NBA Guard tells Minnesota executive he wants to stay in Spain for next two seasons: After repeatedly saying his preference was to play in...

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Guard tells Minnesota executive he wants to stay in Spain for next two seasons: After repeatedly saying his preference was to play in the NBA, Ricky Rubio apparently got a case of cold feet at the last minute.

Less than 48 hours after the Timberwolves, Rubio’s agents and Spanish team DKV Joventut agreed in principle on a deal to bring the 18-year-old point guard to Minnesota, Rubio changed his mind.

Rubio told Timberwolves president David Kahn on Monday night he wanted to stay in Spain for the next two seasons to better prepare for life in the NBA — a blow to a team that was hoping to have him on the court for the 2009-10 season.

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“Of course there’s disappointment, but I don’t think that disappointment should overshadow the big picture, which is, he’s still so young,” Kahn said Tuesday from Spain. “It appears now we will have a two-year wait.”

Rubio was the fifth player drafted in June. DKV Joventut reportedly has agreed to trade him to Regal FC Barcelona, which will pay $5.3 million to buy out Rubio’s contract.

Celtics sign guard Daniels: The Boston Celtics signed guard Marquis Daniels, 28, who averaged 13.6 points for the Indiana Pacers last season.


Ali meets relatives in Ennis, Ireland: Former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali, 67, made a sentimental journey to discover his Irish roots, and met distant relatives during celebrations at the local town hall and a nearby castle.

Thousands lined the streets of Ennis, Ireland, to cheer his motorcade as Ali visited the home of his great-grandfather, Abe Grady.

Grady settled in Kentucky in the 1860s and married a freed slave. One of their grandchildren, Odessa Lee Grady Clay, gave birth to Ali, who changed his name from Cassius Clay.

College football

Bank sues Michigan coach Rodriguez in federal court: Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez has been sued in federal court by a bank claiming he failed to pay back millions on a loan for a struggling Virginia condominium project, according to court documents.

The suit — filed Aug. 13 in U.S. District Court in Spartanburg, S.C., and served on Rodriguez at his Ann Arbor, Mich., office last week — contends the coach owes a bank $3.9 million for defaulting on a loan to build condos near Virginia Tech’s Lane Stadium in Blacksburg, Va.

Rodriguez told media the case won’t hinder Michigan’s preparations. Mike Wilcox, a Toledo, Ohio-based adviser to Rodriguez, issued a statement saying the coach had been the victim of fraud dating to 2004, when he was coach at West Virginia.

“Coach Rodriguez is the victim of a fraudulent real-estate Ponzi scheme that has unfortunately affected many Americans,” Wilcox said.

Mosley leaves Oklahoma State program: Sophomore tight end Jamal Mosley has left the Oklahoma State program, a week after a woman filed for a protective order against him.

Receiver transfers from Colorado to UCLA: Receiver Josh Smith has transferred to UCLA after two seasons at Colorado. Smith, who had 1,987 all-purpose yards last year, will have two seasons of eligibility left, starting in 2010.

Alabama defensive end wounded by gunshot: Alabama defensive end Brandon Deaderick was hospitalized for less than 24 hours after being shot in the arm during an apparent robbery attempt at an apartment parking lot Monday.

Police Chief Steve Anderson said the gunman told Deaderick to “Give it up.” When Deaderick wouldn’t comply, the assailant opened fire and ran away, Anderson said.

College basketball

Florida International to play North Carolina: Florida International coach Isiah Thomas has a demanding task for his first game as a college coach — a Nov. 9 game at defending NCAA champion North Carolina in the Coaches vs. Cancer tournament. There were several uneasy days when the Golden Panthers were so displeased with the matchup they considered pulling out of the event; FIU had been under the assumption it would open against Ohio State.

Women’s hockey

U.S. team blanks Sweden: Karen Thatcher of Blaine scored to help the U.S. team beat Sweden 7-0 in a Hockey Canada Cup game in Vancouver, B.C. The Americans had a 43-12 advantage in shots. Molly Schaus posted the shutout.

The United States lost its tournament opener 3-2 to Finland on Monday.


Sorenstam gives birth to girl: It’s a girl for Annika Sorenstam.

The Hall of Famer wrote in her blog that Ava Madelyn McGee was born Tuesday morning. Ava weighs 6 pounds, 10 ounces and is 19 inches long. Sorenstam, 38, retired from the LPGA Tour last year after 72 career victories.

College baseball

Alabama coach retires: Jim Wells, 54, retired as Alabama coach and will be replaced by assistant Mitch Gaspard. Wells had a 625-322 record in 15 seasons and guided the Crimson Tide to six Southeastern Conference tournament titles.


Leipheimer to ride for Armstrong’s team: Levi Leipheimer will ride once again with Lance Armstrong, signing a two-year deal with the seven-time Tour de France winner’s newly formed Team RadioShack. The Americans have been Astana teammates.

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