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13/03/2019

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When their son, Isaac, was a baby, Rachel and Danny Haas trekked two hours to an Atlanta-area Target, the only place that carried size 5T clothes with snaps. Cheap NFL Hoodies . Isaac wasnt 5; he was barely a toddler. In fact he was still in diapers, but he had outgrown baby sizes, and his parents werent interested in wrestling their big boy for every diaper change. They needed the snaps.As their boy grew -- and grew and grew and grew -- Rachel and Danny soon realized that their Alabama home wasnt going to do. So just as the Howards did for Clifford the Big Red Dog, the Haas family retrofitted everything to suit Isaac: The doorways are 7-foot-5, the shower heads loiter somewhere near the ceiling, and Isaac slept in a king-sized bed ... diagonally.Fast forward to Isaacs freshman year at Purdue. After he suffered through a particularly lousy free-throw performance at a game in Maui, coach Matt Painter carted Isaac off to a small gym to work on his foul shooting. The two returned in time to join the team for a buffet meal. After Isaac left, one of his teammates looked at his coach in awe, That was the most impressive thing Ive ever seen. Perplexed, Painter asked if he meant shooting the extra free throws. No, his player replied. He just ate 40 chicken strips. I counted them.The tales of tall Isaac Haas truly read like tall tales.And lets get this out of the way, too.Seven feet, two inches.Twenty two.Yes.Those would be the answers to the three-part question that Isaac hears at every mall, restaurant and airport in America: How tall are you? What size shoe do you wear? Do you play basketball?So yes, Isaac Haas, all 86 inches and 290 pounds of him, is a big man, like double-take-when-he-walks-in-a-room big.Except the measure of this man is a lot more than just his height.After Erin would have one of her seizures, Isaac would sneak into her room sometimes to comfort her, Rachel Haas said. Id find him there, holding her like she was a baby.SHE WAS THREE?months old the first time they realized something wasnt right. By then, by the time the epileptic seizures became obvious, doctors figured Erin had suffered countless infantile spasms that went unnoticed by her parents.Epilepsy is hardly uncommon -- one in 26 Americans will develop epilepsy or recurring seizures in their lifetime -- but it covers a wide spectrum. Some people can be treated with medications; others need surgery. Erin Haas has whats called intractable epilepsy, which means neither drugs nor the countless brain surgeries she has had over the years can bring her seizures under control.Isaac didnt understand all of that when his sister was first born. He was 4. He knew only that something wasnt quite right, and his little sister was getting an awful lot of attention, certainly a lot more than he was. He didnt like that very much, either.When she figured he could at least grasp some of it, Rachel Haas sat Isaac down to explain what was wrong, that Erin wasnt likely to get better, and that the Haas familys new normal would be anything but.Along with multiple brain surgeries, the most recent in 2012, Erin underwent facial reconstruction necessitated by face-first falls during seizures. Once during dinner she fell so hard onto a hard oak table, the table bounced and moved an entire half inch. Erin jokes she has more stitches than most motocross riders, and for years Rachel feared the bruising on her daughters forehead would never subside. Before Erins first surgery, a sudden noise would trigger a seizure, and if Erin expected a noise that didnt come, shed also have a seizure. Consequently the familys house is quiet and still, the phones all turned to vibrate, the toilet lids made so they dont slam.All that, and the reality that this would be forever, is what Rachel tried to explain to the boy who loved his baby sister so much that, when she was a few weeks old, he insisted his mom bring her to school for show-and-tell.After 30 minutes of me explaining it to him and him crying, he never complained about it again, Rachel said. It caused him to mature a lot earlier in different ways. Hes always silly, in a good kid way, but our entire lives have been stressful situations. He can handle stress like nobody else.Rather than be jealous of the attention Erin commanded, Isaac decided to be his little sisters champion. Better yet, he would be her hero. Maybe subconsciously at least, Isaac also recognized that by excelling at something, he might swing some of that attention back his way.So he started to play sports.Isaac Haas is the kid who looks like a redwood standing in the middle of a hedgerow. So Isaac and basketball were a perfect marriage, perhaps a little too perfect. Understandably he dominated the games and not surprisingly, other kids didnt like that so much. Desperate to find something to make the superior-sized player feel inferior, they zeroed in on his big feet and his big ears.Well, he did have big ears, Rachel said. We used to joke, the better to hear you with, my dear. But we told him if thats all they got, let em have it. If the best they have is your ears and feet, youre good to go.As his game blossomed -- and his head grew into proportion with his ears -- the town bullies didnt have so much to say. Isaac started running with the better summer league teams, attracting college scouts to tiny Hokes Bluff, Alabama (population 4,000). With his recruiting ranking rising and his stats improving (he averaged 18.5 points and 11 rebounds as a high school junior), Isaac originally committed to Wake Forest, choosing the Demon Deacons over UAB, Purdue and a host of other schools. But in the 11th hour he opted not to sign with the Demon Deacons, stunning everyone with his decision to go to Purdue.Isaac said he liked the school and Painters reputation for coaching big men, but he also saw the cultural shift as an important challenge. Reared in that small town and happily cocooned by his family, Isaac liked the idea of going away for college and experiencing a place completely different -- even snowy Indiana.At least thats what he thought he wanted.Oh man, I was so homesick, Isaac said. Getting away from moms nest was a little harder than I thought.Rock bottom came one night in the first semester. Isaac called home, telling his mom he didnt think he could stick it out. They talked for nearly an hour, and Rachel thought she had quelled the panic. Except no sooner had Isaac hung up when he called back, saying the same thing.I basically told him to suck it up, she said.WHEN ISAAC ARRIVED in West Lafayette, Indiana, his physical presence was imposing but his stamina not so much. In games, hed come out of the gates on fire but tire easily. Painter offered?much the same advice to his freshman: Suck it up.?In high school, it was so simple. There werent a whole lot of 7-foot-2 kids walking around, even fewer who were as strong as Isaac. He would barely break a sweat, score a bunch of points, win a game and celebrate with a big pizza. He figured if he got even bigger and stronger, he could follow the same path in college.He would make these comments to me and Id think, are you serious? Painter said. Hed say, Aw look at me, Im stacked. Im up to 315, 320 [pounds]. I had to explain to him that no, you have to lean down to play to the best of your ability.Out went the late-night runs to Papa Johns and the wowing teammates with meals of 40 chicken strips. Over time, Isaac learned to maximize his size and use it to his advantage. Where, for example, others have to use an arm bar to defend an opponent, Haas needs merely to place the palm of one hand on someones back to have the same effect.Ive done a better job growing into my body and understanding my body, the conditioning needs, the rebounding and physical aspects you have to go into detail with as a big guy, he said. Its like coach always says, you dont put regular gas in a Lamborghini. You have to use premium. Its about the right time and work.As Isaac learned the proper balance, he had a buffer. A.J. Hammons, two years Isaacs senior and only two inches smaller, gobbled up minutes and awards, allowing Isaac to grow into his role on the team.Hammons finished his eligibility last season, and as the season ended, Painter suggested that perhaps Isaac would like to weigh his NBA draft stock as well.His response was, Next year is my year, which I thought was pretty mature on his part, Painter said. Hes been the best backup in the country, but he hasnt started; he hasnt carried that weight. This is his year.So far it looks that way. Isaac has nearly doubled his production, averaging 16.5 points and 4.8 rebounds per game (9.8 and 3.7 last season).THE GOAL IS so close now. Like virtually every other player suiting up for a college basketball game, Isaac long has dreamed of being an NBA player. Isaac admits he gets a warm feeling in his stomach when he thinks about it.?His dream stretches beyond simply stepping on an NBA court. He wants to help Erin.Now 16, Isaacs sister attends the same public high school her big brother did, but she is developmentally delayed and struggles socially. Her social circle consists mostly of her cousins. Her big brother, as he once hoped, is her hero and best friend. Erin loves seeing Isaac on television and rooting for the Boilermakers, but her life has limits. Erin struggles with math, doesnt have the same filters that the rest of us do and because of the severity and frequency of her seizures, wont be able to live alone.Finding a cure for epilepsy remains elusive. Research is critically underfunded, and the disease, once viewed as a mental health issue or even possession by the devil, is still very much misunderstood. Isaac hopes to change that and dreams of spearheading a foundation that will raise money for research.I want to be able to provide for her so she never has to worry about anything ever again, Isaac said. But I also want to find a cure. My sole purpose, honestly, is to help Erin have the best life she possibly can.Yes, the tales of tall Isaac Haas are pretty tall tales, but the measure of the man is far greater than how tall he measures. Wholesale Authentic Hoodies . Burris threw two TD passes, including a key 15-yard fourth-quarter strike to Bakari Grant that effectively countered a Toronto comeback bid and led Hamilton to a 33-19 victory. Cheap Hoodies For Sale . During the athletes parade, the 23-strong Ukrainian team was represented by a lone flagbearer in an apparent protest at the presence of Russian troops in Ukraines Crimean peninsula. http://www.cheaphoodies.us/ . Dallas hasnt ruled out the star quarterback for Sunday nights game against Philadelphia, but all signs point to Romos back injury pushing Kyle Orton into the starting role after two years of limited play as the backup. Surely Ortons name isnt the first that comes to mind for fans wanting a change after years of damaging interceptions, fumbles or, most infamously, the field goal flub when Romo dropped the snap on a kick that could have won his first playoff game in 2006. NEW YORK JETS (0-1) at BUFFALO (0-1)Thursday, 8:25 p.m. EDT, CBS/NFLN/TwitterOPENING LINE -- Bills by 3RECORD VS. SPREAD -- Jets 0-0-1, Bills 0-1SERIES RECORD -- Bills lead 60-51LAST MEETING -- Bills beat Jets 22-17, Jan. 3LAST WEEK -- Jets lost to Bengals 23-22; Bills lost to Ravens 13-7AP PRO32 RANKING -- Jets No. 16, Bills No. 25JETS OFFENSE -- OVERALL (18), RUSH (4), PASS (24).JETS DEFENSE -- OVERALL (23), RUSH (4), PASS (27).BILLS OFFENSE -- OVERALL (32), RUSH (24T), PASS (32).BILLS DEFENSE -- OVERALL (9), RUSH (12T), PASS (13).STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES -- Bills have won past five, including season-ending win in January to eliminate Jets from playoff contention. ... Jets seeking to avoid first 0-2 start since 2007. ... QB Ryan Fitzpatrick had 20-33 record as Bills starter from 2009-12. In two losses against Bills last season, Fitzpatrick went combined 31 of 71 for 374 with four TDs and five interceptions. ... RB Matt Forte had 96 yards rushing and 59 yards receiving in Jets debut. Fort needs one TD catch to join Marshall Faulk, Marcus Allen, Thurman Thomas and Herschel Walker as only NFL players with 8,000 yards rushing, 4,000 yards receiving and 20 TD catches in career. ... Jets had seven sacks against Bengals. ... CB Darrelle Revis struggled against Bengals WR A.J. Green, who finished with 12 catches for 180 yards and TD. ... DL Sheldon Richardson activated after serving one-game suspension. ... Bills coachh Rex Ryan faces former team after being fired by Jets following 2014 season. Clearance NFL Hoodies. Ryan has never opened season 0-2 as head coach. ... QB Tyrod Taylor had 111 yards passing and 11 rushing against Ravens, his fewest combined yards from scrimmage after going 8-6 as first-time starter last season. Previous low was 170 combined yards at Jets on Nov. 12. ...Bills 160 yards offense against Ravens were fewest since totaling 145 in 40-7 loss at Chicago on Oct. 8, 2006. ... Eleven first downs were fewest since Buffalo had 10 in 45-3 loss at San Francisco on Oct. 7, 2012. ... Bills had four sacks against Ravens after failing to get more than two in one game last year. ... Bills retiring NFL career sacks leader and Hall of Famer Bruce Smiths No. 78 during halftime ceremony. ... First regular-season game at New Era Field, which replaces Ralph Wilson Stadium, after Bills reached naming rights agreement with Buffalo-based New Era Cap Co. ... Fantasy Tip: Both defenses worth consideration. Jets facing Bills offense that sputtered last week and features limping WR Sammy Watkins (left foot). Bills combined to force seven turnovers (five interceptions, two fumbles) and two sacks in two games against Jets last year.---AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and AP NFL Twitter feed: www.twitter.com/AP-NFL ' ' '