Originally created 10/07/04


Pro Basketball

James becomes a father for first time

LeBron James had a good reason for missing practice Wednesday. He became a father.

The Cavaliers star guard and his longtime girlfriend, a 19-year-old Akron woman, had a baby boy Wednesday. No other details were available.

James left the team's training camp in Columbus to be with her and his new son. He was expected to rejoin the team today as he prepares for his second NBA season.

During the team's media day Monday at Gund Arena, James wouldn't comment when asked if he were about to become a father.

Fatherhood should fit James well. The reigning rookie of the year, who turns 20 in December, is most relaxed when he is among children. This summer, he donated money to refurbish basketball courts and youth community centers in Akron.

James was raised as an only child by his mother Gloria, who was estranged from James' father when he was a youngster

"That's my main goal, to try and be a better father than the one I had," James told the Akron Beacon Journal. "I didn't know him. I didn't know the situation he was in. But I'm going to do my job the best way I can."

The identity of James' father has always been mysterious. The paper reported he has died.

Another father figure in James' life, Eddie Jackson, is serving a three-year prison term for mortgage and mail fraud.


Georgian rallies in Mid-Amateur match

Wright Waddell, of Columbus, overcame a two-hole deficit with two to play Wednesday to advance to the semifinals of the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championships.

Waddell drained a short birdie putt at No. 17 and had his putt at No. 18 conceded by Kevin Marsh. Waddell made par on the extra hole for the victory at Sea Island Golf Club's Southside Course.

Waddell played Austin Eaton in the semifinals late Wednesday. The winner advances to today's championship match.


Local swimmer is an All-American

Rebekah Moody, of Martinez, was named to the 2003-04 United States Swimming Scholastic All-America Team. A total of 773 swimmers made the team.

The All-America Team is comprised of high school athletes who have grade-point averages of 3.5 or better and who have swam an individual event in one of seven prestigious meets.


Mayorga ordered by court to stay home

Former welterweight champion Ricardo Mayorga returned home Wednesday after a loss to Felix Trinidad and almost immediately was ordered under house arrest.

Mayorga, knocked out in a middleweight bout Saturday in New York, surrendered in court to face sexual abuse charges. A 20-year-old woman in September accused the boxer of rape.

He acknowledged having sex with her at a hotel but said it was consensual.

Prosecutor Odette Leyton said Mayorga should have been sent to prison pending trial. Bertha Ines Cabrales of the Women's Network Against Violence said she was surprised by the number of people who came to cheer the boxer.

On Tuesday, Mayorga told Nicaraguan reporters who had accompanied him to New York that he was retiring from boxing. He has a record of 26-5-1.


FIFA fines three for lenient drug rules

Soccer's governing body Wednesday fined Italy, the Netherlands and France for being too lenient with doping offenders.

The Italian and Dutch federations were fined $8,000, while the French will pay $11,500 for failing to abide by FIFA's minimum rules - a six-month suspension plus a fine - for punishing drug infractions.

The three associations were warned that if they continue to inadequately punish such offenses, FIFA will impose harsher sanctions.


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