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PYONGYANG, North Korea -- Former NBA star Dennis Rodman arrived in North Korea on Thursday to meet leader Kim Jong Un and put the finishing touches on plans to bring 12 ex-NBA players to Pyongyang for a Jan. 8 exhibition game marking the leaders birthday. Rodman said the game is on track despite the recent execution of Kims uncle in a dramatic political purge. Rodmans visit comes less than a week after North Korea announced the execution of Jang Song Thaek, an unprecedented fall from grace for one of the most powerful figures in the country. Jangs execution sparked speculation by foreign analysts over the future of the Kim regime. But officials in Pyongyang say Jangs removal has not caused any instability. Rodmans visit -- should it proceed uneventfully -- could be a sign that Kim is firmly in charge. Rodman told The Associated Press in a brief interview at his Pyongyang hotel that he was undaunted by the recent political events. "I cant control what they do with their government, I cant control what they say or how they do things here," he said. "Im just trying to come here as a sports figure and try to hope I can open the door for a lot of people in the country." Rodman and Kim have struck up an unlikely friendship since the Hall of Famer travelled to the secretive state for the first time in February with the Harlem Globetrotters for an HBO series produced by New York-based VICE television. He remains the highest-profile American to meet Kim since the leader inherited power from his father, Kim Jong Il, in 2011. "Ive come over to see my friend, and people always give me a little hard time about me saying that," said Rodman, who was given the red carpet treatment at the airport by Vice Sports Minister Son Kwang Ho and O Hun Ryong, secretary-general of the North Korean Basketball Association. "Im very proud to say hes my friend, because he hasnt done anything to put a damper, to say any negative things about my country." Rodman has not yet announced the roster for the game. He is also expected to train North Korean basketball players during his several-day stay in Pyongyang and to meet with Kim, though he did not give any details about what his plans are. He said, however, that if after the 12 former NBA players go home they say "some really, really nice things, some really cool things about this country," then he has done his job. Known as much for his piercings, tattoos and bad behaviour as he was for basketball, Rodman has mostly avoided politics in his dealings with the North. Hes mainly focused on using basketball as a means of boosting understanding and communication and studiously avoided commenting on the Norths human rights record or its continued detainment of an American, Kenneth Bae, for allegedly committing anti-state crimes. "North Korea has given me the opportunity to bring these players and their families over here, so people can actually see, so these players can actually see, that this country is actually not as bad as people project it to be in the media," he said. Cheap Air Max 90 Free Shipping . - Andre Drummond had his best night on the boards. Cheap Nike Shoes From China . It was the quickest three-goal sequence in Olympic history, with the latter two coming just eight seconds apart. Kessel, Lamoureux and Kendall Coyne all scored twice for the Americans, and Molly Schaus made 10 saves in her Sochi debut. http://www.wholesalenikeshoesclearance.com/cheap-kobe-bryant-shoes.html . A night later, he was back to help lead a rout of the Detroit Pistons. John Wall had 20 points and 11 assists, and Beal scored 10 of his 15 points during the second quarter as Washington pulled away for a 106-82 victory on Saturday. Kd Shoes Wholesale .The 24-year-old quarterback spent four seasons at Northern Illinois and in 2013 was a finalist for the Heisman, which is awarded annually to the most outstanding player in U. Kd Shoes Clearance . "Im proud, obviously. Its been a long day, but now Im a Crystal Palace player, Im very happy," Bannan said. "The seasons been started now for a couple of weeks and Ive not featured at Villa.Austin, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - The Bison of Lipscomb shoot for a third straight win as they battle the ninth-ranked Texas Longhorns in non-conference play on Tuesday night. Lipscomb, a program that competes in the Atlantic Sun Conference, is a game under .500 after losing five of six during one stretch. However, the team has won back-to-back contests, the latest of which was a 68-59 final versus Austin Peay on the road over the weekend. Meanwhile, the Longhorns are one of the top teams in the nation thanks to a seven-game win streak to open up the 2014-15 campaign. However, that successful run came to an end in the first game of this month as the team folded against top-ranked Kentucky (63-51) during the Big 12/SEC Challenge in Lexington. The good news for Texas is that the team has already bounced back by destroying Texas State on Saturday in the first game of a five-game homestand, by a score of 59-27. The defensive effort marked the first time since 1948 that the Longhorns managed to hold an opponent to less than 30 points. As far as the all-time series between the teams is concerned, this is the first meeting. Against Austin Peay, Brett Wishon came off the bench to convert 7-of-12 shots from behind the 3-point line, en route to a team-best 21 points in the nine- point road victory. Also scoring in double figures for the Bison were Malcolm Smith and Josh Williams with 11 and 10 points, respectively, combining for 11 of the units 35 rebounds and six of their nine steals as well. Lipscomb made it into the win column despite turning the ball over 16 times and shootingg only 8-of-27 (.dddddddddddd296) beyond the arc. As the only player to have started all nine games for the Bison, it only makes sense that Williams is also the leading scorer with his 15.2 ppg, while his 5.8 rpg also top the charts. Malcolm Smith and Martin Smith pitch in with 12.7 and 11.9 ppg, respectively, the former also hitting the glass for more than five per game in order to keep the Bison within a rebound of opponents on the average every time out. In one of the most impressive outings in the last half-century, the Longhorns showed no mercy against their in-state rival, Texas State, as they limited the Bobcats to a mere 11 field goals on 51 attempts (.216) and watched the visitors convert only 2-of-12 tries from beyond the arc and 3-of-10 at the free-throw line. Texas also pummeled TSU on the glass, 45-21, thanks to the efforts of Connor Lammert who cleared 10 rebounds. In the scoring column, Texas was paced by Cameron Ridley who tallied 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting, followed by Javan Felix off the bench with 10 points as the team connected on 54.8 percent from the floor and survived 19 turnovers. If not for all the miscues, theres no telling how lopsided the outcome could have been. Thanks to the effort against Texas State, the Horns have lowered their points allowed on the season to just 50.9 ppg, which gives them a scoring advantage of close to 18 ppg at the moment. Among the active leading scorers for Texas are Jonathan Holmes and Myles Turner with 11.8 and 11.0 ppg, respectively, the pair also combining for more than 14 rebounds per game. ' ' '

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