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BC-Sports Showcase Digest

February 22, 2019

A look ahead to top enterprise and feature stories planned globally by AP Sports. New digests will go out each Thursday and Monday and will be repeated on other weekdays. Please note that story plans may change depending on news and other issues.

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As with all our operations, we welcome and want your feedback. If you have thoughts or questions about the Sports Showcase Digest or the material listed, please reach out to Oskar Garcia, deputy sports editor for presentation and storytelling, at 215-446-6632 or at ogarcia@ap.org.

All times are Eastern.

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FRIDAY, Feb. 22

BKC—T25-FRIENDLY RIVALS

ANN ARBOR, Mich. _ Michigan State coach Tom Izzo and Michigan coach John Beilein are friendly rivals, whose highly ranked teams will play for the first time this season on Sunday at Crisler Arena. Izzo was among the first in the coaching fraternity to reach out to Beilein after he had heart surgery last summer. As much as Izzo and Beilein respect each other, though, the competitors try to beat each other on the court and the recruiting trails. By Larry Lage. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos, video by 3 a.m. Friday.

SATURDAY, Feb. 23

US--TRANSGENDER ATHLETES

Across the United States and in many places abroad, transgender athletes are making huge advances as they break barriers in high school, college and pro sports. Examples abound of plucky competitors embraced by teammates and fans. Yet for all the upbeat stories, the topic of trans participation remains one of the most polarizing in sports, notably in cases where transgender women actually prevail. Even tennis great Martina Navratilova has been entangled in the debate. By David Crary. UPCOMING: 1,500 words, photos by noon Saturday.

SUNDAY, Feb. 24

ATH--TRANSGENDER ATHLETES-HIGH SCHOOL

Two transgender track athletes have been dominating the girl’s high school sprint events in Connecticut. That has led some parents to petition the state’s governing body for a change in a policy that lets athletes in the state compete as the gender with which they identify. Policies vary across the country, with some states requiring athletes to run under the gender assigned on their birth certificates and others with no policies at all. UPCOMING: 1,000 words, photos by noon Sunday.

MONDAY, Feb. 25

BKC--T25-REDSHIRT WHIFFS

LAWRENCE, Kan. _Ochai Agbaji was a three-star prospect who only picked up a few major scholarship offers, including one from perennial blueblood Kansas, late in the recruiting cycle. He wound up signing with the Jayhawks and everyone_ Agbaji included _ agreed that it would be best to redshirt and develop this season. But when the Jayhawks ran into injury trouble, coach Bill Self yanked Agbaji’s redshirt and, well, he’s been arguably their best player as they pursue a 15th straight Big 12 title. It’s rare story, to be sure, and even rarer in this era of AAU circuits, in-depth recruiting services and social media. By Dave Skretta. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos.

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Again, if you have questions about the Sports Showcase Digest or the material listed, please reach out to Oskar Garcia at 215-446-6632 or ogarcia@ap.org.

Thanks,

AP Sports