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Synopsis

Air Ball

Young hoops star Brandon Jennings made a bold move last summer, but did it go terribly wrong? One year ago, this high school phenom was the most prolific single-season scorer ever at Virginia basketball powerhouse Oak Hill Academy, won the 2008 Naismith High School Basketball Player of the Year Award, and was the #1 prospective college freshman at point guard. After commitments to USC and Arizona, Jennings made a shocking decision, bypassing college to play professionally in Italy for Lottomatica Virtus Roma. Jennings recently warned other prep stars that the money and glamour overseas may not be so rewarding. Bryant Gumbel sits down with the opinionated trailblazer to discuss his dramatic choice.

Brandon Jennings basketball

Bittersweet Success

As the first brother and sister to coach in an NCAA tournament in the same season, University of Pittsburgh men's coach Jamie Dixon and West Point women's coach Maggie Dixon both faced bright futures. But in April 2006, Maggie died of heart failure at age 28. Though devastated by the tragedy, Jamie Dixon has continued to succeed at Pittsburgh, and now has the team primed for a big run in the NCAA Tournament after a bruising Big East regular season. Jon Frankel visits with the Panthers' leader.

Bode's World

With the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver drawing near, U.S. ski fans are starting to wonder what to expect from skiing superstar Bode Miller - or if they should expect anything at all. Arguably the most talented American skier ever, Miller has proven himself a winner time and time again, but he's always done it on his own terms. Now, still smarting over the way he was treated by the media and U.S. ski authorities after his disastrous performance in the 2006 Torino Olympics, Miller, 31, sits down with correspondent Jon Frankel in this Real Sports/Sports Illustrated profile to discuss his reasons for leaving the U.S. Ski Team to compete as an independent on the World Cup circuit, and explain his decision-making process.

Ep. 144: Bode Miller

Rayna DuBose

Freshman center Rayna DuBose was embarking on a promising college basketball career at Virginia Tech in 2002 when she contracted meningococcal meningitis, a bacterial infection that nearly claimed her life. While her condition slowly improved, tissue damage from the infection forced doctors to amputate both her hands and feet. With courage and determination DuBose returned to Virginia Tech and completed her degree in spring 2007, and has since launched a career as a dynamic motivational speaker. Real Sports' Frank Deford, who first visited DuBose in 2002, reconnects with her to learn how she thrived in the face of adversity.

144: March 17, 2009

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