WNBA rookie guard Courtney Vandersloot, a former standout for Gonzaga and Kentwood High School in Covington, and Baylor center Brittney Griner were added to the U.S. national-team pool Monday.
U.S. team adds Vandersloot,
Griner to its talent pool
Chicago Sky rookie Courtney Vandersloot, a former standout for Gonzaga and Kentwood High School in Covington, and Baylor center Brittney Griner were added to the U.S. national-team pool Monday.
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Both participated in the national-team training camp in May in Las Vegas and impressed the coaching staff and selection committee.
“Brittney and Courtney fit right in with the rest of the team during our last training camp,” U.S. coach Geno Auriemma said. “They proved at that training camp that they deserved to be there and I’m glad that the committee has added them.”
The 6-foot-8 Griner, who is 20, is the lone college player in the 26-player pool from which the 2012 Olympic team will be selected.
Vandersloot, a 22-year-old guard who scored eight points in the WNBA All-Star Game, is averaging 8.3 points on 45.8 percent shooting and 4.4 assists for the Sky.
“I felt fortunate to even get the opportunity to train with them in May, but once I found out they were adding me to the pool I was really excited,” the 5-8 Vandersloot was quoted as saying on the Sky’s website. “It’s a great opportunity for me to be able to play and learn from some of the best players in the world. I thought maybe later in my career, I would hopefully be given this chance, but I really didn’t think it would be this soon.
“To even be considered is an honor.”
If Vandersloot makes the team, she likely would back up Sue Bird, who plays for the Storm.
Haas has encounter with bear
Ani Haas, a former freestyle skier for the U.S. team, said she feels fortunate to have suffered nothing more than scratches to her left arm and chest when she encountered a black bear while running in Montana.
Haas, 23, told NBC’s “Today” show she was on a trail near her hometown of Missoula, Mont., Friday morning when she saw some cubs scramble up a tree. The mother bear ran at her.
According to Haas’ account, she wasn’t fast enough to run away from the bear. She turned around to face the bear and it lunged at her.
Haas said she struck the bear in the head and threw a rock at it before the bear attacked her again. Haas said she backed away and the bear eventually lost interest.
Big 12 limits Longhorn Network
Big 12 athletic directors voted to prohibit the broadcast of any high-school sporting events on the newly created Longhorn Network for at least the next year.
The conference announced the ADs voted unanimously to forbid such content on any medium branded as a conference or member-institution platform. Controversy had been stirred up at the suggestion Texas could show games featuring players it was recruiting on its network, set to launch this month.
Williams rises to 79th in world
American Serena Williams has returned to the top 100 in the women’s rankings after winning the Bank of the West Classic title Sunday in Stanford, Calif.
The former No. 1 player moved from 169th to 79th in the rankings released Monday. Williams was sidelined for almost a year until June because of foot injuries and blood clots on her lungs.
Williams is preparing for the U.S. Open, which begins Aug. 29 in New York.
Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark remained No. 1.
Chelios to enter U.S. Hall
Longtime NHL defenseman Chris Chelios was selected for induction into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame, joining players Keith Tkachuk and Gary Suter.
Ed Snider, Philadelphia Flyers founder and owner, and Mike “Doc” Emrick, a play-by-play announcer, also were selected. The formal induction will take place this fall in Eveleth, Minn.
U.S. files papers for possible bid
The United States and South Africa are among at least five countries that have filed preliminary paperwork required by the International Olympic Committee ahead of any potential bids for the 2020 Summer Games.
The U.S. and South African Olympic committees told The Associated Press they submitted forms confirming compliance with rules of the World Anti-Doping Agency and Court of Arbitration for Sport.
The documents were filed before Saturday, the deadline set by the IOC.
Italy, Japan and Spain also said they sent their forms. Turkey and Qatar would not confirm they filed the papers, but are believed to have done so.
National Olympic committees have until Sept. 1 to submit the names of any 2020 applicant cities to the IOC.
“We submitted compliance papers as a matter of protocol,” USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky said in an email.
• All-Star defenseman Brent Burns, 26, signed a five-year, $28.8 million contract extension with the NHL San Jose Sharks.
• Ex-Arkansas basketball guard Rotnei Clarke, who averaged 15.2 points last season as a junior, is transferring to Butler.
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