Posts Tagged ‘Tyler Zeller’

Horry Scale: Tyler Zeller Lifts Celtics

VIDEO: Zeller takes the inbounds pass, pivots underneath and gets the layup to fall

Just try overlooking Jazz at Celtics now. Lottery team vs. lottery team, the season down to the final full month of the regular season, a matchup that easily could have blended into the background, and then this.

Some night for the Boston point guards. Newly acquired Isaiah Thomas, named the Eastern Conference player of the week two days before, had a game-high 21 points, and then Marcus Smart delivered the last of his three assists with a perfect pass in a difficult situation — from out of bounds, finding his man in a seam of the Utah defense — that Tyler Zeller turned into the winning basket at the buzzer.

Not merely the highlight of the night, it will undoubtedly become one of Smart’s best passes of the entire season.


Smart had the hard part. Inbounding the ball at the three-point line extended to the right of the basket, with 1.7 seconds remaining, and taking advantage when 7-foot-1 Rudy Gobert gave Smart room, even though the Jazz put Gobert on him to supposedly make life difficult for Smart, the Celtics rookie delivered a two-hand overhead pass almost directly under the basket after Zeller got behind defender Rodney Hood. Zeller had to corkscrew to get free as Gordon Hayward and Gobert converged to help, increasing the degree of difficulty beyond the typical banking lay-in.


Utah led 84-83 after Hayward’s jumper with 1.7 seconds to go. Boston called timeout, needing a response not only to the late Jazz basket but to 31-point loss at Cleveland the night before. The Celtics had already lost an eight-point lead with 2 1/2 minutes remaining. They were on the verge of losing the game, too, when coach Brad Stevens drew up the play in the huddle. Smart and Zeller could not have executed it any better.


Pride. That’s it. Otherwise, it was a team winning to improve to 23-35 and a team losing to drop to 24-35. It was a fun moment for the Celtics, not an important one.


It matched the importance. Some of the Celtics charged from the bench, at the same end as the winning basket, to party with Zeller, but there was no mob scene. The best part may have been Stevens embracing Hayward, the former Butler coach with his former Butler star player, at midcourt. The Boston faithful who haven’t had much to cheer this season gave an appreciative loud response.


Points off because of the lack of importance. But the pass was special and Zeller had to work to get the shot off with about two-tenths of a second remaining. Three Horrys.



JaVale McGee Buys Krispy Kreme Donuts For Fans

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — You know the All Ball stays tuned in to pretty much everything Denver C JaVale McGee does, particularly when social media is involved. And it seems like with most of the things JaVale McGee does, social media IS involved. SO I wasn’t that surprised late last night when I saw a tweet from JaVale come across the transom, noting that he was hungry and was willing to buy a dozen donuts for people who would meet him at a Denver-area Krispy Kreme. He tweeted out the address of a Krispy Kreme and that got a few retweets…

Most of the other tweets he sent last night have disappeared, like so many Krispy Kremes, but For The Win managed to capture a few of them here. As it turned out, JaVale made a quick stop, but not before two people were able to claim their prize…

Lucky for JaVale that Tyler Zeller didn’t show up — he would’ve had to buy a bunch more than a dozen.

MUSCLEWATCH 2013 (Update 1)

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — I spent the last week on vacation, which means I very purposely did not open my laptop or dip into any NBA news. I also did not exercise, nor watch what I eat, because it was a vacation and I needed a break from life. Yet NBA players get no such vacations — they must be on guard year-round, constantly keeping on a eye on their fitness and health.

This all dovetails nicely with MUSCLEWATCH 2013. We talked about it briefly two weeks back: MUSCLEWATCH is our in-depth look at the weight gains and losses of NBA players as the season starts. And since the last update, there have been a few occurrences for us to keep at eye on. And don’t forget, if you see any MUSCLEWATCH news, let us know via email or Twitter!

To the news!

• According to Minnesota VP Flip Saunders, Kevin Love is about 240 pounds and will be at the lowest weight of his pro career. “He’s lost weight in his face,” Saunders said, “and his body looks leaner with muscle. He’s really committed.” He must have been doing a lot of face exercises in order to hit that rare target of facial weight loss.

• Down in New Orleans, big man Anthony Davis has gained between 10-12 pounds, mostly by eating a lot. “I want to gain at least five more before training camp starts,” Davis explained. “They have me lifting weights. I’ve been staying on top of it, eating more, making sure I’m eating breakfast, lunch and dinner. Everything helps. It’s showing.” I am no expert here, but it seems to me that if the goal is gaining weight, eating a lot of food could be a helpful plan.

• An early favorite for MUSCLEWATCH 2013 has to be Cleveland big man Tyler Zeller, who claims to have added almost 20 pounds in preparation for this season by going on a Krispy Kreme diet. As he told the Cleveland Plain Dealer, “They’re so good. If you get them hot…”

(PRO TIP FOR TYLER: When the Krispy Kreme sign is flashing, the doughnuts are hot!)

What’s really amazing is that Zeller added 20 pounds from the end of last season, but considering most of that was doughnut weight, it wasn’t necessarily the best kind of weight for him to put on. “I had to transfer that into ‘good’ weight and muscle,” Zeller explained. “Now I’m between 255-260, and I’m pretty happy with that, although I’m trying to gain more.”

So if I’m reading this correctly, Zeller managed to eat his way to adding 20 pounds of doughnuts, and then he somehow transformed that extra weight into “good” weight, or muscle. Seems to me like this is a trick a lot of people would love to know about.

Could Tyler Zeller have accidentally invented the greatest diet known to man? I say yes.

• And finally, Zeller’s teammate Kyrie Irving is trying to take of his weight the old-fashioned way: By working out…

That versaclimber work!!

A post shared by Kyrie Irving (@kyrieirving) on

Draft Diaries: Cody Zeller

Cody Zeller averaged 16.5 points and 8.1 rebounds a game for IU in 2012-13. (Courtesy Indiana University)

Cody Zeller averaged 16.5 points and 8.1 rebounds a game for IU in 2012-13. (Courtesy Indiana University)

By Cody Zeller, for

College Convo

I’m still here at Indiana University, living in a house with some of my teammates, finishing up my classes for the semester. I have had a busy week doing a lot of studying. I had two finals on Monday (in my public policy and management classes) and another on Thursday morning in accounting. I also finished and turned in my criminal justice paper last week so I’m all done!

In the midst of studying, I’ve also maintained my workouts. Having worked out for the last two years while in school, I’ve always had to find time for schoolwork. My workouts are just a little different now because I’ve shifted more toward preparing for the NBA Pre-Draft Camp coming up in Chicago. That basically means I’ve been training for the different drills they do there, like vertical leap, agility and the 75-foot sprint. It has also been a lot of shooting and court work.

Cody Zeller during a photo shoot in Times Square. (Photo by Pete Monsanto)

Cody Zeller in Times Square.(Photo by Pete Monsanto)

As for what’s ahead, I’m excited. At this point in my life, I decided that declaring for the Draft was the best thing for me. I’m 35 credits away from graduating, which is about two summers worth of school, and I do plan to come back to graduate from the Kelley School of Business with a degree in management. I would also like to finish up those credits as soon as possible because the longer I wait, the tougher it will probably be to go back.

As for my team, I am really going to miss them. We are such a tight-knit group. Playing at Assembly Hall, our basketball arena, is unbelievable! The fans are unbelievable! We have the largest student section in the country, and I’m going to miss playing in front of a sold-out crowd like that.

What’s Next?

The process leading up to the Draft has been fun so far, but there are a lot of unknowns, like not knowing what city I’ll be living in next year. It’s been helpful, though, because I’ve been asking my brother Tyler, who was drafted last year, a lot of questions about all of this. We talk a couple times a week, and I’m always picking his brain, especially about Draft workouts. So, I kind of know what’s coming, but it’s something I need to experience for myself. It was a big jump going from high school to college, and I know it will be a big adjustment from college to the NBA.

It’s really neat that I’ve got a bunch of teammates going into the Draft with me. There are not that many college teams who have two high draft picks, and maybe up to four players getting drafted. It will be fun for us to share stories with each other, like about our agents or where we’ve worked out. I am very close with fellow Hoosier Victor Oladipo, and it’s cool that we are both going through this at the same time. We’ll be very competitive, especially if we’re working out together, but at the end of the day, we want the best for each other. We’ll be cheering each other on the whole way.

A Man of Distinxion

I’m looking forward to getting involved with my family’s non-profit organization, Distinxion, which combines basketball training and character building. Due to NCAA regulations, I have been unable to be involved with Distinxion so far. My first way of helping out was to drive traffic to the Web site ( by posting my press release announcing my decision to enter the Draft on the homepage. We received a lot of page views, which was great.

There are a lot of Distinxion basketball camps coming up this summer. I’m not sure where I’m going to be, but if I’m around, I’ll definitely go help out and I’ll also help spread the word whenever I feel the opportunity is right.

New York, New York

I took a fun day trip to New York last week. I had the chance to meet everyone at my agency’s office, and then I had a photo shoot in Times Square, which was cool. I also was fitted for a suit at Alton Lane. There’s nothing like getting fitted for a suit in New York City! I had no idea how many options you can have with one suit! I already have a black one, so I got a dark blue suit this time. I might wear it on Draft night, but I’ll probably decide that once I get it.

I’m an avid Tweeter, so follow me @CodyZeller!

To learn more about Distinxion or see where we are hosting camps this summer, visit and follow @DistinXion

The NBA Draft is June 27 in Brooklyn at the Barclays Center. 

NBA Rooks: Diaries … Tyler Zeller

By Tyler Zeller, Cleveland Cavaliers

Uncle Tyler

Hi, everybody! I have some exciting family news … I’m an uncle! My older brother Luke and his wife had a baby boy a few weeks ago. They named him Kyston, which is a biblical reference, and it’s very cool to see Luke with a kid! He’s very proud, and every time I talk to him, he’s talking about Kyston and texting me pictures. It’s really cool – but kind of weird at the same time – because I’ve been used to being one of the younger ones in the family, and now there’s a new addition. But it’s really cool and fun to have a new little guy around!

I will get to meet Kyston back home, which is Indiana, the last week of April. First, I’m planning to go to North Carolina for about a week, and then head back home. My younger brother Cody will get to meet the baby a week before me.

I can’t wait until Kyston is old enough for us to spoil him, and it will be cool to see him develop. Actually, it will be interesting to see if he likes basketball, too. Our family definitely knows how to make sure he’s good at it! Our parents always told us to try everything and see what we like, so I think Luke will be the same way with Kyston. There will not be any pressure to play basketball unless he wants to do it.

Marching On

I didn’t do a March Madness bracket this year, partially since my brother’s team (Indiana) was in the Tournament. Obviously, I wish Cody’s team was on their way to the Final Four, but they lost to a very good Syracuse team. Their zone is tough to beat and gave Indiana a lot of problems. As for Cody, I think he played well this season. I’m his brother and a little biased, but I do think he’s under-appreciated because he really makes the team go and helps everybody else get shots.  Throughout the season, he’s had some great games and he’s struggled in some games … that is pretty much the story of a solid basketball career.

It’s a bummer that my school, UNC, is out of the running as well. In their last game, they played fairly well in the first half, and then Kansas made some very good adjustments at halftime. They tried to come back, but it was a little too late. I would have been really impressed if they were able to pull out the win. You have to give Kansas credit for that victory.

I think the upcoming Final Four is going to be very good. All of the teams have played well to get there, and I am excited to see what happens next week!

Rookie Season Wrapping Up

Right now, for me personally, I’m trying to get better every game and get more and more comfortable in the NBA setting. We are playing teams that are battling for playoff position, so we are still playing a very high level of basketball. We still want to compete and win as many games as possible. We are pro basketball players, and we enjoy winning. We are also looking ahead to next year. I think we have a chance to be a very good team, and it’s important to prepare and be as ready as possible for next year.

My rookie year has been like a roller coaster, with its highs and lows. You play well for one stretch, and then it seems like you can’t do anything right. It’s a learning experience, and it’s been a lot of fun. I learned a lot this year, which will definitely help my game next year.

DVR Update

Right now, I’m watching “Duck Dynasty,” which is an unscripted reality show on A&E. It’s basically about a family that turned duck calls into a million dollar business. I also enjoy it because they are a good Christian family, which you can tell by watching the show. For example, they end each episode with the family saying a prayer around the table. It’s actually the show’s third season, but it blew up this season! I know a ton of people watching it now. I bought the first two seasons on DVD and have been watching this season on DVR.

Oh, and I’m also reading “No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of The Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden.” I only have about 50 pages left, and I think it’s a really good book! I’ve been doing most of my reading on flights or while sitting around the hotel. It’s a nice break from watching TV.

That’s all for now … follow me on Twitter @ZellerTyler!

Tyler Zeller is a 7-foot center from the University of North Carolina. He was the 17th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.

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NBA Rooks: Diaries … Tyler Zeller

By Tyler Zeller, Cleveland Cavaliers

Happy New Year!

It’s a little belated, but Happy New Year everybody! On New Year’s Eve, our team was home in Cleveland. It was a pretty quiet night. I hung out at home and then stopped by one of my teammate’s houses with my girlfriend. I went home before midnight, and was in bed by 12:15 a.m.!

I don’t really get caught up in New Year’s resolutions. I always have been focused and have my goals to accomplish. So even though I don’t really have a resolution, I’d say my main goal this year is to continue to get better, and become more and more comfortable with the league, my teammates and my coaches. This year is a learning process, and I want to grow as much as possible as my first step in what is hopefully a long playing career.

Court Vision

It’s amazing not having to wear my facemask anymore. I didn’t realize how much I couldn’t see until I took it off. My first game back, I could see peripherally again! And making the quick shots was a lot easier. I was always messing with the mask and usually took it off during timeouts. I tried to convince myself I was fine with it, just so I could keep it out of my mind and play my game. But I once I got rid of it, playing was much easier and my game flowed more.

Things have been going well. I am getting more and more comfortable with my teammates. I have been shooting the ball well, finding those easy baskets and finding my shot. With a point guard like Kyrie Irving, he creates opportunities for me. I have a lot of unique skills, but up until I started playing a lot, I didn’t know what I needed to work on and hone in on. Now that I know what I need to improve, I can work on those things in the gym. For one, I need to get better at finishing inside.

I’ve been part of the starting lineup lately, which is a huge adjustment. You don’t realize the difference between the starters and the second string. I went from playing a couple minutes to facing off with the starters every night. I am up against the best of the best every night, and I am trying to hold my own as much as possible. I am getting more comfortable as a starter, which alleviates some of the pressure.

Mentally, I am feeling pretty good. I have my days. I’m trying to stay focused and keep going. It can be difficult, but I think I’ve done a fairly good job. It’s just that the losing can get tough. And it’s still amazing to me how talented and quick all of the players in this league are. I am constantly trying to figure out how to guard different players. It’s a lot to think about. In the beginning of the year, my head was all over the place. But it’s getting easier.

My teammates Andy Varejao and Luke Walton have done a great job of talking to me and helping me out. Shaun Livingston joined the team a couple weeks ago, and he is somebody who is very smart with a high basketball IQ. He’s the kind of teammate who can help you improve and provide some insight.

In Other News

I participated in a lot of Cavs community outreach events during the holidays, probably about three or four. We went to a children’s home, and to a children’s and veteran’s hospital. It was fun. Anytime you are around little kids, especially during Christmas, it’s always both fun and rewarding and makes me value what I have. I like to give back to the kids and hopefully help them get in better spirits.

I am watching UNC basketball whenever I can, but they are starting to scare me a little right now. I think Coach Williams is doing a great job, but the team is young. Like Coach always says, “If you do what I say, you’ll be a great team.” He told me that all the time. It’s something we all go through and you just try to learn from it. They’re not looking too hot right now, but hopefully they can turn it around.

Last time I blogged, I said I was going to start watching “NCIS.” But I actually started watching “Prison Break.” I watched all four seasons in am month. Now I’ll go back to “NCIS.” I’m also very into movies right now. I like action and thrillers … the movies that make you think, and that you have to watch two or three times to really understand.

That’s what’s going on with me these days … Follow me on twitter (@zellertyler).

Tyler Zeller is a 7-foot center from the University of North Carolina. He was the 17th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.

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NBA Rooks: Diaries … Tyler Zeller

By Tyler Zeller, Cleveland Cavaliers

Brotherly Love

Last Tuesday was fun. We played my brother Luke’s team, the Phoenix Suns. It was weird seeing him in an NBA uniform because he’s been trying so hard for three years to make it to the league, and he finally got there. We didn’t play at the same time, but it was cool he got a few minutes during the game. I was a little nervous about it, but not as nervous as I would have been if I played against him at the same time or guarded him. It was just cool to be playing in the same game. We’ve been beating up on each other our whole lives; we played each other every time we’d go home in the summers and had workouts together, so we know each other’s game very well.

My team was coming off of a three-game road trip. We played the night before in Memphis and didn’t get in until 2 a.m. on game day. I talked to Luke a little bit during warm-ups, but after the game, we saw each other for a little longer. His wife and some of his friends from his school, Notre Dame, flew in for the game. I hung out with them for about 20 minutes before his team bus left.

While Luke and I were playing, our younger brother Cody, who plays college basketball for Indiana, was playing my school, the University of North Carolina. And of course Cody had to beat up on my boys! I made it home in time to watch the second half. I was rooting for UNC, even though I thought Indiana would win. I was joking with my buddy at UNC that they might lose by 20 or 30 points because Indiana is a great team, and unfortunately I was right. At the same, I wanted Cody to do well, and I was proud of the way he played.

The three of us have a very good relationship. I talk to my brothers at least once a week. A lot of times we don’t even talk basketball, just about life and what’s going on. Basketball might get mentioned.

We are very competitive with each other, but also very supportive. I’m very proud of Cody, and very proud of Luke for making it to the NBA. But if we play together, we will each fight to be the best one on the court. The cool part is that our Dad always taught us that it is OK to be competitive on the court, but once the game is over, you leave it behind. We might tease each other afterward, but there’s never any anger or anything like that.

 DVR Working Overtime

I don’t watch a lot of Suns games; my mom usually keeps me updated on those. If Cody has a big game, I’ll either watch it live, if I can, or DVR it. And if my UNC team has a big game, I’ll watch it. Otherwise, if it’s a smaller game, then I’ll get updates on my phone.

I’m impressed with how much my parents keep up with all of the basketball the three of us play. They DVR all of our games. And on Saturday night, for example, they went to Cody’s game, and DVR’d mine and Luke’s games.

They do a good job of staying neutral, though. The last time Luke and I played each other in college, our parents got T-shirts that were split half UNC and half Notre Dame. And then there was another situation my senior year and Cody’s freshman year. Cody was playing NC State, and UNC was playing Wisconsin. So they went to Cody’s game, then drove over to watch me play. They got split T-shirts for that one, too! My brothers and I joke that my parents make it on television more than we do!

Back In Action

My injury last month was just one of those things. Unfortunately, I was injured a lot during college, so I kind of knew how to handle it. I knew I’d be out a week or two, and I used that time to work out individually and get used to my facemask.

The facemask fits my face, but it still feels funny, with the straps and everything. But it allows me to play, and I don’t think I’d be able to play at this point if I didn’t have it. I think I’m supposed to wear it a total of six to eight weeks, so I have about two or three weeks left. It’s not too bad.

I am feeling better. If I could get a streak of five games or so where I played well, I’d be very excited. But we are playing against the best of the best, and there are going to be off nights where you struggle. On Saturday night, I hit quite a few jump shots against Portland, which I hadn’t been able to do the few games before that. It’s a confidence builder; I just have to make sure to continue to do it.

Must-See TV

We are at hotels a lot, so I’ve been watching a lot of TV series. I just got done with “Lost” – I watched all six seasons since this NBA season started! Now, I’m working on “NCIS”; I enjoy those CSI and investigative-type shows.

That’s about it. You can follow me on twitter (@zellertyler). And to learn about the Zeller Family’s basketball program visit

Tyler Zeller is a 7-foot center from the University of North Carolina. He was the 17th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.

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NBA Rooks: Diaries … John Henson

By John Henson, Milwaukee Bucks

Nov. 1, 2012 — These past few months have been a complete whirlwind for me.  Adjusting to independence (i.e. cooking, cleaning, banking, etc.) in a brand new city has taken some getting used to, but I’m getting there.  I wasn’t sure what to expect when I arrived in Milwaukee after spending most of my life in the South. But I can honestly say that I love it here.  The city, the Bucks fans and the lifestyle are awesome.

Thankfully, living away from home during my three years in Chapel Hill, combined with my parents’ guidance, helped prepare me for my professional career off the court.  But the NBA’s Rookie Transition Program (RTP) over the summer was four days of learning life skills that have already helped me tackle the business of professional basketball.

Imagine waking up tomorrow and going to work in your dream job.  Whether it is a doctor, a pilot, a teacher, an actor, business owner or an athlete.  There is no feeling in the world like it and I’m so fortunate to be where I am today.  This is the exact thought that went through my head when I sat down for the RTP — I was soaking everything in.  Being among my friends, former teammates and other guys I’ll be seeing on an NBA court this year.  It was surreal.  I wanted to know everything about what it takes to be successful in my new career and the RTP filled every gap of every question that I had. (more…)

NBA Rooks: Diaries … Tyler Zeller

By Tyler Zeller, Cleveland Cavaliers

Monday, Oct. 1, 2012 — Training camp starts today. I’m a little nervous because it’s my first one, and I’ve heard they are very intense. But, I’m also excited to get going and see what I’m up against and what I need to work on to get better. I do already have an idea, but I am eager to find out for myself and see where I fit in on the team.

Since I got to Cleveland, my schedule with the team has been mostly Monday through Friday and then off on the weekends. We lift, then play, then do a miniworkout. Being as young as we are, majority of our team has been here all summer and it’s been great so far.

We have a really good core of four or five coaches that work with us every day. I am getting to know them and they are getting to know my game, too. Working with them has been cool because they each have different insights and help us with different things. It’s also been fun getting to know my teammates and learning from them. We are a young group, and we all work together to help each other out.

Moving Day

I moved into my apartment in Cleveland about a month ago. I stayed in North Carolina part of the summer living in my college apartment. My two roommates were there studying for their CPA exams, and since I didn’t know at the end of last school year where I’d be moving yet, we decided to hang on to the apartment until last month.

My apartment here is very convenient, around the corner from the gym. Currently, my living room is full of boxes on the floor, with a chair in the middle of the room. I have a TV, thankfully … or else I’d be bored out of mind. I’m enjoying living alone for the first time. The tough part is not having people waking up at the same time as me; I worry a little bit about oversleeping. But it’s nice coming home to a quiet apartment after you’ve been playing all day.

I don’t know the area too well yet, but I have found the important places, like Target and the grocery store. We have a chef at the gym, so breakfast and lunch are provided. For dinner, I’m on my own. Sometimes I get lazy and throw a frozen pizza in the oven, other times I try to cook. I do a lot with hamburger meat and eggs, my special ingredients. I tried to make pancakes for the first time a couple weeks ago, which was interesting. I didn’t believe it only takes two minutes to cook a pancake. The first one was perfect, but I fried the second one because I insisted on waiting three or four minutes!

When I’m out in the city, people seem to recognize me quickly, no matter where I go. It’s kind of cool how strong the Cleveland fan base is … and being a 7-footer, there’s not a lot of hiding that goes on!

Distinxion Camp Comes To Cleveland

This past Saturday was a special day. We held a Distinxion/Cavs camp here in Cleveland. Distinxion is a program that my family started about three years ago in Indiana. Basically, we are trying to provide positive role models and environments to kids so that they can learn about life values and character. One of our mottos is that we are trying to make better basketball players, as well as better people.

We had almost 40 kids attend on Saturday, and it was a lot of fun. We try to keep it a smaller, more personal group so that we can interact with as many kids as possible. We talk about different things, like making a first impression and shaking a person’s hand while looking in their eye. We do a skit about dinner table manners. Then we have two trainers who run the drills. My mom was there, and we had one of the Cavs’ pro scouts come in, which was cool. My teammates have been asking how the camp went; I thought it was cool they really cared about it.

But for now, my focus is on basketball. I’m ready to get training camp going!

Tyler Zeller, a 7-footer from North Carolina, was the 17th player taken in the 2012 NBA Draft. He and Duke’s Shane Battier (2001) are the only Atlantic Coast Conference players to earn ACC Player of the Year and Academic All-America in the same season.

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