Brandon Ingram Shines Against Warriors

2016 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot

Anybody who’s anybody knows that one of basketball’s all-time greats, Kobe Bryant, retired following this past National Basketball Association (NBA) season. In the two decades that the “Mamba” spent with the Lakers, he managed to acquire five championships, one Most Valuable Player (MVP) award, and was named to the West All-Star team an astonishing 18 teams. Bryant’s skills somewhat declined in the past few years as he aged, but that didn’t stop him from scoring 60 points in his final NBA game. With the player who’s been the face of the franchise for twenty years having stepped away from the game, who better to fill the vacancy than rookie sensation Brandon Ingram?

Ingram, a native of Kinston, North Carolina, managed to secure four state championships while at Kinston High School. I myself was lucky enough to have seen him play at the high school level, and I knew right away that he was the real deal. After spending just one season at Duke University, he opted for the NBA Draft, where he was selected second overall by the Los Angeles Lakers. Not only did it seem as though he was stepping into the spotlight in the new-found absence of Bryant, he took over the Black Mamba’s locker as well.

In the preseason, Ingram has shown the world that he is a force to be reckoned with, despite some critics saying he lacks the build to compete with some of professional basketball’s finest. Just last night, in a preseason game against what very well may be the best equipped team in the history of basketball, regardless of their second-place finish last year, Brandon Ingram showed the Golden State Warriors what he was made of. Coming off the bench, Ingram managed to score 21 points and was 7/10 in FG and 5/6 from the free throw line. He was outscored only by the two-time reigning MVP Steph Curry and the Warriors’ newly acquired Kevin Durant. Some may say this feat isn’t too impressive, but for a rookie to put up 21 against what is arguably the most stacked team in history coming off of the bench, it definitely proves that he’s more than ready for the big leagues.

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Aftermath of the Final Presidential Debate

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With Election Day nearing, Republican candidate Donald Trump as well as Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton are doing everything in their power to sway the remainder of voters who haven’t quite made up their mind as to who they want as the Commander in Chief for the next four years. Although just about everyone has had their sights set on one or the other for a very long time now, both Clinton and Trump are continuing the fight in order to win key battleground states. Tonight, during the final U.S. Presidential Debate, there were a few big moments, as well as Donald Trump stating that he will refuse to accept the results of the election if he loses.

Trump, along with his devout supporters, believe that the election is being rigged by the media in order to keep him out of the White House. In light of the recent video regarding Mr. Trump somewhat “bragging” about his sexual harassment toward women, the press has been slamming him without any signs of letting up. Of course, there have been a few women who have stepped forward to say that in the time that they spent around Trump, he was quite the gentleman. Therefore, for some strange reason, the Republican candidate believes the election is rigged. Perhaps he has forgotten about the fact that the media isn’t too interested in giving praise for behaving in the way that all men should at all times, let alone a potential President of the United States. Of course they’re going to throw slander toward you if you’re running for president and you have any history whatsoever of speaking about or treating women in such a manner, regardless of its simple “locker room talk”.

Surely Hillary Clinton has made several mistakes throughout her political career, but she does have a lifetime’s worth of experience in foreign affairs, anyone is bound to make errors when you’re in a field of that kind for such a time. The Clinton emails scandal, which Donald Trump is sure to bring up anytime he’s asked a question about how he plans to execute some of his campaign platform’s points of emphasis, has been made into an ordeal of fiction and fairy tale by Trump supporters everywhere. Perhaps there is some dark and conspiring content in some of those emails, but until more information arises it is impossible to tell. Also, Trump has said that if he wins the election, Clinton will be investigated extremely thoroughly (like she hasn’t been already) and thrown into prison. In case you aren’t familiar with democracy, you know, the government that the United States has based its entire existence upon, that isn’t a good example of it. That sounds more like something a leader of a country under a totalitarian regime would do. Nonetheless, Donald Trump’s advocates continue to state that Hillary Clinton deserves a prison sentence, even though the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has done more than a fair share of delving into the matter and found that she has no committed no true crime, other than carelessness. Sure, Clinton made a huge mistake and should have answering to do regarding the matter, and perhaps she should be indicted for committing a crime. As of now however, the Director of the FBI has clearly stated that no real crime had been committed by Clinton (until more information arises that is).

Some of the Republican would-be President’s campaign promises have been unarguably the most ridiculous political moves in the history of the country. Die-hard conservatives who live in the same state as myself however (North Carolina), believe these non-democratic, religious intolerant moves are pure genius and cannot be told otherwise. Building a wall on the southern border, because “We have some bad hombres and we are going to get them out,”as Trump says, will cost about $8-$12 billon according to his calculations. However, CNBC estimated that it could cost up to $25 billion. His speeches regarding a Muslim ban have been taken in with great excitement by southerners and racists, and seems to be a truly decent plan in terms of helping with the terrorist situation in the United States, but perhaps Trump has forgotten that our nation is one of religious freedom. Also, the terrorists who seek to do tragic harm to our country will most likely find a way to do so despite such new laws. He has also stated that if elected, the legalization of abortion will be overturned.

In all three presidential debates, Donald Trump behaved much, much more childish than any other candidate in the history of the nation. Many of his supporters have enjoyed watching the Republican candidate interrupt his opponent as well as the moderators, but his temperament during these debates has surely been something of note to tie in with his character in general. Instead of showing respect to Clinton, he has repeatedly cut her off and called her a liar, which again, many conservatives have enjoyed but it only shows his immaturity and political likeness of the average teenager. With polls showing battleground states shifting in favor of the Democratic candidate following the slew of sexual allegations made toward Trump, his only response is that the election is “rigged”. Overall, it was not a good night for the Republican nominee. In the eyes of many Republicans though, of course he won. Perhaps Clinton’s 30 years of political experience has been “bad experience”, but when she sat in the Situation Room with other key governmental leaders strategizing the most effective manner to send in Navy SEAL Team Six to take out Osama Bin Laden, Donald Trump was hosting the Celebrity Apprentice. It’s doubtful that either will, but do you think Trump has a better chance at making America great again?

Donald Trump to Bring President Obama’s Half-Brother to Third Debate

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With just a few weeks left until Election Day, things are heating up more and more in the media regarding the presidential election. Donald Trump, the GOP nominee, has been the main subject of the news in the previous couple of weeks following a video which was released in which he speaks quite proudly about groping women rather inappropriately. Following the release of this video, the campaign has all but spiraled into chaos. Luckily for Trump, his supporters, for the most part, have stood loyally behind him and rallied the cause in hopes to defeat Hillary Clinton. Following the first two presidential debates between Trump and Clinton, polls regarding who had emerged the victor had voters saying that the Democratic candidate had won by a rather large margin. Keep in mind, however, more Democrats tend to vote in these post-debate “who won?” polls.

The reason many voters believe Hillary won these debates is not only because she answered most of the questions that she was asked rather well (regardless of if the way she plans to tackle certain issues will be executed nicely), but because Donald Trump neglected to answer just about every question thrown at him, somehow turning his answer on the Clinton emails or defending his own sexual harassment towards women by bringing up Bill Clinton’s scandalous sexual behavior in the past.

Although the election is now down to the wire and most viewers have had their minds made up about who they will be voting for come election day, Trump has another weapon in his arsenal he’ll be utilizing at the third and final presidential debate (and it’ll probably work better than inviting some of Mr. Clinton’s mistresses). President Barack Obama’s half brother, Malik, will be in attendance at the debate to show his support for Donald Trump. Malik Obama, a United States citizen who was born in Kenya, stated in July that he would be endorsing Trump for president for a number of reasons. He has informed the New York Post that he is excited to travel to Las Vegas for the debate and has great confidence that the Republican nominee has the ability to “make America great again”, which has been the business tycoon’s campaign promise throughout this entire ordeal.

When speaking to the New York Post, Malik stated that he disagreed and had issues with the Secretary of State’s work in foreign affairs, and does not believe the women who have stepped forward to accuse Mr. Trump of former sexual misconduct. The Trump campaign has confirmed to TIME that Obama will be the Grand Old Party’s guest for the final presidential debate before the voting process begins on Tuesday, November 8th.

Carolina Games Summit Returns in 2017

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Since its inauguration in 2006, the Carolina Games Summit (CGS) has become a staple for the assembly of the video game community in the state of North Carolina. Although several other electronic sports companies have hosted events in the state, none of these other organizations have been headquartered nor as strongly focused on bringing North Carolinians frequent gaming entertainment in the form of friendly contests. It has been a few years since the last of the once annual Carolina Games Summit, and the event has surely been missed, especially by the gaming fanatics in Goldsboro, North Carolina. Luckily for them, the CGS will be returning on the weekend of February 4th-5th.

In the past, attendance for the CGS has exceeded 2,000 people. The event consists not only of competitive tournaments on a number of titles and consoles, but it also gathers companies and speakers looking to market the latest in technology and education. Not only does is the public provided with leisure and contests, but also with the means to acquire knowledge in areas about which they are interested and passionate.

The 2017 Carolina Games Summit will feature tournaments for games such as Halo 5, Madden 17, and Smash Brothers 4. Also, Red Storm Entertainment, a Ubisoft® studio, will be at the event to present to the attendees a chance to witness their latest Virtual Reality project along with educational seminars regarding the industry. Dark Unicorn Games, a relatively new company, will be showcasing their products in the trading card game arena. In the information and learning department, Serious Games will be in conjuncture with BioMojo LLC to establish virtual healthcare knowledge as well as training. Also, North Carolina State University and Fayetteville Technical Community College will be in attendance to exhibit and speak to the public.

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The event will take place at the Wayne National Building, 139 W Walnut St, Goldsboro, NC 27530 and will operate on this schedule: Saturday, February 4, 10AM – 8:30PM and Sunday, February 5, 2017 10AM – 6:00PM. Tickets are $20 and cover entry into any tournament or session both days of the event.  The event will offer industry speakers, video game tournaments, concerts, exhibition booths, cosplay, educational sessions, and trading card games. Therefore, you will surely be getting more than your money’s worth of entertainment, fun, and knowledge. It’s going to be an action-packed, lively weekend, be sure to clear your schedule and purchase your ticket. Don’t miss it!

Carolina Games Summit: Website

Carolina Games Summit: Facebook

Indians’ Trevor Bauer exits ALCS Game 3 with bloody finger

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Game 3 of the American League Championship Series began tonight in Toronto much like any other postseason baseball game. The Cleveland Indians, who have managed to overcome the Blue Jays in the first two contests, are looking to notch out another victory, becoming just one game away from the World Series. Trevor Bauer, a starting pitcher for the Indians, was supposed to start Game 2, but was injured by a propeller on a drone of his. Although Bauer didn’t endure serious harm, his right pinkie was sliced, which also happens to be his throwing arm. The wound didn’t keep him on the bench for long however, at least it didn’t appear as though it would, and he was scheduled to start Game 3 tonight in Canada.

In the first inning, after throwing just 21 pitches, Bauer had to be removed from the game due to the cut profusely bleeding. Even with ten stitches placed in his finger to avoid this exact issue, they only held up for four batters before blood began to emerge. He managed to strike out Jose Bautista before he was pulled out of the game, but the blood wouldn’t hold off long enough for him to record three outs.

Major League Baseball Rule 8.02(b) states that: “The pitcher may not attach anything to either hand, any finger or either wrist (e.g., Band-Aid, tape, Super Glue, bracelet, etc.). The umpire shall determine if such attachment is indeed a foreign substance for the purpose of Rule 6.02(c)(7) (Rule 8.02(b)), but in no case may the pitcher be allowed to pitch with such attachment to his hand, finger or wrist.”

Water: The Most Overlooked Supplement

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If you have any interest in your health whatsoever, chances are you have been told time and time again how important hydration is. Perhaps you take heed of this advice to an extent, but chances are you don’t hydrate adequately and are unaware of just how powerful the impact of water consumption is to the human body. There are endless benefits to drinking a sufficient amount of H20, and if you are a fitness enthusiast or an athlete, you can’t expect to get the most out of your body without it. Your muscles are thirsty, and so is your brain.

You may take a daily multivitamin, joint support, or fish oils, but nothing plays a larger role in maintaining a healthy body than drinking an ample amount of water. Experts recommend drinking eight to ten glasses a day, but this isn’t a prescription that applies to all people. Depending on how active you are and how much sweat you’re producing, you may need to drink even more. Just about every cell in the human body depends upon water for proper function. Some of the most popular and well-known benefits of absorbing an exceptional amount of water include an improved mood, lessened fatigue and headaches, along with the fact that it improves bodily functions such as digestion, the regulation of body temperature, and the flushing of toxins. Water also replenishes skin tissues, which in turn moisturizes the skin and allows for a clearer, softer, and glowing surface.

In the case of a person who works out, whether it be quite regularly or not so much, hydration plays an enormous role in muscle growth, strengthening, and recovery. In a living, active human body, skeletal muscle is comprised of about 70 percent water. Water helps form the structures of protein and glycogen, the building blocks of muscle tissue. By consuming more H20, proteins and other key nutrients are transported throughout the body much quicker, which in turn heals the body quicker. Without getting enough liquids, you can’t possibly hope to have an intense workout in which you will perform to the best that your body has to offer. Water also provides lubrication and cushioning within the joints, and can help to avoid pain and injuries in the knees and elbows. It can also determine the manner in which your hormones function, to an extent at least. When you become dehydrated, especially for an extended period of time, the stress hormone cortisol is increased, which in turn lowers testosterone levels, a key factor in both muscle growth as well as one’s behavior and sex drive. Growth hormone is also decreased within the body when one becomes dehydrated, another influence in anabolic muscle growth.

Ultimately, by not hydrating properly, every aspect of the human body’s physiology is impaired slightly, if not significantly in some ways. If you do not consume enough water, excess body fat can incur, muscle size and tone is lessened, the function of organs and digestion is decreased, toxicity in the body is increased, as well as added joint and muscle soreness and enhanced water retention. So, the next time you’re stressing over making sure you’re indulging in the correct amount of vitamins, proteins, creatine, etc., be sure you’re getting a sufficient amount of H2O in your system first and foremost!

 

Kershaw Earns First Postseason Shutout

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It was a rough night for the Chicago Cubs’ offense facing off against arguably the best pitcher in baseball, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ ace Clayton Kershaw, as he prevented them from scoring a single run. The Dodgers evened up the National League Championship with an intense defensive battle that ended with a score of 1-0 in their favor. The National League Championship Series is tied at one game a piece with it now going to Los Angeles to complete the next three contests. With Kershaw making his third appearance in just six days, fatigue wasn’t a factor at all in the three-time Cy Young award winner’s dominance over the Cubbies.

Through the first four innings, the lefty had thrown just 40 pitches and looked as commanding as ever on the mount. After having completed two outs in the fifth inning, Kershaw allowed his first baserunner when Javier Baez hit a line drive single to center field. In the seven innings that he inhabited the pitcher’s mound, he was as efficient as ever, striking out six and walking one in a mere 84 pitches.  The lone run for the Dodgers came from a home run that cleared the fence in left-center by Adrian Gonzalez on a pitch from National League ERA (Earned Runs Average) champion Kyle Hendricks.

The series continues on Tuesday at Dodger Stadium, where reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta will take the mound for Chicago. His last appearance at Dodger Stadium concluded in a no-hitter for the pitcher, who struck out twelve and walked just one in the impressive outing.

 

EnVyUs’ Taimou Receives Fine

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If you’re a fan of traditional professional sports, you’re probably rather familiar with athletes receiving fines by their sanctioned leagues for a number of reasons, such as personal misconduct, refusing to speak with the press, in-game errors, and several others. As the eSports industry continues to grow, so too does the power of its governing bodies and the need for political correctness and professionalism. Although some may argue that competitive gaming does not require such regulation, it does show that electronic sports are evolving to rival traditional sports and it is important that professional gamers, who are looked up to by many young people just as NFL and NBA players are, set a good standard.

A few days ago, a member of Team EnVyUs’ Overwatch team, Timo “Taimou” Kettunen, was in a Twitch.tv chat whilst an interview was being conducted following an OGN APEX match. In the chat, Taimou said, “I wanna explore that interviewer girl’s thighs Keepo.” Many believed this to be a simple and harmless comment, and they’re probably right, but it was clearly uncalled for and inappropriate altogether. OGN APEX made a statement regarding the comment, saying that it directly violated their code of conduct with reference to sexual harassment. Therefore, a fine was imposed on Taimou, which stripped him of $630 in prize money he would have received for a win in season play. Following the incident, Kettunen issued a public apology on his Twitter page:

 

To everyone who was affected and hurt by my inconsiderate and brash actions, I hang my head in apology.

I am also very sorry for disappointing our loyal fans.

I beg that you will forgive my immature actions and I plan to show a more mature version of myself in the future.

I will reflect upon this as we go into today’s match and once again I deeply apologize for my actions.

Taimou did not receive any additional punishment, such as a suspension, and will continue to compete with Team EnVyUs throughout the course of the OGN APEX season, which go on until December. To be sure there are those who believe the consequences for such an immature yet innocent were harsh, but it seems as though the world of eSports is beginning to expand into a professional industry from the trash-talking, childish teenagers from which a large portion of it originally derived.

MLG Announces Columbus Open

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Major League Gaming, a professional eSports organization headquartered in New York that has hosted some of the most successful competitive gaming events throughout North America as well as online internationally during the 21st century, has announced its first major competition for the recently released Gears of War 4. It has been five years since the last title in the franchise, Gears of War 3, was delivered to the public, and eSports competitors and enthusiasts who are fans of the series are ecstatic to see what this game holds for the industry. MLG has been a prominent host for LAN events for console eSports titles other than Gears of War, including Call of Duty and Halo.

The Major League Gaming Columbus Open will take place at the Greater Columbus Convention Center on the weekend of November 25-27, 2016. The tournament will consist of over 108 team competing for a chance to win a portion of the $250,000 prize pool that will be distributed among the top placers. The event will be an open bracket competition, and team passes along with spectator tickets have gone on sale at the Major League Gaming website. If you are a Gears of War fanatic looking to take your squad to the biggest stage possible, make sure you go ahead and reserve a team pass before they sell out.

For those who are looking to compete, you can begin qualifying for live event seeding as well as earn Gears of War Pro Points on MLG’s online competitive website, GameBattles. In some cases, players and teams who rack up enough Pro Points will be provided with funds to travel to Columbus in order to participate.

http://gamebattles.majorleaguegaming.com/xboxone/gears-of-war-4/

 

Nevada Legislature Approves Building NFL Stadium in Las Vegas

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Nevada has taken a tremendous leap in coming closer to bringing an NFL team to their state. Where would a team of the National Football League be likely to compete in the state of Nevada if not Carson City? You guessed it, the casino city, Las Vegas. On Friday, Nevada state lawmakers signed off on a plan that would utilize $750 million of the public’s money by increasing a hotel tax. This project is also to be partly funded by billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, and the money will be going toward the development of a brand new NFL stadium.

Lobbyists for the project worked diligently to sway enough votes in the Nevada legislature to vote to approve the massive construction project, and ultimately scraped by in victory, narrowly earning the two-thirds vote required. Republican Governor Brian Sandoval, a supporter of the program, is projected to sign the deal officially on Monday in the city of Las Vegas. The Oakland Raiders’ owner, Mark Davis, was beaming with excitement when questioned by the press about the passing of the bill. “I would like to thank Governor Sandoval, the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee, and the members of the Nevada Legislature on this historic day. All parties have worked extremely hard to develop and approve this tremendous stadium project that will serve as a proud new home for the entire Raider Nation.

Although things seem to be moving in the right direction for the Raiders’ departure from Oakland, several things still have to be settled before it’s a done deal. The Raiders would surely be welcomed by the city of Las Vegas and the state of Nevada as a whole, but the city and citizens of Oakland will hold out hope and do everything in their power to keep their beloved Raiders from leaving a second time. Also, in the case of an NFL team relocating, it has to be voted on by all of the teams’ owners and will only go through if three-fourths give their blessing to do so. In the past, many NFL owners have been totally against any teams moving to Vegas due to its legalized betting on sports.

Next week, the fall owners’ meetings will take place, and the matter will be addressed then, although a vote regarding the matter will not yet take place. We will have to wait and see what the future holds. Perhaps in a few years the Las Vegas Raiders will be taking the field on a Sunday afternoon, but the people of Oakland thought that a move to Los Angeles was too far, so Nevada may be out of the question.