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  • June 13, 2019
    导出博客文章Nazair Jones came home after his Roanoke Rapids (N.C.) High team lost in the
    state playoffs so wiped out from his exceptional performance that he fell asleep
    on the couch.The next morning, he got up like normal. But when he tried to walk,
    Jones could not move. He screamed for his mother and sister to help him.
    Excruciating pain gripped his legs. They called an ambulance and he went to the
    hospital.Doctors could not explain why a healthy, active 15-year-old boy
    suddenly felt paralyzed from the waist down. They gave him a shot for the pain
    and sent him home.Yet the pain continued for weeks. Jones alternated between
    using crutches, a walker and a wheelchair to get around and started losing
    weight. He saw other doctors, but all of them were baffled.Seeing him walk with
    a walker, a teenager who is 6-foot-5, I thought I was losing my son, said his
    mother, Tammy.At his lowest point, Jones got down to 215 pounds and spent weeks
    bedridden in a hospital. Months of rehab followed. Today, the junior weighs
    nearly 300 pounds and is the key player in the middle of a North Carolina
    defensive front that faces yet another huge test Saturday, against No. 12
    Florida State and a resurgent Dalvin Cook.Considering the odds, Jones has made a
    remarkable turnaround. I had to put my mind to it, Jones said. I was not going
    to let that be the end of my career.But nobody could say for certain whether
    Jones would play football again. North Carolina coach Larry Fedora had seen
    Jones on tape and immediately saw why the four-star recruit was one of the top
    defensive line prospects in the state. He was phenomenal, Fedora said.Fedora
    wanted to offer a scholarship, but word had gotten to him that Jones was
    struggling physically. Still, he went to the high school to meet Jones for the
    first time. During the visit, Jones tried to hide his discomfort and the
    crutches, knowing a football scholarship was on the line. But after about five
    minutes, Jones asked Fedora, If you dont mind, could I sit down? I cant stand up
    Im in so much pain.Fedora did not see an imposing defensive lineman; he saw a
    thin young man who could hardly stand. He left that first meeting without
    offering a scholarship.The Jones family kept searching for answers about his
    condition. As the pain escalated, Jones was referred to the University of North
    Carolina Childrens Hospital, about two hours from his hometown. He was admitted
    on his 16th birthday.Jones went through a series of exams, from ultrasounds on
    his legs to bloodwork to nerve tests. Even then, doctors looked at him, puzzled.
    His mother worried even more. If the best doctors at UNC could not answer this,
    who would?At this point, Jones could not walk. His legs and feet swelled
    grotesque amounts and were so sensitive, any little touch produced unspeakable
    pain.I was still in shock because I had just played a great game, even though we
    lost, and now I cant walk and I dont know why, so I wasnt really focused on the
    pain even though that was the worst part, Nazair Jones recalled recently. It
    didnt look human how swollen my legs were and the crazy thing is, I would be in
    the hospital bed and the swelling went from one leg to another. It alternates
    and does whatever it wants to do.Finally, doctors came back with a diagnosis:
    complex regional pain syndrome, a chronic disease that affects the nervous
    system. To this day, nobody has been able to tell Jones why he suddenly became
    afflicted. His family asked the doctors what would happen to Jones budding
    football career.The doctor said, Football? We need to see can we get you walking
    again, Tammy recalled.Once the diagnosis was made, Jones moved into the nearby
    Ronald McDonald House to begin his extensive rehab. There is no cure for the
    disease, so doctors often focus on physical rehab and psychotherapy. To manage
    the pain and swelling, he took ibuprofen and other painkillers. Jones had to
    relearn how to walk, and spent time in the pool doing water aerobics.The
    psychotherapy part was much harder to grasp.The weirdest thing I did was this
    exercise in the mirror, Jones said. I sat on the ground, and they put this long
    mirror in between your legs. Because I was having so much pain in my legs, it
    was like my brain was sending pain signals to my feet and my legs, but there was
    no injury there. So basically, the therapy was me psyching myself into my legs
    working. I would literally look in the mirror and it would look like both of my
    legs and I was looking at my right leg, just getting movement and feeling back
    into my feet at the same time.Once I put my mind to it and started believing in
    the process, it began to work.Jones stayed at the Ronald McDonald House for two
    months, then continued his therapy back home. When he returned to school, Jones
    still needed help walking. But he had a cadre of friends ready to help him out,
    and they carried his books and backpack for him whenever he needed. Jones began
    walking normally again in May, and was able to rejoin his travel basketball team
    for a tournament that summer.But Jones wanted to play football in college, and
    that remained up in the air. His high school coach, Russell Weinstein, suggested
    they go to the final North Carolina football camp of the summer, just to show
    the staff that he was on the road back.Jones had regained the 40 pounds he lost,
    but he was not in the best shape. He got dehydrated and overheated and needed
    help from the training staff.He did not look like a D-I defensive lineman that
    day, Weinstein said. That was right when he got clearance to resume football
    activities. Naz knew he had to show up and fight the best he could under the
    circumstances. Coach Fedora was the first one to take the leap of faith and roll
    the dice.North Carolina offered him a scholarship that day. Weinstein and Jones
    pulled out of Chapel Hill and headed to Hardees to get something to eat, but
    Jones could not contain his excitement. He called his mother and said, Guess
    what! They offered me! Can I take it?Jones had been waiting on North Carolina,
    and felt it was meant to be, considering the universitys childrens hospital
    treated and diagnosed him. Weinstein turned the car around, and Jones went up to
    meet with Fedora.Coach, Jones said. Im a Tar Heel!We went off faith, really,
    that he was going to be OK, Fedora said. His junior year was phenomenal. It was
    a no-brainer. I remember just going and standing in that weight room with him
    thinking, Man, am I going to be able to recruit this kid? ... His comeback, its
    a heck of a story.Jones still had to play his entire senior football season. His
    strength and endurance were off, but that did not deter him. Weinstein estimates
    Jones was at 80 percent -- not bad considering all the time he could not run or
    practice. Still, his mother fretted over him.His very first game, I was worried
    he may get hit the wrong way or he may hit somebody the wrong way and if he does
    he may be paralyzed, Tammy said. I cant even describe how scared and afraid I
    was when they said he could play. I was down there yelling at the referee, He
    needs a break!Jones played his entire senior season, then his entire senior
    basketball season. But he continued to have episodes with the disease. In 2013,
    his freshman season at North Carolina, he began taking weekly shots of Enbrel,
    used to treat inflammatory conditions. He still takes those shots and meets with
    a rheumatologist to help manage the disease.Headed into this season, Fedora said
    Jones went through the best offseason he has ever had while at North Carolina.
    Keeping the symptoms at bay is part of everyday life for Jones, but so is
    working to improve the struggling Tar Heels run defense.That is the job he has
    wanted for years and years.I try to live in the moment because it can be taken
    away from you at any point, Jones said. Sometimes through the grind and the
    heat, you forget about how far you came, but I try to always bounce back on
    that. There was a point I couldnt even walk, so me being here to lead this group
    on the defensive line is a blessing.
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    . James, who turned 29 on Monday, injured his groin Friday during the Heats
    overtime loss at Sacramento. He sat out the following game, a 108-107 win
    Saturday in Portland, before coming back to help send the Nuggets to their
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    The Montreal Canadiens announced on Friday that the veteran forward will return
    to the teams line-up on Saturday night when the Habs visit the Nashville
    Predators. The NCAA announced Monday that it would remove seven championship
    events from North Carolina because of HB2, the controversial law that requires
    people to use the public restroom that matches the sex indicated on a persons
    birth certificate.Fairness is about more than the opportunity to participate in
    college sports, or even compete for championships, NCAA president Mark Emmert
    said in a statement. We believe in providing a safe and respectful environment
    at our events and are committed to providing the best experience possible for
    college athletes, fans and everyone taking part in our championships.Its great
    that the NCAA is making a statement about how much it values inclusion not just
    in sport, but in society. But the question is: what does this mean for NCAA
    member institutions that openly discriminate against LGBTQ students on their
    campuses?Its absolutely fair for the NCAA to single out North Carolina; the
    states law is blatantly discriminatory, and the statements made by Gov. Pat
    McCrory after its passage (and by the North Carolina GOP following the NCAAs
    announcement) underscore that fact. The law is a direct attack on gay people and
    trans people specifically, those most vulnerable to violence and vitriol within
    the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community.But the NCAA
    perpetuates LGBTQ discrimination in other areas of its governance. For example,
    a number of the NCAA member schools have applied for and been granted Title IX
    exemptions -- typically religious exemptions related to the usage of campus
    facilities, according to the?Human Rights Campaign. In other words, religious
    schools are requesting (and being allowed) the right to restrict access to
    bathrooms, housing and sports based on gender identity. If that sounds a lot
    like whats happening in North Carolina, thats because it is.To be fair, the NCAA
    does a lot through its Office of Inclusion to address LGGBTQ
    equality.dddddddddddd It has a policy protecting the abilities of trans people
    to play at the college level, and it provides materials about how to run
    LGBTQ-inclusive sports programs. It has hosted webinars on intra-team dating and
    summits on LGBTQ identity and faith, and every year the Office of Inclusion
    hosts its own conference. Its not like they do nothing.Whats frustrating is that
    the NCAA seems to want to have its cake and eat it too. The organization will
    move events, inform and educate, but when it comes to holding membership
    institutions accountable for their own discrimination, it falls short.When asked
    for comment, the NCAA referred to its original statement, in which board of
    governors vice chairman Jay Lemons said, Our membership comprises many different
    types of schools -- public, private, secular, faith-based -- and we believe this
    action appropriately reflects the collective will of that diverse group.In July,
    the NBA decided to move its All-Star Game out of Charlotte because of North
    Carolinas law, and earlier this year, the NFL drew criticism for not moving the
    2017 Super Bowl from Houston after local voters repealed an LGBTQ-inclusive
    human rights ordinance. Frankly, the logistics of where leagues are playing or
    not playing their games are getting tiring.The NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and NCAA could
    affect sustainable, tangible change all the way down to youth playing sports if
    they committed to doing so. The major sports leagues have a long way to go
    before theyre able to earn anything more than a golf clap of
    acknowledgement.Nevertheless, this step is unprecedented for the NCAA in its
    recognition of LGBTQ rights. It should be applauded for it. This thinking also
    should filter down to college and university campuses.Only time will tell. ' ' '