Harrington predicts return to playoffs for Wizards

Terps men picked No. 2 in national preseason poll; first Philippines/Israel festival to be held at St. Paul's

Wizards

Harrington predicts return to playoffs for Washington

Once he made the decision Saturday that he wanted to join the Washington Wizards, veteran free-agent forward Al Harrington shared the news with John Wall via text message. "The first thing he said was, 'Help me get to the playoffs,'" Harrington recalled Wall's telling him. Harrington is confident he can help Wall make the playoffs for the first time in his career — and also end the Wizards' five-year postseason drought. After a season spent recovering from a staph infection following surgery on his right knee and as a misplaced piece in the Orlando Magic's rebuilding efforts, Harrington, 33, is eager to again play a significant role on a team that is playing for something. He planned to board a flight to Washington on Tuesday for a physical and eventually sign a one-year deal worth the veteran minimum of $1.4 million with the Wizards because he believes the franchise is ready to return to respectability. "I'm excited and I feel like this team is definitely going to make the playoffs," Harrington said in a telephone interview Monday night. "And I don't care. I'll go on record saying that. I feel like if this team is healthy, it will be one of the top eight teams in the East, for sure." In desperate pursuit of a big man who could stretch the floor and knock down open shots, the Wizards quickly pounced on Harrington after the Magic waived him and he cleared waivers. In 15 years in the NBA, Harrington has earned a reputation as a reliable reserve capable of erupting for scoring bursts and creating space with his perimeter shooting. Harrington has averaged 13.7 points and shot 35.2 percent from beyond 3-point range for Indiana, Atlanta, Golden State, New York, Denver and Orlando.

Michael Lee, The Washington Post

Soccer

Terps men picked No. 2 in national preseason poll

The Maryland men's soccer team is No. 2 on the National Soccer Coaches Association of America/Continental Tire NCAA Division I preseason rankings, announced Tuesday. Maryland follows 2012 national champion Indiana and is joined in the top five by Georgetown, North Carolina and Connecticut, respectively. The Terps return eight starters — including MAC Hermann Trophy winner Patrick Mullins — from last year's squad, which advanced to the College Cup semifinals and won both the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season and tournament championships.

College women: Mount St. Mary's was picked seventh in the Northeast Conference preseason coaches poll. Saint Francis (Pa.) was tabbed as No. 1. The Mountaineers finished the 2012 season with a 7-11-1 record, the program's most wins since 2000. Mount St. Mary's opens the season at UMBC on Aug. 23.

National Women's Soccer League: Midfielder Diana Matheson is the first Washington Spirit player to win the league's Player of the Week award. Matheson, 29, had a goal and an assist in two games as the Spirit recorded a pair of 1-0 victories at Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds over the Chicago Red Stars last Wednesday and Seattle Reign on Saturday. Wednesday's victory halted a seven-game losing streak and ended a run of 13 games without a win for Washington.

Lacrosse

First Philippines/Israel festival to be held at St. Paul's

The Filipino-American Lacrosse Club will host the first Philippines/Israel Lacrosse Festival at St.Paul's on Sunday. Tickets are available at philippineslacrosseassociation.eventbrite.com; all proceeds will support new youth lacrosse programs in the Philippines, which are launching this fall. The event will begin at 9:30 a.m. with a joint youth clinic for boys ages 8 to 13 featuring players and coaches of the Israel and Philippines teams. The clinic is $40 and includes a game ticket and an Israel Lacrosse pinnie for each participant. Proceeds from the clinic will be shared between the two programs to help support new youth lacrosse programs in Israel and the Philippines that are launching this fall. Faceoff is at noon for the international exhibition game between Israel and the Filipino-American Lacrosse Club. The game will be broadcast live at livestream.com/accesslacrosse. After the game there will be an on-field autograph session, as well as a postgame barbecue and tailgate hosted by the Filipino-American Lacrosse Club at about 2:30p.m. Admission to the tailgate is $10. Players and fans are encouraged to bring used lacrosse helmets, gloves, sticks and protective gear to donate. Equipment donors will receive a free Israel Lacrosse pinnie.

College men: Bel Air native J.J. Licata has signed a national letter of intent to play at Missouri Valley in the team's inaugural season in the spring. Licata was a three-sport athlete at Harford Tech, also playing soccer and wrestling. Missouri Valley competes in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.

From Sun staff and news services

 

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