- Created on 29 April 2013
The Georgia Innocence Project (GIP) has announced a donation from former NBA All-Star and long-time GIP supporter Joe Barry Carroll that will help the organization's efforts to exonerate wrongfully imprisoned Georgians.
Carroll funded the salary of Melissa Arends, a newly-hired administration/operations manager and GIP's second full-time staff member.
"Funding this salary is an extension of my past work with the Georgia Innocence Project in making financial contributions and assisting exonerees on the practical issues they face as they attempt to reconstruct their lives," said Carroll. "I remain excited about the work that GIP is doing with the use of DNA to provide justice for the wrongly incarcerated."
He continued, "It breaks my heart that innocent men and women continue to be incarcerated for crimes that they did not commit. Much of this tragedy is preventable. Funding this staff position is my effort to help. I am hopeful that others sensitive to our cause will join in and make a contribution of cash, talent, or other resources."
Prior to Carroll's offer to fully fund the position, GIP's only staff consisted of an executive director and a part-time administrative assistant. The staff collaborates with attorney volunteers and law student interns who help process cases. Since its establishment in 2002, GIP has received more than 5,400 requests for assistance and is currently investigating over 200 cases.
Aimee Maxwell, Georgia Innocence director and chief counsel, said, "I am thrilled with Joe's contribution and what that represents. By totally funding the salary of a full-time office administrator, he has changed the landscape of GIP and potentially the lives of Georgia families. We are currently investigating over 200 cases and this donation is invaluable in helping us provide justice that has been denied."
(Photo: Pictured, from left, is former NBA All Star Joe Barry Carroll with Georgia exoneree and GIP board member Calvin Harrison and Texas exoneree Ronnie Taylor.)
- Created on 29 April 2013
Mike Tirico, 46, known throughout the sports world, is perhaps one of ESPN's most versatile personalities. Joining the four-letter network more than 20 years ago, Tirico has handled broadcast duties for ESPN's Thursday night college football, PGA golf, U.S. Open tennis, NBA and college basketball, but he is perhaps best known for handling play-by-play duties alongside the colorful John Gruden for the network's signature Monday Night Football telecasts. The Daily World caught up with Tirico at the Masters earlier this month.
ADW: I've tried on several occasions to chat with you at Augusta National. You're a moving target! How many Masters Tournaments have you worked now?
MT: Oh my. What, nine or 10?
ADW: As a youngster, could you even fathom broadcasting from the hallowed grounds of Augusta National?
MT: Well, I'd say as a kid I didn't ever envision calling golf, as I wasn't playing golf as much as other sports. But golf on television didn't really boom until the early 1990s, so there wasn't really this big pool of jobs available to call golf. Before that, there were only three networks calling golf, and only well-established people doing it. So I was doing more traditional stuff, like football and college basketball. But I loved the sport, always appreciated it, and the job opportunities evolved over time.
ADW: It's a bit of an homage to you that the bosses at ESPN decided upon you for Monday Night Football play-by-play, but also saw a role for you broadcasting golf.
MT: Well, I think being a "Sportscenter" anchor early on in my career, where you touch all the sports and understand the innate differences, helped prepare me for that. It's so hard to compare TV today to TV 20 years ago, when very few games were broadcast. Now literally every game is broadcast, and there are a dozen different networks with broadcast teams. There are critics out there combing through everything you do and say. So much has changed, and I'm just fortunate to have rolled with the punches.
ADW: Allow me to switch gears a bit. You wear so many hats at ESPN, what do you do to relax?
MT: Well, it's great to be busy. I spend time with my family. I have two children. We take vacations here and there. I get to actually play some golf. To spend time doing the things you love away from work are so important. It starts and ends with my family for sure.
ADW: What do people most admire about you?
MT: Most definitely they tell me how lucky I am to have the job I have, to go to so many different places, and [to be] a part of so many diverse sporting events. Not a week goes by that someone doesn't bump into me and say, 'You've got the greatest job in the world.' I agree with them.
ADW: So 10 years from now, will you be taking over for Al Michaels at NBC?
MT: Al's got a great job at NBC. I love my job. I love what I do. I will serve as long as they continue to ask me to. I love the opportunity to be a part of so many different things. I worry about today a lot more than I do tomorrow. If this is the top of the mountain for me, I'll walk away from this business quite pleased.
- Created on 28 April 2013
For the Atlanta Hawks, there's no place like home.
Returning to Philips Arena after dropping the first two games of their NBA first round playoff series in Indianapolis, the Hawks were clearly at ease on their own home court, totaling dominating the Indiana Pacers, 90-69, to gain their first win of the best-of-seven matchup on Saturday.
Indiana now leads the Eastern Conference series 2-1 after defeating Atlanta in Game 1 on April 21, 107-90, and in Game 2 on April 24, 113-98.
At home, the Hawks held Indiana to 23.8 percent shooting from the field in the first half and a mere 27.2 percent by game's end. And while the Pacers were struggling offensively with Atlanta's defense, the Hawks were using a balanced, fast-break pace to defeat their opponents.
"Anytime we come home you can feel the energy," said Atlanta coach Larry Drew. "I really think in my heart that coming home was a tremendous boost. With two losses in Indiana, and coming home, I really felt we would respond."
The Hawks opened with a 12-1 run in the first quarter to take a 27-14 lead by the end of the period. During the span, Atlanta outscored the Pacers on both points in the paint (16-8) and fast-break points (8-3).
Atlanta continued its dominance in the second quarter by extending its lead to 33-14 by the 10:30 mark. On the other end, Indiana could only manage four points in the first six minutes of the period.
The Hawks' defensive effort was lead by Josh Smith, who held Indiana forward Paul George at bay. George, who had a triple-double in Game 1, followed by 27 points in Game 2, was held to 16 points as Smith's defensive assignment on Saturday.
"I just tried to keep a body on him," Smith said. "I just tried to stay engaged. That was pretty much the game plan."
"It was the defense that really got us going tonight." Drew added. "It all started with Josh Smith. I thought his effort on Paul George really set the tone for the game.
"The other guy I thought did a phenomenal job defensively was Jeff Teague...I thought he did a really good job defending George Hill.
Hill, who had 18 and 22 points respectively in the first two games of the series, finished Game 3 with three points.
After going up 6-1 early in the first quarter, and an Atlanta 20 second timeout to regroup, the Pacers would go on to hit only 6-of-36 the rest of the first half. Indiana missed 14 of their last 16 shots to close the first quarter.
With Smith and Teague handling matters on the defensive end, teammate Al Horford was leading the Hawks' offensive charge. Horford scored 12 of his game-high 26 points in the first half to go along with a game-high 16 rebounds. Smith and Teague finished with 14 and 13 points respectively.
Horford and Smith controlled the middle, helping the Hawks to a significant 50-30 margin on points scored in the lane.
"With our matchups with both Josh and Al, we were able to post up more. We had an advantage about going into the post," continued Drew.
Atlanta led by as much as 28 points with 24.7 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
And the basketball wasn't the only thing being defended at home.
With Atlanta taking its biggest lead in the first half – 25 points – with 2:05 left in the second, tempers began to flare between the two squads. While the Hawks were building on their lead, the Pacers were showing signs of frustration.
With the score at 38-17 in favor of the Hawks at 6:55 in left in the half, and just after Horford had maneuvered inside for a slam dunk, the 6-10 center was leading yet another Atlanta fast break and was roughed up on a flagrant foul by Indiana forward David West. When officials stepped in to intervene, Teague was subsequently called for the technical.
"Definitely," responded Teague when asked was it worth getting a technical foul during the court unrest. "I just wanted him [Horford] to know I had his back."
- Created on 29 April 2013
His Royal Airness, Michael Jordan, 50, married his model girlfriend Yvette Prieto, 35, in a star-studded Florida wedding that included such guests as Patrick Ewing, Scottie Pippen and Tiger Woods, reports Hollywood Life.
Over 500 guests gathered at Bethesda-by-the Sea, an Episcopal church in Palm Beach, to see Jordan wed his long-time love. And after the nuptials, a lavish reception for more than 2,000 guests took place at the Bears Club, a Jack Nicklaus designed golf community in Jupiter, Fla., where the basketball legend just built a 38,000 square foot home.
As previously reported, Jordan met Prieto at a Miami nightclub in 2008 and proposed during the Christmas holiday in 2011. The couple applied for a marriage license last month.
This is the first marriage for Prieto and the second for Jordan, who was married to Juanita Vanoy for 17 years before divorcing amid rumored infidelities in 2006.
They have three children.
Even though the wedding went off without a hitch, there was plenty drama before the couple made it down the aisle.
As previously reported, Pamela Smith, Jordan’s supposed ’90s ex-fling and allegedly the mother of his child, was suing for child support. She claimed that her son, Grant Pierce Jay Jordan ‘Taj’ Reynolds, begged her to file suit so that Jordan would be forced to publicly acknowledge him.
According to Smith, she and Jordan have a “good” relationship and she didn’t want to embarrass him, but Taj no longer wanted to keep his paternity secret. Even though Jordan allegedly gave them money and gifts over the years, the boy could never tell anyone that he was his father.
Jordan asked that the paternity suit be dismissed and Smith eventually dropped it.
As previously reported, Jordan had Prieto sign a prenup to protect his reported $650-million fortune.
- Created on 26 April 2013
Originally slated to pick at 30, the Atlanta Falcons traded up with the St. Louis Rams to select University of Washington cornerback Desmond Trufant as the 22nd overall in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Atlanta swapped their third- and six-round pick in order to land the deal Thursday evening.
The 6-foot, 190-pound Trufant will be one of the major replacements on the defensive side of the ball after Atlanta lost three cornerbacks during the offseason. Dunta Robinson was released earlier this year while Brent Grimes and Christopher Owens signed with other teams in free agency.
Trufant is also the younger sibling of two brothers already in the league. Marcus Trufant has been the starting cornerback for the Seattle Seahawks over the past decade, while Isaiah Trufant plays corner for the New York Jets.
"They're here with me watching the draft," Desmond said during a conference call late Thursday after being selected. "Now, I'm going to try to make a name, make an impact in the league. I'm ready to come in and work hard from day one."
(Photo: Falcons' departed cornerback Dunta Robinson)