MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ The Minnesota Timberwolves signed 7-foot-2 Stojko Vrankovic, a member of the Croatian Olympic team who saw limited service with the Boston Celtics.
Terms of Vrankovic’s three-contract were not disclosed.
The Wolves had been looking for another center since trading Andrew Lang to the Milwaukee Bucks. They acquired Cherokee Parks from Dallas earlier this summer and plan to use a rotation of players at center.
Vrankovic averaged 1.9 points and 1.5 rebounds for the Celtics in 50 games from 1990 to 1992.
Sydney Committee Head Resigns
SYDNEY, Australia (AP) _ The president of the 2000 Olympics organizing group resigned Friday, the second person to leave the post in the past six months.
Citing ``structural″ reasons for the decision, John Iliffe quit as president of the Sydney Organizing Committee and was replaced by the man who accepted his resignation, Olympics minister Michael Knight.
Iliffe’s predecessor, Gary Pemberton, resigned in March.
Kaneko Leads by Mickelson Two Strokes
INBA, Japan (AP) _ Yoshinori Kaneko shot a 6-under-par 66 Friday and took a two-stroke lead after two rounds of the Suntory Open.
American Phil Mickelson was tied for second with Hideki Tanaka at 135.
Mickelson, winer of four U.S. tournaments this year, shot a 69. Tanaka had a 70.
Four strokes behind Kaneko at 137 were six players, including American Todd Hamilton, who had a 70 on Friday.
First-round leader Kevin Wentworth shot 75 and fell six strokes off the pace.
Hattori Surges Into Lead
NAGAOKA, Japan (AP) _ Michiko Hattori birdied the final hole and posted a 5-under-par 67 Friday to take a one-stroke lead midway through the Japan LPGA Championship.
Hattori, the 1985 U.S. women’s amateur champion, had a 4-under 140 total for 36 holes.
``A 67 is my best round this season,″ said Hattori, seeking her sixth title in five years as a pro.
Kaori Higo also shot a 67 and shared second place at 141 with Akiko Fukushima, who had a 71.
Ayako Okamoto, winner of the Fujisankei Ladies last week, shot a 71 for 142.
Brown, Krauskopf Get WNBA Jobs
NEW YORK (AP) _ Renee Brown was appointed director of player personel for the Women’s National Basketball Association on Friday, and Kelly Krauskopf got the job as director of basketball operations.
Brown will oversee player recruitment and scouting for the WNBA. She was an assistant coach for the U.S. women’s basketball team, and had been an assistant coach at Kansas, Stanford and San Jose State.
Krauskopf will direct scheduling, officiating and discipline.
The league, backed by the NBA, begins play next summer.
Two Czechs Withdraw After Struck By Car
MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) _ Two Czech competitors withdrew from Saturday’s ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championship after being struck by a car while bicycling.
Michal Zanka, 26, remained at Ball Memorial Hospital on Friday, two days after he and Petr Vabrousek, 22, were struck from behind by a car.
Zanka, who was not wearing a helmet, suffered head and arm injuries. The hospital said Friday he was in good condition.
``Michal is in much better shape than his bike,″ Vabrousek said. However, ``both of us are out of the competition. Our bikes are broken.″