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Sports briefs for May 23, 2013

By BDN Staff and Wire Reports, Special to the BDN

HS football scholar-athletes honored

Seventeen high school scholar-athletes from around the state were among the honorees during a banquet Wednesday evening hosted by the Maine chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.

Named 2013 NFF Maine scholar-athletes were Bobby Begin and Connor McCrum of Thornton Academy in Saco, Donald Goodrich and Mike Casale of Cheverus of Portland, Andrew Lachance of Maranacook of Readfield, Alex Shain of Sanford, Kurt Massey of John Bapst of Bangor, Nick LeBlond of Biddeford, Ryan Brewer of Lisbon, Anthony Sementelli of Lawrence of Fairfield, Greg Duff of Bangor, Tyler Sturtevant of Poland, Dillon Russo of Scarborough, Riley Murphy and Andrew Martel of Bonny Eagle of Standish, Donald Martin of Hermon and James Purdy of Freeport.

Also recognized as scholar-athletes were Jarrod Casey of Bridgton Academy and John Gilboy of Colby College in Waterville.

Kevin Kezal of 2012 Class A state champion Thornton Academy was honored as the NFF coach of the year, while recently retired Massabesic of Waterboro coach John Morin was recognized for his contribution to amateur football.

Richard Hewes, a former South Portland resident who went on to play for the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League, was the recipient of the chapter’s Distinguished American Award, while Vinnie DiPhilippo of Portland was named Football Official of the Year.

James, Bryant headline All-NBA selections

Most Valuable Player LeBron James of the Miami Heat and veteran Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers headlined the list of players selected for the All-NBA team, the league said on Thursday.

Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs and Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers joined James and Bryant on the first team.

James, who has won four of the last five league MVP awards, earned first team honors for a sixth consecutive season and seventh overall since entering the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 2003.

The nine-time All-Star was the only player in the league to lead his team in scoring (26.8 points per game), rebounding (8.0) and assists (7.3). He shot a career high from the field (.565) and from three-point range (.406).

Bryant was chosen for the eighth consecutive season and a record-tying 11th time in his career, putting him level with Hall of Famer Karl Malone.

The 34-year-old Bryant, a 15-time All-Star, scored 2,133 points during the season (averaging 27.3) as he moved past Wilt Chamberlain into fourth place in the NBA’s all-time scoring list.

Duncan earned his 10th first team selection while Durant got the nod for a fourth time and Paul for a third.

Canseco refutes sexual-assault allegation

Jose Canseco, never one to hold his tongue, vigorously denied sexual-assault allegations against him.

Las Vegas police are investigating an alleged incident, but the former major league slugger wasn’t arrested, and no charges have been filed. Canseco went on Twitter on Wednesday to dispute a woman’s statement that he assaulted her, and he went a step further Thursday.

Speaking to reporters in Fort Worth, Texas, where he was set to play for the Fort Worth Cats of the independent United League, Canseco said, according to Fox Sports Southwest, “… We’re putting together polygraph examinations and trust in me, the truth will always come out…”

Canseco hit 462 home runs while playing for seven big-league teams from 1985 to 2001.

Coach K to continue as U.S. coach

Mike Krzyzewski will stay on as coach of the U.S. men’s Olympic basketball team through the 2016 Games. Krzyzewski announced his intentions at a Thursday news conference at Duke, where he is head coach of the Blue Devils.

“It’s the ultimate honor to coach your country’s team,” Krzyzewski said.

Under Krzyzewski’s guidance, the U.S. Olympic team has won the past two gold medals and the 2010 World Basketball Championships.

Haas, Waldorf set pace at Senior PGA Championship

American Jay Haas charged into early contention for a third Senior PGA Championship title by shooting a flawless 5-under-par 66 in Thursday’s opening round at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, Missouri.

The 59-year-old shrugged off lingering back pain with accurate driving and deft course management to end a cool, blustery day tied at the top with compatriot Duffy Waldorf, who qualified for the over-50 Champions Tour last August.

Japan’s Kiyoshi Murota and American club professional Sonny Skinner started out with 67s in the first of the season’s five senior majors, finishing a stroke in front of Taiwan’s Lu Chien-soon and Australian Peter Senior.

Haas, a 16-times winner on the Champions Tour who clinched the Senior PGA Championship in 2006 and 2008, expressed both delight and surprise after his five-birdie display.

Palmer takes control with a 62 at Colonial

American Ryan Palmer took advantage of ideal scoring conditions and local knowledge with a birdie fest as he charged into a one-shot lead in Thursday’s opening round of the Crowne Plaza Invitational in Fort Worth, Texas.

The 36-year-old Texan piled up eight birdies on the way to a flawless eight-under-par 62 on a relatively calm morning at iconic Colonial Country Club, matching the lowest first round ever recorded at the long established PGA Tour event.

Palmer, who began his round at the par-four 10th and ended it with a five-foot birdie putt at the par-four ninth, surged to the top of the leaderboard, a stroke in front of compatriot John Rollins.

Morgan Hoffmann, a PGA Tour rookie who tied for fifth at last week’s Byron Nelson Championship, carded a 64 to finish the day level with fellow American John Peterson and Canadians David Hearn and Graham DeLaet.

Cowboys’ Brent may have violated bond

Dallas Cowboys nose tackle Josh Brent is scheduled for a court appearance on Friday morning to address a possible violation of his bond after a monitoring device detected alcohol.

Prosecutors will argue that Brent violated conditions of his bond and will seek to have it revoked before he goes to trial on a manslaughter charge in the death of former teammate Jerry Brown.

Brent’s vehicle crashed on Dec. 8 in Irving, Texas, and Brown, a passenger, was killed. Brent’s blood-alcohol level reportedly was twice the legal limit.

Brent’s hearing on at 10 a.m. ET will be before Dallas judge Robert Burns.

According to, Brent says he didn’t drink alcohol and that his attorneys were trying to find out how alcohol got into his system. ESPN also reported that the device has gone off several times.

Brent is awaiting trial on charges of intoxication manslaughter in Brown’s death. He is free on $100,000 bond.

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