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PHILADELPHIA - With his young son sitting on his lap, surrounded by teammates, coaches and family at his home in Philadelphia, Kyle Lowry learned the news. David Bruton Authentic Jersey . He didnt see it coming. Shocking, the Raptors point guard said, asked what it might feel like to be named an all-star starter on Thursday afternoon, hours before the official announcement was made. It would be humbling to even be put in the category of the top 10, half-season players. Its kind of mind-boggling. I dont know what to say because I never expected it could happen in my career. Later that evening, it became a reality. Voted in by the fans, Lowry will make his first all-star appearance in next months NBA showcase as a starter for the Eastern Conference. A year ago at this time, Lowry was widely recognized as the most deserving player to be left off the team, with the leagues coaches awarding the final reserve slots to Nets veteran Joe Johnson and teammate DeMar DeRozan. This season, the voting public didnt give the coaches a chance to right their wrong. The nine-year guard gets the well-deserved nod, averaging career-highs in points (19.8), rebounds (4.9), assists (7.5) and steals (1.6), while leading the Raptors to a 27-15 record, good for third in the East. Lowry trailed Miamis Dwyane Wade, a 10-time all-star, by over 100,000 votes at the final balloting update on Jan. 8. Since then, the online support for Lowrys bid skyrocketed, primarily north of the border. The Raptors ramped up their promotion over Twitter and on team broadcasts while Canadian celebrities and politicians publicly endorsed the campaign. In the end, Lowry beat out Wade for the second and final starting spot in the Easts backcourt by just over 15,000 votes, easily the smallest margin at any position in either conference this season. Over half of that differential can be attributed to Prime Minister Stephen Harpers pair of Twitter votes - retweeted over 8,000 times. Lowrys late push to overtake Wade is a testament to the power of social media and the benefit of playing in Toronto, something that had been overlooked or devalued for many years as the Raptors carried a negative stigma around the NBA. The 28-year-old chose to stick around and play in Canada, re-signing with the Raptors over the summer, and the countrys basketball fans showed their appreciation this past month. Thank you to the wonderful Raptors fans across the NBA, especially in Canada, Lowry said in a press release Thursday night. I am amazed by your passion for our team and the support you have given me. When I re-signed here this summer, I said one of the great things is being able to play for an entire country. This is further proof how really special that is. Lowry has felt slighted, under-appreciated and overlooked for most his playing career, even before the Grizzlies selected him with the 24th overall pick back in 2006. Only recently has he channeled that passion into becoming the player, person and leader he is today. Hes relentless, hes gritty, DeRozan said of his teammate and good friend. Thats one thing he brings every single day and it shows in his play every time hes out on the court. Thats his personality. The same way he plays, thats how he approaches working out, film, every single thing. It all carries over. I mean its definitely amazing, he continued. I know the feeling firsthand, from last year. Just to see how hard he worked. I think every player in this league has the goal to be an all-star. Thats a great accomplishment. Its just a credit to the hard work he put in last summer. He carried the team while I was out and proved his worth. Its been great to see. A modest and soft-spoken person by nature, Lowry often defers to his teammates and the importance of winning when discussing individual accomplishments, most recently his Eastern Conference Player of the Month award for December. But even hes had a hard time hiding what this honour would mean to him if and when it came to fruition. I think every pro athlete, they always have doubt at some point and for me, it was a couple years ago, he said after practice on Thursday. But at the end of the day, I work hard and I know what I can do. The hard work that I do in the summertime, I go extremely hard because Im preparing for the season, for the long haul. I dont want to sit out games, I want to play every single night. These guys pay me to play basketball and do a job I love and I have no problem with doing that. Lowry will become the fourth Raptor to start in an All-Star Game, joining Vince Carter, Antonio Davis and Chris Bosh, the third to be elected (Davis was an injury replacement in 2001). Despite their record and standing in the East, Lowry is likely to be the teams lone representative in this years contest, which will be played in New York on Feb. 15. DeRozan, who missed 21 games with a groin injury, understands the chances of him joining his backcourt partner are slim but he and the rest of his teammates have rallied around Lowry, knowing theyve all had a hand in his success. Last year, I thought he was snubbed and there was an opportunity for both of us to be there, DeRozan said. But it definitely means a lot, especially for us. I remember being here and watching [Bosh] be an all-star, then me being an all-star next. So just to start to see that recognition that weve been fighting for ever since weve been here in a Raptors uniform definitely means a lot. I know how Kyle is, he continued. If he makes it, we all make it. That was the same with me last year; when I made it, we all made it. I couldnt go there without shouting out my teammates, every single guy, because if it wasnt for them, I wouldnt have made it. Its not just an individual thing. You can easily score 40 points a night but if youre losing, that doesnt make you an all-star. It takes a group effort. If one makes it, we all make it. Thats how we feel. I give them all the credit, Lowry said of his teammates. Because at the end of the day, they believe in me, they do things to get me the ball and make plays and finish shots. If it wasnt for them and the coaches and the organization, I wouldnt be in this position. Lamin Barrow Broncos Jersey .com) - Alabama State football has had plenty of success, but the Southwestern Athletic Conference program is hoping new football coach Brian Jenkins can do for it what he did at Bethune-Cookman. Andre Caldwell Broncos Jersey . Michael Raffl scored in the first period for Austria, which finished third in its group at 1-2. Austria and Norway both lost to Canada and Finland, who met later in the day to decide the group winner.PRETORIA, South Africa -- The first witness in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial testified Monday to hearing a womans "blood-curdling" screams before the sound of four gunshots on the night the double-amputee Olympian killed his girlfriend. Michell Burger, a woman who lives on an estate next to Pistorius gated community, said she and her husband were awoken by the screams in the pre-dawn hours of Feb. 14 last year, when Pistorius killed Reeva Steenkamp by shooting four times through a door in his bathroom. Pistorius says he killed Steenkamp by mistake thinking she was a dangerous intruder in his house, but prosecutors believe the world-famous athlete shot his girlfriend after a fight and immediately tried to paint a picture at the trial of a loud argument before the fatal shots. Burgers testimony contradicts Pistorius version of events, because he said he thought Steenkamp was in bed and he did not describe any woman screaming. "It was very traumatic," Burger said, speaking in Afrikaans through an interpreter and in answer to questions from lead prosecutor Gerrie Nel. "You could hear it was blood-curdling screams. You cant translate it into words. The anxiousness in her voice, and fear. It leaves you cold." Burger said: "She screamed terribly and she yelled for help" and testified that she also heard a man shout for help before the shots were fired. Pistorius lawyer, Barry Roux, opened his cross-examination by asking Burger if she thought Pistorius was a liar. She didnt directly answer that with a yes or no, but repeated her recollection of the nights events. "I can only tell the court what I heard that evening," Burger said. "I cannot understand how I could clearly hear a woman scream but Mr. Pistorius could not hear it." But Roux argued she had changed her testimony from the written statement she gave to police soon after the shooting, only adding "blood-curdling" as a description of the screams in court. Pistorius earlier pleaded not guilty at the start of the trial to charges of murder and three other counts relating to shooting guns in public and illegal possession of ammunition. Wearing a dark grey suit and black tie, he spent the first 30 minutes of the first day of the trial at the high court in the South African capital standing before his defence lawyer, Barry Roux, asked the judge for permission for Pistorius to sit. The Olympians murder trial was being broadcast live on TV in South Africa and across the world. The first witness, Burger, was called before even an hour had passed as the prosecution went straight into testimony. The trial itself started 90 minutes late after an earlier delay because of an interpreter problem. When he entered court, Pistorius walked past the victims mother who says she came to court so she can "really look him in the eyes." Defence lawyer Kenny Oldwadge laid out Pistorius legal strategy, reading a statement from Pistorius in which he says the killing was an accident and that there were inconsistencies in the states case, as well as an attempt to introduce inadmissible character evidence to discredit him. In the statement, Pistorius said he brought two fans in ffrom the balcony on the night of the killing, after speaking to his girlfriend who was in bed beside him. T.J. Ward Broncos Jersey. He said Steenkamp must have gone into the bathroom while he was fetching the fans. Pistorius said he did not notice that she had gone and heard the bathroom window open. "I approached the bathroom, armed with my firearm, so as to defend Reeva and I," Pistorius said in the statement. He said he then heard a noise in the toilet, and was in a "fearful state" because he was unable to run away or defend himself physically since he was not wearing his prosthetic legs. "The state has embarked on a strategy to rely on unsubstantiated allegations," he said, citing a neighbours testimony that an argument had been heard in his home. According to Pistorius statement, other neighbours living nearby said they had not heard any argument. He also cited evidence provided by police detective Hilton Botha as "false in material respects." In the courtroom, Pistorius was seated near Steenkamps mother, June. She was quoted in the Pretoria News, which published an interview she gave to a British newspaper, saying that she wants to see Pistorius. "I want to look at Oscar, really look him in the eyes, and see for myself the truth about what he did to Reeva," said June Steenkamp, 67. "Whatever the court decides at the end of his trial, I will be ready to forgive him ... But first I want to force him to look at me, Reevas mother, and see the pain and anguish he has inflicted on me. I feel I need that." Reeva Steenkamp was a glamorous model and budding reality TV show star when she was cut down at age 29. Earlier, a drone carrying cameras flew over the entrance to the courthouse in grey, drizzly skies. Several broadcasters massed live broadcast satellite trucks around the courthouse. A 24-hour cable channel devoted to covering the trial was launched in South Africa on Sunday. If convicted on the murder charge, Pistorius could be sent to prison for at least 25 years before the chance of parole, the minimum time someone must serve if given a life sentence in South Africa. South Africa does not have the death penalty. A lesser sentence is possible if Pistorius is found guilty of murder but without premeditation. He also could be convicted of culpable homicide, South Africas version of manslaughter in which someone is killed through negligence. The additional firearms charges relate to him allegedly shooting out of the sunroof of a car in one incident and another when he allegedly fired a gun inside a restaurant, apparently by mistake. Ammunition also was found at his house after the shooting that he allegedly did not have proper licensing for. Judge Thokozile Masipa, hearing the biggest trial of her career, will ultimately pronounce the champion runner innocent or guilty and will decide on any sentence. South Africa has no trial by jury. Parts of the trial will be broadcast on live television, both in South Africa and across the world. A South African cable channel has been launched which will provide 24-hour coverage of the Pistorius trial, using commentators and prepared feature stories when the court is not in session. cheap jerseys cheap jerseys cheap nfl jerseys Ray Ban Outlet Michael Kors Outlet Michael Kors Sale Cheap Michael Kors ' ' ' 



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