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That’s One Nifty ‘What I Did This Summer’

Times Staff Writer

When Salvador Torres, 14, of Cypress returns to school this fall, he can tell his friends he beat Kobe Bryant in a game of H-O-R-S-E. And he has proof -- a feature segment that has been televised on several editions of ESPN’s “SportsCenter” this week.

The game took place because Torres, a leukemia patient, was granted his wish by ESPN and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The leukemia is in remission, according to Torres’ uncle, Tony Morales.

On June 30, Torres, along with friends and family members, were at a Dave & Buster’s restaurant and arcade in Orange. Torres believed he was there to tape an interview with ESPN about why he wanted to meet Bryant.

As a surprise to Torres, Make-A-Wish and ESPN, working with Eugenia Chow, the Lakers’ director of community relations, had arranged for Bryant to be there. Bryant stuck around to play arcade games with Torres for two hours, then they went to a nearby athletic club for a game of H-O-R-S-E.

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With ESPN cameras rolling, Torres made one incredible shot after another -- one impossible shot was from the side behind the basket and the clincher was from about 30 feet.

“I can’t believe you beat me; I haven’t lost a game of H-O-R-S-E in like 10 years,” Bryant laments at the end of the ESPN feature as he walks off the court arm in arm with Torres.

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Trivia time: How many runs did Joe DiMaggio score during his 56-game hitting streak in 1941?

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Priorities in order: Terrell Owens, now with the Dallas Cowboys, was on Jimmy Kimmel’s ABC show Monday night. Kimmel asked Owens if he would make an effort to speak to Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb when the Cowboys and Eagles play this season.

“I will make an effort to beat the Eagles,” Owens said.

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Clean tables, guaranteed: Jerome Bettis, nicknamed “The Bus,” is opening a sports-themed restaurant in Pittsburgh to be called Jerome Bettis’ Grille 36, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Noted Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times: “Judging by the flood of job applicants, there’ll be no shortage of Bus boys.”

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Like father, like son: The Associated Press reported recently that a Little League father from Kent, N.Y., punched the coach of his son’s team of 9- and 10-year-olds. The father was upset because his child had been suspended for uppity behavior.

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“A word of warning to you baseball coaches,” wrote Bob Reno of BadJocks.com. “If you kick a kid off the team for insubordination, you can probably assume the little acorn hasn’t fallen far from the big nut tree.”

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Looking back: On this day in 1990, Pete Rose, baseball’s all-time hits leader, was sentenced to five months in prison and three months in a halfway house for cheating on his taxes.

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Trivia answer: 56.

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And finally: Kimmel to Owens: “You were public enemy No. 1 for a while. You and Osama bin Laden.”

Larry Stewart can be reached at larry.stewart@latimes.com.

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