September 23, 2016 1:00 AM
NBA players urged to help communities
Staff, news services
MIAMI – NBA players are being urged to reach out to league and union officials to try and come up with ways to create “positive change” in communities around the country, a move that comes in response to protests in other sports about racial oppression and other social matters.
Players received a memo from the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association on Wednesday, one that announced that the league and the union, “working together, have begun developing substantive ways for us to come together and take meaningful action.”
A copy of the memo was obtained by The Associated Press.
“These ideas are based on the actions many of you have already taken or supported, including convening community conversations in NBA markets to engage young people, parents, community leaders and law enforcement in a candid dialogue,” read one excerpt of the memo, signed by both NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and union head Michele Roberts.
NASCAR Hall damaged in riots
The NASCAR Hall of Fame in downtown Charlotte, North Carolina, was open Thursday, hours after its exterior was damaged during violent protests over the police shooting of a black man this week. The breach on the property was to a restaurant connected to the Hall of Fame.
Nuggets hire ex-Ants assistant
Stephen Graham, a former player and assistant coach with the Mad Ants, has been hired by the Denver Nuggets to work in the player development department. The Nuggets also hired Jordi Fernandez, who had been the Canton Charge’s head coach and now will be an assistant coach with Denver. Graham played six NBA seasons and one with Fort Wayne. He was an assistant to Steve Gansey last season.
Refs to watch for traveling
NBA referees will be cracking down this season on “unnatural acts,” such as the hit to the groin area that resulted in Draymond Green’s suspension during the NBA Finals. They will also more closely monitor traveling after complaints from coaches that players are getting away with too many steps on the perimeter. The referees were informed and instructed about those items this week during their preseason meetings and training camp in Elizabeth, New Jersey.
Rockets, Buck make trade
Milwaukee acquired forward Michael Beasley from Houston for backup point guard Tyler Ennis in a deal that beefs up the Bucks’ frontcourt depth.
NCAA, coaches to aid Yow fund
The NCAA and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association are teaming up with the cancer fund that bears late North Carolina State coach Kay Yow’s name. They introduced the Play4Kay National Free Throw Challenge on Thursday. The coach and fan who makes the most consecutive free throws will earn trips to the Women’s Final Four in Dallas, where they will compete against each other. For coaches, each consecutively made shot is worth a $4 donation to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund from the coach or school.
Illinoisan wins Senior Amateur
In St. Louis, 62-year-old Dave Ryan of Taylorville, Illinois, won the U.S. Senior Amateur on Thursday for his first USGA championship, holding off Matthew Sughrue of Arlington, Virginia, 2 up at Old Warson Country Club. Ryan beat two-time Senior Amateur champion Paul Simson in the round of 16 and two-time U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Tim Jackson in the semifinals in the event for players 55-and-older.
Austrian leads European Open
In Bad Griesbach, Germany, Bernd Wiesberger of Austria shot nine birdies and one eagle for an 8-under 63 to lead the European Open by two strokes after a shortened opening day. Play started 3 hours, 25 minutes late because of fog, and some leading contenders did not complete the round.