Adam Weitsman and his $150,000 bet to Syracuse basketball

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Weitsman, a native of Owego, didn’t originally attend SU basketball games, but he started going to support Boeheim. He’s followed the team since then, investing his time and regularly asking questions — like changes in offensive strategy — to the Hall of Fame coach during postgame dinners.He’s followed the season, watching Syracuse drop back-to-back games at Madison Square Garden, and most recently, lose its first conference game to Georgia Tech. Weitsman marked Jan. 14 on his calendar to travel to Cameron Indoor Stadium.The morning of the Syracuse-Duke matchup, Weitsman wanted to get a quick morning workout with a couple of his friends he planned to go to the game with. As Weitsman began his workout, he was reminded of a story he read about SU recruiting target Isaiah Stewart.Stewart spent the bulk of his childhood in and out of Boys & Girls Clubs. It dawned on Weitsman that many young basketball players, like Stewart, go through the same programs. He wanted to help, contribute more than he already was.In between workouts, Weitsman ran the idea of pledging money toward Boys & Girls Clubs in three central New York areas to his friends. The bet: If Syracuse can defeat No. 1 Duke, he would donate $150,000.They loved his idea. Mid-workout, Weitsman posted the wager to Facebook. He knew it would pop up on multiple Syracuse basketball players’ feeds. Maybe it would add extra motivation.Courtesy of Adam WeitsmanHours before the game, Weitsman told Boeheim about the pledge. It was already circulating on social media, and his inbox reached triple-digit messages before tip-off. He broke the news to SU’s head coach in a restaurant under the team’s Marriott hotel. Boeheim was in game-mode, not expressing too much excitement because no team other than North Carolina had ever beaten a No.1-ranked Duke squad at Cameron Indoor Stadium.“I don’t think people thought Syracuse was going to win,” Weitsman said. “They were like, ‘That’s a nice gesture.’”Weitsman got to his seat, the closest row behind the Orange’s bench. Usually quiet at games, he was invested in every play, itching for SU to start fast. But the Orange didn’t, down 12-0 in the opening minutes.He tilted his head into Boeheim’s timeouts, listening and taking pictures of the scene. Weitsman yelled after every Syracuse bucket and got louder as SU fought back into the game. And while his phone still blew up, now total strangers clinging onto his challenge, Weitsman soon started to lose his voice.Down only a point at half, SU stayed with the Blue Devils as Tre Jones left the game, and Jack White missed all of his 10 shots. Frank Howard sped up, Tyus Battle took over the scoring reigns and Paschal Chukwu controlled the paint. Weitsman’s optimism grew, the possibility of his donation materializing. In overtime, Howard’s go-ahead steal and layup made him optimistic. And Chukwu’s putback dunk in the final minute made it a reality.“Didn’t feel it in the beginning,” Weitsman said. “But felt it all in the end.”He took to Facebook as the buzzer sounded and stayed around the stadium long after SU played. Usually grumpy following games, Weitsman’s friend, Boeheim, was in good spirits, Weitsman said.“Adam,” Boeheim said to him after the game. “The Boys (& Girls) Clubs are going to be really happy tomorrow.”— Senior Staff Writer Matthew Gutierrez contributed reporting to this story. Jim Boeheim waited for his pizza, his nerves still intact before Syracuse’s matchup against No. 1 Duke. On the other side of the Pizzeria Toro table, Adam Weitsman — who rarely talked basketball with his close friend — badgered SU’s head coach with pregame questions.The two regularly met before and after games at restaurants around Syracuse. Weitsman knew minimal information about basketball, and Boeheim appreciated the change. But midway through their conversation in North Carolina, Weitsman broke tradition.“You know what, I feel like today is different,” Weitsman said to Boeheim. “I think we’re going to win today.”Boeheim, who had remained stoic for most of the talk, widened his grin. Weitsman had added an incentive to a possible SU victory. If Syracuse could pull off a win, Weitsman promised to donate $50,000 to three Boys & Girls Clubs around central New York — Tioga, Binghamton and Syracuse facilities. He announced the $150,000 donation on Facebook hours before Monday’s game, which was later increased to $175,000.As Weitsman watched Syracuse surge past an early Blue Devils lead at Cameron Indoor Stadium, his post went viral, hitting a boom after SU won 95-91, in overtime.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Jim was telling me yesterday before the game that we were 17-point underdogs,” Juli Boeheim said. “But Adam believed in us.”Anna Henderson | Digital Design EditorThough the Boeheim and Weitsman families consider themselves close friends, the two met in 2015 through a mutual business friend. Boeheim has raised millions for the family’s “Boeheim Foundation,” while Weitsman’s grandfather founded Tioga County’s Boys & Girls Club.They steered their personal conversations to families, local events and life philosophies. They bonded over Boeheim’s “foodie guy” attitude, testing different restuaraunts after basketball games.“It’s awesome for Jim,” Juli said. “To step away from basketball, it’s a breath of fresh air.” Published on January 15, 2019 at 10:05 pm Contact KJ: | @KJEdelman Commentslast_img read more

How will Kobe Bryant fare in his 20th NBA season?

first_imgBryant stressed, “I don’t really have any anxiety” on his recent injury. And Bryant said he feels “ready to get started” in what will mark his 20th and perhaps final NBA season, which will set a league record over former Utah guard John Stockton for most seasons played for one franchise. “The injury has been slowly getting better,” Bryant said of his lower left leg. “I’ve been able to move a lot more and do more things I’m comfortable doing.” Scott reiterated on Tuesday that Bryant “looked good.” Lakers forward Metta World Peace recently gushed how the 37-year-old Bryant lit up his teammates in Sunday’s session after Nick Young and Lou Williams talked trash. And despite only limited practice since then, Bryant noted that he has “been training for so long now” since injuring his right shoulder nine months ago. But once Bryant actually hits the hardwood in an NBA game with significance, how will he perform?“Just be an old average player,” Bryant said, sarcastically. Bryant indirectly referenced ESPN ranking him as the NBA’s 93rd-best player. He insisted he just finds the ranking “funny” and that he “likes to joke about it.” But Scott hardly sounded like he was joking when he still expressed confidence about Bryant’s play for the 2015-16 season.• Lakers’ depth chart breakdown: Analyzing the 2015-16 roster“I expect him to be the leader like he is,” Scott said. “I expect him to be aggressive on both ends of the floor. I expect him to be the tenacious kind of guy he is. He plays every play like it’s his last.” Monitoring minutesThe Lakers hope Bryant’s last play does not coincide with another major injury, obviously. But after playing 55,415 minutes in 1,500 games through 19 seasons, there are no guarantees.“His body can’t take the NBA pounding anymore,” TNT analyst and former NBA player Charles Barkley said in a conference call. “I want him to come out there and play 20-25 minutes a night, have a farewell tour.”Scott plans to enforce a conservative minutes limitation, but he would only say “we got a number in mind.” Scott will play Bryant against Minnesota “like I normally play him,” meaning the season opener could lead to more answers. For now, it seems safe to presume Bryant will play less than when he averaged 34.5 minutes per game last season. Then, Scott played Bryant between 30 and 40 minutes per game. He even exceeded that threshold three times. Then Scott rested Bryant in eight of the next 16 games before he injured his right shoulder.• HEISLER: Jim Buss sticks his head up, gets pie in the faceAmid that backdrop, Scott said he will not play Bryant in an overtime game if he’s already reached his unspecified minutes limitation. Although Scott and Bryant have not discussed the issue yet, Bryant is expected to sit in the Lakers’ 18 sets of back-to-back games. “I wouldn’t say it’s a hard cap,” Scott said about his minutes limitation. “But I’ll stick close to it.”Bryant has downplayed his minutes contributing to his ailments, arguing that few warning signs emerged before his shoulder injury. The Lakers’ star also dismissed his unsuccessful quest to stay healthy during training camp as having little to do with his recent injury history. “It has a different filter on it because of the injuries I’ve had in the last few years,” Bryant said. “But the reality is that injuries happen to everybody.”Change of roleInstead, Bryant argued his role will play a larger factor in staying healthy. He will play at small forward this season, while noting that rookie point guard D’Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson “can handle the ball 90 percent of the time.” In theory, that would allow Bryant to score more off-the-ball without facing so many double-teams. “I just go out there and play,” Bryant said. “My role has changed a lot in terms of the style of play. I can count on one hand in how many roles I play and how it’s drastically different in the past.”In past seasons, Sacramento coach George Karl noticed that Bryant is “relying a little bit more on his jump shot” to offset his diminished athleticism. But despite relying on his strong footwork and mid-range game, Bryant shot a career-low 37.3 percent from the field. Scott noted that Bryant “was very disappointed last year in the way he shot the ball.” But Scott argued Bryant’s high-volume shooting has less to do with his quest for scoring and more to do with the team’s personnel. Through five exhibition games, Bryant averaged 13 points on 44.6 percent shooting in 18.2 minutes.“He wants those guys to try to take over,” Scott said. “The less work he has to do, the better.”Training the next generationThe eyes of Russell, Clarkson and Julius Randle often light up whenever someone mentions Bryant. They will gush about his work ethic. They will express optimism about his return. They will express appreciation for his feedback.“I talk to him anytime,” Russell said of Bryant, “and he’s wide open.” But will Bryant exhibit that same attitude amid rookie hiccups and losing?TNT analyst, former Lakers teammates and former adversary Shaquille O’Neal sounded skeptical. With Bryant logging 32,482 career points and surpassing Michael Jordan last season for third place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, O’Neal suggested Bryant will focus more on climbing up that list.“I could see him trying to pass up Karl Malone,” O’Neal said in a conference call. “I don’t really know where he is behind Karl Malone. But it’ll be nice at the end of the day if two Lakers were one and two in the scoring race.”It seems highly unlikely O’Neal will get his wish. Former Lakers center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has recorded a league-leading 38,387 points, while Karl Malone trails with 36,928 points. Even if he unexpectedly played a full 82-game season, Bryant would have to average 54.23 points per game this season to eclipse Malone.“He’s going to be taking a lot of shots,” O’Neal said. World Peace understood that skepticism. But the former Ron Artest still remembers Bryant passing him the ball for a key three-pointer that secured Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals against Boston.“Don’t try to prove nothing to Kobe,” World Peace said. “Just be yourself. You’re here. Mitch (Kupchak) picked you for a reason. All you got to do is be yourself and give 100 percent.”And with Bryant gushing about his teammates’ work ethic, he pledges to live by his word through the good and the bad. “It’s something you have to feel,” Bryant recalled telling the Lakers’ young players about adversity. “You will have to go through it. When you go through it, I’ll be there for you.”First things first. Soon enough, Bryant will step on the court for an NBA regular-season game for the first time in nine months, when he will strive to write the beginning of possibly his last chapter. Nearly 40 minutes passed after the Lakers’ two-hour practice on Tuesday concluded. Kobe Bryant still remained in the trainer’s room. The Lakers’ star has been there a lot after suffering season-ending injuries for three consecutive years. Bryant bruised his lower left leg during training camp, and then missed the Lakers’ last three exhibition games. After completing all of practice before it became open to reporters on Tuesday, Bryant received more treatment.But Lakers coach Byron Scott will start Bryant in L.A.’s season opener against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday at Staples Center “unless something crazy happens” before tipoff. • RELATED: NBA experts mixed on Kobe Bryant, Lakers’ playoff chancescenter_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Tomislav Brkić in quarterfinals of BH Telecom Indoors Tournament

first_imgBiH tennis player Tomislav Brkić has qualified in the third round of Challenger Tournament ‘BH Telecom Indoor 2013’ which will be held in the sports hall Juan Antonio Samaranch – Zetra in Sarajevo.Brkić qualified by defeating the Czech tennis player Jiři Vesely with 6:7, 7:6 and 6:3, for the final result 2:1.Brkić, together with Mirza Bašić defeated German pair Brown/Kas who were the favourites of the tournament.last_img