Alabama’s Miller stars amid alleged role in fatal shooting
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Alabama standout freshman Brandon Miller was in the starting lineup and scored a career-high 41 points in a win over South Carolina. It came a day after police said he delivered a gun to a teammate who is charged in a fatal shooting near campus. It also came hours after the university said Miller would remain an “active member” of the No. 2-ranked team and isn’t considered a suspect. The school’s support for one of college basketball’s top players made little difference to Gamecock fans at Colonial Life Arena. The crowd booed each time Miller touched the ball the student section chanted, “Lock him up,” and “Guilty!” several times.
Russia’s sports exile persists 1 year after invading Ukraine
Russia’s reintegration into the world of sports one year after the invasion of Ukraine began threatens to create the biggest rift in the Olympic movement since the Cold War. Russia remains excluded from many international sporting events but that could soon change. Next year’s Paris Olympics are fast approaching and qualifying events are under way. The International Olympic Committee is working to bring athletes from Russia and ally Belarus back into competition but not everyone agrees. Ukraine and several of its allies say any return for Russia would be unacceptable. The IOC says excluding Russian and Belarusian athletes entirely would be discriminatory.
MLB’s bigger bases could lead to more steals, fewer injuries
PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) — Major League Baseball is introducing bigger bases this season as part of a flurry of changes designed to put more action and athleticism back in the game. The bases are expanding from 15-inch squares to 18 inches, which cuts down the distance between them by 4 1/2 inches. The distance between third and home and home and first was trimmed by 3 inches. With the new bases, major league teams could try a more aggressive approach on the basepaths. The bases also could help prevent injuries.
Coping with concussions: long road to recovery for some
BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Vivienne Gray doesn’t fit the same profile as former or current professional athletes forced to live with the ongoing effects of concussions. The 33-year-old cardiac care nurse has been fighting the side effects of a concussion following a collision with an opposing player during an inline hockey game nearly two years ago. Gray’s doctor is Nicole Higgins, who is also president of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. This week the group warned government and sporting bodies in Australia that they must do more to limit the long-term impacts of concussions and repeated head trauma. The RACGP has submitted a report to an Australian Senate with a key recommendation that more research be conducted into concussions and head injuries.
NBA teams get ready to make 4th-quarter push for playoffs
There are six teams in the NBA that look pretty comfortably in playoff position. There are four other teams that pretty much know they’re not going anywhere. That leaves 20 teams for the last 10 playoff spots. The NBA’s All-Star break ends Thursday night. And there’s only 28% of the season left, which means it’s time for teams to start really jostling for playoff position.
Serena Williams to receive honor at NAACP Image Awards
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Serena Williams will be honored for her tennis achievements, business success and efforts to uplift the community at the NAACP Image Awards this weekend. The NAACP announced Thursday that Williams will receive the Jackie Robinson Sports award during the ceremony, which will air Saturday on BET. The award recognizes individuals in sports for their high achievement in athletics, along with their pursuit of social justice, civil rights and community involvement. Williams holds 23 Grand Slam singles titles. She has won Wimbledon seven times as a singles competitor. The tennis star served as an executive producer on Oscar-nominated film “King Richard,” a biopic based on her family.
Purdue’s Zach Edey makes strong case to be player of year
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — No. 5 Purdue big man Zach Edey has muscled his way into the national player of the year conversation. His 7-foot-4, 305-pound frame makes him hard to defend. He’s leading the Big Ten in scoring with 22.1 points and rebounding with 12.7. He’s fifth in scoring and second in rebounding nationally, and is also 10th nationally in blocks with 2.4. His former coach at IMG Academy, where Edey really learned how to play the game as a teen, can barely believe the ascension.
Mavs need wins in tight West as Doncic, Irving try to mesh
DALLAS (AP) — Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving are just two games into figuring out how to be co-stars for Dallas. The Mavericks are behind schedule based on last season’s surge that sparked a deep playoff run. Dallas needs to win games while working out the kinks because the Western Conference is tightly packed and a few slip-ups could send the Mavericks tumbling in the standings. Coach Jason Kidd would like to see a surge similar to last season, when the Mavs reached the West finals. Kidd also understands the reality of giving his two All-Stars time to mesh.
US women win SheBelieves Cup with 2-1 victory over Brazil
FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Alex Morgan and Mallory Swanson scored and the United States defeated Brazil 2-1 to win the SheBelieves Cup for the fourth straight year. Japan, which defeated Canada 3-0 in the earlier match at Toyota Stadium, was runner-up in the four-team, round-robin tournament. All four SheBelieves Cup teams will play in Women’s World Cup this summer in Australia and New Zealand. Morgan scored in first-half stoppage time and Swanson added another in the second half before Brazil’s Ludmila scored in the final moments.
Almada, Chicharito among MLS players to watch this season
The biggest winner in the Major League Soccer offseason transfer market ended up being the rumor mill. Whether it was the apparent flirtation between Lionel Messi and Inter Miami, or the interest that Los Angeles FC had for Chelsea striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, neither materialized and the MLS offseason was devoid of a splashy international move. Still, there are numerous players to watch this season, including World Cup winner Thiago Almada in Atlanta and Chicharito at the Galaxy.