MINNESOTA SPORTS BRIEFS: Several Minnesotans chosen for U.S. Olympic Team
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. - The 2014 United States Olympic women's hockey roster was announced yesterday and it has a distinct Minnesota flavor.
Current University of Minnesota players Amanda Kessel of Madison, Wisconsin and Lee Stecklein of Roseville are on the team, as are three former Gophers. They include Gigi Marvin of Warroad, Anne Schleper of St. Cloud, and Megan Bozek of Buffalo Grove, Illinois.
The team will enter a residency program in Massachusetts in September and train as a team leading up to the February 2014 Olympic Games in Russia.
The Minnesota Twins begin a two-game interleague series with the Marlins tonight in Miami. The Twins avoided a three-game sweep in Cleveland with a 5-3 victory over the Indians on Sunday. Kevin Correia will get the start for Minnesota this evening. He is 6-and-4 with a 3.87 ERA in 14 starts this season. The Marlins will counter with Jose Fernandez, who is 4-and-4 with a 3.05 ERA. First pitch is 6:10 p.m.
The Big Ten Conference is continuing to expand its reach after agreeing to two more bowl arrangements with the Pac-12 Conference yesterday. The Holiday Bowl in San Diego and the Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco each announced six-year agreements with the Big Ten and Pac-12 Conferences. The Big Ten replaces the Big 12 in the Holiday Bowl. The Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl will move to the 49ers' future stadium in Santa Clara for 2014. Both agreements begin with the 2014 season.
With Thursday's NBA Draft fast approaching, Timberwolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders says his team has a lot of options because it holds four draft selections, including the No. 9 overall choice. Saunders says he expects his team at some point on Thursday night will select a shooting guard, who can also defend the perimeter. He would not say which pick they might use for such a player. Minnesota also currently holds the No. 26 pick and two second-round spots.
A pair of NBA head coaching vacancies have been filled. The Denver Nuggets are going with Indiana Pacers assistant Brian Shaw as their next bench boss. Shaw replaces George Karl in Denver after eight-plus seasons. The Memphis Grizzlies are reportedly set to promote assistant Dave Joerger to head coach. Joerger will replace Lionel Hollins, who was unable to come to terms on a new contract with the team.
The celebration continued for the NBA champion Miami Heat yesterday. The team held a victory parade and rally Monday on the streets of downtown and inside American Airlines Arena. Hundreds of thousands of fans lined the streets of downtown and cheered as Heat players and coaches rode by. Miami defeated the San Antonio Spurs to win the NBA Finals in seven games. It was the second straight title for the Heat and the third in franchise history.
The Utah Jazz could let Al Jefferson walk away in free agency. The 28-year-old Jefferson has spent the last three seasons with the Jazz. The past year he averaged right around 18 points and nine rebounds per game. The nine-year pro has previously played for the Boston Celtics and Minnesota Timberwolves.
Rafael Nadal is out of Wimleldon. The reigning French Open and 12-time Grand Slam champion was upset by 135th-ranked Steve Darcis of Belgium in his first-round match. Nadal lost in straight sets, 7-6, 7-6, 6-4. It's the Spaniard's first loss in the opening round of a Grand Slam event.