TSIRTSIS EARNS U.S. JUNIOR WORLD TEAM SPOT: Crown Point four-time Indiana state champion Jason Tsirtsis secured a U.S. Junior World Team spot for the 2013 FILA Junior World Championships when he swept 2012 Cadet World Champion Zain Retherford in a best-of-three series for the 66kg./145.5-pound championship at the 2013 U.S. Junior World Team Trials on Sunday in Stillwater, Okla.
Tsirtsis won the first match 8-3 before recording an 8-0 first-period technical fall in the second match.
The Northwestern redshirt freshman will represent the United States at the world championships Aug. 13-19 in Sofia, Bulgaria.
DELLE DONNE SCORES 26 AS SKY TOPS LIBERTY: Elena Delle Donne scored a career-high 26 points and Sylvia Fowles added her fifth double-double of the season as the Sky rallied from an early deficit on the way to a 87-74 WNBA victory Wednesday.
Fowles had 19 points and 14 rebounds for Chicago (6-3), Epiphanny Prince had 14 points and Shay Murphy added 13.
BIRD RETURNING TO PACERS' FRONT OFFICE: Larry Bird will be re-introduced to the media this morning as the Pacers' president of basketball operations.
It's hardly a surprise. Bird has been attending draft workouts regularly with the Pacers top executives this month and had been said to have shown interest in a front office job with Sacramento, too.
Bird constructed the team that pushed Miami to seven games in the Eastern Conference finals this month, but left the franchise last summer. He says he has now had time to reflect, rest and take care of some health issues.
Donnie Walsh, who succeeded Bird in that role, will become a consultant to the team.
OILMEN TO HOST U.S. MILITARY ALL-STARS: The Northwest Indiana Oilmen will host the U.S. Military All-Stars at 7:10 p.m. Monday.
Veterans and active duty military members can buy tickets for $2. Prior to the game, a free baseball clinic for children aged 5 and older will be held at 4:15 p.m.
Last season, the All-Stars defeated the Oilmen 9-8.
PUC SOFTBALL ADDS NINTH RECRUIT: Purdue Calumet softball coach Heather Tarter added the ninth member of her inaugural recruiting class with the commitment of Emily Cole, a Lincoln-Way North grad.
Cole is a 5-foot-4 slap hitter who will add a left-handed bat to the lineup.
VU LEADS HORIZON IN ACADEMICS: Valparaiso had 106 student-athletes honored as members of the Horizon League Fall Academic Honor Roll and 104 student-athletes named to the league's Spring Academic Honor Roll. Both numbers led all nine Horizon League schools.
WESTVILLE HAS SEVERAL COACHING OPENINGS: Westville Schools has the following coaching positions open for the coming school year: junior varsity girls volleyball, varsity softball, JV softball, varsity cheerleading, middle school cheerleading and middle school poms. Those interested in a position must fill out an employment application at www.westville.k12.in.us. For details, contact Athletic Director Ken Shilt at firstname.lastname@example.org
NJ ASKS APPEALS COURT TO MAKE SPORTS BETTING LEGAL: New Jersey officials cannot put a stop to sports gambling, but they hope to "shine a light" on it by legalizing such betting at casinos and racetracks, a lawyer said in a high-stakes hearing Wednesday before a federal appeals court.
Gov. Chris Christie wants to tap into the multibillion-dollar sports betting industry but must first get around a 1992 federal law that limits sports betting to Nevada and three other states.
The U.S. Justice Department, the NCAA and the four major pro sports leagues oppose the move. And a federal judge this year sided with the challengers, blocking the sports betting law that New Jersey had passed.
The state appealed that judge's ruling, leading to a battle of legal heavyweights Wednesday in the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia.
Around the horn
The Detroit Lions say they've signed ex-Bears agent defensive end Israel Idonije to a one-year contract. ... The NCAA stripped Oregon of a football scholarship in each of the next three seasons and placed the program on probation for three years, opting against stiffer penalties like a bowl ban despite issuing a show-cause order against former coach Chip Kelly, who apologized to the school, its fans and it players.