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Sports briefs for Jan. 22, 2014

By Staff and Wire Reports, Special to the BDN

Maine Winter Sports Center athlete named to US Olympic ski team

Chris Freeman, who trained at the Maine Winter Sports Center in Aroostook County, was nominated Wednesday to represent the United States as a member of its cross country ski team at the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

Freeman, of Andover, N.H., went to last week’s U.S. National Championships and secured his spot as the nation’s second ranked male distance skier.

“Kris has been an outstanding role model for us,” said Andy Shepard, President and CEO of the Maine Winter Sports Center. “He has had to deal with Type 1 diabetes for most of his career and to have been able to remain at such a high level for so long is a powerful demonstration of his commitment, discipline and drive. He doesn’t buy into excuses; he focuses on what needs to get done and goes about getting those things done. These are life lessons for all of us.”

Freeman has spent more than eight weeks in Aroostook County this year training alongside his MWSC cross country teammates, offering insights to the junior racers, and serving as a spokesman and counselor at several diabetes fundraisers and camps.

Freeman joins Russell Currier, Tim Burke, Lowell Bailey, Annelies Cook and Lanny Barnes on the US Olympic Team.

Former Cowboys’ player guilty of intoxication manslaughter

DALLAS — A Texas jury found former Dallas Cowboys player Josh Brent guilty on Wednesday of intoxication manslaughter in the car crash that killed teammate Jerry Brown Jr. in December 2012.

Prosecutors said Brent, 25, had been drinking heavily at a Dallas area club when he got behind the wheel car and flipped his car in a high-speed crash, killing Brown, 25.

The jury deliberated for about 11 hours before reaching a verdict, and will reconvene on Thursday for sentencing. Brent faces up to 20 years in prison.

The judge revoked Brent’s bond and ordered the county sheriff’s office to take him into custody.

Brent’s blood alcohol level was 0.189 at the time of the incident, according to police documents. The legal limit in Texas is 0.08. Brent’s lawyers argued that their client had been reckless but was not drunk.

Brent was put on leave from the Cowboys after the accident and retired in July 2013.

Ex-NFL QB Vince Young files for bankruptcy

Unable to land an NFL job the past two seasons, free-agent quarterback Vince Young filed for federal Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last week, the Houston Chronicle reported.

According to the petition filed in a Houston bankruptcy court, Young has assets between $500,001 and $1 million and liabilities between $1,001,000 and $10 million.

The former Tennessee Titans and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback once had a guaranteed $26 million contract, but since then he has fought two lawsuits stemming from a $1.8 million loan in his name obtained from Pro Player Funding during the NFL lockout in 2011. With interest, the loan has grown to $2.5 million.

Pro Player, a New York-based company, has sought to collect the amount through Harris County state district court. Young has been unsuccessful in his legal attempts to challenge the $1.7 million balance on the loan.

The 30-year-old Young sued his former agent and financial adviser for fraud, and an undisclosed settlement was reached.

Knicks top Forbes list of most valuable NBA teams

The New York Knicks remained the NBA’s most valuable team, worth more than $1 billion, according to a Forbes poll on Wednesday that showed the average team value rose 25 percent from last year.

The average NBA team’s value rose to $634 million, a jump Forbes said was driven by cost controls from the collective bargaining agreement and the much-anticipated next round of television contracts.

The Knicks were valued at $1.4 billion, a 27 percent rise from last year, due to a renovation to their home arena and qualifying for last season’s playoffs.

The Los Angeles Lakers, who topped the list two years ago, remained second with a value of $1.35 billion, up 35 percent from last year.

Rounding out the top five were the Chicago Bulls ($1 billion), Boston Celtics ($875 million) and Brooklyn Nets ($780 million).


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