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Originally published Monday, March 7, 2011 at 8:53 PM

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Michigan high school wins first game after star player dies

High schools Michigan high school wins after player dies: A west Michigan high school basketball team mourning the death of a star player...

High schools

Michigan high school wins after player dies: A west Michigan high school basketball team mourning the death of a star player returned to the court Monday, winning a state tournament game that turned into a tribute for the 16-year-old who collapsed after scoring a winning basket last week.

Fennville High was playing its first game just four days after star guard Wes Leonard died from a heart ailment. Unbeaten Fennville, one of the state's highest-rated Class C teams, beat Lawrence High 65-54 in a district opener Monday. The Blackhawks move to the second round with a 21-0 record.

Fennville's decision to play came after school officials talked to Leonard's family. The game was supposed to be played at Lawrence but was moved to Hope College in Holland to handle a larger crowd — a sellout of roughly 3,500.

The game turned into a tribute to the 6-foot-2, 215-pound Leonard even before it started. Players from Lawrence and Fennville wore black T-shirts honoring Leonard during pregame warm-ups. Leonard's name and number 35 were on the back. The phrase "Never Forgotten" was on the front.

Teams also wore black wristbands with Leonard's initials on them.

Players on both teams were visited by former NBA player Bo Kimble, whose teammate at Loyola Marymount, Hank Gathers, collapsed during a game 21 years ago and died.

Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo also visited the teams before Monday's game.

College football

Tressel reportedly knew about memorabilia sale: Yahoo! Sports is reporting Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel was informed that some of his players had sold memorabilia to the owner of a tattoo parlor more than eight months before the school said it was made aware of improper transactions.

The website, citing an unidentified source, reports Tressel received information as early as April 2010 that players were selling items to Edward Rife, who owns Fine Line Ink Tattoos in Columbus

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith has said the local U.S. Attorneys Office on Dec. 7 alerted the school that some of its players were selling items such as jerseys and championship rings to Rife.


Soon after, the school opened an investigation and informed the NCAA of the possible rules violations.

On Dec. 23, quarterback Terrelle Pryor was among five players suspended by the NCAA for the first five games of the 2011 season. All the players were allowed to play in Ohio State's 31-26 victory against Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl.

If it is proven that Tressel knew about the possible NCAA violations and did not inform Smith or the compliance office, the coach and the program could face more sanctions.

Hall of Fame ballot announced: Former Washington running back Greg Lewis and former Washington State running back Clarence Williams are among the players on the College Football Hall of Fame ballot.

Lewis was a the Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year in 1990 and finished seventh in Heisman Trophy balloting.

Williams twice led the Cougars in rushing, scoring and kickoff returns

The National Football Foundation announced the names of 79 players and nine coaches on this year's ballot. The class will be announced Dec. 6 in New York City.

Horse racing

Rachel Alexandra pregnant after being bred to Curlin: Rachel Alexandra is going to be a mom.

The 2009 Horse of the Year is in foal with an expected due date of Feb. 1, 2012.

Stonestreet Farm announced the pregnancy Monday, two weeks after the 2009 Preakness winner was bred to two-time Horse of the Year winner and stablemate Curlin.

The two horses mated in a breeding shed at Lane's End Farm, near Versailles, Ky., on Feb. 21. The gestation period takes almost a year, with the earliest chance to find out the sex coming at around the two-month mark.

Winter sports

Vonn sees slim chance to retain World Cup title: In three days over the weekend, Lindsey Vonn successfully defended three of her four World Cup ski championships, clinching titles in the downhill, the super-G and the super combined. But on Monday, Vonn acknowledged that her retaining the World Cup overall title, which she has won the last three years, was unlikely.

"It's still possible and I have a chance but not a big one," said Vonn, who trails Maria Riesch of Germany by 96 points with six races remaining. "I'm not giving up, but it is Maria's to lose. Four of the races left are technical races, which are her strong suit."

White to have minor foot surgery: Two-time Olympic halfpipe gold medalist Shaun White needs surgery on his foot and will miss this weekend's U.S. Snowboarding Championships.

An e-mail from White's publicist says White will have "minor" surgery. She did not specify which foot is injured or how bad the injury is.

College baseball

Georgia outfielder undergoes successful neck surgery: Georgia outfielder Johnathan Taylor underwent neck surgery to stabilize his spine Monday, a day after he was injured in a collision with a teammate during a game.

Taylor was scheduled to be transferred from St. Mary's Hospital to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta for rehabilitation later in the week, the school announced.

Seattle Times news services

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