Denver Nuggets Kenneth Faried dunks against the Golden State Warriors during Game 6 of their NBA Western Conference quarter-final playoff basketball game in Oakland

Kenneth Faried sponsors Team Manimal (AAU)

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As a senior at Morehead State, Kenneth Faried led the country in rebounds averaging 14.5 per game despite standing at just 6-foot-8. Consistently giving up inches to bigger opponents who he was battling for rebounds, Faried certainly had to be a “manimal” to be the top rebounder in the country.

Two years removed from the college game, Faried remains involved in it as he sponsors a Kentucky-based AAU team appropriately called Team Manimal.

The coach of Team Manimal is Maze Stallworth, a former teammate of Faried’s at Morehead State. Stallworth approached Faried with the idea of sponsoring the club, and the NBA star happily obliged.

“It’s fun,” Faried said. “I love the game, so any way I can help out and give back is a nice feeling. To give back to these guys and watch them play their hearts out and play hard each and every possession is a good time…I supplied everything I could from top to the bottom, basically.”

Faried, along with several Morehead State teammates, attended Team Manimal’s AAU games over the weekend, and his presence infused the younger manimals to play that much harder: “He [Farried] just told me, ‘No matter what, play hard and don’t give up. Just keep playing,’ said guard Perry Ayers of Bowling Green High School. “It’s awesome to have an NBA player come look at us and give us the time. It makes me want to play so much harder.”

According to Stallworth: “Team Manimal is about guys playing hard and being unselfish and working hard, and that’s what Kenneth stands for.”

 

You can find Kevin on twitter @KLDoyle11

WATCH LIVE: St. Bonaventure hosts Saint Louis on NBCSN

St. Bonaventure's Denzel Gregg celebrates after they defeated St. Joseph's after an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, in Philadelphia.  (Charles Fox/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP) PHIX OUT; TV OUT; MAGS OUT; NEWARK OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT
(Charles Fox/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)
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St. Bonaventure is looking to keep pace with the Atlantic 10’s elite as they host Saint Louis on Sunday afternoon. You can watch this A-10 contest live on NBCSN at 2:00 p.m. EST.

Coming off of a huge road win at Saint Joseph’s, the Bonnies (14-6, 6-3) have won two consecutive games with a winnable stretch of two more before a key conference clash with George Washington. The trio of Marcus Posley (19.1 ppg), Jaylen Adams (18.5 ppg) and Dion Wright (16.2 ppg) has been putting up a ton of points this season and slowing down that group will be the focal point of the Saint Louis defense.

The Billikens (8-13, 3-6) are coming off of two consecutive double-digit losses and will try to regroup on the road. Senior guard Ash Yacoubou paces the Saint Louis offense at 12.2 points per game and junior guard Mike Crawford (10.9 ppg) is the only other player averaging double-figures.

These two teams will play again on March 5 when the Bonnies head to the Midwest.

CLICK HERE to watch these games on NBC Sports Live Extra Sunday afternoon.

PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: Some conference matchups play out before football

Oregon forward Dillon Brooks, left, reacts after scoring a basket against Utah during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016. Oregon defeated Utah 77-59. (AP Photo/George Frey)
(AP Photo/George Frey)
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GAME OF THE NIGHT: Utah at No. 16 Oregon, 4:00 p.m.

From Rob Dauster’s Weekend Preview:

Utah suffered one of the worst losses I’ve seen in a while on Thursday night, when Brandon Taylor, for some unknown reason, decided to foul an Oregon State player firing up a half court prayer at the buzzer. The Utes, who are arguably the second-best team in the Pac-12, will look to bounce-back on Sunday against the best team in the Pac-12, No. 16 Oregon at 4:00 p.m.

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR:

1. No. 12 SMU will attempt to stay atop the American standings as they travel to South Florida. While the Mustangs won the first matchup between these two teams at home by 14, they’ve dropped their last two games on the road.

2. A few more American contests are going down as East Carolina travels to UConn and Houston heads to Tulsa. The game between the Cougars and Golden Hurricane is especially interesting because both teams are sitting two games back of SMU and trying to make a move on the postseason.

3. No. 5 Iowa continues the soft part of the schedule as they face Illinois on the road. The Hawkeyes posted recent easy victories over Northwestern and Penn State and will be heavily favored again on Sunday.

4. Could be an intriguing game as No. 17 Miami travels to Georgia Tech. Although the Yellow Jackets aren’t a major contender in the ACC, they’ve been tough this season, especially at home. The Hurricanes fell victim to Georgia Tech last season while they were ranked by Marcus Georges-Hunt has to get back on track after a recent slump for that to happen.

5. There is an Atlantic 10 game that will be featured on NBCSN on Sunday: Saint Louis at St. Bonaventure (2:00 p.m.).

CLICK HERE to watch these games on NBC Sports Live Extra Sunday afternoon.