WNBA champion Storm honored at White House

Associated PressJune 30, 2011 

President Barack Obama says the WNBA's Seattle Storm sets a good example for young girls with big dreams as he welcomed the 2010 champions to the White House Rose Garden on Wednesday.

The president is a basketball fan whose daughters, Malia and Sasha, also play.

He lauded the Storm for the community service the team performs at home in Seattle. He said the players understand that being champions doesn't end when they step off the court.

The Storm swept the WNBA finals in September, defeating the Atlanta Dream to win their second league title.

Seattle's Jackson plans surgery: Reigning WNBA MVP Lauren Jackson has decided to have surgery today to repair the torn labrum in her left hip, the WNBA's Seattle Storm said Wednesday.

Jackson hopes to be able to return before the regular season ends in early September.

Fever's January tears ACL: Indiana Fever guard Briann January will miss the rest of the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee.

Derby winner needs leg surgery

Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom has a more serious leg injury that will require surgery, and the colt won't race again this year.

The colt's ownership, Team Valor International, said in a statement Wednesday in New York that a second set of X-rays has revealed Animal Kingdom has a slab fracture in his left hind leg just above the small fracture to the cannon bone found two weeks ago.

A screw will be inserted to compress the fracture today.

Team Valor says Animal Kingdom will be out of training for three months, with the goal of returning for the Dubai World Cup in late March.

Soolsma lifts Toronto FC

Dutch midfielder Nick Soolsma scored from a penalty in the 54th minute to lift host Toronto FC over the Vancouver Whitecaps 1-0 in Major League Soccer on Wednesday.

Soolsma's had to take the penalty twice after his first attempt - which was successful - was called back because a teammate entered the box too early. Soolsma then knocked the second attempt past Whitecaps keeper Jay Nolly.

Tour team cuts ties to ex-rider

Tour de France team Omega Pharma-Lotto has severed ties with Wim Vansevenant after news reports linked the ex-rider with doping products.

General manager Geert Coeman says Vansevenant worked "sporadically" for the team as a driver and was to drive for the team for one week at the three-week Tour, which starts Saturday.

In a statement Wednesday on the team's website, Coeman expressed surprise at Belgian newspaper reports in which Vansevenant is accused of ordering banned products, which then were intercepted by airport customs agents in Zaventem, Belgium.

Speaking to Belgian newspaper De Standaard, Vansevenant said he ordered a "food supplement."

Indy Lights suspends team

IndyCar has suspended Indy Lights team O2 Racing Technology and the individual membership of team owner Mark Olson through 2012.

According to a news release from IndyCar, Olson was suspended for attempting to impede the conduct of the event by encouraging others to breach contracts with IndyCar and withdraw from the David Hobbs 100, the Indy Lights race in Milwaukee this month. Only O2 Racing Technology withdrew, removing its No. 36 and 63 entries.

No pool house for Mooresville driver: NASCAR driver Todd Bodine has lost his fight with a homeowner's association and is being forced to tear down a pool house and tiki hut in his backyard in Mooresville.

Television station WCNC reported that Bodine fought the Harris Village neighborhood homeowner's association for four years, taking his case to the state Supreme Court.

The NASCAR truck series champion also must pay opposing attorneys' fees and $40,000 in fines.

Bodine says he would like to see the state legislature limit the powers of homeowners' groups. There are 18,000 neighborhood governments in North Carolina.

18U teams split doubleheader

Chris Harvey's two-run single in the ninth helped give the 18U Trials Blue team a 3-1 win against the Red in Game 2 of the day-night doubleheader Wednesday at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary.

Troy Conyers (1-0) got the win with three shutout innings of relief and three strikeouts. Clate Schmidt, who worked the 10th for both squads, recorded the save for the Blue and pitched two scoreless innings. Hunter Virant (0-1) gave up the two runs in the ninth on two hits in the loss.

Through two games, Gavin Cecchini (4-for-8) and Mikey White (3-for-6) are hitting .500 to lead the trials.

In the opener, Cecchini collected four hits and drove in three runs as the Red won 8-5.

From USA Baseball Releases

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