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Former NBA star Darryl Dawkins was the first player drafted out of high school into the NBA -- as the fifth overall selection by the Philadelphia 76ersDarryl Dawkins, the former NBA star whose powerful dunks earned him the nickname "Chocolate Thunder", has died of a heart attack at the age of 58, his family said. "It is with great sadness that we share the passing of our beloved husband and father, Darryl Dawkins, who succumbed today to a heart attack," his family said in a statement issued through the NBA.


NBA: Playoffs-Chicago Bulls at Cleveland Cavaliers(Reuters) - Derrick Rose, the 2011 National Basketball Association Most Valuable Player, is being sued by a former girlfriend who alleges he and two friends drugged and gang-raped her in 2013. Rose's accuser, identified only as Jane Doe, said she and the three-time All-Star Chicago Bulls guard dated from 2011 to 2013. In August 2013, she said, Rose and two friends invited her to Rose's home in Beverly Hills, California, where they slipped a drug into her drink with the aim of raping her.


Brittany Lang tees off on the 6th hole during the first round of the LPGA Classic on August 27, 2015 in PrattvilleBrittany Lang, newly selected for the US Solheim Cup team, validated captain Juli Inkster's confidence by grabbing the first-round lead in the LPGA Classic. Lang got off to a sizzling start on the par-72 Senator course with five birdies in the first seven holes. "It was just one of those days," said Lang, who birdied 16 and 17 to hold a two-stroke lead over Tiffany Joh, Sydnee Michaels and Ryann O'Toole after 18 holes.


(Reuters) - Three days after earning a captain's pick for the Solheim Cup, Brittany Lang proved the value of her selection by seizing a two-shot lead in Thursday's opening round of the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic in Prattville, Alabama. The 30-year-old, chosen as a wildcard along with Paula Creamer by U.S. Solheim Cup captain Juli Inkster, fired a superb seven-under-par 65 in ideal scoring conditions on the Senator Course at Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. Lang, who tied for second at the 2009 Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic, birdied five of her first seven holes before ending the day two ahead of fellow Americans Ryann O'Toole, Tiffany Joh and Sydnee Michaels.

MLB: Chicago Cubs at San Francisco Giants(The Sports Xchange) - Madison Bumgarner struck out 12 batters in just six innings on Thursday, pitching the Giants to a 9-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs and earning his 16th win of the season. Marlon Byrd hit a three-run homer in the third innings while second baseman Kelby Tomlinson hit his first major-league homer, an eighth-inning grand slam, for the Giants to give Bumgarner all the support he needed. San Francisco (68-59) remain 2-1/2 games behind the NL West leading Los Angeles Dodgers.


MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Texas Rangers(The Sports Xchange) - Yovani Gallardo collected his 100th career victory while Texas capitalized on an error by Toronto right fielder Jose Bautista to score three times in the seventh inning in a 4-1 victory over the Blue Jays on Thursday. The Rangers (65-61) drew level with the Minnesota Twins for the second wild-card spot in the American League behind the New York Yankees, who are 1-1/2 games behind the Blue Jays (71-56) in the AL East.


Bubba Watson of the United States hits his tee shot on the 12th hole during the first round of The Barclays at Plainfield Country Club on August 27, 2015 in Edison, New JerseyBubba Watson fired seven birdies in a five-under par 65 on Thursday, outshining playing partners Jordan Spieth and Jason Day to seize a share of the first-round lead at The Barclays. Two-time Masters champion Watson was atop the leaderboard alongside Colombia's Camilo Villegas and fellow Americans Spencer Levin and Tony Finau in the first of four events in the US PGA Tour's season-ending FedEx Cup playoffs. On a tightly bunched board, the leaders held a one-stroke lead over New Zealand's Danny Lee, England's Paul Casey, Scotland's Russell Knox and Americans Jason Dufner, Cameron Tringale and Bryce Molder.


PGA: The Barclays - First RoundBubba Watson charged into a tie for the first-round lead at The Barclays on Thursday while newly crowned world number one Jordan Spieth struggled to his worst score of the year in relation to par. Twice Masters champion Watson used a red-hot outward nine as a springboard en route to a sizzling five-under-par 65 at Plainfield Country Club, setting the pace with fellow Americans Spencer Levin and Tony Finau, and Colombia's Camilo Villegas. New Zealander Danny Lee, Americans Jason Dufner, Cameron Tringale and Bryce Molder, and Britons Paul Casey and Russell Knox opened with 66s in the first of the PGA Tour's four lucrative FedExCup playoff events.


Ahmad Brooks, a starter for the San Francisco 49ers the past four seasons, has 195 tackles and 39 sacks in six seasons overall with the teamThe San Francisco 49ers sent home linebacker Ahmad Brooks on Thursday, a day after he was charged with misdemeanor sexual battery in an incident in which a former teammate was charged with rape. San Francisco general manager Trent Baalke said that Brooks, who could face up to six months behind bars if guilty, "is still a member of this team," but wouldn't speculate on his long-term future with the NFL club. Prosecutors say Brooks, 31, and Ray McDonald assaulted the same woman at a pool party at McDonald's house last December 15.


Former New Jersey Nets Darryll Dawkins and Otis Birdsong joke around as New Jersey Nets honor former players in ceremonies celebrating 35 years in New Jersey in NBA basketball game in Newark(Reuters) - Former National Basketball Association star Darryl Dawkins, known as "Chocolate Thunder" for his powerful dunks and flamboyant play, died at 58 on Thursday. A spokesperson for Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest confirmed that Dawkins died there, but did not provide a cause of death, according to the website NJ.com. Known for shattering two glass backboards in 1979 with explosive dunks, Dawkins, who got his nickname from musical great Stevie Wonder, averaged 12 points, 6.1 assists and 1.4 blocks per game throughout his 14-season NBA career.


PGA: Wyndham Championship - Final RoundThis is a tantalizing question on the lips of many, including the former world number one himself as he puts his golf clubs away for a while after enduring a dismal PGA Tour campaign. Now ranked a mind-blowing 257th after mainly struggling over the past two years, Woods missed four cuts -- three of them in the majors -- while recording just one top-10 in 11 starts on his 2014-15 schedule. In a late but failed attempt to qualify for the PGA Tour's FedExCup playoffs, Woods decided to tee it up for the first time at the Wyndham Championship where he stayed in contention until he fell off the pace in the final round.


Basket - Bulls star Rose denies gang-rape claimChicago Bulls star Derrick Rose strenuously denied Thursday "meritless" claims that he raped an ex-girlfriend, saying the accusation was just an attempt to make money. In a lawsuit filed on Wednesday the unnamed woman said she was gang-raped by Rose and two others after the group attended a party at a Beverly Hills home in August 2013. "This is nothing more than a desperate attempt to shake down a highly respected and successful athlete," said a statement issued on Rose's behalf by lawyer Lisa Cohen.


This is a tantalising question on the lips of many, including the former world number one himself as he puts his golf clubs away for a while after enduring a dismal PGA Tour campaign. Now ranked a mind-blowing 257th after mainly struggling over the past two years, Woods missed four cuts -- three of them in the majors -- while recording just one top-10 in 11 starts on his 2014-15 schedule. In a late but failed attempt to qualify for the PGA Tour's FedExCup playoffs, Woods decided to tee it up for the first time at the Wyndham Championship where he stayed in contention until he fell off the pace in the final round.

Spain's Eduardo De La Riva tees off at the 2013 British Open Golf Championship at Muirfield golf course at Gullane in Scotland on July 20, 2013Spain's Eduardo de la Riva hit a sensational 18th hole eagle to earn a share of the lead after the first round of the Czech Masters on Thursday. At the 18th, de la Riva holed his long-range approach at the last to finish the opening day on seven under par 65. "It is very good to finish with a two on a par four, especially on this 18th hole which is very difficult," said the Spaniard.


Bubba Watson charged into a tie for the early first-round lead at The Barclays on Thursday while newly crowned world number one Jordan Spieth struggled to his worst score of the year in relation to par. Twice Masters champion Watson used a red-hot outward nine as a springboard en route to a sizzling five-under-par 65 at Plainfield Country Club, setting the tournament pace with fellow American Spencer Levin and Colombia's Camilo Villegas. New Zealand's Danny Lee and American Jason Dufner opened with 66s in the first of the PGA Tour's four lucrative FedExCup playoff events.
Aug 27 (Infostrada Sports) - Scores from the European Tour Czech Masters at the par-72 course on Thursday in Prague -7 Renato Paratore (Italy) 65 Eduardo De La Riva (Spain) 65 -6 Thomas Pieters (Belgium) 66 Sam Hutsby (Britain) 66 Matthew Fitzpatrick (Britain) 66 Pelle Edberg (Sweden) 66 -5 Pedro Oriol (Spain) 67 Jordi Garcia Pinto (Spain) 67 Roope Kakko (Finland) 67 Michael Hoey (Britain) 67 Kristoffer Broberg (Sweden) 67 Scott Jamieson (Britain) 67 Thorbjorn Olesen (Denmark) 67 Mark Foster (Britain) 67 -4 Craig Lee (Britain) 68 Daniel Im (U.S. ...

Jordan Clarkson of the Los Angeles Lakers drives around Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California on January 27, 2015Rising NBA star Jordan Clarkson said Thursday he is eager to play for the Philippines' national basketball team despite citizenship concerns from the International Basketball Federation (FIBA). "I want to assure my Filipino brothers and sisters that, if given the chance and everything can be worked out, I sincerely wish to play for Gilas and contribute to the total team effort for flag and country," Clarkson said in a statement released by the Basketball Association of the Philippines (SBP). Clarkson, whose mother hails from the Philippines, is visiting the basketball-crazy Southeast Asian nation and has joined the national team, Gilas Pilipinas, for practice.


PGA: PGA Championship - First Round(Reuters) - Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez will have his task cut out when he tees off seeking his fifth Hong Kong Open title in October with top players from Europe and America confirming their participation in the $2 million event. The 51-year-old Spaniard will be joined by major winners Justin Rose and Graeme McDowell while big-hitting American Dustin Johnson and Patrick Reed will also be in action at the Oct. 22-25 event, co-sanctioned by the European and Asian tours. "What can I say about Hong Kong I haven't said before?" Jimenez said in a statement from the organizers.


The European and Asian tours declared last week that they intend to combine their playing memberships and business dealings into a mega-tour that will stretch from the Atlantic coast of Ireland to the shores of the Pacific in the Far EastThe merger of two of the world's major golf tours will see the largest shake-up of the professional game since the European Tour was created more than 40 years ago, Asian Tour CEO Mike Kerr told AFP. "I can't think of anything bigger," Kerr said in a phone interview, when asked whether it was golf's most important development since the European Tour's creation in 1972.


MLB: New York Mets at Philadelphia Phillies(The Sports Xchange) - Right-hander Bartolo Colon threw seven shutout innings as the New York Mets beat the Philadelphia Phillies 9-4 at Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday for their sixth consecutive victory. The Mets (70-56), in first place of the National League East, are 17-6 in August and 23-5 in their past 28 games against Philadelphia, including 11-1 this season. The last-place Phillies (50-77) lost their third straight.


MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Detroit Tigers(The Sports Xchange) - Justin Verlander lost his bid for a third career no-hitter on a leadoff double in the ninth inning and had to settle for a one-hitter as the Detroit Tigers beat the Los Angeles Angels 5-0 at Comerica Park on Wednesday. Angels catcher Chris Iannetta lined a 2-2 pitch onto the chalk of the left field line as Verlander came up just shy of becoming the sixth pitcher in major league history to record at least three no-hitters.


NFL: Chicago Bears at San Francisco 49ersThe felony indictment against McDonald, marking the latest sex abuse scandal to embroil the National Football League, stems from a December 2014 incident at his home, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office. McDonald was arrested on Wednesday and released after posting $100,000 bail.


Pitcher Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers delivers against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim during the first inning at Comerica Park on August 26, 2015 in Detroit, MichiganDetroit hurler Justin Verlander lost his bid for a third career no-hitter when he gave up a lead-off double in the ninth inning, the only run he surrendered in the Tigers' 5-0 win over the Los Angeles Angels. Angels catcher Chris Iannetta belted a 2-2 pitch up the left field line to end Verlander's bid to become just the sixth pitcher in Major League Baseball history to record three or more no-hitters. Verlander walked two and struck out nine as he faced just one batter over the minimum.


PGA: PGA Championship - First RoundBy Larry Fine EDISON, New Jersey (Reuters) - It is Hunter Mahan's time of the year, as the American has kept his date with the season-ending FedExCup playoffs every year since its inception eight years ago. Mahan enters The Barclays, which opens the lucrative four-event series at Plainfield Country Club on Thursday, as the only player to have qualified and played in all 32 tournaments ever staged in the series. "I'm proud of that fact," Mahan, 33, said on the eve of defending The Barclays title he won last year at Ridgewood Country Club.


By Larry Fine EDISON, New Jersey, Aug 26 (Reuters) - It is Hunter Mahan's time of the year, as the American has kept his date with the season-ending FedExCup playoffs every year since its inception eight years ago. Mahan enters The Barclays, which opens the lucrative four-event series at Plainfield Country Club on Thursday, as the only player to have qualified and played in all 32 tournaments ever staged in the series. "I'm proud of that fact," Mahan, 33, said on the eve of defending The Barclays title he won last year at Ridgewood Country Club.

Michael Vick, who recently inked a one year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers, served nearly two years in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy charges for his role in a dogfighting ringA small group of animal protesters gathered outside the Pittsburgh Steelers' practice facility on Wednesday to express dismay at the NFL team's decision to sign quarterback Michael Vick. Vick said after practice that he's used to such protests and can only try to continue to make amends through his work with the Humane Society. "I can't take it back," Vick said.


WNBA: Phoenix Mercury-White House VisitPresident Barack Obama welcomed the Phoenix Mercury to the White House on Wednesday but chided last season's WNBA champions for beating his hometown team in the finals. The Mercury, led by five-time Women's National Basketball Association scoring champion Diana Taurasi, won a record 29 regular season games en route to their third championship. "I would be happy to be here, except that the Mercury getting here involved beating the Chicago Sky in the finals," Obama, a Chicago native, joked at the East Room ceremony.


Australia's Jason Day watches his shot during his second round of the 2015 British Open Golf Championship on The Old Course at St Andrews in Scotland, on July 17, 2015PGA Champion Jason Day pulled out of Wednesday's pro-am at the Barclays with a bad back, hoping the rest would have him fit to tee off Thursday in the first event of the USPGA Tour playoffs. Day's physiotherapist and trainer Cornel Driessen told PGATour.com that the Australian "tweaked" his back moving an item under his motor coach on Tuesday night. Day captured his first major title at Whistling Straits on August 16, beating Jordan Spieth by three strokes to lift the PGA Championship trophy.


PGA: PGA Championship - Final Round(Reuters) - Dustin Johnson withdrew from The Barclays pro-am midway through his round at Plainfield Country Club in New Jersey on Wednesday due to illness, the PGA Tour said at the opening event of the FedExCup playoffs. Needless to say, he is doing everything possible to be ready for the important weeks ahead." Johnson was the second notable player to withdraw from the pro-am, following PGA Championship winner Jason Day, who pulled out after feeling some back discomfort late on Tuesday. The long-hitting Johnson, who won The Barclays when it was played at Plainfield in 2011, was replaced in the pro-am by Canadian David Hearn.


Aug. 26 (Reuters) - Reuters U.S. sports schedule at 2 PM ET on Wednesday: - - - - The duty editor is Steve Ginsburg, 202-898-8427 - - - - NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE Changes could make new stars in Steelers' defense PITTSBURGH - The Pittsburgh Steelers move on from many vital parts of their 3-4 defense, including coordinator Dick LeBeau and safety Troy Polamalu, looking for new blood to bring better results in 2015. (FBN-STEELERS-NEWS/, moved, The Sports Xchange, by John Perrotto, 630 words) - - Grossman joins Falcons on one-year deal Rex Grossman signs a one-year deal with the Atlanta Falcons. ...
(Reuters) - Spaniard Jon Rahm-Rodriguez, a first-team All-American at Arizona State University, has won the Mark H. McCormack Medal as the leading men's amateur player based on the 2015 World Amateur Golf Ranking. As long as Rahm-Rodriguez maintains his amateur status, he will receive exemptions into next year's U.S. Open and British Open for winning the award, which is jointly organized by the R&A and United States Golf Association. "I also feel great pride in being the first Spanish golfer to receive this distinction." Rahm-Rodriguez won four individual junior tournaments during 2014-15 and posted the third-best single-season stroke average ever (69.15) in the NCAA to establish himself as the top college amateur in the United States.
Spaniard Jon Rahm-Rodriguez, a first-team All-American at Arizona State University, has won the Mark H. McCormack Medal as the leading men's amateur player based on the 2015 World Amateur Golf Ranking. As long as Rahm-Rodriguez maintains his amateur status, he will receive exemptions into next year's U.S. Open and British Open for winning the award, which is jointly organised by the R&A and United States Golf Association. "I also feel great pride in being the first Spanish golfer to receive this distinction." Rahm-Rodriguez won four individual junior tournaments during 2014-15 and posted the third-best single-season stroke average ever (69.15) in the NCAA to establish himself as the top college amateur in the United States.
By Marice Richter DALLAS (Reuters) - (This 25 August 2015 story was refiled to correct the spelling of Pittsburgh to Pittsburg in the last paragraph) A group of disgruntled fans who sued the National Football League over a seating fiasco at the 2011 Super Bowl has appealed a $76,000 jury award in the hope of potentially receiving more money, the fans’ attorney said on Tuesday. A federal jury in March ruled in favor of seven fans who claimed that the NFL breached its ticket contract with them by not having all temporary seats ready in time for the Super Bowl XLV game at the Dallas Cowboys' stadium on Feb. 6, 2011. In the appeal filed last week, fans argued that claims of fraud against the NFL and allegations of deceptive trade practices should not have been dismissed by the district court.

PGA: PGA Championship - Final RoundPGA Championship winner Jason Day of Australia withdrew from Wednesday's Pro-Am at The Barclays tournament due to a back issue but should be able to tee off in Thursday's first round. The withdrawal was a precautionary move, the player's trainer said in a statement at the first event of the four-tournament, season-ending FedExCup playoffs that start on Thursday at Plainfield Country Club. "Jason tweaked his back moving an item under his motor coach last night," said Cornel Driessen, Day's physiotherapist and trainer.


Tiger Woods tees off during the final round of the Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield Country Club on August 23, 2015 in Greensboro, North CarolinaTiger Woods is well on the way back to becoming a force in the game again after a torrid 2015, his niece Cheyenne Woods told AFP on Wednesday. The LPGA rookie said it had been great to see her famous uncle return to form at the PGA Tour's Wyndham Championships last week and that "he's only going to get better from here". Tiger was the joint leader after going into the last round of the final event before the end-of-season PGA Tour playoffs, after stringing together rounds of 64, 65 and 68 -- his best scoring sequence for two years.


MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Texas Rangers(The Sports Xchange) - The streaking Toronto Blue Jays were given extra assistance from the Rangers after Texas helped them score two runs with two outs in the ninth inning for a come-from-behind 6-5 victory on Tuesday. The win also enabled the Blue Jays (70-55) to move 15 games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 1993 season. Texas closer Shawn Tolleson, 25-for-26 in save situations coming into the game, got into trouble with two walks in the ninth before Toronto shortstop Troy Tulowitzki tied the game at 5-5 by flipping a full-count single to left field with two outs.


MLB: Houston Astros at New York Yankees(The Sports Xchange) - Carlos Gomez had an eventful game when he homered, drove in four runs and nearly got involved in a benches-clearing incident as the Houston Astros crushed the New York Yankees 15-1 on Tuesday. Gomez led Houston to only its fourth win in the last 20 road games by getting an RBI double in the first off right-hander Ivan Nova (5-6) and a three-run home run in the seventh off left-hander Chris Capuano. In between hits, the Yankees nearly triggered a brawl when Gomez flied out in the sixth.


NFL: New York Jets vs Buffalo Bills(Reuters) - The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed quarterback Michael Vick to a one-year deal, the team announced on Tuesday. Financial terms of the contract were not disclosed but the veteran is expected to act as back-up to Pro Bowl signal-caller Ben Roethlisberger. The 35-year-old Vick spent last season with the New York Jets but was used sparingly behind the impressive Geno Smith.


PGA: PGA Championship - Final RoundBy Bernie McGuire EDISON, New Jersey (Reuters) - Newly-crowned PGA Champion Jason Day sees the FedExCup playoffs as the opportunity for a challenge to world number one Jordan Spieth in the voting for the PGA Tour Player of the Year award. Day is returning to competition at The Barclays this week at Plainfield Country Club after his breakthrough three-stroke success over Spieth at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin. The 27-year old Australian plans to play all four FedExCup events and is hopeful, despite Spieth having captured two majors and two other PGA Tour titles this season, that winning the FedExCup could lift his own Player of the Year chances.


By Bernie McGuire EDISON, New Jersey, Aug 25 (Reuters) - Newly-crowned PGA Champion Jason Day sees the FedExCup playoffs as the opportunity for a challenge to world number one Jordan Spieth in the voting for the PGA Tour Player of the Year award. Day is returning to competition at The Barclays this week at Plainfield Country Club after his breakthrough three-stroke success over Spieth at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin. The 27-year old Australian plans to play all four FedExCup events and is hopeful, despite Spieth having captured two majors and two other PGA Tour titles this season, that winning the FedExCup could lift his own Player of the Year chances.

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