Wednesday’s Sports in Brief
A spokeswoman for Serena Williams says the tennis star is pregnant.
Kelly Bush Novak wrote in an email to The Associated Press on Wednesday: “I’m happy to confirm Serena is expecting a baby this Fall.”
Earlier in the day, Williams posted a photo of herself on the social media site Snapchat with the caption “20 weeks.”
The 35-year-old Williams won her 23rd Grand Slam singles title at the Australian Open in January — a little less than 12 weeks ago — and has not competed since, citing a knee injury when withdrawing from tournaments at Indian Wells, California, and Key Biscayne, Florida.
She announced in late December that she was engaged to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.
NEW YORK (AP) — The Big3, the 3-on-3 league involving former NBA players such as Allen Iverson that will debut this summer, will hold its draft next week.
The league will hold a draft lottery on April 28, its combine the next night and the draft on April 30. The draft will be held at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas.
More than 70 players have signed up to play in entertainer Ice Cube’s league, including former NBA stars such as Latrell Sprewell, Charles Oakley, Chauncey Billups and Steve Francis. They will divided among eight teams: 3’s Company, Three-Headed Monsters; Killer 3s; Ghost Ballers; Trilogy, Tri-State, Power and Ball Hogs.
Hall of Famers Julius Erving, Clyde Drexler, George Gervin, Rick Barry and Gary Payton are scheduled to be coaches.
The league begins play June 25, with the first game set for Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Star quarterback Tom Brady will not join his New England Patriots teammates Wednesday when the Super Bowl champions visit the White House to accept congratulations from President Donald Trump for another NFL title.
The White House said it was notified that Brady was dealing with a “personal family matter” and will not attend the ceremony. Shortly before the event, Brady posted a photo of his parents on Instagram, wishing them a happy anniversary.
One player made an impromptu appearance at a White House press before the official ceremony. Tight end Ron Gronkowski stuck his head in the door of the briefing room as Press Secretary Sean Spicer was holding a televised press briefing.
He jokingly asked Spicer whether he needed any help, drawing laughs. Spicer — an avid Patriots fan — responded “I think I got this. But thank you.”
Trump’s welcome to the team was coming hours after the news from Massachusetts prisons officials that ex-Patriot tight end Aaron Hernandez hanged himself in his prison cell.
Hernandez, who played for the Patriots from 2010 to 2012, was serving a life sentence for a murder conviction. Days ago, the 27-year-old former tight end was acquitted of a double murder.
BOSTON (AP) — Former NFL star Aaron Hernandez, who was serving a life sentence for a murder conviction and just days ago was acquitted of a double murder, died after hanging himself in his prison cell early Wednesday, Massachusetts prisons officials said.
Hernandez, 27, was found by guards in his cell at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley just after 3 a.m., Department of Correction spokesman Christopher Fallon said in a statement.
The former New England Patriots tight end was pronounced dead at UMass Memorial-HealthAlliance Hospital in Leominster about an hour later.
Hernandez was in a single cell in a general population housing unit in the maximum security state prison. He hanged himself using a bed sheet that he attached to a cell window, Fallon said.
Hernandez tried to block the cell door from the inside by jamming the door with various items, Fallon said.
CANTON, Ohio (AP) — The Pro Football Hall of Fame will host the Division III football championship game in 2020 and 2021.
Also awarded to the hall by the NCAA was the 2022 men’s volleyball championship for that division.
The football title games will be played at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. The volleyball championship will be staged in the Performance Center at Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village.
“We are thrilled to host the NCAA championship games in Canton and showcase Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village,” says Steve Strawbridge, chief administrative officer at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. “Our team will be ready to support Visit Canton and the OAC (Ohio Athletic Commission) to provide a great experience for the athletes and fans attending these events.”