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Teen hockey player returns to the ice after suffering traumatic brain injury in accident: 'I feel great'

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ABC News(BOSTON) — Since he was a young boy, Gage Senter has loved hockey.

Three years ago, Senter was a high school freshman in Merrimac, Massachusetts, when he made the varsity starting lineup as a center.

“It was the most important thing for me. I just worried about hockey and I just worried about the game,” said Senter, now 18. “I didn’t worry about anything else.”

He had dreams of playing hockey professionally but that summer, when he was 15, he was struck by a car at a crosswalk.

He spent a month in a coma and was on life support for six weeks with a traumatic brain injury and remained in the hospital for nine months.

When Senter woke up, he said, he thought his life was over, but it wasn’t.

“My life was very different. … I just had to relearn how to walk. Relearn how to talk. Relearn how to eat. Relearn how to live life again. Relearn to learn of who I was again. I did it and I pulled through. … I just never gave up,” he said.

Senter worked hard in rehabilitation for 22 months, determined to recover and to return to the ice.

Stacey Sirotta, Senter’s physical therapist, said it had been “exciting” to see Senter’s progress.

In March, seven months ago, he took his first shaky steps back on the ice. For Senter and his family, it was a victory. And, it didn’t take him long to get back to his old form.

Sirotta said he was doing a great job mastering different aspects of skating.

“It takes a lot of hard work. It takes a lot of determination. … He continues to get better and better,” she said.

“I just love the feeling on my face,” Senter told ABC News. “I just love that cool breeze. I love skating fast. I love taking tight turns.”

Senter also became a role model at the May Center School for Brain Injury in Brockton, Massachusetts, for other young people with serious brain injuries.

“I help them just like I was helped,” Senter said. “I want my fellow students to get back to how they were before they got the brain injury.”

As for skating, he said, getting back on the ice and playing hockey helped him feel like his old self, “but with the little lags.”

“I feel great. I feel greater than ever to be back in this world,” he said. “I feel like everything is not how I would like it to be but I’m working and I’m making progress every single day and that’s what I have to say for everyone with an injury. … You can’t give up. Just keep trying.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Redskins quarterback Alex Smith suffers season-ending injury

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Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images(LANDOVER, Md.) — Washington Redskins quarterback Alex Smith suffered a serious leg injury on Sunday, and now the team has to prepare to finish the season without him.

Smith, 34, was sacked in the third quarter of Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans, breaking the fibula and tibia in his right leg. He later underwent surgery at a local hospital.

Colt McCoy stepped in for Smith and helped the Redskins take the lead in the fourth quarter, but the team ultimately lost to Houston, 23-21.

McCoy, 32, will continue to start in Smith’s absence. Sources tell ESPN that Washington will also be inviting several quarterbacks for a tryout, including EJ Manuel, T.J. Yates, Mark Sanchez, Kellen Clemens and Josh Johnson.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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LeBron James scores 51 points, gets first win in Miami since leaving Heat

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Ezra Shaw/Getty Images(MIAMI) — LeBron James finally claimed his first win in Miami since parting ways with the Heat four years ago.

James scored 51 points Sunday night, helping the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Heat, 113-97. The win marks his first victory in Miami since leaving the Heat in 2014, and his first win there as a member of the visiting team since 2010, according to ESPN.

“[I]t’s always great to be here, come back here and see a lot of familiar faces,” James said after the game. “We had some not-so-good times, we had more great times. So it’s always a respect factor and a love for the people of Miami, especially the people who work here. We put in a lot of time.”

With his 51 points Sunday, James also became the fifth player in NBA history to score 50 or more points with three teams — the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Teen survives dramatic racing crash at 170 mph

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Mai Shangmin/China News Service/VCG via Getty Images(MACAU, China) — A teenage race driver is lucky to be alive today after a crash that stunned everyone at the Macau Grand Prix in China over the weekend.

Sophia Floersch, a member of the Netherlands-based Van Amersfoort Racing team, flipped her Formula 3 car at 170 mph after clipping a Japanese race car. The flip hurled the 17-year-old’s car backwards, slamming it into a booth.

The crash sent five people to the hospital with serious injuries, and caused the remainder of the race to be halted for over an hour.

Floersch, remarkably still conscious after the accident, was taken to the hospital and initially diagnosed with a spinal fracture.

Floersch is scheduled for surgery Monday.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Condoleezza Rice says 'I'm not ready to coach' Cleveland Browns

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By Leighton Schneider

Harry How/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — She was the first woman named White House National Security Advisor and quarterbacked former President George W. Bush’s foreign policy team as Secretary of State, and now Condoleeza Rice’s name has surfaced as a possible contender for an NFL head coaching job.

When Cleveland Brown’s General Manager John Dorsey said last week that he would consider a woman to lead his perennial losing franchise, Rice’s name was quickly thrown into the mix even though her only NFL experience is being a Browns’ fan.

ESPN cited an NFL source saying the Browns would like to interview Rice for its head coach position, which would make her the first woman ever to be considered for an NFL head-coaching job.

“She’s an amazing person,” an anonymous source told ESPN of Rice, who has been a former member of the College Football Playoff selection committee.

But shortly after the ESPN story was posted online, Dorsey released a statement calling Rice a “great leader” who “possesses the highest possible character.”

Still, he said her name is not on the short or long list to replace Hue Jackson, who was fired as the team’s head coach on Oct. 20 after winning just three games in more than two seasons.

“I have the utmost respect and admiration for all she’s accomplished and was honored to meet her for the first time earlier this season,” Dorsey said in his statement. “Our coaching search will be thorough and deliberate, but we are still in the process of composing the list of candidates and Secretary Rice has not been discussed.”

Rice, 64, issued a statement on Facebook on Sunday, saying, “One doesn’t have to play the game to understand it and motivate players.”

“I love the Browns — and I know they will hire an experienced coach to take us to the next level,” Rice said of the franchise that has not made the playoffs since 2002 and finished last season with an 0-16 record.

“On a more serious note, I do hope that the NFL will start to bring women into the coaching profession as position coaches and eventually coordinators and head coaches,” Rice said. “But experience counts — and it is time to develop a pool of experienced women coaches.”

But she added, “I’m not ready to coach but I would like to call a play or two next season if the Browns need ideas! And at no time will I call for a ‘prevent defense.'”

Rice’s quip was apparently in reference to former Brown’s coach Marty Schottenheimer’s decision in the 1986 AFC Championship game to play “prevent defense” only to see Denver Bronco’s quarterback John Elway lead his team to a 98-yard game-tying touchdown in what became known as “The Drive.” The Broncos went on to win the game 23-20 in overtime, spoiling Cleveland’s dream of making it to the Super Bowl.

Rice is currently a professor of global business and economics at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. She is also a senior fellow on public policy at the Stanford’s Hoover Institution.

During a press conference last week, Dorsey initially said, “I know me personally, I would like to see a man of character. I would like to see a man who can lead young men. I would like to see a man who has high football acumen. Those are the three basic things there that I would look for.”

But then he changed his tune when asked if age is a significant factor for the next head coach.

“I just want the best possible head coach to move this thing forward regardless of age,” Dorsey said. “It could be a woman, too. Do not look at me like that. I am serious. Who knows? We will look at everything is what I am trying to tell you all.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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