Wednesday Sports in Brief


Maria Sharapova is retiring from professional tennis at the age of 32 after five Grand Slam titles and time ranked No. 1.

She has been dealing with shoulder problems for years.

Sharapova played only two matches this season and lost both.

In an essay written for Vanity Fair and Vogue about her decision to walk away from the sport, posted online Wednesday, Sharapova asks: “How do you leave behind the only life you’ve ever known?”

She burst onto the tennis scene at 17 when she won Wimbledon in 2004 and would go on to complete a career Grand Slam with two titles at the French Open and one each at the U.S. Open and Australian Open.

The Russian, who moved to Florida as a child, served a 15-month ban after failing a doping test in 2016.


TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — New York Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton will likely miss opening day because of a strained right calf, another significant injury for a team that was beset by health problems last season.

Manager Aaron Boone said Stanton was hurt near the end of defensive drills on Tuesday. An MRI found a Grade 1 strain.

“It will probably put us against it a little bit,” Boone said Wednesday. “I would say it’s time for him to get back, but then getting built up and stuff. We’ll see.”

The announcement came a day after New York said All-Star pitcher Luis Severino needed Tommy John surgery and would miss the entire season. Slugger Aaron Judge and lefty James Paxton already had been slowed this spring by injuries.

The Yankees put a major league-record 30 players on the injured list last year, with Stanton missing most of the season.


CLEVELAND (AP) — Philadelphia 76ers All-Star center Joel Embiid left Wednesday night’s game against Cleveland with a strained left shoulder.

Embiid appeared to collide with Cavaliers center Ante Zizic while being fouled late in the first quarter. The 7-footer held his shoulder when he went to the foul line and was in obvious pain as he missed two free throws.

Embiid was removed at the next time stoppage and walked to the locker room. He briefly returned to the bench in the second quarter, but went back to the locker room.

Embiid, who scored a career-high 49 points Monday against Atlanta, is averaging 23.8 points and 12 rebounds.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Hornets guard Malik Monk has been suspended without pay for violating the terms of the NBA/NBPA anti-drug program.

The suspension begins with Wednesday night’s game against the New York Knicks and will continue until he is determined to be in full compliance with the program.

The third-year reserve from Kentucky is averaging 10.3 points and 2.9 rebounds in 21 minutes per game this season. However, he had been playing much better of late, averaging 18.2 points per game in the last seven games.

Monk has played in 191 games during his career with one start.

Hornets coach James Borrego said before the game he hadn’t spoken to Monk since learning of the suspension.


ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester has been ruled out from returning to play in the regular season or in the playoffs.

General manager Doug Armstrong made the announcement on Wednesday.

In a news conference at the Enterprise Center, Bouwmeester spoke to reporters for the first time since he collapsed on the bench in the first period during a game at the Anaheim Ducks on Feb. 11.

“It was a scary thing, but its been going pretty good lately,” he said. “We’ll continue to evaluate things as it goes. I’m at the point now where I feel pretty good.”

Armstrong discussed Bouwmeester’s status for the remainder of this season.

“To clarify, Jay and I have both spoken over the last week or so,” Armstrong said. “We both understand that he won’t participate in the regular season or playoffs for us. We’ve talked about longer-term things that may or may not happen but we both feel, it’s February. We don’t have to make long-term decisions at this point.”

The 36-year-old Edmonton native was hospitalized at the UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange County, California, and spent five nights in the hospital. Bouwmeester had a cardioverter defibrillator implanted into his chest. It is a device that monitors heart function. It also can deliver a shock to the heart if an arrhythmia happens to restore a regular heartbeat.


WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Jada Lucas scored 20 points and Hartford — which had been the only winless Division I program this season, women or men — won its first game in its season finale, beating America East champion Stony Brook 73-70 on Wednesday night.

The victory was also the first in Morgan Valley’s head coaching career.

Carmen Villalobos added 16 points — 12 in the second — for the Hawks (1-28, 1-15).

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Former Penn coach Jerome Allen was hit a 15-year show-cause penalty after he accepted $300,000 in bribes to get a wealthy Florida businessman’s son into the University of Pennsylvania.

The Quakers, out of the Ivy League, also were slapped by the NCAA with two years of probation, fined $5,000 and given recruiting punishments. Allen’s show-cause penalty is meant to limit a coach’s ability to work in college sports after breaking NCAA rules.

“While Penn Athletics and its men’s basketball program accept the penalties handed down by the NCAA, it is unfortunate that this process did not fully differentiate wrongdoing for personal gain versus wrongdoing for competitive gain in penalizing the institution in addition to the involved individual,” Penn said in a statement.


INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — The Pac-12 and the Mountain West believe football fans around their conferences will be eager to see what’s inside SoFi Stadium.

The conferences’ commissioners formally announced the new LA Bowl on Wednesday at the under-construction stadium south of downtown Los Angeles. For at least the next six years, the Mountain West’s top team will face the fifth choice from the Pac-12 in December at the home stadium of the NFL’s Rams and Chargers.


BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho moved closer Wednesday to banning transgender women from competing in women’s sports despite warnings that such a law is unconstitutional and uncertainties about how the NCAA might react.

A measure that overwhelmingly passed in the Republican-led state House of Representatives would apply to all sports teams sponsored by public schools, colleges and universities. A girls’ or women’s team would not be open to a student who was born male, even if they identify as female.

It now goes to the GOP-dominated Senate. Republican Gov. Brad Little’s spokeswoman said he had no comment on whether he would sign it into law.

A similar bill is advancing in the Arizona Legislature, and Idaho Republican Rep. Barbara Ehardt, the bill’s sponsor, said said other states were considering following suit.


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Ray York, who won the 1954 Kentucky Derby aboard Determine at age 20 and rode in a record seven consecutive decades, has died. He was 86.

Michael McKay, his longtime girlfriend, said he died Sunday after a year-long struggle with pneumonia at an extended care facility near Bakersfield, California.

York rode Determine to victory in the 1954 Santa Anita Derby before they teamed to win the Kentucky Derby by 1 1/2 lengths. It was York’s only win in five Derby mounts. He was nearly unseated when Timely Tip made an abrupt left turn coming out of the starting gate and clipped heels with Determine.

York and Determine also won the 1955 Strub Stakes at Santa Anita. Determine went on to a successful stallion career, siring 1962 Kentucky Derby winner Decidedly.

In York’s only appearance in the Preakness Stakes, he finished 10th aboard Armageddon in 1952.

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Dick Tamburo, an athletic director at three major schools and an All-American center at Michigan State, has died. He was 90.

Michigan State announced that Tamburo died Monday.

A native of New Kensington, Pennsylvania, Tamburo served as the athletic director at Texas Tech, Arizona State and Missouri. He was inducted into the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics in 2006.

Tamburo also was an assistant coach at Arizona State and Iowa following two years in the Army.