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UNC cites scheduling conflict for not visiting Trump at White House

UNC cites scheduling conflict for not visiting Trump at White House

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — North Carolina’s national championship men’s basketball team will not visit the White House because of a scheduling conflict.

Team spokesman Steve Kirschner said Saturday that Hall of Fame coach Roy Williams and the players were willing to go, and the university and White House tried “eight or nine” dates but none worked.

The Tar Heels, who beat Gonzaga in April to win their latest national title, visited the White House after their 2009 championship. The team was not invited when they won the 2005 NCAA Tournament.

On Saturday, President Donald Trump tweeted that Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors is no longer invited to the White House because of what the president called hesitation by the two-time NBA MVP in deciding whether to make the traditional trip by the NBA champions to Washington.

Report: Knicks agree to trade Carmelo Anthony to Thunder

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AP

Report: Knicks agree to trade Carmelo Anthony to Thunder

Carmelo Anthony has finally gotten his wish. He's about to be free from the rebuilding and dysfunctional Knicks. And he's headed to one of the more intriguing teams entering the 2017-18 season.

The Knicks have agreed to trade Anthony to the Oklahoma City Thunder, according to multiple national reports.

In return, the Thunder would send center Enes Kanter, forward Doug McDermott and a 2018 second-round pick to New York.

The deal will reportedly be finalized on Monday.

Anthony is the second marquee acqisition by the Thunder this offseason. They traded for All-Star forward Paul George earlier this summer.

Kings hire VP of professional development

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AP

Kings hire VP of professional development

It’s been a summer of change for the Sacramento Kings. A roster upheaval has 10 new players vying for minutes once training camp opens on Tuesday. The coaching staff has been bolstered and fresh blood was added to the front office in the form of analytics guru Luke Bornn and assistant general manager Brandon Williams. On Thursday, one more piece to the puzzle was brought in to help develop the team’s young core.

With the hiring of Galen Duncan as the franchise’s new Vice President of the Kings Academy and Professional Development, Sacramento is making a major investment in the future of their team.

According to the team’s official press release, “Duncan is responsible for implementation of the Kings Academy program, a developmental, player-centric curriculum aligning multi-faceted organizational philosophies and ideals to help athletes mature into well-rounded professionals. Under Duncan’s oversight, Kings Academy will augment on-court progress with access to practical material and experiences that help balance on-court priorities and personal responsibilities with opportunities to become impactful contributors in the community.”

After 10 years with the Detroit Lions, Duncan is making the jump to the NBA game. He’s already had a taste of the league, working with the league office as part of the NBA Rookie Transition Program.

With five rookies and another four sophomores on the roster, the Kings are investing in a seasoned mentor and life coach. Armed with a Ph.D. in health psychology from Walden University, Duncan will aid the players in everything from finding an apartment to dealing with the stress of life as a 19-year-old millionaire with no experience paying a bill.

“My passion has always been sports,” Duncan told NBC Sports California. “Sports has done wonderful things for me. I don’t care what level they’re at or how much money they make, I think there is something to learn and I have something to teach.”

With the Lions, he brought incoming rookie classes through everything from etiquette courses to teaching them how to tie ties. His goal is to transform a group of young men into professionals, who just happen to be professional athletes.

It’s not just about making a polished product for the media and general public. Duncan will work with players on a variety of personal issues, including money management, dealing with family and professional on-court performance.

“Unfortunately, sometimes family can be your worst enemy,” Duncan said. “But if structured correctly and if nurtured, I think the education goes beyond just the player. I think you have to educate the family as well about what they’re doing.”

The transition to the NBA game will be interesting for Duncan. He comes from a game where the incoming rookie class can be anywhere from 10-15 players. He hasn’t dealt with 19-year-olds at the NFL level and guaranteed contracts are new as well, but the job is very similar.

Sacramento has always had a support staff to help with the transition to the NBA game, but the addition of Duncan is a new level of commitment by the team. They have a huge group of young players and they are making an investment into their futures and the future of the franchise. It’s a clear step in the right direction.