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Wildfires burn through Colorado causing thousands to evacuate, and protests in Turkey are in 13th day. Tune in at 7am ET.
May 20th, 2013
01:03 PM ET

High School Senior asks Dwyane Wade to prom

High School senior Nicole Muxo sent a pretty creative invitation to "Miami Heat" guard Dwyane Wade over twitter, asking him to her senior prom.

Nicole got the surprise of a lifetime when Dwyane Wade actually showed up! She was in complete shock.

The lucky girl herself is on 'Starting Point talking with Zoraida Sambolin about a night she will never forget.

Filed under: A little fun • Basketball • Prom • Sports
April 30th, 2013
11:27 AM ET

Collins fmr. high school coach: 'We were very proud of him' for coming out

On Monday, NBA center Jason Collins revealed he is gay in a "Sports Illustrated" essay, making him the first openly gay player still active in a major pro sports team in the U.S. His public revelation garnered support from players, coaches and fans.

President Obama also took note, calling Collins "to express his support and said he was impressed by his courage," a White House official told CNN. First lady Michelle Obama also showed her support for Collins on Twitter.

This morning on "Starting Point," Collins' fmr. high school basketball coach Greg Hilliard joins “Starting Point” to discuss the announcement.

Hilliard, who still coaches at the Harvard-Westlake school in Los Angeles, says he reached out to his former student after the essay was released to “let him know we were very proud of him.”

“The whole community out here is supportive of him taking that first step and wanted to let him know we will be with him in the rest of the steps,” he adds.

On whether or not he was surprised by the reaction and support, Hilliard says “I think the support is great… now that we've heard the news are just eager to be there for him and let him know that we admire his courage and he is exactly who we knew he was, and the perfect guy for this role.”

Hilliard says Collins will definitely face challenges, both one-on-one and through the media.

“I think he's the guy who is strong enough to deal with this,” Hilliard says.

Filed under: Basketball • Gay rights
March 7th, 2013
11:32 AM ET

Half-court shot winner: I told the mascot I would make it

Sinking a halftime shot from half court never an easy feat, but Heath Kufahl, a high school boys basketball's coach in Dell City, Oklahoma. But he did just that and took home $20,000 in prize money. It happened during the Thunders/Lakers game Tuesday night.

It turns out there's lots more to the story. On TV, the game took a cut away of Heath's wife who was cheering him on. It turns out that his wife, Jenny, has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and since then medical bills have been piling up for the couple. They also have seven kids.

This morning on "Starting Point," Heath and Jenni talk about the amazing shot and coping with cancer treatments

Filed under: A little fun • Basketball
March 5th, 2013
12:00 PM ET

Basketball player on amazing buzzer beating shot: I knew it was good once it hit the ground and the crowd went crazy

It's the amazing buzzer-beating shot that has gone viral. It didn't happen in the NBA or even college basketball. It happened at a New York High School sectional championship. If you haven't seen it, check out Khalil Edney's 55' throw for New Rochelle High School that helped the team win the game.

The insane basket propelled ninth-seeded school to a 61-60 victory over third-seeded rival Mt. Vernon.

Khalil talks with Soledad on "Starting Point" this morning, along with coach Rasaun Young to talk about the amazing shot.

And in a fun twist, Soledad asks Khalil to reattempt that amazing shot. Can lightning strike twice? Check out the video to see if he made the basket.

Filed under: Basketball • Buzzer beater
December 20th, 2012
10:03 AM ET

Basketball Coach Pat Kelsey challenges political leaders and parents to step up after Newtown massacre

On Tuesday, after the Winthrop Eagles Men’s Basketball team lost to the 7th-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes their coach took the opportunity to focus on a much bigger loss. Coach Pat Kelsey gave a fiery post-game speech talking about the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting and asked for change. In his speech Kelsey said he did not vote for President Barack Obama but challenged the president, the Speaker of the House, parents, teachers, rabbis, priests, coaches and everyone to step up because “this has to be a time for change.” This morning, Men’s basketball Winthrop Eagles Head Coach Pat Kelsey joins “Starting Point” to discuss his passionate speech about the Sandy Hook victims.

Kelsey says the national change that he wants to see from leaders is very similar to his business. He says, “The fights not in the locker room – the fights on the court.” Kelsey says that while he and his coaching staff might argue behind the scenes when the team takes the court they are all on the same page. On the same token he stresses that bipartisanship amongst politicians is important.

Kelsey says moving forward he plans to invest more time in looking into issues like gun control and mental health as well as talking about “the deterioration of the core values of what it means to be an American…right and wrong.” He adds that for “a massacre of these proportions to happen under out watch is scary,” referring to the shooting in Newtown.

On the topic of leadership Kelsey says every parent can set a positive example for their children. He goes on to say, “everybody in a leadership position and everybody to some extent is a leader, whether you’re a parent, whether you’re a boss of a company... Set a positive example of the right ethics, the right values, the right way to carry yourself.”

Filed under: Basketball • Gun control • Gun violence • Guns • Newtown • Sandy Hook • Sports
December 14th, 2012
10:52 AM ET

Arlington High School womens' basketball team and their coach on losing a game by 105 points

The final score of 107 to 2 at a girl’s high school basketball game in Indiana has a lot of people mystified this morning. On Tuesday, The Bloomington South's Lady Panthers defeated the Arlington High School's Golden Knights. The Knights however is a team made up of a lot of young girls who have never played on a varsity team before and as a result people have been asking if they should have gotten a break. This morning the team joins “Starting Point” with their coach Ebony Jackson to discuss the game.

Jackson says after her team lost the game everyone was in shock the next morning. She adds, “it’s a humbling experience,” but overall she and her team feel blessed because they have each other and the opportunity to “go back to the grind on the basketball court the next morning.”

Briella Tomlinson, a freshman Arlington High School basketball player says the game “was a struggle because not everyone on the team has played before.” Tomlinson adds the game was, “more competitive because [the other team] played longer than most of us.”

When asked if the mercy rule should have been put into play Jackson says she does not see it that way. She says, “I do not believe in the mercy rule. I just believe in character and this is the game of basketball and I believe that all rules and regulations should stay the same.”

Filed under: Basketball • Sports
November 26th, 2012
11:52 AM ET

Grinnell sophomore Jack Taylor on breaking NCAA single-game scoring record: 'I was a ball hog...but it was a team effort'

Grinnell College sophomore Jack Taylor made headlines and turned heads last week when he scored 138 points during the Pioneers' 179-104 win Tuesday night against Faith Baptist Bible College in an Iowa- Division III match up.

Taylor broke an NCAA record for most points scored in a single game. Taylor, a 5' 10", 170-pound guard from Black River Falls, Wisconsin, shot 52-of-108 from the field, which comes out to roughly one shot every 20 seconds. Taylor stunned even prominent NBA players.

The instant phenom joins Soledad O’ Brien live from Grinnell, Iowa via Skype on "Starting Point" this morning.

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Filed under: Basketball
August 9th, 2012
03:05 PM ET

5-year-old superfan still believes in "Linsanity"

What would you do if one of your favorite athletes contacted you via Facetime?

That’s exactly what happened when 5-year-old superfan Naim Shabazz was contacted by Jeremy Lin. Recently Lin left the New York Knicks for the Rockets with a 3-year, $25.1 million deal. But some fans like Naim were still having a hard time recovering. After a video of his “linsanity” meltdown went viral, the 5-year-old got to hear from Jeremy Lin himself.

Filed under: A little fun • Basketball
May 1st, 2012
11:59 AM ET

Michael Jordan's mom Deloris asks kids to 'Dream Big'

Deloris Jordan, mother of basketball legend Michael Jordan, on her book "Dream Big" and helping children reach goals.

Filed under: Basketball • Inspiration • Parenting
March 28th, 2012
12:16 PM ET

'Melo' talks with Soledad about his Olympic efforts, the benefits of chocolate milk and responds to the Trayvon Martin story

"Got chocolate milk?" That's what New York Knicks player Carmelo Anthony is asking in a new round of ads featuring Olympic athletes. Anthony, a five-time NBA all-star and Olympic gold medalist, talks with Soledad on "Starting Point about his new milk gig, his day job playing basketball and the outpouring of support and awareness in the Trayvon Martin shooting.

Filed under: Basketball • Olympics • Trayvon Martin
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