalo star John Tavares, the NLL leader with 815 goals, 934 assists and 1,749 points. "He was my idol growing up as a kid," said Resetarits His indoor game blossomed with Rochester, where he scored 100 points in 2018. "It's part of the business," Resetarits said. At 32, Resetarits shows no signs of slowing down for the FireWolves. He has 29 points in his past three games with 11 goals and 18 assists. He leads Albany with 47 points, which is 4th in the league. "He's playing well and he's kind of gotten back to what made him the player he was," said FireWolves coach Glenn Clark. "So he's kind of gotten his rhythm back and he's obviously excelling at usually playing." The FireWolves face a crucial weekend against first-seeded Buffalo (6-1) and third-seeded Toronto (5-3), both ahead of Albany in the East standings."It's huge, the biggest weekend of the year," said Resetarits. "We're playing against two of the best teams in the league, two division teams, and obviously we lost to Toronto early on (10-9 in the Dec. 4 opener) so we need that. Buffalo is going to be a tough game but obviously at this level anyone can beat anyone ." In terms of travel, it's an easier back-to-back than the FireWolves had to play a fortnight ago when they played a home-and-home game against the Georgia Swarm on Feb. 4-5 and had to catch a return flight to Albany on Tomorrow of the second game. This time they hop on a bus right after Friday's game in Buffalo and arrive in Albany around 2:30 or 3 am for Saturday night's game. "We can sleep in and prepare instead of boarding a flight and dealing with delays like last time," Resetarits said. Another difference is that the FireWolves will face a new team on night two. Toronto has not played since beating Buffalo last Saturday and has no game on Friday.

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Prince Harry's lawyers say he doesn't feel safe in the UK

In a hearing on Friday, the prince's lawyer challenged a UK government decision preventing him from funding his own extra security when visiting his home country. (Author: Gardener)

UKIn a hearing on Friday, Prince Harry's lawyers laid down his legal challenge to the UK government over his security arrangements amid security concerns. Harry is trying to overturn a UK Home Office decision meaning he is unable to fund his own security staff when he visits. Although Harry has traveled to the country twice since moving to the United States in 2020, he has not been accompanied by his wife Meghan Markle and their two children, 2-year-old Archie and 8-month-old Lili. Fatima also noted that Harry's experience during his visit to the UK in June 2021 influenced his decision to file the lawsuit. “This allegation addresses the fact that the applicant does not feel safe being in the UK given the safeguards that were applied to him in June 2021 and will continue to be applied to him on his return,” said them by guard. "And of course it should go without saying that he would want to come back: to see family and friends and to continue supporting the charities he loves so much. Above all, this is and always will be his home.” In response, Robert Palmer, a solicitor representing the UK government, argued that the allegation was “undeniable and unfounded”, adding that “police personal protection does not apply is available on a privately funded basis”. In January 2022, representatives for Harry and Meghan explained the reasons for the legal challenge. "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex personally fund a private security team for their family, but this security cannot reproduce the necessary police protection needed while in the UK," they said in a statement. "On his last visit to the UK in July 2021 - to unveil a statue honoring his late mother - his safety was compromised due to a lack of police protection as he left a charity event." Following that visit, MyLondon news agency reported that he was of Hunted by paparazzi photographers after leaving a WellChild charity event at Kew Gardens on June 30. A memorial service for Prince Philip is due to be held on March 29, but the couple are reportedly planning to skip the event if the security issue is not resolved. Security costs were a big sticking point when Harry and Meghan first announced their royal exit, and in March 2021 the couple told Oprah they were told "at short notice" that their taxpayer-funded security would be discontinued after they officially announced their had left royal roles. - Inside Prince Andrew's Misguided Offer to Explain Jeffrey Epstein Away - The Artist, the Madonna, and the Last Known Portrait of Jeffrey Epstein - 28 Black-Owned Beauty and Wellness Brands with Something for Everyone - Subscribe to The Buyline to to receive a curated list of fashion, book and beauty buys in a weekly newsletter.

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How the Strawberry Mansion directors made a movie about dreams that feel like one

Albertbirney and Kentucker Audley discuss their new film, Strawberry Mansion, about a helmsman who tests people's dreams. (Author: Gardener)

Kentucker AudleyCountless films contain dreams, but few capture what a dream actually feels like better than Strawberry Mansion, the surrealistic indie dramedy that premiered at last year's Sundance Film Festival and is in theaters Friday and digital next week starts up. Directed by Albertbirney and Kentucker Audley, the film tells the story of James Preble (Audley), a chartered accountant who taxes people's dreams for the U. Assigned to review the VHS-taped dreams of aging artist Arabella Isadora (Penny Fuller), he ends up falling in love with the version of her younger self (Grace Glowicki) he meets in her mind, and takes him on a strange journey Journey during which he fights witches, crashes on a desert island and commands a crew of mouse sailors. But even with all the creatures that Preble encounters, it's the hazy lighting, lopsided tone, and sense of nostalgia that make the whole film feel like a dream, even when the characters are awake. Strawberry Mansion is the second feature film that Audley and Birney have co-written and directed, following 2017's Silvio, a film about a gorilla who becomes a local TV star. Variety spoke to Audley andbirney about directing Strawberry Mansion and how they wrote a story that follows the slippery logic of dreams. What was the original inspiration for Strawberry Mansion? birney: So in the beginning it was just a picture of a house in a field full of VHS tapes. Oh, these are dreams. Oh, it's an old lady and a person who came to run the dreams. So yeah, it was just a picture of that house. For some reason, a lot of house and home pictures appear in our stuff, I think that's the home base. Audley: They start with "Where do they live and how are they trying to get back there?" I think Albert and I realized that it was difficult for us to do a film together that wasn't about going home come. You start putting these images of inspiration together, lots of different elements, and just trying to somehow miraculously put them all together. And I think that's the fun of just trying to piece together whatever you can think of. Was the movie always called Strawberry Mansion, or did you come up with that title when you found the red house the movie is set in? birney: I think I talked to some friends about this idea and started talking about the names of things. It was one of those things that was always called that, and every time we tried to change the title, it didn't feel right. How do you two work together as directors, especially with Kentucker in the film? Audley: It's two different brains that you use as a director and as an actor. It is sometimes difficult to separate them. As a director, I would rather take a backseat to the more drama-intensive scenes and let Albert run the show, so to speak. As an actor, I like to keep things very simple. I don't value the process of acting too much, it's just trying to make something seem real. So it's really a process of just trying to relax into something that feels natural, and a lot of that is just reacting to other actors. And a lot of my acting strategy is to scare off the other actors and try to create a contrasting force to what they bring to the table. In terms of the collaboration between Al and I, Albert will often be more fixated on the visual components and I will focus more on the character and thematic issues and the flow of the film and making sure the story elements don't go with the visuals lost. How have you developed as a team of directors and writers since your first feature film? Birney: Wow, that assumes we've grown. I guess you're doing one and not sure how you're going to work together, will it be a good one or will you fight every day? And we did the first one and I was like, oh, this is actually really easy, and not just easy, it's fun, and I'd love to do it again. I think the second one might be a bit more confident when you've done it once and you know you can do it again. It's such a different kind of film, the number of questions we had to answer just quadrupled with this one. Directing is mostly about answering people's questions and you have to be willing to say yes or no most of the time. So it's nice when there are two of us and we each give half the answers that a normal director would have to answer. Audley: I think it's just trying to be more ambitious and complex with your storytelling. With Strawberry Mansion, I think we're trying to go deeper with more complicated storytelling choices. So I think we've grown in terms of process and ambition, and I hope we can continue to up the ante for the next film. The film really captures the logic of dreams in a way not many films can. How did you write it so that it feels like a dream and a coherent narrative at the same time? Audley: That's the one central challenge of this film. It's not easy when you're trying to pull the story together and tell a movie that's entertaining. It can be alienating for audiences not to know where you are with the story and why certain scenes are playing out the way they are. But I think it's crucial to capture the dream logic of not taking the audience through every bar. You really have to allow the audience to get lost and that then reflects how it feels to be in a dream and not understand how all the pieces connect. Barley: Yeah, and you can do that because it's kind of scary to say, "Well, will the audience understand that, or will it be too fast?" But in a dream, you don't have a choice, you're just lost in it . Some people say in the first five minutes, "Oh, that's not for me." But you hope that you make films for the people that resonate with the way you like to tell stories or make films. That they will come along on this dreamy journey and lose themselves with you. Audley: For me, I see the whole thing as a dream. If he goes into her dreams, I think that's just another layer of dreams. It's like dream logic, the whole movie, because it's like, how does it work? How did the dream taxes work? It just throws all these different images together. And that's what dreams do. The film has a lot of fun with the stop motion special effects it uses to bring many of the dream images to life. Can you tell me about the design of some stop motion moments in the film and why you wanted to use stop motion? Barley: All of the stop motion was done by Lawrence Becker, a brilliant animator who we met years ago because he was on Vine at the same time we were on Vine. So in a lot of those sequences we just worked with him and we said to him, "Okay, we want this person's head to explode, or their face to melt, or a skeleton to come out of the grave." We shot the records for him, so would we give him the empty graveyard and then he would go away for a couple of months and send it back and it would be pretty much there and then we overlay it and put it together. It was a very conscious decision to use stop motion for some of the effects, anything you can do on the computer these days, but a lot of the movies that we really love, like Beetlejuice, used stop motion or claymation. That's not to say we didn't have computer imagery or graphics in the film, but it's about combining them all in such a way that you're not really sure if what you're looking at is a real computer or a real computer bit of both. So I think when you can mix and match different special effects and animation styles and create that kind of new style, it feels like getting lost in a dreamscape, at least to me. While watching the film, I almost thought it was a folk tale or a fairy tale. Birney: Yes, definitely. Each generation gets a new retelling of the same kind of stories. There's an element in this film that we wanted to feel like a childhood fantasy film. I think it felt right to make it a bit fairy tale like and have some elements of the classic fairy tales in it. Audley: The one that we keep coming back to is The Neverending Story and also Labyrinth, those 80's movies that we grew up watching when we were kids. Those things you see when you're 7 years old and they never go away. What was it that you wanted to explore about dreams anyway? birney: Dreams are this great mystery. We all spend a large part of our lives in dreams and I've always felt like we never really gave them the respect they deserve. It's really hard to share your dreams with the people you know to get a feel for them. There are endless inspirations and images and ideas and things that we dream of all our lives. Even though it's set in a supermarket, it's still an interesting dream to write down. And dreams are a lot like movies, movies are a lot like dreams, it's the closest thing to sharing a dream. I mean, all art can approximate the feeling of a dream, but films, because they're visual and because they combine all the other art forms, maybe come closest to a dream. Audley: We're working on a new project that we see as the end of a trilogy that started with Sylvio and Strawberry Mansion. It continues in the same thematic sandbox and visual palette. We're trying to build on that mix of commentary and playfulness and dark elements and whims and juxtapositions that we like to play with. We're working on the script, it's called Super Delights. It's going to take everything to the next level in terms of more characters, more set pieces and action and humor and darkness. Everything in Strawberry Mansion, just more of it.

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Prince Harry tells London court he doesn't feel safe bringing Archie and Lilibet to the UK

The Duke of Sussex's solicitor said Britain "is and always will be his home". (Author: Gardener)

Prince HarryPrince Harry "doesn't feel safe" bringing his children to the UK after his taxpayer-funded police protection was lost, his legal team told the High Court in London on Friday. At a preliminary Restoration of Protection hearing - which Prince Harry did not attend in person - the Duke of Sussex's attorney, Shaheed Fatima, expressed Harry's concerns about the safety precautions put in place when he and Meghan Markle left royal duties in January 2020 resigned after their bombing announcement, Harry and Meghan lost their publicly funded protection in the UK and have privately paid for their own security in the US. They were also later told that they would not be able to pay for British police protection out of their own pockets. K. with son Archie Harrison, 2, and daughter Lilibet Diana, 8 months, are not entitled to state-funded protection and the high level of safety education that goes with it. RELATED: Prince Harry is seeking a judicial review of the right to pay for his family's British police protection given the safeguards that were applied to him in June 2021 and will continue to be applied to him if he decides to come back," Fatima said Royal Courts of Justice, reports The Guardian. "And of course it should go without saying that he would want to come back: to see family and friends and to continue supporting the charities he loves so much," the Prince Harry's concerns are believed to stem from his recent visit to the UK in July 2021, when he joined brother Prince William to unveil a statue to their mother, Princess Diana, in the gardens of Kensington Palace. At a subsequent charity event, Prince Harry's car was reportedly chased through the streets of the British capital by photographers. In September, Harry decided to address the issue by seeking a judicial review of security arrangements, a legal challenge to the legality of decisions made by a public body. His application is particularly well received in 2022 as Prince Harry and Meghan could visit the U. Prince Harry, 37, has also previously spoken at length about the emotional scars left by the tabloids' treatment of his mother before her tragic death in 1997. Sign up for our newsletter for the latest updates on Kate Middleton, Meghan Get Markle and more! However, security is a thorn in the side of the United States. Only the Queen, Prince Charles, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince William and Kate Middleton are currently receiving 24-hour police protection. Other "working" royals, such as Princess Anne, Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, only receive state protection if they fulfill official obligations. Meanwhile, the Queen's grandchildren (including Zara Tindall, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie) receive no state-funded protection at all, while Prince Andrew lost his own right to protection when he stepped down from royal duties in November 2019.

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FireWolves forward Joe Resetarits will feel right at home in Buffalo on Friday

At 32, resetarits for the FireWolves show no signs of slowing down. He... (Author: Gardener)

Joe ResetaritsThe Albany FireWolves of the National Lacrosse League play an away game Friday night at the Buffalo Bandits. It's as close to a home game as it gets for former University at Albany star Joe Resetarits, a FireWolves forward. He's looking forward to the game against Buffalo, the first of back-to-back games for the FireWolves (4-4) who return to the MVP Arena on Saturday night to face the Toronto Rock. "It's great because my family can go to the game," Resetarits said. It's one of the best crowds and one of the coolest places to play in the league." The Bandits rank third in the NLL with an attendance of 8,128 per game. Resetarits had season tickets to Bandits games at the Memorial Auditorium and then the KeyBank Center , before he left When he joined the Bandits, he played with Buffalo star John Tavares, the NLL leader with 815 goals, 934 assists and 1,749 points. "He was my idol growing up as a kid," said Resetarits His indoor game blossomed with Rochester, where he scored 100 points in 2018. "It's part of the business," Resetarits said. At 32, Resetarits shows no signs of slowing down for the FireWolves. He has 29 points in his past three games with 11 goals and 18 assists. He leads Albany with 47 points, which is 4th in the league. "He's playing well and he's kind of gotten back to what made him the player he was," said FireWolves coach Glenn Clark. "So he's kind of gotten his rhythm back and he's obviously excelling at usually playing." The FireWolves face a crucial weekend against first-seeded Buffalo (6-1) and third-seeded Toronto (5-3), both ahead of Albany in the East standings."It's huge, the biggest weekend of the year," said Resetarits. "We're playing against two of the best teams in the league, two division teams, and obviously we lost to Toronto early on (10-9 in the Dec. 4 opener) so we need that. Buffalo is going to be a tough game but obviously at this level anyone can beat anyone ." In terms of travel, it's an easier back-to-back than the FireWolves had to play a fortnight ago when they played a home-and-home game against the Georgia Swarm on Feb. 4-5 and had to catch a return flight to Albany on Tomorrow of the second game. This time they hop on a bus right after Friday's game in Buffalo and arrive in Albany around 2:30 or 3 am for Saturday night's game. "We can sleep in and prepare instead of boarding a flight and dealing with delays like last time," Resetarits said. Another difference is that the FireWolves will face a new team on night two. Toronto has not played since beating Buffalo last Saturday and has no game on Friday.

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Intense morning wind and rain, then tumbling temperatures

A strong cold front will put an end to the spring heat for good, driving heavy rain, gusty winds, and then colder air into New Jersey. (Author: Gardener)

morningThe spring-like warmth comes to an abrupt end Friday morning as a strong cold front drives torrential rain and gusty winds through New Jersey. The weather will be quite blustery for a time during the morning commute. But the wet and windy weather won't be an all-day thing. In the late morning the sky begins to clear up. And the temperatures start to drop. It will feel a lot more like February by Friday sunset. President's Day Weekend has mixed news. Wind will be a problem again on Saturday afternoon. Sunday looks calm but cold. And President's Day Monday will be the shining star of the holiday weekend. Our weather turns decidedly inclement for a few hours on Friday morning as a storm front sweeps west to east across New Jersey. Everyone in the state should expect a brief spell of heavy rain and a prolonged gust of wind. This wind continues to be our greatest concern. A wind warning continues for all 21 New Jersey counties through 10 a.m. Friday morning. Peak gusts of 40 to 50+ mph are expected. Things get a little "crazy" for a few minutes during the morning commute. Then the heaviest rain and the strongest winds subside until the morning - let's say 9 or 10 o'clock at the latest. The remainder of Friday will see clear skies, persistent stiff breezes and falling temperatures. While we started the day in the tropical 60's, temperatures can drop into the 30's by sunset. Friday night is likely a statewide freeze with lows in the mid-20s. The skies will be clear and the winds will continue to calm down. The morning hours look OK. We'll see a mix of sun and clouds, with highs pushing into the seasonal (near normal) low to mid 40's. However, around noon another (weak) cold front will move through New Jersey. Northwest gusts can climb to 40mph by early evening. A clear, calm morning will result in some cold temperatures. It's going to be sunny and dry - just a stark contrast to the 1960s on Thursday and Friday. Simply the best day of the holiday weekend. Apart from some late evening clouds we will again enjoy a lot of sunshine. The wind will be light. The weather will stay dry. And temperatures will be mild, warming into the low 50s. The last full week of February is looking choppy, with wilder temperature swings. The first will arrive early Tuesday morning. With temperatures in the 50's for the long run, this will be another "rain only" system for NJ. Over an inch of total rain is possible before things wrap up Tuesday night. With about 48 percent of the state classified as "unusually dry," there's no denying we could use the rain. The second system will be in the Thursday through Friday time frame. If we land on the cold side of the storm, there could be a significant wintry component (snow, ice, and/or wintry mix). But we will definitely monitor the latest developments in the coming days.

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Cavaliers send Ricky Rubio, draft picks to Pacers for Caris LeVert

"He's a top-notch person," said Pacers coach Rick Carlisle of Columbus native LeVert, who gives the Cavs extra firepower for their playoff push (Author: Gardener)

Ricky RubioCLEVELAND -- Since the season-ending losses of Collin Sexton and Ricky Rubio to knee injuries, the Cavaliers have been looking for another backcourt playmaker for their stunning playoff push. To cement the Cavs' rise in the Eastern Conference, President of Basketball Operations Koby Altman found him Sunday when he traded for Indiana Pacers guard Caris LeVert ahead of a 98-85 home win over the Pacers. The Pacers sent LeVert and a 2022 second-round pick (from the Miami Heat) to the Cavaliers for Rubio, a lottery-protected 2022 first-round pick, a 2022 second-round pick over the Houston Rockets, and a second-round pick of 2027 Choose over the Utah Jazz. Rubio is in his final year of contract. The Cavs (33-21) announced the deal Monday morning and said LeVert will speak to the media after Tuesday's practice. "We are very excited to add a dynamic young player of this caliber and experience," Altman said in a statement. “Caris LeVert fits into our culture in a unique way, and his Ohio roots provide an immediate connection to our community. In 39 games (all starts) this season, LeVert, 6ft 6, 205 pounds, has averaged 18.7 points, 3.8 rebounds and 4.4 assists. He shoots .447 from field and .323 from 3-point range and is coming off a 42-point game with eight assists in Friday's loss to the Chicago Bulls. During his career, the University of Michigan's LeVert has played in nine career playoff games (six starts), averaging 20.7 points, 5.9 assists, 5.2 rebounds and 1.11 steals. Cavs guard Rajon Rondo knows that LeVert can immediately boost the Cavs offense. "I haven't studied him much, but I know he can help put the ball in the hole," said Rondo after Sunday's game. "Tonight he was the first person on the scouting report to have a 42-point game, 19 of 26 [shooting] from the field, a 3 and only a couple of free throws, so he's very efficient when he's got the ball is in his hands. "He hasn't had a praise threat since he left Brooklyn, so I know he's also a willing playmaker and another guy that you can put the ball in your hands and he can make a game. Such a guy on the team having it makes my job easier, makes everyone's job a lot easier." With the Cavs, LeVert will be reunited with former Brooklyn Nets center Jarrett Allen. Allen became the Cavs in the January 2021 multi-team James Harden deal, who sent LeVert to the Pacers.The Cavs boast a three-big-man offense with 6-foot-11-alls and two 7-footers -- third overall pick Evan Mobley and forward Lauri Markkanen, who played two weeks with a missed a sprained right ankle. "Sure he'll be happy to play with some edge threats," Rondo said of LeVert. “No disrespect to the guys he plays with but they're not 7-footers. And playing for a coach like J. LeVert, a Colombian native who played at Pickerington Central High School, found himself in Pacers coach Rick Carlisle's office at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on Sunday, along with Carlisle and Pacers general manager Chad Buchanan, who pulled out the final terms of the hands-free agreement with Altman. "Caris has been a great young man to work with over the past few months," Carlisle said ahead of the game. "He's a very special person, obviously he's a very special player. a guy I will miss working with on a daily basis. LeVert, 27, the Pacers' 20th pick of 2016 who was traded to the Nets shortly after his call-up, fits the profile of the young, up-and-coming Cavs. He is under contract through the 2022-23 season, in which he will earn $18.8 million and appears to be up for an off-season extension. But Bickerstaff said before the news broke that the team had to be careful not to disrupt their special chemistry while sounding deals. "I don't think we're a perfect team by any means, so any additions or upgrades I think will be important," the Cavs coach said ahead of the game. “We can't do things that disrupt the chemistry with this group. When asked how not to disrupt that bond, Bickerstaff said, "I think it's about the person you bring in. And you have to do your due diligence.” Character of the person you bring in or the people you bring in because at this point we're not in the position of where we are buyers if it weren't for our chemistry. "And your decision has to be based on a talent that's clearly an improvement or an upgrade for the team, where people understand that we're striving to be better. Our guys in this locker room are extremely competitive, so we have to make sure the decision we make is one that's going to really give us a leap." LeVert was among several suspected targets for the Cavs, including the Boston's Dennis Schroeder Celtics and Toronto Raptors' Goran Dragic, who has only played five games this season due to personal reasons It was clear the Cavs backcourt needed help Rubio tore the ACL in his left knee on Dec. 28. Her departure left to fill the Cavs with a gap of 29.1 points per game, with Sexton averaging 16.0 in 11 games and Rubio averaging 13.1 in 34. The Cavs also went without an all-star point guard for the fourth straight Sunday Darius Garland (lower back pain) off Allen asks to be trained harder: Jarrett Allen 'happy' after All-Star snub, has big game for Cavs vs Hornets One Tr Three-team ade on Dec. 30 to acquire Rondo from the Los Angeles Lakers should help. But Rondo, 35, missed six games with a sore right hamstring and is still finding form with his new teammates after playing just 10 games. He had his first double-double as Cav Sunday with 15 points and 12 assists in 32 minutes. Altman had extra ammunition to improve the team in the form of disabled player exceptions for Rubio and Sexton, reportedly worth $8.9 million and $3.1 million respectively, but there are caveats how these can be used. The Cavs are trying to stay in the top six in the East standings, which would allow them to avoid the play-in tournament for the 7-10 seeds. But they also want to stay away from the luxury tax this season and were reportedly just $3.3 million from that threshold. Cavs maturity shows: "Nobody panicked": Cavs credit team unity to overcome missed call after win over Hornets The deal for LeVert is the 23rd Altman has made since he took over as general manager on July 24, 2017 He acquired Allen, who has become a cornerstone for the Cavs, and signed a five-year, $100 million deal in August. "If you look at the deals he's made, he's made us a much better basketball team by being aggressive and looking for value where others might not see, but he has an idea of ​​how this one is doing." affects the next one,” Bickerstaff said of Altman. You look at guys like Jarrett and what he was able to do for this team. That's a credit to Koby for making sure we got involved in what Brooklyn was trying to do. Read more about the Cavs at www.beaconjournal.com/cavs. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MRidenourABJ.

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Jaden Shackelford of Alabama Basketball is right-handed. He shoots to the left. Here's why

Alabama basketball's top scorer, Jaden Shackelford, has used his non-dominant hand to increase his success as a shooting guard. (Author: Gardener)

Jaden ShackelfordRobert Tossetti didn't expect Jaden Shackelford to pick up the pen with his right hand. Tossetti, the basketball coach at Hesperia High School in California, was offside when Shackelford signed his national memorandum of understanding with Alabama basketball on November 14, 2018 with a right hand. "I didn't know you wrote right-handed," Tossetti later told him. "Yes, basketball is the only thing I do with my left hand," Shackelford replied. Especially if you only see Shackelford on a basketball court. Shackelford has used his left hand to become one of the top scorers in the SEC. However, Shackelford is actually right-handed. An accident led him to use his non-dominant hand and put him on the path to becoming one of the top basketball players in the SEC. "Get him throwing a football with his left hand and you'd laugh at him," said his father, Anthony Shackelford. Like any superhero who develops extraordinary abilities, Shackelford has an origin story. 15 YEARS OF NICK SABAN: Celebrate Nick Saban's 15 epic seasons of Alabama football with our special book! He was an eight-year-old when he fell at a local park and broke his right arm. "I don't really remember my decision-making process from back then," Shackelford told The Tuscaloosa News. "I can't remember if I fell or jumped off." However, his arm was in a cast, which he despised. If he wanted to continue practicing his beloved sport, shooting with his left hand was his only option. Break from basketball. He'd been playing basketball practically since day one. His father made him work with both hands from a young age, but Shackelford was clearly right-handed. He first played baseball, throwing with his right hand. Shackelford also used his right hand primarily early on in basketball. When he then broke his arm, he was inevitably left-handed. And once his arm healed, it never came back. "I don't think it was ever a conscious decision," Shackelford said. I don't think it's ever been said, 'I have to be left-handed now.'" He used that left hand to go from being a small hoop in the driveway to a four-star recruit at Hesperia High School. The 247Sports Composite ranked him as the No. 9 potential candidate in California and the No. 19 shooting guard in the country for the 2019 class. That left hand also helped Shackelford win 2020 SEC All-Freshman Team honors and the 2021 SEC Second Team All-Conference. This season, this left hand has shot the most 3-pointers of any SEC player with 78. Shackelford said he believes there are benefits to being left-handed but couldn't name any specific ones. Anthony Shackelford, who coached his son in some form for most of his life until Alabama, said he sees being the opposite of many players as an advantage for his son. "When you're a right-hander, defenders are used to playing against men who are predominantly right-handed, which makes the situation more difficult," Anthony said. Shackelford would still consider himself right-handed outside of basketball, but he's working on becoming ambidextrous. His handwriting from the left? His shooting from the right? high school level. "It's not the best," Shackelford said. He enjoys the challenge of trying to develop the non-dominant hand. "It's a real skill," he said. Maybe, just maybe, if or when he signs an NBA contract someday, he'll be dexterous enough to pick up the pen and sign with the same hand that got him that opportunity.

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