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Lawyers involved in case of Russ Smith’s lost championship jersey

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Russ Smith shipped his game-worn 2013 National Title jersey, which was framed and presented to him on senior night, to his father in Brooklyn. Due to a mishap on the FedEx’s part, that jersey is gone, possibly for good.

This occurred several weeks ago, gaining national attention once Smith voiced his frustrations in a string of tweets to his more than 36,000 Twitter followers. Smith was at the NBA Draft Combine last week, and is still in the process of conducting individual workouts as he gears up for next month’s draft. In the meantime, his father has continued to pursue the lost uniform, hiring lawyers, according to Jeff Greer of the Courier-Journal.

“I’m so disappointed,” Russ Smith Sr. told the Courier-Journal. “I feel so bad for my son. I said, ‘You worked hard for this. And for it to just be thrown away, I can’t let that happen.’ I had to step up to the plate and get something done.”

Jonathan Blue, a member of the U of L Board of Trustees, has offered a $3,000 reward for anyone who can find and bring him the lost jersey.

Bill Self on Cheick Diallo: ‘It may be a couple of more weeks’

2015 McDonald's All American Game
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Cheick Diallo is currently practicing with Kansas, but his eligibility still remains in question.

On Monday, Kansas head coach Bill Self appeared on “The Border Patrol” on WHB-AM 810 and was asked to update the status of his freshman big man.

“He’s been cleared to practice,” Self told hosts Steven St. John and Nate Bukaty. “(His status) is depending on what they find throughout from the information we submit to them whenever we get it all together.

“A lot of people think, ‘Well, why wouldn’t it all be together?’ Well there’s a lot of reasons why. It’s because they told us recently some things that they just wanted. Instead of just throwing it to them piece by piece, they requested we to just submit it all together, so it may be a couple of more weeks before we’re able to submit everything when you’re talking about getting information from schools in Mali and everything like that.

“But we hope in two weeks, maybe three weeks, before we have a definite answer. But right now, Cheick is like everybody else. He’s practicing.”

Diallo, a 6-foot-9 forward from Mali is allowed to practice with the Jayhawks, but has been waiting to be cleared by the NCAA Eligibility Center despite enrolling in classes over the summer and earning six credits. Self anticipated this would be a long process, but has remained confident Diallo, the top-5 recruit in Class of 2015, will eventually be cleared to play this season.

For three years, Diallo attended Our Savior New American School in Centereach, New York, which is currently under NCAA review. In September, Pitt freshman Damon Wilson, Diallo’s teammate at OSNA, was cleared to play.

Kansas opens the season on Nov. 13 against Northern Colorado.

Albany’s Peter Hooley accepts Inspiration Award

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Last week, Albany senior Peter Hooley accepted the Inspiration Award at the Coaches vs Cancer Basket Ball in Troy, New York. The Albany athletic department uploaded his entire speech on Monday afternoon.

Hooley had one of the most uplifting moments of March after months and months of heartache.

The junior guard missed three weeks of the season to travel back home to Australia to be with his mother, who was battling colon cancer. She passed away in January. Hooley returned to the team in February and the following month, the Great Danes had a shot at an NCAA tournament berth. In the America East Tournament championship, Hooley sunk a game-winning shot with 1.6 seconds to go.

Hooley, who graduated in May, was selected to give the commencement speech.