Review Category : National Sports

Maria Sharapova denied French Open wild card

Scott Clarke / ESPN Images(PARIS) — Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova has been denied a wildcard to play at next month’s French Open.

French Tennis Federation chief Bernard Giudicelli Ferrandini said Tuesday a wildcard is distributed for cases such as a return from injury but “there cannot be a wildcard for the return from doping,” according to BBC.

The tennis official said it was “my responsibility, my mission, to protect the high standards of the game played without any doubt on the result.”

Sharapova, 30, is a two-time French Open winner who recently returned from her suspension for testing positive for meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open. She was originally suspended by the International Tennis Federation for two years, but had the sentence reduced to 15 months by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

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Special Olympics athlete spends day playing basketball with NBA star

@Suns/Twitter(NEW YORK) — Brad Smith never imagined in his wildest dreams that he’d be in New York with his younger brother Noah and the Phoenix Suns’ star guard Devin Booker.

Noah, 11, was born with a hole in his heart, and would undergo multiple surgeries throughout his young life. Brad said doctors told the family hours after Noah was born that he might not “walk, talk” and wouldn’t have a good quality of life. They even suggested putting him in a home.

Noah’s mother is a special needs teacher and immediately told hospital staff after he was born, “You don’t know how much I believe in these kids,” Brad said. Now he is a Special Olympics gold medalist, who plays basketball and baseball, among other sports. He’s looking to take up swimming in the summer.

His perseverance and story impressed Booker and the Suns so much that they reached out to Brad to see if the Smith brothers would come to New York on Tuesday for the NBA draft lottery.

Booker spent the whole day with Noah, playing basketball in Brooklyn, grabbing real NYC pizza and taking him around to see landmarks. Noah will be Booker’s guest at the lottery Tuesday night.

.@DevinBook coaching up Noah!#ThisIsWhyWePlay pic.twitter.com/yOXJLD0stG

— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) May 16, 2017

Noah also brought one of his gold medals for luck, in hopes the Suns land the No. 1 pick in the 2017 draft.

“I don’t even have a gold medal yet,” Booker said of his new friend. “I feel like we owe [this] to them. I wish I could do this with every kid in the Phoenix community.”

Brad says Noah continues to exceed expectations and never takes life for granted.

“He’s definitely proving them all wrong,” Brad said.

The NBA Draft Lottery airs Tuesday night at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.

.@DevinBook and Noah getting some shots up at Brooklyn Bridge Park. #NBADraftLottery pic.twitter.com/xs4kOzvL4R

— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) May 16, 2017

ABC News and ESPN are both part of parent company Disney.

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‘Pacman’ Jones pleads guilty to misdemeanor, apologizes in court

Tim Warner/Getty ImagesCINCINNATI — Bengals cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones pleaded guilty on Tuesday to a misdemeanor charge from an altercation earlier this year.

Two other charges were dropped as part of a plea agreement.

In January, Jones was arrested at a downtown Cincinnati hotel for allegedly pushing a security guard, poking him in the eye and refusing to cooperate with police officers. He faced misdemeanor charges of assault, disorderly conduct and obstructing official business. He was later charged with a felony count of harassment with a bodily substance for allegedly spitting on a jail nurse.

The Hamilton County prosecutor earlier dismissed the felony count. Municipal Court Judge Dwane Mallory later dismissed the misdemeanor counts of assault and disorderly conduct at the prosecutor’s request. He sentenced Jones to time already served — two days — on the obstructing official business count.

Jones is undergoing anger management classes. He is still subject to potential discipline from the NFL.

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Peyton Manning to host 2017 ESPYS

Joe Faraoni/ESPN Images(NEW YORK) — Peyton Manning will host the 2017 ESPYs host, ESPN announced Tuesday. The two-time Super Bowl champ called the gig “an honor” in a statement announcing this year’s host.

“It’s an honor to be asked to host the ESPYS, and it’s even more meaningful that it’s the 25th year for this incredible event,” Manning said. “The ESPYS have been a part of my life during my entire career. I can still remember attending my very first show back in 1998 before my rookie season in the NFL.”

Manning, received the ESPY Icon Award in 2016, following his retirement from the NFL the prior year, according to ESPN. The five-time league MVP played 14 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, winning Super Bowl XLI. Manning also led the Denver Broncos to a championship win at Super Bowl 50.

The ESPYS will air live from Los Angeles on ABC on July 12.

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Scoreboard roundup — 5/15/17

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners:

INTERLEAGUE

Atlanta 10, Toronto 6
Houston 7, Miami 2

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Cleveland 8, Tampa Bay 7
L.A. Angels 5, Chi. White Sox 3
Seattle 6, Oakland 5

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Arizona 7, N.Y. Mets 3
San Francisco 8, L.A. Dodgers 4
San Diego 6, Milwaukee 5, 10 innings


NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PLAYOFFS

Boston 115, Washington 105

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE PLAYOFFS

Pittsburgh 1, Ottawa 0

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Aaron Hernandez’s fiancée: ‘I don’t think this was a suicide’

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Aaron Hernandez’s fiancée says she doesn’t think the former New England Patriots star committed suicide.

“I don’t think this was a suicide,” Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez said in an interview that aired Monday on the Dr. Phil show. “I don’t know what to believe.”

It was 5:27 a.m. on April 19 when a prison official called Jenkins-Hernandez to say the former NFL star had been found dead at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts, she said.

Hernandez was discovered hanging naked from a bed sheet in his cell, the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office said. His death has been ruled a suicide.

“At first I thought it was a hoax. I thought that this was some cruel person … playing a trick on me,” Jenkins-Hernandez told the show’s host, Dr. Phil McGraw, crying. “He said that Aaron was found in his cell and he was deceased, he was being transferred to the hospital and that’s when I said immediately that I was coming; he told me to wait for the medical examiner and I wasn’t taking that for an answer.”

She said he never talked to her about suicide.

“I had no idea,” she said. “He definitely was emotional and we had talks about encouragement … [like], ‘Gonna keep fighting.’ But I never would have suspected something like this.”

Jenkins-Hernandez said their future was “looking so bright, we were going up a ladder in a sense to a positive direction. I haven’t been able to grasp any of it yet. He was very positive, so excited to come home … there was no indication at all of such events.”

Hernandez was in the process of appealing his conviction when he died.

Five days before his death, Hernandez was acquitted in a double murder that occurred in 2012 and last week a Massachusetts judge granted a request to erase Hernandez’s murder conviction through the law of abatement.

She said they spoke on the phone the night before he died and that Hernandez spoke to the couple’s 4-year-old daughter, telling her, “‘Daddy’s gonna be home.'”

“As far as I know I was the last person to speak with him,” she said, calling it a normal conversation. “[It] had nothing to do with any suicidal thoughts. But then again, I don’t know what that would be, but to me it was completely normal.”

Hernandez was in prison serving a life sentence after he was convicted in April 2015 of murder, unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition for the June 2013 killing of Lloyd in North Attleboro, Massachusetts. Lloyd was dating Jenkins-Hernandez’s sister.

Jenkins-Hernandez and the former NFL player, who were high school sweethearts and became engaged in 2012 before their daughter was born, never married, but Jenkins-Hernandez said, “I changed my name for the simple fact that we were a family.” She wore her engagement ring in the Dr. Phil interview.

Jenkins-Hernandez said she would take her 4-year-old daughter to visit him in prison.

“We would try to go once a week, sometimes twice,” she said. “She thought daddy was at work … she knows nothing about jail, prison.”

Although a state police investigation closed the matter, the late NFL player’s fiancée said, “I don’t think this was a suicide,” telling Dr. Phil the findings are not believable to her and that she is calling for an inquiry.

She said the Bible references found on Hernandez when he died don’t sound like him because he wasn’t religious.

“Aaron was spiritual but he wasn’t the kind of guy to get up every Sunday and go to church,” she told Dr. Phil.

She also said that while the note left behind by Hernandez for her was a “note of love,” it was not personal or intimate.

“It was addressed to Shay, instead of, you know, babe,” which she said he usually called her. “That was a little odd to me.”

She said he also didn’t sign the note “your soul mate,” which she said he usually did.

She said the handwriting was similar to her fiancé’s but added, “I feel like it’s easily duplicated or could be.”

“It screamed love, but it wasn’t, like I said, personal. It wasn’t intimate,” she said. “There were some odd parts where it just didn’t make sense.”

“It was very short … I wanted more. I wanted him to explain,” she said.

“I feel like he could have been saved,” she added. “I feel like someone was in the wrong somewhere and I want answers.”

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Spurs Leonard likely out for Game 2

Antonio Hernandez / ESPN Images(OAKLAND, CA) — Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich told reporters on Monday that forward Kawhi Leonard will likely miss Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors after reinjuring his ankle in Game 1.

Leonard suffered the injury after what Popovich called a “dangerous and unsportsmanlike” play by Warriors’ center Zaza Pachulia. “The two-step lead with your foot closeout is not appropriate,” Popovich said to reporters Monday. “It’s dangerous, it’s unsportsmanlike, it’s just not what anybody does to anybody else. And this particular individual has a history with that kind of action.”

No hard feelings pic.twitter.com/08DirOvyww

— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) May 15, 2017

Leonard said he did not think the play was dirty. The forward had 26 points before leaving Game 1 on Sunday against the Warriors, a game which saw the Warriors comeback from a huge deficit due in large part to the absence of Leonard on the court.

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Roger Federer opts out of French Open

Scott Clarke/ESPN Images(NEW YORK) — Roger Federer has decided he will not play in the upcoming French Open starting on May 22.

In a letter to his fans on his website, Federer said “I feel it’s best to skip the clay court season this year and prepare for the grass and hard court seasons.”

Unfortunately, I won’t be playing @rolandgarros this year. I’ll miss my fans in France, but appreciate your support https://t.co/vRcb4SvQga

— Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) May 15, 2017

It has been a good bounce back year for Federer, who won the Australian Open after being sidelined from all major tournaments in 2016 due to injury.

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Bengals’ Joe Mixon among players to attend rookie premiere

Sean Gardner/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon is one of a few dozen players who will attend the NFL Players Association’s Rookie Premiere event in Los Angeles this week.

The players union released the list of 40 participants on Monday. The event is aimed at helping the rookies “learn the business of football,” according to the NFLPA’s statement.

Mixon’s invitation comes after the Bengals were criticized for using the 48th overall draft pick on the California native. In 2014, Mixon was shown on camera punching a woman in the face during his freshman year at the University of Oklahoma. He settled his civil suit with the woman.

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Baseball icon David Ortiz discusses his new autobiography live on “GMA”

ABC News(NEW YORK) — He’s one of the greatest Boston Red Sox players of all time, and there wasn’t a dry eye at Fenway when he retired last year. Now David Ortiz is back with a new memoir called Papi: My Story.

The three-time World Series champion Monday discussed his new book and career highlights on ABC’s Good Morning America.

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