22.09.2022
USA Basketball says no one will wear Brittney Griner’s no. 15 at the upcoming FIBA Women’s World Cup

USA Basketball said none of its players at the Women’s World Cup would wear the No. 15 when the tournament begins on Thursday, in honor of Brittney Griner, who was sentenced to nine years in prison in Russia on drug charges last month.

Griner, who wore the No. 15 in international competition, helped the United States collect two of their 10 gold medals in the quadrennial tournament, which takes place in Sydney this year running through October 1st.

‘USA Basketball continues to keep BG in our thoughts as we take the court in Sydney. In her honor, no U.S. player will wear BG´s No. 15 in this competition. #WeAreBG,’ the sport’s national governing body said on Twitter.

U.S. President Joe Biden met with the WNBA star’s wife, Cherelle Griner, last week and has called the judgment against Griner ‘unacceptable.’ The United States said in July it put forth a ‘substantial offer’ for the release of Griner and former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan.

Coach Cheryl Reeve admitted Wednesday the fate of ‘gentle soul’ Griner is weighing heavily on the USA team at the tournament.

Griner, a standout when they won gold at the Tokyo Olympics last year, would normally be with the squad as they attempt to claim a fourth straight title and 11th overall, starting Thursday against Belgium.

Reeve said Griner would be ‘top of mind’ throughout the 10-day tournament, and revealed players had been in touch with her to send messages of support.

‘The mindset is just trying to stay strong for her and doing what we can,’ Reeve said, describing Griner as ‘a gentle soul, just full of love’.

She added that players had been able to communicate with their teammate via email, sending ‘messages of love and support and strength’.

‘It’s on their minds every day. It’s heavy, it is really, really heavy especially as we participate in this USA basketball competition,’ she added.

‘She’s such a big part of many of our lives, so it’s challenging.’

Since being selected first overall out of Baylor University in the 2013 WNBA draft, Griner won the 2014 WNBA finals, has been named a WNBA all-star eight times, has been the league’s scoring leader twice, and has been named to multiple lists highlighting the best in women’s basketball.

In addition, she’s won four Gold medals with Team USA – including two at the Olympics and two at the World Cup.

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  • 1 час, 47 минут назад 25.09.2022Sport
    Geelong Cats celebrate their 2022 AFL Grand Final triumph over the Sydney Swans in wild scenes

    Geelong star Jeremy Cameron has led the partying following the club’s 81-point grand final thrashing of Sydney with his winner’s medal last seen hanging around the neck of one of his cows.

    Such was the dominance of the Cats in their 81-point victory, commentators already remarked it was ‘party time’ during the third quarter – and it appears that carried on until at least 4.30am for some players.

    Cameron, who lives on a farm just outside of Geelong, shared his wild celebrations with his more than 57,000 Instagram followers.

    No doubt the boy from the rural town of Dartmouth in northeast Victoria is putting in his nomination for ‘Best on Ground’ in the off-field celebrations.

    After the side presented the Cup to fans outside the MCG and had an official club function, Cameron continued partying on his farm with some joyous mates.

    In a barn that has been converted into a bar, Cameron posted a video of him and four friends, including former Cats ruckman Dawson Simpson, raising glasses of beer.

    He filmed one of his friends pouring a beer out of a tap installed at the converted barn, saying: ‘Might be late tomorrow.’ The video was timestamped at 4.18am.

    It got even wilder from there.

    The next video on Cameron’s Instagram story hilariously showed him chasing after a small herd of calves and admitting ‘we’ve done something silly here’.

    The star full forward pointed to one of the calves, which was wearing his grand final winner’s medal around its neck.

    ‘Can I have my medal back?’ Cameron asked the cow, before suggesting it could keep wearing it for the night.

    ‘Let him have it for the night, get out there, enjoy it, it’s for all of us.’

    Cameron, who kicked two goals in the grand final, was up again at 7am, posting a shot of a glass of beer in front of a Geelong-emblazoned firepit.

    Earlier in the night, Cameron posted a few selfies enjoying the club’s celebrations on the team bus and the official function.

    He could also be seen drinking out of the Premiership cup, in a video posted to teammate Brad Close’s Instagram.

    Irishman Zach Tuohy, who was playing in his 250th game and was chaired off the field, was also in the thick of celebrations.

    He posted a video of AFL legend Eddie Betts, who is now an assistant coach at the Cats, wearing some stylish sunglasses, calling it ‘GOAT (greatest of all time) things.’

    Tuohy was also seen celebrating with fellow Irishman Mark O’Connor after the game, with the latter posting a shot of the two of them together captioned: Far from home, mon the town.’

    Despite the huge 81-point win, there was some heartbreak in the Geelong rooms.

    20-year-old winger Max Holmes was a last-minute omission from the side after suffering a hamstring injury in the preliminary final.

    He reportedly passed a fitness test, but could not be sure to last in the biggest match of the year – so Geelong opted to bring in O’Connor instead.

    Holmes was all-class and showed leadership beyond his years as he dealt with the heartbreak stoically; before taking to social media to thank the footy world and Cats fans for all their support.

    The Cats lingered on the hallowed MCG turf for a long time after the final siren, quite understandably wanting the moment to last as long as possible.

    They then moved away from the ‘G to Yarra Park, where a legion of fans were waiting for their beloved heroes.

    Taking to the stage, the players posed with the trophy in a group photo before Joel Selwood and Norm Smith medallist Isaac Smith took to the microphone to speak to their supporters.

    Cameron lauded the impact of the rabid Cats fans after the game, saying they were the reason he plays footy.

    ‘I’ve mentioned it all year but to have crowds back, but it’s one of the reasons I love playing football,’ he said.

    ‘I hated not having crowds. It sucked. To see everyone back in the G – Swans supporters as well … that’s massive and the family’s even better.’

    The team is set to present the Cup to their fans this morning down in Geelong, where the sore heads will momentarily subside as the entire ‘Steel City’ chants out their names.

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  • 1 час, 47 минут назад 25.09.2022Sport
    Seattle and Luis Castillo agree to a five-year $108million contract extension

    The Seattle Mariners have locked up another ace for their pitching staff, agreeing to a five-year contract with right-hander Luis Castillo on Saturday.

    Castillo was the big trade deadline acquisition for the Mariners when they acquired him from Cincinnati. The hope was Castillo would be the difference in Seattle’s push to end the longest playoff drought in baseball and that the Mariners could convince him to stick around longer.

    They’ve succeeded in locking up Castillo. And Seattle entered Saturday with a three-game lead over Baltimore for the final AL wild card.

    ‘Luis has been one of the top pitchers in MLB over the past six seasons,’ Mariners President of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto said.

    ‘He is a dynamic power pitcher in the prime of his career with a track record of consistency. Bringing him to Seattle represented a key moment in our ongoing efforts to build a championship roster. Similarly, this deal illustrates our continued commitment to both the present and future of this team.’

    Castillo’s contract is reportedly worth $108million and will begin with the 2023 season, his final season of arbitration eligibility. It runs through 2027 and includes a mutual option for 2028.

    The 29-year-old Castillo is 7-6 with a 2.85 ERA and 154 strikeouts in 23 starts between Seattle and Cincinnati. Since joining the Mariners, he is 3-2 with a 2.83 ERA and 64 strikeouts in nine starts.

    Castillo was named to the National League All-Star team in July for his second All-Star selection.

    Keeping Castillo creates a formidable rotation for Seattle into the future. Robbie Ray was Seattle’s big signing last offseason, and the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner is under contract through 2026. Young right-handers Logan Gilbert and George Kirby have shown flashes of dominance throughout this season. Gilbert is under club control through 2027 and Kirby through 2029.

    Castillo is the second major extension for the Mariners in the past month after locking up rookie slugger Julio Rodriguez last month.

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  • 1 час, 47 минут назад 25.09.2022Sport
    Presidents Cup: Tom Kim steals the show with big putts on penultimate day

    The Americans have a juggernaut in Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas that moved them closer to another victory in the Presidents Cup on Saturday.

    The International team has a spark plug in 20-year-old Tom Kim, who delivered the emotion and big putts that made it clear the Americans will have to work for it.

    The day started with the Americans having a mathematical chance to clinch the cup. It ended with them holding an 11-7 lead, with 12 singles matches left on Sunday.

    Spieth and Thomas became only the second US partnership to win all four team matches in the Presidents Cup, handily winning their foursomes match in the morning and their fourballs match in the afternoon.

    The Internationals split the morning matches, and the way this Presidents Cup has gone for them, not losing ground felt like a win.

    And then it got better.

    They rallied over the final hour in two matches to turn deficits into 1-up wins, taking the afternoon session by winning three of the four matches.

    The star was Kim, the youngest player at Quail Hollow and perhaps the biggest personality. He started the comeback with a 55-foot eagle putt on the par-4 11th hole against Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele.

    They were all square going to the last, Si Woo Kim already out of the hole, and Tom Kim facing a 10-foot birdie putt for the win. He took a few steps back as the ball neared the hole, dropped his putter and slammed his cap to the ground in a raucous celebration.

    ‘I wanted that putt more than anything in the world,’ Kim said.

    Moments later, Adam Scott and Cameron Davis rallied from 1 down with three holes remaining when Davis made a 12-foot eagle putt on the 16th and a 15-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole to go 1 up.

    On the final hole, Sam Burns hit his approach to 4 feet that gave him and Billy Horschel a chance to earn a halve. And then Davis made a 10-foot birdie for another point.

    Every point is big for the International team, already depleted from four players who left the PGA Tour for Saudi-funded LIV, and already dealing with eight straight cup losses.

    The Americans are still very much in control, needing only four wins and a halve from the 12 singles matches in the final session.

    Spieth and Thomas have led the way. The only other US tandem in a Presidents Cup to go 4-0 was Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker at Harding Park in 2009. The Internationals had Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace do the same in South Korea in 2015.

    Thomas and Spieth have been close friends for 15 years, dating to junior golf and international outings. This is the first time in a Presidents Cup that they have been paired together, and both are on their games. It a lethal combination.

    Even so, the end of the matches gave Spieth pause.

    ‘We’ve got to go get the job done tomorrow and win two more points for our team,’ Spieth said. ‘I’d love to get a singles win, and I know Justin would, too. We’re going to be close enough where our two would be obviously extremely important.’

    Kim won both his matches Saturday, teaming with K.H. Lee in morning foursomes to beat Burns and Masters champion Scottie Scheffler, 2 and 1.

    Scott is playing on his 10th team – eight losses and one tie – and was shut out until he and Hideki Matsuyama took down Collin Morikawa and Cameron Young in the morning, and Scott and Davis proved to be a great Australian duo in the afternoon.

    ‘Any victory against the US team has got to be really hard fought,’ Scott said. ‘So this feels good.’

    Max Homa is still having the week of his life. After his late heroics the night before, he partnered with Tony Finau in a 4-and-3 victory over Si Woo Kim and Davis. Homa sat out the afternoon session. He is 3-0 in his debut playing in a cup.

    Schauffele and Cantlay lost for the first time in three matches this week. They were 2 up after 10 holes and were 3 under the rest of the way, with Schauffele making a 40-foot birdie putt from short of the 15th green for a 1-up lead that looked like it would carry them to another point.

    Instead, Si Woo Kim made a 4-foot birdie putt to square the match on the 16th, and a 5-foot par putt to keep it tied on the 17th. Kim was so nervous he covered his eyes and was peaking through his fingers, pumping his fist when the putt dropped.

    And then the 20-year-old Korean had the stage to himself at the end, and he delivered a winner.

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  • 3 часа назад 25.09.2022Sport
    Mark Lawrenson takes aim at ‘woke’ BBC and blames axe on being a ’65-year-old white male’

    Former Match of the Day regular Mark Lawrenson claims he was axed by the “woke” BBC because he is a 65-year-old white male. Lawrenson left the corporation at the end of last season with little fanfare, despite a 30-year stint at the broadcaster.

    The Liverpool icon has opened up on the direction on which the BBC has travelled. He believes bosses are “frightened to death” of upsetting their audience, although insists he was never told he could not say something.

    Lawrenson bemoans the way his departure was handled. He was asked to attend a meeting in Manchester over a phone call, but sensed that he was being let go and asked for the news to be given there and then.

    “I am like, ‘Just tell me now what you are going to tell me’. I didn’t want to drive 50 miles to Manchester for somebody to tell me over a cup of coffee I am not working next year,” he told The Times.

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    Asked why he was let go, Lawrenson said: “Well, I’m 65 and a white male. So, you know…”

    The former Ireland defender says he spent a lot of time wondering if he could use certain phrases. Lawrenson believes the BBC is too scared of offending its audience.

    He added: “In all my time at the BBC, nobody ever said you can’t say this or that, but the woke thing drives me bonkers. Whereas normally you would say the first thing that comes into your head, you’re now thinking, ‘If I say that will I get into trouble?’

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    “It was a bit like playing with your legs tied together. The BBC is the national broadcaster and I get that, but they are frightened to death of upsetting anybody.”

    Lawrenson recalls one occasion in 1997 when he noticed a change in how the BBC were behaving. He was commentating on a Bradford City match soon after the death of Princess Diana, and alleges that he was told not to mention the word ‘wall’ at a free-kick following the crash involving the popular royal.

    “The editor of the programme came over on the cans and said, ‘Any free kicks around the penalty area tonight, please don’t mention the wall. I don’t remember who I was commentating with, but I asked him, ‘Is that for real?’ and he said, ‘Oh yeah, that’s for real,’” Lawrenson continued.

    “You are working with editors who are probably in their mid-20s. You can talk in between the bits that are on TV at the time and you can have a joke about something and they’ll say, ‘Don’t say that.’ And I am thinking, ‘I’ve been here for 20-odd years, I think I might know what to say and what not to say.’ ”

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  • 3 часа, 44 минуты назад 25.09.2022Sport
    Anthony Albanese has day to FORGET as Sydney Swans and South Sydney Rabbitohs lose

    It’s been a tough day for Sydney on a sporting level, and Anthony Albanese – a fan of the Swans and Rabbitohs – will certainly be reeling after a day to forget for the Prime Minister.

    The 59-year-old spent Saturday morning in Melbourne and was a guest at the AFL grand final breakfast where anticipation was building ahead of Sydney’s clash with Geelong at the MCG.

    Wearing a red and white scarf – the Swans’ club colours – Albanese joked that his deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles will be at fault if the Swans fell short.

    ‘You never forget your first Grand Final. Mine was way back in 1989 when I drove down to see one of the greatest Grand Finals that had ever been held between Hawthorn and Geelong,’ he said.

    ‘I was on the edge of my seat. Hopefully I’ll be in a better seat today than I was back then.

    ‘If Geelong win, I’m really worried that when I was away last week in London, Richard Marles was the acting Prime Minister, so I’m worried that he’s also sworn himself in as the minister for the Cats.’

    Albanese then jetted from the MCG to Accor Stadium to watch his beloved South Sydney Rabbitohs take on reigning NRL premiers Penrith Panthers in this season’s preliminary final.

    This time watching on with a red and green scarf, the Prime Minister looked despondent as his side capitulated and threw away a 12-point lead to suffer a 32-12 defeat and crash out of the finals.

    Before his rise to the highest office in the country, Albanese was a regular Souths fan and took the streets alongside thousands of fans over 20 years ago to protest their expulsion from the newly formed NRL competition.

    He also famously stood in federal parliament in 1999 and tabled a range of motions including calling upon the NRL to include South Sydney in the 2000 competition.

    ‘Like the working-class people who support them, South Sydney have always paid their way,’ he said.

    ‘Unlike teams such as Melbourne and Cronulla who would be insolvent were it not for News Limited.

    ‘And people from this proud tradition know how to fight, in parliament, in the streets and in the court.’

    History shows that South Sydney won that fight. Albanese still wears his weathered scarf and battered, vintage Rabbitohs jersey on regular occasions.

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  • 3 часа, 44 минуты назад 25.09.2022Sport
    Italy legend Alessandro Del Piero bizarrely thinks Shaun Wright-Phillips is playing for England

    Former Italy striker Alessandro Del Piero appeared to mistakenly think Shaun Wright-Phillips was playing for England during the defeat to Italy.

    England were in action against the Italians at the San Siro in their fifth Nations League match, however, it ended with relegation after Giacomo Raspadori’s 68th-minute strike.

    The Three Lions struggled to get going for much of the match, but Del Piero did think they showed some good moments when pressing high up the pitch, although he did think one of England’s best players was former Manchester City and Chelsea winger Shaun Wright-Phillips – who retired from the game in 2019.

    After the game, Del Piero said on Channel 4: ‘All the time that the England side pressed high very well, they had a couple of close attacks, especially when Wright-Phillips moved the ball.’

    Football fans watching the coverage picked up on the gaff, with one saying ‘Did Del Piero just say something about Wright-Phillips??’

    Another said: ‘Yes he did, I had to rewind it! Obviously watching a game from 2006.’

    Wright-Phillips has not played for England since the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, when he made two substitution appearances against the United States and Algeria.

    The 40-year-old earned 36 caps for England, scoring six goals with his most memorable coming after an impressive solo run against the Ukraine in 2004.

    He enjoyed a fruitful career at club level, winning the Premier League with Chelsea and two FA Cups, one with the Blues and one with Manchester City.

    Wright-Phillips left Manchester City in 2011 after he sealed a move to QPR and then later moved to the MLS for spells with New York Red Bull and Phoenix Rising before hanging up his boots.

    England will be back in action on Monday as they take on Germany in the Nations League. The match will be the side’s last until they kick off their World Cup campaign against Iran on November 21.

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Sport USA Basketball says no one will wear Brittney Griner's no. 15 at the upcoming FIBA Women's World Cup