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In brief

Tourney pays to protect LeBron

Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published April 11, 2003

WASHINGTON -- LeBron James will be covered by a $10-million insurance policy when he plays in Thursday's Capital Classic high school basketball all-star game at the MCI Center.

James asked for the policy, which is similar to the one he had for the McDonald's All-American game in Cleveland last month.

"I did not think the request was anything unusual," Capital Classic executive director Bob Geoghan said Thursday. "If I was him, I'd probably want the same thing. While the chances are slim that he would get a career-ending injury, it's something to think about."

Geoghan said the event usually carries a $5-million policy for players and that it cost "in the thousands" to add the extra insurance for James.

Geoghan said no player has sustained a career-threatening injury in the 30-year history of the Capital Classic.

James is attempting to become the first player to win the MVP award in three major high school all-star games. He got top honors at the McDonald's game and the EA Sports Roundball Classic in Chicago.

TENNIS: Serena warms to task

Serena Williams kept winning despite cold and overcast conditions at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, S.C. With temperatures in the low 50s and a chilly breeze blowing in from the nearby Wando River, Williams needed only 61 minutes to defeat Conchita Martinez 6-2, 6-2 and up her record to 19-0 in 2003. Williams, the world's top-ranked player, plays Jelena Dokic in the quarterfinals today. Dokic beat Elena Dementieva 3-6, 7-5, 3-1. Ashley Harkleroad, just 17 and ranked No. 101 in the world, won again. She needed just over an hour to beat No. 20 Meghann Shaughnessy 6-2, 6-2 a day after posting the biggest win of her career with a decision over 16th-ranked Elena Bovina. She next plays Daniela Hantuchova.

GRAND PRIX HASSAN II: Defending champion Younes El Aynaoui reached the quarterfinals of the $400,000 tournament in Casablanca, Morocco, beating Magnus Norman 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

OLYMPICS: Key meetings begin today

With a mandate for sweeping changes barking at its heels, the U.S. Olympic Committee will open three days of meetings today in Fort Worth. For many of the group's 123 directors, it could be among the final USOC board meetings they attend. One report has suggested more than 100 of the members could be trimmed. A special panel, the Governance and Ethics Review Task Force, was created at the USOC executive committee's February meeting and charged with proposing ways to streamline and better define the role of the USOC. Acting president Bill Martin, athletic director at the University of Michigan, has declined to elaborate on what the restructuring proposals will be.

BASKETBALL: Allen Iverson and Jermaine O'Neal will be asked to join the 2004 men's team, the Associated Press reported. The choices would bring to nine the number of players who have been either selected or officially named to the team.

HORSES: Derby bonus: $5-million

Churchill Downs is offering a $5-million payoff for picking the Kentucky Derby's entire order of finish. The $5-Million Pay Day is a free, Internet-based contest open to residents of the United States and Canada (except Quebec), plus England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Contestants can register at the official Derby Web site. Selections can be made starting April 30, after the race's post position draw. The Derby is May 3, and the deadline for making selections is 5:45 p.m. that day. The prize will be split if more than one player correctly guesses the order of finish. The contest is limited to one entry per e-mail address.

ET CETERA

BOXING: The Sept. 13 rematch between super welterweight champion Oscar De La Hoya and Shane Mosley will be at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas, Top Rank president Bob Arum said. Until recently, it appeared the rematch would be at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, where Mosley won the first bout in 2000.

CYCLING: Ukraine's Yuriy Krivstov and France's Sylvain Chavanel won the third and fourth stages of the Circuit de la Sarthe race. The 58-mile third leg was from Saint Gereon to Angers in France; the fourth stage was a 5.6-mile dash around Angers. American Lance Armstrong, the four-time Tour de France champion, dropped out Wednesday because of a stomach complaint.

SOCCER: The FIFA World Youth Championship, delayed by the war, will be played at its original sites in the United Arab Emirates from Nov. 27 to Dec. 19, FIFA announced.

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