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National Sports Briefs: N.C. State introduces Harper

Associated Press
RALEIGH ó Kellie Harper didn’t need anyone to remind her about the pressure of following Kay Yow at North Carolina State. There were reminders everywhere she looked Thursday, from the banners hanging in Reynolds Coliseum to Yow’s name on the court.
But she’s not going to shy away from the Hall of Famer’s legacy.
“Kay Yow is and will always be a legend,” Harper said shortly after being introduced as the Wolfpack’s new women’s basketball coach. “You obviously know that when you step foot on this campus. I respect what she has meant to this university, to this program. I can’t be her. I wish I could. She’s been tremendous.
“I have to be me. And that is, in my opinion, the best way that I can honor her.”
The hiring of Harper represents a significant change in direction for the program Yow led for more than three decades before her death in January after a long fight against cancer. Yow had hoped for longtime assistant coach Stephanie Glance to get the job. The school conducted a search that ultimately focused on the 31-year-old Harper, who has spent the past five years at Western Carolina and was part of Tennessee’s three straight national championship teams from 1996-98.
Harper compiled a 97-65 record while leading the Catamounts to two NCAA tournament bids and a pair of Southern Conference championships.
FIDRYCH
NORTHBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) ó Former All-Star pitcher Mark Fidrych suffocated after his clothes became entangled with a spinning part on the truck he was working on, Massachusetts authorities said Thursday.
The state medical examiner’s office ruled the death an accident.
TENNIS
MONACO ó Stanislas Wawrinka gave his good friend Roger Federer a little more time to celebrate his wedding.
Not that Federer was hoping for an early exit at the Monte Carlo Masters. Wawrinka beat his Olympic doubles partner 6-4, 7-5 Thursday in the third round, in Federer’s first tournament since getting married to longtime girlfriend Mirka Vavrinec on Saturday.
– CHARLESTON, S.C. ó Venus Williams has lost at the Family Circle Cup, falling to 63rd-ranked Sabine Lisicki 6-4, 7-6 (5) in the third round.
NFL
ALLEN PARK, Mich. ó The Detroit Lions have signed free agent Ronald Curry, a former North Carolina star who made his home in Rowan County.
Curry, a 6-foot-2, 210-pound wide receiver, spent the last seven seasons in Oakland. He has 193 career receptions for 2,347 yards and 13 touchdowns in 76 games with Oakland.
– BEREA, Ohio ó Cleveland Browns general manager George Kokinis sidestepped questions about trade rumors involving quarterback Brady Quinn and wide receiver Braylon Edwards, saying that discussion about players on the roster was “internal business.”
Kokinis was hired in January to help new coach Eric Mangini overhaul a 4-12 team.

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