BC-Sports Showcase Digest,ADVISORY

A look ahead to top enterprise and feature stories planned globally by AP Sports. New digests will go out each Thursday and Monday and will be repeated on other weekdays. Please note that story plans may change depending on news and other issues.

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As with all our operations, we welcome and want your feedback. If you have thoughts or questions about the Sports Showcase Digest or the material listed, please reach out to Oskar Garcia, assistant sports editor for the U.S. east region, at 215-446-6632 or at ogarcia(at)ap.org.

All times are Eastern.

NOTE: The stories slugged Black History-Game Changers are part of AP’s coverage during Black History Month of how African-American athletes have used their platforms during the last 100 years to influence social and political change. Please see the Black History Month advisory for more details on the series.

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 7

HKN–GOLDEN KNIGHTS’ STUNNING SEASON

The NHL wanted the Vegas Golden Knights to be competitive, but no one expected them to turn up this kind of magic on and off the Las Vegas Strip. Vegas is already the most successful first-year expansion franchise in league history and looks like a serious Stanley Cup contender as a result of shrewd moves by general manager George McPhee, the coaching of Gerard Gallant and career seasons out of several players. What once looked like a team playing over its head during a hot start has become a sustainable success that has made the Golden Knights one of the best in the NHL right now. By Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno. UPCOMING: 950 words, photos, video by 5 a.m. on Wednesday.

THURSDAY, Feb. 8

BLACK HISTORY-GAME CHANGERS-JOHNSON

There was no more potent or more closely guarded symbol of white domination at the turn of the 20th Century than the title of heavyweight champion of the world. Then 32-year-old Jack Johnson stepped into the ring. By AP Sports Writer Kareem Copeland. UPCOMING: 950 words, photos and video by 3 a.m. Eastern on Thursday.

FRIDAY, Feb. 9

BBO–FOOTBALL TRAINING

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – In the shadows of Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Carlos Gonzalez, Martin Prado, Jordan Schafer and several other Major League Baseball stars train alongside football players – using similar methods. Under the guidance of a former NFL strength and conditioning coach, baseball players do football cutting drills and lifting to prepare for spring training and the season. By Stephen Whyno. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos, video by 5 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 9.

BKC–THE LOW-MAJORS-SLIM MARGIN

SACRAMENTO, California- Sacramento State appeared to have the type of team that could break the school’s NCAA Tournament drought in 2015-16. When senior point guard Cody Demps went down with an injury, those hopes disappeared in a hurry. Unlike the bigger schools in Division I college basketball that just bring another talented player off the bench, small programs like Sac State have a razor thin margin for error. By Basketball Writer John Marshall. UPCOMING: 1,000 words, photos by 12 p.m. Friday.

BBO-SPRING TRAINING

Baseball enters its most unsettled spring training since 1995, with more than 100 free agents still on the market as players and Major League Baseball feud publicly about riches and rules. J.D. Martinez, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas and Jake Arrieta were among the most prominent players still seeking jobs, and the players’ association could open its own camp for the unemployed. By Baseball Writer Ronald Blum. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by noon Friday.

MONDAY, Feb. 12

BLACK HISTORY-GAME CHANGERS-ALI

Muhammad Ali knew he didn’t have much time left. His career was at stake but more importantly, so was his freedom as he awaited the day he would formally refuse to be inducted in the armed forces of the United States. Ali embarked on a grand tour from a soccer stadium in England to the Astrodome in Houston to make some money before his fighting days came to an end. He would need it, because his refusal to be drafted ended up costing the heavyweight champion three years during what would have been the prime of his career. By Tim Dahlberg. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos, video and interactive timeline.

THURSDAY, Feb. 15

BLACK HISTORY-GAME CHANGERS-MUTED ERA

Black athletes become superstars, signing lucrative endorsement deals and gaining tremendous popularity among whites. They become saturated in pop culture. And with so much to lose, some of the most prominent athletes became voiceless, not speaking out on societal woes and not willing to take a stand. O.J. Simpson. Michael Jordan. Tiger Woods. Rodney King’s brutal beating creates an outcry about police brutality. So much so that when Simpson is charged with murder, his trial will divide the country and stir racial tensions. Woods bursts onto the golf scene, destroying records held by whites. He was heralded by blacks, but wants to make sure he paid respects to his mother’s Asian heritage. By Jesse J. Holland. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos, video and interactive timeline by 3 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 15.

Again, if you have questions about the Sports Showcase Digest or the material listed, please reach out to Oskar Garcia, assistant sports editor for the U.S. east region, at 215-446-6632 or at ogarcia(at)ap.org.

Thanks,

AP Sports