Happy Friday everyone! Shanna McCarriston here. I hope everyone is gearing up for a fun and safe Fourth of July weekend.
I'm very glad that we can sort of get a normal holiday weekend, though near me fireworks are still canceled, sadly. Let me know on Twitter what exciting plans you have for the weekend.
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📰 What you need to know
1. Bucks push Hawks to brink of elimination with Game 5 win 🏀
The Atlanta Hawks and Milwaukee Bucks, the latter of which was without Giannis Antetokounmpo, faced off in the pivotal Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals last night. By the end of the night, Milwaukee was just one game away from the NBA Finals.
The Bucks retook the series lead, defeating the Hawks, 123-112, and a big reason was Brook Lopez.
He lead the team with 33 points, and he wasn't the only Milwaukee player to step up. Khris Middleton had 26 points, Jrue Holiday had 25 and Bobby Portis finished with 22.
Not a bad night despite the Bucks missing their star.
On the other end, Trae Young was out for the Hawks. The difference in the game was that Atlanta did not fill that void as well as the Bucks did with their key player out.
For some takeaways, courtesy of our NBA scribe Sam Quinn, click here.
Game 6 will take place in Atlanta on Saturday and a win for the Bucks would mean they are off to face the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Finals. An Atlanta win would force Game 7.
2. Sha'Carri Richardson out of 100-meter event at Tokyo Olympics for failing drug test 🏅
U.S. sprinting phenom Sha'Carri Richardson, who was a favorite to win the 100-meter race in Tokyo later this month, has been disqualified from the event because she tested positive for marijuana at the Olympics Trials last month.
On Friday morning, Richardson accepted a one-month ban, retroactive to June 28, for violating the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA)'s rules. She added that she used marijuana in Oregon, a state in which the substance is legal, after the death of her biological mother. That happened just hours before the Olympic Trials kicked off.
- Richardson: "That sent me in a state of mind, in a state of emotional panic, if anything. During all that, I still, even though I'm here, I still have to go out and put on a performance for my dream."
While she won't be able to run in the 100-meter event, it's not yet been announced by USA Track and Field if she will be part of the 4x100-meter relay team event. That decision is solely up to USA Track and Field, which has not made a decision yet, but had this to say on Friday regarding Richardson.
- USA Track and Field: "Richardson's situation is incredibly unfortunate and devastating for everyone involved. Athlete health and well-being continue to be one of USATF's most critical priorities and we will work with Sha'Carri to ensure she has ample resources to overcome any mental health challenges now and in the future."
Between her lively personality and incredible performance at the Trials, Richardson caught the attention of sports fans around the world and, heading into the games, is one of the most exciting American athlete in any sport.
3. MLB announces All-Star Game rosters ⚾
MLB All-Star rosters have been revealed! How exciting, right?! The 2021 All-Star Game will take place on Tuesday, July 12 at Coors Field in Denver, and now we know who will be taking the trip.
To players who made the roster were part of a two-step voting process. Broken down by position, the top three players in each category advanced to Phase 2 of voting. Fans then had the chance to cast their ballot in hopes of their favorite getting a spot. The starters were revealed last night and the rest of the All-Star rosters, including both the American League and National League pitching staffs, will be revealed on Sunday, July 4.
Toronto slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. got the most votes -- who at 22 is the youngest person to ever lead the All-Star events in voting -- and the Blue Jays, Red Sox, Braves and Reds all had multiple players selected.
Here is a look at the rosters:
- First base: Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Toronto Blue Jays
- Second base: Marcus Semien, Toronto Blue Jays
- Shortstop: Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox
- Third base: Rafael Devers, Boston Red Sox
- Catcher: Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals
- Outfielder: Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels
- Outfielder: Aaron Judge, New York Yankees
- Outfielder: Teoscar Hernandez, Toronto Blue Jays
- Designated hitter: Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels
National League starters
- First base: Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves
- Second base: Adam Frazier, Pittsburgh Pirates
- Shortstop: Fernando Tatis Jr., San Diego Padres
- Third base: Nolan Arenado, St. Louis Cardinals
- Catcher: Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants
- Outfielder: Ronald Acuña Jr.. Atlanta Braves
- Outfielder: Nick Castellanos, Cincinnati Reds
- Outfielder: Jesse Winker, Cincinnati Reds
4. College athletes who are already benefiting from new NIL rules 💰
Athletes can now benefit from their name, image and likeness, marking a major change in college sports. With the rule change comes athletes already cashing in on first deals and sponsorships.
Here's a look at some of the athletes who jumped on sponsorships right away, along with their sport and who they are partnered with:
- McKenzie Milton and D'Eriq King, Florida State quarterbacks: They launched the platform called Dreamfield that will help link college athletes with opportunities for public appearances. They also signed a deal with a moving company
- Haley and Hanna Cavinder, Fresno State basketball: The sisters signed a deal with Boost Mobile and a nutrition company
- Olivia Dunne, LSU gymnast: Teased a deal with a photo of her Instagram page on a Times Square video board with the caption, "Dreams do come true…big things coming"
- Trey Knox, Arkansas receiver: Along with his dog Blue, he penned a deal with PetSmart
- Bo Nix, Auburn quarterback: Posted on an ad Instagram with Milo's sweet tea
- Jordan Bohannon, Iowa guard: Partnered with an Iowa fireworks store and launched a T-shirt line
For more athletes taking advantage of the rule change, as well as full commentary on each athlete's partnerships, click here.
📝 Odds & Ends
- Illinois star center Kofi Cockburn has entered the transfer portal
- The Tour de France withdrew its lawsuit against a spectator who caused a massive crash with sign
- The NFL fined the Washington Football Team $10 million following a workplace misconduct investigation
📺 What to watch this weekend
🏒 Lightning vs. Canadiens, 8 p.m. I MON +115 I TV: NBC
🏀 Bucks vs. Hawks, 8:30 p.m. I TV: TNT
⚾ Red Sox vs. Athletics, 4:07 p.m. I TV: NESN
🏌 Rocket Mortgage Classic: Final round, 3 p.m. - 6 p.m. I TV: CBS
🥇 Best thing I saw on the internet
Dwayne Wade's daughter Kaavia is already making her mark in the basketball world. Wade took her to a WNBA game and she was a natural, helping on the sidelines and fitting in with the rest of the squad. Her technique might need a little work, but she already has an assist recorded on her stat sheet.