Wednesday Sports in Brief
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Freshman sensation Zion Williamson was knocked out of the North Carolina-Duke rivalry game with a knee sprain after his Nike shoe blew out during the top-ranked Blue Devils’ opening possession Wednesday night.
While describing the sprain as mild and the knee as stable, coach Mike Krzyzewski said he doesn’t know how much time Williamson will miss.
Williamson grabbed his right knee in pain after slipping awkwardly and falling when his left shoe fell apart as he planted hard while dribbling near the free throw line. The blue rubber sole ripped loose from the white shoe from the heel to the toes along the outside edge, with Williamson’s foot coming all the way through the large gap.
Nike said in a statement that it was “concerned” and wished Williamson a speedy recovery. It said it was “working to identify the issue.”
No. 8 North Carolina took advantage of Williamson’s absence to beat the Blue Devils 88-72.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Philadelphia 76ers All-Star center Joel Embiid will miss at least a week with a sore left knee.
Embiid underwent an MRI on Tuesday, which revealed no structural damage, and he will undergo physical therapy until he is evaluated again next week.
The 24-year-old Embiid is averaging 27.3 points and 13.5 rebounds in 54 games for the Sixers. He had 10 points and 12 rebounds in 23 minutes in last Sunday’s All-Star game.
Embiid was the No. 3 overall pick of the 2014 draft and missed his first two seasons with multiple foot and knee injuries.
DETROIT (AP) — Free agent Josh Harrison has agreed to a one-year deal with the Detroit Tigers, according to a person familiar with the negotiations.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity Wednesday because the deal was still subject to a successful physical.
The 31-year-old Harrison spent his first eight major league seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He’s played second base, third base, shortstop and in the outfield.
Harrison did not have a great 2018 at the plate, hitting .250 with eight home runs and 37 RBIs. He missed time early in the season with a hand injury and ended up playing just 97 games.
—By AP Baseball Writer Noah Trister.
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Le’Veon Bell is free to go. Antonio Brown, maybe not so much.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have no plans to place a transition tag on Bell, allowing the star running back to reach the open market when free agency begins next month. And while the team will explore moving Brown, general manager Kevin Colbert stressed Wednesday the Steelers will not cut the talented but turbulent star wide receiver just to appease him.
CLEVELAND (AP) — The Browns boosted their wide receiving group by signing Jaelen Strong, who missed last season with a knee injury.
A former third-round pick, Strong sat out 2018 after tearing a knee ligament late in the 2017 season with Jacksonville. The 25-year-old has made three starts and played in 20 NFL games with Houston and the Jaguars.
The 6oot-2, 220-pounder has 31 career catches for 330 yards and four touchdowns.
Strong, who played at Arizona State, was waived by the Texans two years ago and signed with Jaguars.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Panthers running backs coach Jim Skipper has retired from coaching after 32 years in the NFL, including 15 with Carolina.
Carolina ranked in the top 10 in rushing yards eight times in Skipper’s 15 seasons, including each of the last five years. Carolina’s running backs went to six Pro Bowls under Skipper and four were voted All-Pro.
Skipper was a member of both of Carolina’s Super Bowl teams in 2003 and 2015.
The Boston Bruins acquired center Charlie Coyle from the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday night for center Ryan Donato and a conditional fifth-round pick that would become a fourth-round choice if the Bruins win a playoff round.
Coyle represents a significant forward upgrade for Boston, which has won six in a row to move into second place in the Atlantic Division.
The 26-year-old Coyle had 10 goals and 18 assists this season, but no points in his past seven games. Minnesota hasn’t scored in 156 minutes, approaching a franchise record, and has lost nine of 10.
The 22-year-old Donato has been unable to stick in the NHL lineup with the Bruins after joining them late last season.
Steve Stricker is going to his seventh straight Ryder Cup, this time in his home state of Wisconsin as the American captain.
Stricker officially was appointed Ryder Cup captain Wednesday morning in Milwaukee, an hour south of where the Americans will try to win back the Ryder Cup in 2020 at Whistling Straits.
Europe already has appointed Padraig Harrington as its captain.
Stricker, who turns 52 on Saturday, is the first U.S. captain to have never won a major, part of the old formula for picking captains. He won 12 times on the PGA Tour and didn’t play in his first Ryder Cup until he was 41, in 2008 at Valhalla, a rare U.S. win.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Playing in Nashville means tapping into Music City, and the Major League Soccer team debuting in 2020 unveiled its name as the Nashville Soccer Club along with a logo and colors Wednesday before approximately 1,500 fans.
Nashville SC’s logo features a blue “N” surrounded by lines meant to mimic sound waves, and the team’s colors will be “acoustic blue” and “electric gold” with gold the primary color for home uniforms.
HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama high school basketball star who had been ruled ineligible dropped a lawsuit against the Alabama High School Athletic Association shortly after her senior season ended.
Pike County Circuit Judge Sonny Reagan dismissed the suit Wednesday at the request of Maori Davenport’s mother, Tara.
The Charles Henderson star had sued the AHSAA and director Steve Savarese after she was ruled ineligible for accepting a payment from USA Basketball. She played for Team USA last summer and received an $857.20 stipend, which was repaid.