Houston Comets forward Sheryl Swoopes accomplished just about everything she set her mind to this season, but she couldn't keep from crying Thursday as she accepted the WNBA trophy as the league's most valuable player.
Swoopes, a 1996 Olympic Gold Medalist, was the first WNBA player signed in 1997, but she immediately went on maternity leave and played sparingly her first season.
She started her pro career with defensive deficiencies, but improved so much that on Tuesday she was named the league's defensive player of the year after winning the league's scoring title for the first time.
Swoopes received 527 points and 38 first place votes to edge Los Angeles Sparks center Lisa Leslie, the team and player the Comets faced Thursday in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals.
Leslie got 450 votes as the runner-up. Houston's Cynthia Cooper, a two-time MVP winner, finished fifth in the voting.
Top-seeded Martina Hingis took another step toward defending her du Maurier Open title Thursday with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Kveta Hrdlickova of the Czech Republic.
An hour later, her rival for the world No. 1 ranking, second-seeded Lindsay Davenport, retired with a sprained left foot in the opening set of her third-round match against Bulgarian qualifier Magdalena Maleeva.
Davenport, who injured the foot in a match with Justine Henin on Wednesday, likely would have overtaken Hingis in the world rankings had she gone one round farther than the Swiss ace at the du Maurier.
That would probably have made Davenport the top seed at the U.S. Open, which begins Aug. 28 in New York. Now, Hingis is all but assured of the No. 1 seed.
Augusta State head coach Jay Seawell has been named the school's new director of golf, and will oversee the operations of the men's and new women's program, which will begin competition in the fall of 2001.
Seawell, who became the Jaguars' coach in 1998 after spending five seasons at Anderson College (1991-95), has produced seven All-Americans and 17 all-region performers during his career.
The founder of the International Boxing Federation was acquitted of charges he took bribes from promoters and managers to manipulate rankings.
But he was found guilty on six of the 33 felony counts, including tax evasion, money laundering and interstate travel in aid of racketeering.
A federal jury deliberated 15 days before finding Robert W. Lee, 66, innocent on the bribery charges. Lee's 38-year-old son, Robert Jr., who served as an aide, was acquitted on all nine charges against him.
Prosecutors accused Lee and other IBF officials of taking $338,000 from promoters and managers virtually since the IBF's inception in 1983 in exchange for favors and rigged rankings.
The fifth game of South Carolina's Spain/Canary Islands tour was postponed due to travel problems for the Gamecocks' opponent. South Carolina will face Tenerife, which beat the Gamecocks' 88-87 on Wednesday, tonight.
Through four games on the trip, North Augusta High graduate Antonio Grant is averaging 11 points per game, while South Aiken's Tony Kitchings is at 10.5.
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