HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
Bass fishing will be a sport in Kentucky next school year
The Kentucky High School Athletic Association will sanction bass fishing as a varsity sport in the 2012-13 school year.
KHSAA commissioner Julian Tackett made the announcement on Wednesday, saying it's a "natural fit" given the popularity of fishing in Kentucky.
"It also allows us to reach one more group of students who may not already participate in an extracurricular activity and give them a chance to be a part of a team."
The regular season will run from late February to mid-April, followed by the state competition at the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area in western Kentucky.
The Bluegrass State Games also announced on Wednesday that it is adding bass fishing to its competition this summer.
Lin leads Knicks to 9th win in 11 games
Jeremy Lin had an easy night ahead of his toughest opponent yet, and the New York Knicks tuned up for their trip to Miami by beating the visiting Atlanta Hawks 99-82 on Wednesday night. Lin had 17 points and nine assists, sitting out most of the fourth quarter in a rare game during his remarkable run that the Knicks needed little from him. Carmelo Anthony scored 15 points in his second game back from injury for the Knicks, who led the depleted Hawks by 25 points at halftime. New York won for the ninth time in 11 games since Lin joined the rotation.
Kings 115, Wizards 107: Marcus Thornton scored 18 of his 22 points in the second half, rookie Isaiah Thomas had 16 of his 18 after halftime, and Sacramento beat host Washington in a nonstop points-fest that looked like an All-Star game preview — minus the All-Stars. Tyreke Evans added 22 points — 20 in the first half — and former Kentucky star DeMarcus Cousins had 16 points and 16 rebounds for the Kings, who broke a six-game losing streak and salvaged a win on the final game of their six-game road trip. Jordan Crawford scored a season-high 32 points, and former UK star John Wall had 21 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds for the Wizards, who have lost four straight.
Thunder 119, Celtics 104: Russell Westbrook scored 31 points, Kevin Durant added 28 and host Oklahoma City beat Boston for the Thunder's 11th straight win at home. Kevin Garnett's return after a two-game absence wasn't enough to lift the Celtics, who were still without ex-UK point guard Rajon Rondo as he served the second game of a two-game suspension. Paul Pierce and Garnett scored 23 points apiece to lead Boston. The Celtics head into the All-Star break on their second five-game losing streak of the season.
Ex-Topper named to dunk contest
Knicks rookie Iman Shumpert has pulled out of the slam dunk contest with a knee injury and will be replaced by Utah's Jeremy Evans, who played at Western Kentucky. Evans, a second-year forward, joins Indiana's Paul George, Houston's Chase Budinger and Minnesota rookie Derrick Williams in Saturday's event at Orlando. Of Evans' 88 baskets in the NBA, 61 have been dunks.
■ MSG says it has punished a radio announcer who used an offensive term about Knicks guard Jeremy Lin. The network says the term Spero Dedes "unintentionally and inadvertently" used was "inappropriate and inconsistent with the high regard we have for Jeremy Lin as a member of our MSG family, as well as for the Asian community." In a statement, Dedes says he has apologized to Lin and will be more sensitive about his choice of words.
■ Hawks guard Joe Johnson will miss the All-Star game because of tendinitis in his left knee. NBA Commissioner David Stern selected Rondo as Johnson's replacement to the Eastern Conference All-Star team.
■ Derrick Rose said his back is pain-free and he expects to play in the All-Star game this weekend. The league's reigning MVP was again in the Bulls' lineup against the Bucks on Wednesday. "I'm not worried about it anymore," Rose said. "I don't feel any pain anymore."
Reds slugger Bruce drops 16 pounds
Cincinnati Reds fans will see less of Jay Bruce this season. The outfielder has reported to camp weighing 16 pounds less than at the end of last season. It's a noticeable change for the All-Star, who thinks the slimmer body will make him faster and help him get through the season better. Though he made the All-Star team last season, his batting average, slugging percentage and on-base percentage dropped slightly. Bruce batted .256 with 32 homers and 97 RBI in 157 games. Reds position players report to camp on Friday.
Martinez, Brady's QB guru, dies
Tom Martinez, the longtime personal coach to New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, has died at 67. His wife, Olivia, told the San Mateo (Calif.) Daily Journal that he died Tuesday after suffering a heart attack while receiving dialysis treatment. Tom Martinez worked with Brady when he was a teenager growing up in San Mateo, where Martinez coached at College of San Mateo. Their relationship continued during Brady's NFL career.
Temple in talks about joining Big East
Temple and the Big East are talking about the Owls rejoining the conference as soon as next season. MAC Commissioner Jon A. Steinbrecher said in a statement Wednesday that his league is "aware that Temple has been in discussions with the Big East regarding membership." A person familiar with the talks says the school and the Big East are trying to negotiate a deal that could have Temple in the league for all sports by next season. Temple played in the Big East in football only from 1991-2004, but was forced out of the league. It has played football in the Mid-American Conference in 2007. The Owls' other sports programs, including men's and women's basketball, are in the Atlantic 10. The Big East has a vacancy next season now that West Virginia is being allowed to leave immediately for the Big 12.
The last word
Backup quarterback Brady Quinn, in GQ magazine, on the Denver Broncos' success under Tim Tebow:
"We've had a lot of, I guess, luck, to put it simply."