Former UNLV star, No. 2 pick Gilliam dies of heart attack
Armen Gilliam, who was part of the UNLV Runnin' Rebels that made a run to the Final Four in 1987 and played for several NBA teams, has died. He was 47. The Allegheny County (Pa.) Medical Examiner's Office said Wednesday that Gilliam died Tuesday night at a gym outside of Pittsburgh while he was playing basketball. The office told WTAE-TV that Gilliam suffered an apparent heart attack. After college, the Phoenix Suns drafted Gilliam as the No. 2 overall pick in the first round of the draft. Besides the Suns, Gilliam played with the then-Charlotte Hornets, Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets, Milwaukee Bucks and Utah Jazz. He retired in 2000.
Nicknamed "The Hammer," Gilliam was the leading scorer on the 1987 UNLV team coached by Jerry Tarkanian.
Never miss a local story.
In a statement released by UNLV, Tarkanian, who coached basketball there from 1973-1992, called him one of the best players the university ever had.
"In my ratings, I had Larry Johnson No. 1 and Armen No. 2. He was such a great person. Everybody loved him, and he loved everybody," Tarkanian said. "He was such a gentle person and such a caring guy. I am all shook up over it."
Vogel loses interim tag, keeps confidence
Frank Vogel played the waiting game to become head coach with the same confidence that made him a favorite of both fans and players during his half a season carrying the interim tag.
"They never told me I wasn't going to be the coach, so I just tried to carry myself like I was," the 38-year-old said Wednesday after the Pacers officially made him the head coach. Vogel took over for Jim O'Brien at the middle of last season, went 20-18 to close the regular season and led the team to its first playoff berth since 2006.
"Once I took over, I really didn't have time to think about big-picture stuff," he said. "I was just trying to win the next day and make sure I was prepared the next day."
Vogel, who spent time as a video coordinator under Coach Rick Pitino while attending Kentucky in the mid-1990s, takes over a team that has plenty of young talent, playoff experience and significant salary cap space. Danny Granger, 28, is the oldest starter. Roy Hibbert just finished his third year, point guard Darren Collison and forward Tyler Hansbrough were second-year players, and Paul George was a rookie. The team added local star George Hill in a draft-night trade.
■ Police say Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley was ticketed for possessing marijuana and speeding in Minnetonka, Minn., last week. Capt. Scott Boerboom said Wednesday that an officer stopped Beasley about 3 a.m. on June 26 after clocking him going 84 mph in a 65 mph zone. He said the officer smelled marijuana in the car and found 16.2 grams of it under the front passenger seat. The report said Beasley claimed the pot belonged to a friend. The possession charge is a petty misdemeanor that carries a fine of $128..
SPORTS IN THE COURTS
Doctor who treated Woods pleads guilty
A Canadian sports doctor whose clients have included Tiger Woods and Alex Rodriguez pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to bringing unapproved drugs, including human growth hormone, into the United States to unlawfully treat pro athletes. Dr. Anthony Galea, a healing specialist from Toronto who was sought out by the biggest names in sports, was indicted by a federal grand jury in October on charges that he smuggled HGH and other substances into the United States and lied to border agents to avoid getting caught. He faces similar charges in Canada. Some of the U.S. charges were dismissed with his plea. Galea, 51, pleaded guilty, eliminating the need for a trial — along with the likelihood that evidence and witness statements could publicly reveal information about whom he visited or billed. Galea, who's married with seven children, agreed to forfeit $275,000 before sentencing Oct. 19. He was released until sentencing, at which he could get up to two years in prison.
7-foot-1 Riek leaving Mississippi State
Mississippi State junior John Riek has decided to transfer after sporadic playing time over his first two seasons. At 7-foot-1, Riek was the tallest player on the Bulldogs' roster but could never consistently crack the playing rotation. He was behind Renardo Sidney, Kodi Augustus and Wendell Lewis on the depth chart and played in 14 games last season, averaging 1.2 points and 1.3 rebounds per game. Sidney and Lewis return, and the Bulldogs have added talented 6-foot-11 transfer Arnett Moultrie, who is expected to contribute immediately.
■ South Carolina senior forward Malik Cooke has dislocated his right ankle, and a school spokeswoman said Wednesday he might need up to three months to heal. That would give him about a month before the Gamecocks open practice in mid-October. Cooke is the only senior and one of two upper classmen on the 11-man roster.
■ Former Tennessee associate head coach Tony Jones has been hired to coach the boys' team at Alcoa High School south of Knoxville, Alcoa Athletics Director Josh Stephens said Wednesday.
■ Toni Katic scored 21 points to lead Croatia to an 87-85 victory over the United States on Wednesday in the second round of FIBA's Under 19 World Championship in Latvia, the defending champion's first loss in the tournament. Jeremy Lamb of NCAA champ Connecticut had 25 points for Team USA (5-1), which had already clinched a berth in the quarterfinals that start Friday.
Louisville, WKU players on Mackey list
Louisville senior Josh Chichester and Western Kentucky junior Jack Doyle made a list of 34 names on the John Mackey Award Watch List announced Wednesday. The Mackey Award, established in 2001, is awarded annually to the most outstanding tight end in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
■ Tennessee junior safety Janzen Jackson has enrolled in summer classes, five months after leaving school to address personal issues. Volunteers spokesman Jimmy Stanton said Wednesday he is expected to fully participate in fall training camp in August. He made 69 tackles and a team-high five interceptions in 2010.
S. Korean city lands 2018 Winter Games
After a decade of trying and two defeats, the South Korean city of Pyeongchang won the right to host an Olympics — the 2018 Winter Games — beating two European rivals Wednesday in a landslide vote. Pyeongchang routed Munich and Annecy, France, in the first round of a secret ballot of the International Olympic Committee. Needing 48 votes for victory, Pyeongchang received 63 of the 95 votes cast.
Cavendish wins stage; Contador crashes
Mark Cavendish of Britain won the fifth stage of the Tour de France in a mass sprint on Wednesday, while Thor Hushovd of Norway kept the leader's yellow jersey. Defending champion Alberto Contador fell in a crash, and RadioShack rider Janez Brajkovic broke his collarbone and pulled out of the race during the 102-mile stage.
■ Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova on Wednesday pulled out of the Gastein Ladies next week because of a leg injury.
■ Tim Clark withdrew Wednesday from the British Open, the second straight major he is missing because of an elbow injury. He will be replaced at Royal St. George's next week by Anthony Kim. Also withdrawing was Thomas Levet, who's out six weeks with a broken shin after jumping into a lake following a win in his home tournament in France last weekend.
The last word
Potential jurors in Roger Clemens' perjury trial were asked Wednesday whether they played organized sports, read sports news or were baseball fans. One woman was not:
"I can't imagine spending money to watch a sport where guys scratch themselves and spit a lot."