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Former N.J. high school football player killed in shooting at Ohio university

A former high school football standout from New Jersey was shot and killed in an Ohio alleyway early Sunday morning, authorities there said.

Chase Meola, 23, a Mahwah native studying at the Ohio State University, was found by police responding to reports of a shooting in an alleyway in Columbus.

“Officers arrived to find a victim with a gunshot wound, who was pronounced deceased at the scene,” the university’s public safety department said in a statement.

The department said Columbus police were interviewing “persons of interest” and had already charged one suspect.

Columbus police said Kintie Lanod Mitchell Jr., 18, of Columbus was charged with murder. It was unclear whether he had an attorney. Media reports indicate he had previously been arrested on burglary charges.

Authorities said the shooting followed a dispute outside “a house party in the area,” but provided no other details.

“The Ohio State University community is in mourning, and our deepest condolences and support go to the family and friends of Chase,” the university said.

Meola was a member of the Mahwah High School Thunderbirds, who in 2015 won the school’s first sectional title in 34 years.

A student in the university’s Fisher School of Business, the Bergen County native said on his LinkedIn profile he aspired to be a financial analyst.

“Wall Street is where I would like to see my self in the near future. Ohio State was a great place for me learn and perfect all my skills,” he wrote.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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California college football player arrested in FBI sex trafficking sting

RENO  — A Nevada defensive tackle who was expected to start this season was among 28 suspects arrested in Reno as part of a week-long human-trafficking sting led by the FBI, authorities said Friday.

Christopher Green, 21, has been suspended from the Wolf Pack football team pending further investigation, Nevada spokesman Chad Hartley said. Hartley told KOLO-TV they learned of the incident Friday and were attempting to gather additional information.

The Washoe County sheriff’s office said in a statement the FBI’s Northern Nevada Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force worked with local law enforcement to target people trying to pay minors for sexual acts.

All 28 suspects went to a south Reno residence to “knowingly engage in, and pay for, sex acts with a minor,” the sheriff said.

Green, a 6-foot-2, 325-pound senior from Los Angeles, was being held in the county jail Friday without bail on suspicion of engaging in solicitation for prostitution of a child, and attempted child abuse, neglect or endangerment.

Jail records didn’t list an attorney or a scheduled court appearance.

Green made 16 tackles last season as a junior starting five games and appearing in all 13.

Nevada opens the season at home Oct. 24 against Wyoming.

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Dribble Handoff: Which four-year college player in the 2020 NBA Draft class will have the best pro career?

The three biggest stars in the NBA Finals took three distinct paths to the NBA. LeBron James jumped straight to the professional ranks after high school, while Lakers teammate Anthony Davis played one season of college basketball at Kentucky. Both were No. 1 picks in their respective drafts after taking the quickest path available to the NBA (rules had changed to keep high school prospects from entering the draft by the time Davis came along).

But Miami Heat leader Jimmy Butler’s journey to the game’s highest level looked much different than the paths James and Davis took. He played at a junior college in Texas before transferring to Marquette, where he exhausted his collegiate eligibility before the Bulls selected him 30th overall in the 2011 NBA Draft.

Several other NBA Finals contributors also exhausted their collegiate eligibility, including Jae Crowder, Duncan Robinson and Kendrick Nunn of the Heat. Same for Danny Green and Alex Caruso of the Lakers. Of the group, Butler was the only one taken in the first round in the NBA Draft. 

But he and the other former four-year college players prove that you can still find your way to the NBA spotlight even without one-and-done hype. With that in mind, our writers responded to the following prompt for this week’s dribble handoff: Which four-year college player in the 2020 NBA Draft class will have the best pro career? If you think it’s an easy question, go look at the 2020 prospect rankings. There are some intriguing choices but no obvious answer.

Cassius Winston, Michigan State

My favorite thing about this Heat team is how it’s made up of such an unlikely cast of characters while the Lakers’ starting lineup features the No 1. pick of the 2003 NBA Draft (LeBron James), the No. 1 pick of the 2004 NBA Draft (Dwight Howard) and the No. 1 pick of the 2012 NBA Draft (Anthony Davis) — all of whom combined to spend a total of one year in college. It’s quite the contrast. So I dig this question. And I suppose my pick to be the best four-year player from this draft class is former Michigan State point guard Cassius Winston.

Will he be a star?

Probably not.

But I have him going 28th to the Lakers in my latest mock draft. He’d be great in that spot considering Los Angeles could use another natural point guard on the roster — especially one who would serve as another high-level shooter next to The King. Winston made 43.0% of the 603 3-pointers he attempted in four years at Michigan State. So even if he’s not the best athlete, the quickest or the biggest, he should be able to provide quality minutes off the bench, right from the jump, and bury open jumpers whenever they’re presented, which is often for anybody lucky enough to play with LeBron James. — Gary Parrish

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