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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

ESPN: Maria Sharapova and her tribute to Chernobyl


Maria_275 On her website, Maria Sharapova has posted a very personal message detailing her feelings about the 25-year anniversary of the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl, one that affected her parents directly, as well as how the recent tsunami-caused nuclear crisis in Japan brought similar emotions to the forefront for the tennis star.
Sharapova's parents fled Chernobyl, where they were living, and moved to Siberia, where Sharapova was born, after the Ukraine power plant suffered a partial meltdown. Eventually Sharapova and her father, Yuri, came to the United States will little money to further Sharapova's tennis career.
Now the 24-year-old is ranked ninth in the world and has won three Grand Slam titles in her career, including Wimbledon when she was only 17.
There is also a story on the WTA site detailing Sharapova's emotional and financial commitment to Chernobyl.

AHEAD extends its supporting sponsorship of Golf Retirement Plus ‎

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- AHEAD, a New Bedford, Mass.-based designer and marketer of branded headwear, apparel and accessories, has extended its supporting sponsorship of Golf Retirement Plus for an additional five years. AHEAD has served as a partner of the program since 2000.
A licensee of The PGA of America, PGA Tour and United States Golf Association — and the official headwear of the AJGA — the company operates five distinct business units: the AHEAD men's apparel line; AHEAD Headgear, AHEAD "Heavy Metal™" line of golf accessories and the Kate Lord™ Collection of ladies hats, apparel and accessories. AHEAD recently launched its fifth business unit, featuring the new PGA Authentic line of apparel, accessories and headwear. This is an exciting new initiative that is specifically branded for The PGA and partnered with Golf Retirement Plus.
"AHEAD's long-term relationship with The PGA of America speaks volumes of the company's commitment to the game of golf, and the value they hold in the trust and expertise of PGA Professionals," said PGA President Allen Wronowski. "The AHEAD brand name is a recognized standard for excellence in golf merchandise, and we are honored and proud of their partnership in Golf Retirement Plus being extended to The PGA's Centennial celebration in 2016."
"We value our long and growing relationship with The PGA and its members," said Ken Shwartz, president, AHEAD. "We're proud to continue our support of this important program."
Founded in 1997, Golf Retirement Plus™ is a retirement program for PGA Professionals and apprentices, GCSAA Superintendents, and CMAA Club Managers, which allows them to make their own contributions or have their employers contribute to their Golf Retirement Plus account on their behalf. PGA Professionals may also earn personal incentives by participating in the Golf Retirement Plus Partner Programs.
About AHEAD
AHEAD® is a designer and marketer of branded headwear, apparel and accessories. Headquartered in New Bedford, Mass., the company operates five distinct business units: the AHEAD® men's apparel line; AHEAD® Headgear, AHEAD® "Heavy Metal™" line of golf accessories, PGA Authentic branded headwear, apparel and accessories, and the Kate Lord™ Collection of ladies hats, ladies apparel and ladies accessories. AHEAD is a supporting partner of PGA Golf Retirement Plus, a licensee of the USGA, PGA of America, PGA Tour and the official headwear of the AJGA.
About The PGA of America
Celebrating its 95th year, The PGA of America has maintained a twofold mission of its founders: to establish and elevate the standards of the profession and to grow interest and participation in the game of golf.
By establishing and elevating the standards of the golf profession through world-class education, career services, marketing and research programs, The PGA enables its professionals to maximize their performance in their respective career paths and showcases them as experts in the game and in a multi-billion dollar golf industry.
By creating and delivering dramatic world-class championships and exciting and enjoyable promotions that are viewed as the best of their class in the golf industry, The PGA of America elevates the public's interest in the game, the desire to play more golf, and ensures accessibility to the game for everyone, everywhere. The PGA of America brand represents the very best in golf.

Why Golf Matters ?

As we have gone through our process of preparing our film From the Rough for theatrical release, one question many people have asked is: why do a film about golf? Over 27 million Americans play golf, 1.3 million of them, African Americans. However, compared with the other issues African Americans have faced, golf would not be near the top of the list.
However, golf is symbolically very important to every disadvantaged population. If golf were only a recreational activity, we would not care enough to do a film about it. Golf transcends its recreational boundaries, partly because it brings people together for several hours in a relatively relaxed setting, and is often played at private clubs that assemble wealthy and powerful people. Business relationships, coaching and mentoring, and even business transactions are enhanced not just during rounds of golf, but in clubhouses, locker rooms, and dining areas. In many towns and cities, the country club is the center of social activity.
Golf is an inherently exclusive sport, because it can only be played on large patches of real estate by very few people. In fact, as golfers and their equipment have improved, the courses are longer, which increases the amount of real estate dedicated to each golfer.
Golf originated in low-maintenance natural settings in the British Isles called "links" courses. The willingness of golfers in these communities to play on links courses enabled more land to be devoted to golf and more people to play.
As golf migrated outside the British Isles, golf courses became less natural and more custom-designed. The cost of transforming and maintaining natural settings became prohibitively expensive. While golf can be played on public courses, the cost of maintaining courses and competing uses for public land have caused more privately owned courses to be built in recent decades, many of which have been built in resort or luxury planned communities.
When private courses set aside acquired land and invest significant money to build and maintain a golf course, inevitably, course access becomes very contentious. More people want access than can have it. Country clubs have attempted to organize their facilities, their amenities, their social services, and their acceptance of new members around the preferences of existing members. As a result, changing the imbedded practices of country clubs is difficult at best.
Although overt discrimination against women and people of color has ended in most clubs, the combination of low membership turnover and membership limits that enable golfers to have an enjoyable golfing experience makes the transition to more diverse memberships very slow. However, even as membership barriers disappear, cultural barriers take an agonizingly long time to go away.
The solution is not to obliterate current admissions policies or to require private clubs to put existing members at risk of losing their memberships. Club members have often invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in dues for improvements for which they deserve the opportunity to benefit. We also must honor our deeply held values of freedom of association.
However, there are creative ways to increase golf access and to the coaching, mentoring, and relationship-building benefits golf provides without upsetting existing club rules and processes.
Golf is finding ways to expand into communities in which it has not been played, such as the three-hole course in an industrial section of Cleveland in which the First Tee Foundation has created an oasis of natural beauty. There are great opportunities to reclaim vacant city land and dedicate it to teaching young people the sport's fundamentals.
Academic business programs need to find creative ways to recreate the informal coaching and mentoring for women and people of color that the country club provides to wealthy white males. Today's country clubs also have created far more affordable social memberships than a full golf membership, and can provide much of the social relationship building formerly limited to golf-based interactions.
Let's take the best of what golf offers, figure out how to break it into bite-sized pieces, and deliver it to a broader population. As our film project progressed, we realized that it had to focus on the aspirations of people who had not been given an opportunity to succeed to take full advantage of the chance that participating in a college golf and academic program would give them. It is not about golf excellence, but about being given access to what matters for life success.

Women's golf earns No. 4 seed in NCAA East Regional

First ever back-to-back Pac-10 Champion, junior Carlota Ciganda will lead ASU at the NCAA East Regional, for a chance to advance to the NCAA Championships later in May.


The 10th-ranked Arizona State women's golf team was selected as the No. 4 seed in the East Region, the NCAA announced today. The Sun Devils will compete against 24 teams at the LPGA International Golf Course, May 5-7, in Daytona Beach, Fla.
ASU will be joined by Alabama, who received the No. 1 seed in the East Region, Purdue and California, among others. The top eight teams and two individuals from each region will advance to the NCAA Championships, May 18-21, at the Traditions Golf Club hosted by Texas A&M University.
Junior Carlota Ciganda, known for her post-season success, will look to continue the trend heading into Regionals. The first ever back-to-back Pac-10 Champion fell just three strokes short of winning an unprecedented third conference title at the Pac-10 Championships held at the ASU Karsten Golf Course, April 17-19. In addition to her conference championships, Ciganda also won individualist honors at the 2009 West Regional. The junior has finished in the top-15 in six of the seven post-season events in which she has competed.

Cowboys Capture Fifth Straight Big 12 Golf Title

Hutchinson, KS - For the fifth straight year and ninth time since 1997, Oklahoma State's men's golf team has won the Big 12 Championship.

The Cowboys shot a combined 10-under 270 in Wednesday's final round to finish at 5-over, winning the title by twelve strokes over Texas A&M.

OSU's final round score was the best posted by any team in any of the three rounds of play.

Junior Morgan Hoffmann earned medalist honors, shooting a final round 2-under 68 to finish at 3-under, three strokes ahead of teammate Kevin Tway.

Talor Gooch tied for eighth at five-over while Peter Uihlein, the top-ranked golfer in the country, tied for 19th at eight-over.

Sean Einhaus tied for 29th at 11-over.

Texas was third with Texas Tech fourth, Oklahoma fifth and Missouri sixth. The bottom six were Kansas, Nebraska, Baylor, Colorado, Kansas State and Iowa State.

The win gives Oklahoma State the conference's automatic berth into the NCAA Championship, which begins with regional tournaments next month.

This year's NCAA Championship will begin May 31st at Stillwater's Karsten Creek Golf Course.

USA TODAY: At a glance: This week in golf

This week in golf, at a glance. All times Eastern.
PGA Tour
Zurich Classic of New Orleans
Site: Avondale, La.
Schedule: Thursday-Sunday.
Course: TPC Louisiana (7,399 yards, par 72).
Purse: $6.4 million. Winner's share: $1,152,000.
Television: Golf Channel (Thursday, 3-6 p.m., 8:30-11:30 p.m.; Friday, midnight-3 a.m., 3-6 p.m., 8:30-11:30 p.m.; Saturday, midnight-3 a.m.) and CBS (Saturday-Sunday, 3-6 p.m.).
Last year:Jason Bohn won his second PGA Tour title, birdieing three of the final four holes for a two-stroke victory over Jeff Overton.
Last week:Brandt Snedeker won The Heritage at Harbour Town for his second tour title, overcoming a six-stroke deficit with a 7-under 64 and beating Luke Donald on the third extra hole. Donald would have jumped to No. 1 in the world with a victory.
Notes: Snedeker, Donald and Bohn are in the field along with U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell, Steve Stricker, Vijay Singh, Bubba Watson, Nick Watney and Rickie Fowler. … South Korean star K.J. Choi, the 2002 winner at English Turn, is skipping the European Tour stop in Seoul to play in the event. …Jerry Kelly won the 2009 tournament. … The Wells Fargo Championship is next week at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, followed by The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
LPGA
Avnet LPGA Classic
Site: Mobile, Ala.
Schedule: Thursday-Sunday.
Course:Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, Magnolia Grove, The Crossings (6,502 yards, par 72).
Purse: $1.3 million. Winner's share: $195,000.
Television: Golf Channel (Thursday-Friday, 12:30-2:30 p.m., 6:30-8:30 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 4-6 p.m., 9:30-11:30 p.m.).
Last year:South Korea's Se Ri Pak beat Brittany Lincicome with a birdie on the third hole of playoff after rain washed out the fourth round. Suzann Pettersen was eliminated on the second extra hole.
Last event: Stacy Lewis won the Kraft Nabisco on April 3 in Rancho Mirage, Calif., for her first LPGA Tour title. Yani Tseng was second, three strokes back.
Notes: The tournament is the tour's sixth of the season. Tseng won the LPGA Thailand, Hall of Famer Karrie Webb swept the HSBC Women's Championship and LPGA Founders Cup, Sandra Gal took the Kia Classic. …Michelle Wie is coming off a sixth-place finish in the Kraft Nabisco. … The tour is off the next two weeks. Play will resume with the Sybase Match Play Championship on May 19-22 in Gladstone, N.J.
European Tour/Asian Tour
Ballantine's Championship
Site: Incheon, South Korea.
Schedule: Thursday-Sunday.
Course: Blackstone Golf Course (7,275 yards, par 72).
Purse: $3.2 million. Winner's share: $534,435.
Television: Golf Channel (Thursday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; Sunday, midnight-2 a.m., 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; Monday, midnight-2 a.m.).
Last year: Australia's Marcus Fraser broke a seven-year title drought, leading wire-to-wire in the weather-shortened event at Pinx on Jeju Island. Brett Rumford and Gareth Maybin tied for second, four strokes back.
Last week:Lee Westwood won the Asian Tour's Indonesian Masters to regain the No. 1 spot in the world, holding off Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee by three strokes. … Belgium's Nicolas Colsaerts won the European Tour's China Open, finishing with a tournament-record 24-under 264 total for a four-stroke victory.
Notes: Westwood tops the field along with Dustin Johnson, Ernie Els, Ian Poulter, Miguel Angel Jimenez and South Korean star Y.E. Yang. … The event also is sanctioned by the Korea PGA. … The European Tour will be in Spain the next three weeks for the Spanish Open, Iberdrola Open and Volvo World Match Play Championship.
Nationwide Tour
South Georgia ClassicSite: Valdosta, Ga.
Schedule: Thursday-Sunday.
Course: Kinderlou Forest Golf Club (7,781 yards, par 72).
Purse: $625,00. Winner's share: $112,500.
Television: None.
Last year: Ewan Porter parred the last four holes to beat Jhonattan Vegas by a stroke.
Last event:Daniel Chopra won the Fresh Express Classic on April 17 in Hayward, Calif., when fog forced officials to cancel the final round. The Swede shot a career-best 9-under 61 in the third round to take a one-stroke lead.
Notes:Davis Love III designed Kinderlou Forest. The par-5 second is 601 yards, the fourth is 657 and No. 18 is a 501-yard par 4. … The tour will remain in Georgia next week for the Stadion Classic at the University of Georgia Golf Course in Athens.
Champions Tour
Next event: Regions Tradition, May 5-8, Shoal Creek, Birmingham, Ala.
Last week: David Eger and Mark McNulty won the better-ball Legends of Golf when Kenny Perry and Scott Hoch missed short par putts on the second hole of a playoff. Eger and McNulty closed with an 11-under 61 to match Perry and Hoch at 27 under.
Best of the rest
Men
NGA Hooters Tour: Savannah Lakes Village Classic, Thursday-Sunday, Savannah Lakes Village and Golf Club, Monticello Course, McCormick, S.C.
Japan Golf Tour: The Crowns, Thursday-Sunday, Nagoya Golf Club, Wago Course, Aichi, Japan.
Women
LPGA Futures Tour: Symetra Classic, Friday-Sunday, The Dominion Country Club, San Antonio.
Japan LPGA Tour: CyberAgent Ladies, Friday-Sunday, Tsurumai Country Club, Chiba, Japan.

Malinga blames Ranatunga-led board for injury -ESPN SRILANKA

Colombo:Routers- Sri Lankan speedster Lasith Malinga on Tuesday, blamed the country's cricket administration led by the former captain Arjuna Ranatunga for aggravating his knee injury that forced him to retire from Test cricket.

Without naming Ranatunga he said,"The 2008 interim committee did not care for my well being," Malinga said adding that due to his knee injury he could not even climb the stairs of his house.

He didn't hide his displeasure at being treated shabbily by the 2008 interim committee. "I was offered a basic contract when I deserved better."

As Ranatunga led the committee, it is well understood that Malinga's grievance is pointed towards whom.

"My knees are getting weaker," Malinga said explaining his decision to quit playing Test cricket.

He was addressing reporters here having returned from playing in the IPL with the Mumbai Indians. He will rejoin Sachin Tendulkar's team on Thursday.

Women in Green honoured at Reception hosted by High Commission of Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: The High Commission of Pakistan in Colombo hosted the visiting Pakistani National Women Cricket Team along with their team officials at a reception on Tuesday, says a press release received here from Colombo.
The Pakistan National Women Cricket Team is in Sri Lanka to take part in the 2011 Quadrangular Tournament in which besides the host Srilankan team, The Netherlands and Ireland are participating. On Sunday after beating Netherlands in Colombo, Pakistan Women Cricket Team has won the four nation tournament.
The One Day International format of the Quadrangular Series will be starting from 26th April 2011.
The reception was attended by the High Commissioner of Pakistan Mrs Seema IlahiBaloch, and the officials from the Pakistan High Commission Colombo.
The touring team was introduced to the guests by the High Commissioner. The Women in green led by the captain Sana Mir and her team met the distinguished guests drawn from the selected invitees.
The High Commissioner of Pakistan H.E Seema Ilahi Baloch in her speech congratulated the team captain and other members of the team for their success in the T20 segment of the Quadrangular series. She said she really feels proud to be in the company of the famous daughters of Pakistan. The High Commissioner conveyed her best wishes to the team for their success in the upcoming One Day International format of the Quadrangular Series in Colombo starting from 26th April 2011.
In 2010 , the Pakistan’s National Women Cricket Team Won gold medal in Asian Games 2010 in Guangzhou, China after beating Bangladesh by 10-wicket in the final of the inaugural women’s cricket tournament.
The game of cricket is a passion in many South Asian countries and therefore both Pakistan and Sri Lanka are no exceptions. In recent years the game has attained new heights in both the countries. The deep love of the people for the game of cricket in the two countries is unfathomable.
They treat the game more as a way of expressing their respective national pride and consciousness.
Both Sri Lanka and Pakistan enjoy a deep bond of cordial friendship and understanding which is mirrored in various walks of life. Apart from their deep mutual supportive relationship and sharing many common values, the populations in both the countries are also locked in a deep rooted friendship which inter alia originates from the game of cricket. Both the nations firmly believes that the cricket is a not only a strong component which can be a harbinger for promoting peace and harmony in the region but also a great catalyst for bringing the people more closer.

Women's Tennis Challenges TCU in MWC Quarterfinals

PROVO, Utah (April 26, 2011)—The BYU women’s tennis team heads to Fort Collins, Colo., to play No. 71 TCU at 2 p.m. Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Mountain West Conference tournament.

The Cougars, the No. 5 seed in the tournament, are 4-4 in conference, 9-11 overall.

Callie Craig, an Orem, Utah native, leads BYU after going 22-13 in singles in regular season. Aubrey Paul follows with a 17-12 singles record. In doubles, freshman Craig pairs up with Megan Price for a 21-11 record.

The Cougars seek to end a losing streak that began with a loss to San Diego State April 15.

TCU, the No. 4 seed, is 5-3 in conference and 11-10 overall. At their last meeting, TCU defeated BYU 6-1.

The winner of Thursday’s match will play in the semifinals Friday at 10 p.m.

Tennis Star Serena Williams at Work on Rap Career -FOX NEWS

Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic
Serena Williams is reportedly following in the footsteps of fellow professional athletes Shaq, Kobe Bryant, Ron Artest and Allen Iverson, by picking up the microphone.

Adding to her resume as a tennis champion, fashion designer and co-owner of the Miami Dolphins, the on-again-off-again girlfriend of rapper Common has allegedly enlisted DJ Clue in recording some songs for NFL star Bryant McKinnie's new label, B Major Music Group.

There is no word yet as to whether Williams is working on an actual album, recording songs for some kind of charity release, or simply just rapping for fun, but TMZ reports that she is "not half bad" at MCing, posting a photo of Serena in the recording booth.

"Look @TMZ got our project on Blast...We gotta finish the album!" Clue tweeted on Monday (April 25).

Last summer, Williams secured her 13th grand slam title after winning Wimbledon for the fourth time. At the time, she confirmed her split from Common, but the couple were last spotted together again in October, enjoying a relaxing day at the beach after attending a Dolphins game the night before. And, while there is no footage of Williams rapping online, The BoomBox was able to scrounge up this video of Williams showing off her vocal prowess on Madonna's 'Like a Virgin.'

Germany's Haas makes comeback after 14-month injury break

GELSENKIRCHEN, Germany (Routers) - Former world number two Tommy Haas made his comeback Tuesday after missing 14 months through injury when he competed in the doubles event at the Munich Open.
Haas, who has also taken on U.S. nationality, partnered close friend and Florida neighbor Czech Radek Stepanek but lost to Sweden's Simon Aspelin and Australian Paul Hanley 2-6 6-3 10-8.
He had last played on February 22, 2010 at the Delray Beach International event where as top seed he lost 7-6 7-5 to Russian Teimuraz Gabashvili in the first round.
(Writing by Karolos Grohmann, Editing by Mark Meadows)

Injury-cursed tennis player Haas makes another comeback

MUNICH, Germany — Injury-cursed Tommy Haas, a former world number two, made his latest return to action on Tuesday after a 14-month absence at the Munich claycourt tournament.
The 33-year-old teamed up with the Czech Republic's Radek Stepanek, losing in the doubles to Simon Aspelin and Paul Hanley.
Haas last played on the tour in February 2010 before undergoing surgery on his shoulder and right hip.
"I always have the ambition. It'll take time to reach the stage where I hope to be, perhaps I'll no longer reach the level that I once had. But I think I can play another two seasons on the tour," said Haas, a 12-time title winner.
Haas, who no longer has a singles world ranking, hopes to play the Madrid and Rome Masters as well as the French Open but will need wildcards in order to do so.

Is Nadal's clay domination good for tennis?


Rafael Nadal gets his teeth into his sixth Barcelona Open crown.
Rafael Nadal gets his teeth into his sixth Barcelona Open crown.

Another clay-court tournament, another win for Rafael Nadal.
This part of the tennis season is becoming all too predictable, with the world number one hoovering up titles in Monte Carlo and now Barcelona with imperious ease for the loss of just one set.
It was his seventh straight title in Monaco, a record which will take some beating, and sixth in seven years in the Catalan capital.
Until Rafa burst onto the scene in 2004, the clay-court swing - which culminates in the French Open at the end of May - was marked by its unpredictability, with the rankings turned upside down as specialists on the red stuff enjoyed their moment in the sun.
Gustavo "Guga" Kuerten, Albert Costa, Juan Carlos Ferrero and Gaston Gaudio claimed the crown at Roland Garros in the immediate years before Nadal first won in 2005.
The big-servers like Pete Sampras would swiftly gain revenge at Wimbledon, but clay provided the less physically gifted a more level playing surface where sheer determination and touch or artistry could go a long way.
Not anymore. Nadal is a brute of a player, who snuffs out resistance and leaves his opponents defenseless.
His game is made for clay, with a deceptive service backed up by crushing groundstrokes, most imparted with the heaviest top spin in the game. His legendary physical strength means he can hit all-out winners from parts of the court, and he can run forever.
Nadal's domination at the French Open was only halted by debilitating knee injuries which saw him lose in the fourth round in 2009 to Robin Soderling, but he returned in 2010 to mop up his fifth title and few would bet against him making it six later this month.
Before that come Masters 1,000 events in Madrid and Rome where he gets the chance to increase his lead at the top of the world rankings from Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.
But perhaps salvation is at hand for tennis fans growing tired of the same old winner, likeable though the "King of Clay" most certainly is.
Djokovic has begun 2011 as a man on a mission, racking up 24 straight wins, claiming the Australian Open crown and the Masters 1,000 events at Indian Wells and Miami, beating Nadal in both U.S. hard-court finals.
He talks of repeating the dose on clay, but so did Federer, who for all his genius had to wait until Nadal was sidelined in 2009 to take his only French Open crown.
Djokovic is a wonderful player and blessed with a new self-confidence, but beating Nadal on clay over five sets will be some ask.
Neutrals will be willing him all the way and hoping the likes of Andy Murray, who surprised everyone and probably himself by taking that set off Nadal in the Monte Carlo semis, can also step up to the plate.
But don't hold your breath.

Donald Young sorry for Twitter rant -ESPN PAKISTAN

American tennis player Donald Young has apologized to at least two United States Tennis Association coaches for his obscenity-laden rant on Twitter last week, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Young, 21, lashed out after losing in the final of a USTA qualifying event that would have secured him a wild-card entry into the French Open.
"[Expletive] USTA! Their full of [expletive]! They have [expletive] me for the last time!" the entry read Friday.

On Monday, Patrick McEnroe, the USTA's director of player development, took umbrage with Young's comments. He detailed the services USTA has provided for Young since 2005, including grant money, coaching and training opportunities, and called on Young to apologize.
"I'm offended for people on our team that have worked very hard," McEnroe said Monday. "When he said what he said, it was taken quite personally by members of the player development team. I think Donald should apologize for what he said. At that point, we can all move on."
Young apparently heeded that advice, as USTA coaches David Nainkin and Jay Berger both said they had received apologies from Young, the Times reported. Berger said Young told him he also had apologized to McEnroe.
Nainkin and Berger both said they believed Young's apologies were sincere, according to the report.
"What Donald said really hurt, to be honest," Berger told the Times. "And sometimes you have to earn things. This was one of the easiest paths to a Grand Slam. Basically, Donald had to beat a guy ranked 176th in the world. Maybe what he said was out of anger but it still hurt."
Although the USTA has offered resources to Young, he has remained under the tutelage of his parents, Donald Sr. and Illona. That has caused tension between the family and the USTA, as they have differed on the best training regime for Young.
Also, last summer, when McEnroe was still captain of the U.S. Davis Cup team, he selected Ryan Harrison for a match over Young, despite Young's higher ranking.
Young, who defeated second-ranked Andy Murray at Indian Wells last month, recently won a lower-level tournament in Tallahassee, Fla., that vaulted him into the top 100 -- the cutoff for automatic entry into the French Open.
But his ranking didn't rise until a week after the cutoff date for Roland Garros. That forced him to play in the wild-card tournament in Florida, where he lost in the final to 176th-ranked Tim Smyczek.
Young can still make the French Open field by going through the qualifier in Paris the week before the tournament.
But Young wasn't looking ahead when he tweeted on Friday. A bit after the expletive-filled post, Young followed up by tweeting, "That tweet was out of character. ive never been like that before. but im tired of it. sry about the language, but not the thought behind it."
By the weekend, he had shut down his Twitter account.

New strength coach brings a little bulk to Missouri basketball

Mike Dixon needs only to listen to his muscles to tell him about the quality of his recent workouts.
Pandov
“I’ve been sore a lot these past couple days,” said the Missouri basketball team’s rising junior point guard, who, because of that lingering dull pain, can say with confidence he’s pushing his body to new limits.
The man overseeing the pushing has been new strength-and-conditioning coach Todor Pandov, who two weeks ago started Dixon and his teammates on a three-day-a-week weightlifting regimen.
It’s a first step as he begins to help them retool their bodies for a new brand of basketball under Coach Frank Haith, one dependent more on strength than the speed and agility required for the Fastest 40 Minutes in Basketball of predecessor Mike Anderson. That’s particularly true for forwards such as Laurence Bowers, who will be asked to bang under the basket.
Pandov, a 31-year-old native of Plovdiv, Bulgaria, has a good idea what physical attributes will be important for Haith’s system. He spent two stints on the coach’s staff with Miami, working as a graduate manager during the 2007-08 season before returning to South Florida to be the head strength coach before last season.
“Coach and I talk all the time about what he wants the guys to be like and what he expects them to be,” Pandov said.
He also knows what traits benefitted him in his playing career.
The 6-foot-8 Pandov played three seasons at Western Kentucky between 1999 and 2004 and spent one year with the Eiffel Towers, a professional team based in the Netherlands.
His greatest success as a player came as a college sophomore, when he averaged 8.8 points and 3.3 rebounds on a team that went 28-4, won the Sun Belt Conference regular-season and Tournament titles and earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
Even bigger things were expected of Pandov entering his junior season, particularly after he averaged 22 points in a pair of exhibition games, but he suffered a knee injury in the season opener against top-ranked Arizona. He had already scored 12 points and grabbed five rebounds in 23 minutes when he went down, his knee buckling underneath him after a drive to the basket early in the second half. He tore the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments as well as the meniscus and chipped a bone in his left knee.
It was during the months that Pandov spent working his way back from that injury that he became interested in strength and conditioning as a profession.
He was always around gyms growing up as the son of Kiril Pandov, a heavyweight boxer from Bulgaria who represented his country in the 1964 and 1968 Olympic Games and later worked as a trainer for other fighters. But it took getting hurt for Pandov to focus intently on the details of training.
He found himself wondering if he could have done something differently.
“When you think about it, you can never come up with the answer, but that got me interested,” said Pandov, who is married to wife Kimberly and has a 3-year-old son, Mason.
Pandov made it back on the floor but was never the same. He averaged 6.4 points and 2.4 rebounds as a senior, appearing in 18 games. His knee buckled again late in that season, and he had to finish the year wearing a protective brace before undergoing another reconstructive surgery.
He endured a frustrating season overseas with the Eiffel Towers, despite being named one of the league’s all-stars.
“It just got to the point where I couldn’t do the things that I wanted to do with the speed that I wanted to do them, and it was very frustrating because I was playing against people that in my mind I could beat, but I couldn’t physically do it,” Pandov said. “That’s a very frustrating thing for an athlete.”
He ultimately decided to walk away from the game — at least as a player — and made his way to Austin, Texas, where he served as a volunteer with the Longhorns, helping highly regarded strength coach Todd Wright. That proved to be the start of a career that, since leaving Austin, has taken him to Miami, Western Kentucky, Miami again and now Missouri.
Pandov has been excited by what he’s seen from his newest group of players.
“The thing that I really like about those kids, and I hope that doesn’t change with them, is the fact they’ve had great attitudes and have been willing to learn, and so as long as that goes on, then they’re going to see great results,” he said.
He is looking forward to the summer, when he can begin putting them through more intense training tailored to each individual’s needs. The players will begin that regimen soon after starting summer school on June 6.
“I like to see athletes get to the point where they know they’re there physically,” Pandov said. “That’s my excitement about everything. That’s what keeps me going.”

Ron Artest Gets NBA’s Citizenship Award Seven Years After Brawl With Fans

Ron Artest won this season’s National Basketball Association citizenship award, seven years after running into the stands and starting a brawl with Detroit Pistons’ fans.
Artest received the award from the Professional Basketball Writers Association for his efforts to promote mental-health awareness.
The Los Angeles Lakers’ forward appeared before the U.S. Congress in support of the Mental Health in Schools Act and raised more than $650,000 for the cause by raffling off the championship ring he won last season. He also participated in a public-service announcement in conjunction with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health.
“Ron has such a passion for the issue, and has demonstrated such leadership he was a perfect choice for such a prestigious award,” PBWA president Doug Smith of the Toronto Star said in a statement.
Artest, 31, has had a series of off-court issues during a 12-year NBA career. Most notable was in 2004, when a shoving match between him and Ben Wallace of the Pistons started a bench-clearing fight near center court at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Michigan.
Artest, who was then with the Indiana Pacers, avoided the altercation by lying on the scorer’s table. He then bolted into the crowd to confront a fan after being hit by a cup thrown from the stands, setting off an exchange of punches between players and fans. Artest was banned for the rest of the regular season and playoffs, a total of 73 games.
Artest averaged 8.5 points and 3.3 rebounds this season for the Lakers.
Previous winners of the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award -- named for the NBA’s second commissioner -- include Dikembe Mutombo, Chauncey Billups, Steve Nash, Kevin Garnett, David Robinson and Magic Johnson.

Washington women's basketball coach Kevin McGuff adds two assistant coaches

Mike Neighbors, who worked with new Washington women's basketball coach Kevin McGuff at Xavier, will join the Huskies' staff. McGuff also hired former California assistant coach Kevin Morrison.
by Syed Moiz
Paki news Staff reporter


First-year Washington women's basketball coach Kevin McGuff named two assistant coaches Tuesday.
McGuff, the former coach at Xavier, added longtime colleague Mike Neighbors to his staff. Neighbors helped Xavier recruit the 2010 class ranked 18th by ESPN/Hoopgurlz. McGuff also hired former California assistant Kevin Morrison, who joined the Bears' staff in 2007, focusing on recruiting and scouting, and serving as the team's academic liaison.
"Mike and I work really well together," McGuff said. "He and Kevin Morrison complement each other with their strengths. With the staff, I'm trying to keep it balanced and have them impact our players and the community.
"I know and trust them and think they would be really great here on board."
Sami Whitcomb, a former UW player, will remain as the team's video coordinator. Whitcomb was added to the staff before the 2010-11 season by former coach Tia Jackson. McGuff said Whitcomb's passion for the school and position is what kept her around.
"She's going to be great in helping with my transition," McGuff said.
Athletic trainer Jenn Ratcliff will also return. Ratcliff, a graduate of Mount Rainier High School, where she was a three-sport athlete, enters her ninth season with the program.
McGuff said he's going to be patient in filling his final two slots — a third full-time assistant and a director of basketball operations. He said he might select a local to help the Huskies regain ground in recruiting in the state. Those jobs could be filled by mid-May.
As for the roster, McGuff has hit the recruiting trail with the 2011-12 season in mind. There could be another signing in the works, but it's all about fit for the first-year coach.

22 USA Women’s National Team Members Set To Attend May 10-12 Training Camp In Las Vegas

-- Brittney Griner, Courtney Vandersloot Added To Training Camp Roster --
 
USA Basketball National Team veteran Diana Taurasi is one of 24 players expected to participate in the USA National Team training May 10-12 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
USA Basketball
USA Women's National Team May Training Camp Roster
Twenty-two members of the 2009-12 USA Basketball Women’s National Team, including all 12 who aided the USA to the 2010 FIBA World Championship gold medal, will attend the USA National Team’s May 10-12 training camp in Las Vegas, Nev., USA Basketball today announced. Additionally, Baylor University sophomore Brittney Griner and the Chicago Sky’s Courtney Vandersloot have accepted invitations to participate in the camp in the hopes of being added to the USA National Team pool.
Gathering for the first time since winning the 2010 FIBA World Championship gold medal, the USA National Team’s training camp will be held each day at UNLV’s Cox Pavilion starting at 10:00 a.m. (PDT).
“I can’t wait to get these guys on the court in Vegas,” said Geno Auriemma, 2009-12 USA National Team and University of Connecticut head coach. “This is going to be the first time we’ve had this many together and healthy at a training camp, and it’ll be interesting to see how bad some of these guys want to make the Olympic team, how much they hustle, fight for rebounds, I’m really looking forward to that.
“Then you add in the two new kids, Griner and Vandersloot. I’m anxious to see how they interact with some of the veterans. Certainly they’re a couple of great players, but I’m excited to see them go up against our National Team and try to earn their spot in our pool.”
Participating in the training camp are USA National Team members Jayne Appel (San Antonio Silver Stars), Seimone Augustus (Minnesota Lynx), Sue Bird (Seattle Storm), Rebekkah Brunson (Minnesota Lynx), Swin Cash (Seattle Storm), Tamika Catchings (Indiana Fever), Tina Charles (Connecticut Sun), Shameka Christon (Chicago Sky), Candice Dupree (Phoenix Mercury), Sylvia Fowles (Chicago Sky), Lindsey Harding (Atlanta Dream), Ebony Hoffman (Los Angeles Sparks), Asjha Jones (Connecticut Sun), Kara Lawson (Connecticut Sun), Angel McCoughtry (Atlanta Dream), Renee Montgomery (Connecticut Sun), Maya Moore (Minnesota Lynx), Candace Parker (Los Angeles Sparks), Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury), Kia Vaughn (New York Liberty), Lindsay Whalen (Minnesota Lynx) and Candice Wiggins (Minnesota Lynx).
The 2011 WBCA National Defensive Player of the Year, Griner was also a finalist for the 2011 Naismith Award, Wade Trophy and John R. Wooden Award. The All-American in 2010-11 averaged team-highs of 23.0 ppg. and 7.8 rpg., while also pacing the nation in blocked shots with 170. In leading Baylor to a 34-3 record, the Big 12 Conference Tournament and regular season crowns and the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight, the 6-8 center also collected the Big 12 Player of the Year, Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and Big 12 Tournament MVP honors.
The No. 3 selection in the 2011 WNBA Draft, Vandersloot capped the 2010-11 season by leading Gonzaga University to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight, the West Coast Conference Tournament and regular season titles and a 31-5 record. She earned numerous All-America accolades, took home the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award as the nation’s top player 5-8 and under, was named the WCC Player of the Year and also was named to the NCAA Tournament All-Spokane Regional Team. In her final year at Gonzaga, the 5-8 guard averaged a double-double of 19.8 ppg. and 10.2 apg.
Four head coaches, Doug Bruno (DePaul University), Corey Gaines (Phoenix Mercury), Jennifer Gillom (Los Angeles Sparks) and Marynell Meadors (Atlanta Dream), will serve as court coaches during training, and will work with Auriemma and the participating USA National Team members during the three-day camp.
Four-time defending Olympic gold medalists, the U.S. will look to capture a fifth straight gold medal and extend its 33-game Olympic winning streak at the 2012 Olympic Summer Games in London. The Olympic basketball competition will be held July 28-Aug. 12 in the Olympic Park Basketball Arena and North Greenwich Arena. Aside from the host country Great Britain and the United States, which earned its berth by virtue of claiming the gold medal at the 2010 FIBA World Championship, the 12-nation field has not yet been set for the 2012 Olympic Games.

Charlotte Names Cara Consuegra Head Women's Basketball Coach


CHARLOTTE, NC - Charlotte 49ers Director of Athletics Judy Rose has announced the hiring of Marquette assistant coach and former University of Iowa All-Big Ten standout Cara Consuegra (Care-uh Con-SWAY-gruh) as the 49ers new head women's basketball coach. Consuegra will be the eighth head coach in the 36-year history of the 49ers women's basketball program.
"I am thrilled that Cara has accepted our offer to be the 49ers women's basketball coach," Rose said. "We had tremendous interest in this job from all over the country which speaks to the quality of the program and the respect that people have for our university. I am confident that Cara's knowledge and passion for the game will not only sustain the success that we have experienced but will take our program to new heights."
Consuegra has spent the past seven years as a member of the Marquette University coaching staff where she helped the Golden Eagles win 145 games and reach postseason play seven times.
"I am honored and humbled to have the opportunity to lead the Charlotte 49ers women's basketball program," Consuegra said. "I want to thank Chancellor Dubois, Judy Rose and the entire athletic administration for believing in me and giving me this tremendous opportunity. I am eager and excited to build on the great tradition the women's basketball program has at Charlotte. We have high expectations, but with the current and incoming talent, resources and the support of alumni and the Charlotte community, I believe we will continue to have great success."
This past season, Marquette won 24 games and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament. During her time at Marquette, the Golden Eagles reached the NCAA Tournament twice and the WNIT five times including claiming the 2008 WNIT Championship and reaching the WNIT Championship game in 2006. Marquette posted four 20-wins seasons during her seven years at the school.
"Cara is passionate about winning and about the players," said Marquette head coach Terri Mitchell, who was 2007 Big East Coach of the Year. "She gives 100% effort all the time. She is a winner who cares a great deal about the well being of the players. Cara has a creative offensive mind and is a tireless worker. She is a woman of integrity and I could not be more proud and happy for her."



One of her main responsibilities at Marquette was overseeing the development of the Golden Eagles' guards. She worked closely with 2011 WNBA Draft Pick and first-team All-Big East selection Angel Robinson, 2011 second-team All-Big East selection Tatiyiana McMorris, 2009 All-American and two-time first-team All-Big East selection Krystal Ellis and Nancy Lieberman Award Finalist Carolyn Kieger. She also served as the Golden Eagles' recruiting coordinator, and she helped bring in consistently top tier recruiting classes including several nationally-ranked players. Before joining the Marquette coaching staff, she spent three years as the Director of Basketball Operations (2001-04) at Penn State. During her time at Penn State, the Nittany Lions made two Sweet Sixteen appearances and a trip to the 2004 Elite Eight. She earned a Master's degree in Education from Penn State in 2004.
Before embarking on her coaching career, she enjoyed a stellar four-year playing career (1997-2001) at the University of Iowa. As a senior, she earned honorable-mention All-America honors as well being named first-team All-Big Ten. She was named Most Outstanding Player of the 2001 Big Ten Tournament after leading the Hawkeyes to the Big Ten Tournament title with a victory over top-seed Purdue in the Championship game. As a junior, she earned second-team All-Big Ten honors. During her career, Iowa made two NCAA Tournament appearances and they advanced to the second round in both appearances.
A native of Mount Airy, Maryland, Consuegra holds the Iowa single-season (191 in 2000-01) and career (576) assists records. She shares the school's single-game assists mark with 12 against Purdue on February 8, 2001. She finished her career with 1,147 points. When she graduated from Iowa she was one of only 13 players in Big Ten history to score 1,000 points and record 500 assists in their career.
Consuegra, who graduated in 2001 from Iowa with honors with a Bachelor's degree in Sports, Health and Leisure studies, not only excelled on the court but she excelled in the classroom as well. She was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection who earned CoSIDA Academic All-District honors in 2001.
Following her standout career at Iowa, she played one season in the WNBA for the Utah Starzz in 2001.
She married JP Josetti in the summer of 2009.
Consuegra takes over a Charlotte 49ers women's basketball program that has made a school-record nine straight postseason tournament appearances. She takes over a program that returns three starters and 10 letterwinners off a team that won a school-record 27 games and reached the WNIT Final Four.
Consuegra replaces Karen Aston, who resigned earlier this month.
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