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Tag: basketball

Knicks present veteran with service dog

Retired Army Sergeant Luciano Yulfo was invited to a New York Knicks game Wednesday to receive a personalized Knicks jersey as part of the team’s Hoops for Troops program.

Before you make any “36 years in the army and all I got was this stupid shirt” jokes, though, keep watching the video above, because at the end Yulfo gets what he has been waiting 18 months for — a service dog to help him cope with injuries he received in Afghanistan in 2014.

During a break between quarters at Madison Square Garden Wednesday night, the Knicks honored the retired sergeant first class — the latest in a series of veterans to be recognized during games in the days leading up to Veterans Day.

Yulfo was injured on duty in Afghanistan in 2014, and was stationed at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center before retiring this past April.

He’d been on a service dog waiting list for 18 months.

Then, the Knicks, Budweiser and Paws of War came through with Murphy, a golden retriever presented to him Wednesday, according to Fox Sports.

The Knicks have honored several military members during games as part of their Hoops for Troops program. In addition to the on-court recognition, honorees get to attend a practice to meet players.

Paws of War trains and places rescued dogs to serve and provide independence to our United States military veterans who suffer the emotional effects of war.

The bulldog at the Final Four

If you watched last night’s Final Four in Indianapolis, you may have caught a glimpse of Butler Blue II, the mascot of the Butler University Bulldogs, a school that apparently — as the home team — got some special treatment from the NCAA.

The NCAA made an exception to its rules prohibiting live animals on the basketall court, allowing Blue II to make an appearance before the game, which saw Butler beat Michigan State for a spot in the final game against Duke.

Bulldogs, quickly growing in popularity — they’re now No. 7 on the AKC’s most popular breeds list — also serve as the mascots for Yale, Georgetown and the University of Georgia, not to mention the U.S. Marine Corps.

Butler University adopted the Bulldogs name in the 1920s, but never had a bulldog on campus other than as an occasional fraternity pet.

Then, in 1998, Kelli Walker, a Butler graduate, went to work for the school’s alumni office as the associate director of alumni and parent programs. Walker began researching the possibility of getting an actual bulldog donated to the school to serve as mascot.

Instead, she found an alumnus who donated money, allowing Walker to purchase the original Butler Blue from a local breeder, according to the Morris Daily Herald.

The original Blue retired in 2004 and now lives with Walker in Morris, Ill. Blue’s breeder offered to donate the school’s second mascot, Blue II.

Butler Blue II celebrated his sixth birthday on March 27 — the same day his teamed earned their final four berth. Blue both Tweets and blogs, and his favorite treats are milk and ice cream, but, as the video above shows, clearly not watermelon.

BARCS Madness: Some fees waived in March

basketballBaltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter (BARCS) is waiving the $65 adoption fee for selected dogs and cats for the entire month of March.

Dogs and cats that can be adopted for free will be identified at the shelter with a basketball sticker on their cages.

Included in the adoption fee are spay/neuter surgery; vaccinations for rabies, DHLPP and bordatella for dogs or FVRCP for cats; de-worming, a flea preventative, a general examination, a food sample, and a month of free health insurance. Baltimore City residents will have to pay a $10 license fee.

In addition to waiving some fees, BARCS will be offering microchipping for $20 per pet — only $5 for those who were adopted at BARCS.

BARCS is the largest shelter in Baltimore and the surrounding area, taking in over 11,000 animals each year.

More information about animals available for adoption may be found at the BARCS website. BARCS located at 301 Stockholm Street, across from the M&T Bank Stadium, and is open for adoptions Monday through Friday from 2 to 6 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Ace shows his colors

Ace, being both neutered and neutral, isn’t normally one to take sides, but he will be pulling for the University of North Carolina Tarheels in tonight’s final four game against Villanova, at his master’s command.

In Chapel Hill yesterday, Ace, after picking up a new bandana, attended a journalism school picnic for some retiring professors — and got to enjoy some Bullock’s barbecue, once when high winds flipped my plate over, again when a kindly Bullock’s employee brought him a plateful.

In addition to a little gas, Ace also got to pass along his best wishes to the retiring — or halfway retiring — professor Donald Shaw, who, many years ago taught Ace’s master a thing or two, including calling things by their correct names. So make that School of Journalism and Mass Communications.

Best of luck to Donald, and if I may — against his teachings — be slightly less than objective: 

Go Heels!