Chelsea’s Ake on Reading learning curve

first_imgChelsea’s Nathan Ake has told the Reading website he hopes to learn a lot during his brief loan spell at the Madejski Stadium.The 20-year-old Dutchman signed a one-month deal with the Royals before the international break and finally got to make his debut in a 1-1 draw at Cardiff on Saturday.He is expected to figure again for Steve Clarke’s side when they travel to Blackpool on Tuesday night.Ake, who has made 11 first-team appearances for the Blues, said he wanted to develop as a footballer during his time at Reading.He said: “This is what you want to do as a player, play games. I’ll train well and hopefully I can play in a lot of them.“I want to get the experience from first team football and learn from those experiences.“I am really happy to get this opportunity. It’s close, not far from Chelsea and I can still live in the same home. So for me it’s good to be here.”The versatile Ake, who can also play across the back four, started in central midfield in the game at Cardiff and earned praise for his performance.And he hinted he hoped boss Clarke would keep him in the middle of the park for the rest of his loan spell.He said: “I can play left back or in central defence, but I prefer to play in midfield where I was at Cardiff.“I like to get the ball at my feet and to play, so I think that is my best position.”See also:Chelsea’s Ake joins Reading on loanFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Rockets, Bucks seek to avoid falling into 2-0 holes

first_imgThe Rockets were frustrated by Golden State’s defense, for far different reasons.Houston contended that Golden State was closing out recklessly on 3-point attempts and not giving the Rockets the proper space to land in many cases — a play that the NBA has tried to crack down on over the last couple seasons, especially since then-Warriors center Zaza Pachulia was involved in such a play where then-San Antonio star Kawhi Leonard got hurt in the playoffs two years ago.Harden took 858 free throws during the regular season, 172 more than Antetokounmpo — who was No. 2 in the league in that category — attempted. And Harden got to the line 14 more times against the Warriors on Sunday, but felt he should have been there more.“I just want a fair chance, man,” said Harden, who had a 3-point attempt to tie the game late Sunday — on a play where he wound up falling to the court after a closeout by Warriors forward Draymond Green. “Call the game how it’s supposed to be called and that’s it. And I’ll live with the results.”Losses on Tuesday obviously wouldn’t doom either the Rockets or Bucks, but the task would get significantly tougher going forward. Only 20 teams in NBA history have successfully rallied from a 2-0 series deficit in a best-of-seven matchup. Milwaukee is trying to avoid becoming the 28th team to lose the first two games of a seven-game series at home; of those, only four have recovered and actually won the series.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES “It’s going to be tough to surprise anybody with a strategy,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “It’s all about execution.”TUESDAY’S GAMESCELTICS AT BUCKSCeltics lead 1-0. Game 2, 8 p.m. EDT, TNTNEED TO KNOW: The Celtics are 5-0 so far in the playoffs, and have kept Indiana and Milwaukee under 100 points in four of those five games while seeing their own scoring number increase in every outing so far. Al Horford was fantastic on both ends in Game 1 against the Bucks, and the Celtics had walls of defenders around the rim it seemed on every drive by Antetokounmpo.INJURY WATCH: Celtics reserve big man Aron Baynes was limited to nine minutes in Game 1 with an ankle issue, but he’s hopeful of being out there for Game 2.KEEP AN EYE ON: Milwaukee’s shooting. The Bucks’ starters shot 30 percent — 15 for 50 — in Game 1. For comparison’s sake, Boston guard Kyrie Irving was 12 for 21 by himself.PRESSURE IS ON: No question, the Bucks. A team that rolled to 60 wins and swept through the first round is facing its biggest adverse moment of the season. Title-contending teams shrug off Game 1 losses, and that’s what the Bucks must do Tuesday.ROCKETS AT WARRIORSWarriors lead 1-0. Game 2, 10:30 p.m. EDT, TNT Boston Celtics’ Jaylen Brown dunks over Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo during the second half of Game 1 of a second round NBA basketball playoff series Sunday, April 28, 2019, in Milwaukee. The Celtics won 112-90 to take a 1-0 lead in the series. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)The MVP front-runners are in some trouble.It’s a virtual certainty that either Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo or Houston’s reigning MVP James Harden will win the coveted award this season. And while the voting results there won’t be known until June 24, the only results that truly matter right now to both players are the ones that were determined on Sunday — and the ones that are coming on Tuesday.ADVERTISEMENT NEED TO KNOW: Houston hasn’t lost consecutive games in more than two months, winning each of its last six games following a defeat. And they’ve already won at Oracle Arena twice this season, so the Rockets will be confident — probably even moreso now that they believe non-calls helped the Warriors in Game 1.INJURY WATCH: Golden State guards Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson played through gimpy ankles in Game 1; they shot a combined 10 for 25, and it was only the second time all season where both played, neither had more than five field goals and the Warriors won anyway.KEEP AN EYE ON: Houston guard Chris Paul. He scored 17 points in Game 1, got ejected late for picking up a second technical — but what might trouble the Rockets is he only took nine shots in 36 minutes. If he’s more aggressive in Game 2 that could help Harden (who took 28 shots) get even cleaner looks.PRESSURE IS ON: The referees. They’ll know that every call will be met with probably more scorn and disbelief than usual after the way the Rockets were angered in Game 1. Landing areas on 3-point tries will be a point of emphasis, for obvious reasons.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte MOST READ Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting View comments Inquirer top 7 UAAP 81 women’s volleyball players: Week 10 Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess Antetokounmpo and the Bucks were handed their worst loss of the season, a 22-point defeat by the Boston Celtics that cost the NBA’s No. 1 overall seed the home-court edge in their Eastern Conference semifinal series. And the Rockets were angered by what they felt were a series of calls that didn’t go their way in a 104-100 loss to Golden State on Sunday in Game 1 of a West semifinal series.Both matchups resume with Game 2s on Tuesday: Boston at Milwaukee and Houston at Golden State.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics“Right now, we’ve got to focus on playing better,” Antetokounmpo said after Milwaukee fell 112-90 in Game 1. “Obviously, it was one of the toughest tasks we’ve had all season long and especially at home. We’ve just got to regroup … and be ready for Tuesday.”The Bucks were frustrated by Boston’s defense; Milwaukee’s 90 points represented its third-lowest total of the season.last_img read more

Warriors’ plan for stopping Kawhi Leonard: Throw the whole kitchen at him

first_imgCayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue The only thing that has slowed Leonard in these playoffs was the flu, which he was dealing with when he shot 5 for 19 in Game 3 against Orlando. Not even a leg injury has been able to derail Leonard. He’s averaged 31.2 points in the playoffs, along with 8.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists while shooting 51 percent.The numbers he’s put up so far in the playoffs compare to what LeBron James in his last four playoff runs with Cleveland.The East isn’t owned by James anymore.For now, it belongs to Leonard and the Raptors — who’ll take their turn in the role James has held, facing Golden State for a title. The Warriors’ primary task in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 was slowing James. This year, slowing Leonard is the priority. And he’s been boning up on film, trying to figure out what he can do to maximize his chances.“I think it just really comes down to being smart and just being in those situations before and just knowing what’s going to happen,” Leonard said. “Going through years of playing and seeing defensive schemes or offensive schemes and watching film and seeing how they guarded other guys or me in the past.”ADVERTISEMENT Leonard hasn’t faced Green since May 14, 2017 — Game 1 of the Western Conference finals that year between the Warriors and San Antonio, the game where the Spurs were up big and Leonard had 26 points in the third quarter and was generally unguardable. And then Zaza Pachulia closed out on him, got his foot under Leonard’s on a jumper, creating an awkward landing that knocked Leonard out for the rest of that series.Iguodala and Thompson have seen Leonard once since, that being back in November, a game in Toronto where the Raptors’ star scored 37. He made his first six shots that night, the first four of them when the Warriors matched Damion Jones against Leonard. By the time the fourth shot fell, Jones just put his head back in mock disbelief. It wasn’t like he wasn’t trying. He just didn’t have the capability to stop him.It’ll be a different approach on Thursday night.“I would say they’re going to probably do something similar to what we’re going to do,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. “There are a lot of bodies that can guard a lot of different people. I think you are going to see a lot of different people.”Green said Leonard doesn’t dominate games in the same way that James, or Curry, or still-injured Warriors star Kevin Durant, or Portland’s Damian Lillard can when they get rolling.It wasn’t a knock. Green insisted Leonard’s style is just as effective.“Kawhi didn’t come into this league as a scorer, yet he’s one of the best scorers we have in the league now,” Green said. “It just doesn’t look the same, but the results are the same and/or better. He’s really worked to get to where he is today.”Thompson also tipped his cap to Leonard, saying he’s MVP-caliber. And Iguodala went a step further, saying the Warriors have to be ready to “throw the whole kitchen at him.”“He’s kind of got a different game than anybody,” Iguodala said. “He’s very unique with his strength, with his quickness, being able to explode to the basket but also being a threat from the perimeter. He’s pretty much got it all.” ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments Near perfect And they all respect Kawhi Leonard’s offensive game.They will probably all get a turn at guarding Toronto’s best player at some point during the NBA Finals, whether the assignment is by design or just sort of happens organically when defenders get switched during a Raptors possession. When the title series starts on Thursday night, the biggest key for the Warriors will likely be slowing down Leonard — the dominant player so far in this postseason.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics“He’s been playing amazing this whole playoff run and really all season,” Warriors star Stephen Curry said. “He’s always at his own pace, and never seems to get rushed or be in a hurry. He’s obviously physically gifted and strong. He can get to his spots, but he’s become a really good shooter. Off the dribble, getting to a spot, rising up. … But we have some capable — beyond capable — defenders to guard him.”Those capabilities will be tested. Toronto Raptors’ Kawhi Leonard (2) and Kyle Lowry (7) react during the second half of Game 6 of the team’s NBA basketball playoffs Eastern Conference finals against the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday, May 25, 2019, in Toronto. The Raptors won 100-94 to advance to the NBA Finals. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)TORONTO — Draymond Green believes he’s the best defensive player in basketball. Klay Thompson sought inclusion on the NBA’s all-defensive team for years. Andre Iguodala, even at 35 years old, can still neutralize just about any opponent.Golden State has some big-time defenders, without question.ADVERTISEMENT Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next PDEA chief backs Robredo in revealing ‘discoveries’ on drug war DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew LATEST STORIES MOST READlast_img read more

10 months agoKenyon seeks new investors to rescue Newcastle takeover

first_imgKenyon seeks new investors to rescue Newcastle takeoverby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the lovePeter Kenyon is seeking new investors to rescue his takeover of Newcastle United.The ex-Manchester United and Chelsea chief executive is still searching for the £300m needed to complete his purchase of the Toon, reports The Sun.Kenyon is so anxious he is now offering a minimum buy-in of just £1million.Even then, the British businessman would only be able to pay Toon owner Mike Ashley in instalments staggered over the rest of the year.But Kenyon is buoyed by Ashley viewing him as the “best fit” to buy the club. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img

Call of Duty gamers converge on Toronto for national championship

first_imgAdvertisement Eight teams are competing for a total of $65,000 in prize money at the downtown Scotiabank Theatre. It’s an active spectator sport with fans paying from $9.50 to $40 to get into the 500-seat cinema with twitch.tv/worldgaming providing online tournament coverage. With PlayStation and game publisher Activision actively involved in the “Call of Duty” tournament, just about every part of the gaming equation is involved. Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter “I’m really drawn to the competition and the fact that I can make money playing,” he said. “So it’s kind of spoiled the rest of gaming for me in a way, because I don’t really play that many other games just casually.” Advertisement Login/Register With: And with the event starting at 10 a.m. and the final rounds set for 5-6 p.m., spectators will no doubt take advantage of the concessions. There were also “Street Fighter” and “Uncharted 4” competitions with events involving more games planned for this year. It also holds collegiate competitions. “I think it’s a really good opportunity for me to continue to make a little bit of money and see the world a little bit,” he said. “And kind of see where it goes from there.”Ivers won some US$10,000 in prize money in 2016 and also was on salary with his team. “So I didn’t do too bad last year,” he said. “It’s tough to take vacations and stuff because there’s always another tournament or I’ve always got to practise or I have to be away this weekend at a different place,” he said. “So I told my mom to just come and we’d kind of have a mini-vacation while I’m out there. So we stayed two extra days to kind of explore the city which was cool.” Aside from work, Ivers doesn’t spend much time in front of a console. You won’t find him putting his feet up to play FIFA for fun. While he takes a controller and headset to work, it’s still serious business. Ivers moved to Michigan last year for several months to live and train with teammates at the Detroit Renegades. Cineplex, seeing both a growing trend and another use for its theatres, got into the growing world of competitive gaming in September 2015 when it purchased WorldGaming for US$15 million while promising an additional $5-million investment “to expand the business model.” By: Neil Davidson GIRG — which also includes Jevon (Goonjar) Gooljar-Lim, Peirce (Gunless) Hillman and Matteo (Royalty) Faithfull — is up against Ontario’s SetToDestroyX, Fury Gaming, 1Hype and Solar HQ and Quebec’s Earthroot Gaming, ReZist Esports and Team Impulse. Twitter WorldGaming ran a solo-player “Call of Duty” tournament last year with 18-year-of Allameen Ally of Brampton, Ont., taking home $20,000 for his “Call of Duty — Black Ops III” prowess.center_img Facebook The name GIRG comes from the first letter of the members’ handles. At present, Cineplex has 24 theatres across the country — including two at the Scotiabank Theatre — that are equipped to host gaming events. TORONTO — Many people have a go-to tool at work. For Andrew Ivers, it’s a KBAR-32 this weekend. Not surprisingly, he’s enjoying the life and plans to keep doing it for a few years. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment “The experience we offer not only to the teams and players but the fans is pretty cool,” said WorldGaming CEO Wim Stocks. Ivers had a minor setback this week when a button on his controller stopped working properly. He’s calling in a loaner from a friend for the tournament. And while he’s not driving a Porsche yet, his TV producer dad has one. “He doesn’t let me drive it yet.” Gamers come with handles (Ivers is Ivy, for example) while Sunday’s broadcast team of Maven, Courage and Mr. X evokes memories of “Top Gun.” Players change teams regularly and Ivers plays with a different group in the “Call of Duty” World League. He estimates his team played six hours a day together in advance of last week’s event in Dallas. Ivers is in his third year as a pro gamer but missed out on last year’s national finals because he was 20 days too young. Advertisement Sunday’s finalists survived online and regional qualifiers and online playoffs to get to the finals and the chance of the first-place purse of $20,000 and a trip to the 2017 CWL Anaheim Open. He was competing in Dallas last week and Atlanta and Paris in February, scoring good son points by taking his mother with him to France. The 19-year-old from Toronto is a professional gamer who hopes to use his virtual assault rifle to help Team GIRG win the Cineplex WorldGaming “Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare” tournament final Sunday. Each season, the pros decide which tournament maps they will use for the year.last_img read more

China upbeat ahead of US trade talks but differences large

first_imgBEIJING — China has sounded a positive note ahead of trade talks with Washington, but economists warn they face lengthy wrangling over technology and the future of their economic relationship.Both sides have expressed interest in settling their tariff battle over Beijing’s technology ambitions. Yet neither has indicated its stance has changed despite a Dec. 1 agreement by Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping to postpone further increases.A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, Lu Kang, said American and Chinese envoys will have “positive and constructive discussions” during meetings Monday and Tuesday.Trump imposed tariff hikes of up to 25 per cent on $250 billion of Chinese imports over complaints Beijing steals or pressures companies to hand over technology. Beijing responded with penalties on $110 billion of American goods.The Associated Presslast_img read more

Pramod Sawant to face floor test today

first_imgPanaji: The new BJP-led government in Goa will face the floor test in the state Assembly on Wednesday to prove its majority just a day after Speaker Pramod Sawant was sworn in as chief minister with an unprecedented two deputies past midnight capping a frenetic day of political wrangling.The government claims majority with the support of 21 MLAs–12 from the BJP, three each of allies Goa Forward Party (GFP) and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and three Independents. The strength of the 40-member House has been reduced to 36 following the death of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and BJP MLA Francis D’Souza and resignations of two Congress MLAs Subhash Shirodkar and Dayanand Sopte. The Congress, which is the single largest party with 14 MLAs, had also staked claim to form the government. There is also an NCP legislator in the House. Governor Mridula Sinha has convened a special session of the Assembly at 11.30 am Wednesday to enable the chief Minister to prove his majority in the House, an official said. After multiple postponements of the oath ceremony on Monday, Sawant, a two-time MLA from Sankhalim in North Goa, was sworn in at the Raj Bhavan at 1.50 am. An ayurveda practitioner, Sawant is a dedicated RSS worker. Reflecting a generational shift in the BJP, Sawant, 45, was administered the oath of office and secrecy along with 11 other ministers including those from the MGP and the GFP. He succeeded Parrikar, who died on Sunday after battling pancreatic cancer for over an year. Interestingly, all the ministers who were part of the Parrikar Cabinet were sworn in by the Governor. As per the power-sharing arrangement reached by the BJP with allies, an MLA each from the two smaller parties backing the saffron party — GFP chief Vijai Sardesai and MGP’s Sudin Dhavalikar — were made deputy chief minister. It is for the first time that a tiny state like Goa has two deputy chief ministers. Besides Sawant, Sardesai and Dhavalikar, the others who were sworn in were Mauvin Godinho, Vishwajit Rane, Milind Naik and Nilesh Cabral(all BJP), Palekar and Jayesh Salgaonkar(both GFP), Manohar Ajgaonkar(MGP) and Independent MLAs Rohan Khaunte and Govind Gawade. BJP president Amit Shah and Union minister Nitin Gadkari played a critical behind-the-scene role in ensuring that the party retained power in Goa, sources familiar with the developments said.last_img read more

Chinas first lunar rover lands on moon

first_imgBEIJING – China becomes the third country, after the US and Soviet Union, to deploy a rover onto the moon since 1976.China’s first lunar rover, the Jade Rabbit, landed on the moon on Sunday and sent the first images taken after departing from the Chang’e-3 probe.The 140 kilogram six-wheeled vehicle embarked on the moon’s surface at around 4:35 in the morning, the Beijing Aerospace Command and Control Center announced.China has become the third country, after the US and Soviet Union, to deploy a rover onto the moon since 1976.The Jade Rabbit’s deployment was recorded by the Chang’e-3 camera and transmitted to the earth. The Jade Rabbit and Chang’e-3 will pursue separate scientific discoveries.The Jade Rabbit will cover a five square kilometer area in 90 days to record scientific observation on surface materials, natural resources and the geological structure. The Chang’e-3 spacecraft will meanwhile undertake yearlong field inspections in its landing area.The Chang’e-3 made a soft landing on the moon Saturday at 21:00 local time.last_img read more

Scott Barnes falls short in Clippers 42 loss to Louisville

Left-handed pitcher Scott Barnes made his first career Triple-A start for the Columbus Clippers on Tuesday night, after starting twice for the Double-A Akron Aeros. Barnes began the season for the Aeros by giving up just two runs in 11 innings pitched, but he wasn’t quite as impressive in Columbus. He gave up four runs in five innings in his Clippers debut and, despite his team losing, 4-2, to Louisville, manager Mike Sarbaugh said he liked what he saw from Barnes. “It was a good first outing for him,” Sarbaugh said. “He gave us five good innings … definitely something to build off of.” The first runs Barnes gave up came after he walked two of the first three batters he faced in the top of the second inning, before Bats center fielder Dave Sappelt sent a hit down the right-field line to give Louisville the early 2-0 lead. Columbus battled right back and scored its first run of the game when first baseman Wes Hodges drove in shortstop Luis Valbuena in the bottom of the third, cutting Louisville’s lead to 2-1. The Clippers scored only one run in the third inning, despite having the bases loaded with no outs. Sarbaugh said it was a lost opportunity. “We had our chance in the third with bases loaded and no outs and only came up with one (run),” he said. “It had a chance to get us back in the game or even get ahead.” Barnes walked the first batter he faced in the top of the fourth, Louisville second baseman Chris Valaika. The next batter, right fielder Michael Griffin, made Barnes pay by sending a triple down the right field line to give Louisville a 3-1 lead. Center fielder Kristopher Negron grounded out in the Bats’ next at-bat, but Griffin scored to extend his team’s lead to 4-1. The most physical play of the night came in bottom of the fourth inning. After leading off with a base hit to center field to start the bottom of the fourth, Columbus center fielder Bubba Bell took second base on a wild pitch, and then third base on a ground ball. Catcher Paul Phillips was up to bat next and sent a fielder’s choice to Louisville shortstop Zack Cozart, who fired the ball to his catcher, Devin Mesoraco, as Bell sprinted toward home plate. Cozart’s throw skipped in the dirt before Bell lowered his shoulder and pummeled over Mesoraco, knocking him on his back and the ball out of his mitt for the Clippers’ second run of the night, this one unearned, again cutting the Louisville lead in half, 4-2. But following six runs in three innings, the bats stayed relatively quiet for the rest of the night. Bell was walked by Louisville reliever Carlos Fisher to start the ninth inning, and then Luke Carlin came up to pinch hit in place of Phillips for the Clippers. Carlin hit into a double play, and the next batter, Valbuena, grounded out as well. The Clippers lost back-to-back games for the second time this season. Louisville improved to 10-3 and remains in first place in the division, while Columbus fell to 8-5, two games behind the Bats, but still good enough for second place. The Clippers will have the opportunity to redeem themselves, as they play Louisville at home each of the next three nights. read more

SaberCat clawing his way back Former Buckeye Jamario ONeal is back in

If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again. That goes for former Buckeye safety Jamario O’Neal as he continues his career in the Arena Football League with the San Jose SaberCats. A native of Mansfield, Ohio, O’Neal moved to Cleveland and played his final two years of high school at Glenville High School. O’Neal was the first commitment of the Buckeyes’ 2005 recruiting class. His career at Ohio State, however, never panned out. “I didn’t do the little things and stay on the grind that got me to that point,” O’Neal said. “I had a lot going in my life with school and everything, and I just kind of lost my passion for football.” O’Neal was an All-Ohio team selection his junior and senior years of high school. His senior year garnered him a Parade All-America honor before he came to OSU. Four years later, after splitting time at safety and cornerback with the Buckeyes, O’Neal amassed 49 tackles, one forced fumble, one interception and two passes defended. His recruiting class also included Kansas City Chiefs’ safety Donald Washington, New Orleans Saints’ cornerback Malcolm Jenkins and Washington Redskins’ defensive back Anderson Russell in the secondary with him. “Just thinking about all the times I could’ve done extra films, gassers (and) time in the weight room, I had talent but didn’t work hard,” he said. “You had guys like Malcolm and Donald who worked hard and had talent.” After being suspended for the Spring Game and first two games of 2008 for a team violation, O’Neal didn’t make it back into the starting rotation. O’Neal worked out during Pro Day, but no one offered him a contract during the NFL Draft. He spent the next two years out of football, until he got a phone call from his agent in October 2010 regarding the SaberCats and another chance on the field. “I had time to reflect while I was away,” he said. He immediately began to study the team playbook and prepare for the faster pace of the indoor game. “I was out of football for damned near two years,” he said. “Adjusting to the mental aspect was easy. With the physical aspect, that is something that you have to work on everyday.” After missing the first four games of the season with a strained hamstring, O’Neal had an immediate impact with a forced fumble and recovery in his first game against the Tulsa Talons. “Jamario brought real good enthusiasm,” teammate Mervin Brookins said. “He turns it on when he gets on the field.” In week seven, O’Neal had an interception return for a touchdown in a 68-61 win against the Philadelphia Soul. Since then, he’s had 11.5 tackles, nine of which were solo in three games for the 5-3 SaberCats. Having proved his playing abilities to everyone who said he was a bust, O’Neal is confident when talking about his future after football. “After this: big things. I just need to stay focused,” he said. read more