Update on the latest in sports:
HORSE tournament to be streamed on ESPN’s app
UNDATED (AP) – Fans longing for basketball will have something to watch this weekend. The NBA, the National Basketball Players Association and ESPN will stream a HORSE tournament on ESPN’s app.
The NBA HORSE Challenge will have eight participants. The quarterfinals are to be shown Sunday and the semifinals and final on April 16th
The quarterfinal matchups are Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks against former NBA player Chauncey Billups; WNBA great Tamika Catchings against Mike Conley Jr. of the Utah Jazz; Zach LaVine of the Chicago Bulls against NBA retiree Paul Pierce; and Chris Paul of the Oklahoma City Thunder against Allie Quigley of the WNBA’s Chicago Sky. Players must call their shots before the attempt and dunking is not allowed. The event will be pre-recorded.
In other developments related to the coronavirus:
– The NFL is turning the league’s 2020 draft into a three-day fundraiser to help six charities dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. The “Draft-A-Thon” will be featured during the draft April 23-25 to raise money for non-profits selected by the NFL Foundation. Among the charities are the American Red Cross, CDC Foundation’s All of Us, Meals on Wheels COVID-19 Response Fund, the Salvation Army, and United Way’s COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund. Commissioner Roger Goodell says the Draft-A-Thon will deliver much-needed funding to many who are suffering as well as those on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
– Texas A&M Chancellor John Sharp says that officials believe a 13-game college football schedule would be possible even if the start of the season were delayed until October because of the new coronavirus. Sharp added Wednesday that there are many unknowns about football season because of the pandemic that has killed thousands and shut down sports across the globe.
– The Los Angeles Clippers are getting together for workouts while the NBA season is suspended – via video conference calls. Up to 10 players at a time tune in to do workouts led by the team’s performance staff since the league shut down practice facilities because of the coronavirus pandemic. They’ve also been using workout equipment tailored for each player and provided by the team. Coach Doc Rivers says that’s led to trash talking while watching each other work out.
– Many professional athletes are doing their bit to boost public health during the coronavirus pandemic. There has been an explosion of athletes offering free online fitness classes and tips to an audience isolated at home. It helps others keep fit and it’s a way for sports like track and field to stay relevant in a year without the Olympics. The governing body of track and field has been left with an empty schedule as meets around the world have been canceled. It is filling the gap with a range of online exercise tips and educational resources.
– Southampton has become the first Premier League soccer club to announce an agreement with players to defer part of their salaries during the coronavirus pandemic. The English team’s players and coaches won’t be paid their full salaries during April, May or June. Southampton also says it will not be placing non-playing staff on the British government’s job retention scheme. That allows businesses to put workers on furlough and receive 80% of their salaries from the government up to a maximum of $3,000 a month.
– Australia’s rugby league championship plans to restart on May 28. The NRL has been suspended since March 23. The governing ARL Commission also says it intends to play a full three-game State of Origin series. Commissioner Wayne Pearce says they wanted to set a date and then work on finalizing a competition. Pearce says “a date is to give certainty to players and their schedules, clubs and thousands of people who are out of work through clubs and millions of fans.”
– The International Cycling Union says it can get through its greatest crisis since World War II with limited damage “as long as the situation does not last longer than current predictions.” The UCI has received more than 650 requests for postponements or cancellations from organizers because of the coronavirus pandemic. That represents 30% of its international calendar. The UCI says it is reimbursing all registration fees of canceled events to help organizers. The UCI will take a considerable financial hit from paying those fees and it also expects its Olympic revenue payment from the delayed Tokyo Games to be postponed and likely reduced.