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Synopsis

Nick Schuyler's Story

In an exclusive extended interview, Real Sports sits down with former University of South Florida football player Nick Schuyler as he speaks for the first time about the boating accident that claimed the lives of three people and nearly took his own. On Feb. 28, 2009, Schuyler and his friends - Oakland Raiders linebacker Marquis Cooper, who owned the boat, free-agent NFL defensive lineman Corey Smith and former South Florida teammate Will Bleakley - headed out to the Gulf of Mexico for a day-long fishing trip. When the group failed to return home by nightfall, an intensive search was initiated, and on March 2, the Coast Guard discovered the group's capsized vessel more than 30 miles west of Tampa Bay, with Schuyler, the lone survivor, clinging to life. Nearly six months since the tragedy that took the lives of three young men, Nick Schuyler sits down with correspondent Bernard Goldberg for an emotional discussion of what went wrong.

Nick Schuyler

Home Base

After a 30-year absence, little league baseball is making a much-needed comeback in Compton, Cal.'s Sibrie Park. The man behind the movement to draw African-American kids to baseball and keep them away from drugs and gang violence is 52-year-old Tim Lewis. A recovering alcoholic and drug abuser who lives out of his car, Lewis has seen his life take many turns for the worse over the years, but as correspondent Jon Frankel shows in this Real Sports/Sports Illustrated report, using baseball to help kids in his neighborhood has provided him with an unlikely shot at redemption.

Dedication Personified

Realizing a dream can be one of the hardest things to accomplish in life, as Ryan Belflower knows. A former special education student from Clovis East High School in California, he devoted four years to becoming a member of the school's varsity basketball team. This singular pursuit led him to manage the girls' team, and get balls and fill water bottles for the boys' team, culminating in a storybook three-pointer after being allowed to suit up his senior season. Belflower's transition from a shy, introverted freshman to a basketball player honored on senior night is remarkable considering the social and developmental disabilities he had to overcome. Originally profiling Belflower nearly four years ago, Real Sports correspondent Frank Deford revisits this remarkable young man to learn about his life since leaving high school.

149: August 18, 2009

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