NationalSports

Wall Seeks Improvement With Wizards

Washington Wizards star guard John Wall posted videos last month on social media from Miami Beach, Florida, cycling, boxing and, of course, basketball.

At a press conference Friday at Verizon Center in northwest D.C. to announce his new contract, Wall said the workout regiments are to improve his condition for the upcoming season after admittedly tiring in the Wizards’ Game 7 loss to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

“In the third quarter it was like three minutes left and I asked coach [Scott Brooks] for a sub and he said, ‘No, you got to play.’ I was like, ‘This is going to be a long night for me,'” Wall said. Now “in the morning I’ll start treatment and then weightlifting. Then go do basketball and I’ll go ride a bike for 20 miles just so I can ride and try see how it feels like to be fatigued and get over the hump.”

Wall, who announced in a video on social media July 21 he agreed to sign a contract extension, said Friday he’s committed to the team for at least another six years. The deal he inked stands at four years at $170 million.

Besides being a four-time All-Star, Wall achieved first-time accolades for himself and the franchise last season:

• All-NBA third team;
• Averaged career-highs in scoring, field goal percentage, assists and steals;
• Team high 49 wins, the most since 1978-79 season.

The Wizards selected Wall as the first overall pick in the 2010 draft from the University of Kentucky, where he holds the single-season assist record with 241, led the team to a number one ranking and became the school’s first-ever number one NBA draft pick. Although Wall left school after his freshman year, he’ll be inducted next month in the school’s basketball Hall of Fame.

Wall, who turns 27 next month, will be the Wizards in the prime of his career and one of the few professional stars willing to stay with one franchise for their entire career.

“He means what he says,” said Wizards owner Ted Leonsis after the press conference. “His bond with this community is deep. My expectation is he will spend the rest of his career here and then when his career ends, he’ll be closely associated with the organization. He really wants his jersey retired here.”

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I decided I wanted to become a better writer while attending Bowie State University and figured that writing for the school newspaper would help. I’m not sure how much it helped, but I enjoyed it so much I decided to keep on doing it, which I still thoroughly enjoy 20 years later. If I weren’t a journalist, I would coach youth basketball. Actually, I still play basketball, or at least try to play, once a week. My kryptonite is peanut butter. What makes me happy – seeing my son and two godchildren grow up. On the other hand, a bad call made by an official during a football or basketball game makes me throw up my hands and scream. Favorite foods include pancakes and scrambled eggs which I could eat 24-7. The strangest thing that’s ever happened to me, or more accurately the most painful, was when I was hit by a car on Lancaster Avenue in Philadelphia. If I had the power or money to change the world, I’d make sure everyone had three meals a day. And while I don’t have a motto or favorite quote, I continue to laugh which keeps me from driving myself crazy. You can reach me several ways: Twitter @jabariwill, Instagram will_iam.ford2281 or e-mail, wford@washingtoninformer.com

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