Durant leads Sophomores
Kevin Durant set the scoring record for the National Basketball Association’s All-Star Rookie Challenge Friday, pouring in 46 points to lead the Sophomores to victory over their first-year foes. Durant scored 30 of his points in the second half as the second-year players held off the Rookies 122-116. Durant, of the Oklahoma City Thunder, shot 17-of-25 from the field, including four-of-eight from three-point range as the Sophomores won the contest for the seventh straight time. Durant, who has averaged 25.5 points this season, owns the fourth-highest average for someone who did not make the main All-Star contest.
Toronto, Miami start trading
Toronto and Miami launched the National Basketball Association trade season on Friday with an agreement to send Raptors forward Jermaine O’Neal to the Heat in exchange for forward Shawn Marion, the Raptors confirmed. The deal sends O’Neal and Jamario Moon to Miami in exchange for Marion and point guard Marcus Banks. The Heat will also receive a conditional first-round pick from Toronto next year unless the Raptors are in the draft lottery. In that case, the first-round selection could come between 2011 and 2015.
Santana to sit out Classic
New York Mets ace Johan Santana will not pitch for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic next month. The two-time Major League Baseball pitcher of the year will miss the tournament, the Venezuelan Baseball Federation announced on Friday. Federation president Edwin Zerpa said organizers of the tournament, World Baseball Classic Inc, were not willing to pay the high insurance premium required for the Mets to clear Santana after he underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. “It puts him in a high-risk category,” Zerpa said. Venezuela’s first game is on March 7 against Italy in Toronto. Venezuela was eliminated in the second round of the inaugural Classic in 2006.
Taichung to host tourney
Taichung City has won a bid to host next year’s World University Weightlifting Championship, officials said yesterday. The bid was approved a day earlier by the International University Sports Federation during an executive committee meeting held in Harbin, China, prior to the Winter Universiade, said officials from National Taiwan Sport University, which was representing the Taichung bid. The event, which is expected to draw some 500 athletes from more than 50 countries, will mark the first time an international weightlifting championship has been held in Taiwan, they said. In preparation for the competition, the university will form an organizing committee in conjunction with the Chinese Taipei University Sports Federation and the Chinese Taipei Weightlifting Association, the officials said, adding that the committee will report its progress to the federation during the organization’s next executive committee meeting scheduled for July in Serbia.
Jacobellis beats Nobs
Lindsey Jacobellis of the US and Markus Schairer of Austria won World Cup snowboardcross events at Cypress Mountain, Canada, on Friday. Mike Robertson of Canada was second behind Schairer, with Seth Westcott of the US taking third on the same course that will be used for the Winter Olympics a year from now. Olivia Nobs of Switzerland was second in the women’s race and Helene Olafsen of Norway was third.