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27.08.2018 11:18
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Shaquem Griffin had walked away from his cellphone Josh Allen Jersey Bills , on his way to use the restroom, when it buzzed. His twin brother, Shaquill, recognized the 425 area code that flashed on the screen and started charging after his brother.

”I think I was more scared of him tackling me in the bathroom and not knowing what was happening than anything,” Shaquem said.

What already was the feel-good story of the NFL draft got an even better storybook ending on Saturday when the Central Florida star linebacker whose left hand was amputated when he was child was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the fifth round.

The phone call from Seattle general manager John Schneider set off a wild celebration within the Griffin family , which had gathered at a hotel in the Dallas area after Shaquem spent the first two days at the draft in Arlington, Texas, waiting for a phone call that never came. It was the Seahawks – the team that showed the most interest in Griffin from the start – who gave Shaquem the chance at his professional aspirations and with it a chance to be reunited with his brother.

Shaquill, who was a third-round pick by the Seahawks in 2017, became a starter in his rookie season. The brothers played together throughout their youth and at UCF before Shaquill entered the NFL a year earlier.

”I couldn’t ask for anything (else) in the world than the opportunity to be back with him,” Shaquem said.

Added Shaquill: ”I was going to be happy no matter what team that gave him the opportunity. At the end of the day that’s all I wanted for him: for a team to give him a shot and give him an opportunity and take a chance on someone that is great.”

For Seattle coach Pete Carroll what stuck out as the interview the Seahawks conducted with Griffin at the scouting combine.

”He was just so expressive and so open to tell his story and tell what this opportunity meant to him in a way that moved us all Sam Hubbard Jersey Elite ,” Carroll said. ”Just like those of you that have watched him he’s an extraordinary young man. He has a lot of messaging that he’s going to stand strong with and we’re all going to grow from I think. And aside from that he’s a really good football player.”

Griffin was the player everyone was hoping would get a shot in the NFL after being a star at UCF despite playing with just one hand. He was the American Athletic Conference defensive player of the year in 2016 and the MVP of UCF’s Peach Bowl victory against Auburn last season when the Knights went 13-0.

A groundswell of support got him an invitation to the scouting combine in Indianapolis, where he stunned onlookers by bench-pressing 225 pounds a staggering 20 times with a prosthetic left hand and then covered the 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds. The performance at the combine turned Shaquem into a star, but it didn’t guarantee a team would give him a shot.

”It’s just so much. I’m extremely blessed,” Shaquem said. ”It definitely was a tough three days. A lot of anxiety these few days, but I am ready to get up there and go to work and start something great.”

Shaquem’s position in the NFL is still to be determined. He was a force as an outside linebacker rushing off the edge at UCF, but at 6-foot and 227 pounds with blazing speed, he could transition to being the bigger safety Carroll likes to have on his defense. Carroll said the intent is to start Griffin at weakside linebacker and let him use his speed in different areas on the field.

Griffin’s college coach Scott Frost tweeted ”About time,” after the pick was made. Seattle general manager John Schneider said there was no extra pressure felt to draft Shaquem with his brother already on the roster.

”I think the thing that stood out to me was somebody told me they had sat down with (Shaquem) for five minutes and they gained the same inspiration from him as they did the first time they were able to sit down with John Wooden,” Schneider said.

Griffin was waiting patiently in the green room through the first two days of the draft. He chose to spend the last day with his family at a nearby hotel watching. He sat through the entire fourth round without getting a call, but three picks into the fifth round the Seahawks called.

”It was up and down. The excitement, it’s crazy because you’re around so many great guys in that setting and you’re in the green room and you’re moving around and seeing how the anxiety is building up. Sometimes the pressure like that can break you and it is a lot of pressure Tarvarius Moore Color Rush Jersey ,” Shaquem said. ”But I knew how it was going to go. I knew I wasn’t going to be a first-round pick or anything like that. It was me making sure I was enjoying the moment that I was here in Dallas.”



The prospect of legal sports betting throughout the United States has prompted a flurry of deals among gambling and technology firms who want a foothold in the billion-dollar industry.

Casinos, race tracks, daily fantasy sports companies and others are itching to offer bets in person and online after the Supreme Court ruled Monday that states could begin allowing wagers. That’s led companies all over the world to seek ways to team up.

Some casinos need mobile apps or someone to set lines and run sports books that operate much differently than slot machines and table games. Many tech firms, daily fantasy sports companies and others need gambling licenses and experience with significant regulation. Other companies that handle data security and payment processing are also joining the fray.

The industry is preparing for most of the betting to happen on smartphones, just like in Europe. That would also be new for most U.S. states, as internet gambling has been limited to just three states in recent years.

NEW YORK (AP) – The NCAA is opening a door for states with legalized sports gambling to host NCAA championship events and officials in Nevada are already set to get in the game as soon as they can.

The governing body for college sports announced a ”temporary” lifting of a ban that prevented events like college basketball’s NCAA Tournament from being hosted in states that accept wagers on single games. The move comes three days after the Supreme Court overturned a federal law that barred most states from allowing gambling on professional and college sporting events.

NCAA President Mark Emmert said the board of governors will consider permanently revising its policy at future meetings. But the NCAA said it will not change its rules that prohibit gambling on sports by athletes and all athletic department employees, including coaches.

Emmert also is calling for federal regulations of sports gambling, joining the NFL, NBA and other leagues.

NHL

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Tampa Bay Lightning won Game 4 of the Eastern Conference final despite going the equivalent of more than a period without a shot on goal.

They won despite falling behind about 4 1/2 minutes into the game.

They won despite being called for three penalties – one right after the other – late in the first period, allowing Alex Ovechkin and the rest of the Washington Capitals’ prolific power play to get all that time to operate.

And they did it, mainly Malik Jefferson Jersey Bengals , thanks to Andrei Vasilevskiy, who made 36 saves and kept things close until Alex Killorn scored the tiebreaker with about 8 minutes left, lifting Tampa Bay to a 4-2 victory and evening the series at two games apiece.

NBA

MILWAUKEE (AP) – The Milwaukee Bucks officially announced the hiring of Mike Budenholzer as their new coach.

A person familiar with the search had told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the Milwaukee Bucks had reached an agreement with Budenholzer, the former Atlanta Hawks coach. The Bucks made the official announcement a day later.

”The tremendously supportive fans in Milwaukee and throughout Wisconsin are waiting and ready,” Budenholzer said in a statement released by the team. ”Now it’s up to us to put all the pieces together, and I can’t wait to get started.”

Budenholzer replaces Joe Prunty, the former assistant who went 21-16 in the regular season after replacing the fired Jason Kidd in late January. The Bucks lost to Boston in seven games in the first round of the playoffs.

GOLF

DALLAS (AP) – Marc Leishman shot a 10-under 61 on the new links-style Trinity Forest course to take the first-round lead in the AT&T Byron Nelson.

Jordan Spieth was eight shots back in his hometown event, which returned to Dallas after 35 years at the TPC Four Seasons in suburban Irving. Defending champion Billy Horschel shot 68.

Leishman opened with an eagle, started the back nine with three straight birdies and reached 9 under with another eagle at the 14th.

The 34-year-old Australian, a three-time PGA Tour winner, had chances to go lower but settled for a 10-foot birdie putt at the par-3 17th for the lowest round of his PGA Tour career. He was a stroke shy of the Nelson record.

J.J. Spaun and Texan Jimmy Walker shot 64.

BIRMINGHAM Cheap Tremaine Edmunds Jersey , Ala. (AP) – Miguel Angel Jimenez matched the course record with an 8-under 64 to take the first-round lead in the Regions Tradition, the first of the PGA Tour Champions’ five major championships.

Jimenez birdied the first four holes and broke the front-nine record at 6-under 30 at Greystone Golf & Country Club. The Spaniard took the outright lead with a short birdie putt on No. 13 after a rain delay of 1 hour, 17 minutes.

Jimenez tied the course record set by Kenny Perry in the first round in 2016 and matched by Bernhard Langer in the final round a year ago. Jimenez also opened with a 64 in the Chubb Classic before finishing ninth.

Gene Sauers, Wes Short Jr., Jerry Kelly and Joe Durant were second at 66.

Two-time defending champion Langer closed with a birdie for a 70.

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (AP) – Annie Park turned a blistering stretch on the back nine into a mistake-free 6-under 65 and a share of the first-round lead on a crowded leaderboard at the Kingsmill Championship.

Jessica Korda, Azahara Munoz, In Gee Chun and Jaye Marie Green also shot 65. Park, Korda and Munoz played morning rounds in mild conditions, while Chun and Green played in rain that is expected to also be a factor Friday and Saturday on the resort’s already-soggy River Course.

TENNIS

ROME (AP) – Seven-time champion Rafael Nadal methodically wore do.

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