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Rising star Bradie Tennell’s near-perfect free skate earned her a national title and almost certainly a spot on the U.S. team for next month’s Olympics.

Tennell was spotless in the short program two days ago Nick O'Leary Jersey , then as the final skater in the long program she didn’t miss a trick under tremendous pressure. Her top competitors, Mirai Nagasu and Karen Chen, already had put down superb routines.

Nagasu capped a sensationally sweet comeback with a flowing performance to finish second, virtually assuring a spot in next month’s Olympics – a berth she was denied four years ago by the selection committee.

Chen, the defending champion, was third.

Ashley Wagner called out judges her scores in the free skate, which put in jeopardy her chances of returning to the Olympics. Wagner scored a 130.85 in her strongest event for 196.19, finishing fourth.

”I’m furious, I am absolutely furious,” Wagner said. ”I know when I go and I lay it down and I absolutely left one jump on the table, but for me to put out two programs that I did at this competition as solid as I skated and to get those scores, I am furious, and I think deservedly so.”

SPEED SKATING

MILWAUKEE (AP) – Erin Jackson surprised herself and almost everyone else at the U.S. speedskating trials, becoming a first-time Olympian after just four months on ice.

Coming from the world of inline skating, Jackson qualified in the 500 meters by finishing third behind veterans Brittany Bowe and Heather Bergsma.

Bowe had the fastest time over two heats Friday night. She was quicker in her first run around the big oval, clocking 37.95 seconds. Her second run was 38.18. Bergsma also was quicker in her first heat at 38.24. Her second trip was 38.42.

Jackson was just the opposite. The 25-year-old skater from Ocala, Florida Duke Dawson Jersey , went 39.22 in her first heat. She was even better in her second run, going 39.04.

”I really wasn’t expecting any of this, just coming in as a newbie, just trying to do the best I can,” she said, smiling. ”I still don’t even know.”

PRO FOOTBALL

NEW YORK (AP) – The NFL is sending the remaining portion of a $30 million investment in neurological research to government-funded entities despite ending the original agreement for the project.

The league said it would send $7.7 million each to the Department of Defense and a group that studies traumatic brain injuries. Another $2.3 million will go to the National Institute for Aging.

An agreement to issue the funds through the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health ended in August, and the NFL chose the final dispersals following discussions with experts on the most pressing scientific research needs.

Each of the research projects receives substantial federal funding. Through its involvement, the NFL hopes to learn more about concussions and other brain injuries.

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) – The Oakland Raiders are set to bring Jon Gruden back for a second stint as coach.

A person with knowledge of the team’s plans said the Raiders are planning a news conference Tuesday to announce that Gruden is leaving the broadcast booth to come back to coaching. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team has made no formal announcement.

The Raiders fired Jack Del Rio following a disappointing six-win season and talk immediately turned to Gruden. Gruden spent four years as coach for the Raiders before being dealt to Tampa Bay, where he beat Oakland in the Super Bowl following his first season in 2002. Gruden has been out of coaching for nine years.

The news conference was first reported by the Raiders Snake Pit website.

PRO BASKETBALL

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Hall of Famer Julius Erving fell ill at the Philadelphia 76ers’ game and was taken to a hospital.

There was no immediate update on his condition.

”Philadelphia 76ers legend Julius Erving fell ill at tonight’s game and was taken to a local hospital, where he is currently being evaluated. He is expected to be released after the evaluation,” said a statement on behalf of Erving’s management team and the Sixers.

Erving, 67, attended the game and rang the ceremonial Liberty Bell before tipoff. The dunker more commonly known as ”Dr. J” was honored by the team to mark 35 years since he threw down his famous cradle dunk against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Erving led the Sixers to their last NBA championship in 1983 and was 1981 NBA MVP.

SPORTS ANALYTICS

BOSTON (AP) – Former President Barack Obama will speak at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference on Feb. 23, though it’s unclear what he plans to discuss.

The conference announced on Twitter that Obama, an avid sports fan, will make an appearance.

MIT has held the conference annually since 2007 Frank Gore Jersey , hosting industry professionals to discuss the role of analytics in sports. This year, Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman are scheduled to speak, as are retired baseball star Alex Rodriguez, FiveThirtyEight founder Nate Silver and Los Angeles Clippers owner and former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

Obama routinely filled out NCAA Tournament brackets on ESPN during his presidency, and his White House press secretary, Josh Earnest, once said Obama would consider being part of the ownership group for an NBA franchise.

The Latest on Thursday night’s NBA draft (all times local):

11 p.m.

The Atlantic Coast Conference, which tied its record with nine NCAA Tournament teams earlier this year, had the most players selected in the first round of the NBA draft: six players.

Duke accounted for half the ACC’s total with Marvin Bagley III, Wendell Carter Jr. and Grayson Allen.

After setting a league record with eight NCAA teams, the Southeastern Conference ranked second again with five first-round picks – but only two from Kentucky. The SEC also tied its own mark with four lottery picks for the second time in four years for the league.

The Big Ten matched its four NCAA teams with four first-round draft picks.

The Big 12 fell far short of matching its seven NCAA berths with only three first-round picks. But the Pac 12, which had Arizona’s Deandre Ayton taken No. 1 overall, matched its three NCAA teams with three draft picks.

And Villanova, the defending national champ, helped the Big East top its two No. 1 seeds. Three Wildcats wound up drafted among the first 30 picks.



9:10 p.m.

Michael Porter Jr. insists that he’s the best player in this draft.

Apparently, 13 teams disagreed.

Porter Jr. Brent Urban Jersey , whose college career at Missouri was all of three games because of back surgery, fell to the very last lottery spot in Thursday night’s draft. The Denver Nuggets decided Porter Jr. was worth the gamble, taking him with the No. 14 selection.

Porter played just 53 minutes in college and cancelled a workout in recent days because of what was described as a hip issue.

The freefall is going to cost Porter some money. The top pick in this year’s draft, Deandre Ayton, is guaranteed to make at least $6.7 million. Porter Jr. is only guaranteed $2.4 million.



9 p.m.

Before Deandre Ayton was selected by the Phoenix Suns with the first pick of the draft, he had signed a multimillion deal with Puma.

Ayton, one of three players in this class who made the choice to go with Puma over bigger brands such as Nike and Adidas, says it was an easy and personal decision for him.

He says, ”In the Bahamas, a lot of people cannot afford Nike or Adidas. Puma is the main brand and it’s very affordable, and growing up around that brand, I’m used to that brand.”

Ayton, who played at Arizona, is from Nassau, Bahamas. The inside of his draft tuxedo not only featured Bahama’s flag but also Nigeria and Jamaica ones. His mom is Jamaican and Bahamian. His dad is Nigerian.

Marvin Bagley III and Zhaire Smith also signed with Puma.

Ayton says he wants to ”start my own thing,” adding, ”I want to be dominant in my own brand Tavon Young Jersey , and I want to have my own signature one day to make it global.”



7:50 p.m.

Luka Doncic won a championship on Tuesday. For Real Madrid. In Spain.

Two days later, he’s in the NBA.

The Slovenian teenager -considered one of the best prospects to come out of Europe- was picked No. 3 overall by the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday night, amid reports that he would quickly be traded to Dallas for the No. 5 pick and a future first-round selection.

This marks the seventh time in the last 13 drafts that at least one player has gone in the top five and will be entering the NBA directly from an international team. Andrea Bargnani went No. 1 overall in 2006; the last top-five to come from an international roster was Dragan Bender, who went No. 4 to Phoenix in 2016.

The international touch on this draft is already pronounced, with No. 1 pick Deandre Ayton being born in the Bahamas.



7:40 p.m.

Only eight years after playing basketball for the first time, Deandre Ayton is the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft.

The Phoenix Suns made the long-expected move official on Thursday night, taking the Arizona center with the top overall pick. He’s the first Arizona player to go No. 1 in the draft; Mike Bibby was No. 2 in 1998 and Derrick Williams was No. 2 in 2011.

It’s history for Ayton, and history for his homeland as well.

Ayton is just the second player born in the Bahamas to go No. 1, joining Mychal Thompson – the top pick in the 1978 draft by the Portland Trail Blazers.

The 7-foot-1 Ayton, who didn’t start playing basketball until he was 12, averaged 20.1 points and 11.6 rebounds per game in his lone college season. He’s the ninth consecutive one-and-done player to be taken No. 1 overall.



7:25 p.m.

The players in New York who were headed to the Green Room were individually introduced on stage before the draft officially started. They had their names announced, special accolades and where they are from. Parents also got to walk out with their sons.

Members of the Jr. NBA lined up to clap and cheer, creating a walkway for the draft prospects as they went to sit down at their respective tables.

This is the first time NBA has started the draft with an elaborate introduction.



6:40 p.m.

Avery Johnson is back at Barclays Center, home of some turbulent times.

Draft night will be a celebratory one for the Alabama coach, who is seated at the green room table of star Crimson Tide point guard Collin Sexton.

Johnson was the Nets‘ coach when they moved to Brooklyn in 2012 but was fired with a 14-14 record early in that first season shortly after they were blown out at home by Boston in a nationally televised Christmas Day game.

He eventually ended up at Alabama and coached here last season when the Crimson Tide played in the Barclays Center Classic. They finished their championship game los Adidas Andrew Cogliano Jersey


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