If you're an elderly woman at a grocery store who just can't seem to reach the top shelf, there's no one better to help than a 6-foot-2 professional athlete who also happens to be "as big as a house."

Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, who conveniently fits that description, was recently grocery shopping with his girlfriend when an older woman asked him to help her reach an item placed above her head. From the below photo, it appears to be mayonnaise or a condiment of some sort:

Washington sports fans have to love seeing their young phenoms going out of their way to help others. Whether it's Harper, Wizards guard John Wall or Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, the teams in the nation's capital have some good samaritans who also happen to be superstars.

Full Story >>

Vladimir Putin sure knows how to reward his favorite athletes.

After Russia's stellar performance at the Winter Olympics, Putin rewarded each medalist with a brand new Mercedes.

And now, an anecdote from an American MMA fighter reveals that it's not just Russian or victorious athletes whom Putin rewards.

In a story published on Bleacher Report, Anthony Ruiz (below) discusses the single fight that changed his life.

Two years ago Ruiz traveled to Sochi to fight Alexander Shlemenko in front of a crowd that included Putin. A judo black belt who is enamored with grappling, Putin has been spotted at several fights over the years.

The fight, which carried a $6,000 purse, went poorly for Ruiz, and by the end, his nose was "broken all the way to the side." Afterwards, according to Ruiz, Putin offered him some advice:

“You need to fix your nose.”

Ruiz nudged his nose back into place, but that tip wasn't the only gift he would get from Putin.

Several weeks later, back home in California, Ruiz got a call from someone asking how he was feeling and whether he could provide a code for a money transfer. The person on the other end of the line was speaking English, but Ruiz could hear Russian in the background.

Days after that mysterious call, Ruiz learned that $50,000 was wired into his bank account from the Russian Federation. The next day another $50,000 poured in and then another $50,000 after that. This was much, much more than Ruiz had ever earned from a single fight.

“Well, I offered my life," Ruiz said when asked how he could justify getting such a fortune. "I was there. I was willing to die. And it showed on film."

And Putin was impressed enough with such toughness that he shelled out the $150,000 without prompting.

According to SI.com's "Extra Mustard," Ruiz used the $150,000 to pay for a down payment on a home.

Below is a video of the fight which earned Ruiz a broken nose and a new home:

This text will be replaced

Full Story >>

When it comes to attending prom, the third time should be the charm for ESPN's Michelle Beadle.

The 38-year-old Beadle, who recently returned to ESPN following a short stint at NBC, will be accompanying teenager Jack Jablonksi to prom this spring at Benilde-St. Margaret’s School in St. Louis Park, Minn. Jablonksi, a former hockey player, was paralyzed during a game in 2011 when he was checked head first into the boards.

Beadle says she had two forgettable proms in high school -- and surely this one will be the most meaningful.

Jablonski, who co-hosts a weekly radio program called "Hockey Night in Minnesota" (see below), invited Beadle to be his guest on the show this week. A few minutes into the interview, which can be heard here, Jablonksi invites Beadle to prom. Beadle immediately accepts.

"Seriously, I'd love it," Beadle said. "Can I wear an '80s dress to the prom?”

Beadle told Larry Brown Sports that she's gotten to know Jablonksi over Twitter and is inspired by his story.

"I know that he's a badass and someone I look up to immensely," Beadle said. “I was shocked when he asked today. And I adore him for doing it live on the radio. I’m honored to squeeze my 38 year old behind into a formal gown for a great night!"

While it doesn't appear that Jablonski and Beadle have ever met in person, judging by their easy rapport on Twitter it seems like they're in for a fun night.

Full Story >>

Even though they were losing by more than 20 points in one of the biggest games of their lives, the players of Desert Chapel's basketball team made time for one final, heartwarming gesture that brought tears to many in the stands.

Desert Chapel was trailing Trinity Classical, 75-52, late in the fourth quarter of Southern Section Division VI title game in California. That's when Trinity freshman Beau Howell checked in. Beau has autism and has been an inspiration to his teammates throughout the season.

Desert Chapel's star player, Taner Alvarez, said he and his teammates noticed the crowd react to Beau entering the game.

"We saw him come on the court and everyone giving him a standing ovation, and he probably hadn't scored in his life,” Alvarez told the Santa Clarita Valley Signal. “Why not let him score in the biggest game of his life?"

With about 30 seconds left Taner handed Beau the ball and encouraged him to shoot. After a few misses Beau finally sank a shot from close range, prompting the crowd to go wild and providing the young man with a wonderful memory.

This text will be replaced

"To see how this team, who doesn’t know our school, certainly doesn't know Beau, to see the way they responded was such an incredible blessing," Beau’s mother, Megan, said. "They had the opportunity to be disappointed and focus on themselves. It was a hard game for them, but they immediately responded in a beautiful way."

Full Story >>

John Wall's average of 8.8 assists is good enough for fourth in the NBA, but the burgeoning star's biggest this season may have come off the court.

Wall, who earned his first All-Star Game appearance this year, heard about the story of 5-year old Damiyah Telemaque-Nelson through a friend. Damiyah, who goes by Miyah, was diagnosed with cancer in October. She's received her share of presents as she goes through chemotherapy, but there's one more thing she wants -- to meet Nicki Minaj and get one of the pop star's famous pink wigs.

According to the Washington Post, Wall has friends of friends in Minaj's circle. So the 23-year-old decided to leverage his connections as well as his half a million Instagram followers to help Miyah fulfill her dream.

"@NickiMinaj #HelpMiyahMeetNicki #PinkWig4Miyah Fans I need your help to get my buddy Miyah's wish granted. She's a 5 year old battling cancer and her wish is to meet @NickiMinaj and get one of her pink wigs! I need your help, comment on this photo "@NickiMinaj #HelpMiyahMeetNicki #PinkWig4Miyah"! Let's get Miyah's one of Nicki's pink wigs!"

Before long, Minaj responded with an Instagram post of her own:

"Hi Miyah!!!! Let's see what we can come up with for a pretty little princess. ;)"

Miyah's mom, Kadisha, told the Post her daughter was ecstatic to hear from her idol.

"She doesn’t know the depths of it, but she's so happy,” Kadisha said. “She said: ‘Nicki wrote me, Mommy? You think you’re going to like me in my pink wig?’ I said, ‘Yes Miymiy, I’m going to love you in whatever you have on.'"

Full Story >>

A high school wrestler's amazing gesture after a loss in the state championship match brought tears to the eyes of many spectators, and it's not hard to see why.

After falling to Mitchell McKee in Minnesota's 120-pound class, Malik Stewart went over and embraced McKee's father, Steve, who is battling terminal cancer.

"I got a little teary because I lost the match, and I knew the hard times he was going through," Stewart told KARE 11. "The crowd went wild and I heard a couple people say after I did it -- that was pretty classy -- but I just did it straight from the heart."

As it turns out, Stewart can relate to what Mitchell McKee is going through. Stewart's father suffered a heart attack and died when Stewart was 7.

"It was a big match for him and to be able to hug my dad like that and not be mad and storm off like a lot of kids do," McKee said. "Really respectful."

For more of this story, here's KARE's report:

Full Story >>

Travis McKie had just scored 19 points on his senior night, helping Wake Forest pull off a memorable victory over Duke. It was McKie's first victory over Duke, and the Demon Deacons' first win against their in-state rivals since 2009.

Immediately after the final buzzer students rushed onto the court, and no one would have blamed McKie if he started celebrating immediately. Instead, McKie pulled off an amazing act of sportsmanship that we've never seen before in a college basketball game.

Noticing that Duke's Rasheed Sulaimon was engulfed by Wake Forest fans, McKie took a few moments to carry Sulaimon to safety. You can see the pair at the end of the following videos:

At this point Duke players have become used to fans at opposing arenas rushing the court following their team's victory (it happens about 80 percent of the time), but as coach Mike Krzyzewski has stated, the court stormings are dangerous for players.

Thankfully for Duke, Sulaimon escaped the scrum thanks to the quick thinking and kindness of an opposing player. Hats off to McKie, who had plenty of time to celebrate after dragging Sulaimon to safety.

Full Story >>

The 408K Race in San Jose is already an inspiring event. The annual 8-kilometer run benefits the Pat Tillman Foundation, which funds scholarships for military veterans. This year, runners made it all the more memorable with a spontaneous tribute to a 95-year-old World War II veteran who had come out in his full uniform to cheer them.

San Jose Mercury News reporter Julia Prodis Sulek captured the stirring salute Sunday as runners shook the hand of Joe Bell and thanked him for his service.

Tillman was a multi-sport star at Leland High in San Jose before going to Arizona State, the NFL and the U.S. Army, where he was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan.

Full Story >>

Sports fans may have noticed certain athletes had red X's on their hands during competition this week, and it turns out there's a good reason for the bold statement.

Kyle Korver, Jennie Finch and Colt McCoy were just a few of the sports figures to tweet photos of themselves with the X drawn on their hands. As Korver explained after the Atlanta Hawks' game against the Celtics on Wednesday, the gesture is part of the End It Movement, which is fighting against slavery across the world.

This description is from the End It Movement's website:

This February 27th, join us and other Freedom Fighters from around the world as we SHINE A LIGHT ON SLAVERY. Draw a RED X on your hand. Tell your world that slavery still exists and YOU WON’T STAND FOR IT. Just use your influence any way you can to help us carry the message of FREEDOM so even more people know. Let’s make this SHINE A LIGHT ON SLAVERY DAY even brighter than ever."

The End It Movement's Twitter page posted lots of photos of athletes supporting the movement. Here are a few:

Arizona Cardinals linebacker Sam Acho

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colt McCoy

Former softball star and Olympic gold medalist Jennie Finch

Texas Rangers utility man Brent Lillibridge

San Francisco Giants pitcher Jeremy Affeldt

Singer Carrie Underwood and her husband, Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher

According to a recent Washington Post article, there are 30 million people enslaved across the world.

“I think people assume that slavery is all in Asia somewhere, but it happens here in America all over the place,” Korver said. “It still exists. Real slavery happens here. It happens in factories, it happens with sex trafficking, in all different forms. I think most people, we think it’s a thing of the past. But 27 million people. That’s New York City times three. That’s a huge number.”

(H/T to For The Win)

Full Story >>

Kevin Durant had a typically efficient night on the court against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday, finishing one assist shy of a triple double in the Thunder's 114-104 loss.

If one man's story is true, Durant picked up that extra assist with a nice gesture after the game.

A Reddit user named mathan1234 was there to witness Durant's postgame act of kindness. Here's what he wrote:

"I was working for Fox at the OKC Thunder game last night. After the game, one of our camera operators slipped and fell on the stairs last night. KD is about to walk his mother out, but sees this happen. He said to his mom, 'Hold on a minute.'

He walks up to our cameraman says "Hey are you alright?", he then walks our cameraman back to the production truck. On the way, they talk and decide that his finger might be broken, so they go to the arena's x-ray machine and KD arranges for our guy to get an x-ray right there.

And to top it off, he waited there with him. Turns out the finger was broken. And once it was over, he walked our guy back to the truck and got him some ice.

I wasn't in there for the x-ray being done, but I would like to assume that KD personally performed the x-ray and then gave our guy a piece of candy afterwards. ;)

Anyway, I just thought that was a cool story."

Later, mathan1234 added this edit to his original story:

"So I saw the fall. I saw KD leave his mom and check on our cameraman and walk him off. I then talked to our cameraman (who was surrounded by a group of tv people) and they talked about the incident. I didn't see the x-ray.

After the game, I went out for drinks with some of the TV people who were there in the group. We were talking about the incident. About how cool it was for KD to do that etc.. they told about the x-ray part and that he got them that night, that apparently it was arranged by KD.

Apparently that's not exactly what happened. Apparently, x-rays were brought up, but our cameraman would have to come back to get them if he wanted them. It was brought up, but they never happened. The cameraman read this post and said everything was true, but the x-ray part was wrong.

So I unintentionally wasn't all the way accurate when I posted this. Honestly, if I would've known beforehand that so many people were going to read this, I would've called the cameraman to verify everything. Instead, I dashed off a story that I thought was kinda neat.

I thought about deleting this post, but the internet doesn't work that way. I feel kinda silly though. Anyway, sorry."

Of course, with stories like these authenticity is always a question. And while Durant hasn't verified this story, the Reddit user posts some convincing evidence on his personal page.

This story also aligns with Durant's reputation as a nice guy. Whether it's handing out ice cream, visiting a fan in the hospital or donating money to disaster relief efforts, the 25-year-old has proven himself one of the nicest superstars of our era.

(H/T to Deadspin)

Full Story >>

Syndicate content