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  • Former NFL player Spencer Paysinger is drawing on his high school days living between two worlds for his first major Hollywood project.

     

    Paysinger grew up in economically depressed South Los Angeles Shaquill Griffin Jersey , but he attended Beverly Hills High School, where he captained the football team in the wealthy enclave. The culture shock he experienced is the basis for "All American," debuting Oct. 10 on the CW.

    "I definitely had a gang influence with friends and family growing up in South Central, and people might think that Beverly Hills definitely shielded me from some problems. But in actuality, it only opened up a whole new can of worms," Paysinger told a TV critics' meeting on Monday.

    "Just dealing with kids with affluence, kids with drug problems and having their parents not be there for weeks on end because they're vacationing or they're doing big business. Just dealing with that contrast was probably the biggest thing that I had to go through."

    Paysinger commuted daily to high school as part of a program that brought students from other areas to Beverly Hills, where he had two uncles and an aunt who coached and taught there.

    Spencer eventually attended the University of Oregon and won a Super Bowl title with the New York Giants, one of four NFL teams he played for before achieving his goal of retiring from the league no later than age 30.

    The series shoots in some of Paysinger's old haunts in South L.A., like a local park and the barbershop he has patronized since he was a kid.

    "South Central's been portrayed so many different ways in the media for however long," Paysinger said. "But with this show, I definitely want to implant that family aspect of the community."

    Producers hired a consulting firm that designs all of the football plays in the show, and consulting producer Paysinger wants to make sure the action is authentic.

    "I don't want friends Archie Manning Jersey , I don't want family texting, emailing me saying, 'That's not it. They couldn't have converted on that,' " he said.

    Paysinger isn't the only one with pro sports ties involved in the show. One of the writers is Jon Alston, who played five years in the NFL, and retired Major League Soccer player Robbie Rogers is a producer.

     

    For most of their half-century in existence, the Phoenix Suns have coveted a big-time center.

     

    In 1969, they lost the coin flip with Milwaukee for Lew Alcindor, now known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and chose Neal Walk at No. 2. The closest they came was Alvan Adams, an All-Star on some very good teams. Shaquille O’Neal made a cameo appearance late in his career.

    But a big, young franchise center to build around eluded them – until now.

    With the first overall pick in the draft for the first time in franchise history, the Suns believe they have their man in 7-foot-1 Tony Jefferson Jersey , 250-pound Deandre Ayton, whose size, athleticism and multiple skills made him the obvious No. 1 overall pick Thursday night.

    Suns general manager Ryan McDonough called it ”a historic night for the franchise.”

    There was a big cheer from the crowd gathered at Talking Stick Resort Arena for a party to celebrate the highest pick in franchise history. They’ve chosen second overall twice.

    ”Having my name called to be the first pick for the Phoenix Suns was mind-blowing,” Ayton said. ”Having all the confidence and leading up to that point when I saw (NBA Commissioner) Adam Silver came out, I was just waiting for my name, and when he called it, my mind went blank. … and I saw the reaction on my mom’s face. It was just priceless.”

    The Suns also got the 10th overall pick, moving up six spots in a trade with Philadelphia to get guard/forward Mikal Bridges of Villanova. Phoenix sent the No. 16 pick, guard Zhaire Smith of Texas Tech, to the 76ers along with Miami’s unprotected first-round pick in 2021.

    Ayton will join Devin Booker and Josh Jackson as the core of young talent that the Suns hope will pull them out of their long decline. Phoenix has missed the playoffs the last eight seasons and their 21-61 record last season was the worst in the NBA and second-worst in franchise history.

    ”The team in general is a very young and hungry team,” Ayton said. ”We just have to stick together, get a great chemistry and start a winning legacy in Phoenix.”

    In Brooklyn for the announcement, Ayton wore a sports jacket with an array of colors on the inside lining.

    ”There’s a few flags in there Dan Feeney Jersey ,” Ayton said. ”My dad is from Nigeria, my mom is Jamaican and Bahamian, so I’m helping all those countries in one. I’m not just a Bahamian. I’m Nigerian and Jamaican. So I just want to let the world know that.”

    Ayton was born in the Bahamas but left at age 12, a basketball prodigy who stayed in several Southern California homes and played with various basketball programs, including a season as a teammate of Marvin Bagley III at Hillcrest Prep in Phoenix.

    Ayton, a month shy of his 20th birthday, was the Pac-12 player of the year at Arizona last season, averaging 20.1 points and 11.6 rebounds per game. But the Wildcats made an early exit in the NCAA Tournament, losing to Buffalo. Ayton also had to tune out the noise from a federal investigation that ensnared an Arizona assistant coach.

    But he emerged above the rest in the pre-draft process.

    Ayton worked out for only one team, the Suns, and turned on the charm with the media afterward.

    Don’t worry, Ayton assured everyone that day, ”I know I’m going No. 1.”

    That workout A.J. Klein Jersey , McDonough said, was the deal-maker.

    ”He was first on our board coming into the workout,” McDonough said, ”and then he blew us away in the workout, which I think you guys probably gathered from my tone. I’m usually pretty stoic but I was watching a workout that just was incredible.”

    McDonough called Ayton ”just a phenomenal physical talent. Watching him play and then working him out and interacting with him just checked every box for us.”

    The 6-foot-7 Bridges is a bonus, a third-team All-American and a member of the 2018 all-Final Four team. When the 76ers drafted him, it looked like a feel-good hometown story since he’s from Philadelphia and his mother Tyneeha Rivers was vice president for human resources for the 76ers.

    Bridges even appeared at a news conference to talk about staying in Philadelphia.

    But the Suns wanted him badly and kept pushing for the deal. Finally, the 76ers agreed and Bridges was bound for the desert.

    He said there were no hard feelings about the trade.

    ”I’m excited. It’s a business and you’ve got a lot of talent going down there,” Bridges said. ”I can’t wait to start this up.”

    With the 31st pick in the draft, the first in the second round, Phoenix chose point guard Elie Okobo of France, a 20-year-old sharpshooter who scored 44 in a French playoff game. And with the 59th pick – next-to-last overall – the Suns selected forward George King of Colorado.

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