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Improved Taj Gibson key for Bulls

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Friday, April 18, 2014 - 04:49 PM

DEERFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Taj Gibson flashed back to the grueling workouts in the searing Southern California heat last summer.

There he was with Derrick Rose, running and jumping and trying to take his game to another level for the Chicago Bulls while their superstar point guard worked his way back from a left knee injury.

While Rose's comeback screeched to halt in November, Gibson's ascent continued.

Kawhi Leonard waits for Spurs spotlight

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Friday, April 18, 2014 - 04:20 PM

The tone in Kawhi Leonard's voice never changes.

It never changed as a junior in high school when his father was killed at the car wash he owned in Compton, Calif. He just kept right on playing.

"He just internalized it to me," said Tony Masi, the athletic director at Martin Luther King High School in Riverside, where Leonard was a prep star. "We didn't hang out every day. I'd see him for a couple minutes a day. Just watch him and observe him. He didn't show much. He was just shy and reserved."

NBA plans expanded programs with military

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Friday, April 18, 2014 - 04:16 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — Army graduate Mike Krzyzewski will lead a U.S. national team practice at his alma mater, and the U.S. women will train at the Naval Academy as part of an increased partnership among the NBA, USA Basketball and the Department of Defense.

The NBA and its teams will also organize job fairs and other events to support military personnel in their transition back to civilian life.

Georgia Tech hires N'Diaye as assistant coach

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Friday, April 18, 2014 - 04:11 PM

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Tech coach Brian Gregory has added Coastal Carolina assistant and former NBA player Mamadou N'Diaye to his coaching staff.

N'Diaye spent the past three seasons at Coastal Carolina. He worked under Cliff Ellis, his coach when he starred at Auburn.

N'Diaye is from Senegal and Gregory says he'll expand the school's national and international recruiting.

Phelps entered in 3 events at comeback meet

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Friday, April 18, 2014 - 04:07 PM

MESA, Ariz. (AP) — Michael Phelps is entered in three events at his first swimming meet since he retired after the 2012 London Olympics.

The 22-time Olympic medalist is set to swim the 50- and 100-meter freestyles and the 100 butterfly at the Arena Grand Prix in Mesa, Ariz., starting next Thursday. Entries were released Friday.

Georgia St coach Ron Hunter gets 2-year extension

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Friday, April 18, 2014 - 04:04 PM

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia State basketball coach Ron Hunter has been given a pay raise as part of his two-year contract extension through the 2020 season.

Georgia State finished 25-9 this season. The Panthers lost in the Sun Belt Conference tournament title game and played in the NIT.

Hunter's new deal gives him a $25,000 raise next season, to $425,000 with additional raises to $440,000 and $460,000 the following two years. If Georgia State makes the NCAA tournament, his pay will be increased to $500,000 the following season.

Penguins wary of Blue Jackets after Game 1 escape

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Friday, April 18, 2014 - 03:57 PM

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Sidney Crosby is used to the attention. It comes with the territory when you're the best hockey player in the world.

Still, the Pittsburgh Penguins star knows the spotlight becomes more acute in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Shaded by Columbus defenseman Brandon Dubinsky for much of his 19 minutes of ice time in Pittsburgh's 4-3 victory in Game 1,

Jags' Tinker aims for inspiration not sad story

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Friday, April 18, 2014 - 03:56 PM

HOOVER, Ala. (AP) — Carson Tinker wants to use his personal story to lift people up not bring them down.

The Jacksonville Jaguars' long snapper was injured and his girlfriend was killed during a 2011 tornado in Tuscaloosa while he was playing for Alabama.

Tinker has since shared his experience with youth groups and churches and now has written a book — "A Season To Remember: Faith in the Midst of the Storm." Tinker always tries to keep the message about how he's responded to the tragedy.

Reds' Phillips leaves game because of back spasms

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Friday, April 18, 2014 - 03:55 PM

CHICAGO (AP) — Cincinnati Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips left Friday's game against the Chicago Cubs because of back spasms.

Phillips appeared to get hurt swinging and missing during in the first inning. After a visit from manager Bryan Price and a trainer, Phillips singled.

Phillips struck out in the third, and the Reds said they replaced him with Ramon Santiago in the bottom half as a precaution.

Flyers could have G Steve Mason back for Game 2

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Friday, April 18, 2014 - 03:52 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — The Philadelphia Flyers might have No. 1 goalie Steve Mason back for Game 2 against the Rangers.

Mason missed Thursday's 4-1 loss to New York because of an undisclosed upper-body injury. He was hurt last Saturday against Pittsburgh, when he was knocked over and hit the back of his head on the ice. Mason and the Flyers have declined to say whether he has a concussion.

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