Thursday Sports in Brief

December 20, 2019 GMT


MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Memphis center James Wiseman says he has withdrawn from school as the likely NBA lottery pick gets ready to begin his pro career.

The 7-foot-1 freshman said Thursday in an Instagram post that he was leaving school to start “preparing for the next chapter of my life.” Wiseman added that “ever since I was a little kid, it’s been a dream of mine to play in the NBA.”

Wiseman is considered the potential No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA draft.

This decision ends Wiseman’s tumultuous college career after only three games. Wiseman was the biggest prize in a Memphis recruiting class that was ranked as the nation’s best, but he was serving an NCAA suspension for most of the season.


Georgia Southern offensive lineman Drew Wilson, Oregon State quarterback Jake Luton and Salisbury State receiver Octavion Wilson have been selected the Mayo Clinic Comeback Players of the Year.

The winners were announced Thursday and they will be honored at the College Football Playoff semifinal at the Fiesta Bowl on Dec. 28.

Luton suffered season-ending injuries the past two seasons, but returned this year to pass for 28 touchdowns and three interceptions.

Octavion Wilson started his career at Division III powerhouse Mount Union, but was forced to give up football and school after a heart condition led to lingering issues with pain and eventually depression. He returned to the game after three years away.

Drew Wilson returned to action this year and regained his starting job after missing all last season recovering from a detached retina that left him legally blind in his right eye.


ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Angels added another arm to their rotation, agreeing to a $9 million, one-year contract with right-hander Julio Teheran, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press .

The person spoke Thursday on condition of anonymity because the deal, first reported by ESPN, is subject to a successful physical.

Teheran spent the past seven seasons with the Atlanta Braves, who declined his $12 million option. He was 10-11 with a 3.81 ERA last season and was left off the Division Series roster against St. Louis, then added as a replacement when Chris Martin got hurt

The 28-year old Teheran is 77-73 with a 3.67 ERA in 229 games, all but three starts.

—By AP Sports Writer Joe Reedy.


CHICAGO (AP) — All-Star weekend will be a homecoming for Common and Chance The Rapper.

The NBA said Thursday night that the Grammy winners will be headline performers at the All-Star Game in Chicago on Feb. 16.

Chance The Rapper and Common were both born in Chicago.

Common will deliver remarks about what basketball means to the city before he introduces the All-Star rosters before the game. Chance The Rapper and some guests will perform at halftime, doing a medley of some of his biggest hits.


LONDON (AP) — Rafael Nadal won his second consecutive Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award and third overall Thursday, based on voting by other players, while Andy Murray was chosen the ATP’s 2019 comeback player of the year.

Murray, a three-time Grand Slam champion and former No. 1, said in January he thought he would retire this season because of a bad hip. But he wound up having a second operation and returned to the tour, winning a singles title and a doubles title.

Other honorees from the men’s tour included U.S. Open semifinalist Matteo Berrettini, chosen as most improved player after rising to No. 8 in the rankings from No. 54; 18-year-old Jannik Sinner, picked as newcomer of the year; and Gilles Cervara, who earned coach of the year honors after helping Daniil Medvedev reach nine finals, including a runner-up finish to Nadal at Flushing Meadows.

Kevin Anderson received the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award.

LONDON (AP) — The All England Club has appointed Sally Bolton to take over as chief executive in 2020.

Bolton will replace Richard Lewis, who announced in September that he will step down after next year’s Wimbledon tournament.

Bolton is currently serving as the All England Club’s strategic planning and operations director, having joined the Wimbledon organizer in 2016. She previously played a key role in delivering the 2013 Rugby League World Cup and served as managing director of the organizing committee for the 2017 World Athletics Championships in London.


MOSCOW (AP) — Russia has signaled it will file an appeal against its four-year Olympic ban due to World Anti-Doping Agency sanctions which President Vladimir Putin on Thursday branded “unfair.”

The Russian anti-doping agency’s supervisory board voted Thursday to file an arbitration case with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland. WADA last week ruled Russia had manipulated doping laboratory data to cover up past offenses.

Putin said it was not fair to threaten Russia with more doping-related punishment, and that any sanctions should be on an individual basis. “I think it is not just unfair but not corresponding to common sense and law,” Putin said.

The case will likely be referred to CAS within the next 10-15 days, supervisory board chairman Alexander Ivlev said. After a panel of three CAS arbitrators is chosen, a verdict will be issued within three months.

TOKYO (AP) — Tokyo Olympic organizers said Friday they are spending 1.35 trillion Japanese yen — about $12.6 billion — to stage next year’s games. Organizers said the expenditure is unchanged from a year ago, although robust sponsorship and ticket sales have generated a contingency fund of an extra $30 million.

However, Japan’s National Audit Board, in a 177-page report prepared for the national legislature, said next year’s Olympics will cost much more than organizers say.

The audit lists an added $9.7 billion (1.06 trillion yen) it says are Olympic-related costs that have not been included. In addition, the city of Tokyo has previously said it would spend another $7.4 billion (810 trillion yen) on Olympic-related projects. Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said at the time the spending was “for projects directly and indirectly related to the games.”

She said this included building barrier-free facilities for Paralympic athletes, training programs for volunteers, and advertising and tourism plans.

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP)— Ukrainian weightlifter Oleksiy Torokhtiy has been stripped of the gold medal he won at the 2012 Olympics and banned for doping.

The International Olympic Committee said Thursday that the Ukrainian tested positive for the banned steroid turinabol when his sample from the 2012 London Games was retested using modern methods.

Torokhtiy gets a two-year ban backdated to start from December 2018, when the International Weightlifting Federation first announced he was under suspicion and placed him on provisional suspension. Torokhtiy is the fifth weightlifting gold medalist from the London Games to test positive.

Iranian lifter Navab Nasirshelal is in line to inherit Torokhtiy’s gold in the men’s 105-kilogram category, but reallocating the medals still needs to be ratified by the IOC.

PUPUKEA, Hawaii (AP) — John John Florence of Oahu’s North Shore returned from knee surgery to take the final spot on the inaugural U.S. Olympic surfing team after 11-time world champion Kelly Slater lost in the semifinals of the World Surf League Pipe Masters at Banzai Pipeline on Thursday.

Although Florence, 27, missed the previous five contests while recovering from ACL surgery, he came into the final event with such a commanding lead that the 47-year-old Slater needed to win the Pipe Masters to earn an Olympic berth.

Florence lost in the quarterfinals to Gabriel Medina of Brazil to end the season ranked No. 7 in the world and 3,000 points ahead of Slater, of Cocoa Beach, Florida, who finished ranked No. 8. Slater lost in the semifinals to world No. 1 Italo Ferriera of Brazil.

Florence joins Kolohe Andino of San Clemente, California; Carissa Moore of Honolulu; and Caroline Marks of Melbourne, Florida, on Team USA for surfing’s Olympic debut in Tokyo next summer. Andino earned the first U.S. men’s spot earlier in the season.


More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports