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BC-Sports Showcase Digest

February 13, 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.

For access to AP Newsroom and other technical issues, contact AP Customer Support at apcustomersupport@ap.org or 877-836-9477. For reruns, call the Service Desk 800-838-4616 or your local AP bureau.

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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WEDNESDAY, Feb. 13

SOC--SMASHING THE LOFT

French soccer players are turning to the courts to fight workplace bullying and a practice known in France’s top leagues by an English word, “le loft.” It refers to the no-man’s land where clubs park footballers they no longer want but cannot get rid of immediately or who have fallen out of favor with club officials. Players subjected to the most extreme forms of “lofting” have described themselves as being treated like lepers, suddenly ostracized and subjected to petty humiliations. By John Leicester.SENT: 1,300 words, photos.

BKN—ALL-STAR—SHOOTING THE STEPBACK

James Harden has relied on it to become the NBA’s most unstoppable scorer. Luka Doncic has ridden it to stardom on both sides of the Atlantic. So how come more players aren’t using the step-back 3-pointer? Well, it’s fundamentally flawed, sometimes doesn’t even look legal, and even Stephen Curry says it’s tough to make. So it’s unclear whether the shot is a luxury for some, or will become a necessity for all in today’s 3-point happy game. By Basketball Writer Brian Mahoney. SENT: 800 words, photos.

FRIDAY, Feb. 15

OLY--USING VOLUNTEERS

TOKYO _ The Olympics are awash with cash but at every Games there are volunteers who work for free. Next year’s Tokyo Olympics will use about 80,000. This probably amounts to a savings of between $100 million and $200 million. But volunteers see this as a once-in-a-lifetime chance and are unaware that their free labor earns billions for the Olympics. By Stephen Wade. UPCOMING: 1,000 words, photos by 3 a.m. Friday.

CAR—NASCAR-DAYTONA 500

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. __ William Byron and Alex Bowman make the youngest front row in the history of the Daytona 500. Byron is 21, Bowman is 25 and both represent a youth movement in NASCAR as the sport adjusts to the retirements of its biggest stars. But Sunday’s season-opener is a chance for one of the new faces to launch his career in the Super Bowl of NASCAR. By AP Auto Racing Writer Jenna Fryer. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by noon on Friday.

MONDAY, Feb. 18

OLY—FRANCE-LEARNING LIGHTSABER

BEAUMONT-SUR-OISE, France _ In France, it is easier than ever now to act out “Star Wars” fantasies, after its fencing federation took the radical step of officially recognizing lightsaber dueling as a competitive sport, granting the iconic weapon from George Lucas’ saga about a galaxy far, far away the same status as the foil, epee and sabre, the traditional blades used at the Olympics. By John Leicester. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos, video by 5 a.m. Monday.

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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,

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