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National Sports Briefs

Associated Press
CHAPEL HILL ó North Carolina forward Jessica Breland is being treated for Hodgkin’s lymphoma, school officials said Tuesday.
The women’s basketball team’s leading returning scorer and rebounder is undergoing chemotherapy treatments at UNC Hospitals, and they are expected to continue into the fall, officials said.
Team spokesman Bobby Hundley said the 21-year-old Breland was diagnosed in May and began chemotherapy a short time later. It’s unclear whether Breland would be able to play her senior season in 2009-10.
“The last few weeks have been a really emotional time for me, but I’ve got a very positive attitude about my treatment and I’m looking forward to getting healthy and getting back to playing basketball as soon as possible,” Breland said in a statement issued by the school. “I’ve been keeping my normal schedule, going to class, helping out with camp and I’m not going to let this get me down. I’ve got lots of love and support from my family, my friends, my teammates and my coaches, and I know I’ll be back and better than ever soon.”
NHL FINALS
DETROIT ó The Pittsburgh Steelers “won one for the thumb,” at Ford Field in 2006, when they beat Seattle for the franchise’s fifth Super Bowl.
If the Detroit Red Wings beat Pittsburgh on Friday night about a mile away at Joe Louis Arena, a quartet of players will become the first to win five Stanley Cup rings with the team.
Nicklas Lidstrom, Tomas Holmstrom, Kris Draper and Kirk Maltby helped Detroit beat the Penguins in the finals last year and also hoisted the Cup in 2002, 1998 and 1997.
Draper, though, couldn’t bring himself to share his thoughts on what it would mean to carve out his own spot in Red Wings lore.
“To really talk about something that hasn’t happened yet, is not easy to do that,” Draper said Wednesday, a day after Pittsburgh’s 2-1 win forced a Game 7 in Detroit. “For now, there’s a lot of work to be done.”
COLLEGE FOOTBALL
SEATTLE ó Oaks Christian High School coach Bill Redell says Washington is getting a great player in quarterback Nick Montana, the son of former NFL great Joe Montana. Nick Montana tgave a verbal commitment to Washington coach Steve Sarkisian.
Montana is rated among the top quarterbacks in the class of 2010. Montana had scholarship offers from Ohio State, LSU, Alabama, Georgia and his dad’s alma mater, Notre Dame.
A-ROD BOOK
NEW YORK ó Remember that tell-all book about A-Rod?
Just a month after making headlines with its allegations that the New York Yankees star likely used steroids as far back as high school, Selena Roberts’ “A-Rod: The Many Lives of Alex Rodriguez” has vanished from best seller lists.
Published in early May by HarperCollins with an announced first printing of 150,000, “A-Rod” has sold just 16,000 copies so far, according to Nielsen BookScan, which tracks about 75 percent of industry sales. The book sold 11,000 in its first week, then quickly faded.
OBAMA: GOLFER
WASHINGTON ó Golf Digest recently put President Obama eighth on its list of presidential golfers, below Bill Clinton and above Ronald Reagan. The best: JFK; the worst: Calvin Coolidge.
“I think golf can say a lot about the ability of a president to grasp a situation in a certain way,” says Espen Uldal, a Denmark-based golf commentator. Around the world, “it’s becoming a tradition: You check out the new man in the White House and his golf.”
SOCCER
WEMBLEY, England ó David Beckham started his first competitive game for England in two years, a World Cup qualifier against Andorra last night.
The Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder made his 112th international appearance, 13 shy of the English record set by goalkeeper Peter Shilton.
COLLEGE HOOPS
LOUISVILLE, Ky. ó Louisville has hired Holy Cross head basketball coach Ralph Willard as “associate coach” to Rick Pitino.

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