Thu, Mar 07, 2019 - Page 16 News List

SPORTS BRIEFS

Agencies

RUGBY UNION

Read to join Japan’s Toyota

All Blacks captain Kieran Read yesterday announced he would leave New Zealand after the World Cup to play club rugby in Japan for Toyota Verblitz. The 33-year-old backrower had already indicated he was unlikely to continue in Test rugby after the World Cup and was considering other opportunities. “Every young rugby player in New Zealand dreams of the opportunities I have had to represent the All Blacks and the Crusaders, and I know I’ll look back at the end of the year with a great deal of pride to have worn those jerseys for as long as I have,” Read said. “My family and I are looking forward to an overseas experience and Japan presents an awesome opportunity to immerse ourselves in Japanese culture.”

E-SPORTS

First woman joins NBA 2K

Chiquita Evans on Tuesday became the first woman ever selected in the NBA 2K League Draft, going 56th overall to Warriors Gaming Squad. The 30-year-old Chicago gamer, whose tag is Chiquitae126, became emotional as she realized her groundbreaking role beyond being the second pick in the fourth round. She is to be among 126 players in the league, which had no women in its inaugural campaign. “A lot of people want my perspective on the gaming scene for women in general and want me to answer questions,” Evans said. “I feel like it will improve, but it starts with women ourselves. We have to go out here and get ourselves known. We have to learn to have tough skin and just go out there and compete, no matter what anyone says.” The gym trainer credited playing basketball at the high-school, college and semi-pro levels with building the toughness she needed to excel as a gamer.

BASKETBALL

Three guilty of bribery

A US federal judge in New York City on Tuesday sent three men caught in a federal probe of college basketball kickbacks to prison, but gave them relatively lenient sentences for a striking reason: Corruption is so common in the sport. Judge Lewis Kaplan sentenced former Adidas marketing director James Gatto to nine months, while Merl Code, a consultant with ties to Adidas, and agent Christian Dawkins each got six months. Gatto was convicted of making the payments to star high-school players in a bid to tie them to the sportswear firm later in their careers. Evidence showed that the family of Dennis Smith Jr, who is now a point guard with the New York Knicks, received US$40,000 through this process. In imposing the lighter sentences, Kaplan said that the men had led “good and productive lives” and “learned their lesson,” and that similar crimes had allegedly been committed in college basketball “with some frequency.”

MOTOGP

Indonesia anticipates return

MotoGP’s return to Indonesia after more than two decades has been met with jubilation on the island of Lombok, where sports fans hope it will revive their earthquake-ravaged economy. MotoGP promoter Dorna Sports last month announced that it had signed a five-year deal with Indonesia Tourism Development Corp to hold an event on the island in 2021. The race is to be hosted on a new street circuit that would reportedly be 4.32km long with 18 corners. The custom-built street circuit would reportedly be a world first.

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