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Monday
May202019

Report: Timberwolves finalizing deal with interim coach Ryan Saunders

Tar_Heel_Rob/iStock(NEW YORK) -- It appears interim coach Ryan Saunders may be staying put with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

League sources tell ESPN Saunders is close to completing a multiyear deal, which could be finalized as early as Monday, to become the team’s head coach. ESPN reports Saunders, 32, is working on putting his staff together.

Saunders stepped in to lead Minnesota after the Timberwolves fired coach Tom Thibodeau in January.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
May202019

Scoreboard roundup -- 5/19/19

iStock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the scores from Sunday's sports events:

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

INTERLEAGUE
Texas 5 St. Louis 4, 10 Innings

AMERICAN LEAGUE
NY Yankees 13 Tampa Bay 5
Boston 4 Houston 3
Cleveland 10 Baltimore 0
Toronto 5 Chi White Sox 2
Kansas City 5 LA Angels 1
Seattle 7 Minnesota 4
Oakland 5 Detroit 3 (Suspended due to rain)

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Philadelphia 7 Colorado 5
LA Dodgers 8 Cincinnati 3
Miami 3 NY Mets 0
Milwaukee 3 Atlanta 2, 10 Innings
San Francisco 3 Arizona 2, 10 Innings
Pittsburgh 6 San Diego 4
Chi Cubs 6 Washington 5

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PLAYOFFS

EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS, GAME 3
2OT Toronto 118 Milwaukee 112

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE PLAYOFFS

NHL CONFERENCE FINALS, GAME 5
St. Louis 5 San Jose 0

WOMEN'S NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PRESEASON
Connecticut 98 NY Liberty 79
Indiana 71 Dallas 66
Minnesota 79 Las Vegas 75

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
Orlando 5 FC Cincinnati 1

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Saturday
May182019

Another horse dies at Santa Anita racetrack, marking 24 in six months

Mario Tama/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Another horse has died at Santa Anita Park in California, the race track said Saturday, marking the 24th thoroughbred fatality in the last six months.

A horse also died Friday at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, on the eve of the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown.

Santa Anita and Pimlico are both owned by the Canadian-based Stronach Group.

"Commander Coil, a three-year-old gelding, sustained a fatal shoulder injury while galloping during training on the morning of May 17th. Equine shoulder injuries are rare, especially for a horse that is galloping as opposed to breezing or racing. A comprehensive evaluation will be completed to understand what might have caused this uncommon injury," a spokesperson for Santa Anita said in a statement to ABC News.

Despite the rash of horse deaths since December, the death at Santa Anita marks the first one in six weeks.

"Since reforms were introduced on March 15, there have been over 80,000 gallops during training with no fatalities,” Santa Anita Park's statement said.

Clifford Sise, a veteran horse trainer for 47 years who is currently working with 15 horses between San Luis Rey Training Center in San Diego and Santa Anita, called the death "a misfortune."

"It’s very rare to break a shoulder," Sise, who was at Santa Anita for horse races on Friday and Saturday, told ABC News. "When a horse isn’t doing anything the brain says, ‘Let’s decalcify these bones.’ When you're back into training, then the body says, 'Ok, we need calcium,' and the bones get stronger and stronger. So he’s been long enough to get over that part.

"Maybe the horse just went to bucking or took a bad step and broke its shoulder," Sise said. "A break in galloping is pretty serious. Nobody’s fault. Nothing to blame. Track’s been good up here. We’ve been over two months and that’s our first breakdown. That's been pretty good.”

The spate of horse deaths at Santa Anita earlier this year prompted several investigations, including a task force convened by the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office and the California Horse Racing Board.

In response to news about the L.A. prosecutors' investigation, Santa Anita said in a statement that the park "is and will continue to fully cooperate with the District Attorney’s investigation. The Stronach Group is fully committed to modernizing our sport in a way that prioritizes the welfare and safety of horses above all. We will work with anyone — including the District Attorney’s office — that shares our commitment to this cause."

Sise attributed the cluster of thoroughbred deaths to inclement weather. Southern California had an unusual amount of rain this past season after many years of drought or near drought, which would have impacted the quality of the track the horses can run on safely.

"Every time it rains you seal the tracks as hard as it can get. So the water runs off of it," Sise said. "It would stop raining only three days, where you can really work on it. You need at least seven, eight days to dry out. To go to the bottom of it and the cushion and work on it. It was nobody’s fault."

Across the country in Maryland, the horse died after racing.

“Congrats Gal suffered sudden death after the eighth race today,” the Stronach Group, which owns Pimlico, said in a statement to The New York Times. “The incident occurred after the wire. Commission veterinarians attended to the horse immediately. Our thoughts go out to all of the owners, trainers and connections of Congrats Gal.”

Stronach did not immediately respond to a request from ABC News for comment. It did not give Congrats Gal's cause of death.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Saturday
May182019

NBA star suspended two years for violating Anti-Drug Program

(NEW YORK) -- Indiana Pacers guard Tyreke Evans has been suspended for two seasons by the NBA due to a violation of the league's Anti-Drug Program.

The league announced the news on Friday afternoon.

Evans will have to sit out two seasons, after which he can apply for reinstatement with the league. The player's association must also approve the reinstatement.

"The Indiana Pacers were informed Friday by the NBA that Tyreke Evans has been dismissed from the league for a violation of the league’s anti-drug policy," the Pacers said in a statement. "We take these matters seriously and will reach out to Tyreke to offer our support."

The league and the NBAPA are prohibited from publicly disclosing what caused Evans to be suspended. A player can be disqualified for failing a test for a drug of abuse or being convicted or pleading guilty to possessing or distributing drugs.

O.J. Mayo and Chris "Birdman" Andersen are two of the most recent notable players suspended under the same rule.

The 29-year-old is a former first-round pick of the Sacramento Kings and was the NBA Rookie of the Year in 2010.

Evans played 69 games for the Pacers this season and averaged 10.2 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. He started 18 games.

The past season was his first with Indiana and his scoring total was the lowest of his 10-year career. He showed signs of being a star in the league as a rookie, when he started 72 games and averaged 20.1 points, 5.8 assists and 5.3 rebounds per game.

But that scoring average ended up being the highest of his career. He declined in points per game in each of his first five seasons in the NBA.

After four seasons in Sacramento, he bounced around from the New Orleans Pelicans, back to the Kings, then on to the Memphis Grizzlies and Pacers.

Indiana was bounced in the first round of the playoffs by Boston. He averaged 15.3 points per game in four games.

His deal with the Pacers was for one season and $12.4 million, making him a free agent once the league season ends.

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Friday
May172019

Kerr says Durant's injury ‘more serious than we thought’

Anthony Causi / ESPN Images(OAKLAND, Calif.) -- It doesn’t appear Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant, who’s been sidelined with a strained right calf since Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals, will be joining his team on the court anytime soon.

On Thursday, following Golden State’s 114-111 win over the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals, Warriors coach Steve Kerr said the injury was “more serious than we thought” and it’s not yet clear when Durant will be back on the court.

"Hopefully he continues to progress, and he has made progress but it's a little more serious than we thought at the very beginning," Kerr told ESPN. "So we'll see where it all goes, but he's in there all day long getting treatment. He's done a great job of committing himself to that process.”

[H]opefully he'll be back at some point, but we'll just wait and see,” he added.

Durant, 30, is expected to be re-evaluated next week.

Game 3 between the Warriors and Trail Blazers will be played Saturday in Portland, Oregon.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
May172019

Scoreboard roundup -- 5/16/19

iStock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the scores from Thursday's sports events:

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Oakland 17 Detroit 3
Texas 16 Kansas City 1
Cleveland 14 Baltimore 7
Chi White Sox 4 Toronto 2
Minnesota 11 Seattle 6

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Milwaukee 11 Philadelphia 3
Washington 7 NY Mets 6
Cincinnati 4 Chi Cubs 2
Atlanta 10 St. Louis 2
San Diego 4 Pittsburgh 3

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PLAYOFFS

WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS GAME 2

Golden State 114 Portland 111

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE PLAYOFFS

Boston 4 Carolina 0 (BOS wins series 4-0)

WOMEN'S NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PRESEASON

Indiana 76 Chicago 65

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
Los Angeles FC 2 Dallas 0

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
May162019

Olympic gold medalist Allyson Felix on the 'two most terrifying days of my life'

Patrick Smith/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Six-time Olympic Gold Medalist Allyson Felix is expected to share with lawmakers on Thursday the “two most terrifying days” that left her fighting for not only her life, but her infant daughter’s.

“At the time, I did not realize just how many other women just like me were experiencing those same fears and much worse,” she was slated to say according to prepared testimony to a House Ways and Means Committee panel.

Felix was 32 weeks pregnant when she went to her doctor for a routine checkup. She had no prior complications, and, to her knowledge, was healthy.

She noticed her feet were a little swollen, but wasn’t concerned.

“It was just swelling, after all, and if there was anything to worry about, I trusted my doctors would have told me to look out for I am a professional athlete and had continued to exercise throughout my pregnancy and was in great shape,” she explained.

She didn’t know her routine prenatal check-up appointment would turn into one of the most frightening days of her life.

Surviving the odds

Felix’s doctor checked on her daughter Camryn as she normally would, but left the room while Felix sat in silence filling with “anxious anticipation” as minutes passed.

“Those few moments lasted an eternity, but the doctor finally came back in and she told me that I would need to go to the hospital for further tests,” Felix said.

Felix told her doctor she would go to the hospital after her scheduled photoshoot with ESPN, but her doctor made it clear that she needed to head there immediately.

As her nerves started to kick in, Felix said she remembered feeling alone in the car ride from the doctor’s office to the hospital.

“I was scared and I felt alone,” Felix said. “Not just because my husband was at work and my family was 1,500 miles away. I felt alone because I thought I must have done something wrong, this must have been my fault. I felt like I was one of a very few women that something so unpredictable was happening to.”

“I had a severe case of preeclampsia and if the doctors didn’t act fast, this could prove fatal,” Felix told Congress.

Preeclampsia is a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure and signs of damage to another organ system, most often the liver and kidneys, according to Mayo Clinic.

Ten hours later, Felix ended up needing an emergency cesarean section at 32 weeks. A full pregnancy term is recognized at 39 weeks.

The lives of both mother and daughter were at risk

“All I cared about in that moment was my daughter surviving, and didn’t fully understand my life was threatened too,” Felix expressed in her testimony. “Mothers don’t die from childbirth, right? Not in 2019, not professional athletes, not at one of the best hospitals in the country, and certainly not to women who have a birthing plan and a birthing suite lined up.”

“I kissed my husband goodbye not knowing what would happen next,” Felix added.

Acknowledging the disparities within healthcare

After undergoing an emergency C-section successfully, Felix gave birth to her daughter, the “most beautiful thing” she had ever seen.

“I only saw her for no more than 15 seconds before they rushed her away. I closed my eyes,” Felix said.

The baby spent the next month in the NICU and Felix learned that her pregnancy complication and near-death experience were not uncommon.

“There were others like me - just like me. Black like me, healthy like me, doing their best - just like me. They faced death like me too,” Felix said.

Felix said she she learned that black women are nearly four times more likely to die from childbirth than white mothers are in the United States and suffer severe complications twice as often.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an analysis of 2011-2015 national data on pregnancy mortality and of 2013-2017 detailed data from 13 state maternal mortality review committees found that, of the 700 pregnancy-related deaths that happen each year in the United States, nearly 31 percent happen during pregnancy, 36 percent happen during delivery or the week after, and 33 percent happen one week to one year after delivery.

The data also confirm persistent racial disparities: Black and American Indian/Alaska Native women were about three times as likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause as white women. However, the CDC analysis found that most deaths were preventable, regardless of race or ethnicity.

Felix referenced a Scientific News article, “To Prevent Women from Dying in Childbirth, First Stop Blaming Them” in her testimony, which claims that pregnancy-related risk factors are equally shared by all black women regardless of income, education or geographical location.

For example, the Brookings Institution conducted a study showing the most prevalent racial disparities within America's middle class and determined that black mothers with advanced professional degrees, such as a master's degree or higher, have a higher chance of infant mortality compared to white women whose highest education level is the eighth grade.

Felix urges lawmakers to help change the country’s healthcare system.

“There is a level of racial bias within our healthcare system that is troubling and will be difficult to tackle, but that does not mean that we should not be tackling it,” Felix told the committee.

“I came here to share my story a story that I thought was unique, but quickly learned was not. As a result, I have decided to further lend my voice to organizations who have taken up this work and hope that I can not only share my story, but be intimately involved in this work and fight to make a difference,” she added.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
May162019

Stephen Curry calls playing against his brother 'such a mixed feeling' 

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NBA star Stephen Curry opened up about what it's like to play against his younger brother, Seth Curry, in the high-stakes Western Conference Finals this year, telling ESPN, "I can't turn off that human nature, in that moment, to root for him, even if I know it will hurt me."

The Golden State Warriors point guard said he initially looked forward to facing off against his brother, a guard for the Portland Trail Blazers, on the court, saying he was cheering for him during Sunday night's Game 7 of the second round in the Western Conference playoffs.

"My whole family obviously rooting for the Blazers, for them to advance and have the Curry-Curry battle in the Western Conference Finals, and it came to be," Stephen Curry told ESPN in an interview that aired on ABC News' Good Morning America Thursday. "I was a part of the Portland faithful for a little bit."

Having their two sons compete against each other put parents Dell and Sonya Curry in an uncertain position, and the couple delighted social media Tuesday night when they showed up to Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals each wearing a split jersey with one son's team on the front and the other's on the back.

"They flipped a coin," to decide which son's jersey to wear, Stephen Curry told ESPN.

"And then they both copped out and got the half and half jerseys because I know they were both so invested in both of us," he added, quipping that he got "so confused" at times.

"I normally look up at the family section with my wife sitting up there, my parents, my sister, when something good happens," he said.

On Tuesday night, however, Stephen Curry said he looked up to see his mom clapping, "but all I see is straight Portland across her jersey."

"So I yelled up something to her," he said. "I was like, 'Who you with?'"

After competing against each other in Game 2 on Thursday night in Oakland, the Curry brothers will face-off again for Game 3 on Seth Curry's home turf in Portland.

"I know when we go to Portland it will be even crazier, cause they’ll be feeding off their home crowd energy," Stephen Curry said. "I don’t know if I’ll be able to look over there."

Still, the two-time NBA MVP said he can't help but feel happy for his younger brother's successes, even when he's playing against him on the court.

"When I was guarding him yesterday, he had a corner three in front of our bench, and it's such a mixed feeling," he said. "I can’t really turn it off to be honest, I'm like, 'Oh, I’ll be OK if he makes this one, I'm still gonna contest really hard because it looks good on film, but I might be OK with him making it.'"

"I can’t turn off that human nature in that moment to root for him, even though if I know that it will hurt me if he's playing well," Stephen Curry added.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
May162019

Scoreboard roundup -- 5/15/19

iStock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the scores from Wednesday's sports events:

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

INTERLEAGUE
San Francisco 4 Toronto 3
Tampa Bay 1 Miami 0
Boston 6 Colorado 5, 10 Innings

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Minnesota 8 LA Angels 7
NY Yankees 5 Baltimore 3
NY Yankees 3 Baltimore 1
Houston 5 Detroit 1
Texas 6 Kansas City 1

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Arizona 11 Pittsburgh 1
Cincinnati 6 Chi Cubs 5, 10 Innings
Milwaukee 5 Philadelphia 2
Washington 5 NY Mets 1
Atlanta 4 St. Louis 0
LA Dodgers 2 San Diego 0

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PLAYOFFS

EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS, GAME 1

Milwaukee 108 Toronto 100

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE PLAYOFFS
OT San Jose 5 St. Louis 4 (San Jose leads 2-1)

WOMEN'S NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PLAYOFFS
Phoenix 87 Seattle 84

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
D.C. United 0 Toronto 0

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
May152019

Tiger Woods named in wrongful-death lawsuit by family of man who died in DUI crash

Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images(JUPITER, Fla.) -- The family of a man who worked as a bartender at Tiger Woods' flagship restaurant in Florida has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the 15-time Major winner, his girlfriend and the restaurant.

Nicholas Immesberger, 24, had a blood alcohol level that was more than three times the legal limit when he crashed his car on Dec. 10, 2018, according to his family.

The lawsuit was filed on Monday. Lawyers for the family held a news conference on Tuesday during which they said that on the day he died, Immesberger had worked a lunch shift and then spent three hours drinking at the bar, called The Woods, before setting off for home. His family says that he was served alcohol to the point of "severe intoxication."

Neither Woods nor his girlfriend, Erica Herman -- who works as a general manager at the Jupiter, Florida, bar -- were there on the day Immesberger died, Spencer Kuvin, a lawyer for the family, said on Tuesday. He claimed, however, that Woods was aware of Immesberger's addiction to alcohol.

The family's attorneys also claim that video showing Immesberger drinking at the restaurant's bar after work on the night he died had been destroyed.

Lawyers for the Immesberger family said the lawsuit was intended to "prevent the further destruction of evidence."

"Tiger, Erica and The Woods staff all knew that Nick had a disease. He was addicted to alcohol," said Craig Goldenfarb, another lawyer for the family, during the news conference.

The pro golfer, who received the Medal of Freedom from President Trump on May 6, addressed the issue at a news conference Tuesday for this week's PGA championship.

"We are all very sad that Nick passed away. It was a terrible, terrible night, terrible ending and just...we feel bad for him and his entire family. ... It’s very sad," Woods said.

Immesberger’s parents say he was planning on going back to school to become a firefighter. They are now seeking unspecified monetary damages.

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