Verlander to donate weekly paycheck to relief groups
UNDATED (AP) — Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander says he will donate his weekly paycheck during the coronavirus shutdown to organizations that are helping with relief efforts.
Verlander and his wife Kate Upton made the announcement in an Instagram post today. They said they would pick an organization each week and highlight its work.
The AL Cy Young Award winner is among a group of major leaguers getting $4,775 a day for 60 days, a total of $286,500. The payments were part of a recent agreement between Major League Baseball and the players’ union on how to proceed during the stoppage.
Verlander’s salary this year is $33 million, which is $177,419 a day for the 186-day season.
In other news related to the coronavirus pandemic:
— The White House says President Donald Trump spoke with commissioners of the country’s sports leagues in a conference call Saturday and told them he recognizes “the good work being done by many teams and players” to care for their communities and fans dealing with the new coronavirus. The White House says the commissioners thanked Trump for his “national leadership and for his interest in the sports industry.” He called on them to continue efforts to support their fellow Americans during the current challenge. A wide range of sports league officials participated in the call, including NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and NBA commissioner Adam Silver.
— English Premier League soccer players have rejected a move by clubs to cut their wages by 30% during the coronavirus pandemic. The stance from the union followed talks involving clubs and the leagues. Liverpool and fellow 2019 Champions League finalist Tottenham have announced that some non-playing staff will be furloughed since the competition has been indefinitely suspended.
— Potters Corner held on in a computer-simulated race to win the Virtual Grand National Saturday. The real Grand National Steeplechase, one of the iconic sporting events in Britain, was canceled on March 16 following stringent measures put in place during the coronavirus pandemic.
BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME
Kobe, Duncan, Garnett headline Basketball Hall of Fame class
UNDATED (AP) — Kobe Bryant’s resume has yet another entry to prove his greatness. He’s now officially a Hall of Famer.
Bryant and fellow NBA greats Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett headlined a nine-person group announced Saturday as this year’s class of enshrinees into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. They all got into the Hall in their first year of eligibility, as did WNBA great Tamika Catchings.
Two-time NBA champion coach Rudy Tomjanovich (tahm-JAHN'-oh-vich), longtime Baylor women’s coach Kim Mulkey, 1,000-game winner Barbara Stevens of Bentley and three-time Final Four coach Eddie Sutton were also selected.
All eight finalists who were announced in February were chosen to get in by the panel of 24 voters.
Former FIBA Secretary General Patrick Baumann is also headed to the Hall. He was selected as a direct-elect by the international committee.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL-NAISMITH TROPHY
Dayton's Toppin wins Naismith Trophy
ATLANTA (AP) — Dayton forward Obi Toppin (OH’-bee TAH’-pihn) has been awarded the Naismith Trophy as college basketball's most outstanding player. Toppin was named the Naismith Trophy winner on Friday, adding to an award collection that includes national player of the year by The Associated Press.
Toppin had a breakout sophomore season for the third-ranked Flyers, averaging 20 points and 7.5 rebounds per game while shooting 63%. The 6-foot-9 sophomore is Dayton's first consensus All-American and he led the Flyers to a school-record 29 wins. The Flyers finished No. 3 in the final AP Top 25 after the NCAA Tournament was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, matching the highest ranking in school history, back in 1956.
Dayton's Anthony Grant also swept Naismith and AP honors as the national coach of the year after the Flyers won their third Atlantic 10 championship in five years.
Oregon's Sabrina Ionescu won the women's award.
Hacker posts racial slur on fan chat with black NHL player
NEW YORK (AP) — A hacker posted a racial slur hundreds of times in an online fan video chat Friday with a black New York Rangers prospect.
The NHL team scrambled to disable the hacker on the Zoom chat with K’Andre Miller, the 20-year-old former Wisconsin defenseman drafted No. 22 overall in 2018. The hacker repeatedly posted the one-word slur in all capital letters on the Rangers' “Future Fridays” series on Twitter.
The Rangers said in a statement that “a vile individual hijacked the chat to post racial slurs, which we disabled as soon as possible." The team said it is investigating the matter.
The NHL also released a statement condemning the hack, saying “No one deserves to be subjected to such ugly treatment and it will not be tolerated in our league.”