Serena Williams reveals health scare
Serena Williams told Vogue magazine she dealt with a medical scare right after the birth of her daughter. Williams said she developed several small blood clots in her lungs while in the hospital after Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. was born in September. Williams also said in the story that she has her sights set on getting to a record 25 Grand Slam titles. She currently owns 23. According to the article, the tennis superstar ‘‘spent the first six weeks of motherhood unable to get out of bed.’’ . . . Wearing a compression sleeve on his right arm to protect his troublesome elbow, Novak Djokovic dominated fifth-ranked Dominic Thiem, 6-1, 6-4, in an exhibition match at the Kooyong Classic in Melbourne, a key tune-up event for next week’s Australian Open. Djokovic said he’d had doubts whether he’d be ready to play in the first Grand Slam of the year, but the win over Thiem was a major confidence boost.
Pipkins scores UMass-record 44 points
Guard Luwane Pipkins set a school-record 44 points to lead the UMass men’s basketball team (9-8, 2-2 Atlantic 10) back from a 21-point deficit to beat LaSalle (7-10, 1-3), 86-79, in overtime at Amherst . . . Fletcher Magee scored 19 points with 7 rebounds and 4 assists and Derrick Brooks’s free throw with seven seconds left gave Wofford (11-5) a 63-62 win against Harvard (6-10) in Spartanburg, S.C. Seth Towns led the Crimson with 20 points . . . John Carroll scored 24 points as host Hartford (9-8, 2-1 America East) beat UMass Lowell (6-9, 0-2), 84-73, for its sixth win in eight games . . . Bentley coach Barbara Stevens moved to within two of becoming the fifth NCAA women’s basketball coach to reach 1,000 career victories when the seventh-ranked Falcons (15-1, 9-1 Northeast 10) beat American International College (8-9, 2-7 NE 10), 65-47, in a Division 2 matchup in Springfield . . . Boston College running back Jon Hilliman will spend his final year of eligibility at Rutgers. Hilliman, who is from Jersey City, N.J., graduated from BC in December . . . University of Central Florida football fans bought a billboard advertisement in Tuscaloosa, Ala., congratulating the University of Alabama for winning the national championship on Monday and asking if the Crimson Tide would like to play their team. UCF declared itself national champion after a 13-0 season and Peach Bowl win and celebrated its achievements with a parade Sunday at Disney World. Thirty-seven fans of the team raised $1,665 on a GoFundMe page to pay for a digital billboard ad that reads, “Congratulations Alabama. How about a home & home series with UCF?” .
Cavaliers’ Thomas is docked $20k
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Isaiah Thomas was fined $20,000 for striking Minnesota Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins in the throat. Thomas clotheslined Wiggins in the jaw as he drove to the basket in the third quarter Monday night. He was ejected for a flagrant-two foul. He said afterward it was an accident and that he was glad Wiggins was all right . . . The NBA suspended Miami Heat forward James Johnson and Toronto Raptors forward Serge Ibaka one game apiece for throwing punches at each other on Tuesday night. The fight began in the third quarter of the Heat's 90-89 victory over the Raptors in Toronto. Ibaka and Johnson started shoving each other while waiting for the ball to be inbounded under the Miami basket. The league also fined the Raptors’ DeMar DeRozan $25,000 and the Heat's Goran Dragic $10,000 for a separate altercation at the end of the game . . . Golden State star Stephen Curry sat out Wednesday against the Clippers after he slipped during shootaround and sprained his troublesome right ankle. It’s the same injury that recently sidelined him for 11 games . . . Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner will miss the next two games with an injured right elbow.
Blackhawks get Duclair from Coyotes
The Chicago Blackhawks acquired winger Anthony Duclair from the Arizona Coyotes in a four-player trade. The deal sent winger Richard Panik and minor leaguer Laurent Dauphin to Arizona. Chicago also got defenseman Adam Clendening. along with Duclair in a move that seeks to shake up a perennial contender fighting to maintain a playoff position . . . Another hand injury has sidelined Ottawa Senators forward Bobby Ryan, and there is no timeline for his return. This is Ryan's third hand injury in 12 months and seventh since 2014.
USA Volleyball bans coach for life
The governing body of USA Volleyball banned prominent coach Rick Butler for life. The decision followed reports by the Chicago Sun-Times that laid out sexual abuse allegations against Butler. The Aurora, Ill.-based club he built, Sports Performance Volleyball, boasts four Olympic medalists and nearly 100 national championships. In announcing Butler's ban, USA Volleyball Butler’s his second ban. He was banned in 1995 for sexual abuse allegations, but was reinstated five years later only as an adminstrator . . . Slugger Khris Davis and the Oakland Athletics agreed to a $10.5 million, one-year contract, more than doubling his salary after he beat the team in arbitration last winter . . . The New York Yankees are expanding netting to protect seats behind each dugout and for five sections past down both foul lines. The decision comes after several fans were injured last year . . . Free agent catcher Rene Rivera and the Los Angeles Angels agreed to a $2.8 million, one-year contract.