Jones Cup dates announced
The R. William Jones Cup International Invitational Tournament, Taiwan’s top international hoop event, will be held from July 13 to July 21 this year, a Taiwanese basketball official said on Thursday. Seven men’s teams and five women’s teams will participate in the annual tournament at Taipei County’s Sinjhuang Stadium, said Lee Yi-chung, deputy secretary-general of the Chinese Taipei Basketball Association. The hosts will field the national teams and university All-Star teams in both the men’s and women’s competitions, Lee said. Several of Taiwan’s national players have injuries, however, and have said they will sit out in order to be in better shape to prepare for the Asian Games in November. Among the teams participating in the men’s competition are Japan’s national team, Lebanon’s national team, Iran’s national “B” team, a club team from western Australia and the Philippines’ national team. In the women’s competition, Japan, Kazakhstan and Lebanon will send their national teams to compete with the two Taiwanese teams.
Wooden in ‘grave’ condition
Former UCLA basketball coach John Wooden, one of the most revered figures in US sport, was in “grave” condition in hospital on Thursday, according to multiple media reports. The 99-year-old Wooden was being treated at UCLA Medical Center, the Los Angeles Times and Los Angeles television station KCAL each reported. Although his family could not be immediately reached for confirmation, leading officials attending Thursday’s Game 1 of the NBA Finals were aware of Wooden’s failing health. “We discussed it at length and we decided that we would not declare his obituary now,” NBA Commissioner David Stern told reporters. Widely regarded as one of the best team builders in US sport, Wooden guided UCLA to an unprecedented 10 National Collegiate Athletic Association championship titles, including seven in a row from 1967 to 1973. Under his charge, Bruins teams registered a record 88-game winning streak from 1971 to 1974, four perfect 30-0 seasons and strung together 38 consecutive NCAA Tournament games from 1964 to 1974.
Yoshida jersey, bat wanted
The Chico Outlaws say the US Baseball Hall of Fame has asked for the jersey and bat that Japanese knuckleballer Eri Yoshida used in her debut with the team last weekend for a display in Cooperstown, New York. Yoshida pitched three innings and hit an RBI single in her only at-bat in her first game in the independent Golden Baseball League. The 18-year-old Yoshida became the first woman to play professional baseball in the US since Ila Borders in 2000 when she appeared in the game on May 29 against Tijuana. Yoshida will present the items to the Hall before a game she pitches in later this month. Her second appearance is set for next Saturday at home to the Yuma Scorpions.
Mihajlovic takes Viola post
Fiorentina appointed Sinisa Mihajlovic as coach on Thursday after Cesare Prandelli agreed to manage Italy following the World Cup. Serbian Mihajlovic quit Catania last week after easily steering the modest Sicilians to safety in Serie A, saying he wanted to challenge himself at a bigger club. “Sinisa Mihajlovic will be officially presented tomorrow,” a statement from the Florence club said. Fiorentina enjoyed a successful run to the Champions League round-of-16 last season, but finished a disappointing mid-table in Serie A.