Ron Artest suspended
Los Angeles Lakers forward Ron Artest was suspended for yesterday’s playoff game against Dallas for striking Mavericks guard Jose Juan Barea in the face, the NBA said on Thursday. The one-game suspension was the result of Artest swinging his arm and hitting Barea late in the fourth quarter of Wednesday’s game, the league in a statement. Artest was ejected after picking up his second technical foul in a game that Dallas won 93-81 to grab a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference semi-final series.
Police detain Hines Ward
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward was detained briefly by police on Thursday in a mix-up over a car that had been reported stolen, police said. Ward, who has gained a wider audience in recent weeks as a contestant on the hit TV dance competition Dancing with the Stars, was removed from the vehicle at gunpoint and handcuffed briefly, but was never arrested, police sergeant Maria Morrison said. Ward and a woman friend, who had left a restaurant, were stopped in the car in the North Hollywood suburb of Los Angeles because the vehicle had been reported stolen on April 19, police said. Morrison said the woman, who wasn’t named, “had gone somewhere, misparked it, reported it stolen and found it later,” but failed to cancel the police report. Ward, who cooperated with police, was released after the woman was able to prove the car was hers, Morrison said.
Stephen Curry honored
Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors has won the Joe Dumars Trophy presented to the NBA player who best exemplifies sportsmanship. Curry received 88 of a possible 347 first-place votes from fellow players. Luol Deng of the Chicago Bulls was second with 84 votes and LaMarcus Aldridge of the Portland Trailblazers was third with 56. The NBA announced on Thursday it would make a US$10,000 donation on behalf of Curry to Habitat For Humanity East Bay.
Women hope to win Derby
Three participants in this weekend’s Kentucky Derby have a chance to leave their mark as the first woman to win the Run for the Roses. In the 136 previous runnings of the US’ most famous horse race, only 14 female trainers have ever saddled up a runner and a mere five female jockeys have climbed into the stirrups. None were able to win the Derby, but there is real hope that either trainers Kathy Ritvo and Kathleen O’Donnell or jockey Rosie Napravnik can break the gender barrier in today’s US$2.2 million race at Churchill Downs. The 23-year-old Napravnik, who will be riding a colt named Pants on Fire, has already left her mark on the male-dominated sport. Last year, she became the first woman to win the riding title at Delaware Park. This season, she added the Fair Grounds riding title and won last month’s US$1 million Louisiana Derby with Pants.
Gaza has first marathon
Donkey carts, exhaust fumes and potholes were just some of the obstacles for runners in the Gaza Strip’s first marathon. There were no roads closed, no security tape and no guides, as the route was very simple: Start at the border of Israel and stop at the border with Egypt. More than 1,500 people took part in the event, hosted by the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, which raised US$1 million for its annual summer camps.