Locals light up the Cap Classic

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Kobe ColstonKobe Colston shoots in the District v Suburban All-Star Capital Classic game. PHOTO BY JACQUI SOUTH  

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Maret School senior forward Luka Garza’s all-time favorite basketball player is LeBron James.

It was fitting, then, that the last time the Verizon Center hosted the Capital Classic, James was on the court.

Fourteen years later, Garza stepped onto the same court to participate in the 44th annual All-American game along with some of the country’s best high school players.

Students from nine different states, including Florida and Minnesota, traveled to the nation’s capital Saturday to play in a game that has proved to be a stepping stone for a number of decorated NBA players.


Despite the loss to the U.S.A. All-Stars, local athletes do well in Cap Classic

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WASHINGTON – Montgomery County was well represented in Saturday’s 44th Annual Hoop Culture Capital Classic at Verizon Center.

Despite suffering a 113-101 loss to the United States All-Stars, Seneca Valley senior guard Brandon Simpson was able to bask in the limelight one last time before graduation.

“It was cool,” said Simpson, who is still undecided about his college plans. “It was a good experience.”


Rule change will affect athlete’s religious freedom

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MONTGOMERY VILLAGE – The rule that forced Watkins Mill junior basketball player Je’Nan Hayes to sit out the Wolverines’ postseason game at Oxon Hill last month has been changed.

The 16-year-old Muslim wears a hijab because of her religion and had worn the garment all season long without opposition from game officials.

However, Hayes, a reserve who had already played in 24 games, could not participate in Watkins Mill’s regional championship contest against the Clippers on March 3 due to a rule that requires a state-approved waiver for religious garments.

“The rule is not clear as to what specific headgear should be worn or not be worn,” said Hayes.


Kirby repeats MMA win over Brown

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Dameron Kirby was cautiously optimistic entering last Saturday’s mixed martial arts bout against Jason Brown, having earlier defeated his 170-pound rival but lost twice previously to others at  Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore.

“I actually lost here to one of Jason’s teammates,” said Kirby, winner by second-round TKO over Brown nearly a year ago. “The goal is always to dominate all three rounds or to put my opponent to sleep, but I knew Jason could take a hell of a punch.”


Patrick Ewing comes back to Georgetown

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NBA great and Georgetown legend Patrick Ewing has been hired to assume the head coaching duties at his alma mater.

Ewing, who once owned a home in Potomac, was introduced as the new Georgetown head coach last week during a press conference at the John R. Thompson Jr. Intercollegiate Athletic Center.

“This is a special moment for our university and for our men’s basketball program,” said Georgetown President John J. DeGioia. “Thirty-three years after winning the NCAA National Championship, No. 33 is coming home.”


‘Peaceful Warrior’ leads through action despite near-death tragedy

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Yamasaki  Mann 3Ronald Mann (right) with instructor Fernando Yamasaki. PHOTO BY GREGG ZWIRN

Almost 22 years ago, Ronald Mann had held a pistol to his temple, a 23-year-old no longer capable of enduring what had been a month of mental anguish.

As a former U.S. Army medic who enlisted at age 18 and served as an Army reservist in South Korea, Mann had once considered himself virtually invulnerable after winning an Army-wide Tae Kwon Do Championship.

But in early July 1995, Mann was mentally shattered sitting at a table in his home in Lansing, Mich., 30 days removed from the motorcycle accident which cost him the bottom half of his left leg.

“I was released to my family with no insurance, no rehabbing or physical therapy after seven days and wasn’t allowed to reenlist,” said Mann, who twice flat-lined during a helicopter medevac transport to the hospital.

“The pain of getting up at night, trying to take a step and falling right to the floor, and the futility of just being alive -- my whole world was destroyed. I had the pistol up to my temple and was going to pull the trigger…but God stopped me.”

More than two decades later, Mann is still alive and thriving.


D.C. United picks up another home win against NY

20170408 DC United-100D.C. United's Jose Ortiz uses New York City Football Club's Andrea Pirlo to gain height in a header battle. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE  

D.C. United continued their home field-winning ways with the final score 2-1 over the New York City Football Club this past Saturday.
In the Major League Soccer standings, D.C. United picked up another three points, which moved them onto a level with four other teams in the Eastern Conference, who also have seven points each. This is a long way from the single point they were carrying just a few weeks ago. Columbus Crew SC currently leads the conference with 10 points.


MoCo wrestlers learn value of hard work and discipline at USMC wrestling clinic

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xWrestling Clinic 1 - Sgt. Cameron McNeill U.S. Marine Sgt. Cameron McNeill from the Rockville Recruiting Substation speaks to the athletes at the USMC Sports Leadership Academy Wrestling Clinic at Magruder High School. PHOTO BY JACQUI SOUTH  

C.J. Cramma was Magruder’s best wrestler this past winter, but the Colonels’ junior lost more than he won against a visitor to his home gymnasium during a clinic on April Fools’ Day.

Competing at 113 pounds, Cramma won county and regional crowns and finished third at the Class 4A-3A state tournament to improve on the previous year’s placements of second, third and fourth in each.

But during a free clinic co-sponsored by the Marine Corps’ Sports Leadership Academy at Magruder on April 1, Cramma often partnered with Bethesda-Chevy Chase sophomore Eli Guttentag, who finished third at counties at 120 pounds a year after going 44-1 and winning county and regional titles before finishing third at states as a 106-pound freshman.


County runners fare well in Jim Vollmer meet

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xJim Vollmer Invite Track - JSean WilliamsSeneca Valley’s J'Sean Williams ran an 11.32 on the preliminaries and a personal record of 11.02 in the finals to take first place in the 100m run. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE  

MONTGOMERY VILLAGE – Local track and field athletes won several events and placed in others, including relays, sprints, distance and jumps at the second annual Jim Vollmer Invitational Saturday, which was hosted by Watkins Mill High School.

Members of the Quince Orchard girls 4x200 meter relay team won first place in the event but said the finish was so close they didn’t realize they had won. The Cougars finished the race in 1:47.83 minutes, just five-hundredths of a second ahead of Frederick High School (1:47.88 minutes).

“I didn’t think we won at first, so I was shocked,” said anchor leg Kyra Lyles, a freshman. “I thought she (Frederick’s anchor) leaned but she didn’t.”


Young athlete to compete in Israel

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xJJ Eig-113-year-old gymnast J.J. Eig prepares to attend the Maccabi Games in Israel this summer. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE  

J.J. Eig is a gymnast who is attending the Maccabi Games in Haifa, Israel at the age of 13.

The Maccabi Games feature Jewish teenagers from more than 70 countries who come to compete in many sports.

For J.J., this is special. It will be a chance to make friends and compete on a stage. But, most importantly, it will be a family affair.

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