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Tony Farmer: A tragedy Avoided

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We can agree anytime true talent or potential is wasted and never fulfilled it truly is a tragedy.

    The story of Tony Farmer had the looks of a classic tale where an African American athlete with an ego bigger than his stature broke the law. A self entitled jock who was convinced he was above the rules and that they didn’t apply to him.

I remember back in 2012 when I first heard of Farmer’s story I had recently graduated high school and remembered thinking “How could this kid flounder his future.” A video of Farmer receiving his 3 year sentence and fainting in court went viral. He was one of the first stars of the Vine and Meme age that has taken over social media.

A stud on the talent rich Ohio preps hoops seen an elite top 100 prospect according to multiple recruiting services. This kid was a true combo forward being pursued by some of the biggest programs in the land.

In only his sophomore campaign he took Garfield Heights to the Division 1 Ohio State playoff semifinals. His potential seemed limitless an untapped ceiling for the 18 year old standing at 6’7.

But then something happened the part of the story where things take a wrong turn. One mistake flushed everything down the drain that he had grinded so hard for. An incident with the girl he was dating broke out.

And at the end when the smoke cleared Farmer was facing three years in federal prison on charges of Kidnapping and an assault against the young woman.

It seemed his future was over and most people around the country had a false view and clouded opinions of him because of the heavy news coverage. That day in court a school community came to support their fallen star. Teachers and even the victim spoke well in the hardwood star’s favor.

We all presumably forgot about Farmer after sentencing which is a shame because this guy had a true revelation. Months after his release the decision was made on the next chapter of his hoops career.

Farmer received a second chance at his dream when he signed on to play at Lincoln College a Division 1 Juco in Illinois. Listed on a roster stacked with high major prospects he found himself at Last Chance U for former hoop stars. This year he’s a starter on the Rebel’s squad and averages 16 ppg. It was noted last week he sank two free throws against a division rival to seal the deal on a big conference game.

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Off the court Farmer’s actions show he’s a changed man who learned from a dumb mistake. He’s used his voice and story to offer guidance and advice to young athletes and troubled youth.

We live In a world full of hate and a flawed system where justice for all even has a fine print attached. Judgment is given when a helping hand is more suited conclusions are put together based on softly reported news to boost ratings.

Here we have a genuine rehabilitation story where a young man faced his own adversity, faced the media turmoil at 18 years old, and has continues to pursue his dreams.

No one is perfect but the key is for us to get better everyday next time before pointing a finger in judgment try extending a hand to aide. That’s how we can continue to get better everyday.

I'm a recent college graduate, I received my degree in Mass Communications with a focus in Journalism. I have six years of sports writing and broadcasting experience.

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Denver Nuggets

Nuggets’ Mike Malone Emotional Following Denver School Shooting

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Mike Malone

Denver Nuggets head coach Mike Malone became emotional during a press conference discussing a school shooting that left one student dead took place at a Highlands Ranch public charter school in his suburban Denver community.

Malone talked how his two middle school-aged daughters, who attend a different school, had experienced a lockdown for the second time in a three week period due to a shooting threat, as he called for something to change to stop this epidemic.

One student was killed and eight injured during Tuesday’s shooting at the STEM school in Highlands Ranch, according to the Douglas County Sheriff’s office. According to their report, two suspects are currently in custody.

“The [STEM] school is literally two minutes away from where I live, right down Broadway in Highlands Ranch,” Malone said, according to ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk. “My wife and daughters know people. As a coach, I am somewhat of a recluse, but it’s a close community.

“It’s not just Highlands Ranch. It’s not just Colorado. This is an epidemic. And it continues to happen. And that is the frustrating thing. How do you stop it? Again, gun control, laws, whatever it might be. I am not a politician. I don’t want to sit up here on a soapbox. I just want everybody back at Highlands Ranch to know that we’re with you and that is very important for them to know.”

There was a moment of silence prior to Game 5 between the Nuggets and the Portland Trail Blazers.

Malone said that he was at the Pepsi Center preparing for Game 5 when his wife, Jocelyn, called to inform him about the shooting and to let him know that their daughters were safe but scared.

“The thing that makes you angry is that she’s telling me how scared my daughters are in their schools, texting her, because they don’t know what’s going on — it’s a lockout,” Malone said.

“Where’s this shooter? Is it at our school? Some other school? The kids go to school, they should be going to school to learn, have fun, be with their friends. Not worry about an active shooter. … It’s just frustrating, and it gets you angry because it hits home. And that’s how I felt today.”

While Malone stated that he would likely wouldn’t bring up the shooting with his team prior to Game 5, he did discuss how he would address the topic with his daughters.

“That’s a great question, and you know, that’s something I haven’t even really thought about,” Malone said emotionally. “I’m texting my daughter, telling her she’s going to be OK. I don’t even know if she will be OK.

“This is every parent’s worst nightmare, and it’s something that when you see your kids go to school in the morning, it’s ‘Have a great day’ and just assume everything is going to be all right. And as we all know, it’s not. So you figure it out.”

The STEM Highlands Ranch campus is not far from Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. Columbine was where one of the most infamous school mass shootings in American history took place back on April 20th, 1999.

“I know thoughts and prayers are never enough,” Malone continued. “And from myself, our team, our organization, our thoughts and prayers are with all those families, students, school administrators, everybody that was there today. It’s a tragedy.

“I would like to say a thank you to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department that was there, on top of it, in matter of minutes and all the first responders that were there and allowing that to not become worse than it was,” Malone added. “But it’s a shame. My girls have been in a lockout twice in the last month. I’m not a politician, I don’t have the answers, but something must change. So I just want to make sure that I acknowledge what happened today in my backyard and all those families are on my mind.”

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Brooklyn Nets

Nets’ D’Angelo Russell Cited for Marijuana Possession at Airport

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Brooklyn Nets point guard D’Angelo Russell was cited for marijuana possession on Wednesday night at LaGuardia Airport in New York, according to USA Today’s A.J. Perez.

Per the report, during a routine search of a checked bag police found marijuana hidden inside a container, located in Russell’s bag, that was made to look like an Arizona Iced Tea can.

Russell would be forced to enter the league’s marijuana program if he is convicted of possession, however, he won’t face suspension until a third violation.

While Russell received a summons to appear in court following the search, he was allowed to continue on his flight to Louisville, Kentucky.

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Boston Celtics

Celtics’ General Manager Danny Ainge Suffers Mild Heart Attack

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Boston Celtics general manager and president of basketball operations Danny Ainge suffered a mild heart attack on Tuesday in Milwaukee, according to a team press release.

Ainge, 60, was with the team in Milwaukee for the first round Eastern Conference playoff series against the Bucks.

“Been in constant communication with his family,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said, according to ESPN. “He’s resting well and feels better. Obviously, always scary, but he’s got a good support network. Obviously, expect a full recovery and he’s feeling good. So that’s all positive. Certainly scary.”

Ainge, who suffered what is described as a mild heart attack back in April 2009, received immediate medical attention and is expected to make a full recovery, and is expected to return to Boston soon.

“Danny is just one of those guys who takes time out of his life, his day when he’s doing his schedule, to make sure you’re all right,” Celtics guard Marcus Smart said. “He constantly checks in on us, my family, and things like that. Just personally, for me, he’s been another mentor. For me, from when I first got here, Danny was the person I see every day and am talking to, so he means a lot to my life as well. … I just hope he has a speedy recovery.”

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