TORONTO - Over a dozen cameras and upwards of 30 reporters gathered in the hallway on the third floor of the Air Canada Centre, jockeying for position outside the Raptors practice facility Tuesday afternoon. Dre Greenlaw Jersey . No, they were not staking out a spot for the playoffs, now 11 days away. They were not there to take in the teams final scheduled regular season practice. They were not on hand to inquire about the injured Kyle Lowry or Amir Johnson, both of whom had returned to the court. The gravity of Jonas Valanciunas drunk driving charge and arrest had transcended basketball, it was bigger than sport. It was news, and rightfully so. The Raptors starting centre was arrested early Monday morning for impaired driving in Wasaga Beach - roughly two hours north of Toronto - where he spent Sunday evening visiting friends. Valanciunas did not speak to the media Tuesday, as he had not yet met with his legal representatives, but those that did - GM Masai Ujiri, coach Dwane Casey and a couple of his veteran teammates - said all the right things. Understanding the severity of the 21-year-olds poor judgment, the organization made their message clear. Without condoning his actions, they stood united in support of their youngest player. "Like I told him, Im upset with him and disappointed in him but hes mine," said Casey. "So we love him." "He made a mistake, like any other young man has probably done before. We all make mistakes and its what we do after it [that] is how were going to be judged." The news of his arrest was surprising to those within the organization. Coaches, teammates and even fans have come to know the wide-eyed sophomore for his sincere, albeit quirky personality. Mondays events seemed out of character, to say the least. "Hes a great person, great kid," said Ujiri, maintaining Valanciunas hasnt, to his knowledge had prior plights with excessive alcohol use or bad decision making. "Weve never had any issues here with him, thats the honest truth." Valanciunas met with Ujiri for an hour on Monday. The following morning he sat down with Tim Leiweke and Larry Tanenbaum before addressing his coaches and teammates ahead of practice. "He sat in my office there yesterday," said the Raptors GM. "He knew, face in his hands, that he was sorry about it." "Hes very apologetic," Lowry echoed. "I mean hes sick right now. Hes really hurt by it, hes really embarrassed by it [and] very disappointed in himself. I can tell you that for sure." Per NBA policy, no punishment - from the league or the team - can be handed down until the legal process plays out. Although the Raptors are unlikely to issue any supplementary discipline, the league will come down on Valanciunas with a suspension - of likely two games - when and if hes convicted or theres a plea of guilt. The ramifications for Valanciunas - the player - are modest. Hell continue to play. Any suspension he faces wont take into effect until the beginning of next season, at the earliest. He will not be required to attend his initial court date on Apr. 22, shortly after the Raptors begin their first-round playoff series. Hes been enjoying one of the best stretches of his career and theres no reason why that shouldnt continue, assuming he can stave off the legal distractions that are likely to ensure. For Valanciunas - the person - the consequences are intricate. He has some damage control, some image repair to do. Most importantly, he has some growing up to do. In the last year, his second in the NBA, weve watched Valanciunas blossom on the court, sometimes losing sight of the fact that he is also growing and learning as a young man. Valanciunas - less than a month away from his 22nd birthday - made a mistake, a stupid one. Thankfully no one was hurt as a result. Given what we know about the young seven-footer its not hard to believe that the apology he made to his team, to his coaches, to the organization and fans was a sincere one. Some athletes, upon putting themselves in a similar predicament, have apologized mostly for being caught, which doesnt seem to be the case for a remorseful Valanciunas. What many of those other athletes havent had is the support system the Raptors can offer their young centre. Both Casey and Ujiri have positioned themselves as mentors and father figures, not only for Valanciunas but for all their players, while the teams locker room is filled with positive influences who have already begun to steer the sophomore in the right direction. "Be smart," Casey told him. "We all have to be smart. All of us have to be smart in what we do, how we carry ourselves off the floor, where we are [and] who we hang out with." "I talked to him and I made him understand that the things he did were wrong," Lowry said. "He just has to suffer the consequences that come with that." "Its unfortunate that it happened to such a good kid in JV," the 28-year-old point guard continued, "but it happened. Hes 21, hes going to learn from it and Im sure hes never going to make that mistake again." Ultimately, thats the true test, as Casey wisely pointed out. How does he learn from Mondays incident? Will he grow as a result of it? He made a mistake. What does he do next? Jim Plunkett Jersey . Kalish got his first hit since Sept. 11, 2012, when he rapped an RBI triple in the first inning Sunday in the Chicago Cubs 8-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. Steve Bono Jersey . Price also posted the longest shutout sequence since 1960 at 164:19 minutes. He stopped a combined 55 shots in Canadas final two games and 70 of 71 shots in Canadas three elimination games, allowing only a breakaway goal to Lauris Darzins of Latvia. For his efforts, Price was named best goalkeeper by the tournament directorate. Prices outstanding play is marred only by the extremely strong defensive play of Canadas top six defencemen; Shea Weber, Duncan Keith, Drew Doughty, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Alex Pietrangelo and Jay Bouwmeester.Austin, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Javan Felix posted 17 points to lead No. 9 Texas to a 78-68 win over Long Beach State on Saturday. Jonathan Holmes scored 14 points, Cameron Ridley gave 13 points and six rebounds and Connor Lammert had 10 pointss and 12 boards for the Longhorns (10-1), who have won their past three. Norm Standlee Jersey. Demarcus Holland had 10 points, seven boards and four helpers. Mike Caffey scored 23 points for the 49ers (5-7), who have lost three straight. ' ' '
Washington, DC (SportsNetwork. Nyle McFarlane Jersey Retro .com) - Braden Holtby stopped 31 shots to lead the Washington Capitals in a 2-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Monday. Jay Beagle and Alex Ovechkin scored for the Capitals, who have won five of their last six. When we play our game, we play the system, said Ovechkin. We feel good about our goalie, and he feels good. Hes been playing unbelievably, and we feel like we can win hockey games. Alex Tanguay scored the only goal of the game for the Avalanche, who had a three-game winning streak stopped. Semyon Varlamov stopped 36 shots in defeat. Im not happy that we lost but Im happy with our effort, said Colorado head coach Patrick Roy. We had some chances there in the third period and just couldnt put them away. The Capitals got on the board at 7:34 of the first period when Jason Chimera threw a shot on net off a faceoff and Beagle backhanded home the rebound. Colorado tied the game on the power play at 10:58 of the second period on a rush play when Jarome Iginla brought the puck in down the left wing and sent a backhand pass to the slot. Tanguays initial one-timer was stopped, but he put in his own rebound for his 13th goal of the season. Washington took the lead back with 2:14 to play in the second off a crisp passing play that saw three passes, with the third going to the left circle for an Ovechkin one-timer and a 2-1 lead. Colorado peppered Holtby with 18 shots in the final period and pulled Varlamov with over two minutes to play, but was unable to net the equalizer. Game Notes Washington hosts Philadelphia on Wednesday ... Colorado started a five-game road trip, and will play in Carolina on Tuesday ... Colorado was 1-for-2 on the power play, and Washington was 1-for-3. Matt Szymanski Jersey Retro . "After consultation with the Team USA medical staff and officials, it was determined that he should return to Winnipeg as a precaution due to his previous injury history," Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff said Wednesday in a statement. Les Dodson Jersey Retro .C. Lions. The clubs former starting quarterback, assistant and head coach returned Thursday as its receivers coach.Newark, NJ (SportsNetwork.com) - Simon Despres scored with 2:39 remaining in overtime and Pittsburgh rallied to post a 2-1 victory over New Jersey at Prudential Center. Holding the puck near the right-wing boards, Brandon Sutter passed to Kris Letang, whose own backhanded dish landed on the stick of Despres at the point. His harmless flip to the net beat a screened Cory Schneider to complete a comeback from one goal down late in regulation. Chris Kunitz registered a power-play goal with 3:11 remaining for the Penguins, who won for the second time in their last seven games. Marc-Andre Fleury needed to make only 13 saves. Steve Bernier tallied for the Devils, who had won two in a row. Schneider ended up with a season-high 41 saves in defeat. Final Score: St. Louis 3, Carolina 2 (SO) Raleigh, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - Kevin Shattenkirk scored the winner in the shootout to lead the St. Louis Blues in a 3-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. Shattenkirk was the second shooter for the Blues and he buried a wrister past Cam Ward, while Jake Alllen stopped Eric Staals wrister for the win. Bill Kirchiro Jersey Retro . Allen made 26 saves, while David Backes and Ryan Reaves scored in regulation for the Blues, who have won four straight. Justin Faulk and Ryan Murphy lit the lamp for the Hurricanes, who had a three-game winning streak snapped. Ward stopped the 29 shots he faced through overtime in relief of Anton Khudobin, who was pulled from the start after allowing two goals on three shots. Final Score: Colorado 3, Nashville 0 Denver, CO (SportsNetwork.com) - Semyon Varlamov posted 23 saves for his fourth shutout of the season to lead the Colorado Avalanche in a 3-0 victory over the Nashville Predators on Friday. Maxime Talbot, Gabriel Landeskog and Jarome Iginla scored for the Avalanche, who had lost three of four coming into the game. Colorado avenged a loss to Nashville in its last game on Tuesday. It wasnt a home-and-home series because the Predators played in St. Louis on Thursday. Marek Mazanec made 25 saves for the Predators, who have dropped four of their last five. ' ' '