SPORTS DIGEST: VU event Wednesday at Hammond Civic Center:

SPORTS DIGEST: VU event Wednesday at Hammond Civic Center:


College basketball

VU event Wednesday at Hammond Civic Center: "Crusader Hoops in Hammond" will take place from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Hammond Civic Center. The free event features the Valparaiso men's and women's basketball teams. The event is a partnership between VU, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana and the City of Hammond. Children will have a chance to learn skills from both Crusaders teams.

Pro basketball

Popovich lauds Silver's response to China over tweet rift: Merrillville grad Gregg Popovich, the NBA's longest-tenured coach, lauded NBA Commissioner Adam Silver on Tuesday for his stance supporting freedom of speech amid the ongoing rift with China. Popovich, speaking before his San Antonio Spurs faced the Miami Heat in a preseason game, said he recognized that Silver is in a difficult situation following the Chinese dismay over a tweet posted last week by Houston general manager Daryl Morey that showed support for anti-government protesters in Hong Kong. But he is thrilled with how Silver — who issued a statement earlier in the day from Tokyo and then held a news conference there to further affirm how the NBA believes in freedom of speech as a core value — is holding firm to Morey's right to expression. "And it wasn't easy for him to say," Popovich said. "He said that in an environment fraught with possible economic peril. But he sided with the principles that we all hold dearly, or most of us did until the last three years. So I'm thrilled with what he said."

Pro soccer

Fire make move back to Soldier Field official: The Chicago Fire are returning to Soldier Field. The Major League Soccer team made the expected move from SeatGeek Stadium in suburban Bridgeview official Tuesday at a news conference that included Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot. The Fire's first game back at Soldier Field — their home from 1998-2001 and 2003-05 before moving to Bridgeview — is scheduled for March 21 against Atlanta United. Owner Joe Mansueto, who purchased full control of the team last month, said the club needs to be located "centrally where all of Chicago can enjoy it." He calls Soldier Field the "perfect location." The announcement came on the 148th anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire.


Biles breaks women's medal record in U.S. victory worlds: Simone Biles won a record 21st medal at the world gymnastics championships Tuesday as the United States retained its women's team all-around title. It was Biles' 15th career gold and broke a tie with Russian gymnast Svetlana Khorkina for the most medals overall by a woman at the world championships. She's now two short of Vitaly Scherbo's all-time record of 23 among men or women. The U.S. team scored 172.330 points to beat second-place Russia by 5.801 points and win its seventh consecutive team title at an Olympics or world championships. The reward for winning was a battery-powered medal that lights up when it senses movement. Biles called it "the sickest medal we've ever had."


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