- Associated Press - Saturday, February 14, 2015


NEW YORK (AP) - LeBron James is about to play a new power position - vice president.

The Cavaliers star was unanimously elected first vice president of the National Basketball Players Association, giving the game’s top player a leadership role within a union set to square off in the future with the league’s owners over revenue.

James was elected during the union’s annual meeting as part of All-Star weekend at a hotel near Times Square. A person familiar with James’ election said Clippers All-Star guard Chris Paul, the union’s president, had urged the four-time MVP to accept a prominent role within the union. The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity before union executive director Michele Roberts announced the election, said James wanted to be deeply involved in future collective bargaining with the league.

James, who considered running for president before Paul was elected, has been outspoken on several player-related issues already.

NEW YORK (AP) - Andrew Wiggins scored 22 points, Rudy Gobert added 18 points, 12 rebounds and three blocked shots, and the World team beat the U.S. 121-112 on Friday night in the Rising Stars Challenge at All-Star weekend.

Wiggins, the No. 1 pick from Canada who plays for Minnesota, was chosen as the game’s MVP.

Brooklyn’s Bojan Bogdanovic of Croatia, playing on his home court, and Chicago’s Nikola Mirotic from Montenegro each added 16 points for the World. Orlando’s Victor Oladipo and Zach LaVine of Minnesota each scored 22 points for the U.S. team in the game between rookies and second-year players.

It was another new format for the opening game of All-Star weekend, which originated as a contest between teams of rookies, later turned into rookies against second-year players, and this year changed to the world against U.S. players.

NEW YORK (AP) - Little League phenom Mo’ne Davis was so impressive on a basketball court she momentarily silenced trash-talking “Wedding Ringer” star Kevin Hart.

Playing in the All-Star Celebrity Game against opponents more than twice her age, the 13-year-old drove past Hart, the game’s MVP for the fourth time, with a spectacular spin move for an easy layup in the first quarter Friday night.

Madison Square Garden was abuzz with stars from the NBA, WNBA and Hollywood two nights before the NBA All-Star Game is played Sunday. But much of the attention was on the teenager, who got one of the loudest ovations from the crowd when she was introduced before the game.

Davis, a pitcher, shot to fame as the first girl to win a Little League World Series game. The eighth grader finished the All-Star Game with four points, helping the West team beat the East 59-51. Hart had 15 points.


PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) - Enjoying the best weather Pebble Beach has to offer is one thing. Brandt Snedeker knew he had to take advantage of it with his golf clubs, too.

Snedeker played bogey-free at Spyglass in abundant sunshine and warmth for a 5-under 67 to share the 36-hole lead with Matt Jones at 12-under 131 in the AT&T; Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Jones had a 66 at Spyglass Hill. Justin Hicks, was one shot behind after a 68 at Monterey Peninsula.

John Daly, who started the second round one shot behind and briefly was tied for the lead when he birdied his opening hole at Monterey Peninsula, didn’t make a birdie over his last 11 holes and shot a 72. He dropped into a tie for 37th.

Scoring has been low, which was to be expected with barely any breeze and enough sunshine to make the ball go farther through a combination of warm air and firmer than usual fairways. The top 60 and ties make the cut, and 60th place was at 4-under par.


BALTIMORE (AP) - Ex-Ravens player Ray Rice has posted a statement apologizing to fans for a “horrible mistake” and asking for forgiveness ahead of the one-year anniversary of a domestic-violence charge.

In a statement released to The Baltimore Sun and posted on his Facebook page, Rice wrote he was sorry for letting down the young fans who looked up to him.

He wrote: “There is no excuse for domestic violence, and I apologize for the horrible mistake I made.”


SEATTLE (AP) - Rickie Weeks understands his career as only a second baseman is likely over.

He’s ready to embrace the idea of being a utility player, even if that means learning positions he hasn’t played since becoming a professional.

Weeks finalized a $2 million, one-year contract with the Seattle Mariners, adding depth to a talented roster just before the start of spring training. The Mariners announced the deal following the completion of a physical. Weeks can earn another $2 million in performance bonuses plus additional award bonuses.

Weeks gives the Mariners additional versatility in the infield and another potential option as a backup in the outfield.


BEAVER CREEK, Colo. (AP) - A remarkable final run slid Ted Ligety right into the record books.

The American stormed back from a first-run deficit to become the only man to win three straight giant slalom titles at the world championships.

Behind Marcel Hirscher of Austria by 0.24 seconds after the morning run, Ligety found speed down the course where others couldn’t and finished in an unofficial time of 2 minutes, 34.16 seconds. Hirscher was second, 0.45 seconds behind, and Alexis Pinturault of France earned the bronze.

It was the first gold medal of these championships for the Americans. Ligety also won the 2011 world GS title in Germany and again two years ago in Austria, which was part of his three gold medal performance.


NEW SMYRNA, Fla. (AP) - Jeff Burton’s 14-year-old son won his first NASCAR Super Late Model race by taking the lead with 10 laps remaining in Friday night’s feature at New Smyrna Speedway.

Harrison Burton chased Paul Schafer Jr. for several laps before making his move with 13 laps remaining. It took him another three laps to complete the pass.

Jeff Burton, the former Cup driver and current NBC Sports analyst, said his son is a typical teenager until he gets in the race car.

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