ATLANTA -- Dwight Howard beamed Monday as he posed for photos, finally wearing his hometown ATLANTA in big letters across his broad chest.Howard said his homecoming is a blessing and an honor which wipes away frustrations of up-and-down seasons with the Lakers and Rockets the last four years.I was placed in situations that werent really the right situations for me, Howard said. But all that stuff, the only thing it did was mold me for the opportunity that I have now. All the good stuff and bad stuff, all the hardships I had to endure, all that stuff it really just made me a better person.Howard came out of Southwest Atlanta Christian School to become the No. 1 overall pick by Orlando in 2004. He spent eight seasons with the Magic and one with the Lakers before playing for the Rockets the last three years.Howard signed a three-year, $70.5 million deal with Atlanta in July -- but this is not his first Hawks jersey. He said he regularly wore Hawks gear while growing up in Atlantas suburbs.I had all the Hawks jerseys and I wore them like I was on the team, and now to actually be on the team is just a dream come true, Howard said.Howard, 30, is the biggest part of a new look for the Hawks, who open training camp on Tuesday.Atlantas remake also includes starting point guard Dennis Schroder, the former backup to Jeff Teague, who was traded to Indiana. Howard replaces Al Horford, who signed with Boston.Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said Howard gives Atlanta the rebounding force it lacked even while making nine straight playoff appearances. The Hawks usually were undersized with Horford misplaced at center, but that wont be a problem with Howard, who has averaged 12.7 rebounds in his career and was the NBA Defensive Player of the Year in three straight seasons (2009-11).The Hawks ranked only 24th in the NBA in rebounds last season.Were strong in some other areas and thats the area we look and see the most obvious room for improvement and obviously the area where Dwight can have a great, positive impact, Budenholzer said.Budenholzer said hes confident Howard also can be a good fit in his offense, including our core principals of playing unselfishly and with ball movement.Budenholzer sees Howards defensive rebounds starting fast-break opportunities led by Schroders quickness, and he sees Howard as a perfect fit in his pick-and-roll plays.Howard will start beside power forward Paul Millsap, who will miss at least two preseason games following a procedure to reduce swelling in his right knee. Budenholzer said Monday hes confident Millsap will be ready for the season.Millsap said Howard has made a good first impression.Hes been great, Millsap said. Hes been in the gym every day working hard. Its good to see his positive attitude in the locker room. He has definitely been a vocal leader for us since hes been here. We like it. We like his energy. We like what he brings to the table.Howard calls Millsap Patent Leather.Because hes so smooth, Howard said. Everything he does is smooth and efficient.Millsap said hell accept the nickname because hes probably not going to stop calling me that.Budenholzer said he likes the mix of 11 returning players with a few newcomers, including rookie forwards Taurean Prince and DeAndre Bembry and veteran guards Jarrett Jack and Will Bynum.We have significant continuity coming back while also making significant changes to our roster, Budenholzer said. I think thats a pretty rare and unique situation in our league. Cheap Football Jerseys . Spiller left Week 3s 27-20 loss to the New York Jets with a thigh injury, but fully practiced with the team all week and expects to be ready to go on Sunday. Wholesale NFL Jerseys China . -- Stanford squashed Oregons national championship hopes again, schooling the Ducks in power football. http://www.cheapjerseysroom.com/ . -- PGA TOUR Canada member Steve Saunders took a three-stroke lead Saturday in the Web. Cheap NBA Jerseys Authentic . "No difference at all," chirped U.S. roommate and linemate James van Riemsdyk. "Its still the same cranky Phil. NBA Jerseys China . McPhee said that Ovechkins father Mikhail is in stable condition after having the surgery this week and is no longer in intensive care. "Weve told him to stay as long as necessary with your dad," he said. Ovechkin and his Russian national team were eliminated from the mens hockey tournament in Sochi on Wednesday with a 3-1 quarter-final loss to Finland. EUGENE, Ore. -- Nebraska certainly took note when Oregons Royce Freeman got his season rolling last weekend with over 200 yards rushing.Just one missed assignment or one missed tackle and hes hitting his head on the goalpost, Huskers linebacker Michael Rose-Ivey said.The No. 22 Ducks (2-0) visit Memorial Stadium on Saturday to face the Huskers (2-0), the biggest nonconference game of the season for both teams.After 87 yards rushing with two touchdowns in Oregons opener, a 53-28 victory over lower-tier UC Davis, Freeman collected 207 yards on 21 carries and two scores against the Cavaliers last Saturday at Autzen Stadium. The Ducks won 44-26.The highlight was an 85-yard touchdown run, a career best.I dont feel I have to prove myself to anybody, Freeman said afterward. But against UC Davis last week I fell short of my standards.It was the second time that Freeman broke the 200-yard mark in his career. It was his 18th career game with 100-plus yards, and the 10th time hes gone over 100 in his last 11.The effort moved him into third on Oregons career rushing list with 3,495 yards, passing Derek Lovilles 3,296 set from 1986-89. He needs 129 more to move into second.Freeman epitomizes the speed in Oregons hyperdrive offense, which he says looks like its hitting a stride.Weve definitely found our rhythm. There were a lot of times out there where Virginia wasnt even set and we were snapping the ball, Freeman said. That always works to our benefit. If we can go faster from here on out, thatd be great.The 230-pound power back ran for 1,836 yards as a sophomore last season to break LaMichael James season record at Oregon. If he can duplicate the effort, he could break James career mark (5,082).Freeman, who hails from Imperial, California, burst on the scene as a true freshman, rushing for 1,365 yards -- a Pac-12 trrue freshman record -- and 18 touchdowns.dddddddddddd He also caught a touchdown pass. As a result, he was named the leagues freshman of the year on offense.Now a junior, Freeman is getting some Heisman buzz along with plenty of speculation he may bolt early for the NFL.Its pretty amazing, Freeman said about making his way to the top of Oregons record lists. Its a good feeling knowing the previous backs that came before me and all the hard work they put in at this university,. Knowing of those guys and actually talking to some of them personally, to have the ability to pass them makes me feel good.Just as Nebraska will be Freemans biggest test, Freeman and the Ducks will be the Huskers biggest challenge of the season. The defense was sound in the first two games of the season against overmatched Fresno State and Wyoming. The Huskers rank in the top 25 nationally in scoring defense (13.5 points per game) and against the run (81 yards per game), and they are tied for the national lead with seven interceptions.Oregons offense is averaging 276 yards on the ground so far this season. And Freeman isnt the lone weapon for the Ducks: Olympian Devon Allen is starting at wide receiver, and new quarterback Dakota Prukop has thrown six touchdowns this season, while averaging 301 passing yards a game.Nebraska coach Mike Riley was coach at Oregon State Freemans freshman year when he gained 140 yards against the Beavers in a 47-19 Oregon victory in the states 2014 Civil War rivalry game.They want to give them the football, Riley said this week. And you have to stop him, otherwise thats what youre going to see all the time.---AP Sports Writer Eric Olson in Nebraska contributed to this report. ' ' '