VALPARAISO'S CENDER SIGNS WITH HESSTON: Valparaiso grad Eric Cender has signed a letter of intent to continue to play tennis at Hesston, a Division I National Junior College Athletic Association school in Kansas.
Cender compiled a 21-5 singles record in his final prep season, helping the Vikings win a sectional championship.
KICKOFF SHOW SATURDAY: Regional Radio Sports, in conjunction with Hallmark Sportsclub II in Merrillville and Calumet College, will host the 19th annual Northwest Indiana boys and girls soccer preseason kickoff show from 1 to 9 p.m. Saturday.
There will be 43 soccer programs and head coaches at the event. Eighty-six boys and girls soccer players will participate in interviews previewing the soccer season. The show will be aired on rrsn.com.
DOUBLEHEADER WEEKEND AT ILLIANA: Illiana Motor Speedway will present USAC national tour Midgets, Roadsters, Legends and Classic Modifieds in a Friday night program. Grandstand gates will open at 5:30 p.m. with the first race at 7. Admission is $15 for adults, $5 for children aged 5 to 12.
On Saturday, there will be a program of stock car racing as five divisions showcase their talents. Saturday is also the 11th annual canine/feline food drive. There will be information on adopting, neutering and spaying pets. Gates will open at 4 p.m. Admission is $12 for adults, $5 for children aged 8 to 12. There is free parking.
For details, call (219) 322-5311, or go to www.illianaspeedway.com.
STEWART HAS SURGERY FOLLOWING IOWA CRASH: Tony Stewart's championship chances are officially over for this season.
The three-time NASCAR champion broke his right leg Monday night at Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa, where he flipped his 360 winged sprint car while leading with five laps remaining in the 30-lap feature. He had surgery Tuesday on the upper and lower parts of his leg, and Stewart-Haas Racing said he'll need a second surgery.
He remained hospitalized and there was no timetable for his return to racing. Max Papis was tabbed to replace Stewart this weekend in the No. 14 Chevrolet at Watkins Glen, where Stewart is a five-time winner and his streak of 521 consecutive starts will end.
BULLS TO OPEN AGAINST HEAT: The Miami Heat will open their title defense against the Bulls on Oct. 29 in the expected return of Derrick Rose, with an all-Los Angeles matchup later that night in the Lakers' first game without Dwight Howard and the Clippers' first with Doc Rivers.
The NBA's 2013-14 schedule, released Tuesday, also features a potential LeBron James-Kobe Bryant duel on Christmas in Los Angeles, right after scoring stars Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant match up across the country in New York. Also on Christmas, the Bulls will be at Brooklyn, Houston at San Antonio and the Clippers at Golden State.
The Pacers host the Orlando Magic, featuring No. 2 overall pick and former Indiana University star Victor Oladipo, in the opening game of the season, about the time the Heat are holding another championship ring ceremony. Then Miami will try to give Rose a rough welcome back in what's likely to be his first NBA game since tearing his knee in the opening game of the 2012 playoffs.
The Pacers will appear on national television 17 times this season. Indiana has eight games on ESPN, two on TNT and seven on NBA TV.
The reigning Central Division champs will face two-time defending champion Miami at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Dec. 10 and March 26. The Bulls come to town Nov. 6 and March 21. Western Conference champion San Antonio visits Indy on March 31, and Oklahoma City comes to town April 13.
CATCHINGS, ZELLOUS LEAD FEVER PAST SKY: Tamika Catchings scored 18 points and Shavonte Zellous added 14 as the Fever beat the Sky 64-58 on Tuesday night.
Karima Christmas added 10 points as the Fever (10-10) beat the Sky for the second time in four days.
Sylvia Fowles had 14 points and a game-high 17 rebounds to lead Chicago (13-7), which lost for the third time in four games. Rookie Elena Delle Donne scored 12 points in her first game back since suffering a concussion last month.
Around the horn
Kishwaukee College first baseman Anthony Colosimo has committed to Purdue Calumet, making him the 27th player agreeing to join the Peregrines for their inaugural baseball season.