- Associated Press - Friday, February 28, 2014

PRO BASKETBALL

DENVER (AP) - Jason Collins had plenty of gifts for Matthew Shepard’s parents: a basket, a blowout, an autographed No. 98 jersey that he wears in honor of their son.

They also shared some laughs.

Collins played the final eight minutes of the Brooklyn Nets’ 112-89 romp over the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night, and although his three points and four fouls weren’t much to look at in the box score, rarely has the 35-year-old center been this proud of a performance.

“I got them a bucket,” the center said.

After his cameo in Brooklyn’s recovery from a 44-point loss against the Trail Blazers 24 hours earlier, Collins, the first openly gay athlete in America’s four major sports, met with the parents of the slain Wyoming college student who was tortured and murdered in 1998 because he was gay.

“It was delightful. We were happy to finally have the opportunity to meet,” Judy Shepard said.

Her husband said he hopes the day quickly comes when someone’s sexuality is a non-issue.

“There should be no publicity over this. It should be just an ordinary every day thing, like the military now,” he said.

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The NBA suspended Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins for one game and fined him $20,000 for punching an opposing player and verbally abusing an official in a game earlier this week.

The league suspended Cousins for punching Houston Rockets guard Patrick Beverley in the stomach with 9:44 remaining in the first quarter of the Kings’ 129-103 loss on Tuesday night in Sacramento. Cousins was fined for verbally abusing official Courtney Kirkland and failing to leave the court in a timely manner following an ejection with 8:21 remaining in the third quarter.

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COLLEGE BASKETBALL

OREM, Utah (AP) - New Mexico State guard K.C. Ross-Miller hurled the ball at Utah Valley’s Holton Hunsaker seconds after the Wolverines’ 66-61 overtime victory against the Aggies, setting off a wild brawl Thursday night that involved fans who came on the court.

Story Continues →