Cuban, U.S. officials spar over blame for poor ties

Hall of Fame Classic set for Hammond

HAMMOND — St. Thomas Aquinas is hosting five Hall of Fame Classic games on Saturday at Southeastern Louisiana University’s University Center.

Games begin at 1 p.m. with Port Allen taking on the Episcopal boys. At 2:30 p.m., Loranger faces Riverside Academy in a girls game.

The St. Thomas Aquinas girls meet Fairview at 4 p.m. in a high-profile girls game. Hammond-based STA is ranked second in Class 2A, while Fairview is the No. 1 team in Class B-C.

Two boys games close out the schedule. STA plays East St. John at 5 p.m. followed by Amite vs. Riverside Academy. Riverside and St. Thomas Aquinas are both 2A powers.

Van Exel’s son gets 60 years for murder

DALLAS — A Texas jury has sentenced the 22-year-old son of former NBA player Nick Van Exel to 60 years in prison in the shooting death of a longtime friend.

Nickey Maxwell Van Exel received the punishment Friday after his father wept on the witness stand and apologized to the family of Bradley Bassey Eyo. The same jury in Dallas County in North Texas found the younger Van Exel guilty of murder on Thursday.

Prosecutors had sought a capital murder conviction.

Nickey Maxwell Van Exel fatally shot the friend in December 2010 and dumped his body at Lake Ray Hubbard on the eastern outskirts of Dallas.

His father, Nick Van Exel, played 13 seasons in the NBA and is now a player development instructor for the Atlanta Hawks.

U.S. has 2-0 lead over Brazil in Cup

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — John Isner and Sam Querrey each won their matches on Friday to give the United States a 2-0 lead over Brazil in the first round of the Davis Cup.

Isner earned a straight-set win over Brazil’s Thiago Alves 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-3.

Isner’s win came two hours after Querrey earned a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Thomaz Bellucci.

The United States is one win away from advancing. Bob and Mike Bryan, the world’s No. 1 ranked doubles team, will take on Brazil’s Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares on Saturday, followed by Sunday’s reverse singles.

LeMond recovering after car crash

PLYMOUTH, Minn. — Three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond crashed his car in a Minneapolis suburb this week.

A Plymouth police report says LeMond left the road Wednesday morning, hit a fence and shrubs, and then hit an embankment before ending up in the back yard of a home.

The report says the 51-year-old LeMond went to a hospital with back pain.

According to the report, LeMond may have lost consciousness before the accident. LeMond became America’s first Tour de France winner in 1986. He also won the Tour in 1989 and 1990.

Hafner agrees to $2M deal with Yanks

NEW YORK (AP) — Travis Hafner and the New York Yankees have agreed to a $2 million, one-year contract that allows him to earn up to $4 million more in bonuses based on plate appearances.

Compiled from news releases.

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