HIGH SCHOOLS

Abby Allen, Rylie Langevin and Carley Lovejoy scored to lead Biddeford to a 3-0 win over Sanford in an SMAA field hockey game Wednesday.

Melandi Martel and Jayme Walton each had an assist for the Tigers (5-0) against the Spartans (0-2-1).

BASKETBALL

The Oklahoma City Thunder promoted assistant Mark Daigneault to head coach, handing the team over to the 35-year-old former coach of its G League team.

Daigneault replaces Billy Donovan, who now is coaching the Chicago Bulls. Daigneault coached the Thunder’s G League team for five years. He had a .572 winning percentage, won three division titles and made four playoff appearances.

“We are thrilled to have Mark assume the role of head coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder,” Thunder General Manager Sam Presti said in a statement. “He has been a selfless and effective leader within our organization since his arrival.”

Daigneault has big shoes to fill. Donovan took the Thunder to the playoffs all five years he spent in Oklahoma City. He was a finalist for NBA Coach of the Year this past season after his squad outperformed expectations and pushed the Houston Rockets to seven games in the first round of the playoffs.

• Atlanta Coach Lloyd Pierce added former Indiana Pacers coach Nate McMillan to his staff on Wednesday as an assistant. McMillan has a 661-588 record in 16 seasons as an NBA coach, including with Seattle (2000-05) and Portland (2005-12). He was the Pacers’ coach from 2016 through 2020.

McMillan was fired by Indiana on Aug. 26. His record in four seasons with the Pacers was 183-136. It was the fourth-highest victory total in franchise history, but that success was marred by a 3-16 record in the postseason.

SOCCER

MARADONA: Diego Maradona was released from a Buenos Aires hospital, just over a week after undergoing brain surgery, and will continue his recovery in a private home.

Footage broadcast by local TV stations showed the former World Cup winner leaving the Olivos clinic in an ambulance. Maradona’s doctor, Leopoldo Luque, told journalists that he had authorized the release. His lawyer, Matias Morla, said the 60-year-old Argentine will continue to receive treatment for alcohol dependency. He is expected to stay in a house near his older daughters.

The 1986 World Cup champion last week had an emergency operation for a subdural hematoma, which us an accumulation of blood between a membrane and his brain. Maradona’s personal doctor, neurologist Leopoldo Luque, said Tuesday that even small amounts of alcohol consumption could have negative effects in combination with the medication Maradona needs for his recovery.

U.S. MEN: American star Christian Pulisic will miss exhibitions at Wales on Thursday and against Panama in Austria next week.

The 22-year-old midfielder and forward has not played for his English Premier League team, Chelsea, since Oct. 28 because of a hamstring injury.

FIFA: FIFA said it was right for Greg Clarke to resign as English Football Association chairman over discriminatory comments and should decide whether he will also resign as a vice president of the world governing body. Clarke was forced out of the FA on Tuesday within hours of making heavily criticized remarks on race, sexuality and gender during a British parliamentary hearing.

“FIFA’s zero tolerance position on discrimination remains steadfast and clear: any form of discrimination, including racism, sexism and homophobia, has no place in football,” FIFA said in a statement on Wednesday. “In the circumstances and given the nature of his comments, FIFA considers that Mr. Clarke did the right thing to resign as chairman of the FA yesterday.”

But Clarke remains a vice president of FIFA with a term running through 2023. Clarke was elected by the congress of European governing body UEFA, so FIFA would appear unable to remove Clarke from its ruling council without opening an ethics case.

“He is, of course, free to resign from the FIFA Council, just as he has resigned as chairman of the FA,” FIFA said. “It is for Mr. Clarke to take that decision.”

BARCELONA-NEYMAR: Barcelona is suing Neymar for nearly $12 million, the amount the club believes it overpaid the Brazilian during the time he played in Spain, a person with knowledge of the case said Wednesday.

The person said Barcelona overpaid Neymar to avoid possible tax irregularities while authorities investigated his transfer from Brazilian club Santos in 2013. Calculations recently concluded by tax authorities showed that the club didn’t have to pay the $11.8 million, so it is requesting that the player returns that amount.

Neymar’s representatives told the AP that they would not comment on the case. Neymar played for Barcelona from 2013-17 before joining French club Paris Saint-Germain on a record transfer fee of $262 million.

BUNDESLIGA: German soccer club Hoffenheim has put its entire team in isolation after three new coronavirus cases added to a recent spike in infections. Hoffenheim says midfielder Sebastian Rudy, forward Ishak Belfodil and an unnamed staff member have tested positive. A fourth person’s test gave an unclear result and is being repeated.

Two other Hoffenheim players previously tested positive after joining the Danish and Israeli national teams during the international break. Another Hoffenheim player and a staff member had positive tests last week. Hoffenheim lost to Wolfsburg 2-1 in the Bundesliga on Sunday and next plays Stuttgart on Nov. 21.

HOCKEY

MEEKER DIES: Howie Meeker, who won four Stanley Cups with the Toronto Maple Leafs, served in Parliament during his playing days and went on to become a Canadian icon as a respected and colorful television hockey analyst, has died. He was 97.

A spokesman for the Maple Leafs confirmed via email that Meeker died Sunday. There was no immediate word on the cause of death.

Meeker won the Calder Trophy as the top rookie in 1947 – the same year Gordie Howe entered the league – and played in three All-Star games.

CYCLING

RIDER SUSPENDED FOR CRASH: Cyclist Dylan Groenewegen was banned from racing for nine months on Wednesday for causing a sprint-finish crash that left a rival in a coma and with severe facial injuries.

The International Cycling Union said its disciplinary panel ruled Groenewegen cannot compete again until May 7. He will miss the spring season of one-day classic races plus week-long races including Paris-Nice, where he has won stages in previous seasons.

“The crash in the first stage of the Tour of Poland will forever be a black page in my career,” the Dutch rider said in a statement published by his Jumbo-Visma team.

Groenewegen, who has four Tour de France stage wins in his career, veered right in a sprint to the finish line on Aug. 5, forcing Fabio Jakobsen to crash into roadside barriers. Jakobsen was awarded the stage win after Groenewegen was disqualified. He was treated in a medically induced coma and left needing reconstructive surgery on his face and jaw.

The UCI said Groenewegen “acknowledged that he deviated from his line and committed a violation” of race rules.

“I hope this has been a wise lesson for every sprinter,” Groenewegen said. “I follow the news of Fabio’s recovery very closely. I can only hope that one day he will return completely.”

 

 

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