Washington native Isaiah Thomas helps to prove ‘disability is not inability’ at Hoopfest

H-O-R-S-E and you’re out. 

It may seem unfair to pit anyone against an NBA player in a game of H-O-R-S-E, but popular point guard Isaiah Thomas had his work cut out for him on Sunday when he went up against Philip Croft at Hoopfest in Spokane, Washington

Croft, a wheelchair basketball player, posed a new challenge for Thomas, who took several shots from a chair of his own. 

“When I had to sit in the chair and shoot the basketball, you see how strong they are, how strong your core has to be and your upper body strength to be able to get the ball to the hoop,” Thomas told AOL.com on behalf of Guardian.

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See inside the madness of the Final Four in Minneapolis

The 2019 NCAA Tournament marks the fourth time Minneapolis has hosted the Final Four, and they’ve certainly got it down pat.

This year’s March Madness semifinals took place on Saturday at U.S. Bank Stadium, the three-year-old home of the Minnesota Vikings of the NFL. The atmosphere inside had the feel of NFL action, as well, with fans of each school at court level shouting and cheering for every move by their star players. 

The city and stadium also played host to Super Bowl LII in February 2018. 

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The Monmouth Bench Mob is back – and reacting to the 2019 NCAA Tournament’s best moments

The Monmouth University Bench Mob captured the hearts of basketball fans everywhere back in 2015. Their perfectly choreographed reactions to the most exciting moments on the court quickly went viral on social media — and even landed them on ESPN

As is the nature of college, members of that famous 2015-16 group have now graduated and moved on. But, thanks to Degree, they’re making a resurgence during this year’s NCAA Tournament. 

Former Bench Mob stars Dan Pillari (’18) and Greg Noack (’17) have returned to their craft, creating unique reactions to the most exciting moments throughout March Madness 2019.

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Dick Vitale reveals what to watch – and eat – during March Madness

March and basketball go together like cheese and bacon, and no one knows that fact better than legendary coach-turned-sportscaster Dick Vitale. 

March Madness officially kicked off on Sunday night when the full tournament bracket was revealed. The First Four play-in games will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday before the true madness begins with the round of 64 starting on Thursday. 

Vitale, who has been calling basketball games for 40 years, teamed up with Bountyto make sure fans are prepared for their tourney parties – with some crowd-pleasing bites, of course.

 When it comes to tournament action, Vitale has a few specific storylines he’ll be watching over the next few weeks. Most notably, he’s picked out some teams that have faced recent hardships or tough losses – or star players with some shoe problems – to keep an eye on. 

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Dick Vitale’s advice to Zion Williamson: Don’t quit on your team

Duke Blue Devils freshman phenom Zion Williamson is all but guaranteed to be the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft whenever he declares.

Many are calling for the young star to leave college after this year and enter the pros, especially after a freak shoe mishap put Williamson at risk for serious injury – but he luckily walked away with just a mild knee sprain, and was able to return to the court just ahead of the NCAA tournament.

NBA players slammed the NCAA after Williamson’s injury and demanded change at the college level. Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz called for players to start getting paid. Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks advised Williamson to sit out the rest of the season, and the Denver Nuggets’ Isaiah Thomas echoed that sentimentwhile also suggesting Williamson turn pro as soon as possible. 

Legendary sportscaster Dick Vitale, however, doesn’t think Williamson’s work is done at Duke. 

“He loves being a college student,” Vitale told AOL.com on behalf of Bounty. “Why shouldn’t he play at college?”

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NBA legend sends room into hysterics with surprising trash talk at inaugural NBA Awards

The first annual NBA Awards Show was held on Monday, and it was full of surprises — but one moment definitely took the cake.

Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell was honored with the inaugural NBA Lifetime Achievement Award during the show. Russell, who spent time as both a player and a coach with the Celtics, received the accolade from five other basketball legends — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal, David Robinson, Alonso Mourning and Dikembe Mutombo.

After accepting the award, the 83-year-old turned to the other stars, pointed to each one of them and whispered, “I would kick your ass.”

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Kevin Durant shares sweet post-championship moment with the ‘real’ MVP — his mom

Kevin Durant really, really loves his mother.

After winning his first NBA Championship on Monday night, the Golden State Warriors’ forward made a beeline for his mom, Wanda, and the two shared a sweet moment at half court.

Durant, who famously called his mom “the real MVP” after he won the award in 2014, was also named the MVP of the Finals.

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Forbes reveals ranking of the highest-paid athletes of the year

Forbes has released its annual ranking of the world’s highest-paid athletes for 2017, and some of the amounts listed are staggering.

Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo came in at No. 1 for the second straight year, thanks to his hefty salary and endorsements. His earnings increased by $5 million in 2017, bringing his total annual earnings to $93 million.

The list unsurprisingly had striking similarities to ESPN’s ranking of the year’s most famous athletes, including an identical top 3 of Ronaldo, LeBron James and Lionel Messi.

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An alternative look at the beauty of the NBA Finals

The third straight NBA Finals matchup between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors is underway. Most basketball fans knew this series was inevitable, with some even saying the monotony is boring — but really, the beauty of this championship is just hidden in the details.

To break up the inevitable repetition of Cavs-Warriors Part III, photographers have been capturing some unexpected shots of different facets of the games — from brightly-lit dunks under strobe lights to quieter moments with the players before tip-off.

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The tallest families in the history of the NBA will make you feel like a shrimp

While the average American man stands at a respectable 5 foot 9, that barely holds a candle to the average NBA player, who comes in at a whopping 6 foot 7.

That’s not to say shorter players can’t excel at basketball — we saw 5-foot-9 Isaiah Thomas of the Boston Celtics put on a clinic this season — but generally speaking, being tall will help you out in the NBA.

Luckily for many, height is largely genetic, and several tall families have dominated professional basketball throughout its history.

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