Full back Rob Kearney – who featured in last Saturdays win over South Africa – has represented his country 56 times scoring 11 tries.Following Saturdays win against the Springboks Ireland play Georgia next Sunday before facing the Wallabies the weekend after.
VCU expects its star to be on the floor for its first NCAA Tournament game.Marcus Evans, who has been dealing with a bruised knee, has returned to practice and believes he will play against No. 9 seed Central Florida on Friday. “I’m still working each day rehabbing, but I haven’t felt anything to hold me back so far,” Evans said, via The Richmond Times-Dispatch. “Everything I’ve been doing, obviously, it’s hard to simulate a game situation until you’re out there.“But, like I said, I’ve been feeling better each day, and we’re all just looking forward to Friday.” Related News The 6-2 guard originally suffered the injury in the quarterfinals of the A-10 Tournament last week. Rams coach Mike Rhoades said Evans has “worked really hard” during the rehab process. Kobe Bryant to Duke star Zion Williamson: ‘Focus on the game. Everything else is secondary’ March Madness 2019: 10 players primed to break out in NCAA Tournament “He’s pretty much lived in the training room since Saturday,” Rhoades said Thursday. “Each day has been a little bit better. Workload, probably more today than he has all week. … He’s not 100, but he’s going to give it a shot, and we’ll see from there.”Evans is leading VCU in points (13.8), assists (3.2) and steals (1.9) per game this season.
Editor’s note: This is the Saturday, Dec. 14 edition of the Purple & Bold Lakers newsletter. To receive the newsletter in your inbox, sign up here.MIAMI — Let’s briefly gloss over that it’s 77 degrees in Miami Beach today and look back about a week-and-a-half in a much colder climate.The scene is in the Pepsi Center in Denver, and the Lakers are celebrating a tough road win over the Nuggets. As guard Danny Green attempts to field a question, shouting from the other end of the locker room interrupts him.A herd of reporters twists their heads to spot LeBron James, sitting in front of his locker watching his phone while excitedly pumping his fist in the air. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error As many NBA families know, the cruelty of the league is that it takes you away from home, often for extended stretches. Players, coaches, media, support staff and many others travel so much, it’s weaved into their rhythms of life, but it takes away time from relationships and hands-on parenting.More than ever, LeBron, a father of three, is feeling that sting.“If you ask me what’s been the only sucky thing about this season so far is that my son has played like six games into his freshman year and I haven’t seen one,” the four-time NBA MVP said Friday night. “I love what I do. I don’t take this for granted. This is a dream come true. But missing my son, you know Bron Jr., missing Bryce’s first game the other day when we left for Orlando, his first game of the season. Missing my daughter at gymnastics and things of that nature. And I understand the business, but it sucks.”James is fortunate to have the resources to track his son, and all indications are that he is a devoted follower of Bronny’s basketball exploits. An ESPN piece earlier this week detailed just how much control LeBron has over Bronny’s career, including hand-picking documentary and film crews. While the Lakers come first, tracking Sierra Canyon has arguably become his defining interest outside of his job.It’s fun to note that for this game on Saturday night, he’ll have intel from both sides: LeBron and St. Vincent-St. Mary athletic director Willie McGee, old high school teammates, will catch up for dinner before the game tips off at 5:30 p.m. PT.There’s a persistent rumor, sparked by a comment James once made himself rather audaciously, that he wants to keep playing in the NBA until Bronny is old enough to enter the draft. There are many bold assumptions involved in that premise, chiefly that Bronny is good enough to play in the NBA (he’s currently a role player on a star-studded team) and that LeBron is looking forward to playing pro basketball on the cusp of 40.Even LeBron, who likes to step into bold statements now and then, peeled back a little when asked about that Friday night.“My son is in the ninth grade and he’s a kid and we’re not even thinking about nothing besides how he can be a great teammate,” he said. “How he can be a great son. How he can be a great brother to his sister and little brother. His little brother and little sister. And how he can continue to be a great kid. So we’re not even thinking about that, and he’s not thinking about that.”One wonders what LeBron might think about tonight, as he watches Bronny for the first time live on the national high school stage. Maybe there will be a stray hope or two that it might happen one day.— Kyle GoonLinking to the finishSweet Heat – Miami makes you bleed, but the Lakers became the first team to win there this season.Who is laughing now? – Maybe he never had dinner with Heath Ledger, but the Lakers GM isn’t a league laughingstock right now, Mark Heisler writes.AD for three – Frank Vogel and company want the Brow to hoist up the deep shots.Finding some peace – Dwight Howard is ready to mend fences with Orlando, as long as the Magic are interested.Dudz, the Muscle – After showing Jared Dudley’s softer side, we learned he has an edgy side as well.Winning ugly – The victory in Orlando wasn’t one to write home about.Just like his dad – Tarek Fattal talked to LeBron’s high school coach to scout up Bronny, who has some similar instincts. Not exactly like his dad – ESPN’s Brian Windhorst compared and contrasted father and son’s high school experiences.Revenge game? – Mirjam took a look at Frank Vogel’s return to Orlando leading the Western Conference’s best team. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with Packers“Lil’ Bronny did something good,” Green surmises, before jumping in himself. “Hell yeah, Lil’ Bronny!”This kind of scene is playing out more frequently as the Lakers trek across the country. After their 23-3 start, the next hot conversation is all about another L.A. team: Sierra Canyon High School. The Lakers’ biggest star is also Sierra Canyon’s No. 1 fan.“He loves it,” forward Anthony Davis said. “Anytime we get a chance to watch a game, whether it’s on a plane or on a bus, he on his iPad or his phone making sure he’s watching his son play. It’s always a great time for him.”James is so excited about seeing his son play, he’s leaving the warmth of Miami early on Saturday for a quick trip to Columbus, Ohio, just to watch Sierra Canyon play St. Vincent-St. Mary which just happens to be his alma mater.It’s going to be a zoo: L.A. Daily News reporter Tarek Fattal reports from Columbus that Nationwide Arena – where the game was moved to accommodate the massive interest – is expecting at least 11,000 fans tonight and almost 300 credentialed media members. While James has expressed that he doesn’t want his son to do interviews as a high school freshman, there’s little doubt that Bronny has already started feeling the media saturation his father inspired as a high school star.
The Dodgers plan to extend the protective netting at Dodger Stadium, perhaps as early as this season, team president and CEO Stan Kasten said Monday, the day after a fan at the Los Angeles ballpark was hit in the head by hard line drive off Cody Bellinger’s bat.“We have been talking for some time with different providers and looking at different options,” Kasten said Monday (via the Orange County Register). “Surely we will be expanding netting. I don’t know yet the final configuration. Obviously, there are some different choices to be made and different products which each come with their own set of challenges.” Mets fine, but do not suspend, Mickey Callaway, Jason Vargas after incident with reporter “I can’t say that for sure, although I think it’s likely,” Kasten said. “For sure, something is going to be done. As for the exact timing, I don’t know that yet.”Kasten said he expects the plans to be announced in the next couple of weeks.The young woman struck Sunday was sitting approximately four rows up from the field just beyond the protective netting on the first-base side when she was hit in the first inning of the Dodgers’ 6-3 win over the Rockies.“You see a direct hit to that lady, and it came off the bat hot,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after the game (via the Los Angeles Times). “You never want to see that happen.”The unidentified fan remained in her seat for the top of the second inning, holding an ice pack on her head, before she was taken to a hospital for precautionary testing. A person in the Dodger Stadium first-aid office told the Times that woman was alert and answering questions before leaving.”It was weird. I saw it literally hit her face,” Bellinger told reporters (via ESPN.com). “I’m sure it was tough for everyone. I went over the next half-inning to make sure. She said she was all right and gave me a thumbs up.”Roberts came out and talked to Bellinger after the incident, just the latest in a series of fan injuries since all 30 MLB stadiums expanded protective netting at the start of the 2018 season to at least the far ends of the dugouts.The White Sox and Nationals last week said they would extend the netting down the lines to the foul poles, the first MLB teams to announce such plans.However, per the Times: Dodgers pitcher Rich Hill is so concerned that he called the players union last week. Citing an era when balls are being hit harder than ever and exit velocity is measured (and celebrated), he said he voiced his opinion to the MLBPA: It’s time to extend the protective netting to ensure fan safety.“It’s such a little investment to protect a life,” Hill said. “Everybody puts their seat belt on when they get in a car. Times change. A lot of things have changed to indicate in these circumstances that we’re in a different time. That’s it. Period.” Kasten said the internal discussions about fan protection have been ongoing since last year (fan Linda Goldbloom, 79, died four days after being struck in August 2018 by a foul ball at Dodger Stadium).Although Kasten said the timing of the installation of the extra netting hasn’t been determined it seems “likely” the Dodgers will be able to do it before the end of the 2019 season Related News Phillies GM says Gabe Kapler’s job isn’t on the line, despite midseason struggles Bellinger, especially in the wake of Sunday’s incident, agrees.Asked if the netting should be extended, he said: “I would assume that would be a smart decision, just to protect those people in the front row who don’t have much reaction time.”I saw the ball hit her face. That was tough.”