Digest of sports enterprise stories for weekend use, moving for March 22-23. For questions, please call Ed Montes (602) 417-2430. For repeats, call the service desk at (800) 838-4616.
BKN--Heart To Heart
MINNEAPOLIS — Before tipoff on a cold night in Minnesota, Timberwolves center Ronny Turiaf locked eyes with Suns forward Channing Frye on the other side of the court. The two waved and tapped their chests, a simple acknowledgement of what both have overcome to get back. They are part of a fraternity that has developed across the league in recent seasons. Along with Boston's Jeff Green and Toronto's Chuck Hayes, they have recovered from serious heart conditions to continue their careers. By Basketball Writer Jon Krawczynski. SENT: 1000 words, photos. ADVANCE for use in weekend editions of March 22-23.
BKN--76ERS-BEHIND THE SCENES
PHILADELPHIA — On the court, the Philadelphia 76ers are a mess. Their 21-game losing streak is the longest in franchise history and they are shaping up as one of the worst teams in NBA history. Behind the scenes, the Sixers are working at a championship pace. Team CEO Scott O'Neil somehow led a charge that led to 500 new full season ticket holders in the first 10 days of March. Coach Brett Brown holds meet-and-greets with fans before games and assures them better days are ahead. And they are ready to announce the location of a new, state-of-the art practice facility. The Sixers believe the future is bright, and that it all starts with the work being done in the front office. By Dan Gelston. SENT: 1200 words, photos. ADVANCE for use in weekend editions of March 22-23.
MIAMI — Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby was invited to be part of a panel recently to discuss potential future changes in college athletics, and once he got started, he simply didn't stop. Among the things he said: Recruiting rules need to be changed, the 20-hour practice limit is a joke, the amount of transfers in college basketball is an embarrassment, admissions policies should be more transparent and everyone is just about powerless to really stop those who want to circumvent NCAA rules. "We've got a lot of work to do, folks," the former Stanford athletic director says. By Tim Reynolds. SENT: 850 words, photos. ADVANCE for use in weekend editions of March 22-23.
UNDATED — With the Rio Olympics still over two years away, many players on the U.S. volleyball team are working their day jobs: Playing for professional volleyball teams overseas. Elite volleyball players head for such far-flung locales as Siberia in the winter months, allowing them to earn a living while still chasing Olympic dreams. For the top players, especially men's national team, it can be a comfortable livelihood with salaries in the six figures. But for most, pro leagues overseas allow players to continue doing what they love beyond college, and train for a higher level with the ultimate goal being one of the 12 spots on the U.S. Olympic team. And earn a little extra money on the side. By Anne M Peterson. SENT: 830 words, photos. ADVANCE for use in weekend editions of March 22-23.
BBO-FRAME THAT PITCH
WASHINGTON — We've all seen it. When the game's on TV, the center field camera zooms in on the mitt, where the catcher does his best to massage balls into strikes. Technically, it's an attempt to cheat, an ingrained and artful baseball deception as old as the neighborhood play at second base. How much does it influence the game? More than you probably thought. In a sabermetric age where everything is measurable, teams are calculating how many runs a catcher can save by mastering the art of pitch framing. By Joseph White. SENT: 980 words, photos. ADVANCE for use in weekend editions of March 22-23.
HOT SPRINGS, Ark. — Racing horses was never the problem for Norberto Arroyo Jr., one of the top jockeys in the business. Keeping out of trouble and staying on the track, however, was for the 35-year-old Arroyo — who was sentenced to prison in 2010 in a cocaine-possession case that unfolded a few blocks from New York's Saratoga Race Course. With his prison time behind him, Arroyo is doing his best to keep his life in order these days at Arkansas' Oaklawn Park, and he has big plans for the future. By Kurt Voigt. UPCOMING: 1000 words, photos. SENT: 1100 words, photos. ADVANCE for use in weekend editions of March 22-23.
AP Sportlight. SENT.