FanFare

Saturday, July 13, 2002

Briefly

Basketball

  • Qyntel Woods signed a three-year contract with the Trail Blazers. Woods, a junior-college star who fell from a projected lottery pick to No. 21 on draft night, averaged 32.3 points at Northeast Mississippi Community College last season.

    Latasha Byears and Michelle Marciniak were suspended Friday by the WNBA for their part in a fight Thursday night. Byears, of the champion Sparks, was suspended for two games and fined $1,000. Marciniak, of the Storm, got a one-game suspension and a $500 fine.

    Colleges

  • Point guard Randy Pulley has left the Saint Louis program for academic reasons and will transfer to a junior college, coach Brad Soderberg said. Soderberg also announced that Anthony Drejaj, a 6-foot-2, 190-pound point guard from West Orange, N.J., has signed a letter of intent to play for the Billikens. Pulley, from Raleigh, N.C., last season as a Billikens freshman averaged 5 points and 2.3 assists a game, starting six games.

    Football

  • The Bears signed free-agent defensive tackle Christian Peter to a one-year contract. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Also Friday, the Bears agreed to terms on a three-year contract with third-round draft pick Terrence Metcalf. The offensive lineman is the second of the team's nine draft choices to sign.

    Hockey

  • The Blues signed Swedish defenseman Christian Backman. Backman, 22, skated in 44 games with Vastra Frolunda of the Swedish Elite League, scoring seven goal and four assists. In 170 career games with Vastra Frolunda, the 6-foot-4, 198-pound defenseman from Alingsas, Sweden, has nine goals and 18 assists. Backman was St. Louis' first-round selection, the 24th pick overall, in the 1998 draft. Contract terms were not disclosed.

    Free-agent right wing Tony Amonte signed a four-year deal with the Coyotes. Terms of Amonte's deal were not disclosed, but reports have the forward making $24 million over the next four years. Last season, Amonte played in all 82 games for the Blackhawks, recording 27 goals and 39 assists. Amonte, Chicago's team captain for the last two seasons, also scored six power play goals and four game-winning goals.

    The Blackhawks signed defenseman Nathan Dempsey to a contract, the team announced. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

    Soccer

  • Portuguese forward Joao Pinto was suspended until Oct. 17 for punching a referee who ejected him during last month's World Cup. The disciplinary committee of FIFA, soccer's governing body, also imposed a $33,800 fine and ordered Pinto to pay $10,000 in procedural costs.

    Tennis

  • Martina Hingis will miss this year's U.S. Open as she continues to recover from left ankle surgery, the WTA Tour announced. The former world No. 1 from Switzerland had surgery on May 20 in her homeland to repair ligaments in her ankle. According to her representatives, rehabilitation is "progressing well" and Hingis hopes to resume play soon.

    Top-seeded Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario dropped the first set, then dominated Magui Serna to advance to the semifinals of the French Community tournament. Sanchez-Vicario, the former world No. 1 now ranked 32nd, won 3-6, 6-2, 6-2. She'll face eighth-seeded Emilie Loit, who reached the semifinals with a 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 victory over Barbara Schwartz.

    Seventh-seeded Michael Llodra spoiled the Americans' fun, and James Blake continued his quest to become the first No. 1 seed to win the Hall of Fame Championships. Llodra defeated Mardy Fish 6-4, 1-6, 6-1, ending the Americans' bid to put four players from the same country in an ATP Tour semifinal for the first time since four Spaniards qualified at the Croatia Open in 1997. In the day's other match, Blake beat Justin Gimelstob 7-5, 7-5.

    Top-seeded Guillermo Canas was ousted from the Swedish Open by Agustin Calleri. The unseeded Calleri overcame an early break by Canas and won the match 6-3, 7-5 to advance to the semifinals today. He'll play former French Open champion Carlos Moya, who defeated Nikolay Davydenko 6-3, 6-2.

    People

    Showing toilet humor

    Football commentator John Madden just couldn't keep a lid on it this week, telling reporters that, during Wednesday's ESPY Awards, he fumbled with bathroom etiquette.

    "I'm coming out of the restroom," John Madden said. "The next in line was one of the most beautiful women in the world, Brooke Shields. She goes in, and I thought, 'Sheesh, I didn't put the seat down.' Later, I apologized, and she didn't know for what."

    Soon after, when they were onstage as co-presenters, Shields gave Madden a kiss, flush on the cheek.

    "We're like family now," she told him. "My husband does that every day."

    Shaq, the cop

    First came his third-consecutive NBA championship, then plans to produce a TV drama. Now Shaquille O'Neal wants to be a police officer.

    O'Neal has been designated a second-class reserve officer by the police department of the Port of Los Angeles.

    The Lakers center has said he may consider a career in law enforcement when he retires from basketball.

    "He can now ride as a second man in a port police car - not that he can fit in it," city councilwoman Janice Hahn said about the 7-foot-1-inch, 350-pound athlete.

    Verbatim

    From NBC's Jay Leno on the Ted Williams dilemma: "The daughter wants to bury him. The son wants to freeze him. And now Anna Nicole Smith wants to marry him."

    From CBS' David Letterman: "Today, Mike Piazza held a press conference to announce he's not frozen."

    -- From wire reports

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