Bulls host holiday party for USO children


Bulls host holiday party for USO children

The Bulls teamed up with the United Service Organization earlier today to throw a holiday party for 100 children, including 65 who either have a parent deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan or who have lost a family member during his or her time in service.

It was a special afternoon at the Berto Center, as members of the Bulls and its organization came out to spend time with the children, decorating cookies, signing autographs, taking pictures and coloring.
Each child also received a gift, personally donated by point guard Nate Robinson.
"It's great to have the kids here. I've been making cookies, putting smiles on kids' faces. It's a great event for the kids. They deserve it," Robinson said. "When I was a kid I didn't have a lot of toys. For them to have something they can get their hands on to play all day and all night, I thought it was a big deal for them."
It was also a special opportunity for a few soldiers, as loved ones brought along smartphones and used Skype to speak with players such as Jimmy Butler and Luol Deng, and general manager Gar Forman.
Forward Valadimir Radmanovic took part in the festivities, and said he can relate to the children because when he was drafted in 2001, he came alone from Yugoslavia and left his family behind.
"Holidays are always a great part of the year and having kids and the families of the troops is a pleasure," he said, "because my family wasn't with me, so I know what it means for them and what it means for me."
Kirk Hinrich, who injured his left elbow in Saturday night's 93-85 win over the Knicks, was also moved to see children who will be spending the holiday season without a loved one.
"It's real special to see all these kids. You think about a family member not being around for the holiday. The service they're doing hits home. Seeing these kids, you really think about how hard that would be," he said. "We let them know that we're here and we appreciate the sacrifice that they're making as well."

Blackhawks acquire Tomas Jurco from Red Wings

Blackhawks acquire Tomas Jurco from Red Wings

General manager Stan Bowman saw the potential in Tomas Jurco several years ago.

For the 24-year-old forward, it wasn’t working out with the Detroit Red Wings. Perhaps a change of scenery, an opportunity on a team that could vie for another Stanley Cup, makes a difference. The Blackhawks are about to find out.

The Blackhawks acquired Jurco for a third-round pick in this year’s draft on Friday afternoon. The 24-year-old Jurco has played in 16 games with the Red Wings this season but has yet to collect a point. In four seasons with the Wings, Jurco had 15 goals and 24 assists in 159 games. Red Wings general manager Ken Holland told Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press that, “things haven’t worked out” for Jurco there and that he wanted to go elsewhere.

Jurco was on a bye as a member of the Red Wings but, now that he’s with the Blackhawks, the bye ends. Bowman was hopeful Jurco would join the Blackhawks at practice on Saturday. Also, to clear a roster spot for Jurco, the Blackhawks reassigned Vinnie Hinostroza to the Rockford IceHogs.

[RELATED: Nick Schmaltz gaining confidence, effectiveness with Blackhawks]

Bowman said he’s been watching Jurco for a few seasons now.

“We’ll be patient with him but we really think there’s a good fit there, looking at his skills and the style of hockey we play,” Bowman said. “He’s been an accomplished player at a lot of different levels. He’s shown flashes in the NHL, not as consistently as he or the Wings would like, but you can see the talent and potential. You have to have some patience with these guys. It doesn’t always come together right away. I’m not expecting him to carry our team but I think he can contribute.”

It was an under-the-radar trade for Bowman but that’s not surprising. In late January, Bowman said he probably wouldn’t do much at the trade deadline; he liked how the Blackhawks’ young players were progressing and figured, if that continued, the team would be in good shape. Since then the Blackhawks have won eight of their last nine and are just three points behind the Western Conference-leading Minnesota Wild. As the Blackhawks kept winning it looked like, if they did anything, it would be a depth move.

So will there be any more moves? At this point it doesn’t seem likely, be it on forward or defense – Bowman didn’t have an update on Niklas Hjalmarsson (upper body) but said he’s happy with the depth in Chicago and Rockford on defense. Bowman said he’ll keep talking but, “but it’s a little bit different than in previous years when I thought we definitely needed something and were lacking in an area.”

“I’ve had a feeling about our team, not just recently but even a month ago. I liked the way this group was starting to come together,” Bowman said. “We’ve seen that enhanced over the last couple of week here. We’ve seen players step up, [Nick] Schmaltz in particular. [Ryan] Hartman’s been good all year. We’ve seen Jonathan [Toews] become a dominant player again. It gives your team a confidence that you have balance, scoring in different lines. We just added a young player to help us now as well as in the future. There’s a lot to be excited about. I’m not expecting more trades. I can’t predict more will happen but I have a good feeling about this group right now.”


Javy Baez flaunts epic World Series tattoo

Javy Baez flaunts epic World Series tattoo

Javy Baez should win a gold glove in tattoos.

The kid with the MLB logo inked on the back of his neck now has an absolutely epic 2016 World Series Champions tattoo on his left deltoid:

That. Is. Awesome.

Javy apparently has had the tattoo for a little while, though it wasn't quite as eye-popping as it is now (or what we could see of it back in January):

😎 Find The #W #JB9 #ElMago

A post shared by Javier Báez ⚾ (@javy23baez) on

That's some good ink work, Javy.

Now just make sure you don't spend too much time in the gym working on those delts. That tattoo would look awfully weird stretched out: