Wednesday’s Sports in Brief

Sports

PRO BASKETBALL

Candace Parker staved off Father Time to help the Chicago Sky win the franchise’s first WNBA championship and capped off 2021 by being named The Associated Press’ Female Athlete of the Year for a second time.

The 35-year-old Parker also won the AP award her rookie year with the Los Angeles Sparks in 2008, when she was honored as the WNBA’s MVP and top rookie. She helped Tennessee win the national championship that year.

Parker is now a working mom in the twilight of her playing career who also is a basketball analyst for TNT.

The 13 years since her first AP athlete of the year honor ties Parker with Babe Didrikson Zaharias for the longest time between winning in the 80-year history of the award. The award was voted on by a panel of sports editors. Parker received 11 first-place votes, edging out swimmer Katie Ledecky and gymnast Simone Biles.

MIAMI (AP)The NBA postponed a game between Miami and San Antonio after a combination of injuries and positive COVID-19 tests left the Heat unable to meet the league’s requirement of eight available players.

It was the 10th game postponed in the NBA this season because of virus-related issues. None has been rescheduled at this point.

Miami had 12 players listed as out for the game against the Spurs for a variety of reasons. The Heat beat Washington on Tuesday night with eight players available – and of those, only five would have been able to play Wednesday in San Antonio.

CLEVELAND (AP) – Cavaliers guard Ricky Rubio suffered a season-ending left knee injury, a devastating blow to a Cleveland team that he helped moved into playoff contention in the Eastern Conference.

The Cavs said an MRI confirmed a torn anterior cruciate ligament, which was feared after Rubio got hurt late in Tuesday’s 108-104 loss at New Orleans.

The 31-year-old Rubio had a major impact in his first season with Cleveland, providing leadership and depth to a young squad. The Cavs have already won 20 games after going 22-50 last season.

HOCKEY

The remainder of the world junior hockey championship in Canada has been canceled over fears of a COVID-19 outbreak.

The International Ice Hockey Federation made the announcement on the recommendation of the organization’s medical officials. Citing the spread of the coronavirus and the omicron variant, the IIHF canceled the rest of the tournament ”to ensure the health and safety of all participants.”

Two games had already been forfeited because of positive coronavirus test results among U.S. and Czech players and another was imminent with Russia. Two U.S. players and one Czech player had returned positive tests, leading to team quarantine mandates.

The IIHF council determined the integrity of the event had been compromised by the forfeits, leading to the cancellation.

UNDATED (AP) – The NHL is following other leagues and U.S. government guidance by cutting COVID-19 isolation times for players and personnel to five days under certain conditions and where it is allowed by local laws.

The change went into effect Wednesday and applies only in the U.S. because of stricter pandemic regulations in Canada. The league has 25 teams based in the U.S. and seven in Canada; earlier this week, the NHL postponed nine games in Canada because of attendance limits imposed by provincial governments.

The league and NHL Players’ Association agreed to the updated protocols, which apply for the next two weeks before they are reviewed.

BASEBALL

SEATTLE (AP) – Kyle Seager announced his retirement after 11 seasons in the majors, all with the Seattle Mariners.

Always one to eschew social media, Seager made his decision known through a short statement posted by his wife, Julie, on her Twitter account.

The 34-year-old Seager became a free agent after the season when Seattle opted not to exercise a club option on his contract. Rather than test the open market and with the uncertainty created by the ongoing lockout, Seager chose to call it a career.

Seager’s retirement is a bit surprising considering he was coming off one of his best seasons. He hit a career-high 35 home runs and had a career-best 101 RBIs last season as Seattle made a late run into playoff contention only to fall short in the final days.

DOG SHOW

NEW YORK (AP) – The Westminster Kennel Club’s annual dog show has become the latest event to be postponed or canceled in New York as the number of coronavirus cases surges.

The club’s board of governors announced Wednesday it was postponing its 2022 event, scheduled for late January, to later in the year. A new date wasn’t given.

First held in 1877, the dog show attracts thousands of competitors from around the U.S. and is normally held in February, with semifinal and final rounds at Madison Square Garden. Last year, it was moved to June and held outdoors at the Lyndhurst estate in suburban Tarrytown, north of New York City. Spectators weren’t allowed, and human participants had to be vaccinated or newly tested.

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