Sports digest 10/31/01

Wednesday, October 31, 2001

Rams' Wistrom joins ownership group

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- St. Louis Rams defensive end Grant Wistrom has joined the ownership consortium of a minor league hockey team that already includes a former Blues player.

Wistrom was announced Monday as the newest owner of the Springfield Spirit of the North American Hockey League. The team, formerly the St. Louis Sting, also is owned by ex-Blues enforcer Kelly Chase and former Blues spokeswoman Susie Mathieu.

Wistrom, who grew up in nearby Webb City, said it has always been a dream to be a team owner. He approached Chase after it was announced Oct. 22 that the team was moving to Springfield from East Alton, Ill.

Wistrom said he told Chase: "I can't believe you guys have a hockey team in my back yard and didn't ask me to be part of it."

Wistrom's fondness for hockey began during his college days at Nebraska, when he started following the junior league team in Lincoln. Since moving to St. Louis in 1998, he has become a regular at Blues games.

Capriati wins opener at year-end event

MUNICH, Germany -- Jennifer Capriati took a big step toward ending the year at No. 1, beating Bulgaria's Magdalena Maleeva in three sets Tuesday at the Sanex Championships.

Capriati struggled in the first and final set, wasting a match point, but won 2-6, 6-3, 6-3.

Sandrine Testud upset fifth-seeded Amerlie Mauresmo 5-7, 7-5, 6-1 in an all-French match.

The $3 million tournament is the WTA's final major event of the year. It features the top 16 players, not counting those who are injured.

If Capriati had lost, Lindsay Davenport could have passed her for the top ranking by reaching the final. Davenport has won a title in three straight weeks, drawing within a few computer points of Capriati.

Now Davenport, who faces South Africa's Amanda Coetzer on Wednesday, will have to win the tournament if Capriati wins her second match and reaches the semifinals.

Kings place Webber on injured list

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The Sacramento Kings placed star forward Chris Webber on the injured list late Monday night.

Webber, who signed a seven-year, $122.7 million contract in the offseason, sprained his right ankle during a preseason game on Oct. 14. He is expected to miss at least the first four weeks of the regular season, though Webber has said he hopes to return earlier.

Webber, who made the All-NBA team last season, was the league's sixth-leading scorer, averaging 27.1 points, 11.1 rebounds and 4.2 assists. As the top scorer on the NBA's highest-scoring team, he led Sacramento to a 55-27 record and the second round of the playoffs.

The Kings open their season against Seattle on Tuesday night at Arco Arena.

Stoops says White's injury is a sprain

NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops didn't wait for the question about injured quarterback Jason White. Instead, he went on the offensive at his weekly news conference.

Stoops had said Sunday and again Monday that White sprained his left knee in Saturday's loss to Nebraska and could play next week against Texas A&M. But a newspaper report Monday said White tore his anterior cruciate ligament and his status for the rest of the season was in doubt.

Media picks Kansas to win Big 12

DALLAS -- Reporters covering the Big 12 have chosen Kansas to win the conference championship in men's basketball.

The media preseason player of the year was Missouri forward Kareem Rush. Joining Rush on the media Preseason All-Big 12 Team are Oklahoma State's Maurice Baker, Texas senior forward Chris Owens and the Kansas junior forward duo of Drew Gooden and Nick Collison.

In the preseason poll, Kansas was followed by Missouri, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Texas, Iowa State, Colorado, Baylor, Texas Tech, Kansas State, Nebraska and Texas A&M.

-- From wire reports

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