August 2022



Emergency officials and power companies across the Bay Area and Northern California girded for a sweltering heat wave over the Labor Day weekend, opening cooling centers and upping firefighter staffing levels amid threats of prolonged and scorching triple-digit weather.

The first major heat wave of the year could topple all-time and monthly record high temperatures in many parts of the Central Valley, while pushing the mercury past 110 degrees across inland parts of the Bay Area — raising the risk of heat stroke and upping the threat of wildfires. Coastal flows could help keep temperatures slightly more in check along the Peninsula and the Pacific Coast, though Oakland and San Jose could still see dangerously hot temperatures over the holiday weekend.

The oppressively-hot forecast prompted Gov. Gavin Newsom to declare a state of emergency Wednesday in order to increase electrical capacity across the state to guard against rolling blackouts. State officials expected energy usage to exceed 48,000 megawatts by the end of the holiday weekend. That’s more than at any other point so far in 2022, though still below what the state had on hand Wednesday afternoon.

Still, the state’s utility regulator issued its first flex alert of the heat wave for Wednesday and Thursday, which asked residents to scale back energy usage during the late afternoon and early evening hours to keep the state’s energy system from becoming overloaded.

“This is not going to be just a one or two day heat spike, where it gets super hot and just goes away,” said Daniel Swain, a climate scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles. “The biggest problem with this heat wave is it’s going to be very long.

“It’s really just an extremely amplified, juiced up version of the kind of pattern you’d otherwise expect to see this time of year. It’s just a lot more intense.”

Temperatures should begin to climb Thursday, before jumping to 10 to 20 degrees above normal by Saturday, the National Weather Service predicted. The hottest days could be Sunday and Monday.

An excessive heat warning is in effect for 11 a.m. Saturday through 8 p.m. Tuesday for almost all of Northern California, including the inland portions of the Bay Area, the East Bay hills, the Santa Cruz Mountains, San Jose and the Eastern Santa Clara Mountains. An excessive heat watch is in effect for that same time period for San Francisco and much of the Bay Area’s Pacific coastline.

That means temperatures in east Contra Costa County could easily exceed 110 degrees, hitting 113 degrees in Brentwood and Byron by Sunday afternoon. San Jose could hit 100 degrees on Sunday and Monday, while Oakland could see temperatures in the high 80s over the weekend. Coastal flows off the Pacific should act as an air conditioner for San Francisco, keeping the city in the low 80s.

Record temperatures were most at risk across the Central Valley, including in Sacramento. Still, the entire state is expected to bake in this heat wave — meaning some parts of the state could approach the nation’s all-time daily record high for September. Death Valley could hit 124 degrees during the heat wave — just shy of the United States’ record of 126, set near the Sulton Sea in 1950, according to the National Weather Service .

It’s all due to an unusually powerful high pressure system that started in the desert southwest and has since expanded across much of the American West. The ridge of exceptionally hot air is acting like a pressure cooker — compressing air and raising temperatures.

“This is first-week-of-September weather in the Bay Area,” said Jan Null, certified consulting meteorologist with Golden Gate Weather Services. “Maybe the only unexpected part is we haven’t had a heat wave until this point this summer.”

On Wednesday, the prospect of such toasty temperatures led some holiday-weekend event organizers to adjust their plans. Big White House, a Livermore-based winery, cancelled a live music event planned for Saturday, when the city was expected to reach 106 degrees.

Morgan Hill opened its first cooling center on Monday, and another opened Tuesday in Sunnyvale. At least three more are expected to open Saturday in San Jose, said Kia Xiong, a Santa Clara County Office of Emergency Management spokesperson. Meanwhile, all Santa Clara County libraries also are open as cooling centers.

Additional cooling centers are planned in San Leandro, Alameda, Castro Valley, Dublin, Livermore, Richmond and Martinez. In Oakland, all libraries will be open over the weekend, and those without air-conditioning will close if temperatures exceed 87 degrees.

The heat expected to ramp up wildfire danger across the state — prompting Cal Fire to mull adding more firefighters staff. Cal Fire’s Santa Clara Unit, for example, already planned to increase staffing over the weekend for added hydration stations for its crews.

The heat wave poses one of the greatest tests for firefighters amid an unusually mild wildfire season for California. So far this year, 203,000 acres have burned across the state — less than one-tenth the 2.2 million acres that burned at this same point last year, according to Cal Fire. The average acres burned over the last five years at this point in the fire season is 1.3 million acres.

Already this week, the Bay Area received an ominous reminder of the threat that fires pose amid a historic drought gripping the state. A one-acre fire that ignited Tuesday afternoon in the Santa Cruz Mountains, for example, destroyed an unoccupied residential structure before crews could contain it — highlighting the perilous fire conditions in the area.

Still, not everyone feared the high heat.

The prospect of triple-digit temperatures left Brett Vanderburg — manager of Meadowlark Drive-Through Dairy in Pleasanton — ready for a banner weekend. Like moths to a flame, heat waves have a way of boosting business at his ice cream stand. And he’s spent the week preparing for a weekend rush.

Luckily, Vanderburg just installed air conditioning at his stand — meaning his ice cream scoopers could meet the coming demand.

“We’re looking forward to using it. In past years, we’d have to roll through it,” Vanderburg said.


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Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters returned to practice on Aug. 15, almost a year after tearing his ACL in the 2021 preseason and almost month before the team’s 2022 season opener.

Coach John Harbaugh said he looks good. Safety Chuck Clark said Peters picked off a pass in a recent practice. Peters himself said Thursday that he missed the game. His Week 1 role, however, remains unclear.

“Whenever my body tells me he’s ready to go,” Peters said, “we’re going to go.”

In his first public comments since suffering a season-ending knee injury at a Sept. 9 practice, Peters was candid about how much he’d missed being on the field last season with “my guys.” He joked about how he’d first had a football season taken away from him in the 10th grade, when his mother barred him from the sport. (“What Mama said goes.”) He acknowledged the importance of patience in his knee rehabilitation.

But Peters, one of the NFL’s most prolific ball hawks, sidestepped a question about where he was physically. The Ravens open their season on Sept. 11 against the New York Jets.

“I feel like I’m doing what I need to do necessary to get me back on the field, and it’s been a process that myself and this training staff and the coaching staff have come up with,” he said. “And we’re going to stick to it until I can get back out there.”

Peters’ rehab work has impressed Harbaugh, who said the 29-year-old looked “really good” even during offseason workouts.

“You could tell, he had really put the work in,” he said. “He’s been in that weight room. I tell you, the guy’s been living in the weight room. He’s been living in the training room. He’s been living out here running, all the way through, even through training camp, when he wasn’t practicing. Then he kind of pushed his way out to practice and has looked good at practice. So he’s done a great job.”

Peters, who’s entering the final year of his contract, is projected to start alongside Marlon Humphrey, when healthy. Kyle Fuller, Brandon Stephens, and rookies Damarion “Pepe” Williams and Jalyn Armour-Davis round out the team’s depth chart at cornerback.

Stanley ramping up

Left tackle Ronnie Stanley, who was cleared to practice Friday but was not present during the open portion of the team’s three workouts this week, took part in “individual stuff” Wednesday, Harbaugh said.

Harbaugh said there’s “not a set timetable” for the return of Stanley, who last year underwent his second straight season-ending ankle operation. The Ravens had hoped Stanley, an All-Pro selection in 2019, would be able to practice for two to three weeks before the season opener.

“He knows his ankle,” Harbaugh said. “I know Ronnie’s very determined to be really at his very best when he comes back. I think that’s kind of part of his thinking on it, so I trust him with it. I know he’s going to do the right thing and be out there as soon as he can, and I’m hopeful for sooner rather than later, for sure.”

Extra points

  • Harbaugh said the release of guard Tyre Phillips is “just part of the roster moves right now,” and said he hopes the Ravens can re-sign the 2020 third-round pick to their practice squad. “We’ll see. It may not happen. But that’s what I’m hoping for.”
  • Asked about the Ravens claiming linebacker Del’Shawn Phillips off waivers Wednesday, Harbaugh said that there’s “a lot of moving parts to that one still. Physicals have to be passed, those kinds of things.”
  • Harbaugh said newly signed running back Kenyan Drake “has had a lot of exciting plays in this league. He’s a big, strong, fast, kind of slasher-type back, experience in pass protection. Catches the ball well out of the backfield.”
  • In addition to Drake, the Ravens announced the re-signing of defensive lineman Brent Urban, who was released Tuesday as part of the team’s 53-man-roster cut-down.

Week 1

[email protected]

Sunday, Sept. 11, 1 p.m.

TV: Chs. 13, 9

Radio: 97.9 FM, 101.5 FM, 1090 AM



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NEAR Protocol has been experiencing a sharp change in fortunes. The social activity on NEAR Protocol has been a glaring indication of rising activity.

According to LunarCrush, Alt Rank on the NEAR token has dropped in the past three days. This was also reflected in the NEAR price which reacted positively.

At press time, the NEAR token was up by 3.5% in the past 24 hours after crypto markets saw some relief since 30 August.

Moreover. at the time of writing, the token was trading at $4.3 and was looking to build on short-term returns.

Source: LunarCrush

NEAR Protocol’s Twitter account, Near Daily also posted an update of NEAR’s social performance in the past week. The update claimed the protocol has seen a significant upturn in its social volume which was up by 25.5%.

Meanwhile, social engagements were also up by 13.7% during this period while social dominance took a hit by 20.1%.

What does the data say?

NEAR Daily also compiled a list of top gainers in the NEAR ecosystem (in the past 24 hours). The data claimed that Ref Finance was the highest gainer since 30 August with a share of 12.4%.

Ref Finance was followed by Trisolaris, a leading DEX on NEAR’s Aurora EVM. It accumulated a share of 9.7% and was followed by NEAR which ended the day with 9.3% as per the update.

Source: Near Daily

Furthermore, the TVL on NEAR and Aurora reached $435 million with the protocol beginning to show promise in DeFi.

Additionally, the top TVL dApp in the ecosystem as of 31 August was Ref Finance with a TVL of over $232 million. It was followed by the Bastion protocol, which contributes to over $91 million to the ecosystem.

The community was also delighted to learn that NEAR Protocol was now supported on Chainstack.

The protocol has been also been able to deflect another possible cross-bridge hack. As of last week, NEAR’s Rainbow Bridge was able to resist its second attack in a matter of months.

What’s more interesting is that the Bridge managed to secure all funds and also cost the attacker five ETH in a matter of 31 seconds. These indicators continue to suggest that the NEAR Protocol has been ramping up development activity on the network.

Additionally, the strong anti-hack measures are contributing to a healthy foundation for NEAR to develop from here.


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The college football arms race has officially come to the NBA.

And on Wednesday, the Orlando Magic dropped the bomb.

More specifically, they drew back the curtain and unveiled their plush, palatial, new $75 million 130,000-square foot AdventHealth Training Center that comes with every bell and whistle — not to mention two full-length practice floors, two more additional shooting floors, an infrared sauna and steam room, an altitude chamber, zero-gravity reclining chairs, a full-body cryotherapy chamber, nap rooms, an outdoor lap pool with an underwater treadmill, a smoothie bar, a barber shop, a mini golf course and a float pod.

A float pod?

Yes, a float pod, which is described as, “A sensory deprivation pod that helps relax the body and mind simultaneously. Full of water and a high dose of Epsom salt, the floating pod is a multifaceted tool to decrease anxiety and relieve muscle pain. It provides the feeling of weightlessness and shuts out all sights and sounds.”

I’m telling you, in today’s world of obnoxious, clanging-cymbal politicians, divisive cable news personalities and Stephen A. Smith, we could all use our own personal float pod.

“The float pod is one of my favorite things to do,” Magic center Wendell Carter says. “It’s dark and it’s quiet and you’re just laying in there floating on water. To have that at our disposal right there in our locker room is elite.”

If only buildings could win games, the Magic would easily go from worst to first in the NBA this season. But, of course, high-flying players win championships, not free-standing edifices. Even so, buildings, resources, facilities and commitment can hopefully help develop players into stars by putting them in an environment where they strive for excellence and work harder to become great.

It’s the same reason mega-companies such as Google pamper their employees with lavish meals, massage rooms, fitness centers and other assorted perks. The philosophy is simple: If Google engineers love coming to the office, they’re going to want to stay at the office, which means they’re writing and debugging more codes and creating more algorithms. The same could be said for the Magic’s new facility.

“We want to create an atmosphere where our people are energized and invigorated about coming to work with their colleagues,” Magic CEO Alex Martins says.

If you were a Magic player, why wouldn’t you want to come to work in this building? Hell, if I were a Magic player, I would never want to leave work in this building. There’s absolutely every technologically advanced apparatus you could ever dream of to help improve your skills, increase your strength, relax your mind, build your body and rehab your injury. The fact that the Magic’s longtime healthcare partner, AdventHealth, is under the same roof means Magic players have instant access to some of the best orthopedic doctors, surgeons and imaging equipment in the world.

Not only that, there is an expansive kitchen, dining room and “family” lounge area where chefs will cook breakfast for the players, coaches and staff when they arrive at the facility and prepare lunch for when they are done with practice. Then, perhaps, the players will retire to their individual nap rooms for a little post-lunch siesta. Then maybe they’ll work out in the weight room, take a steam bath and get a massage or a haircut before heading home,

“I was amazed when I first saw it,” Carter says. “I’ve been to most every facility in the NBA, and I’ve never seen anything like this. This shows the backing we have from the DeVos family and AdventHealth. They have given us everything we need to be great, but at the end of the day, we have come do the work to become great.”

The idea for the training facility was hatched 4½ years ago when Jeff Weltman, the Magic’s president of basketball operations, came to Martins’ office and broached the topic. From there, Weltman and Martins toured 15 or so of the top training facilities across the NBA and the NFL. They took extensive notes, created a concept combining the best qualities of all the facilities they visited and then came up with some unique ideas.

The building is a block away from Amway Center and, according to city commissioner Regina Hill, will further enhance the ongoing revitalization of the Parramore community. Kudos should also go to the Magic for awarding $17 million (32 percent) of the design and construction contracts to local businesses owned by minorities and women.

With that said, let’s get back to the $75 million, 130,000-square foot elephant-in-the-room question that Magic fans most care about: Can the best building in the NBA help one of the worst teams in the NBA actually win games?

The answer: Not immediately, but perhaps eventually.

College football coaches and athletic directors often tell us that the arms race in their sport is necessary because luxuriant facilities help entice top recruits. In today’s NBA, couldn’t an argument be made that an organization’s plush digs could be a deciding factor in luring a top free agent?

“There’s no doubt,” Martins says. “Players care about three things: Obviously, they want to be paid fairly. They want to play for teams that are competing for championships. And they want to know that they are competing and preparing in one of the best facilities in the league. I can honestly say — having seen them all — this is the best facility in the NBA today.”

It just goes to show how far athletic performance and training facilities have come since the Magic’s first season in 1989. Magic legendary broadcaster David Steele told the story Friday of the team’s original practice facility at the old downtown Orlando Recreation Center, where Magic players shared a single basketball court with the general public. During practice, players stored their personal belongings in old metal lockers but had to clear out the locker room after practice so the city’s firefighters and police officers could use it to get ready for their rec-league games.

Probably because of the stress of their everyday jobs, it’s been said that those rec-league games of yesteryear between the fire department and police department would often get quite contentious.

Too bad they didn’t have float pods, infrared saunas and zero-gravity recliners back then.

Email me at [email protected]. Hit me up on Twitter @BianchiWrites and listen to my Open Mike radio show every weekday from 6 to 9:30 a.m. on FM 96.9, AM 740 and HD 101.1-2



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RHOBH's Erika Jayne Reacts to Report of Tom Wiring $300K to Girlfriend Judge Tricia, Plus She Wins $5 Million Lawsuit and Thanks Supporters Amid Ongoing Legal Woes, & Live Viewing Thread

Credit: Michael Simon/startraksphoto

Erika Jayne was just thrown for a major loop amid her ongoing legal drama with estranged husband Thomas Girardi.

As the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star nabbed a victory in court on Monday amid a $5 million lawsuit filed against both her and the once-famed lawyer, Erika was dealt with some unexpected news: Thomas sent $300,000 to mistress Tricia A. Bigelow to help purchase her oceanfront apartment in Santa Monica, California.

“Wow. I knew about jewelry, shopping sprees, and plastic surgery but this really threw me for a loop,” Erika admitted as she shared a screenshot of the news with her fans and followers on Instagram on August 31.

According to the Los Angeles Times, financial records show that Thomas sent a wire transfer to Tricia in the amount of $300,000 in 2015 amid their four-year affair. She then closed on a $715,000, one-bedroom, top-floor condo just steps from the Pacific Ocean.

At the time, the since-retired California judge told then-fiancé Terrance Manning it would be a getaway for the two of them.

“She had talked about [how] we’d still live in La Cañada and we could go down there on weekends,” he recalled. “It really never worked out, nor did our relationship.”

Although the infidelity is one thing, the fact that the money sent to Tricia actually came from an account with client settlements, including those meant for victims of the Inland Empire cement cases, makes the issue far more complex.

“Everybody was waiting. There was always some excuse,” Wiley Shepherd, who claimed to have developed colon and rectal cancer due to toxic exposure from cement plants, told the times.

Although he received about $20,000 in 2018, he wasn’t happy with the time it took for him to get paid nor was he happy with the amount.

“That money did not belong to the attorneys,” he stated. “That money belonged to the victims.”

“We never got a dime,” added Michelle Ganz, whose mother, Sandi, lived close to one of the cement plants and died after a battle with lung cancer. “We did everything they said we needed to, and they just never paid out.”

According to Tricia’s attorney, Alan Jackson, the $300,000 transfer “was NOT marked as coming from a [Girardi Keese] trust account,” and Tricia had no reason to suspect Thomas’ funds weren’t his own.

He also said Thomas “never shared anything with her regarding the source of any gifts,” and he noted that all of the gifts she received over the course of their relationship were turned over to Thomas’ bankruptcy trustee earlier this month. Among them were “1.75-carat diamond earrings, a Bulgari pearl and diamond necklace, a Cartier gold and diamond necklace and a Tiffany heart-shaped gold and diamond necklace that the trustee and Bigelow believed the law firm purchased,” as noted in the trustee’s court filing, via the Los Angeles Times.

Upon learning of the transfer in court, Erika exclaimed, “F-ck me,” and she denied knowing anything about it.

Erika then requested Tricia be placed under oath.

“I’m very upset that you haven’t noticed her depo,” she told the court.

And in response, Ronald Richards, who is working on the case against the RHOBH cast member, said he was gathering evidence about Bigelow now.

“I wasn’t going to do it when she was a justice. I’m not suicidal,” he noted.

In response to the report, Tricia’s attorney said she had “a long record of always being a staunch advocate of victims of crime and she’s focused on doing her part to make sure at least in this case the victims are made whole.”

In other news, Erika recently scored a major win in court as she was let off the hook amid a $5 million fraud lawsuit originally filed against Thomas by attorneys Philip R. Sheldon and Robert P. Finn in late 2020.

According to a Page Six report on August 31, Erika’s lawyer, Evan C. Borges, revealed that Los Angeles Judge Richard Fruin found no evidence that she played a role in “any wrongdoing” during a court date on Monday.

As RHOBH fans may recall, the attorneys brought Erika into the case in the midst of his bankruptcy proceedings, accusing her of “aiding and abetting” her now-estranged spouse as he used their cut of settlement funds to sustain their over-the-top lifestyle.

But in new court documents, it is stated that the attorney team failed to provide evidence that Erika had “actual knowledge” of Thomas’ crimes and noted that the plaintiffs instead mentioned “inferences” about “circumstantial evidence” in their complaint.

Erika told the court, “Listen, they did all the book at Girardi & Keese. They were in charge of all the ledgers … I didn’t do the invoices … I just thought it would all be taken care of. I didn’t really ask. Like, it’s not like I was raking in millions of bucks … I didn’t know what they were doing down there.”

Even in a declaration by the plaintiffs, the attorneys admitted Erika didn’t participate in agreements between Thomas and his colleagues.

“The evidence is irrelevant,” the judge ruled. “[Erika’s] lavish and extravagant hobby funded by the spouses’ community property is not evidence of the ‘actual knowledge’ any breach of fiduciary duty” between Thomas and the plaintiffs.

In response to the ruling, however, the plaintiff’s attorney, Ronald Richards, told Page Six that there is a “discrepancy” in the judge’s ruling because he “wrongly focused” on a duty they were “not arguing” was violated. He also confirmed his plan to appeal on grounds that Thomas “had a fiduciary duty to third parties who were expecting money” from a trust account.

Meanwhile, Erika’s own attorney responded to the outcome as a “critical” ruling due to the fact that it is the “first time that a Court of law has looked at ALL the supposed evidence against Erika, and the Court found in Erika’s favor,” and he added that he and Erika are “gratified that based on a review of actual evidence by a court of law, Erika has been exonerated.”

Following the sharing of the report, Erika shared a message with her supporters on Instagram.

“Thank you to my friends that have stood beside me. All I asked for was time and understanding.”

RHOBH Live Viewing – This is also the live viewing thread for tonight’s new episode of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills season 12, which airs at 8/7c on Bravo. As the episode airs, feel free to post your thoughts below.


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Most bitcoin mining stocks went up on Wednesday as the coin rose above the $200,00 mark.

Bitcoin was priced at around $20,200 at market close, according to data from TradingView.

The network’s mining difficulty jumped by 9.26% in the largest increase since January, according to an update on Wednesday. 

The growth in hash rate is due to “a combination of heat waves finally subsiding (on a global level) and facilities slowly coming online,” said Kevin Zhang, senior vice president of mining strategy at Foundry, which runs the Foundry USA mining pool. “There’s also the added kicker of the higher efficiency Bitmain S19 XP’s finally hitting the market as well!”

Argo’s stock rose by 16.67% on the London Stock Exchange, followed by Hive (+4.52% on the Toronto Stock Exchange), Riot (+4.06%) and Bitfarms (3.57% on the Toronto Stock Exchange).

Here’s how crypto mining companies performed on Wednesday, August 31:


© 2022 The Block Crypto, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.


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When Stephen Curry verbally committed to going to Davidson College during a home visit in 2005, “never in a million years” would he have imagined a day like Wednesday would be possible.

Thirteen years after Curry left school for the NBA, the now 34-year-old finally received his Bachelors of Arts degree in sociology from Davidson at a special ceremony, where his legacy was also cemented with an induction into the Davidson Athletics’ Hall of Fame. Curry also became the first player to ever have his jersey number retired, at the North Carolina university.

A smile never left Curry’s face as university president Douglas Hicks gave an opening speech, congratulating Curry on graduating. Hicks also managed to slip in a “Night. Night.” reference, much to the delight of Curry and those in attendance.

Curry held back tears as he was handed a black binder that held his diploma. After moving the tassel from one side to the other, Curry threw his cap in the air as the crowd erupted in cheers.

Moments later, Curry received a gold medal in honor of his Hall of Fame induction. Then, surrounded by his wife and children, Curry’s face lit up when they saw his jersey hanging in the rafters of Belk Arena along with eight other alumni.

“This is absolutely an amazing day, an amazing moment for myself, my family,” said Curry, who became the first player in school history to have their number retired, meaning no other men’s basketball player can wear his iconic No. 30 jersey.

Coming to Davidson was the best decision Curry ever made but leaving was one of his hardest.

During a 14-minute speech, Curry recounted “the most emotional phone call” he ever made to his now wife, Ayesha, when he was a junior. With the deadline to opt into the NBA draft fast approaching, Curry, pegged as a potential lottery pick, was feeling overwhelmed.

The star player, whose draft stock rose during a magical Elite 8 run in 2008, didn’t know whether he should stay for one more year or leave.

“It speaks to how much this place means to me, and the impact that the community has had on me and my life,” he said. “I didn’t want to leave.”

Curry decided to follow his heart and opted to forgo his senior season to enter the 2009 NBA draft, where he was selected No. 7 overall by the Golden State Warriors. And you know what happened next.

But before the draft night, Curry promised to his mother, longtime men’s basketball coach Bob McKillop and Ayesha that he would get his degree one day.

Curry completed some of the classwork during the 2011 NBA lockout before finishing up his remainder requirements this spring remotely by working with two professors, whom he personally thanked during his speech.

“Didn’t think it would take 13 years but we are here and it mattered to see that through,” Curry said. “And you always said coach, ‘Finish strong,’ right? And I tried to embody that with this process, I try to embody that with everything I’ve done in my career and I encourage every single student that’s here” to do the same.

Curry gave many praises for McKillop, whom he credits with helping make him the compassionate and caring person he is today. He also shared a funny story about how McKillop kicked Curry out of his first college practice when the freshman showed up 10 minutes late because his alarm didn’t go off.

“Who would have thought, coach, that we’d be having this ceremony back in 2007, late to my first practice,” Curry said.

For Sonya, watching her son finally get his diploma was a “dream come true.”

The immensely proud mother held back her happy tears as she spent several minutes talking about what Davidson meant to her son and how proud she was of his accomplishments. She said Steph is a perfect example that it’s never too late to complete your education.

Dell Curry praised his son for his work ethic and commitment to Davidson even after bigger name colleges started to inquire about him following his freshman season.

“I love you, son,” Dell said. “And the next Hall of Fame, you know where that’s going to be.”

Curry thanked everyone for being in attendance for the momentous occasion. He also gave a shout out to a slew of Davidson alums and former teammates and coaches who made an impact on him throughout his college playing career, and encouraged current students in attendance to cherish their time at the university.

Before he led crowd in an a cappella rendition of “Sweet Caroline,” a school tradition, Curry finished by saying this:

“I’m a graduate, I’m a Davidson alum and in the Hall of Fame, it’s pretty crazy so thank you.”


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Hollywood takes a timeout this week as studios finalize a mouthwatering menu of fall features. The biggest release is the beautifully acted but wildly uneven Regina Hall-Sterling K. Brown jab at hypocritical megachurches, “Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul.”

Other offerings this week include two under-the-radar films — “Peter Von Kant” and “Wild Men” — and, if you’re so inclined, a superhero actioner with Sylvester Stallone.

“Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul”: In this gut punch to hypocritical Christian pastors who preach the gospel to fatten their bank accounts, director/screenwriter Adamma Ebo’s freewheeling feature debut toggles between strong and scathing ideas and moments that flail and fail. What works are the electrifying performances. As the disgraced “first family” of a once-lucrative Southern Baptist church, Regina Hall and Sterling K. Brown always hit their marks. Too bad, then, that “Honk for Jess” is a mess. It’s rendered in a confusing, on-and-off again mockumentary style, with a crew following materialistic pastor Lee-Curtis Childs (Brown) and his bonnet-loving wife Trinitie (Hall) while they try to resurrect a fallen megachurch for a spectacular Easter service. The Childs are a couple in need of serious marital and spiritual healing, and are deluded to think that the flock that once worshiped them will. The previous congregants are also played well by Nicole Beharie and Conphidance. Ebo’s film does an effective job of pulling the rug out from under the prosperously pious church leaders, but “Honk for Jesus” goes off the rails too often and makes some puzzling choices, venturing into one humiliating sequence near the end that simply does not work. Its biggest saving grace is its cast. Details: 2 stars out of 4; in theaters Sept. 2.

“Peter Von Kant”: François Ozon’s gutsy, inspired reinterpretation of German bad-boy filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s “The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant” changes the genders of its impossible lead character and even tightens the reins on the running time to turn it into a smashing melodrama about a controlling filmmaker. Actor Denis Méncochet taps into the essence of needy filmmaker Peter Von Kant, who’s under tremendous pressure and whose demands and needs are met by his wordless assistant Karl, whom he humiliates. Ozon’s story plays out mostly inside Peter’s expensive apartment, an intimate setting that hints the source material came from a play. Peter worships and pines for male beauty and he gets that in the lithe form of the new plaything of his actor friend Sidonie (Isabelle Adjani). The striking, pouty-lipped Amir (Khalil Gharbia), however, has ambitions of his own. Fondly filmed in vivid, seductive colors — reds and blues are staples — that were used in Fassbinder’s palette, “Peter Von Kant” reveals much about the fragile temperament of talented artists, and how they, too, can become pawns when they assume they are the kings and kingmakers. Details: 3 stars; in select theaters Sept. 2.

“Samaritan”: Blight clings to the nitty-gritty streets of Granite City, where residents live in a spiral of poverty and often find the only way to make ends meet is through a life of crime. So it’s easy to figure out how creepazoid ganglord Cyrus (Pilou Asbæk) rose to the top in a community that’s in dire need of a superhero, particularly since the one they had before — Samaritan — perished in a fiery showdown with his evil brother, Nemesis. Or did he? Street-smart 13-year-old Sam Cleary (Javon “Wanna” Walton) suspects he’s alive and that he’s wandering the streets as anti-social grouch Joe (Sylvester Stallone). Director Julius Avery and screenwriter Bragi F. Schut inject a “Joker”-lite grimness to “Samaritan” that is tempered and thankfully avoids drowning the film in cynicism and violence. “Samaritan” finds Stallone, who served as a producer, in fine fighting shape, but it’s Walton who steals the show, making us laugh and care what happens to him and Joe. It’s an enjoyable, paint-by-numbers PG-13 action film. Nothing more. Details: 2½ stars; available now on Amazon Prime.

“Into the Deep”: Sexy leading man Mattew Daddario brings some needed eye candy to this toothless erotic thriller, which winds up being more steamy than hot and far less surprising than it wants to be. Daddario is Ben, a rich, always smiling tourist who captures the attention of troubled shop worker Jess (Ella-Rae Smith) who’s still grieving her mother’s untimely death. Ben invites Jess out for a sail and she wakes up the next day onboard wondering what happened. The curious arrival of a new passenger — an inept jet-skier Lexie (Jessica Alexander) — creates an uneasy threesome. The first 30 minutes of “Deep” sets us up for a “Dead Calm” homage, but the eventual reveal and the “action” borders on laughable, making our interests sink to the very bottom of the sea. Details: 1½ stars; available On Demand.

“Wild Men”: A midlife crisis propels emotionally brittle Martin (Rasmus Bjerg) to uproot from his family home and venture into the mountains so he can transform into a modern-day Danish Viking, a macho man foraging for himself and pilfering snacks from a convenience store. It does not go well. Thomas Daneskov’s dark comedy is a sly one since it seems poised at first to turn the quest, which includes Martin joining forces with a guy on the run from the law, into a rallying shout-out for middle-aged male pride. Far from it. Daneskov instead centers on Martin’s failure to appreciate his ordinary life and empathize with others, including a lonely cop (Bjørn Sundquist, in a beautiful performance) who’s hot on his trail. It all makes this a far more textured story than its first few minutes would suggest. “Wild Men” is an indie find; funny and heartbreaking. Details: 3½ stars; available On Demand.

Contact Randy Myers at [email protected].


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Gunnar Henderson told his girlfriend, Katherine Lee Bishop, to screenshot the text. He wanted there to be a record of his aspirations — tangible evidence of what he planned to do this season from the onset of the campaign.

Back then, at the beginning of the season, Henderson wasn’t yet the top prospect in baseball. He had reached Double-A Bowie as a 20-year-old, but his target was so much higher. So he sent that text, telling Bishop he’d make the major leagues by the time the season was over.

Standing in the visitor’s clubhouse at Progressive Field ahead of his major league debut, Henderson, who will bat sixth and play third base on Wednesday, recalled that moment. He called his parents first Tuesday night, when he learned he’d be heading to Cleveland, then called Bishop. He didn’t need any reminding of the text.

“It was pretty cool to be able to accomplish that,” Henderson said.

And then, the now-21-year-old Orioles infielder shifted his focus in the same way that allowed him to become the youngest position player to make his Baltimore debut since Manny Machado in 2012 — and the youngest to debut in Major League Baseball this season.

“The road is just now starting,” Henderson said, “so the work keeps on going.”

That work will begin Wednesday evening against the Guardians. His parents, brothers, girlfriend and grandparents will be in attendance, having booked plane tickets in a rush to be here for this moment.

Few players performed better than Henderson had in the minor leagues, leading him to become Baseball America’s top-ranked prospect. He’s the second No. 1 prospect Baltimore has promoted this season, following catcher Adley Rutschman in May.

“It shows you the depth,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “Those guys have done a great job building the organization with the talent level we have down there, and it’s fun to see these guys graduate to the big leagues.”

They join a club in the middle of a postseason push, entering Wednesday three games back of the final American League wild-card spot.

With Triple-A Norfolk, Henderson posted a .894 OPS in 65 games. He ranks 10th among minor leaguers with a 43% hard-hit rate, according to Sports Info Solutions. And while his strikeout rate rose in Triple-A, Henderson’s left-on-left splits improved. He has still yet to face a pitcher younger than him, and that likely won’t change for some time.

“I always want to temper expectations with young players,” Hyde said. “I know how hard it is. He’s going to play Cleveland tonight. He’s gonna face [Triston] McKenzie, he’s gonna face [Shane] Bieber tomorrow. This is not easy. It’s not easy for a veteran player, it’s not easy for a young player. I just want him, like when Adley came up, to take really good at-bats, as best you possibly can, try to contribute, play well defensively and hopefully we win.”

Henderson has moved around the infield over the last month for the Tides, playing as a second baseman and first baseman a combined nine times. Henderson said he took those opportunities in stride as a chance to add more versatility to his game, but Hyde plans to use Henderson mainly on the left side of the infield.

On the field pregame, Henderson threw with infielder Terrin Vavra and ran the bases with outfielder Kyle Stowers — two players he spent considerable time with in the minors. Now they’re all in Cleveland together, playing for the Orioles.

Henderson said the reality that he could achieve his goal of playing in the majors by the season’s end became clearer once he began performing for Triple-A Norfolk. And now he’s here, with a text message serving as a prediction.

“Can’t thank God enough for putting me in this position,” Henderson said. “Really looking forward to it.”



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The Orlando Magic left no stone unturned when they created their new training facility.

At a price tag of $70 million, the new 130,000-square-foot AdventHealth Training Center is a state-of-the-art facility full of some of the best amenities in the business. It’s part of a collaboration between the Magic and the DeVos family and AdventHealth, which houses an orthopedic and sports medicine clinic inside the building.

“We toured all the other facilities in the NBA and some NFL facilities; and everything that our players need to prepare, to rehab, to recoup and to keep them from getting injured is here,” said Magic CEO Alex Martins. “It’s everything that we would have hoped for more.”

Along with a barbershop and full theater, here is a look at some of the top amenities it provides the Magic and its staff:

Basketball courts

Unlike Orlando’s current facility, which features one full-size basketball court for practices, the new training center features two full-size courts and two additional shooting goals over 21,000 square feet overlooked by an observation balcony.

“This is the most technologically advanced training facility from the standpoint that we have proprietary tracking mechanisms up in the rafters where our sports analytics team will use all the data to help analyze all of our player’s movements throughout every portion of practice,” Magic CEO Alex Martins said pointing out multiple cameras in the ceiling of the practice area.

Strength and conditioning area

Next to the practice courts and through a set of sliding glass garage doors is the Magic’s new strength and conditioning area, which features the latest weight training equipment, including weight racks and strength training machines. The facilities feature an indoor and outdoor training space with an incline ramp, training stairs, turf areas and a lap pool.

“Most facilities just don’t have the space to be able to outfit these types of things,” said Magic President Jeff Weltman.

Altitude chamber

The Magic have the luxury of having the first custom-built altitude chamber in the NBA. Players can train at different levels, increasing the number of red blood cells in the body and providing more oxygen to the muscles, according to

“I believe we are the only ones in the league with an altitude chamber,” added Martins. “That’s sort of the newest thing that nobody else had.”

Hydro area

Players can now take advantage of a hydro area that includes hot and cold plunge pools for recovery after workouts. There is also a small pool that will eventually have an underwater treadmill that is supposed to help recover from a lower-body injury.

Infrared Sauna and Steam Room

The facility also has an infrared sauna and steam room that the Magic said will help detox players of toxins. The infrared sauna is equipped to remove about 20% of the toxins in a body, according to, which manufactured the facility, and the conventional sauna only removes about 3% of the toxins.

Float pod

The Magic are among the few NBA teams equipped with a sensory deprivation pod that helps heal the players’ minds and bodies. Full of water and a high dose of Epsom salt, the pod helps to decrease anxiety and relieve muscle pain, according to the Magic.

“It’s one of my favorite things to do,” said Magic forward Wendell Carter Jr. “It’s very relaxing for me, and I always fall asleep. It’s amazing to have that right at our disposal in our locker room is unique.

Carter said every player has a different reason for utilizing the pod.

“For me, it’s a mental thing,” he explained. “You’re laying in there, it’s dark and you’re floating in the water. It’s like a mental break for me.”

Kitchen and dining area

Players and staff can take advantage of a new 8,000-square-foot nutrition and wellness area with a full kitchen, staffed cooking stations for grab-and-go items, and an enhanced nutrition bar. The is also a 1,600-square-foot outdoor area that features multiple grills and smokers.

“We have a full-time firm that’s going to provide breakfast and lunch daily to our players and staff,” said Martins. “We have the outdoor patio with a full summer cooking kitchen with two big grills and a Big Green Egg. Cooks will be cooking those meals as lunches regularly, both in the kitchen and in the outdoor kitchen.

“As players arrive in the morning, they’ll be able to get their specialized smoothie that the nutritionist has prepared for them on a daily basis.”

Family lounge

Along with the kitchen and dining area is a dedicated lounge for families. For Martins, it’s one of his favorite parts of the new facility.

“I envision a place where staff, players, families, will be in a relaxed atmosphere, all integrated,” said Martins. “Part of a facility like this is building a culture, bringing everybody together, and having that team camaraderie.”

Added Carter, “It gives us a place for the players and their families to come together and build an environment for the team to maybe before games or after, they come here to relax and talk. That shows on and off the court; we can be a family.”

This article first appeared on Email Matt Murschel at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @osmattmurschel.



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