Weekend Sports in Brief
MONROE, Ga. (AP) Fire officials say former NFL linebacker end Quentin Moses and two other people have died in a house fire in Georgia.
Monroe Fire Department Chief Keith Glass tells local news media that the 33-year-old Moses, 31-year-old Andria Godard and her 10-year-old daughter Jasmine Godard died after the fire started around 6 a.m. Sunday. Moses was found unconscious and moved outside the house. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.
Moses was a defensive end for the Georgia Bulldogs from 2003-2005. He played four seasons with the Miami Dolphins from 2007-2010 as a linebacker.
Moses was an assistant coach at Reinhardt University.
Glass says the house was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived. The cause of the blaze is under investigation.
JERUSALEM (AP) – An American professional football player has pulled out of a sponsored trip to Israel, accusing its government of trying to use him for PR purposes and citing sympathy for the Palestinians.
Seattle Seahawks defense lineman Michael Bennett’s last-minute decision came as an embarrassment to the Israeli government, which has invited a group of players to visit this week on a mission aimed at improving the country’s image.
Israeli Cabinet minister Gilad Erdan had earlier noted the ”great importance” of the visit, saying it would counter ”the false incitement campaign that is being waged against Israel around the world.”
Erdan leads the ministry for strategic affairs and public diplomacy, which works to boost Israel’s image and counter the influence of an international boycott movement. His ministry declined to comment Sunday.
Tourism Minister Yariv Lavin had boasted that the players would become ”ambassadors of good will for Israel.”
SAO PAULO (AP) – Former Syracuse University and Boston Celtics center Fab Melo has died in his native Brazil, military police said Sunday. He was 26.
An emergency call Saturday night brought police and paramedics to Melo’s house in Juiz de Fora, in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais, according to a police sergeant who gave his name only as Couto. Couto said that when the police arrived, paramedics said Melo was dead, with no signs of violence.
The 7-foot Melo was a star at Syracuse and named Big East defensive player of the year as a sophomore. But he also had academic issues that forced him to miss the 2012 NCAA Tournament after being declared ineligible.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) – Kentucky freshmen De’Aaron Fox and Bam Adebayo were not injured as passengers in a car accident that occurred Sunday afternoon as they were returning to campus.
Lexington Police spokeswoman Brenna Angel said a car the two were riding in rear-ended another vehicle on Nicholasville Road near Wilhite Drive about 12:45 p.m. Angel said an unidentified passenger in the car that was struck was taken to a hospital with minor injuries.
Kentucky basketball spokesman Eric Lindsey said that since Fox and Adebayo were not one of the drivers, they called for another ride to campus to avoid being late for a meeting. Lindsey said police later met with the players at the team’s practice facility about the collision.
The 15th-ranked Wildcats (20-5, 10-2 Southeastern Conference) host Tennessee on Tuesday night.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Three-time Olympic gold medalist Sheryl Swoopes headlines the latest Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame class.
The six-person class announced Sunday also includes official Sally Bell, Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women founder Christine Grant, Middle Tennessee coach Rick Insell, former Southern Connecticut State coach Louise O’Neal and Olympic gold medalist Kara Wolters.
They will be inducted June 10.
Hall of Fame officials also announced Sunday they will recognize the 1975, 1976 and 1977 Delta State teams as ”trailblazers of the game.” Delta State won three straight AIAW national championships during that stretch.
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) – A Russian stadium built for the 2018 World Cup and dogged by problems has opened to the public, with mixed reviews.
The 68,000-capacity stadium in St. Petersburg hosted 10,000 locals for a free extreme sports show designed to test the arena’s ”security system, logistics and other systems,” according to deputy city governor Igor Albin.
The stadium has been almost a decade in construction and experienced repeated problems including worker deaths, soaring costs, fraud investigations, and frequent delays. Another month is needed to fix vibrations affecting the high-tech retractable field, Albin said.
Some visitors were impressed with the stadium’s spaceship-like design and lighting, but others criticized the 43-billion-ruble ($738 million) price tag. Andrei Zaraisky, a construction specialist, said he’d have preferred ”to have the money spent on new schools, help for orphans, pensioners and disabled people instead.”