Tar Heels’ leading scorer can practice with team
P.J. Hairston will be at practice when North Carolina starts workouts Friday. Beyond that, coach Roy Williams isn’t ready to say how many games his suspended leading scorer will miss due to offseason trouble.
Williams said the practice decision is Hairston’s “first step toward permanently earning his place back on the roster” after twice being cited by authorities while driving a rental vehicle linked to a felon. Williams suspended Hairston indefinitely in July after he was also charged with speeding and reckless driving, though Hairston later pleaded guilty to a reduced charge.
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Hall fires 63 for lead
Down to his last chance to earn a PGA Tour card, Ashley Hall opened the Web.com Tour Championship with his second-best score of the year.
Hall, from Australia, birdied two of his last three holes for a 7-under-par 63 on the Valley Course at the TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. That gave him a one-shot lead over Robert Karlsson of Sweden and Mark Anderson, who already is assured his PGA Tour card.
Brothers Michael and Andrew Putnam from Tacoma each shot a 68. Andres Gonzales of Olympia had a 70. Former Husky Alex Prugh shot a 73.
Indy adds road race
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway board of directors voted to add a second IndyCar race in May at the historic Brickyard — a road race. It’s the first time IndyCar drivers will compete on something other than Indy’s 2.5-mile oval, and it’s the first time they’ll prepare for two races in one season at the speedway. The road race is scheduled for the weekend of May 10-11, two weeks ahead of the series’ marquee event, the Indianapolis 500.
A person familiar with the situation said the Sacramento Kings and center DeMarcus Cousins have reached an agreement on a contract extension.
The Sacramento Bee reported the extension is a four-year, $64 million deal that will carry Cousins through the 2018-19 season. Cousins was eligible for an extension of up to five years and $80 million.
Cousins, 23, averaged 17.1 points and 9.9 rebounds last season but has drawn multiple suspensions for his behavior.
Steve Mills is returning to the New York Knicks as president and general manager, replacing Glen Grunwald in a front-office shake-up just days before the start of training camp. Grunwald took over when president Donnie Walsh left in 2011 and constructed much of the roster that helped the Knicks win a playoff series last season for the first time since 2000. Grunwald will remain with the team as an adviser.
New goalie, owner in Florida
Stanley Cup-winning goalie Tim Thomas signed a one-year contract with the Florida Panthers. Thomas, 39, took last season off, then decided he was ready to return to hockey. He received an incentive-laden contract starting at $2.5 million.
His signing is part of a busy week for the Panthers. The team will introduce Vincent Viola as its new owner Friday. Viola, from Brooklyn, paid $250 million to buy the franchise, The Associated Press reported.
Bird headed for U.S. camp
Three-time Olympic gold medalists Sue Bird of the Storm, Diana Taurasi and Tamika Catchings highlight the 33 players invited to the U.S. women’s basketball national team training camp that will take place the first weekend in October in Las Vegas.
• A defendant alleged to be the right-hand man of former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez was ordered held on $500,000 bail in Fall River, Mass. Ernest Wallace pleaded not guilty last week to a charge of being an accessory to murder.
• American Venus Williams beat Canadian teenager Eugenie Bouchard 6-3, 6-7 (4-7), 6-3 to reach the Pan Pacific Open semifinals in Tokyo.
• Milos Raonic of Canada took advantage of only one of 16 break chances and still overcame Marinko Matosevic of Australia 7-6 (7-3), 4-6, 6-4 at the Thailand Open in Bangkok.
• Former Ryder Cup player Oliver Wilson shot an 8-under 64 to share the lead with four others after the first round of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in St. Andrews, Scotland.
• Ellen Port, 52, of St. Louis successfully defended her Senior Women’s Amateur title in San Martin, Calif., for her sixth U.S. Golf Association victory.
• Doug Hanzel, 56, from Savannah, Ga., won the USGA Senior Amateur in Cashiers, N.C.
• Two-time figure skating world champion Miki Ando of Japan is second after the short program at the Nebelhorn Trophy in Oberstdorf, Germany, her first competition in two years after having a baby.
• Reigning Olympic figure skating champion Kim Yu-na of South Korea will miss the Grand Prix season after injuring her right foot.
• Top-line center Derek Stepan agreed to a two-year contract with the New York Rangers.
Seattle Times news services