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Sports

Emotional service honors Altobelli family killed in Kobe Bryant crash

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nazarethman/iStock(ANAHEIM, Calif.) — A college coach, his wife and daughter who all died in a helicopter crash alongside Kobe Bryant were honored at an emotional memorial service where friends and family shared tears and stories. Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli and his wife, Keri Altobelli, were onboard the helicopter with their 14-year-old daughter, Alyssa Altobelli, who was a basketball teammate of the NBA legend’s daughter Gianna. All nine people onboard died in the Jan. 26 crash in California while en route to Bryant’s Mamba Sports Academy. John and Keri Altobelli are survived by two other children, son J.J. Altobelli — John Altobelli’s son from a previous marriage — and the couple’s 16-year-old daughter, Alexis Altobelli. In a video played at Monday’s service, J.J. Altobelli, with tears in his eyes, said the values he learned from his father are “really important to who I’ve become as a person, as a man. How I’m gonna be as a husband. And the role I’m gonna serve for Lexi going forward.” Keri Altobelli’s “devastated” brother, Derek Sanders, was choked up as he

Opening arguments begin for MSU gymnastics coach accused in sex abuse cover up

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Kuzma/iStock(LANSING, Mich.) — Opening arguments began Tuesday in Michigan in the criminal case against a former Michigan State University gymnastics coach who allegedly spent years covering up Larry Nassar’s sex abuse when he worked at the school. Kathie Klages told investigators in 2018 that she had no knowledge of any gymnastics member making any complaints against Nassar before 2016. However, several victims and witnesses reported that they told Klages about the abuse as far back as 1997, the Michigan attorney general’s office said. Klages has been charged with two counts of lying to a peace officer and faces up to six years in prison if convicted on all counts, according to the AG’s office. Prosecutors contend Klages had strong loyalty to Nassar and went out of her way to ensure the victims’ allegations were never investigated. Klages, who resigned as MSU’s gymnastics coach in 2017, has denied all of the allegations. Nassar was sentenced in 2018 to 40 to 175 years in prison for multiple sex crimes that he committed while working as a doctor for MSU and the Olympic

Kobe Bryant's widow Vanessa speaks out about unimaginable grief

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Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) — Kobe Bryant’s widow, Vanessa Bryant, has opened up about her grief in the wake of her family’s unimaginable loss. In an Instagram post Monday, Vanessa Bryant wrote that she’s been “reluctant to put my feelings into words” but wanted to share her experiences in case anybody in a similar situation could relate. Kobe and Gianna Bryant were among the nine people killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on Jan. 26. Kobe Bryant was 41 years old; Gianna, whom loved ones called “Gigi,” was 13. “My brain refuses to accept that both Kobe and Gigi are gone. I can’t process both at the same time,” Vanessa Bryant wrote. “It’s like I’m trying to process Kobe being gone but my body refuses to accept my Gigi will never come back to me. It feels wrong. Why should I be able to wake up another day when my baby girl isn’t being able to have that opportunity?! I’m so mad. She had so much life to live.” Vanessa Bryant, 37, married the NBA star in 2001, when she

Female sportscasters reflect on their love for the job for Black History Month

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iStock(NEW YORK) — Four sports broadcasters whose names have been celebrated everywhere from the sidelines to the studio have a few things in common when it comes to their rise through the ranks of sports journalism and what they have learned along the way. Pam Oliver, Lisa Salters and Maria Taylor joined ESPN SportsCenter host Sage Steele for ABC News’ Black History Month speaker series to discuss of how each has navigated the intricacies of the sports broadcasting landscape and honed their craft. Oliver, a Fox NFL sideline reporter who is widely considered to be a trailblazer in sports media, started as a reporter covering agriculture and science before tackling football. “I just wanted to be a reporter; not necessarily a sports reporter,” Oliver said. “Plus I took the jobs that came along — for the first nine years of my career — and I wouldn’t change anything about that.” Oliver remembered a former news director who told her the move from news to sports would be “the biggest mistake” of her career. Looking back now, she said, “it worked

Kobe Bryant crash: Coach, wife, daughter to be honored at memorial service

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Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) — A college coach, his wife and daughter who all died in a helicopter crash alongside Kobe Bryant will be honored at a memorial service on Monday. Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli and his wife Keri Altobelli were on board with daughter Alyssa Altobelli, who was a basketball teammate of the NBA legend’s 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Bryant. All nine people on the helicopter died in the Jan. 26 crash in Southern California while en route to a game at Bryant’s Mamba Sports Academy. Monday’s service for the Altobellis is at 4 p.m. local time at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Ok everyone …. we have official word. Memorial service for John, Keri and Alyssa Altobelli will take place on Monday, Feb 10 at 4 pm at Anaheim Stadium. Needless to say … there will be plenty of room so if you’d like to be a part of this, we’d love to have you! pic.twitter.com/qB9o8FCFVJ — OCC Athletics (@OCCAthletics) February 4, 2020 John and Keri Altobelli are survived by two other children, son J.J. —

Report: Red Sox trade Mookie Betts, David Price to Dodgers

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Scott Clarke / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) — It’s finally official. After a medical review threw a wrench in a three-team deal between the Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins, right fielder Mookie Betts and starting pitcher David Price are headed to L.A., ESPN reports. Both Red Sox players are being sent to the Dodgers in exchange for outfielder Alex Verdugo, shortstop Jeter Downs and catcher Connor Wong. As part of the original three-team deal, Boston was also to receive pitching prospect Brusdar Graterol from the Twins, while Dodgers pitcher Kenta Maeda was headed to Minnesota. However, the Red Sox were concerned following a medical review of Graterol, according to ESPN. Now, as part of a separate trade, Maeda is still going to the Twins, while the Dodgers get Graterol, outfield prospect Luke Raley and a draft pick, sources tell ESPN. Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Kobe Bryant honored at 2020 Oscars

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Christian Petersen/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — The Academy paid tribute to the late basketball legend Kobe Bryant at the 2020 Oscars Sunday. The former NBA star, killed alongside his daughter Gianna and seven others in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26, was an Oscar winner himself. He took home the award for best animated short film for his project Dear Basketball at the 90th Academy Awards in 2018. The animated short, narrated by Bryant and directed and animated by Glen Keane, focused on the letter Bryant wrote for The Players’ Tribune in November 2015 in which he announced his retirement. Renowned composer John Williams created the score for the project. During the “In Memoriam” tribute, other notable actors, artists and contributors to the world of cinema who died in the past year were remembered. Kirk Douglas, John Singleton, Rip Torn, Danny Aiello, Peter Fonda and Anna Karina were among those mentioned. Spike Lee also paid tribute to Bryant with his Oscars look, wearing a suit with the late player’s number on it. When asked about his outfit by Ryan Seacrest, the

UFC 247: Jon Jones defeats Dominick Reyes by unanimous decision

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Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(HOUSTON) — It was a close call but Jon Jones came out victorious Saturday night at UFC 247, keeping his light heavyweight title. Jones was named the winner of the fight over Dominick Reyes by unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 49-46) after the fifth round. The victory came even after Reyes landed more significant strikes than Jones, marking the first time the 32-year-old had been outstruck by an opponent in his fight career, according to ESPN. With the win, Jones passed Georges St-Pierre to become the winningest UFC fighter in title bouts with 14. Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Fired Astros manager A.J. Hinch responds to sign-stealing scandal

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33ft/iStock(NEW YORK) — Former Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch, who led the team to a World Series championship in 2017, is speaking out about the sign-stealing scandal that has since tainted that victory. Through the use of cameras, monitors and trashcan banging, the Astros stole and translated the signs that opposing catchers were flashing to their pitchers and relayed them to their own batters. When asked if Houston’s 2017 title is now tainted by these tactics, Hinch told the MLB Network, “I hope over time it’s proven that it wasn’t. But I understand the question. We did it to ourselves.” “We’re going to have to live and move forward and be better in the sport,” the fired manager added. Hinch’s full interview will air Friday night on the MLB Network. Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Kobe Bryant memorial service details announced

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Rob Carr/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — A public memorial service for Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, will be held on the morning of Feb. 24 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. There is significance in the chosen date. It reflects the basketball jersey numbers worn by Kobe (No. 24) and Gianna (No. 2). Gianna Bryant’s jersey was retired by Harbor Day School in Corona Del Mar, California, on Thursday. The date for the memorial was finalized with planning and coordination from the city of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Police Department and the L.A. Clippers, who have a game at the Staples Center that evening. Bryant, 41, was heading to a basketball game with his daughter on Jan. 26, when the helicopter they were traveling in crashed in Southern California, shortly before 10 a.m. local time. 911 calls released earlier this week made in the aftermath of the helicopter crash, underscore the poor weather conditions that the aircraft was flying in. The weather conditions are one factor being examined as a potential cause of the crash by the