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WISCONSIN SPORTS BRIEFS:State drivers back in Daytona for weekend races

DAYTONA, Fla. - Four Wisconsin NASCAR drivers are at Daytona for a pair of races this weekend.

Matt Kenseth of Cambridge is entered in both the Nationwide Series Subway Firecracker-250 tonight, and the Sprint Cup Coke Zero-400 tomorrow night. Qualifying for both events takes place this afternoon. Kenseth is fifth in the point standings in NASCAR's top circuit, after he won the Quaker State-400 last weekend in Sparta Kentucky. Paul Menard of Eau Claire is also entered in tomorrow night's Sprint Cup event, along with Travis Kvapil of Janesville and Beloit-born Danica Patrick. The Camping World Truck Series' drivers are off. 

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The captain of the U.S. Ryder Cup team says Andy North of Madison will have a big load on his shoulders, when he coaches the American team at the next Cup in 2014. U.S. captain Tom Watson chose North this week as an assistant captain for the Ryder Cup in Scotland almost 15 months from now. North is a two-time U.S. Open champion. Watson says North knows how to quote, “close the deal,” and it’s exactly what the American squad will need. The U.S. team is coming off a stinging defeat by a team of European players in last September’s Ryder Cup. The Americans blew a four-point lead during the final singles’ matches partly because of Madison’s Steve Stricker, who went 0-for-4 in his matches. North said it’s an honor to be an assistant captain – and he’ll do what he can to bring the Ryder Cup back to America. Whistling Straits near Sheboygan will host the Ryder Cup in 2020.

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The head of the basketball federation in Greece has condemned a remark made by a political leader in that country who called the Milwaukee Bucks’ first-round draft choice a “chimpanzee.” The head of the fascist Golden Dawn party compared 6-9 Greek native Giannis Antetokounmpo (an-teh-toe-koom’-po) to a chimp during a TV interview this week. That was after the Greek prime minister met Antetokounmpo earlier in the week. The small forward was taken by the Bucks with the 15th overall pick. He then returned to his home country so he could be part of the Greek national team this summer. The country’s basketball organization called the Golden Dawn party leader’s remarks “unacceptable and racist.” Antetokounmpo is the son of Nigerian immigrants. Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, a moderate conservative, thanked the player for honoring his national colors. Samaras told Antetokounmpo quote, “I hope you drive them crazy with your slam dunks. All of Greece is so excited for you.”

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Former Badgers’-and-Bucks’ forward Jon Leuer will stay with Memphis. His agent confirms that the Grizzlies have agreed to a three-year deal worth three-million dollars. It won’t be official until next Wednesday, when the NBA signing period begins. The 24-year-old Leuer was Milwaukee’s second-round draft choice in 2011, after he starred in college at Wisconsin. The Bucks traded him to Houston last year – but he was shipped to Cleveland before he could play a game with the Rockets. Memphis acquired Leuer in a trade in January. He played an average of seven-minutes a game last season for both the Cavaliers and Grizzlies, averaging two points and one-and-a-third rebounds.  

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Former Wisconsin distance runner Matt Tegenkamp was the top U.S. finisher at the Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta on the Fourth-of-July. The two-time Olympian finished sixth overall in the 10-thousand meters with a time of 28-minutes and 25-seconds. The 31-year-old Tegenkamp ended a string of seven straight World Championship bids, after he placed seventh in the recent U-S national meet. 

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Wayne Schultz has been named the new men’s-and-women’s volleyball coach at the Milwaukee School of Engineering. It’s the first college coaching job for Schultz, after a number of years at the high school and club levels. Schultz was an assistant for the Williams Bay team that won the Division 4 state high school crown in 2004. He replaces men’s coach Brian Gibboney, who led MSOE to a 7-19 record last season. Schultz also replaces women’s coach Adam Stikel, whose team went 6-17 in the last campaign. 

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Nine people will be inducted this fall into the UW-Whitewater Athletic Hall-of-Fame. They are football standout Brad Arnett – football-and-wrestling cornerstone Derrick LeVake – Stephanie Everett-Hernesman in volleyball – Holly Haas in softball – Sue Schroeder Hubbock in swimming – Jodi Huber Jahnke in women’s soccer – Pat Tobiasz in baseball – and Pat Rudnick in cross country. Mike Mikkelsen is being inducted as the winner of Whitewater’s distinguished service award. He’s been active in booster clubs for several decades. All nine inductees will be honored at a Whitewater football game on November second, before being enshrined in a banquet that night. 

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