Red Claws trade Ochefu, receive rights to Saunders

The Maine Red Claws traded center Daniel Ochefu and a 2018 fourth-round pick to the Windy City Bulls on Thursday in exchange for the rights to Wesley Saunders and a future second-round pick.

Saunders played in the NBA G League last season for Windy City, averaging 8.5 points and 5.5 rebounds. He is currently playing for Kataja BC in Finland. The Red Claws hold the rights of Saunders if he returns to the league within the next two seasons.

Ochefu averaged 5.5 points and 7.3 rebounds in six games for the Red Claws this season.


GIRLS’ HOCKEY: Jessa Smith scored four goals and assisted on another to lead York/Traip/Marshwood to a 7-2 victory in its opener against Gorham/Bonny Eagle/Massabesic (0-2) on Thursday in Rochester, New Hampshire.

Wendy Donnell added a goal and assist, and Molly Rohrer and Sophie Blackwell also scored for York.

Gorham got third-period goals from Molly Rathbun and Anna Rathbun.


NASCAR: Dale Earnhardt Jr. wrapped up his final season as a driver with one last piece of hardware. He won the Most Popular Driver Award on Thursday night for a 15th consecutive time.

The award is based on a fan vote and sponsored by the National Motorsports Press Association. Only Bill Elliott (16) won the award more than Earnhardt.


FOOTBALL: North Carolina State announced that it has agreed to a new contact with coach Dave Doeren.

A person familiar with the situation said the five-year deal came after Doeren talked with Tennessee officials about their coaching vacancy.


WORLD CUP: Lindsey Vonn was the second-fastest in training Thursday for the season-opening women’s World Cup downhill in Alberta.

An 18-time winner at Lake Louise, Vonn is back at the resort after missing the stop last season because of a broken arm. The American had a run of 1 minute, 48.29 seconds – 0.15 seconds behind Ester Ledecka of the Czech Republic.


RETIREMENT: Former U.S. Open finalist Roberta Vinci will retire from tennis after the Italian Open in May. The 34-year-old has struggled with injuries and fallen to No. 117.


WORLD CUP: FIFA’s top salesman insists the 2018 World Cup will make its income target.

Italy’s loss in the playoffs wiped tens of millions of dollars off the value of an unsold broadcasting deal. One of FIFA’s most valuable markets is typically worth $200 million per World Cup.

The surprise U.S. elimination affects finding four North American sponsors in a new, and stalled, regional sales program. Just one of 20 slots has sold worldwide.

Still, FIFA commercial director Philippe Le Floc’h insists FIFA will reach a $5.66 billion income target for the 2015-18 sales period.