National Sports Briefs: Cabrera predicts more
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina ó Angel Cabrera celebrated his Masters victory Wednesday in his hometown of Villa Allende.
“Returning to Argentina with a major is very important, so that golf continues to grow as a sport in my country,” Cabrera said Wednesday as he prepared for the Centro Open at Cordoba Golf Club in Villa Allende.
The 39-year-old Cabrera is seeking his eighth Centro Open title.
“Cabrera’s presence has sparked an unusual interest,” Cordoba Golf Club president Manuel Tagle said Wednesday, noting that a crowd of 8,000 was expected Thursday.
Cabrera received a hero’s welcome.
“Green suits me,” Cabrera said Tuesday, smiling and sporting the Masters jacket he earned as the first champion from South America.
Cabrera also won the 2007 U.S. Open.
MINNEAPOLIS ó If Wednesday night’s season finale is also Kevin McHale’s last game with the Minnesota Timberwolves, the coach is not telling.
McHale was asked about his future with the team after the morning shootaround. His only reply was, “We’ll see.”
The Minnesota native has been with the organization since 1994. Most of that time has been spent in the front office, but owner Glen Taylor stripped him of those duties when he installed McHale as coach for the fired Randy Wittman in December. Taylor wants McHale to return as coach next season, and the players seem to agree.
– TNT completed its regular-season NBA coverage with a 14 percent increase in viewers, its second straight year of double-digit growth.
– OKLAHOMA CITY ó Oklahoma City Thunder officials say Scott Brooks will continue as the team’s head coach after taking over early in the season for P.J. Carlesimo.
Oklahoma City was 1-13 when Brooks took over on Nov. 22, and was 21-47 afterward.
SOUTH BEND, Ind. ó Notre Dame football coach Charlie Weis confirms he talked with his family about quitting at the end of last season, though he says he never thought he’d leave.
Weis says he would have been negligent to his family if he hadn’t talked about the possibility of leaving. He says it was in the context of discussing ‘what ifs.”
The comments Wednesday were in response to a story in the Chicago Tribune on Sunday. The newspaper reported Weis thought about leaving Notre Dame and returning to the NFL as a coordinator. But Weis says he needed to have a plan just in case.
Following a 38-3 loss to USC in the regular-season finale, athletic director Jack Swarbrick took several days before announcing that Weis would return as coach.
NEW YORK ó Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma will become coach of the U.S. women’s basketball team through the 2012 Summer Olympics.
– COLUMBIA, S.C. ó Kelsey Bone heard the same thing over and over from teammates, classmates, teachers and friends in Sugarland: Don’t leave Texas.
Instead, the 6-foot-5 McDonald’s All-American turned her homestate on its ear and gave South Carolina coach Dawn Staley a very big piece of the Gamecocks’ rebuilding puzzle.
Bone, rated the country’s No. 2 prospect by ESPN, signed with South Carolina on Wednesday. She picked Staley and the Gamecocks over Texas and Texas A&M among others.
EDMONTON, Alberta ó Craig MacTavish is out as coach of the Edmonton Oilers after they failed to make the playoffs for the third straight year.
CHARLESTON, S.C. ó Second-seeded Venus Williams struggled to advance at the Family Circle Cup on Wednesday, beating Sania Mirza of India 6-1, 3-6, 6-2.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. ó Running back Maurice Jones-Drew and the Jacksonville Jaguars have completed a five-year, $31 million contract. Jones-Drew’s deal includes $17.5 million guaranteed.