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Duke's Zion Williamson sprains knee after Nike shoe blows out; Obama tweets well-wishes

A Duke University basketball star sprained his knee after one of his Nike shoes ripped apart Wednesday during the Blue Devils' rivalry game against North Carolina.

>> Read more trending news 

According to The Associated Press, the bizarre incident happened less than a minute into the widely watched game as famous faces, including former President Barack Obama, watched from the stands. Duke freshman Zion Williamson slipped, his shoe splitting as he fell to the ground.

>> Watch the moment here

No. 1 Duke eventually lost to No. 8 North Carolina, 88-72.

After the game, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said Williamson had suffered a mild sprain. Krzyzewski wasn't sure how long Williamson would need to recover, the AP reported.

Nike released the following statement overnight, according to Des Bieler of the Washington Post:

"We are obviously concerned and want to wish Zion a speedy recovery," the statement read. "The quality and performance of our products are of utmost importance. While this is an isolated occurrence, we are working to identify the issue."

>> See the tweet here

Obama, whose reaction to the moment was caught on cameratweeted well-wishes to Williamson late Wednesday.

>> See Obama's reaction here

"Zion Williamson seems like an outstanding young man as well as an outstanding basketball player," Obama wrote. "Wishing him a speedy recovery."

>> See the tweet here

Read more here.

– The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Former NFL player killed by neighbor in parking dispute, Colorado police say

A former Seattle Seahawks defensive back who went on to become an assistant high school principal was fatally shot Sunday morning in a parking dispute with his neighbor, police said. 

Former Seattle Seahawks safety Anthony “T.J.” Cunningham, 46, of Centennial, was gunned down in the parking lot of a high school near his home, according to the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office. Marcus Alan Johnson, 31, who lived across the street from Cunningham, has been charged with first-degree murder. 

>> Read more trending news

A GoFundMe page set up to help Cunningham’s wife and five children alleges he died trying to protect his family. 

“T.J. always stood up for what was right and looked out for people who could not speak up for themselves,” states the fundraising page, which raised more than $58,000 for the family in a day. “It’s not a coincidence that his career path led to helping children through education as the assistant principal at Hinkley High School (in Aurora). His warm presence and generous spirit has profoundly impacted the lives of countless relatives, friends, colleagues and kids.”

Cunningham was also a prominent alumnus of the University of Colorado’s Buffaloes football program. 

Sheriff’s Office officials said dispatchers received a 911 call around 9:20 a.m. Sunday from a woman who said she found a man lying on the ground, bleeding, at Eaglecrest High School in Centennial. CBS4 in Denver reported Sunday evening that the shooting took place at the athletic fields between the high school and the neighboring Thunder Ridge Middle School. 

Two minutes later, Johnson called and said he had shot his neighbor, but was now at his own home about a half-mile from the school. 

Johnson was taken into custody outside his home. The gun he said he used to kill Cunningham was found in plain sight in his car, according to an arrest affidavit in the case.

The affidavit states that neighbors and other witnesses told investigators Johnson and Cunningham, who was an assistant principal at Hinkley High School in Aurora, were involved in an ongoing parking dispute. A Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman, Deborah Sherman, told CNN Cunningham texted Johnson about the issue hours before the shooting. 

“It was a dispute that morning, they were texting back and forth, and then they said let’s settle this at the school," Sherman said.

Cunningham’s brother told detectives he went with Cunningham to the school, where the two men planned to “box it out,” according to the affidavit. He said they got out of their respective vehicles and walked toward each other, yelling expletives and calling one another names.

Read the affidavit detailing the slaying of former Seattle Seahawk T.J. Cunningham below. 

The shouting quickly turned deadly. 

Johnson, who told investigators Cunningham had a bottle, shot the former football player three times, striking him in the head and chest. According to the arrest affidavit, Cunningham was taken to a hospital, where he died after being declared brain-dead Monday afternoon. 

Cunningham’s brother told investigators he was unarmed when he was shot, the affidavit said. 

Johnson, who CBS4 reported has a criminal history that includes assault and weapons possession charges, was being held at the Arapahoe County Jail without bond Wednesday. 

“I expect him to remain in place,” 18th Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler told the news station. “There isn’t any amount of money on the planet Earth at this moment that could get him out of custody.”

Cunningham, an Aurora native who was a receiver and defensive back at the University of Colorado at Boulder, was drafted by the Seahawks in 1996. His career as a defensive back lasted nine games, according to the team website

According to ESPN, injuries ended Cunningham’s NFL career.

Aurora Public Schools issued a statement Monday expressing the school district’s grief over Cunningham’s death. 

“Our hearts are broken for Mr. Cunningham’s family,” the statement read, according to Denver7. “Our thoughts and prayers are with them during this tragic time.” 

Extra counselors are going to be on hand at Hinkley High all week to help students, faculty and staff process the loss, the statement said.

An electronic billboard in front of the school memorialized Cunningham on Tuesday. 

“Forever a Thunderbird. Forever in our hearts,” the sign read. 

Rick George, athletic director for the Colorado Buffaloes, said university officials were “deeply shocked and saddened” to learn of Cunningham’s death. 

“He was a good family man and had a strong passion for working with young people, as evidenced by serving as an assistant high school principal,” George said in a statement. “He was also a good alum, an active alum and took great pride in being a Colorado Buffalo.

“Our hearts go out to T.J.’s family on their tragic loss. We will miss him.”

Neighbors told CBS4 they were surprised Cunningham was involved in any dispute, let alone one over a parking space. Current Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator and former Broncos head coach Vance Joseph, who was a college teammate of Cunningham’s, also expressed shock that Cunningham was involved in a fatal argument. 

“He was always a great person, a smart person. He got along with everyone. He was never a troublemaker,” Joseph told Denver7. “I am shocked that this came to his doorstep. He was a great person with a big heart. Anyone who needed help in life, he was always there for them.”

Minnesota college student wins $30K on 'impossible' hockey shot

A college student who has not touched a hockey stick since her high school gym class made the shot of a lifetime Friday.

>> Read more trending news 

Morgan Ward, 20, a junior at Minnesota State at Mankato, won a promotion at the college when she buried the puck into a slot at the goal line from 115 feet away to win a $30,000 prize, KARE reported.

"There was was honestly no strategy, I just wanted to make it down the ice," Ward told the television station. 

Ward, from St. Clair, Minnesota, received free tickets to the Mavericks’ men’s hockey at the Verizon Center and texted a promotional code for the chance to take the shot, the Star Tribune reported.

“I was there with my boyfriend (Brody Hanson) and he made me text in, it texted me back saying 'congratulations, you gotta go shoot this puck,'" Ward, who is majoring in business management, told KEYC. "I didn't want to be down there as center of attention. So I (told my boyfriend) 'you gotta go do this, I can't do this, I'm gonna go hide in the bathroom.' He's like 'Morgan, there's 30 grand on the line, what do you got to lose?'"

The contest involved shooting a puck from the far blue line into a tiny opening on the goal line, an opening barely bigger than the width of a puck, KARE reported. 

Ward took the shot and saw the puck headed for the opening, but didn't see it go through, the television station reported. 

"The only thing going through my head is like 'Don't fall,' and I just wanted to hit it hard enough that it would make it across the ice and not like halfway down," Ward told KEYC. "And then all of a sudden it's like this is actually really close."

Then the puck went through the slot.

"I still don't believe it. It's unreal," Ward told the television station.

Ward said the plans to put her winnings into a savings account or an investment plan, as she "still lives with her parents and wants to get out of there someday,” KARE reported. 

Former Utah State football player convicted of sexual assault 

A former Utah State University football player was convicted of sexually assaulting six women while he was in college, The Utah Statesman reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Torrey Green, 25, who played linebacker at the university, was found guilty of five counts of rape, one count of forcible sexual abuse and one count of object rape, the newspaper reported. The charges stemmed from allegations between 2013 and 2015.Green was found not guilty of one count of forcible sexual abuse, one count of object rape and one count of aggravated kidnapping. The jury found him not guilty of one count of forcible sexual abuse, but guilty of a lesser charge of sexual battery, the Statesman reported.

“There were convictions for all six of these survivors,” Deputy Cache County Attorney Spencer Walsh told reporters after the verdicts were read. “We’re very happy about that. They were believed.”

A jury comprised of five men and three women deliberated for 13 hours before reaching a verdict, the Statesman reported.

Green faces up to life in prison when he is sentenced March 27, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

 

Michael Strahan offers Clemson Tigers 'proper meal' after Trump dinner

Just a day after the Clemson Tigers dined on fast food at the White House, former NFL star and "Good Morning America" host Michael Strahan offered to give the college football champs a "proper meal."

>> Trump serves fast-food smorgasbord to Clemson Tigers during White House celebration

"I would like to invite the Clemson Tiger football team here for a great meal," Strahan said during Tuesday's broadcast. "Come out here, everybody. Whoever can make it, we'll hook you up with lobster. ... Whatever you want, we're gonna take care of you."

>> Read more trending news 

Co-host Sara Haines suggested they add caviar to the menu.

"Per egg is a lot of money," she said. "Are you paying? We don't have a lot of money."

"It's out of my pocket," Strahan replied. "I've got you guys." 

>> Watch the clip here

Earlier that morning, President Donald Trump tweeted that he served the football team fast food "because of the shutdown" and personally paid for the spread.

>> Check out a video from the dinner below

Ex-LSU football player loses leg after hunting dog shoots him

A former offensive lineman for Louisiana State University nearly died on a duck hunt in Mississippi late last month after one of his group’s hunting dogs caused a shotgun to shoot him in the leg. 

Matt Branch, 29, had his left leg amputated at the University of Mississippi Medical Center following the Dec. 28 accident, according to the Clarion-Ledger in Jackson. He has undergone several more surgeries to repair the damage caused by the shotgun blast. 

He is expected to recover, his best friend, Micah Heckford, told the Clarion-Ledger. A GoFundMe page set up to held pay for Branch’s treatment had raised nearly $73,000 as of Wednesday. The goal is $75,000.

Heckford said Branch, who lives in Monroe, Louisiana, with his wife and 1-year-old son, was part of a group that was hunting on land farmed by members of Branch’s family. 

“They farm all the land around Eagle Lake,” Heckford told the newspaper. “Every year we go over there. For the most part there’s five to eight of us that have been going six or seven years now. We deer hunt in the evenings and duck hunt in the mornings.”

The group of five awoke the morning of Dec. 28 excited about a new day of hunting, Heckford said. They began loading up a Polaris Ranger with supplies, which included Branch’s shotgun, which he laid down flat in the bed of the vehicle. 

As Branch stood on the passenger side, a Labrador retriever named Tito jumped up into the bed of the Ranger to find himself a seat, the Clarion-Ledger reported. As the dog walked in the bed, he stepped on the gun’s safety mechanism and somehow pulled the trigger, causing it to fire a blast through the bed and into Branch’s thigh.

“Everybody looked up. The first thing I saw was Matt and within two to three seconds he realized he was hit,” Heckford said

Branch’s cousin immediately called 911 and the rest of the group got Branch, who had been struck in the femoral artery and was bleeding heavily, into the Ranger and drove to the closest road where paramedics could meet them, the newspaper said. As they waited for help, they laid Branch’s 6-foot, 6-inch frame on the ground and elevated his legs as Heckford kept pressure on the wound. 

It wasn’t until paramedics cut off Branch’s pants and waders that Heckford realized how badly his friend had been hit. 

“I think that’s when it hit me how serious it was,” Heckford said. “It was at that point in time I realized how much he had bled. His pants were just soaked in blood.”

A CaringBridge page set up to keep family and friends updated on Branch’s condition went into further detail. 

“No one realized the amount of blood that was being lost because it was flowing through his waders into his boots,” the page read

Paramedics initially took Branch to Merit Medical Center in Vicksburg, where doctors were able to stabilize him well enough that he could be flown to UMMC, which has the state’s only trauma center, the page said. 

“He’s been in ICU at University since Friday (Dec. 28) evening and, in order to save his life, we had to make the choice to amputate his lower left leg,” the page read. “He’s not out of the woods yet and it’s a long road to recovery, but we’re getting positive signs by the hour.”

After the accident and initial surgery, Branch required more than 200 units of blood. All tests showed that his cognitive function, which could have been affected by the lack of blood bringing oxygen to his brain, is fully intact, the page said. Several blood drives were held in Mississippi and Louisiana to replenish the blood he’d used during his surgeries. 

Branch started to wake up over the weekend and on Tuesday, 11 days after his accident, he was off the respirator and more fully awake, the CaringBridge page said

ESPN reported that Branch played for LSU from 2009 to 2011. After playing in 28 games, his career ended in his junior year due to several injuries. 

Heckford told the Clarion-Ledger that his friend’s near-fatal accident has him thinking more about gun safety.

“All of us have hunted for 20 years or more and none of us thought about that happening. We were just moving 200 yards to set up and hunt,” Heckford told the newspaper. “The opportunities for an accident are there and we just don’t realize it. We think we’re being safe, but are we? 

“If there’s a shell in that gun, anything can happen.”

Baylor snaps UConn women's 126-game regular-season winning streak

The top-ranked University of Connecticut women’s basketball team lost a regular-season game for the first time since 2014, falling 68-57 to No. 8 Baylor on Thursday, KXXV reported.

>> Read more trending news 

The victory by the Bears (10-1) snapped a 126-game regular-season winning streak for UConn (11-1), which had not lost since falling to Stanford in overtime on Nov. 17, 2014, ESPN reported. It was the first regular-season loss in regulation for the Huskies since Feb. 18, 2013, against Baylor -- a span of 163 games, the network reported.

It was also the first double-digit loss for the Huskies since a 13-point loss to Notre Dame on Feb. 27, 2012. Baylor notched its first victory against a top-ranked team in 15 tries and extended its home winning streak against non-conference opponents to 45 games, KCEN reported

In the postseason, UConn, an 11-time national champion, lost in overtime during the last two national semifinals, ESPN reported.

"Listen, we're all chasing (UConn coach) Geno (Auriemma), let's be real," Baylor coach Kim Mulkey told reporters after the game. "I didn't know it was a first. I don't coach like that. I just want to win the next game."

Kalani Brown led Baylor with 22 points and 17 rebounds.

WATCH: Texas Longhorns' steer charges at Georgia's bulldog mascot before Sugar Bowl

Georgia fell behind Texas quickly in the Sugar Bowl on Tuesday night in New Orleans.

But the trouble started before that for the Bulldogs.

>> Sugar Bowl 2019: Texas overpowers, upsets Georgia

The Texas mascot appeared to go after UGA’s bulldog mascot before the game. Fortunately, no people or animals were injured.

The Texas mascot is Bevo XV, a longhorn steer that weighs about 1,800 pounds. Georgia’s famous mascot is Uga X, an English bulldog that weighs in at around 60 pounds.

>> PHOTOS: Texas beats Georgia in 2019 Sugar Bowl

Both mascots were on the sidelines while a pack of photographers snapped away with pictures.

>> Read more trending news 

However, it got scary when Bevo suddenly charged toward Uga with his horns. Uga jumped out of the way before Bevo’s handlers pulled back the steer.

>> Watch the moment here

Photos: Ohio State holds off Washington to win 2019 Rose Bowl

Dwayne Haskins threw three first-half touchdown passes to lead the No. 6 Ohio State Buckeyes to a 28-23 victory against No. 9 Washington on Tuesday in the Rose Bowl.

Rose Bowl 2019: Urban Meyer goes out with a win as Ohio State beats Washington

Dwayne Haskins threw three first-half touchdown passes to lead the No. 6 Ohio State Buckeyes to a 28-23 victory against No. 9 Washington on Tuesday in the Rose Bowl.

>> PHOTOS: Ohio State holds off Washington to win 2019 Rose Bowl

Ohio State won despite being outscored 20-0 in the fourth quarter. The Buckeyes finished 13-1. It’s their best record since a 14-1 mark in 2014 when they won the national championship.

>> Sugar Bowl 2019: Texas overpowers, upsets Georgia

This was the final game with the Buckeyes for coach Urban Meyer, whose offensive coordinator Ryan Day will take over the program starting Wednesday. Meyer closed his coaching career at Ohio State with an 83-9 record in seven seasons. This was his first appearance in the Rose Bowl and Ohio State’s first since Jan. 1, 2010, when they beat Oregon 26-17.

“I’m going to enjoy tonight,” Meyer said on ESPN after the game. “I don’t believe I’ll coach again.”

>> PHOTOS: Texas beats Georgia in 2019 Sugar Bowl

Haskins completed 25 of 37 passes for 251 yards. Mike Weber led the ground game with 96 yards on 15 carries. Parris Campbell caught 11 passes for 71 yards.

The Buckeyes led 28-3 entering the fourth quarter. The Huskies got their first touchdown on a 2-yard pass from running back Myles Gaskin to Drew Sample with 12:17 to play and then cut the deficit to 28-17 on a 1-yard run by Gaskin with 6:42 left.

>> Orange Bowl 2018: Alabama beats Oklahoma to reach 4th consecutive title game

Gaskin scored again on a 2-yard run with 42 seconds to play. A two-point conversion pass was intercepted.

The Buckeyes clinched the victory moments later when Johnnie Dixon recovered an onside kick. Meyer pumped his fists in the air and took off his headset, and Haskins kneed on the ball as the clock wound down.

>> Read more trending news 

Earlier in the third quarter, the Buckeyes picked up where they left off after a dominant first half. 

After stopping Washington’s opening drive, Ohio State drove 80 yards in seven plays for its fourth touchdown of the afternoon. 

J.K. Dobbins’ 3-yard touchdown run was set up by K.J. Hill’s diving 34-yard reception of a rainbow throw from Dwayne Haskins. 

That gave Ohio State a 28-3 lead with 8:23 to go in the third quarter.

Read more here.

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