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BC-Sports Showcase Digest

March 15, 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.

FRIDAY, March 15

HKN--NHL-GROWING DIVERSITY

PHILADELPHIA _Hockey was a tough sell for April Johnson. Football is the sport of choice in her North Philadelphia neighborhood and she didn’t want to switch her two boys to another sport, even when she found out it could be free. Now she’s a hockey evangelist, though she still runs into plenty of reluctance from fellow African-American friends and families. Johnson is on the front lines of where the National Hockey League hopes to grow the diversity in its game. But the NHL is 95 percent white and has been for a century, and everyone knows it will take time to bridge cultural, socioeconomic and logistical gaps and make the sport feel welcoming and inclusive to people of color. By Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno. Sent: 900 words, photos

BBA—BLACK SOX OPERA

Marking the 100th anniversary of the Chicago Black Sox agreeing to throw the 1919 World Series, the Minnesota Opera on Saturday presents the premiere of “The Fix” by composer Joel Puckett and librettist Eric Simonson, starting tenor Joshia Dennis as Shoeless Joe Jackson. By Ronald Blum. Sent: 700 words, photos

SATURDAY, March 16

DAYTON’S GEM

DAYTON, Ohio – Dayton, the only city to host NCAA Tournament play-in games since the concept was introduced in 2001, has taken four rather routine college basketball games and made them crackle with the energy of a marquee event. The First Four gives the medium-sized city a slice of the tournament pie every March and provides the kind of national exposure money can’t buy. By Mitch Stacy. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by noon on Saturday.

SUNDAY, March 17

BKW--NCAA IN LAS VEGAS

LAS VEGAS _ Women’s basketball fans were treated to quite a show this week in Las Vegas with four conference tournaments played there. Could the NCAAs be in the cards down the road? By Basketball Writer Doug Feinberg. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 3 a.m. Sunday.

TUESDAY, March 18

BKC--NCAA-SPORTS BETTING

WASHINGTON _ As the NCAA prepares to stage its first basketball championships since the Supreme Court allowed legal sports betting in any state that wants it, the organization remains opposed to gambling on its events. But it’s not denying reality, either. This year, women’s games are all but certain to be played in Mississippi, where people have been betting on college sports since last summer, and men’s games will be played in Washington at an arena that could have a full-service onsite sports book this time next year. The NCAA is still trying to figure out what rules to put in place to acknowledge the spread of legal gambling but it has no plans to move events away from places with legal gambling. By Ben Nuckols. 800 words, photos by 10 a.m. Tuesday

WEDNESDAY, March 20

OLY--BRIDGE’S TROUBLED WATERS

PARIS _ When the world’s top bridge player tested positive for one of the steroids Lance Armstrong used to cheat the Tour de France, it was easy to snigger. Juicing in cards? Ha! But within the game recognized as a bona fide sport by the International Olympic Committee many are seething, angry not with the player, Geir Helgemo, but with the anti-doping regime that bridge signed up to in its fruitless chase for a spot in the Olympic Games. By John Leicester. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos by 3 a.m. Wednesday.

THURSDAY, March 21

BKN--Bucks-From Very Deep

Milwaukee’s Brook Lopez made three 3-pointers in his first eight NBA seasons. He’s made more than 400 in the three seasons since, and it’s not uncommon to see him taking shots from 30 feet or deeper. Lopez has taken more 3s this season than any 7-footer in history, and it’s one of the biggest reasons why Milwaukee has been the NBA’s top success story so far this season. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. UPCOMING: 850 words, photos by 11 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