Review Category : National Sports

Injured Vet Talks Transformation Amid Invictus Games

ABC News(ORLANDO, Fla.) — This isn’t Israel Del Toro Jr.’s first competition. The retired U.S. Air Force master sergeant competed in 2014 at the inaugural Invictus Games in London.

This isn’t Bob Woodruff’s first Invictus Games, either. He was also with Del Toro in London two years ago, but their friendship goes even further back.

Del Toro of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the ABC News anchor have sat down together many times, and they came together again this week at the Invictus Games in Orlando, Florida, for the Paralympic-style sporting events.

“Not only do I see myself, how I’ve changed, I’ve evolved. I’m stronger, more confident.” Del Toro, 41, told Woodruff. “I saw how you were, how you evolved. It’s almost funny; we’ve been going toward the same journey together. We’d see each other here and there, and it’s been great.”

Woodruff suffered serious injuries in January 2006 while covering the war in Iraq, only two months after Del Toro was injured in Afghanistan.

Woodruff was embedded with the U.S. Army 4th Infantry Division when an improvised explosive device struck his vehicle near Taji, Iraq. Del Toro was injured in November 2005, also by an IED, suffering third-degree burns to 80 percent of his body, losing fingers on both hands and suffering nerve damage to his right food and inhalation burns.

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Stephen Curry Becomes NBA’s First Unanimous MVP Winner

Allen Kee / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) — Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry has won the NBA’s Most Valuable Player Award for the second year in a row.

Curry, 28, earned all 131 first-place votes, becoming the first unanimous winner of the award in the league’s history. He is also the 11th player in NBA history to take the honors back-to-back.

Stephen Curry earned all 131 first-place MVP votes, the first unanimous winner in the award’s 61-season history. pic.twitter.com/Drmdr0trDZ

— WarriorsPR (@WarriorsPR) May 10, 2016

The point guard was a favorite to be named the MVP after helping the Warriors finish the regular season 73-9, breaking the record held by the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls for the winningest single season ever in the NBA. Curry also broke his own record for the most 3-pointers in a single season with 402.

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Tom Brady Details a Day in His Hectic Life

Allen Kee / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) — You might imagine that as one of the most prosperous athletes in sports, Tom Brady wallows in decadent comfort. But the reality he describes is a Spartan life full of “concessions” to his craft — the clean eating, the early nights, the gut-wrenching workouts.

And his dedication speaks for itself when you consider how long he’s reigned in the NFL.

“There’s no other 39-year-olds playing now at quarterback” as a starter, he says.

Matt Hasselbeck is 40, but he’s not starting for the Indianapolis Colts. That’s Andrew Luck.

He has a good point.

Brady turns 39 in August and that’s hard to believe. Was it really that long ago that New England shocked the world and beat the Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI?

To put things in perspective, Justin Bieber was 6 years old when Brady was drafted out of Michigan. Selena Gomez was all of 7 years old.

So, when you put together all the concessions Brady says he makes, maybe it’s worth it.

“Maybe a different part of my life, when my kids get a little older, when my career ends, I’ll have a lot more time to do things,” Brady says.

Just not now.

Not a Leisure Trip

The Bentley Suite at the St. Regis Hotel just below Central Park in New York City is the epitome of luxury, especially on this day. It’s 3 p.m. on Monday, the first room in this ridiculous suite is the dining room. The table is filled with crab cakes, spring rolls and anything you want to drink. A butler hovers by the fridge at the ready.

His attentiveness is lost on a room full of reporters.

Brady’s in town to promote Simmons new mattress Beautyrest Black. His 30-second spot is playing on a loop in the room on an approximately 70-inch TV. The guy is dressed to the nines, pocket square and all. The impressiveness of the suite is only heightened when you realize that as you leave the kitchen, there’s another living room on your way to meet Brady in the bedroom.

After a legit 30-second walk to the room, where cameras, lights and sound are all set up, Brady’s sitting in a director’s chair, all smiles. He’s joking around with the sound guy and even has his jacket off. But this is no leisure trip.

Aside from the obvious reasons, he’s not here to enjoy NYC. Brady explains he had practice this morning and flew in after for only a few hours. He’s eager to get back to New England.

“I fly back tonight and then practice tomorrow morning,” he says. “That’s the way it goes right now.”

The man’s not kidding. Aside from being the face of Beautyrest Black, he’s got a cook book coming out (for $200), endorsements with Movado, Vitamin Water, his training company TB12 Sports and, of course, football. He has a family too, which you may have read about once or twice.

“As you get older, you have more responsibilities, you have more commitments, more events, kids, you’re married now,” he says of his supermodel wife, Gisele Bundchen, since 2009. “You still have all the things that you’ve had, plus you just keep adding. I got a lot.”

The Concessions

Being Tom Brady isn’t easy.

Let’s get this out of the way first and foremost, he’s never up to watch shows like Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead.

“Yeah, none of that,” he says, laughing. “I don’t go to bed at 1 a.m. and wake up at 5 a.m. and say, ‘Let’s see if I can get this done today.’”

In fact, it’s in bed by 8:30 p.m. and up at 5:30 a.m.

“Because my career is so important, I think I make a lot of, I wouldn’t call them sacrifices, but just concessions for my job. I love what I do and I want to do it for a long time,” he adds.

And he’s done it for a long time.

Brady has 11 trips to the Pro Bowl and four Super Bowl wins. Still, it doesn’t seem possible that he was drafted all the way back in 2000. Many of the players drafted in the 198 picks before him (he was taken by the Pats in the sixth round) are gone today. Jamal Lewis, LaVar Arrington, Brian Urlacher and Plaxico Burress, are all retired. Some are even analysts on TV. Not Brady — he threw for 4,700 yards last year.

Brady is honest when he details those “concessions.”

“Sometimes, it’s hard to cut things out, for me where I cut is like my friends, they probably don’t get as much time as they used to,” he says. “When you’re one of the leaders of the team, there are no days off.”

Then there’s the diet that’s been so widely reported on and talked about. Brady is humble, but still laughs when a pizza and bag of chips are mentioned.

“If you like it you should enjoy it!” he says. “Moderation in everything. If there’s things you really love, you should enjoy. You get one life, so you should enjoy it.”

But that “you” doesn’t mean Brady, at least for the time being.

“I have to make different choices, there’s no other 39-year-olds playing now at quarterback. So, you better do things a little differently,” he explains. “I try to not eat as much sugar, but it’s so hard in our American diet to do that. … It’s hard to completely avoid. I don’t drink much alcohol.” (He’ll make an exception when he’s hoisting the Vince Lombardi trophy.)

“A lot of veggies, a lot of lean meats, nothing that’s going to set me back,” he adds.

Brady the Mentor

Efficiency is key with Brady.

He’s the first to admit he’s not 23 anymore. But when he talks about his age and his training regimen, his experience is clear.

“When you’re 22, you don’t know what works and what doesn’t work. Most people in their career, the more experience, the less mistakes they make,” he says. “For example, in the off-season a lot of players spend a lot of time in the weight room and get big and strong, they work on a lot of things track guys do to get fast.”

Brady is 6-feet-4 and has to bend down pretty far to take a photo with me, he’s also in impeccable shape. But he only focuses on what he needs to do as a quarterback.

“How strong do I need to be? I only need to be as strong as what it takes to withstand the hits if the season,” he says. “Trying to lift the max weight possible, I don’t do those things anymore.”

When asked exactly how many throws he does in a day during practice, he smiles and simply says, “I throw … a lot.”

Tom Terrific pulls a full-on Tony Robbins when he throws out this quote, “Every 23-year-old in the NFL, that’s what they are all doing [getting as big as they can be]. Instead of focusing on your strengths all the time, let’s focus on bettering some of your weaknesses. So you can be a better player.”

As the mission statement for TB12, his sports training company, states, it’s all about a “different and more sustainable approach” and when you speak with Brady, it’s clear the man knows what he’s talking about.

With such a tight schedule, does Brady even relax or goof off?

“During the season, most of my time to unwind is in my car ride home,” he says. “When I get home, it’s being with my kids. There’s not much time to unwind, but you know what, it’s because I love what I do. I look forward to the season. I look forward to playing games. It doesn’t ever feel like work.”

There are some breaks when the season ends, usually in February for Brady and the New England Patriots.

“I have hobbies,” he says. “I like being active. I like to surf a lot, play a little bit of golf. But it’ a lot of work and being with my family.”

“Maybe a different part of my life, when my kids get a little older, when my career ends, I’ll have a lot more time to do things,” he adds.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Report: Stephen Strasburg, Nationals Agree to Seven-Year Extension

Scott Clarke / ESPN Images(WASHINGTON) — Stephen Strasburg is extending his stay in Washington, D.C.

The right-handed starting pitcher has agreed to a seven-year, $175 million extension with the Washington Nationals, sources tell ESPN.

Sources say Strasburg will get a rolling opt-out clause midway through his contract and could earn an additional $7 million in performance bonuses. For each season he pitches at least 180 innings, he will also get a $1 million bonus, sources tell ESPN.

Strasburg, 27, has been with the Nationals since he was drafted by the team in 2009. So far this season, he is 5-0 with a 2.76 ERA and 58 strikeouts.

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Curry Comes off Bench, Scores 40 Points to Help Warriors Take 3-1 Lead

Allen Kee / ESPN Images(PORTLAND, Ore.) — Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry came off the bench in full force Monday night.

The 28-year-old scored 40 points against the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals — his first game since being sidelined with a sprained right knee. The Warriors went on to win 132-125 in overtime and now lead the series 3-1.

Curry stepped into the game with just under 6 minutes to go in the first quarter. His team was trailing the Trail Blazers 16-2.

Despite missing his first nine 3-pointers, Curry said his confidence never wavered.

“I don’t think you shoot nine shots from 3 without making one if you don’t have confidence,” he told reporters after the game.

Curry not only led his team in scoring Monday night — he also went on to score 17 points in overtime, setting an NBA record.

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Axalta Announced as Fifth Founding Partner of Daytona International Speedway

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images(DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.) — The owner of Daytona International Speedway has discovered a new founding partner for the remodeled track.

Axalta Coating Systems, a manufacturer of liquid and powder coatings, has reached an agreement with International Speedway Corporation to become the fifth Founding Partner of Daytona. The deal includes naming rights for the Center injector as well as branding rights within specific areas of the track’s “World Center of Racing” zone.

The other Founding Partners are Sunoco, Toyota, Chevrolet and Florida Hospital.

Axalta is a sponsor of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s No. 88 Chevrolet SS team.

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Scoreboard Roundup — 5/9/16

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners:

INTERLEAGUE

Toronto 3, San Francisco 0
Washington 5, Detroit 4

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Chi White Sox 8, Texas 4, 12 Innings
Seattle 5, Tampa Bay 2
N-Y Yankees 6, Kansas City 3
Boston 14, Oakland 7
Houston 7, Cleveland 1
Baltimore at Minnesota (postponed)

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Arizona 10, Colorado 5
N-Y Mets 4, L.A. Dodgers 2
Miami 4, Milwaukee 1
Cincinnati 3, Pittsburgh 2
San Diego at Chi Cubs (postponed)

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PLAYOFFS

Golden State 132, Portland 125
OT Miami 94, Toronto 87

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE PLAYOFFS

Nashville 4, San Jose 3
Dallas 3, St. Louis 2

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Sacramento Kings Name Dave Joerger as Head Coach

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — The Sacramento Kings have a new head coach.

The Kings have signed Dave Joerger in a four-year deal worth $16 million, sources tell ESPN.

“I am thrilled to welcome Dave to the Sacramento Kings,” said Kings Vice President and General Manager Vlade Divac in a statement. “He is a strong and passionate leader with a proven track record of producing results. Dave shares our focus on creating a long-term culture of winning and I look forward to a bright future ahead for the Kings with his leadership on the court.”

Joerger has spent the past three years coaching the Memphis Grizzlies where he accrued a 147-99 regular season mark. This year he guided the Grizzlies to a 42-40 record with a place in the Western Conference playoffs as a No. 7 seed.

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Andy Murray and Amelie Mauresmo End Coaching Relationship

Jan Kruger/Getty Images(LONDON) — Andy Murray and his coach, Amelie Mauresmo, have split after two years of training and no new Grand Slam titles.

Although a statement released by Murray’s management didn’t say why the Frenchwoman would no longer be coaching, a statement from the former women’s world No. 1 said according to ESPN “dedicating enough time along with the travel has been a challenge for me.”

“Working with Andy over the last two years has been a fantastic experience for me,” said Mauresmo according to ESPN. “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being part of the great team of people he has around him.”

Mauresmo recently took six months off from coaching after she gave birth to her first child, Jonas Bjorkman, in August.

In his two years under Mauresmo, Murray, a two-time Grand Slam champion, was able to reach the finals in the Australian Open, but lost to world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in both 2015 and 2016.

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NC State Finally Visits White House 33 Years After Stunning Basketball Upset

ABCNews.com(WASHINGTON) — It was a White House tour 33 years in the making.

The 1983 NCAA men’s basketball team champions, the North Carolina State Wolfpack, finally got their visit with President Obama after the team started a lobbying campaign to make up for lost time.

The oversight was based partly on tight budgets and NCAA rules: The White House had invited the team back then, but the school’s athletic director was frugal, one N.C. State official said, and wouldn’t pay for bus fare or hotel rooms.

A local TV station then offered to foot the bill, but the NCAA said that would violate its rules. “So we stayed home,” the official said of the team coached by the late Jim Valvano that upset the mighty No. 1 ranked Houston Cougars.

But as Thurl Bailey, then a senior on the championship team, said, members started talking about belatedly taking the White House up on its invitation about three years ago at a team reunion.

He then enlisted the help of Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, who became a good friend during Bailey’s nine NBA seasons with the Utah Jazz.

As the president joked when he visited with the team Modnay in the East Room of the White House, “basically if [Hatch] asks me to do something, I usually do it.”

Putting his arm around Hatch, he ribbed the senior Republican senator: “It’s not always reciprocated.”

There were about 20 members of the team, plus their family members, at the brief meeting, during which the players stood on a riser as the president greeted them individually.

“They look like they still got a little game,” the president exclaimed, noting that these players were part of his peer group (Obama graduated Columbia University in 1983).

Bailey, now 55, said the meeting meant more to the members of the team now than it would have back when they first won the championship, because they were able to bring their families now.

“People said back then that it was meant to happen that we won the championship, fate,” he said. “I also think it was not necessarily a bad thing that we didn’t get to go visit back then because now I think it’s that much more enjoyable.”

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