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BC-Sports Showcase Digest

March 23, 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.

SATURDAY, March 23

BBM--LIVING THE BUS LIFE

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. _ Grueling bus rides are a hallmark of minor league life, but a pitcher in the Tampa Bay Rays system is determined to feel at home on the road. Jack Labosky used his $3,000 signing bonus to purchase a school bus, and he and his girlfriend plan to live out of the renovated “skoolie” during the 2019 season. By Jake Seiner. SENT: 800 words, photos.

TUESDAY, March 26

BKC—NCAA-TOURNAMENT MONEY

There are 32 conferences in Division I basketball. For those leagues outside the wealthiest, having a team pull an NCAA Tournament upset or land an at-large bid to the Big Dance is like winning the lottery. At the mid-major level, that money often funds conference-wide initiatives to improve the quality of basketball, giving teams in those leagues a better chance to be the next Cinderella team. But those windfalls are becoming harder to come by as power conferences hoard tournament revenue. By College Sports Writer Ralph D. Russo. UPCOMING: 1,500 words, photos, video by 3 a.m. Tuesday. Data distribution also available.

OLY-JOHN LEICESTER-WEIGHTLIFTING’S WOES

PARIS _ The initial picture that emerged from weightlifting’s world championships seemed positive: All of the drug tests initially came back negative, offering hope that the troubled sport’s efforts to change its doping culture and lift the threat of being kicked out of the Olympic Games might be bearing fruit. But then sophisticated computer algorithms got to work on reanalyzing the results. That high-tech additional screening revealed a grim picture of continued doping, including by reigning Olympic champions, that will be presented to the International Olympic Committee this week. Given that weightlifting was already on probation, this should be the last straw: The time has now come give weightlifters’ Olympic spots to athletes from other sports that offer a more believable, more inspiring example. By Sports Columnist John Leicester. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos by 5 a.m. Tuesday.

THURSDAY, March 28

SKI--FAST FRIENDS

Ten years ago, ski racer Thomas Walsh was diagnosed with cancer that ended up taking his pelvis. By his side that day was Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin. She remains one of his biggest fans as Walsh rises through the ranks as a Paralympian. They’ve long been good friends, with Walsh taking some of his first lessons from Shiffrin’s mom. “He has that kind of ‘zest-for-life’ that is very rare, very contagious, and cannot be stifled. Not even by cancer,” Shiffrin said. By Pat Graham. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos by 3 a.m. Thursday.

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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