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Monday, Aug. 21, 2017: Waverly three-sport athlete dies in accident

   Leading off today: Waverly three-sport athlete Paul Girolamo died in a car crash in Tioga County, Pennsylvania, on Saturday, according to media reports in New York's Southern Tier.

   The 16-year-old was set to begin his junior year at Waverly High School. (His obituary can be viewed here.)

   Police said the teen's car truck a telephone pole. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

   Girolamo played football, basketball and baseball at Waverly and also was a member of the National Honor Society. His father, Peter Girolamo, is the Section 4 bowling coordinator.

   Intriguing dispute: A New York City basketball star is caught up in a bit of a controversy that will probably fade away in a matter of days but does have the potential to go nuclear. And at the very least the issue raises questions about how creative minds, big businesses and a bunch of others with at least a marginal say in the matter (Yes, NCAA, we're talking about you ... ) should come together in the future.

   Isaiah Washington, selected Mr. Basketball by BCANY after last season at St. Raymond's, was fooling around with friends a few years ago when for whatever reason they coined the word "jelly" in reference to a successful finger roll lay-up in the vicinity of a defender poised to swat the ball into the next area code.

   "Jelly" evolved into "JellyFam" membership, a status bestowed upon about half a dozen hoops friends and family who've executed the requisite move multiple times in a single game. Somewhere along the line, "JellyFam" started showing up on social media and Washington tagged himself as @Jellyfam_Dimes on Twitter.

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   It became "a thing" recognized by the knowledgeable as related to basketball. And Washington, a point guard who'll play for the University of Minnesota this season, is the face of that "thing." NBC Sports notes that he is such a draw that he has more than 335,000 followers on Instagram despite having posted just 27 times on the site.

   Because of his status as a college athlete now, Washington can't profit from the JellyFam brand because it's tied directly to his basketball skills and identity. But that doesn't mean others cannot make money off a concept that certainly displays similarities to the JellyFam brand.

   SlamOnline.com has backed off its original story labeling Nike's newly released Paul George line of purple basketball shoes as JellyFam-inspired. In fact, there's reasonable documentation verifying George's love for grapes and grapes-

  
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themed graphics.

   Still, suspicions linger about the PG1 shoe brand in the same way that many people are confident Kurt Cobain wrote wife Courtney Love's groundbreaking "Live Through This" album (he probably did) or that Paul McCartney was the guy who died in "A Day in the Life" (he probably wasn't).

   It doesn't help matters that the laces strap on the left foot of the shoe has a logo that looks similar to the same grape emoji that members of JellyFam have used on social media.

   NBC reported Washington tweeted (and subsequently deleted) this last week: "It's crazy bro they know I can't so they just take advantage."

   Even Sonny Vaccaro, who made a fortune in the shoe business before turning into a noted Nike critic, wonders if this one passes the smell test.

   "Nike's doing what a business person would do," Vaccaro told basketball blogger Adam Zagoria. "They found an idea. They don't have to give someone else credit for it other than their employee Paul George and they profit by it.

   "I'm not saying who's first here, I'm not saying who's second. I'm saying who popularized it was this kid Washington. That's who made it popular, Isaiah and his teammates."

   " ... Give him credit. Don't say you took it from Paul George. I bet they didn't even know Paul George had a goddamn shoe, that's my point."

   Extra points: Petrides triplets Lindi, Lirim and Luan Gjonbalaj have pulled off a neat feat, all making the pool of 77 Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association selected to move into the Olympic Development Program regional pool.

   Lirim scored 21 goals in 16 Staten Island league and playoff games last fall. Lindi had 16 assists and Luan nine as juniors.

   Jalen Bradberry, who averaged 13 points a game for Niagara-Wheatfield as an eight-grade boys basketball player, has transferred to Niagara Catholic. Bradberry, also among N-W's leaders in assists and rebounds, is the son of former Niagara LaSalle star Carlos Bradberry.


  
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