Something tells us there will be no shortage of students at Kentucky's Blue-White Scrimmage on Tuesday.

Not only is there unbridled anticipation heading into the season, one in which the Wildcats are once again atop the preseason polls, but two lucky students will win an amazing gift from Kentucky coach John Calipari.

Calipari took to Twitter on Monday to announce the sweet surprise.

Tickets for the scrimmage are $5, and students could win upwards of $5,000 just for attending. Not a bad deal.

(H/T to For The Win)

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It's only been one month since Paul George signed his five-year maximum extension that could reach $90 million with the Indiana Pacers, and the 23-year-old is already putting his new fortune to good use.

George, who starred at Fresno State from 2008-2010, bought every ticket for the school's home opener on Nov. 16 against Cal State Northridge. That's 15,596-seats at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif.

"In my time there we never sold it out, so I never had that feeling of a packed arena in college," George told ThePostGame. "I just wanted to give those guys that opportunity to really feel what a college arena is supposed to be like ... I just want it to be a crazy environment for those guys."

The 10th overall pick of the 2010 NBA draft, George had a breakout season in 2012-13. He was voted the NBA's Most Improved Player and earned a spot on the league's All-Defensive Second Team. George averaged 17.4 points and 7.6 rebounds last season, and he is one of the core players on a team that has nearly derailed the Miami Heat in the postseason in each of the past two years.

George says he still travels to Fresno State to work out each summer and he follows the team very closely.

The school approached George about the opportunity last week, and he says the decision to accept the offer was a no-brainer.

"I almost didn’t let them finish the question," George said. "The second that they asked me I was down for it."

Anyone interested in attending the game can print a voucher here and redeem it at the Save Mart Center ticket office.


George and the Pacers open their 2013-14 season Tuesday against the Orlando Magic. Check back on ThePostGame for a Q&A with George about guarding LeBron James, his expectations for the season and the release of Call of Duty: Ghosts.

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The upcoming Minnesota winter is going to be a lot more enjoyable for the Vikings' offensive linemen.

Star running back Adrian Peterson recently gave a snowmobile to each of his blockers as a thank you present for clearing the way for him during his 2012 MVP season. Peterson rushed for 2,097 yards last year, nine short of breaking Eric Dickerson's single-season record. He also helped spur Minnesota's turnaround from a 3-13 team in 2011 to a 10-6 squad in 2012.

This week Peterson, who was paid $8 million by the Vikings last year, presented Phil Loadholt, Charlie Johnson, Matt Kalil, Brandon Fusco and John Sullivan with their own customized Arctic Cat snowmobiles. Models featured on the Arctic Cat website range in price from $7,999 to $12,449.

Pretty sweet, but how do these compare to other gifts that offensive lineman had received? It'll be hard for anyone to top Tom Brady, who gave his offensive linemen Audi Q7s after the Patriots' undefeated regular season in 2007.

In recent years, both Reggie Bush and Arian Foster have rewarded their blockers with Segways.

Debunking The Myth: Steve Young And Deferred Payments From USFL Contract

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Life According To Sam - Trailer from Fine Films on Vimeo.

The kid has progeria, but so what? You think that's going to stop him? You think he's just going to sit in his room and mope? You think he's going to use that as an excuse to not let you know, even if you're an Oscar-winning director, how many more championships his city's sports teams have won in his lifetime than yours? Or that as he beats you and your Washington Capitals with his beloved Boston Bruins in NHL '13 on XBOX, he's not going to razz you and say it's just like in real life? You think he's going to be somber and introverted and shut the world out?

No chance.

The kid has progeria, but he also has gumption and smarts and an outlook on life that if it were transferable to the general population would make the world a better place. No way he stays in the shadows. That's not what being from Boston is about. It's not what being Boston Strong is about. And it's sure as hell not what Sam Berns, the focus of the HBO documentary Life According to Sam is about.

But the kid has progeria. Was born with it. Was diagnosed at 2 and told there was no cure and no treatment and he'd probably be dead by the age of 13. Sam is 17 now. He's a junior in high school and an outstanding student. He's got friends, and he loves music and like any other kid growing up in Foxboro, Massachusetts, not a day goes by where he isn't wearing an item of clothing from one of his favorite Boston teams.

"Some days he'd wear something from three of the teams at once," says Sean Fine, the co-director and producer of the film with his wife, Andrea. "I thought I was a big sports fan until I met this guy. He loves being a sports fan and he loves the analytical part. He and I would just talk about sports so much while we were filming. It's a true passion and then he takes it to another level."


As much as Sam loves sports, he can't play them. Has never really been able to. Progeria robbed him of that. Stole his youth right out from under him. That's the cruelty of this rarest of rare disorders that, at the time the documentary was filmed, affected less than 250 children worldwide. You see, with progeria, you're essentially born old. You get a sniff of childhood and then your cardiovascular system begins to age like an octogenarian, along with a host of other crippling symptoms.

Instead of atherosclerosis, heart disease and strokes occurring in the latest stages of life, they occur in the earliest. Tragically, many progeria-afflicted children suffer heart attacks or strokes as early as 5.

Starting to feel bad for Sam? Don't. He won't have it. In fact, if you're going to watch the documentary, he demands that you check your "that poor kid" mentality at the door.

"I didn't put myself in front of you to have you feel bad for me," he says at the start of the film. "I put myself in front of you to let you know you don't need to feel bad for me. I want you to know me. This is my life, and progeria is part of it. It's not a major part of it, but it is a part of it."

If you're inclined to think that there's no way Sam could be this grounded and this mature with what he's going through, that it must be an act because, after all, his life must be so hard, think again. He is the confident, kind, cool kid on the screen.

"We went to meet Sam and his parents at a roadside Chili's in Foxboro for the first time," Fine explains. "We slid into the booths and we were on one side and they were on the other. I was nervous to talk to him to see how this kid was going to be. But we quickly realized that these people are one in a million. Seeing how they took life, despite the curveball they were thrown, was amazing. At the very end of the meeting, Sam said, 'I just want to let you know that I think we're all going to be friends whether we make the movie or not. If you don't make it, I don't want anybody to feel sorry for me for one second'. He made us want to make the film."


There's an animated sequence in the documentary that explains how infinitesimally small the chances of getting progeria are. It's one of those segments that zooms in on the human body all the way down to the double helix of our DNA and it shows, precisely, how when one tiny alteration out of a trillion goes haywire, someone ends up with progeria. What it doesn't show, and what probably can't be animated, is the place in Sam's genetic makeup where the DNA of a warrior resides. When you see the battles that he and the other children in the film endure on a daily basis, you wonder how such inner toughness can reside in bodies made so frail by disease.

Then again, in Sam's case, we don't need a fancy DNA model to find out where he gets his mettle. One need only be introduced on screen to his mother, Dr. Leslie Gordon, who, upon Sam's diagnosis, devoted herself to finding a cure.

Herein lies the crux of the film, which introduces us to Sam and then takes us along on the emotional journey that he, his parents and the other kids in the film go on as Leslie establishes The Progeria Research Foundation and organizes the first progeria drug trial in Boston.

"The stakes of the trial are something that you feel on a very primal level," Andrea Nix Fine says. "We're filmmakers, so we have to maintain a level of professionalism, but as soon as you meet Sam's family, you're in. You see how hard working they are and how driven and positive they are and it's life affirming and beautiful."

While the Fine's main goal is to make a powerful film, a benefit that goes along with the accolades and awards of a successful documentary is greater awareness for the Progeria Research Foundation (PRF). Greater awareness, ideally, would then trigger greater donations, which PRF, like all research foundations, is in dire need of to find treatments and a cure.

The pie-in-the-sky dream for Leslie, Sam and the other children in the film would be if a famous billionaire was so touched by their story that he donated a gigantic sum of money, on the spot, after an advanced screening of the movie. For kids who were born on the wrong side of luck, an act of kindness like that would surely never happen. Maybe in a fictionalized version of their tale, but certainly not in real life. Right? Well ...


How New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft even found out about Sam is a testament to the level at which the Boston sports teams are woven into the fabric of the community. From the Red Sox and the Jimmy Fund to the Celtics' Shamrock Foundation, New England athletes, owners and organizations make a point of giving back. It's no surprise then that the Patriots were happy to help when the Fines came calling.

"When we decided to film the documentary, we wanted to find a quiet place where we could interview Sam's parents away from their house," Sean Fine says. "That wasn't easy to find in Foxboro, so we reached out to the Patriots because we knew they had a stadium and a place to do interviews, and they gave us the space."

As the story goes, Fine says that to thank the Patriots for allowing them to use the space, they invited the public relations team to the HBO screening and when Kraft came across the invitation, he asked about Sam and wanted to meet him. Kraft immediately took a liking to the kid and told him that he'd donate $1,000 to PRF for every year of his birthday, which would be $17,000.

Then came the screening.

"It was such an amazing event to screen at HBO," Fine says. "The house was packed. People were even sitting on the floor of the theater to watch the film."

Kraft wasn't the only sports figure in the house, as several Boston Bruins players, who consider themselves Sam's friends, were in attendance.

"People in Boston have sort of heard about progeria because of Sam," Fine says. "One of the Bruins heard about what Sam was doing and asked if he wanted to come say hello to the guys. Then the guys meet Sam and they're like, 'this kid is awesome.' We filmed him with the Bruins and he sat there and hung out with them and even told them what they can do to be better. He's not awestruck at all. They're his friends. I think it's pretty cool."

And now the tale of the kid from Foxboro with the rare disease moves into "if it wasn't true, nobody would believe it" territory.

It's the night of the premiere. Sam is about to watch the story of his life and his fight and his parents' mission on a big screen in New York City.

And wouldn't you know it; his story brings the house down. Not only that, it inspires people to open their hearts and, in terms of helping those afflicted by progeria, to open their wallets. One such person was Robert Kraft himself, who decided to go way, way beyond his original pledge.

"After the screening was over, Mr. Kraft stood up and said that at first, he was going to give $100,000 to the cause," Fine says. "Then he said that midway through the film, he was going to give $200,000. Then he said that now that the film was over, he has decided to give $500,000 to PRF. It shows how powerful a documentary film can be and it blew us away. The Progeria Research Foundation and Leslie and Scott, they need stuff like that."

To inspire others to donate, Kraft structured his donation so that he will match every dollar to the Progeria Research Foundation, up to $500,000 until Sam's birthday toward the end of October, hopefully resulting in a full one million dollar check.

In a press release explaining the donation, Kraft said, "I have fallen in love with Sam and I am sure that sentiment is shared by anyone who has ever spent time with him. Life According to Sam is an amazing and powerful film that will introduce Sam, his family and his story to a national audience. Sam is a star and what his parents have achieved in their search to find a cure is incredibly inspirational. Together, they are championing a cause that has already positively impacted the lives of children around the world. This is a must-see film. It will make you laugh. It will make you cry. And, most importantly, I think it will motivate people to want to do more to help."

Fine points out that the NFL does a lot of great work with charities, but people tend to gravitate toward diseases they already know about. What Kraft did was shine a light on progeria. Andrea thinks it speaks to the greater power of sports.

"Nowadays, you're hearing more about felonies and problems with athletes," Andrea Fine says. "But when sports does it right, there is a lot of heart in what they do. And there's a lot of heart in what Sam and his family are trying to do. I think that's why you see it in responses like the one Mr. Kraft had. When sports really tries to do good, they really do good."

-- Life According to Sam premieres at 9 p.m. ET/PT Monday Oct. 21 on HBO. For more information about fighting this disease, go to The Progeria Research Foundation.

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Few professional sports teams have as strong a relationship with the surrounding community as the Oklahoma City Thunder. The city's lone professional sports team, the Thunder has earned Oklahoma City's love with its strong play on the court and its unique outreach in and outside Oklahoma City.

In just another example of the Thunder's stellar relationship with the local community, the team announced that it will be rebuilding three basketball courts that were ravaged by the May 20 tornado that tore through parts of Oklahoma.

Before the team played its Blue and White Scrimmage in Moore, Okla., a town hit hard by the tornado, it announced that it would rebuild the outdoor basketball courts at Briarwood Elementary, Plaza Towers Elementary and Highland East Junior High School.

"When the community lost these schools, they lost more than a place of learning for their children," Dan Mahoney, the team's vice president of corporate communications and community relations, told the Associated Press. "The school facilities, including the basketball courts, served as the heart of these neighborhoods, and we are pleased and proud to be a part of restoring these communities.

Immediately following the May 20 tornado, which killed at least 50 people and injured hundreds more, both Kevin Durant and the Thunder donated $1 million to the American Red Cross.

The Thunder wore special summer league uniforms honoring the tornado victims, and at the team's scrimmage over the weekend they had first responders serve as honorary captains.

"We made the commitment from the day the storms began to hold nothing back in responding to these communities' needs," Mahoney said. "But we have also committed to be a part of the long-term rebuilding process."

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Washington Wizards fans know their team got a good player when the franchise selected Georgetown standout Otto Porter Jr. with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.

What Wizards fans may not have known is that they also got a good person.

This week a man named Michael Stein wrote in to the Washington Post with a marvelous story about Porter's unusual generosity. Stein says he was eating lunch at a sandwich shop in Washington, D.C., recently when he noticed Porter walk in. Outside the shop there was a homeless man asking passersby for a sandwich.

When Porter exited the shop, he was holding an extra sandwich, bag of chips and drink for the homeless man. And not only did Porter present the man with the food, he sat down and exchanged small talk with the fellow.

A Washington Wizards spokesman confirmed the story in an e-mail to For The Win.

Describing the scene, Stein writes:

"It was a wonderful thing to watch. This pure act of kindness, when no one was paying any attention, demonstrated true character and a genuine concern for someone in need. Mr. Porter, kudos to you. You are a gentleman and a true role model for fans of all ages."

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NBA Hall of Famer David Robinson was among dozens of superstars at the Pump Foundation's annual gala to raise money in the fight against cancer. Like many of the attendees, Robinson could personally relate to this fight, as the disease has hit those close to him, including his mother.

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