CHICAGO (AP) — Kobe Bryant was one of eight finalists announced as candidates for enshrinement into the Basketball Hall of Fame later this year, a decision that came as absolutely no surprise in his first year of eligibility. Joining Bryant Friday as first-time finalists for the Hall: 15-time All-Star Tim Duncan, fellow 15-time All-Star Kevin Garnett and 10-time WNBA All-Star and four-time Olympic gold medalist Tamika Catchings. The other finalists have all been to this point previously: Baylor women’s coach Kim Mulkey, former Houston Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich, five-time Division II women’s coach of the year Barbara Stevens of Bentley, and four-time national men’s college coach of the year Eddie Sutton.
UNDATED (AP) — Amazingly, this is still a thing as we begin the third decade of the 21st century. A handful of colleges refuse to let go of antiquated nicknames that adorn their female programs. Most notably, that group of teams includes the No. 2 Baylor Lady Bears. Well, it's time for this sexist practice to take its rightful place in the waste bin of history, though there might be a few exceptions that require more debate. The NCAA should speed the process along, just as it did in largely ridding the college landscape of monikers that were offensive to many Native Americans.
UNDATED (AP) — Kentucky Derby winning horse Country House has been retired because of a foot ailment. Country House finished second in the 2019 Derby as a 65-1 shot and was placed first after Maximum Security was disqualified. That race in May at Churchill Downs was his last. The 4-year-old developed laminitis in his right front foot and was hospitalized last summer to treat the condition. Blackwood Stables says there were steps taken to save Country House but that he'll never race again. Trainer Bill Mott tells The Associated Press he thought the Kentucky Derby was a sign of better things to come for Country House.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The boxing ring is where Caleb “Sweethands” Plant controls everything. From the pace of a bout to how quickly he finishes off an opponent. The ring is both sanctuary and escape for the Tennessee native who fought his way to the IBF super middleweight championship. No opponent can ever hit him with harder blows than what he's already dealt with in his young life. He had to take his 19-month-old daughter off life support in 2015. He lost his mother only weeks after becoming world champ in 2019. On Saturday night, the 27-year-old Plant, who is 19-0 with 11 knockouts, will defend his title for the second time. He'll fight Vincent Feigenbutz of Germany at Bridgestone Arena.
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — Chennedy Carter scored 18 points shooting 8 of 12 from the field and 16th-ranked Texas A&M was never threatened in a 74-53 win over Vanderbilt. The Aggies built an 18-4 lead and never trailed. The lead stood at 28-10 at the end of the first quarter. Texas A&M missed just two of 13-shot attempts in the quarter for an 84.6% shooting mark. The Aggies also made 4 of 5 3-pointers in the quarter and distributed nine assists on their 11 made baskets. The Commodores never got within 13 points the rest of the way. Koi Love paced the Commodores with 13 points.